Take your roasted turkey, potatoes and dressing and turn them into a glamorous feast...just by picking up a few specialty foods. Photo courtesy of Butterball.com.



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November 2005

Marketplace / Entertaining Guide


12 Ways to Add Magic to Thanksgiving Dinner

Effortless Ideas That Look Like You’ve Been Planning For Months


When it comes to entertaining, we look for ways to maximize excitement with minimum effort. If you know about the right specialty foods, just opening a jar can add magic to your Thanksgiving dinner—and you don’t even have to say “Abracadabra!”

Here’s what we’re pulling out of our magician’s hat on Thanksgiving:

Details follow. While most of the products are carried by specialty food stores nationwide, you can click on the links to purchase directly from the manufacturers.

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Hors D’Oeuvres



Aloha From Oregon: Cranberry Pepper Jelly

Create great hors d’oeuvres by topping crackers or endive leaves with mascarpone, cream cheese, or slices of brie and crowning them with a dab of this tasty and colorful jelly. Or, use it on biscuits with dinner. Click here to read our review.

  • Pepper Jelly
    10-Ounce Jar


pepper jellies
Photo by Melissa Hom.

North Fork: Sweet Potato Chips

It’s a special day, so serve a special chip! North Fork’s all-natural sweet potato chips are the best we’ve ever had, and their beautiful orange color and shape creates a glorious display. Click here to read our review.

  • Sweet Potato Chips
    Case of 12 6-Ounce Bags


Sweet Potato Chips
Photo by Elton Lin.

Tsar Nicoulai: Infused Whitefish Roes

No need to spend a fortune for sturgeon caviar: these infused whitefish roes are simply wonderful. The beet-saffron, ginger, and wasabi-infused roes bring seasonal red, orange, and green hues to your hors d’oeuvres platter. Serve them on thin slices of radishes and cucumbers for a low-calorie, low-cost gourmet treat. Click here to read our review.

  • 3.5 Ounce Jar $24.00
  • 6.5 Ounce Jar, $41.00
  • 13.5 Ounce Jar (6 servings), $72.00
  • 1 Pound Jar (8 servings), $82.00


Photo by Melody Lan.

Bella Cucina: Pumpkin Pesto

Dip pumpkin tortellini or chunks of Bilinski all-natural Wild Rice Bratwurst Chicken Sausage into Bella Cucina’s rich pesto. It also can be used to spread on biscuits, to top risotto, in baked potatoes, on pasta, or wherever else your holiday fancies take you.



pumpkin pesto

At The Table



Bissinger’s: Turkey Table Settings

Attach place cards to these foil-wrapped chocolate turkeys; if you don’t use place cards, they still make charming table decorations. Always get your chocolate from a fine confectioner: Americans have grown increasingly sophisticated (and demanding) about their chocolate!

  • Chocolate Table Turkey Settings
    6 Pieces, $24
    12 Pieces, $45


turkey table settingChocolate turkey with and without its foil coat.


Fat Cat: Scones

Instead of regular biscuits, the Mandarin Orange Cranberry and Pumpkin Oat Spice scones from this exceptional artisanal scone-maker will be a hit. Click here to read our review.

  • Bag of 12 Scones
  • Gift Boxes Available


fat cat scones

D’Artagnan: Truffle Butter

The nuggets of black truffles in this excellent butter will dazzle diners on bread, vegetables and potatoes. It’s so good, guests will beg for seconds. Click here to read our review.


Truffle Butter
Photo by Melody Lan.


Alfredo Aiello: Pumpkin Ravioli

Pumpkin ravioli marries a traditional Thanksgiving food with one of America’s international favorites—and it’s so easy to make. Just boil and toss with some butter (the D’Artagnan truffle butter above is amazing!) for a wonderful first course. Grated cheese is optional.


Pumpkin Ravioli
If you have time, add some toasted walnuts.





Fizzy Lizzy and Izze: Sparkling Juices GuS: Grown-Up Soda

Be thankful for better-tasting, better-for-you alternatives to big-brand sodas. These eye-opening, all-natural beverages are a treat for guests who prefer fizzy drinks. Fizzy Lizzy and Izze are fruit juices carbonated with sparkling mineral water. GuS, which stands for Grown-Up Soda, is a sophisticated line of “adult” sodas that uses much less sugar for lower calories, too. Click here for our review.

(Note: These products are not sold online by the manufacturers, but the websites will point you to the nearest retailers.)

  • $1.29-$1.49 Bottle




Fizzy Lizzy
GuS Sodas


Wine With Dinner?

It’s not part of this food article, but a bonus: click here to check out our recommendations for wines to match your Thanksgiving feast. Whether you’re having the wine connoisseur crowd or guests who just ask for “red” or “white,” there are affordable choices from aperitifs through dessert that are sure to please.


red wine



Elegant Cheesecake: Pumpkin Cheesecake

This showstopper is a bit of a luxury, but guests will remember it for years. A pumpkin-caramel-pecan swirl cheesecake on a praline crust is tucked under a soft fondant shell made if imported Belgian chocolate. One hundred percent edible, this $100 delight serves 10. It’s as delicious as it is stunning. But if it’s not in your budget, you can crush pumpkin malted milk balls from Koppers Chocolate to top a plain cheesecake, and use whole malt balls to decorate the rim (call customer service at 1.800.325.0026 for the nearest location).



Pumpkin CheesecakeThe pièce de résistance: a pumpkin-shaped pumpkin cheesecake.

Graeter’s: Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream & Apple Cider Sorbet

Graeter’s makes ultrapremium ice cream so dense, it’s almost “chewy.” Their Pumpkin Spice ice cream is a masterpiece; their Apple Cider Sorbet is like eating frozen cinnamon stick apple cider instead of drinking it. It also can be used as a palate cleanser between courses. 

  • 6 Pints Any Flavor
    $70 (price including overnight shipping from Cincinnatti to NYC)


Pumpkin Spice

Party Favor


Translucent Chocolates: Chocolate-Covered Nuts & Fruits

Many hosts and hostesses enjoy giving small party favors at the end of special events. Translucent Chocolates uses stylish, clear boxes to showcase their high-quality chocolate- and toffee-covered nuts and dried fruit. In seasonal colors, they’re almost too beautiful to eat—but everyone will manage.

  • Fall Mix
    9.5 ounces


Photo by Melody Lan


Need ideas for hostess gifts?  Click here.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...and come back soon for Christmas and Chanukah ideas!


© Copyright 2005-2022 Lifestyle Direct, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Images are the copyright of their individual owners.


© Copyright 2005-2022 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.