Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and Dorm Friendly Recipes

Photo courtesy of Amelia Tsering.

The aroma of turkey and stuffing, cinnamon on sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce (the “real kind” or from the can) waft within a family home. The feeling of Thanksgiving revolves around food and tradition. Everyone has various customs and foods they associate with the holiday. A few Point Loma Nazarene University students shared how they celebrate and what they enjoy the most about Thanksgiving.

Annika Barr, a first year biology major, said that her favorite Thanksgiving tradition is baking apple and pumpkin pies with her dad. Another student, Madison Emery, a first year psychology major, loves to cook the meal with her mom. Laule’anala Santos, a first year biology major, said that her favorite tradition is making green bean casserole with her grandmother. Valentina Montes, a first year dietetics major, watches the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special every year. 

A lot of PLNU students traveled home to be with family during the break, but before that, many college students celebrated “friendsgiving.” A poll of over 70 college students by The Point shows that 89% celebrate friendsgiving. The term has been steadily trending on Google’s search list since 2004. Friendsgiving “took over Millennial culture” according to Ashley Fetter in her article for The Atlantic. Kelly Grieshop in her 2018 article entitled  What is Friendsgiving, said it really gained traction around 2007, when the phrase was featured in an ad for Bailey’s Irish Cream. This addition to the holiday has since been adopted by many young people, especially those who live far away from home or are not in contact with family. Friendsgiving is a celebration of the family you choose. It is usually celebrated the week before Thanksgiving but can be done however you like! Potluck-style dinners and picnics are popular, but cooking can be a challenge for students who live in a dorm setting. While thanksgiving is over, the holiday season can still be celebrated anytime and even in a dorm room. Listed below are some dorm-friendly recipes perfect for a holiday celebration.

Pumpkin Pie in a Mug


  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 14 grams gingersnaps (2 small cookies), crushed into 2 tablespoons of crumbs
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Place the butter in a microwave-safe mug that holds at least 10 ounces, and microwave on ‘low’ until melted. Stir in the crushed gingersnaps and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the mug.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, egg, milk or cream, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour into the mug with the gingersnap “crust.”
  3. Place the mug on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on full power for 2 to 5 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the mug pie comes out clean. The top may look slightly damp but it will set as it cools. (Cooking time will vary greatly depending on your microwave and the width and depth of the mug. Start with 2 minutes and continue cooking in 30-second increments until it is done.)
  4. Use a hot pad or oven mitt to carefully remove the mug from the microwave. Let it stand for a couple minutes to cool, then top, if desired, with whipped cream and crushed nuts before eating.

Recipe courtesy of: https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-pumpkin-pie-in-a-mug-recipes-from-the-kitchn-212557

Gingerbread Mug Cake


  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tbsp dark molasses
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Caramel sauce (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe mug.
  2. Whisk until the batter is smooth.
  3. Stick your mug in the microwave and cook for about 1 minute. If cake is not done after 1 minute, zap it for an extra 15 seconds.
  4. Allow the cake to cool slightly.
  5. Enjoy immediately, with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Recipe courtesy of:

Written By: Amelia Tsering