November is always a busy month around my house. With so many events to attend and host, it can feel overwhelming. This year, I’m taking a step back and hosting a casual, fun Friendsgiving Celebration for my girlfriends. My girlfriends are what keep me going all year long and I want to show them how much I appreciate them with a great Tyson® Cornish Hen meal served with Cranberry Walnut Rice and a delicious Sara Lee® Apple Pie with homemade Whipped Cream for dessert.
Friendsgiving celebrations are about spending time with your friends, not with your stovetop. For this casual gathering, serving Tyson® Cornish Hens was a no-brainer. Found in the frozen poultry section of Walmart, these twin packs serve four and cook in about an hour.
Simply season them with salt and pepper, inside and out, and bake for 60 minutes. To crisp up the skin a bit, you can increase the temperature during the last few minutes of cooking.
While my Tyson® Cornish Hens were cooking, I got to work on the Cranberry Walnut Rice. Cooking for girlfriends is simple and there is no pressure to come up with an award winning recipe. But, that may change going forward.
This cranberry walnut rice is amazing. Some of my best recipes come together when I say “Oh, let’s throw in some of this, and a little of that. Oh, and maybe some of this, too!” I’m not afraid to try new flavor combinations, and you shouldn’t be either.
Cranberry Walnut Rice is delicious side dish that captures the flavors of the season perfectly. To make this perfect side dish, whisk together Balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, orange juice, and olive oil in a medium sized bowl.
Once the ingredients are well combined, add the mixture to the cooked brown rice. Mix in cranberries and walnuts. Try not to eat the entire bowl before you leave the kitchen. [Here’s a little secret I’m going to share with you, you can buy pre-cooked brown rice frozen. Awesome, right? That’s what I used for this recipe, but you can feel welcomed to cook your own. I cannot properly cook rice no matter how hard I try; I’m so appreciative of taking this extra help from the store.]
When the Tyson® Cornish Hens finished cooking, I simply raised the oven temperature and, following the package instructions, baked the Sara Lee® Apple Pie until the crust was an even golden brown. While the pie was baking, I joined my girlfriends at the table for a delicious dinner, laughter and great conversation.
I do want to mention that there was a baking tip on the packaging suggesting to check the pie after 45 minutes to ensure the edges of crust weren’t too brown. I am so glad that I took that tip to heart, my edges were a little browner than I would have liked.
Once my girlfriends and I finished our dinner, they helped me clean up our dishes [girlfriends are so amazing, aren’t they?] while I whipped up some delicious Whipped Cream to enjoy with our warm Sara Lee® Apple Pie.
Homemade Whipped Cream is a must-have for me, especially when hosting friends for a Friendsgiving celebration. It takes just a few minutes to make, and is so worth the little bit of effort that it takes.
When I make it, I like to use superfine sugar as it whips into the heavy cream flawlessly. And pure vanilla extract. If you’re going to take the time to make homemade Whipped Cream, use the good stuff. Please.
To make the best whipped cream, it’s important to chill the bowl of your mixer for about 30 minutes. Make sure the heavy cream is very cold, too. Whip 1 cup heavy cream, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract using the whisk of your stand mixer on the highest setting.
Pay close attention, it comes together quickly. You’ll know it’s ready when you see stiff peaks form.
The warm Sara Lee® Apple Pie with homemade whipped cream was the perfect end to our Friendsgiving celebration. Look for the pies in the dessert section of the frozen food aisle. With Walmart’s help, I was able to enjoy more time around the table and less time in the kitchen. I’m grateful for that.
- 1 TBSP garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2-3 TBSP Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package instructions
- In mixing bowl, whisk together first five ingredients to create a dressing.
- In separate bowl, combine rice and dressing. Mix well.
- Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
- Serve as a side dish with Tyson® Cornish Hens
- Tip: Walnuts can be toasted in the oven at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for 5-6 minutes.
Show your love and impress all your friends this Holiday season by spicing up your old, dated recipes with more Tyson® ingredients from Walmart with new twists on those old traditions. Leave me a comment below letting me know what recipe you plan to make!