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Three Cooks One Kitchen: A Friendsgiving Celebration

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3C1K graphic updatedIt is officially the time of year when kitchens around the world are full of three, four, five, or even more chefs at one time.  And while things can get crowded and a bit hectic, often times these cooking experiences are the most fun.  Joanna, Erin, and I have been cooking up a storm together for our Three Cooks One Kitchen monthly cooking series for a little over six months now.  Despite a couple of burnt food mishaps, we have had nothing but fun together in the kitchen (heck, even the burnt food experiences were fun!).  Food is a big part of our society, especially around this time of year, and it can truly become an experience when you cook with those you love.  I cannot think of two other people that I would rather have been cooking alongside for Joanna’s second annual Friendsgiving celebration.

food prep hannah joannaErin and I met at Joanna’s house two hours before the other guests were expected to arrive.  Joanna already had the turkey in the oven, so we immediately got to work preparing three side dishes for the Friendsgiving feast.  First up: this Apple Shallot and Herb Dressing.  At our Friendsgiving celebration last year, Joanna was gracious enough to make a vegetarian dressing for Erin’s husband and me.  We all loved it so much that we decided it needed to happen again.  The fact that this recipe is a bit non-traditional- with ingredients like apples, fennel, celery root, and golden raisins- was a huge plus in my book.  I am a major sweet/savory fan, and this dressing totally fits that bill.

We peeled and chopped to our heart’s content, did a little sauteeing and seasoning, and threw it all together in a big bowl to rest for 30 minutes.

3c1k friendsgiving 5Can we please talk about how incredibly strange celery root looks?  This is the bottom of the celery root, which we all thought looked like creepy fingers.  We have officially named this the token vegetable for the Halloween season!

3c1k friendsgiving 7While the dressing ingredients were resting, we snacked on a delicious pumpkin fluff dip that Joanna made.  It tasted amazing when scooped up with salty pretzels and sweet vanilla wafers.

3c1k friendsgiving 9After the 30 minutes were up, we added the dressing ingredients to the pan and popped it into the oven for an hour.

3c1k friendsgiving 8The next side that we set out to prepare was a Thanksgiving must: crescent rolls!  Joanna’s mom graciously gave us her recipe to use (posted below), and Joanna prepared the dough ahead of time.

friendsgiving crescent rollsWe split the dough into two separate chunks, rolled them out, cut them into eight pieces (16 total), and rolled them up into crescent rolls.  I honestly never knew that making homemade crescent rolls could be so easy!  It may or may not have helped that I didn’t actually have to do anything to get the dough ready!

3c1k friendsgiving 6With the crescent rolls all prepped and ready for the oven, we got to work making Kelly’s Butternut Squash Gravy.  Joanna and I saw Kelly’s post a few days before our Friendsgiving celebration and decided that it needed to make an appearance on the table.  What could be better than a gravy made with vegetables?

It was incredibly easy to make, and simply required mixing, boiling, and blending all of the ingredients together.

3c1k friendsgiving 10This is me attacking the squash with the immersion blender.  Like Joanna, I also have an immersion blender, and I have to say that it is one of my favorite Christmas presents from last year.  It makes preparing soups and gravies a breeze!

3c1k friendsgiving 12With the dressing and rolls in the oven and the gravy warm on the stovetop, we stopped to take a quick picture of the three chefs.  Also, I feel like I should have been wearing a light pink/coral shirt instead of red and black.  I totally threw off the color scheme! 😉

3c1k friendsgiving 13After the other guests had arrived and our food was out of the oven, we set up the buffet table and got ready to dive in.  In addition to the dishes we cooked together, everyone contributed one dish of their own.  We had mains, sides, and desserts.  Basically, we had all of the essential fixings!

friendsgiving dishesOn the left is a salad with blood orange and blueberry balsamic vinaigrettes, turkey, and my family recipe for fruit salad.  On the right is the perfectly thick and seasoned butternut squash gravy.  It was a smart move on our part to make a double batch of the gravy because it was a huge hit!

friendsgiving dishes 2On the left are creme brulee potatoes from Wheatfield’s (so good) and our delicious dressing.  On the right was an amazing sweet potato casserole that Jordan made and our crescent rolls.

friendsgiving dessertsIt is not Friendsgiving without dessert!  Molly brought the cutest mini pecan pie muffins, and Joanna (the master baker) made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

3c1k friendsgiving 20I filled my plate to the brim with everything- except the turkey, of course!  I loved every single dish, but I thought the stars of the show were Jordan’s sweet potato casserole and the butternut squash gravy.  Apparently I have a thing for beta carotene.

3c1k friendsgiving 21You knew this was coming, right?  It almost looks too cute to eat…  hah, yeah right!  I can never say no to pumpkin.  I have never ever been disappointed with anything Joanna has baked.  I am convinced she should open up a bakery!

friendsgiving groupHow awesome is this picture?  We decided we need a picture of the whole gang before the evening was over.  And since neither Joanna or I knew how to use the self-timer on our DSLRs, we used Jordan’s cell phone.  After about three million tries, we ended up with this one.  The fact that we are all in the picture makes it a success!

I think we would all agree that Friendsgiving was a hit, and we all left with very full and happy tummies.  I was so grateful to have spent this Friendsgiving night with my Omaha family.  I’d be lost without them!

Crescent Roll Recipe

Makes 16


1 package (1/4 oz) of active dry yeast
2 1/2 TB warm water (110-115 degrees)
4 1/2 cups flour, divided
1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
2 TB buter or margarine, melted


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Add half of the flour, milk, shortening, sugar, eggs and salt; beat for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Turn onto floured board; knead lightly.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 – 3 hours.  Divide dough into two equal parts.  Roll each into a 12 inch circle; brush with butter.  Cut each circle into 8 pie-shaped wedges.  Roll up each wedge from wide edge to tip of dough and pinch to seal.  Bake on greased baking sheet (point side down) at 375 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from baking sheet and serve immediately or cool on wire rack.

Check out the other two cooks’ Friendsgiving posts here:
Joanna’s Post
Erin’s Post

Have you ever hosted or been to a Friendsgiving celebration?

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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie November 20, 2014, 7:33 am
    I'm going to my first Friendsgiving tomorrow night! Eating Thanksgiving food a week before Thanksgiving sounds like a great plan in my book! Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted...Marathon Training Update (Or Lack Thereof)My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:25 pm
      Oh my gosh, that's so exciting! You will have a blast! They are so much fun :)
  • Lauren November 20, 2014, 7:33 am
    I have always wanted to have a Frindsgiving. Looks like you had an awesome time!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:26 pm
      You should host one next year! They are so much fun :)
  • Jennifer November 20, 2014, 7:34 am
    It looks like you had a great time! Friendships like this will last a lifetime! Jennifer recently posted...Dinner Recipe: Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey BreastMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:27 pm
      They sure will. I love spending Thanksgiving with not just my family, but also my friends!
  • Joyce @ My Stay At Home Adventures November 20, 2014, 7:35 am
    Great recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us. Joyce @ My Stay At Home Adventures recently posted...Latest Printable Coupons For 11/20/2014My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:51 pm
      Thanks, Joyce! Joanna's mom gets ALL the credit for that one! ;)
  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt November 20, 2014, 7:46 am
    You guys look so amazing doing all that cooking! I have never done Thanksgiving but friends, but I should. This looks like so much fun. Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...Simple Pumpkin Soup with Greek YogurtMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:51 pm
      You really should! You should host a friendsgiving next year. They are SO much fun :)
  • Amy November 20, 2014, 8:06 am
    Everything you girls made looks delicious! I am excited for this recipe because the rolls that come in a can are so bad for you. Yours look light and fluffy! Thanks!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:58 pm
      Yes, those certainly aren't the greatest. These contain all whole ingredients AND they are easy to make. It's a win-win!
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies November 20, 2014, 8:25 am
    I'm glad everyone enjoyed the butternut squash gravy! I got a little nervous when you said you were making it for Friendsgiving - that's a lot of pressure to impress :-p Everything sounds absolutely delicious Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted...An Evening of Wine + Friends with Kenwood VineyardsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:59 pm
      Oh it was definitely a huge hit! Everyone enjoyed it, and I LOOOOOVED it! ;)
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul November 20, 2014, 12:50 pm
    This was such a fun night! I love your picture of Joanna's cupcake! It looks extra cute! And we need to get that sweet potato casserole recipe from Jordan! It was phenomenal! Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...Three Cooks One Kitchen: FriendsgivingMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 4:59 pm
      We really do....it was definitely one of my faves!
  • Joanna @Makingmine November 20, 2014, 2:36 pm
    No burnt food disasters this time! :) Now we have to keep the streak going through Christmas haha Joanna @Makingmine recently posted...three cooks one kitchen: friendsgivingMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 10:11 pm
      YES! I think we got all of the burning out of the way for this year. It's just so easy when you are grilling!! :/
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 20, 2014, 2:36 pm
    How awesome is that! Looks like so much fun! Cooking + friends + amazing food as a result + all the love ;) That sounds perfect!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 10:12 pm
      It truly was! Those are all SO many of my favorite things :)
  • Farrah November 20, 2014, 4:03 pm
    None of us get Thanksgiving break this year, so I arbitrarily decided last night that we're going to have Friendsgiving this weekend. :D! Sadly, I'm pretty much the only one out of us that cooks, but oh well. They can contribute to my grocery funds and help eat. :D I've never tried making rolls because I always feel like they'll come out looking really ugly. :'( Yours turned out so cute! :] Farrah recently posted...Reflections on Emergency MedicineMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 10:13 pm
      Oh yay! You will have SO much fun at your Friendsgiving! I totally get the whole working during Thanksgiving thing. My brother is in his second year of his residency and we are still waiting to find out what his schedule will be like for next week.
      • Farrah November 20, 2014, 10:57 pm
        I'm super excited! :] It's been a really long time since we've all had the chance to spend much time together! It's definitely all sorts of fun not knowing your schedule until kinda the week and/or day of! :P (I'm super type-A in terms of needing to plan out my life, so it's been a struggle, haha.) Farrah recently posted...Reflections on Emergency MedicineMy Profile
        • ClnEatingVegGrl November 21, 2014, 11:23 pm
          I am Type-A, too, so I can only imagine how much of a struggle that can be!
  • Ali November 20, 2014, 5:26 pm
    So many of my favorite things were covered in this post. Cooking/baking. Carbs. Friends. Friends giving. Absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe too. Can't wait to try it out.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 10:15 pm
      It contained so many of my favorite things, too! What's better than friends, food, and carbs? ... especially the carbs! ;)
  • Katy @DailyKaty.com November 20, 2014, 8:10 pm
    Looks fun and delicious! I've been wanting to host a Friendsgiving.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 20, 2014, 10:17 pm
      You should do it!! It may be a little late to plan it now, but you definitely should next year. They are so much fun :)
  • Ashley November 21, 2014, 6:52 am
    This is so so much fun! We had our first ever friendsgiving this year and it was just the best. And look at all that awesome food! You're making me hungry ... I need to go find me some breakfast! haha Have a great weekend!!! Ashley recently posted...Pumpkin Cheddar StuffingMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 21, 2014, 11:24 pm
      I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed your Friendsgiving! They are seriously SO fun. I hope I am able to go to them for years to come :)
  • Lubna Naz November 21, 2014, 6:54 am
    Wow, what a menu. I hope you had a great fun, Loved the presentation of the food. Everyone looked stunning as well. Stay blessed Lubna Naz recently posted...23 Amazing Innovations That Made Our Lives Much More EasierMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 21, 2014, 11:25 pm
      Thank you, Lubna! It was great:)
  • Miss Polkadot November 21, 2014, 4:34 pm
    Wow. Can I please get an invitation to Friendsgiving 2015?? Cookouts with friends are so much fun in general and this one looks extra special. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here so no Friendsgiving, either. Miss Polkadot recently posted...Why I don’t want to be famous [anymore].My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 21, 2014, 11:26 pm
      Such a bummer! :( I think you should have a Friendsgiving anyway!! ;)
  • Jessie November 23, 2014, 2:16 am
    You three put a beautiful spread of food together for your guest. I'm sure all the men left with happy & filled stomachs =D
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 23, 2014, 2:17 pm
      Haha, I think they sure did! ;)

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