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I keep the Thanksgiving menu short and sweet. The essentials of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce have to be on the table, along with pumpkin pie for dessert. But I make some tough decisions about some other sides, most all of which I love dearly. I quickly eliminate casseroles such as green bean and sweet potato, which can be a labor unto their own to prepare. I also nix duplicative starches like noodles and corn, in favor of vegetable sides with flavors and colors that will excite the palate. My winning mix includes...

Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breasts

Sausage Stuffing

Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Cognac Gravy

Honey Hot Brussels Sprouts

Orange Braised Carrots and Parsnips

Three Fruit Cranberry Compote

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Dinner
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