MAKE IT CUTE
How to host the perfect Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving: Yes, it's a thing. Yes, you can do this!
With Turkey Day fast approaching, we're feeling seriously swept up in gratitude for the friends that make life so sweet. And while it's important to show your squad how much you heart them on the regular, Friendsgiving (aka Thanksgiving...for your friends) is the ultimate moment for bestie bonding.
From invite inspo to mini muffin tin pies (yup, you heard us), consider this your unabridged guide to being the hostess with the most-est at *your* Friendsgiving feast. Say hello to your new fave friendship tradition...
Spread the word
Instead of securing the plan with the squad via group chat, snag some fall-themed stationery from the card store (or download a template online) and write down the who, what, when and where in your prettiest penmanship. Add a personal touch with ribbons and stickers and include an RSVP date (we suggest at least 10 days before the big event). Challenge your crew to bring their Blair Waldorf best by setting a dress code for the special day.
Prep your placemats
Sure, your snacky spreads are great for grazing—but we still love gathering around a table for peak Friendsgiving vibes. For a quick 'n' easy place setting, snip rectangular sections from a roll of brown craft paper, then use chalk to personalize your mats with a festive design, Next, wrap a cloth napkin with a striped ribbon and finish with a sprig of rosemary.
Nail your name cards
What's better than pumpkins? Mini pumpkins, obvi. Grab a few from the farmers market, then paint in fun fall shades to match your table. (No time to paint? Pick up some faux gourds at a craft store.) Once dry, use a gold or white paint pen to add your besties' names.
A week before the event, ask your besties to text you a pic of something they're thankful for. Print the images with a smartphone printer, then arrange the Polaroids on a foam board with fall-themed washi tape. At the end of the night, circle up and share why each snapshot warms your heart. Aww!
What to serve
Fruit and cheese, please.
OK, real talk: You can create boards with pretty much anything as long as you mix up the shapes, tastes and textures of your elements. Always start with the biggest stars of your board (in this case, cheese). Slice or chunk up hard cheeses (think: Parmesan, manchego and cheddar). Next, layer on softer selections like a wedge of brie and a small log of goat cheese (bonus points for classy coatings like herbs or pepper).
For the fruits, elevate your board (and add a pop of color) with ripe figs, pomegranate seeds and blood orange slices—classics like grapes and strawberries work just as well. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins and cranberries give a more subtle (and slightly sweeter) flavor profile. Finish the board with accompaniments like crackers and lives of baguette, plus small extras like nuts, jams, olives and even honeycomb. No bored snackers here! (Sorry, had to.)
Once you've had your fill of finger foods, it's time for a fab finish. The sweetest treat? Mini pies! Snag a dozen (or two) from the bakery or spend some time in the kitchen creating those darling desserts (recipes at girlslife.com/iti). Whether you go classic pumpkin and apple or shake things up with caramel pecan, these personal pastries are the perfect way to end your evening.
Stay on theme with the boards and arrange the pies on a platter, leaving room for chopped nuts and seasonal fruits like pears and grapes. Serve with bowls of vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce—then sit back and watch your guests be seriously wowed.
Play up your party favors
Send your guests home with a sweet treat. Dunk apples in creamy caramel (head to girlslife.com/iti for the recipe), then dip 'em in an array of toppings: M&Ms, marshmallows, chopped nuts and orange sprinkles are all fair game, Finally, take your creations to the next level with a decadent white chocolate drizzle. Once your dazzling desserts have set, wrap them in cellophane and tie with a pretty ribbon.
Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our October/November 2022 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.
Top and slider image: @olliejayofficial