Easy Dishes to Make For Friendsgiving

You have been invited to a Friendsgiving party but you have no idea what to bring. My friends, it is in the title itself.

Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner, but you can decide how to celebrate it with friends. Now, some people celebrate it on Wednesday, but others prefer to celebrate on Friday and heat up the leftovers. Let’s say you don’t have leftovers? What can you cook up for your Friendsgiving?

Scalloped potatoes with sautéed mushrooms, cream cheese, and panko crust. The name alone might impress your friends. But really, it’s sautéed mushrooms in mashed potatoes for a new twist. The cream cheese keeps it creamy, while the panko crust (literally, breadcrumbs) gives it a crunch you didn’t know you needed.

Brussel sprouts, the vegetable we refuse to eat even though we know it’s good for us. Lucky for you we found a recipe of roasted Brussel sprouts mixed with the must-have cranberries and crunchy pecans. Roasted Brussel sprouts have a nutty, savory taste which is a compliment by the texture of the pecan. The cranberries are a traditional touch, but also add a hint of sweetness to it.

Cognac Cranberry Sauce, definitely not grandma’s recipe. If it is, that is one cool Nana. This cranberry sauce is made with four easy ingredients: cranberries for fall, brown sugar for sweetness, orange juice to balance it, and a fairly healthy dose of Cognac. If you don’t like cranberry sauce on your food, this would make the perfect starter for a fruity beverage. An additional tip is you can substitute the cognac for your alcohol of choice.

Mashed Sweet potatoes and Butternut squash are often a substitute for mashed potatoes in many households. We have two recipes for you starting off with Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Simply boil, mash, add milk and butter, then the finishing touches. Orange juice gives it a zesty taste and maple syrup sweetens it, but don’t you forget to spice it with cinnamon! For our butternut squash lovers, cut it up in bite-sized cubes, roast in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Roast until the squash is tender and the juices caramelize it. Voila! One more dish out of the way.

Whatever you decide to do on Thanksgiving day, or how you decide to celebrate it, El Paisano wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 13 print edition.