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Boston Market Catered My Friendsgiving (And An Amazing Giveaway!)

10402760_10154954860885019_7487915461692183459_nIn recent years, the concept of Friendsgiving has become more and more popular, especially for those who live far away from their loved ones and can’t get away to make the traditional Thanksgiving happen from year to year.

Whether you are celebrating Friendsgiving, a more traditional Thanksgiving, or both — it can be a really intimidating undertaking. Especially if you aren’t very comfortable in the kitchen — or live in a typical NYC small apartment and don’t have a lot of kitchen space to go around!

This weekend, I partnered with Boston Market to host a small Friendsgiving for some of my near and dear. They catered everything I would need, and it was a smashing success!

It was the perfect idea: It let me take credit for a delicious meal, and Boston Market did all the work. We had some of the traditional Thanksgiving fare — turkey, mashed potatoes, trimmings — but also some healthy steamed vegetables and salads. It was perfect for my guests and their very varied food tastes.

Boston Market handled every detail, and even delivered the feast to my apartment and set it up on my kitchen table!  To help with your own last-minute planning, catering orders (while supplies last) for Thanksgiving Day will be accepted until 2 pm on Nov. 27. Whether you need more mashed potatoes, need to pick up a pumpkin pie on the way to grandma’s house, are simply pressed for time in the kitchen or don’t trust yourself making gravy (it’s cool — I don’t either!), this is an answer that really does make life easier.

It turns out, Boston Market served more than 1 million people last Thanksgiving, and expect to serve more than 1 million again this year. Whether it’s meals for 4 or 12, turkey or ham, Boston Market handles all the cooking and seasoning. All a host needs is two hours to heat and serve. Or, you can order it catered and you don’t even have to do that much!

This year, Boston Market has partnered with Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer and 4x Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie to provide even more holiday meal solutions. Some of Lisa’s tips include:

Start prep early.
Prepare fresh vegetables like green beans and collard greens early Thanksgiving week. Cook them halfway and then freeze them. “I often prepare our stuffing early by chopping all the vegetables and storing them in Ziploc bags or airtight containers, baking the cornbread and freezing the stuffing mix. Just don’t forget to defrost the night before Thanksgiving to have amazing stuffing and vegetables for the whole family!” says Lisa.

Use prepared sides to help save time and frustration.
“Cooking everything from scratch can really add to your to-do list. I like to buy a few prepared sides and make them my own. I love using sides from Boston Market to skip a few steps in my family recipes – for example, I’ll pick up a side of Boston Market sweet potatoes and use it to make one of my favorite dishes, sweet potato casserole! I just crush the pecans, bake them and spread them
on top using brown sugar to add that carmelized touch,” she says.

What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Is Friendsgiving on your agenda? Are you doing a more traditional Thanksgiving? Both? I’d love to hear! One reader will win a $250 Boston Market Gift Card – which they can use to plan their own holiday feast, no matter what it entails! To enter, please make sure you are following @AlyWalansky and @BostonMarket on Twitter — and RT my tweet about this giveaway. Then, tweet us both (please use tag #HolidayExperts), and share your holiday plans, and why this gift card could make your holiday easier or better. You can also comment below! Deadline is Friday, November 21 at 6 pm ET. Good luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with compensation from Boston Market for hosting the dinner and this giveaway/post. However, all opinions are my own — the meal was delicious!



24 Comments

  1. Glenn Orey
    11.16.2014

    This would be an amazing gift, since my girlfriend and I have no idea what we are doing for Thanksgiving. My family is attending dinner at her friends while I tend to go to my girlfriends side however they have not informed us what is going on however I always like having a backup plan and Boston Market Catering would be amazing. By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. joanne t
    11.16.2014

    My grandma has been doing Thanksgiving dinner since before I was born. Now that she’s 83 (and still cooks a full Italian dinner every Sunday) this would be a nice gift for her to be able to relax and truely enjoy the holiday!

  3. deb cohen
    11.16.2014

    our plans are with the neighbors, family lives out of state a catered dinner would be awesome and a big budget saver for all of us !

  4. Amy
    11.16.2014

    I’m doing a hybrid thanksgiving with friends and family. Since the crowd is going to be large a giftcard from Boston market would come in handy!
    Thanks for the chance!
    Amy

  5. eileen
    11.16.2014

    we are going to moms-worlds worst cook-when she cooks. I grew up thinking a slab of iceburg lettuce with bacos was a normal dinner, oh and that home meade bread was supposed to double for bricks. nyhow, she sucks in the kitchen but won’t accept help. however she loves free anything so with this we would get a decent meal without upsetting mom

  6. Mami2jcn
    11.16.2014

    My in-laws are visiting for Thanksgiving and the gift card would really simplify things for me! Thanks!

  7. Elena
    11.16.2014

    I’m hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for my family. This card would help me to get great holiday food. Retweeted as sweep1s

  8. ellen beck
    11.16.2014

    We are helping serve Thanksgiving meal at the church. We have done this for a few years and enjoy it. It is a nice dinner and people all over town are served.

  9. ellen beck
    11.16.2014

    follow both you and boston market on twitter as @tannawings
    https://twitter.com/tannawings/status/534181068325142528

    also RT’ed you Aly!

  10. amy rouse
    11.17.2014
  11. Kimberly Flickinger
    11.17.2014

    I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for mine.

  12. David
    11.17.2014

    I follow you both as @1froglegs and I tweeted at https://twitter.com/1froglegs/status/534475358847107072

  13. Tabathia B
    11.17.2014

    Since I plan on shopping black friday, I plan on frying a turkey breast the day before thanksgiving and visiting relatives on thanksgiving for sides. This gift card would help me purchase sides and food to bring to relatives

  14. Kim D.
    11.18.2014

    I can spend more time with my family and friends, if I don’t have to worry about the cooking and foods.

  15. victoria
    11.19.2014

    I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. First year I don’t have to cook because I will be at a Friendsgiving! Yay for me getting to relax.

    But the gift card would be awesome too so I could host a fun friendsgiving of my own during the holiday weekend!

  16. CR Williams
    11.19.2014

    this holiday I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner lets pray everything works out well

  17. Nancy Reid
    11.19.2014

    I follow both Aly and Boston Market on Twitter and retweeted a tweet from your timeline https://twitter.com/alywalansky/status/535103273653387264

    This year I am hosting Thanksgiving for my sons and their girls along with several friends. I’ll be doing most of the cooking with help from one of the girls who is an all star baker. I’m so excited because one of my sons will also celebrate his birthday that day. So we will have Thanksgiving, his birthday and a little bit of Christmas as my younger son will not be back home for it. Can you tell I’m so excited? Hope yours is a happy day!! xox

  18. Amanda Sakovitz
    11.20.2014

    I will be spending time with my family and friends from college for Thanksgiving. I retweeted and sent a tweet @aes529.

  19. tina m
    11.20.2014

    we just bought a house this year. we will be hosting our first thanksgiving dinner at our new home. this gift card would help me a lot.

  20. Jennifer Essad
    11.20.2014

    thank you for the chance

    • Jennifer Essad
      11.20.2014

      I think this is a wonderful way to enjoy time w/our family, many times we’re so busy preparing the meals that we don’t have the special connection w/our families – thanks for the chance to share and enjoy our family and friends this Thanksgiving

  21. CharityS
    11.20.2014

    We’re having a traditional Thanksgiving meal with family and friends this year. However, this gift card would give me the chance to spend more time with the ones I love.

  22. Thomas Murphy
    11.21.2014

    I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year with my family. This GC would make the cooking alot easier!
    I follow both on twitter as @thomasmurphy40
    I RT your tweet about the giveaway.
    I tweeted as @thomasmurphy40
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/535837568110440448

  23. jeccica simpson
    11.21.2014

    I am the cook this year for Thanksgiving, I
    Enjoy entertaining and being surrounded by family and friends I love being able to show my live through food and gatherings. THANKS for a chance. We love you Aly!!!

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