An Elegant Thanksgiving

While simple, homey foods make a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, sometimes the occasion calls for a menu that's a bit more refined. Perhaps you'll be hosting the in-laws for the first time or inviting a business colleague to your home. This is the time to dress up the table with your finest dinnerware and linens and cook an extra-special meal.

To create a festive mood, pour sparkling wine when your guests arrive. Then impress them with a menu that includes brined turkey breast with lemon-parsley gravy and braised chestnuts enriched with Madeira cream sauce. To end this celebratory gathering, serve a dried-fruit compote paired with crème anglaise in place of the traditional pumpkin pie.