Throw a Party // Friendsgiving

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Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
There’s always so much to be thankful for. Practicing gratitude is something that can transform your life, but doing so is intentional and requires a sincere effort at recognizing your blessings and acknowledge the good they bring to your life. That’s why I love the Thanksgiving season. It makes us take a moment to practice gratitude and celebrate the good in our lives.
 Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving MealFriendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
One of the many blessings in my life that I cherish most is my community of friends and the support and love that they extend to me. I wanted to celebrate the blessings that they are to me by hosting a Friendsgiving at home. For this event, I teamed up with Raquel from R Love Floral, Kristen from Kristen Dee Photography, Elisabeth from Silver Lining Events and Co. and Kelly from Pink Champagne Paper. Together, we had a wonderful time setting a beautiful table, filling our bellies with yummy eats and making memories! Check out the details of our amazing night of food and fun!

As a child, I would make our Thanksgiving meal with my grandmother, who taught me all of our longstanding family recipes. It was my favorite part of the holiday! 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with a Gluten Intolerance and it transformed my life. I now focus on eating clean and natural and, of course, gluten free! But I still love Thanksgiving dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese casserole and green bean casserole! I decided to create a way for others like me to enjoy a gourmet Thanksgiving meal without the worry of gluten contamination. I have adapted all of my grandmother’s recipes (and added a few of my own) to make this meal all-natural and gluten free!
Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving MealFriendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving MealFriendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
The Menu:
Traditional Thanksgiving Buttermilk Roasted Turkey
     I brined the turkey overnight using this amazing brine blend, along with these bringing bags, from Williams-Sonoma. I then incorporated fresh rosemary, thyme, minced garlic, butter and some buttermilk to make this juicy, roasted, Thanksgiving Turkey! I used Kale, pears, cranberries and apples to garnish the turkey once it was ready to make a festive, holiday presentation! I made my own, paleo cranberry sauce and used my favorite gravy base from Williams Sonoma, along with the giblets of the turkey, for a knock-your-socks-off gravy!
Gluten Free Cornbread Dressing
     This is adapted from my great grandmother’s original recipe. This is, quite possibly, my favorite thing to eat in the entire world. My first Thanksgiving spent after my diagnosis, I hated leaving this off my plate the most. So, I went home with her recipe and attempted to make my own, gluten free version. After many tries, I’ve perfected her recipe and now my own family can’t tell the difference! [Click here for the recipe]
Sweet Potatoes
      I love sweet potatoes, but I’m not a fan of adding marshmallows and all that extra sugar that my family usually adds. So, I opted for a mashed sweet potato with butter, walnuts and a little bit of brown sugar added. [Click here for the recipe]
Green Bean Casserole
      I remember being sick one time as a little girl and my grandmother called and asked me if she could bring me anything to make me feel better… My response? “I want your green bean casserole.” (yes, I was a foodie from birth!) As an adult, though, this recipe scared me! I was afraid to try to make this recipe all-natural, organic and gluten free because I just knew I’d ruin it. However, I have to say that I think my grandmother would be proud of this cleaner take on her old recipe! I swapped out the fried onions with some GF bread crumbs. I still have yet to find a great GF version of them. [Click here for the recipe]
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
       This is my gluten free take on a classic favorite! I add a little bit of cayenne pepper to give it a kick and that red/orange tint! [Click here for the recipe]
Pumpkin Pie
        Pumpkin Pie is easy to make Gluten Free! I just picked up a gluten free pie shell from Whole Foods and made a traditional pumpkin pie using all-natural pumpkin puree and the recipe from the back of the Libby’s can! I whipped up some heavy whipping cream using raw cane sugar and I added my favorite ingredient, cinnamon, for a different take on a yummy whipped topping!
Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving MealFriendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving MealFriendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
The food was presented on a blend of different servingware that I’ve had around the house. My husband and I registered at Pottery Barn, where we found these amazing, antique serving platters, silverware, pitchers and more that are all labeled with the job description of what they do [carve, pour, gravy, salt, pepper, serve…] How awesome do they look altogether with food in them? I’ve linked the cooking aides I used, along with my favorite serving pieces here in case you’d like to pick them up [they’re on MAJOR sale right now]!
 Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
Kelly from Pink Champagne Paper had our menu printed out onto precious menu cards that she designed and printed herself! Her design was a digital print with gold thermography accents for the vines. She decided to keep to a traditional feel, but added a modern twist with the hashtag and typography. I mean, really? How perfect?
The best part? These leftover boxes that she did for us too! She printed these precious stickers and stuck them to the top of some boxes from The Container Store. They ended up being the very best [and cutest] way for us to take home the leftovers to enjoy!
Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
The Table:
One of the joys of the season is being with your friends, altogether, in one setting, sharing your gratitude with and for them. When setting a table for friendsgiving, Elisabeth from Silver Lining Events + Co. likes to keep her own traditions in place which is a formal table setting with lots of beautiful candlelight, while incorporating a mixture of colors, textures, patterns, and natural elements that reflect our friends’s different personalities and a modern flare. She started with a BEAUTIFUL white linen with a silver and gold appliqué from BBJ Linen that gave the table a gorgeous glow. From there, she incorporated a gorgeous mix of color and texture.
Here’s what Elisabeth has to say about her friendsgiving table:
For this table I brought a lot of my own dishes out from the vault, which makes me so happy to have them actually in use! Your table doesn’t have to be Matchy Matchy, just cohesive. For the tablesettings I used natural wood scallop chargers, ivory and tan ceramic plates and bowls from Crate & Barrel, vintage crystal that has been collected from different estate sales and family members, vintage water glasses that were a gift from my own wedding, multiple different types of candle votives including wine bottles, murcery glass, flameless candles… Basically everything around the house!
And I have to say… It works! Have you ever seen a table so gorgeous?! I kept saying out loud, “Oh my gosh, y’all! This is MY house! I live here… like, y’all… I honestly LIVE here!” I felt like my home became an instant issue of Southern Living!
Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal friendsgiving-98 Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
The girls kept to a very rich, warm color palette of plums, metallics, oranges, dark greenery and a natural brown. When setting your own friends giving table, be sure to make your settings workable, relatable, and sensible. Your table is the centerpiece of the meal. Create a warm atmosphere by using soft fabrics and a bold, neutral color palette. Have fun with it!
 Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
The Flowers:
R Love floral created a beautiful, lush centerpiece with fall leaves, burgundy peonies and roses, hydrangeas, orange mums and magnolia leaves. They added a few petite arrangements down the center of the table and filled in the spaces with wild smilax and magnolia leaves to create a lush runner.
One thing Raquel, from R Love Floral, did that I absolutely LOVED was incorporating her florals around the buffet where I presented my food! She is a genius and I think she’s just the bees knees! I mean, how AMAZING are her flowers?
Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal Friendsgiving // www.thehisfor.com // Thanksgiving Meal
Shout out to my amazingly talented friend, Kristen Dee, who took the photos of our friendsgiving. She’s just the best! Check her out at Kristen Dee Photography!
Table Linen: BBJ Linen
Menus and Leftover Boxes: Pink Champagne Paper
Floral Design: R Love Floral Designs
Food: Me
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