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2014 Friendsgiving

by Meghann on November 16, 2014

Happy Friendsgiving!



Gobble. Gobble.

Derek and I aren’t the only ones who decided to leave the country for Thanksgiving this year. While we’re freezing our booties off in Switzerland, our friends will be soaking up the sun in Cozumel (they’re racing Ironman Cozumel that weekend!). Since none of us will be in town for the holiday, we decided to celebrate a couple of weeks early with our first “Friendsgiving” celebration. Plus, it was a good excuse to have everyone over to see the new house for the first time.



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I love a good party, especially one that gives me an excuse to breakout leftover lights from our wedding and transform the lanai.


See the table cloth in the middle? It’s a coloring table cloth! I’m sure it’s meant for a “kid’s table,” but adults like to color, too!



I found it at Target.








Right after the invitations for “Friendgiving” went out, I received an email from Jennie-O asking if I’d like to try one of their Oven Ready Whole Turkeys for the holiday. Perfect timing, right?


The Jennie-O Oven Ready Whole Turkey goes straight from freezer to oven (no thawing required!), is already pre-seasoned, and gluten free. All I had to do was remove the turkey from the outer packaging, cut some slits in the cooking bag, place it in a roasting pan, and let the 12.5 lb bird cook for 4.5 hours.



We took the turkey out as soon as we saw the popper had popped. It was ridiculously easy to cook and really not that bad of a price ($24 for our 12.5lb bird). I would purchase another one in a heartbeat.


I almost forgot the most important part – how did it taste?! Well, it was fabulous. Very moist and well seasoned. Everyone approved!





Derek and I made the turkey, ham, and mashed potatoes; while everyone else brought wine or a side dish. Everything was delicious. My only problem was I didn’t buy large enough plates to pile it all on!






For dessert I wanted to do something special. Last year I bought a pre-made gluten-free pie crust for Derek and it was horrible. I used the crust to make a pecan pie and we both ended up scraping the pie filling out of the rock hard gluten-free crust. Not cool. This year I looked to Pinterest for gluten free pie crust inspiration and found a recipe from Betty Crocker that used crushed Chocolate Chex as a pie crust substitute (similar to a graham cracker crust) – SOLD!


I can not recommend the recipe for Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie enough. Not only was the Chocolate Chex crust ingenious, but the rich chocolate and peanut butter filling was amazing as well. I kept searching for “Gluten Free Pie” on Pinterest and almost every recipe that I came across was vegan, dairy-free, or trying to be healthy in some way. Since when did “gluten free” become synonymous with “dairy free”? Luckily I eventually found the Betty Crocker recipe and was won over by the addition of half & half and heavy whipping cream (what? I never said this recipe was good for you – it’s Thanksgiving, people!). And whether you’re gluten free or not, it was still pretty darn good. In fact, I think this pie recipe is going to become a staple for me at all future gatherings.


I used the leftover heavy whipping cream to make fresh homemade whipped cream to go with the pie.


This pie was serious goodness. Derek and I were fighting over the last piece for breakfast this morning. Make it. Now.

The night ended with a final send off to Jess, Courtney, and Stephanie, who will all be competing at Ironman Cozumel in two weeks!



Those are their post-race margarita jugs.. I mean glasses.

These ladies have been training their booties off and are beyond ready for this race. I can’t wait to virtually cheer them all on as they celebrate their final victory lap on their journey to be Ironman finishers! Good luck, ladies!!! You can follow their journey at the hashtag #XPdoesIMCOZ

I think it’s safe to say our first Friendsgiving was a success. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving?


1 Mrs. Swan November 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

How cool and what fun!!! I love how when you have family/friend parties and the like you make it seem as if we (the readers) were there too. 🙂

Your picture in Runners World from the finish line of the BDR looks great.
Mrs. Swan recently posted..Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Recap from a volunteer. (long)

2 Linda @ TheFitty November 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

What’s that cooking bag made of, I wonder? Certainly not plastic. That’s so convenient it can go from freezer to oven without the hassle of seasoning and thawing and defrosting and messy, watery microwave messes.
Linda @ TheFitty recently posted..8 Minute HIIT Workout!

3 Victoria November 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I’m getting a coloring tablecloth.

For my desk at work.

4 Meghann November 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I’m thinking about bringing mine to the office for office meetings/ conference calls that require doodling.

5 April C November 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Oh, gosh, that gluten-free pie sounds amazing! Using chocolate Chex for crushed pie crust is total genius. I’ll have to try it – thanks for sharing.

And happy Friendsgiving to you. 🙂
April C recently posted..Does This Optimism Make Me Look Positive?

6 Kay November 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Friendsgiving looks so fun! I wish I were celebrating already, I can barely wait the two more weeks until Thanksgiving.

Looks like yours was successful. You had turkey and pie, and that’s what matters. 🙂
Kay recently posted..Pre-Holiday Musings

7 Chuck November 17, 2014 at 1:32 am

Aw how fun! So good to see everyone and I hope you all had a great time! Happy early Thanksgiving Meghann!

8 Meghann November 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

We missed you, Chuck!

9 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 17, 2014 at 5:10 am

How fun! The pie sounds awesome! Totally creative with the crust 🙂

10 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 17, 2014 at 7:59 am

We just had our 6th annual Turducken Day yesterday and we have another Friendsgiving next weekend. Tis the season to stuff your face 🙂
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..The Great Fence Debate!

11 Casey @ Camo Tails November 17, 2014 at 8:08 am

We’re doing our Friendsgiving this Sunday!! I hope I can find those tablecloths – my friends definitely need some 4-year-old-level distractions 🙂

12 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner November 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

I celebrated Friendsgiving twice, and it was so much fun! We’ve got another one planned for December this year. Yours looks super fun (and delicious!)
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Update

13 Jen @ Pretty Little Grub November 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

I’ve never done a friendsgiving but sounds like a great idea! The fact that you don’t have to unthaw the turkey blows my mind!
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted..Weekend recap & 4 things survey

14 Sarah November 17, 2014 at 9:53 am

I love Friendsgiving! It’s always fun for people to bring the dishes that are special at their families’ Thanksgivings. And of course, I am always looking for any excuse to have a get-together with my best friends!

15 Steph November 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

Aw, I love this so much!! Thanks again for hosting and for the fabulous mug- that will be full of margaritas for sure!!
Steph recently posted..October Stats

16 Meghann November 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Thanks for coming! It was great to see everyone, I’m glad we were all able to get together before you’ll left for Cozumel!

17 Lizzie @ The Magic Tree November 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

Friendsgiving is the best! I’m attending one this coming weekend. I’m making a jalapeno + feta cornbread that has been sitting patiently on my Pinterest board for years.

18 Meghann November 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm

That sounds amazing! Have fun!

19 Melissa November 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

I love the coloring table cloth – how cute is that?! The food looks delish!
Melissa recently posted..Obsidian Dome – Because California ROCKS!

20 Elizabeth November 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

The gluten-free/dairy-free thing goes the other way as well–I’m allergic to dairy and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been offered gluten-free menus at restaurants…

21 Meghann November 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Good point! I could see that happening.

22 Reenie November 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Oooohhh… I’d be painting that room a fun color =)

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