7 ideas for hosting the perfect Friendsgiving

Published: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 @ 12:01 PM

We've compiled some tips and advice to make sure Friendsgiving goes off without a hitch Host with a friend or two Don't worry about cooking everything yourself Ask friends to bring their favorite dish Make it BYOB Feel free to buy ready-made desserts Guests ban bring their favorite games Have friends share what they're thankful for

More and more, millennials are choosing to spend the holidays with friends over family. Hence, the rise of friendsgiving.

RELATED: 6 easy side dishes anyone can make for Thanksgiving Day

In fact, according to an Allrecipes Thanksgiving Survey, 42 percent of millennials (defined as those 18 to 34), chose to spend the holiday with friends instead of their families. Compare that number to 34 percent of non-millennials, and it definitely seems that times are changing. This could stem from a variety of reasons, whether they be related to work, finances or simply shifting priorities. 

Whatever the reason, if you're one the many millennials (or non-millennials) planning to host a hearty Friendsgiving feast with your friends, we've compiled some tips and advice to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

Friends and neighbors gather for a Friendsgiving potluck at a cul-de-sac in South Austin.

Host with a friend or two

Planning and organizing everything alone will just add unnecessary stress to your life. So, why not ask a close friend or two to help you out? This will also give you more options when it comes to a venue for the gathering. If your place is a bit on the small side, maybe one of your friends will have a bigger space.

You can also divide up the planning tasks, making organizing easier, and ensuring that the dinner will happen without adding anxiety to your already busy schedule. Just make sure you pick the right friend or friends, so personalities don't clash.

Don't worry about cooking everything yourself 

Your mother and grandmother may have spent days preparing the perfect meal, but nobody expects you to do the same. All your friends are just going to be glad to have a fun dinner to attend on the holiday, and the day should be fun for you as well.

Instead of spending hours – or days – preparing food, feel free to order out for some of the more complicated dishes. A mixture of home-cooked food and store-bought dishes won't throw anyone off.

Ask friends to bring their favorite dish

Another, and perhaps even better, option is to have all your guests bring something. If you're already hosting with a friend or two, you can divvy up the main items. Then, just ask each guest to bring their own personal favorite dish, letting them know what you'll already be providing.

To make it extra exciting, encourage your friends not to worry about bringing a traditional Thanksgiving option. Tacos and Thai noodles on the same plate as turkey and mashed potatoes? Sure! Why not?

Make it BYOB

While you'll probably want to have a few bottles of booze on hand, especially to sample during preparation, feel free to advertise the dinner as BYOB. Alcohol is expensive and everyone will understand that. Plus, some will definitely want to drink more than others, and they can simply accommodate themselves.

Feel free to buy ready-made desserts

Making desserts can be the most tedious part of any Thanksgiving feast. So, why bother? If you have the desire and time, more power to you! But after the hearty meal and a few drinks, all your friends will be just as content with that frozen pumpkin or apple pie from the grocery store. We promise.

Guests ban bring their favorite games

It's probably a good idea to have a few games ready to entertain your guests before and after dinner. Taboo, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity and Jenga are always great options. 

Feel free to ask friends to bring their favorite card or board games to share with the group. This will make the party more communal and allow everyone attending to contribute to the event's success.

Have friends share what they're thankful for

Last, but certainly not least, you should definitely remember the spirit of the holiday and ask guests to share what they're thankful for this year. Just make sure not to force anyone to share if they don't want to. Instead of going in a circle and asking each friend to talk, just invite whoever wants to say a few words to do so. That way, nobody feels pressured.

Sure, it may be the cheesy thing you always did with your family, but it's certain to leave everyone feeling warm and fuzzy inside. After all, even if we're calling it "Friendsgiving", the group of people gathered at your house is something to be truly grateful for this year.

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Dayton brewery is ‘voyaging through the watermelon patch’ for their newest reveal

Published: Monday, June 11, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Warped Wing Brewery celebrated its 4th anniversary with a beer bash on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018. The party's main event was a triple bottle release of different takes on Warped Wing’s anniversary beer, Baltic Argonaut Porter. The versions included Baltic Argonaut aged in Rum barrels, in Port barrels, and in Rye Whiskey barrels. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF PHOTO
Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam
Warped Wing Brewery celebrated its 4th anniversary with a beer bash on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018. The party's main event was a triple bottle release of different takes on Warped Wing’s anniversary beer, Baltic Argonaut Porter. The versions included Baltic Argonaut aged in Rum barrels, in Port barrels, and in Rye Whiskey barrels. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF PHOTO(Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam)

Warped Wing Brewery can hardly contain their excitement about their latest reveal. 

On Thursday, June 14th, the Dayton brewery will launch its first gose, Magic Melon, and it’s straight from the watermelon patch. 

>>New Dayton bakery coming this fall is sweeter for more reasons than one

A gose is an old German beer style from Leipzig. Gose is an unfiltered wheat beer made with 50 to 60 percent malted wheat, which creates a cloudy yellow color and provides a refreshing crispness and twang, according to beeradvocate.com.

>>12 must-try Dayton signature beers

>>PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of Warped Wing Brewing Company

“Look deep into the bottle. Then take a fantastic voyage through the watermelon patch,” Warped Wing wrote in a Facebook post. “Stop and smell hypnotic aromas of fresh sliced watermelon. Then take an offbeat path into a funky place of sweet, sour and salty. End on a far out tart groove. We see Magic Melon Gose in your future.”
Magic Melon will be available on draft, as well as on sale in 500 mL bottles. The gose is 4.7% ABV. 

>> Warped Wing’s John Haggerty, our Daytonian of the Week, celebrates 25 years of brewing


WHAT: Magic Melon Launch Party

WHEN: 5 p.m.- 10 p.m. Thursday, June 14

WHERE: Warped Wing Brewing Company, 26 Wyandot St., Dayton 

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It’s your LAST CHANCE to eat, drink and enjoy the arts at these local restaurants

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:49 PM

The Blue Note Bistro and Lounge celebrates its one-year anniversary this weekend.
AJ Waltz/Contributed
The Blue Note Bistro and Lounge celebrates its one-year anniversary this weekend.(AJ Waltz/Contributed)

From food and art to live music and wine, you'll find it all happening during Culture Works’ first ever Eat. Drink. Arts! 

Enjoy creative cocktails, inspired menus, and one-of-a-kind arts experiences at your favorite Dayton-area restaurants from January 16-21, 2018. 

>>Eat your way through January at 12 mouthwatering food events

“A great meal and an arts performance just naturally go together, and we’re proud to pair some of Dayton’s finest arts groups with amazing dining around town,” says Culture Works Executive Director Lisa Hanson 

>>Get ready to party in 2018 with these boozy events

“Eat.Drink.Arts!” in Dayton is a collaborative effort bringing together culinary, visual, and performing artists to cultivate and enhance resources for our visual and performing arts community. 

>>12 things to look forward to in January

A smorgasbord of area eateries is partnering with Culture Works to satisfy your palate and stimulate your artistic senses — all while supporting local arts organizations. 

Thursday, Jan. 18th

🍴 Texas Beef & Cattle Company


Beef brisket. Photo courtesy of Texas Beef & Cattle Company Facebook page.

Dine on authentic South Texas-style BBQ while watching The Mural Machine in action! Brisket, Sausage or Pulled Pork Plate (comes with 2 sides) for dinner with banana pudding and tea or lemonade.

Where: 1101 W. Third St., Dayton

When: Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: $20/person 

More info: Facebook eventTickets

>>Downtown Dayton adds 1 more Sunday brunch option 

🍴 Old Scratch Pizza -- SOLD OUT

Old Scratch Pizza offering 9 inch pizza.(Photo: Old Scratch Pizza)

A three-course dinner curated by Chef Nate. This will not be your typical pizzeria dinner! It will include a beverage, a special appetizer, salad, and a unique, arts themed pizza paired with music from a classical-jazz crossover quartet with violin, bass, guitar and keyboard. 

Where: 812 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton

When: From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: $20/person 

More info: Facebook event | Tickets

Friday, Jan. 19

🍴 Amber Rose Restaurant

The Mother's Day menu at The Amber Rose has the whole family in mind.(Jim Ingram/Lisa Powell)

Enjoy a four-course dinner paired with a taste of the arts.

  • First course: Charcuterie Board
  • Second course: Butternut Squash Soup
  • Third course: Smoked Bone-in Pork Chop topped with Cinnamon Apple chutney served with Savory Smashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Fourth course: Chocolate Mousse with fresh berries.

Where: 1400 Valley St, Dayton

When: From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Just $35/person. 

More info: Facebook eventTickets

Sunday, Jan. 21

🍴 Table 33

The Winter Berry Waffle at Table 33. Photo from Table 33 Facebook page(Staff Writer)

Enjoy an entree with a mimosa/cocktail and a performance by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. 

Where: 130 W. Second St., Dayton

When: Seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Cost: $25/person 

More info: Facebook eventTickets

>> Popular downtown Dayton restaurant adds Sunday brunch hours

🍴 The Dublin Pub

Steve Tieber, co-owner of the Dublin Pub. Pictured are three entrees: (clockwise from front) Guiness Beef Stew, the Black and Bleu Salad, and the Irish Dip sandwich with fries.(Jan Underwood)

Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner and 10% of your bill will be donated to Culture Works. Entertainment by Ashley Knapp, a young bluegrass and traditional country artist. 

Where: 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton

When: All day 

Cost: No advance ticket needed.

More info: Facebook eventTickets

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WORTH THE DRIVE: Eat your way through Hocking Hills on this Comfort Food Cruise 

Published: Thursday, January 04, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Matthew McConaughey was spotted at the Hocking Hills Canopy Tour; Ohio's first zipline canopy tour.

It’s January, and it’s cold -- but not too cold to enjoy the jaw-dropping rock formations on either side of you as you hike through the beautiful Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills. 

>> 7 of the coolest places to stay in Hocking Hills 

Now imagine that you’re on that very same hike, with a belly full of warm mac ‘n’ cheese, an ultimate chocolate brownie and maybe even some biscuits and gravy. 

>> Hocking Hill’s first new trail in 50 years 

This is a real opportunity, and the menu doesn’t stop there. The 5th annual Comfort Food Cruise through Hocking Hills is possibly the best chance to grub on as much comfort food as you can handle without feeling like you might topple over if you consume one more carb. 

Millstone BBQ will be participating in the 5th annual Comfort Food Cruise. Their Comfort Food Cruise dish will be a pulled chicken slider with baked beans.

>> Ohio stores offering deep discount on booze

As soon as you feel your pants getting a little too uncomfortable to continue, hop on any one of Hocking Hill’s number of picturesque trails to prepare for your next bite. 

For $18, those aboard the “cruise” will get to eat at 13 of the best comfort food stops in the region. Sounds like a feat even for the biggest of appetites! 

>> Five reasons to visit Yellow Springs 

Participants have six days to indulge to their fullest potential. On the other hand, trying all 13 dishes in one day is an option for those wanting to have a day that their taste buds and stomachs will never forget. 

Jumping on the Food Cruise will not only make your stomach happy, but you’ll feel great knowing that $5 of every ticket sold will benefit local food pantries. 

>> The best hiking trails in Dayton, right here

Comfort food dishes like chicken and noodles will be served up during the Annual Comfort Food Cruise. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

>> Ten things to know about SunWatch Village

So although affording a tropical, sun-soaked cruise isn’t always an option this time of year, we’ll take gooey, homemade mac n’ cheese over a sunburn any day.

The menu and cruise destinations include:

1. M&M Family Diner

-Vegetable soup

2. Pearl’s

-Buscuits & gravy

3. Hocking Hills Diner

-Suzi’s Scramble with hash brown potatoes

4. Jack’s Steak House

-Jack’s Bean Soup and cornbread

5. Boot Factory Grill

-Pulled pork slider with slaw

6. The Ridge Inn

-Meat loaf 

7. Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

-Pumpkin bread pudding

8. Jimbo’s Burgers & Beer

-Burger slider & loaded fries

9. Millstone Barbeque

-Pulled chicken slider with baked beans

10. Olde Dutch Restaurant

-Chicken & noodles or mashed potatoes (your choice)

11. Pizza Crossing

-Pepperoni or cheese pizza (your choice)

12. The Home Tavern

-Sloppy joe slider with baked beans

*Bonus* 13th stop

- The Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center will be serving coffee and mini cinnamon rolls from 8 a.m. until noon. Stop by and visit the world’s only Pencil Sharpener Museum and pick up your free Comfort Food Cruise souvenir.

Want to go? 

WHAT: Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise

WHEN: January 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 


Hocking Hills Welcome Center

13178 State Route 664 S. Logan 

COST: $18/ person

MORE INFO: explorehockinghills.com

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Make it fast or make it slow: Thanksgiving turkey, two ways

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 10:02 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

A 15-pound turkey should be enough for 10 people. If your guests prefer more breast meat, buy a larger turkey. They generally have more breast meat. (Dreamstime/TNS)
A 15-pound turkey should be enough for 10 people. If your guests prefer more breast meat, buy a larger turkey. They generally have more breast meat. (Dreamstime/TNS)(Dreamstime/TNS)


For those of us who love to cook, there's nothing better than spending an entire Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, simmering sauces and baking cakes.

RELATED: Stuffing vs. dressing: Is there really a difference?

But the reality is that those days of long-recipe luxury are few and far between. In Make it Fast or Make it Slow, we're bringing you two versions of the same dish: one that's quick and easy and one that's well, not so quick. Both are worthy of an addition to your repertoire, whether you're feeling ambitious or just hungry.



Deep-Fried Turkey
Deep-fried turkey is simpler and quicker to prepare than the traditional oven roasted varieties. However, as with all great turkey recipes, you will have to start your preparation the day before. Our own chef Jeffrey Gardner recommends brining your turkey to keep the meat tender and boost its flavor. A quick one-hour trip in the fryer will cook the bird perfectly and give it crisp crackling skin, making for a centerpiece that will please even the fussiest Thanksgiving guest.
Get the recipe

RELATED: Chefs share tasty recipes using leftover Thanksgiving turkey 

File photo of a Thanksgiving turkey. (Andrew Scrivani/AP)(ANDREW SCRIVANI/NYT)


Oven-Roasted Turkey
This traditional roasted turkey takes a good bit longer to cook, but it is a labor of love for the host who truly enjoy all parts of holiday cooking. Again, you'll want to start with a brine — a dry brine this time — the day before. When you're ready to roast, fill the turkey cavity with herbs, onions and garlic ‘fixins’ and then let the oven do its thing.

When the meat comes to temperature, its skin will be ultra brown and crisp, and even the white meat will be tender and fragrant.
Get the recipe

This article was originally published at Southern Kitchen, which is owned by Cox Media Group. AJC is also owned by Cox Media Group and may receive a commission for purchases made through some links in this article.

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