Recipes from our Friends-giving Feast

Recipes from our Friends-giving Feast

There is never a lack of  laughter or food when our tribe gets together, and this Friendsgiving was no exception.  Side dishes are some of my favorite things and we always have quite a few, some made from old family recipes, others from of the best cookbooks around.  It was hard to resist not digging right in, but each one had to get its photo op.  Before we look at the standouts, like any celebration let’s start with a signature cocktail, which is the perfect way to personalize any gathering.  I hope you are sipping on yours, as you peruse the pics and recipes below, since these dishes are perfect all season long. Try one at your next holiday or winter gathering and let me know what you think. To see my Friendsgiving photo album make sure to go to the end of the page.

Fall Fizz Cocktail (Captain Morgan’s)


1.5 oz  Captain Morgan’s White Rum

1.5 OZ Pomegranate Juice

0.5 OZ Fresh Lime Juice

2 OZ Pear Juice

Top with Gingerale

Garnish with pear slices and pomegranate seeds

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add Rum, Pomegranate Juice, Lime Juice and Pear Juice.
2. Shake and strain cocktail into a glass filled with ice.
3. Top with Gingerale
4. Garnish with Pear and Pomegranate seeds



Figs Dipped with Dark Chocolate and Gorgonzola (photo at top of page)


  • 1 lb. fresh figs sliced in half (I used Sierra figs)
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1/8 cup crushed pistachios
  • 2 oz. gorgonzola cheese


  1. Place dark chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir chocolate occasionally until it is fully melted. Alternatively, you can melt chocolate in the microwave, heating and stirring at intervals.
  2. Dip bottoms of sliced figs into melted chocolate and set on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed pistachios over chocolate.
  3. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until chocolate is hardened.
  4. Top figs with crumbled gorgonzola cheese and serve.


Moroccan Roasted Carrot, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad- This is a recipe from the cookbook “Love Real Food” by Kathryn Taylor who is also the creator of a food blog I enjoy called Cookie and Kate.


Wild Rice 

1 cup wild rice, rinsed

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Roasted carrots

1 lb carrots cut on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Lemon Cintronette

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey or maple syrup

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper


1/3 cup raw pistachios or pepitas

5-6 ounces baby arugula

1/3 cup crumbled goat of feta cheese (about two ounces)

3 tablespoon raisins, preferably golden

  1. Cook wild rice.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling, until rice is pleasantly tender but still offers light resistance to the bite 40-55 minutes.  Remove the post from the heat, drain the rice and return to pot.  Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes, the uncover and salt.
  2. Roast carrots.  Pre heat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients, roast for 25-40 minutes till fork tender.
  3. Lemon Citronette: In small bowl whisk together all ingredients.
  4. Salad: toast pepitas, let cool.  in large serving bowl combine cooked wild rice and arugula.  When ready to serve drizzle the mixture to coat salad.  Arrange the roasted carrots down the center and sprinkle the pepitas, cheese and raisins on top.  serve immediately.  It’s best the day its prepared, but it keeps well chilled, for 2 to 3 days.


Michael’s Holiday Peas with Crispy Leeks and Bacon

It takes a little more time than just microwaving some frozen peas for dinner or opening a can…but trust me, they’re always worth the extra effort.


  • 3 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick and separated into rings (divided)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Three 10-ounce boxes frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • Prepare:
  • Wash the leeks well and pat dry.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Add all but 1/2 cup of the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks to a paper towel–lined plate. Discard the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, turn once until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of leeks and the thyme to the fat in the skillet and cook over moderately low heat until the leeks are softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the Stock and cook over moderate heat until it is reduced by half – about 7 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream and cook over moderately high heat until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas, crumbled bacon and the remaining 1/2 cup of stock and bring to a boil.
  • Discard the thyme sprigs.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 4
  • Transfer the peas to a bowl and top with the crispy leeks just before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The crispy leeks can be stored overnight in an airtight container. Re-crisp if necessary in a 350° oven


Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Maple Glaze 

Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups strong hot coffee
  • 9 tablespoons pure maple syrup •

3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled, cut into 2 1/2″-3″ pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped smoked almonds (or toasted almonds)


  1. Stir coffee, maple syrup, sugar, and espresso powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until thickened and reduced by half, 6-7 minutes.
  2. Remove syrup from heat; add bourbon and 2 tablespoons butter. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 3/4 cup, 40-45 minutes (mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but not sticky, and will thicken as it cools). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving.
  3. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F.1 Melt remaining 7 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan; pour into a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes and oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide potato mixture between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast, turning potatoes often and rotating sheets halfway through, until potatoes are tender and start to turn golden brown and crisp around the edges, 30-35 minutes. DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Drizzle some warm sauce over and sprinkle with almonds; serve remaining sauce alongside for those who want more.


Madley Ginger and Orange Cranberry Sauce-By Michael Adley


 This is a nice chunky, slightly spicy version of my usual Cranberry Sauce.  It’s got a slight peppery and tangy bite, which marries nicely with all the savory dishes on your Thanksgiving table (it also goes great with pork beautifully!).  I also add candied ginger and orange zest to give it some more texture and bang, but it’s optional according to your taste.. 

Can make days in advance.  Freezes well too!


  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 2 pounds fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
  • @ 1-2 Tbsp chopped Candied Ginger (Optional)
  • @ 1Tbsp Orange Zest (Optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


 Step 1    

Peel the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl. Cut the orange sections into 1-inch pieces.

Step 2    

In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries and water with 1/4 cup of orange juice from the bowl (I add a little more if you have it on hand) and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, both sugars, the ginger and orange pieces and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then season with salt and pepper. Add optional chopped candied pieces and zest according to your taste.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Fennel and Green Beans with Orange and Almond

This is a Martha Stewart recipe we have been making for years and it is yummy!


This Apple Pie was the stand out this year!…suggestion have some of the cranberry sauce with the apple pie…you will thank me later!

Mom’s Apple Pie according to Michael Adley) with Butter & Shortening Flaky Pie Crust



  • 4 lbs Apples peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices (I use a combination-Cortland, Granny, Braeburn, Janagold, Pink Lady – tart, Crispy Sweet) Make sure they are cooking apples!
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 5 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Butter


  • 2/2 cups all purpose flower
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks Butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6tbsp Vegetable Shortening, chilled
  • 4-6tbsp Ice cold water

Instructions for crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl or a food processor.
  2. Give it a quick mix/pulse to combine the two ingredients.
  3. Add COLD butter and COLD shortening to flour mixture.
  4. Use a pastry blender, your fingers, or a food processor to break down the butter and shortening into pieces about the size of a pea.
  5. Add water to flour-butter mixture and mix until combined. (Start out with about half and then add by tablespoon as you go as different altitude and humidity can alter the exact amount needed.)
  6. Split into two balls, flatten into 2 inch thick disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for about 45 minutes or over-night. (In a pinch, about 15-20 minutes in the freezer will suffice.)

 Instructions for filling/pie:

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of pie crust to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. Drape dough over the pie pan. Transfer pan to refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; place in chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.
  4. Roll out the remaining disk of piecrust as in step one. Brush rim of bottom crust with egg wash. Place second piece of dough on top, and trim so 1 inch overhangs. Tuck dough under, and crimp edges with a fork or your fingers. Transfer pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pie from the refrigerator, brush with milk, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut five vents in top to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.
  6. Bake until crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best to wait 3-4 hours or the next day.

Helpful hits:

– Add egg white wash to the bottom inside crust of the pie to prevent soggy bottom crust.

– Cook on a cookie sheet to add extra heat to bottom of pie to prevent under-cooking or soggy crust

– Gently cover pie crust edges with foil so they don’t burn, take off 30 minutes before taking out


Friendsgiving Photo Album 2017




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