The only hard and fast rule I have for the perfect Thanksgiving, is not to have any hard and fast rules for the perfect Thanksgiving.  Sometimes, my guests set the tone for an amazing meal, other times I try something new and see how it goes. Some years I get to be a guest or get to escape Thanksgiving entirely.

One year, I served a deconstructed turkey -- presenting a stuffed boneless breast alongside turkey wings and drumsticks (for the dark meat lovers).  Coming to the table with a perfectly tucked and tied turkey breast roast, without needing to ask my father-in-law to do the carving was a real treat (for him and for me)!

For Jews, Thanksgiving is a time of some bemusement.  After all we have just finished 3 weeks of holiday entertaining.  While most of America are frantically planning menus, food shopping and setting tables days in advance, the Jewish woman is thankful to be able to use her oven, microwave and dishwasher.

My dear sister-in-law, Andrea, is a vegetarian married to an unrepentant carnivore -- so veggie side dishes almost always get equal billing with the turkey. Even better, Andrea has managed to circumvent the laws of kosher gravity by inviting guests to enjoy an amazing spread of dairy hors d'ouevers hours before the Thanksgiving meal. Sure it is self-serving, since she won't touch the turkey, but let me tell you something, some of these appetizers were so good everyone was self-serving themselves, too!

So let's NOT talk turkey and let me share with you some great dairy and pareve appetizer recipes that your guests will love while they are watching the big game or the Macy's Day Parade on TV.

Do you have any non-traditional Thanksgiving traditions?  I would love to hear from you!