Around this time of the year, two different types of people emerge: the ones who immediately start decorating for Christmas and those who hold off a couple of weeks to honor that delicious holiday in between – the mighty Thanksgiving feast. In honor of those who take a breath after Halloween to pay their respects to Turkey Day and stop to watch the leaves falling from the trees, we bring you a Zoës-inspired Friendsgiving event.
The Guest List
When getting ready for Friendsgiving you must have the necessities: good food and drinks, proper décor, a photo-op wall and really good people to sit around your table. To start on the right foot, Zoës Kitchen invited six, Dallas-based influencers. Our special guests included: (from left to right in photo above)
- Carly McDowell @carly_mc
- Kristi Keith, @blondeswhoeat
- Anabeth Fuller, @anabeth.jpg
- Caroline Harries, @trustinginduetime
- Airric Heidelberg @airricheidelberg
- Gabrielle McBay, @gabriellemcbay
Our guests were all sent a virtual invite and asked to bring their favorite Thanksgiving side or dessert to the party. Depending on your guest list, a cute text inviting your friends to trot on over to your house for a Friendsgiving meal could work just the same.
Friendsgiving decor can come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your home and personal style, Friendsgiving can look vastly different. For a Zoës-inspired Friendsgiving, the decor stayed clean and simple. You could find pumpkins of all sizes, arrangements of fresh flowers and a photo-wall to encourage guests to take Instagram-worthy photos during the event. No matter what direction you decide to go for your Friendsgiving event, you cannot go wrong with good smelling candles and a table setting that is a true reflection for your gratitude.
Now when it came to the menu, the talk of the evening was the NEW Holiday Turkey Dinner from Zoës Kitchen. This limited time offer includes:
- Fresh, all-natural Moroccan Citrus Roasted Turkey Breast – NEW!
- Hummus and Pita Starter
- Zoës Signature Potato Salad
- Greek-Style Green Beans – NEW!
- Mediterranean Cranberry Chutney – NEW!
- Moroccan Harissa Sauce
- YaYa’s Homemade Chocolate Cake
This heat and serve meal feeds 8-10, so between the lovely influencers and a few members of the Zoës team, there was plenty of food to go around. The event’s meal also included Gabrielle McBay’s incredible Mac n’ Cheese and some wonderful Thanksgiving dessert favorites brought by the guests. Note: Every Holiday Turkey Dinner comes with heating instructions! So easy – anyone can do it.
This Friendsgiving meal also included a surprise visit from Chef Antonio Iocchi, the VP of Culinary and Innovation at Zoës Kitchen. One thing that makes the Holiday Turkey Dinner different than your average turkey dinner is the Mediterranean inspiration and innovation that went into creating such a savory meal. Chef Antonio had the opportunity to explain the vision behind the meal. “We wanted to do a Mediterranean twist on the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner – bringing in flavors you can find around the Mediterranean Sea,” he explained. “The great thing is that you do not have to be a chef to surprise your friends and family this year.”
Now while your Friendsgiving may not include a special appearance from a local chef, finding ways to keep the conversation going at the dinner table is important for a successful event. During our Friendsgiving, we hid questions underneath the plate chargers on top of the table settings. Once we revealed the hidden questions, each guest had an opportunity to read and answer their question. This is a great way to get to know your friends and family even better, not to mention get an update on their year. You can find some examples of this engaging activity here.
Another activity to engage your guests is Friendsgiving bingo. While many Friendsgivings include a well-acquainted group of friends, some may include some guests that may have never met. Friendsgiving bingo is a fun way to get to know the people you are hanging out with for the evening. We recommend having a prize for the winner.
As you start to plan for your own Friendsgiving event, take a minute to write down all you are thankful for this season. This is a season of spending time around the dinner table with family and friends and reflecting on all the lessons learned and positive experiences throughout the year.
We would be honored to be invited to your Friendsgiving table. Order your own Holiday Turkey Dinner here. Order before November 9th to get $10 off using promo code ZKTURKEY.