Whether you're a novice or a pro, you'll breeze through this menu of updated favorites.

Fresh Flavors for Thanksgiving
We love the finely chopped look of Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans. If you don't want to chop them you can toss whole green beans in the vinaigrette instead.
| Credit: Jennifer Davick / Styling Cari South / Food Styling James Schend

You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl. Just ask Tennessee-born Lauren Wilson, who moved her Memphis roots to San Jose, California, with husband Brian. "I brought my love of entertaining to the West Coast," says Lauren. "Needless to say, we made instant friends by inviting neighbors over for some home cooking."

Ever since, the Wilsons have entertained their California cronies with casseroles, pies, you name it―and the holidays are no exception. "We weren't able to make it to Memphis this time for Thanksgiving because we were expecting our first baby," explains Brian. "But that didn't stop us from celebrating." The couple invited friends over to their house for a fabulous feast.

Lauren updated some of her family recipes. She converted her great-grandmother's dressing into fluffy Pecan-Buttermilk Dressing Cakes, and Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans replaced the traditional green bean casserole. Mix-and-match your family favorites with some of these wonderful dishes, and visit myrecipes.com for more menu ideas.Related: Our Favorite Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes

Offer a No-Fuss Appetizer
A fruit-and-cheese platter is about as easy as it gets. Purchase favorite cheeses, preserves, dried fruits, breads, and crackers, and arrange them on a serving tray or cutting board. Complete your presentation by adding roasted garlic―it spreads well and melts in your mouth. Follow these simple steps for roasting garlic.
1. Cut off pointed end of desired number of garlic bulbs; place bulbs on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Fold foil to seal.
2. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes; let cool.

"Fresh Flavors for Thanksgiving" is from the November 2007 issue of Southern Living.