We like to mix up some classic favorites with some new dishes.  So boring to do the exact same spread every year, although we used to do that and it was comforting.  But now it’s adventurous!

Dry-Brine Turkey with Gravy (Williams-Sonoma Dry Brine)

Prepare at least 24 hours in advance.  We always use a fresh turkey, but if you use a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator several days in advance.  Here’s a good guide.

 

Tamale Stuffing with Pecans (Family Recipe)

Fresh tamales from a Mexican restaurant are the only way to go.  Place and order and pick them up as close to the preparation of the meal as possible (we usually order ours the afternoon before and refrigerate).

 

Gingered Cranberry Sauce (Victoria Magazine)

Can be prepared the day before since it has to chill 6 hours or overnight.

 

Smashed Root Vegetables and Caramelized Leeks (Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012)

This is the alternative to mashed potatoes.  Normally, we make mashed cauliflower which is prepared EXACTLY the same way as mashed potatoes but with two whole heads of fresh cauliflower cut up and steamed (not boiled, or the nutrients drain right out).

 

Roasted Delicata Squashes and Lady Apples (Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012)

I was skeptical of being able to get lady apples, whatever those were, but I managed to find some at Harris Teeter, which has a terrific produce section.  They look just like crabapples but are a little bigger.  Maybe it’s just another name for crabapples?

Sage and Honey Skillet Cornbread (Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012)

We’re Texans.  This is cornbread.  Enough said.

 

 Apple-Pear Pie with Walnut Crust (Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012)

Pretty crust!  And the crust can be prepared well ahead of schedule and the entire pie done the night before.

 

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream (Barefoot Contessa:  Back to Basics)

A perennial favorite of my family.  SO good and a creative twist on the typical pumpkin pie.