I love love love entertaining. I love being the hostess with the mostess and bringing people together (see: Caturday, Blogiversary Game Watch, Houseiversary, Empty Apartment Party). Over the years, I’ve gotten better and better about figuring out the details for what it takes to have a good time from the right music to figuring our which appetizers people actually eat to having plenty of
solo cups toilet paper later in the evening.
One thing I’ve learned from my mother is always be organized before a party and do all the prep work ahead of time. That way when the guests show up you can open a bottle of champagne and enjoy it with them instead of running around last minute setting the table, chopping things, cleaning up messes, etc. This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday with Friendsgiving at my house. With a little help from Whole Foods Market, it was the easiest meal I’ve pulled together–which is saying a lot because I fed nearly 30 people!
I had pre-ordered my food (you can do so online here), so on Saturday morning I went to the Whole Foods Market and just picked everything up in nice, organized boxes. I had the Classic Roasted Turkey Dinner for 8, the Vegan Meal for 2 and a pumpkin pie (because Thanksgiving isn’t complete without one!).
Disclaimer: Whole Foods Market provided me these meals for free. All opinions and experiences in this article are all my own!
The Whole Foods Market Vegan Meal was an absolute gem and I personally thought the sides were better than those of the classic dinner. The Vegan meal included Mustard-Glazed Cauliflower, Lentil-Mushroom Stuffing, “Cheesy” Rutabaga and Potato Mash, Sauerkraut-Roasted Rainbow Carrots, Chocolate Toffee Mini Cake. The carrots were especially amazing and I plan to recreate that recipe on my own again. Also, the serving sizes are generous The Vegan Meal box could have easily fed a family of 4, even though it was listed for 2. I fed 30 people and still have loads of leftovers. Not mad about it though.
The Whole Foods Market Classic Roasted Turkey Dinner came with a 10lb Classic Roasted Turkey, Creamy Mashed Potatoes (served in easily spoonable balls), Traditional Herb Stuffing, Organic Turkey Gravy, Organic Cranberry Orange Sauce, Green Beans with Crispy Garlic and Parsley. Again, these serving sizes were hefty! You can probably be pretty conservative in your guest number estimates because the meals are generous.
Pro tip: Keep the big Whole Foods Market boxes that the meals came in nearby during the party. I kept mine hidden in my laundry room and gradually filled them with empty bags, foil, packages, bottles etc. It made for easy clean up the next day and kept my kitchen clean throughout the evening!
The best part about picking up everything from Whole Foods Market was that nearly everything came in its own tin that could be heated in the oven. This ensured that there was very little prep work on my side — just pop everything into the oven and save the lids for when there are leftovers–which there was a lot of. The real challenge was finding enough space in the oven to cook everything! Another perk was the fact that the turkey was precooked. Just take it out of the wrapper and pop it in the oven for 1.5 hours. Easy. Even for a vegetarian (aka me) who hasn’t touched a turkey in nearly 12 years.
The Whole Foods Market dishes are quite attractive too. I also just realized that traditional Thanksgiving food is a lot of casseroles (at least at my house), so your plate tends to be a mashed up goop of potatoes, green beans, rice and cheese. While absolutely delicious, it’s not the most pretty. On the contrary, all the Whole Foods Market dishes were bright, colorful and structured. Outside of the traditional herb stuffing, everything had a concrete shape and texture–which is inspiring me to incorporate these aspects into future holiday meals.
All in all, Friendsgiving was deemed a wild success
despite not having enough solo cups! We’ve all decided that its going to have to be an annual tradition. If you’re interested in getting your own holiday meal from Whole Foods Market and effortlessly throwing a holiday party, check out their selection of meals on their website--great options for Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between!