This past weekend, my roommates and I hosted our third annual Friendsgiving! We were a little early in our celebrations this year, but I prefer to do it a few weeks before Thanksgiving so I’m not sick of the traditional foods by the time the real Thanksgiving rolls around. KDD made a delicious herbed turkey stuffed with lemons and oranges, as well as stuffing and gravy (AND a chocolate cream pie!), while Lactard made a dairy-heavy artichoke dip for an appetizer. I whipped up some mashed Yukon gold potatoes and a cheesy zucchini rice casserole. Other guests brought salad, Brussels sprouts, kobocha squash, pies, meatballs, homemade cranberry sauce, a cheese and meat platter, and cornbread. All in all, it was a very successful Friendsgiving with way too much food and wine (well, there can never be too much wine).
Speaking of wine, this year I decided to try something new: Mulled Wine. After consulting various blogs and recipes, I concocted a big batch of it using mulling spices from Trader Joe’s, Rex Goliath Cabernet, and the secret ingredient: Brandy!
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 bottles of inexpensive Cabernet (I used Rex Goliath)
- 1 cup mid-level Brandy (I suggest Paul Masson Brandy VSOP)
- 6 TB Trader Joe’s Mulling Spice, divided into three tea bags
- 2 TB white sugar
- 1 orange, sliced
- 4 cinnamon sticks
Dissolve honey in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add wine, brandy, bags of mulling spices, sugar, orange and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. Serve in mugs or mason jars with a slice of orange.
All of my guests enjoyed the mulled wine, and some were surprised how much it actually tasted like wine! This makes for a great drink during appetizers, or for after dinner – and it’s perfect for holiday gatherings (and much tastier than egg nog!).