This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.
Fall is finally in the air here in Florida. The temperatures are cooling off and it's time to focus on fall entertaining. I was sent a fabulous BabbleBoxx full of curated items to help kick off the season and I'm so ready to host fall parties.
Friendsgiving Food and Wine Menu Ideas
What's a fall party without great wine? Rodney Strong Wines has been creating critically acclaimed, great wines for decades and I was thrilled to experience two varieties for a little feast I was putting together.
Rodney Strong planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, on a small hill in Jimtown, in 1971 and the area's reputation for fine Cabernet was born. Today, the brand has three Cabernet vineyards in Jimtown, Geyserville, and Cloverdale. These vineyards are planted in well-drained volcanic shale and sandstone soil that makes Sonoma County the ideal place for the Cabernet grape.
Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet is smooth and rich with notes of dark cherry, plum, baking spices, with hints of black pepper, crushed violet, and cassis. This Cabernet has medium tannins and pairs well with any meat dish or grilled winter vegetables.
I was also treated to a lovely white wine from Rodney Strong. Their Chardonnay is crafted from fruit from cooler, coastal regions of California where Chardonnay grapes thrive. Thanks to advances in viticulture outside of Sonoma and Napa in recent years, higher-quality grapes have been produced and this had led to better, more complex wines.
The 2019 Rodney Strong California Chardonnay has aromas of lemon curd and apple with hints of oak and spices. The finish lingers with notes of pear and pineapple. This wine is perfect to pair with grilled vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, and pasta dishes.
There is nothing quite like opening a bottle of wine and enjoying a glass while making a meal. I decided to do just that after perusing my new book. Friendsgiving: The Official Guide to Hosting, Roasting, and Celebrating with Friends, by Shoshana Stopek, is an officially licensed guide for year-round celebrations inspired by the wildly popular series, Friends.
Friendsgiving is like a cookbook and lifestyle guide all rolled into one. It's full of recipes, entertaining tips, and group activities for holidays, and other special occasions, all centered around Friends.
Part one of Friendsgiving includes recipes like Monica's Classic Roast Turkey and more. Part two includes entertaining tips, like putting together an epic Friendsgiving playlist and making your own party decorations. Part three includes Unagi Pictionary and more Friends-inspired activities. The book is filled with full-color photos and memories from the show. I've seen the series several times, so flipping through this book was almost like flipping through a yearbook for me. It was a welcome reminder of moments that I hadn't thought about in a while and it felt nice to sit and relax with old friends for a bit.
One recipe that stood out to me, and that I thought would pair perfectly with my Rodney Strong wines, was The Joey Special: Homemade Pizza. This recipe starts with the pizza dough and is easily customizable. I poured myself a glass of Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet and got to work. Once the dough was ready I whipped up a super easy pizza sauce using San Marzano tomatoes and Dorot Gardens Crushed Garlic.
Dorot Gardens has pre-portioned herbs, garlic, and onions that are ready to "pop" into any recipe. At peak freshness, Dorot Gardens harvests their products to process and flash freeze within 90 minutes. The best part is that there's no need to peel or chop a thing; they've done all the work for you. With eight different offerings, they've made it effortless to season your meals.
Currently, they have the following: Crushed Garlic, Crushed Ginger, Chopped Basil, Crushed Turmeric, Chopped Parsley, Chopped Cilantro, Chopped Dill, and Sauteed Onions.
I grabbed a few packages of the Dorot Gardens Crushed Garlic from my local Walmart and I may never buy a head of garlic again. These pre-packaged portions are a game-changer. Since they're stored in the freezer, you can always have them on hand. No more throwing out unused herbs or garlic. You'll always have the freshest garlic and herbs available and ready to go. Just "pop" a cube or two and add it to your recipe. It's like the ultimate kitchen hack.
One Dorot Garden Garlic cube is equivalent to one garlic clove so I used two cubes for my sauce. It added excellent flavor to my sauce and I loved not having to peel or chop it. Plus, there was no mess and no knife and cutting board to clean. Thank you, Dorot Gardens! I also grabbed a package of the Crushed Ginger and can't wait to get the Chopped cilantro on my next trip to the store.
Taking a page out of Friendsgiving, I decided to put together a nice spread to host a get-together for some of my friends. Along with my Friends-inspired pizza and Rodney Strong wines, I decided a little meat and cheese board would be nice. I love charcuterie boards because you can be as simple or fancy as you'd like.
Along with different meats and cheese and snacks, I added Frank's RedHot® Spicy Almonds. I'm such a fan of Frank’s RedHot® Sauce, the #1 American hot sauce brand, that I buy it in a gallon-size jug. As the saying goes, I put that $#!t on everything.
These almonds take snacking to the next level. They use premium California almonds and douse them with the bold Frank's RedHot seasoning made from their actual hot sauce. It's the perfect balance of flavor and heat. You could mix them up in a trail mix or just eat them on their own. Frank's RedHot® Spicy Almonds contain 6 grams of protein per serving but have no artificial colors or flavors. You can grab them at Meijer Grocery Stores and on Amazon.
And, for dessert, cookies! Dewey's Bakery first opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1930 and they've been creating delicious cookies and confections ever since. Their cookies are absolutely delicious and made with 100% real ingredients with no artificial flavors or colors, and no preservatives. While they're exceptionally thin, they do not lack in the flavor department.
I tried the Sugar Moravian Cookies and the Ginger Spice Moravian Cookie and knew they'd be the perfect addition to my Friendsgiving spread.
Both of these cookies are created from a centuries-old recipe brought to America from the European kingdom of Moravia. The bakers at Dewey's Bakery combine full-flavor vanilla with only the finest ingredients to concoct their uniquely thin cookies.
The Ginger Spice Moravian Cookies are perfect for fall! They use the same tried and true recipe with the addition of exotic spices from around the world, such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice.
These cookies would also make great additions to gift baskets this winter. They've got such a fantastic selection of treats on their site and their Cheese Straws look out of this world. I've even got a Dewey's Bakery discount code for you too! From November 10th to December 1oth, you can use code: DEWEYS10 to save 10% sitewide.
I hope you've enjoyed these fall entertaining and Friendsgiving food and wine ideas! I'd love to hear how you celebrate and entertain friends year round.
Deborah D says
Love Frank's Red Hot sauce products.