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Holiday sweets and more to whet the appetite

From a healthy chocolate sweet to share to a Diwali-appropriate traditional dessert, the Town Crier has festive recipes and stories behind them this month.

Struck by the new and lingering chill in the air? Maybe it's time to take a break from turkey and consider kimchi for a November pick-me-up.

Need some fresh ideas for your Thanksgiving feast? Browse the Town Crier archive by searching for specific ingredients, or try one of the following:

Side Dishes:

Roasted veggies, whole grains and well placed indulgences (bacon!) make for side dishes that leave you satisfied, but not groaning.

Tomatoes stuffed with a spicy tomato filling bring a different flavor palette to the holiday table.

With a nod to Britain, an assessment of the yorkshire pudding as ethereal Thanksgiving option.

Butternut squash and risotto make an easy pairing, spiced to match any number of European cooking styles.

Make your own cranberry sauce – it's easier than you'd expect. Or reimagine cranberries as a compote.

Mains:

Dare to go turkey-free on turkey day? Try Cornish game hen or a multi-fowl roulade.

Or perhaps moscovy duck, paired with turnip?

Sweets:

Persimmons make a local, seasonal base for desserts such as pudding and old-fashioned cookies.

Believe it or not, carrots make for a brilliantly colored dessert as well.

Trifle makes a very Dickensian dessert, one bright with seasonal color.

Maple syrup and flax seed as earthy flavor to pecan pie squares.

Saffron, rose petals or pistachios can all add a royal touch to Indian rice pudding, dressed up for the holidays.

Drink:

Pick a wine to pair with your turkey – perhaps even a local pinot noir. Or pick up a bottle or two as gifts as you start hitting the holiday party circuit.

Follow our guide to hosting a bar for a crowd – don't fear the cocktail!

Tea-time/baking:

Apples and chai spice add an autumnal glow to the humble muffin.

Read on:

Overwhelmed by all the ideas? Take a break with this recollection of Thanksgivings in Los Altos' past. Or peruse a guide to local shops where you can buy your treats ready made.

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