We are firm believers that Thanksgiving dinner is too good to happen just once a year—and Jaime King agrees.
More than four weeks before the actual holiday, the actress put together a “Friendsgiving” dinner party in the backyard of her Beverly Hills home with all the fixings of a perfect Thanksgiving spread.
“We’ve created the feeling of family through our group of friends, and they’ve been absolutely instrumental in the experience of helping our kids feel like they have a big family,” the mom of two tells PEOPLE. “So we wanted to do something that was really a celebration of that.”
For the event hosted by Hormel Foods, King served guests some of her favorite comfort food dishes and sides.
“I love mashed potatoes and gravy and turkey and everything having to do with home cooking is my jam,” she says. “Give me mashed potatoes everyday. I think mashed potatoes should be a food group.”
In the spirit of celebrating friends, the former Hart of Dixie star also says some her famous pals have inspired her to get going in the kitchen.
“When I scroll through Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram, I’m like, ‘Really, Chrissy? Really? You’re one of the most lovely, funny, warm, caring people, and then you’re food is out of control! Like, how do you do it?'” she says. “It’s the same way with Jessica Alba. [She] was a really big influence on me starting to cook more because Jess has always cooked and I’ve always seen her do it.”
As for King’s own Friendsgiving meal, the only hiccup was that her guests kept going back for seconds…and thirds.
“Everything was so delicious that it was just gone in like 10 minutes,” she says. “No leftovers!”
“Later that night, I was envisioning watching Amy Schumer Live at the Apollo for the 26th time and eating turkey and mashed potatoes. Next day, I envisioned some turkey in my egg omelet—you know how that goes every Thanksgiving,” she admits. “Didn’t happen.”
—Ana Calderone, @anacalderone