Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away?!!  I feel like we were just ringing in 2017, and now the year is almost over.  With the Holiday Season officially in full gear, we decided to host a Friendsgiving with our nearest and dearest to kick off the next two months of holidays, events and parties.  But rather than simply having a traditional sit down duplicate of Thanksgiving Dinner, my husband and I decided to turn this event into something a little unexpected.  We transformed the traditional dishes we all know (and love!) and made them all into appetizers for a fresh new take on Friendsgiving.  We were also fortunate enough to work with Kendall-Jackson Wines to host this event and had fun creating wine pairings for all of our h’orderves.

I created a designated Wine Bar using our open kitchen shelving to make everything easily accessible for our guests.  Having multiple wine glass options made it easy to pair different wines with different flavors.  It also made it fun for our guests to have a wine tasting experience.  We made our own recommendations, but our guests were welcome to choose their wine of choice.  Kendall-Jackson’s site has a great guide to Wine Glasses if you would like to expand your knowledge on the topic.

Our menu consisted of the following with their suggested wine pairing.

Kendall-Jackson’s Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir //
Fried Turkey and Horseradish Cheddar Sliders
Stuffing and Sausage Balls with Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Honey Goat Cheese Crostinis with Candied Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Kendall-Jackson’s Vintners Reserve Chardonnay //
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter and Sage
Sweet Potato French Fries

Kendall-Jackson’s Grand Reserve Rosé //
Kale and Brussell Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds
Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

Sounds tasty right?!  Well let me share that all of these are so much easier than they sound!!

These Honey Goat Cheese Crostinis with Candied Walnuts and Dried Cranberries were one of the easiest apps to pull together.  Using store bought Crostini Crisps, Honey Goat Cheese, Candied Walnuts and Dried Cranberries they simply required a little assembly.  Placing them on a pretty platter and drizzling them with honey right before the guests arrived took them to the next level.

The Sausage and Stuffing Balls are basically a twist on the favorite  Sausage and Cheese ball.  Only I think I might even like these better if that is possible?!  They are delicious and thanks to the chicken stock used when preparing them, they don’t dry out.  Dipped in homemade cranberry sauce or even gravy they are a great appetizer for any event this season.  (They also taste great at room temperature or even cold the next morning for breakfast… I’m not going to lie!).  The spicy sausage mixed with the savory sage and vegetables make these the perfect pairing with the Kendall-Jackson’s Vintners Pinot Noir.  For the recipe I followed, click here.

The Fried Turkey Sliders were our take on my husband’s favorite part of Thanksgiving, the day after sandwich.  The richness of the fried turkey with a little heat from the horseradish cheddar were balanced with the sweetness of the Cranberry Sauce.  My husband is known for his Fried Turkeys, and may have been taking orders for the big day after the party.  His secret tip is injecting the turkey the night before with Italian dressing… it is insanely good.  On or off a sandwich!

Another simple dish was the Salad.  It is my go to pre mix salad in a bag containing shredded kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cranberries, dried pumpkin seeds all tossed in a poppyseed dressing.  This salad has more of a slaw consistency to me and only gets better after the dressing sits a while.  So this is a great party salad!  It isn’t going to wilt on you immediately after dressing.  The freshness of the salad paired really well with the crispness of the Kendall-Jackson’s Grand Reserve Rosé.

If you are looking for a great guide on Wine Pairings, Kendall-Jackson has a beautiful and easy to follow guide on their entertaining page.  But if you are simply looking for a few great pairings for your Thanksgiving Meal, here are my top three choices!

The K-J’s Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir is a must.  It is a medium bodied red wine that won’t overpower your main dish, the turkey.  The bright rich fruit flavors will enhance the savory flavors in your side dishes.
The K-J’s Vintners Reserve Chardonnay is a fruit-forward and approachable white wine that will complement your entire meal.
The K-J’s Grand Reserve Rosé has a hint of orange blossom that pairs nicely with both vegetables and meats.

Next week I will be sharing a few more recipes and tips along with where I got some of my serving pieces.

x0 – Kristin

** This post was sponsored by Kendall-Jackson.  All photos and opinions are my own.**