Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday to our gourd-gous baby, Keira. This year, Twinspirational has a lot for which to be thankful! We recently crossed 75K social media followers and collaborated with many marquee brands. We couldn’t achieve all this success without the support of our wonderful family, friends and followers. Our holiday celebrations started with a festive Friendsgiving. We partnered with Jordan Winery and created a Squash themed dinner. We are excited to share our “Squash Goals” with you.
This year marked our fifth annual Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is a holiday in its own right, apart from Thanksgiving. Anything goes at Friendsgiving. You can host a traditional Thanksgiving meal or switch it up for a modern take. Last year, we created a menu based on Orange Ingredients. This year, we created a seasonal menu that featured varieties of squash.
Squash is a gourd that is available all year round. Squash is categorized as a vegetable but they have seeds, so they are technically a fruit. Squash varies in size, color and texture, ranging from orange-hued, sweet-potato-like butternut squash to green, nut-like acorn squash. Different types of squash peak in the summer and winter. Winter squash tends to have a thicker, tougher rind. We used the winter squash as table centerpieces. Best of all you can roast this edible decor later in the week and enjoy it again.
Backdrops elevate tablescapes and one of our quick and easy tricks begins with colorful paper garlands. They are easy to use and store. Our beautiful Fall tablescape featured shades of burnt orange, vibrant green, silky ivory, soft peach and rustic brown. We strung up gold Friendsgiving balloons from Instaballoons. The backdrop coordinated perfectly with our table decorations.
Jordan Winery & Estate was founded in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, California by Tom and Sally Jordan in 1972. This family-owned winery overlooks 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards. Jordan’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are made in a French style and their winemaking techniques emphasize fruit and acidity over alcohol and tannin. We added some Twispiration to the wines by decorating them with Pumpkin and Turkey wine toppers.
We created our winter squash menu with Must Have Menus.
Archana prepared many of the dishes for Friendsgiving. What’s great about squash is that you can roast it and complete most of your prep the night before. 10 guests will never arrive at the same time, so we recommend having sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres ready as guests arrive. We kicked off the meal with a delicata squash tart. Delicata Squash is a small, yellow and green winter squash with edible skin. We cut it into half-moon strips and roasted it with olive oil and shallots. We baked it with puff pastry and goat cheese. We paired this creamy tart with a Rosa Regale Brachetto, a sparkling red from Italy. This wine has notes of cranberry, strawberry and raspberry with crisp acidity and a dry finish.
Next, we served roasted acorn squash with burrata and pomegranates. This winter squash has a distinctive green, ridged exterior and orange interior. It is sweet and buttery and the skin is tender and flavorful. We roasted this squash with butter, blue agave, a touch of brown sugar and a pinch of crushed red pepper. We served this course with a crisp 2017 Russian River Valley Jordan Chardonnay. The crisp fruit flavors, vibrant acidity and lingering finish of this chardonnay paired nicely with the acorn squash.
Our main was a roasted turkey breast. Whole Foods has a rosemary marinated turkey breast that is a lifesaver. Just roast it in the oven for an hour or so depending on how many pounds it is, and check the temperature with a meat thermometer. When the thermometer reads 165°F, take it out of the oven and wrap with foil until you are ready to serve.
We served the roasted turkey with butternut squash mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Butternut squash must be peeled before roasting. Then slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it. We paired the main course with a Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux-style California wine with aromas of black cherries, pomegranate, dried cranberries.
We concluded our meal with pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie and a Blanc de Blanc. Pumpkin is a squash, gourd and fruit that can be cooked, baked or used decoratively. It’s great in soups, appetizers and dessert. A shortcut is to use pumpkin puree, but you can also roast a pumpkin and start from scratch.
Our holiday season is off to a wonderful start. We are especially thankful for these amazing friends and we are excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family.
It isn’t so much what’s on the table that matters, as what’s on the chairsW.S. Gilbert