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Five Thanksgiving basic recipes, with a little room to create

November 23, 2013|By Noelle Carter and Russ Parsons

Most of our Thanksgiving menus are so time-honored they might as well have been written in stone. And we respect that. It is, after all, our one national food holiday. And cooking the same dishes our parents and grandparents did provides a very concrete tie to family traditions.

But sometimes you want to just tweak a little at the edges to make those dishes your own, and maybe start a new holiday tradition. Working within the hallowed framework of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberries, we've come up with some suggestions to get you started. These aren't necessarily replacements for your old family recipes but hopefully slight improvements. For full recipes, visit our "California Cookbook" online at recipes.latimes.com.

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