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Monday, March 4, 2024

Easy recipes to share with friends and loved ones this Friendsgiving

A twist on a classic holiday to celebrate your chosen family


By LORENA ALVAREZ — arts@theaggie.org


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many students look forward to Friendsgiving: an event when meals are shared with friends before going back home for the holidays. However, our tight schedules and limited cooking skills as college students make it difficult to plan a home-cooked dinner worthy of our friends’ time. Luckily, there are an endless number of easy-to-follow recipes at our fingertips, even if you are unsure of your cooking abilities. Here are some recipes that can be easily prepared for Friendsgiving, despite the overwhelming nature that midterms bear on the season of giving.

A cranberry brie biscuit dip is the perfect appetizer for charcuterie lovers. It only requires a round brie cheese, a quarter cup of cranberry sauce, a quarter cup of shredded white cheddar, rosemary, black pepper and 30 minutes. You can start by placing your favorite biscuits around the edge of a medium skillet with the brie in the middle. Bake it for about 10 minutes and add the cranberry sauce with white cheddar on top. After mixing the cheese and cranberry sauce, bake it for an additional five to seven minutes. Voila, you have an appetizer to start the feast.

A roasted apple salad with spicy maple-cider vinaigrette is an excellent choice for incorporating festive and appetizing greens into an otherwise salty and carb-filled meal. The roasted apple and maple cider vinaigrette complement the fall palette that many look forward to. The apples not only make the salad appear elegant, they also make it sweet and refreshing when eaten with mixed salad greens. This is the perfect side dish for Friendsgiving because of how effortlessly it can be thrown together. To make the process less time-consuming, you can bake the apples ahead of time. Simply roast the apples with olive oil and leave them to cool. While the apples are the main character in this plate, the dressing is the key to a sweet and savory salad. To prepare the dressing, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and olive oil, one tablespoon of maple syrup, one teaspoon of sriracha chili sauce, half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Once ready to serve, drizzle the apples and dressing over the greens to enhance the salad’s beautiful palette.

The easiest side dish that will save the day if all else fails is mashed potatoes, or stuffed mashed potato tots if you want to make the dish more exciting. Mashed potatoes are known for being a comfort food because of their creamy and buttery flavor, but it is also a quick and easy side dish that anyone can make. Simply boil some potatoes and mash them, adding milk and butter to make them fluffy. If you are not feeling rushed for time, try making stuffed mashed potato tots. This is a fun twist on the traditional mashed potato recipe that’s sure to be a hit because of its convenience and flavor. The bite-sized pieces make eating them as a snack easy between classes. Like the traditional recipe, simply cook the potatoes and mash them. Once mashed, mix the potatoes with two cups of milk, a lightly beaten egg, half a cup of sour cream, three pieces of cooked crumbled bacon and a tablespoon of seasoning. After mixing, shape the mixture into tater tots, adding a cube of cheese inside if you would like to. Next, roll the tots in bread crumbs and butter mixture. Once done, simply bake the tots for about 20 minutes.

Choosing between turkey and ham is a yearly debate, but one thing is for certain: preparing the ham is significantly easier than cooking a turkey — at least in this amateur’s cooking experience. If you want to take the safer route, or just prefer ham, you should recreate “The Cookie Rookie’s” brown sugar glazed ham. This recipe provides clear cooking instructions, making cooking the entree a lot less intimidating. The key to making the perfect ham is to cook the ham 12 minutes per pound, according to the recipe. This will ensure that the ham does not lose too much moisture. To make the sauce, add one cup of brown sugar, half a cup of honey, a third of a cup of Dijon mustard, a quarter cup of unsalted butter, a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar, three cloves of garlic, a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon of ground ginger into a saucepan. Stir periodically and wait for it to bubble. Once it has started bubbling, lower the heat to low and continue cooking it for a few minutes. Wait for the sauce to cool down and add it to the ham an hour after putting the ham in the oven. Then, let it cook for the remainder of the cooking time.

That said, if cooking a ham, turkey or anything else for that matter is too intimidating and time-consuming, ordering a meal, entree or sides to-go from any grocery store like the Davis Food Co-op is always an affordable and convenient option.


Written by: Lorena Alvarez — arts@theaggie.org


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