(Family Features)- Crisp autumn days and cool fall nights usher in a season of anticipation and preparation as the holidays approach. First up: Thanksgiving. For this all-star feast, many intrepid cooks work for weeks, planning the very best... the perfect golden roast turkey, savory homemade stuffing, creamy gravy, mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes. Every family has their favorite dishes-and no Thanksgiving is complete without them.
While no one would dare suggest tampering with tradition, why not consider a few novel additions? Side dishes and desserts offer excellent opportunities to break out of the mold and offer up something refreshingly different. Try introducing a creative, new casserole, or another incarnation of a family favorite. (If your family can't do without the traditional log of cranberry relish, right out of the can, simply add another option for more adventurous palates, such as a "salsa," made of fresh cranberries, minced ginger and orange zest.)
The same goes for dessert. Let someone else bring the standard pumpkin pie, while you wow the crowd with a rich and creamy mocha-pumpkin cheesecake. This sinfully delicious concoction combines the goodness of organic butter, cream cheese and eggs with the rich flavors of coffee, chocolate and pumpkin-and is surprisingly simple to prepare.
Who knows? This year's departure from tradition just might become next year's must-have-and a new Thanksgiving tradition.
To add more tasty organic recipes to your holiday repertoire, visit www.organicvalley.coop.