Turkey Day any day! “Since leftovers only last so long, we thought it’d be fun idea to take all the recipes we serve at Friendsgiving and put them together in a little recipe book,” says Lauren Conrad, Us Weekly‘s guest entertaining editor. (Watch the step-by-step tutorial video above.)
The first step is to start by gathering everyone’s recipes ahead of time. After that, it’s just printing and assembling the book. “You can pick whatever color or texture you want — maybe something that coordinates with your tablescape,” suggests the Celebrate author, 31. Decorations add flair to the cover and help personalize the take-away gift. Conrad kept it simple with sticker labels that matched her butcher paper tablecloth. “It could be a dried leaf or a stamp,” she adds.
Inside the book, she included recipes for her mom’s Thanksgiving dressing, which she actually prefers stuffed inside the bird, and her friend Kate’s southern green bean casserole, among other contributions.
As far as what people are bringing that day, resist the urge to overcoordinate. “The basics are sort of decided, so it’s really just variations,” says the new mom, who welcomed son Liam with husband William Tell in July. “Typically how I’ve done it is while inviting everyone and put them all on an email and say I’ll be providing the turkey along with a few side dishes, if anyone has a favorite they’d like to contribute, please let me know. Then it’s first come, first serve basis — people call dibs.”
If a friend has a special favorite or something they’re known for, Conrad will specifically request it. “And nobody’s upset with two different kinds of mashed potatoes,” she says. She also notes that if someone has dietary restrictions, “they usually provide at least one dish themselves that they can enjoy.”