Friendsgiving: What I Made + a round up!

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I’m already posting what I’ve made?? I guess it’s a testament to how much people love Thanksgiving that I’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving twice with the real day still three days off.

My friend, roommate and I hosted a vegetarian Thanksgiving-themed potluck yesterday and I finally got a chance to make a bunch of mainstream Thanksgiving dishes that I rarely ate growing up. I love my family’s big annual Thanksgiving in L.A. with my mom’s relatives more than almost anything, but there’s something to be said for cooking half of your own Thanksgiving table (said the food control freak).

I spent a lot of time pouring over recipes before deciding on the ones I made, so I’m listing the dishes I made with notes, plus a bunch of extras that are on my list for next year:

Wild rice salad with miso dressing // The Pancake PrincessWild rice salad with miso dressing: With four different components (rice, vegetables, tofu and dressing), this was meant to be the superstar of my contribution, but I actually wasn’t wow-ed by it as much as I expected to be. It’s delicious, but I wished the dressing were a little more citrusy (although I will blame bland oranges for that) OR a little more salty. As it was, it seemed oddly muted, but I loved all the components otherwise.

Oven-roasted brussels sprouts: Fresh brussels sprouts were pretty pricey, but I spotted frozen 1-lb. bags for $1.49 each! Cheaper, but also SO much easier than cleaning, chopping and wrestling three pounds of raw brussels sprouts. I just boiled them according to directions, tossed them with olive oil and parmesan cheese before baking for 10 minutes at 400. I added salt, pepper and dried cranberries before serving.

Next time, I would undercook the Brussels sprouts slightly during the boiling step and roast them for slightly longer. They turned out a little mushy, but throughout the night, I heard several people comment that they didn’t know Brussels sprouts could taste like this. (I assume they meant it in a good way.)

Classic stuffing: As soon as I saw this, I knew it was the one. Classic bread stuffing is my favorite, but my family almost never makes it. It’s rather time-consuming, but you can make it ahead and bake it right before. Just what I wanted, and probably the second thing gone at the party.

Miso mashed potatoes // The Pancake PrincessMiso mashed potatoes: I used 5 large russet potatoes and tried this steaming method instead of boiling the potatoes. The trick to mashing potatoes with a fork (as opposed to a fancy gadget) is to cook them until they’re nearly falling apart. (When I stabbed a potato at the end of the cooking time, it broke apart.)

I made these ahead of time (omitting the butter) and reheated them (some in the microwave, some in the oven, covered with foil) the day of. Next time, I’d probably just make them the day of as reheating them took almost as long as mashing them. The miso gave these a little extra salty oomph that you can’t really identify, but they were really good.

S'mores pumpkin pie // The Pancake PrincessPumpkin s’mores pie: I baked up a quick graham cracker crust, topped it with a handful of chocolate chips and tossed it back in the oven to melt them. Pumpkin pie filling went in the middle to bake and then right before serving, I scattered marshmallows and chocolate chips over the top and stuck it under the broiler for a minute (keep an eye on it to keep it from burning!). Although I missed the whole flaky pie crust thing, overall it was delicious–if you love chocolate and pumpkin, this one’s for you!

Sweet potato casserole // The Pancake Princess(For another Thanksgiving potluck Erik and I were invited to):

Sweet potato casserole: Although Lindsay recommends canned sweet potatoes, I could only find sweet potatoes in syrup at the store, so I just roasted fresh sweet potatoes. I cut down the butter to only(!) half a stick of butter in the filling and ½ cup sugar, and reduced the topping by about ¼. It was still DELICIOUS and a big hit. If you’re a crumble kind of person. My number one and only is still orange-citrusy mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Swoon.

Pumpkin pie brownie with pecan topping: The term “brownie” is a bit misleading as the bottom is really more like cake. In the original recipe, melted bittersweet chocolate is added to the brownie layer, which undoubtedly makes it more brownie-like. The pumpkin layer is oddly thin compared to the “brownie” layer, but the pecan topping is so delicious, I don’t think anyone was complaining.

Not pictured:

Vegetarian meatballs/meatloaf: I formed and cooked about 10 meatballs out of the mixture before I got fed up, certain I was cooking the meatballs wrong, and baked the rest of it in a loaf pan. Joke was on me, because the meatballs turned out much better than the slightly scorched baked portion. This was sooo tasty (my sister declared it delicious, but not meaty-tasting) but I would add way less soy sauce next time (maybe ¼ to 1/3 cup) because it was pretty salty. The tempeh really helps with the meaty texture. I was pretty wary of tempeh for a long time, but I’ve discovered I really like the tempeh at Trader Joes. Just don’t eat it plain, because tempeh never tastes good that way.

Honey balsamic roasted carrots: I nearly doubled this recipe had to bake these far longer than the directions said (maybe 40 minutes total), probably because my carrots were giant. They shrunk a lot, and I wish I’d roasted all 2.5 pounds of cut carrots I’d prepped instead of ~1.75 pounds. They were a pretty big hit (people thought they were sweet potatoes)–one of the first things gone at the party.

And my amazing friends brought: green bean casserole, yeast rolls, kale salad, apple caramel cake, rosemary potatoes, tofu, egg rolls, five-layer bean dip + chips, an amazing sugared almond cake with whipped cream, snickerdoodles, and lots of beer. It was a feast.

And now, a round-up of some amazing looking recipes that I still want to make:


  • Challah apple stuffing: At the other Thanksgiving potluck I went to, this was there and it was BUTTER-FILLED HEAVEN. Heart attack on a plate, but taste-wise, I can’t not recommend it. It’s just stunning.

Vegetable/grain sides:



Vegetarian entrees:


Plus! More inspiration. I will be pinning Thanksgiving recipes probably until Christmas.

Lastly, a snippet of some of the gorgeous people that made the party (yes, I managed to not get a single photo of myself. Whoops.):

My co-host, David:


Isn't Erik so handsome?? With one of my favorite people.

Isn’t Erik so handsome?? With Lilly, one of my favorite people.

Clockwise from top left: Two of the cutest ladies in the land; I love my sister for many reasons, one of which is she does dishes when she comes over (without being asked!); Lilly + Unkle Erik; pie provokes intense conversations.

Clockwise from top left: Two of the cutest ladies in the land; I love my sister for many reasons, one of which is she does dishes when she comes over (without being asked!); Lilly + Unkle Erik; pie provokes intense conversations.


Top right: Krystal has been dubbed our honorary sister since she shares our love of food.

Clockwise from left: Ornsiree classed our party up by about 10 degrees; Krystal has been dubbed our honorary sister since she shares our love of food; Raaji always brings the best gossip, as you can maybe tell by her sass face.


Tee hee.

Tee hee.


Don’t forget to make a galette with your leftover pie dough!

apple galette

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30 thoughts on “Friendsgiving: What I Made + a round up!

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Cranberry Breakfast Cake (vegan) | The Pancake Princess

  2. Rika

    We also made miso mashed potatoes, it was one of our favorite home cooked dishes whilst traveling. Easy to make and use. The vegetarian entrees all sound tasty, I love pot pies!

  3. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    You’re a total rock star in the kitchen, Erika. I can’t believe you made that many dishes! I have a hard enough time making two! Everything sounds super creative and delicious and although a few dishes need a few tweaks, they still sounded yummy. I’ve never had roasted brussel sprouts! Every blogger’s been raving about them this year so I guess that means I need to give them a try. What a fun night you had with your friends. I hope the gatherings and the eating continue all through the weekend for you!

  4. janet @ the taste space

    Wow! You’ve been busy! So many great ideas here. Since we’re off to Mexico for the long weekend, I have done little Thanksgiving cooking although I brought something to yesterday’s work potluck. My friend made a vegan pumpkin pie that was incredible so I hope to share that when she shares the recipe with me. :)

    We totally need a cooking date :)

    1. erika Post author

      Ooooh Mexico! Have tons of fun! I want to hear all about it :)

      Mmmm I want to see this recipe for fabulous vegan pumpkin pie…I meant to make a vegan no-bake pumpkin pie for the filling of the s’mores pumpkin pie, but then…I realized I didn’t have coconut cream :/ Whoops.

      Yes please!! Let me know when you’re back + free! :)

  5. Kelly

    The dishes look incredible Erika – what an amazing feast and looks like everyone had a blast! Great job, all your hard work definitely paid off :) Thanks so much for sharing with us:) Hope you have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. laurasmess

    Oh, I love this post!!!! The dishes you made are wonderful and I just adore the photos of your friends and the most-handsome-of-all Pancake Prince (can I call him that, since you’re the princess?!). We don’t do thanksgiving over here but I almost wish that we did, now that I’m reading so many amazing pre-thanksgiving posts. Hope that you continue to enjoy the festive season Erika, good luck with your to-make list, there’s a lot there (but if anyone can do it, you can!). xxx

    1. erika Post author

      OMGOSH YES! Laura, you’re so brilliant. I don’t think anyone else has ever called him that BUT THAT’S WHAT I’M CALLING HIM FROM NOW ON!!!

      You should start your own Australian Thanksgiving tradition! 😉 And thanks, again–you’re the sweetest!!

  7. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life

    Aw, you all are so cute and it looks like you had a blast! Haha, I was a little premature in asking about the brownie pie this afternoon, huh? :) That pumpkin smores pie, oh my goodness, I have to try that next. I can’t wait to eat stuffing at Thanksgiving, but I wish we were having brussels sprouts (next to peas, my all time favorite veggie!) This was such a fun post to read Erika!

    1. erika Post author

      Haha thanks Mary Frances :) And no worries! I get really excited when I see Pinterest comment notifications since no one ever leaves me comments there. OMGOSH STUFFINGGG. You have good taste :) And thank you!! I wasn’t sure if anyone would read this monster of a post, but thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it!

    1. erika Post author

      You know me so well. I started prepping food on Friday but did the bulk of the prep work on Saturday and some cooking on Sunday. A labor of love! :)

  8. Lilly

    This was SO FUN. Your big group meal things are the best. I told a bunch of people about them over the summer where I worked and they were all quite jeals. Unkle Erik and I were talking about phds the whole time hahahaha. True scholars, we are. You’re the best!

    1. erika Post author

      Ooh let me know if you do! I came thisclose to making them on Sunday, but then decided that was a little overkill. I’m so so curious about them!

  9. The Vegan 8

    Girl you are so pretty! And yes, Erik is handsome :)
    But, oh man I’m dying over here seeing all that food! That is so funny you have already celebrated so much! I’m dying over the s’mores pie and the pecan topped pumpkin brownie pie! Pecans are my favorite! That rice dish looks and sounds amazing too! Can I come over for leftovers?! Hahahaha!

    1. erika Post author

      Haha I’m actually not in any of the photos…but thanks! Erik will be tickled to hear that :)

      And I know, Brandi. I know. It’s a little ridiculous. I feel so stupidly lucky to be able to celebrate so much–it’s been so much fun! Lol yes I finally bought some pecans!! So excited!!! And PLEASE! We have so much leftover food, it’s crayyy.


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