I am a person who sometimes needs a 'theme' to keep things interesting. Take Thanksgiving for instance, Turkey, stuffing, cranberries... yeah yeah... but sometimes a creative cook can get bored. One year, 2005 I believe, inspired by a Bon Appetit issue I had been hoarding since 1994, I convinced my friend to do a Mexican infused Thanksgiving Dinner. This recipe for Achiote Turkey w/ Ancho Chile Gravy was the centerpiece and boy was it crazy crazy good.
Mexican Turkey Recipe
I believe we accompanied it with corn pudding, mexican rice, calabasa, salad with jicima, avocado and tangerines etc. You could also serve spanish rice, tortillas and even pumpkin flan for desert. OR you could just try this turkey on a special Sunday between now and Xmas. Or even apply it to a roast chicken. It's an AWESOME recipe.
Another favorite alternative to the usual pie suspects, is this pumpkin layer cake. Cakes are fun. I never bake as I live in a city surrounded by excellent bakers and usually prefer to pick something up rather than suffer through the exacting alchemy of baking. But once a year.... or maybe twice. :)
Pumpkin Layer Cake
You can spice up your favorite CRANBERRY recipe by adding these ingredients...
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
I can't really think of a way to sneak a taco in on this day, but you can always run out for one the day before while you are cooking!