For eaters of all generations, this may be the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you’re in hot pursuit of new Thanksgiving recipes to please every palate (yes, you can make your vegan cousin happy!) or you’re focused on decorating the table in a whole new way, we have the advice and strategies you crave. And because we all know Thanksgiving is not just about the moment of truth, but the many moments leading up to it (and how to pack away the leftovers later), we have timelines, shopping lists, organizing advice, and play-by-play plans to make sure the season is filled with lots more joy than stress. Experienced hosts can find fresh inspiration, those new to the role can get all the lessons they need—and a guest who wants to wow ’em with a stunning side dish will find a vast array of options. It’s all here, from soup to nuts. Or rather, from soup to stuffed mushrooms to mashed potatoes to green beans to turkey to cranberry sauce to apple pie. Hungry yet?

No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream With Cranberry-Raspberry Compote

This semifreddo-style frozen custard provides all the satisfaction of your favorite slow-churned pint without the need for a bulky ice cream machine. The only special equipment you’ll need is a candy thermometer (about $10 and great for frying too, so go ahead and invest in one). Serve this creamy treat with caramel sauce or hot fudge but we think it’s especially pretty with the cranberry raspberry compote. Make them both ahead of time and a lovely seasonal dessert will be ready and waiting for you when guests come calling. And here you thought you couldn’t make ice cream at home.

6 Pumpkin Desserts When You’re Tired of Pie

Why should the pie always be the star of the show? We whipped up 6 pumpkin-laced desserts that might just give Grandma’s pumpkin pie a run for its money.

Pumpkin Pecan Crisps

Alright, alright, we know some of you still need your pumpkin pie fix. So we dreamed up this inverted pie-like dessert just for you: A creamy warmly-spiced custard hides beneath a nutty crunchy streusel topping. It’s like an individually made pumpkin pie with the crust on top. You can substitute any nut you like for the pecans—walnuts or almonds would be nice—and feel free to have some fun with the whipped cream. Crème fraiche would be an unexpected twist but we might even serve these with a dollop of Greek yogurt and call it breakfast.

Pumpkin Pavlova With Roasted Apples

Pavlovas usually make their way to the dessert table in high summer, with fresh berries and whipped cream piled on top. For the rest of the year, we dreamed up an autumnal version you can make now and all the way through winter. Meringues are pretty easy to make, they just need enough time to dry out in your oven, so just give yourself a head start. Pumpkin whipped cream and broiled sweet-tart apples get layered with the meringues for a dramatic layer cake-like presentation. It’s a great idea for Thanksgiving but we think it makes a great birthday cake too.

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

These cream puffs are guaranteed to stop traffic on the way to the pies this Thanksgiving. Classic choux pastry (they bake up like little cabbages or “choux” in French) get filled with a brown sugar and pumpkin pastry cream for a dreamy contrast in textures. When the little guys come out of the oven you’ll want to flip them over and pierce them with the tip of a sharp knife. This allows the steam inside the hollow center to escape to keep the puffs crisp. You can make the filling ahead of time and keep it chilled until ready to assemble. And don’t worry if it looks too thick: a little bit of whipped cream folded into the pudding base makes for an extra light filling.

Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Toffee Skillet Cookie

It’s the giant chocolate chip cookie you always dreamed of, now with the addition of warm spices, pumpkin and toffee bits. Oh, and chocolate of course. The pumpkin puree keeps the cookie soft and chewy in the center while the cast-iron skillet gives it irresistible crispy edges. Don’t worry if you don’t have the right skillet, though, this cookie works in a cake pan too. We recommend serving this straight from the skillet or pan with ice cream scooped right on top of the warm cookie. Just make sure everybody gets his or her own spoon.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream

If you’ve never had pumpkin and chocolate together before you’re in for a real treat. These cupcakes stay moist and tender not only due to the pumpkin puree but thanks to the addition of sour cream in the batter. And don’t be intimidated by that pretty swirl; all it takes is a toothpick or a narrow paring knife to marble the pumpkin and chocolate batters together. The frosting is a riff on one or our all-time favorite, super-simple cream cheese frosting recipes. The cream cheese offers just the right tang to offset the sweetness and richness of the chocolate.

5 Mini Pies Made in a Muffin Tin

These individually-sized pies are the perfect addition to your holiday spread. They’re made with easy press-in crusts or prepared pie dough so assembly is a cinch. All you’ll need to consider is whether to serve whipped cream or ice cream alongside (but we think it’s OK to have both).

Lime Curd Mini Pies With Toasted Marshmallow-Coconut Cream

The easiest lime curd gets made ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about getting the timing just right for these sweet-tart pies. Make it up to 2 days ahead and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble. Just be sure to place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd—that prevents a weird skin from forming. A simple cookie crust gets pressed into muffin tins (do your best not to eat them before the curd goes in). Marshmallow fluff is such a brilliant addition in place of whipped cream we might start topping all of our pies with it.

Cranberry-Plum Mini Pies With Crumble Topping

We love cranberries this time of year: simmered into sauce, baked into scones or muffins. But we love to combine them with something a little less tart. For these mini pies we toss the berries with diced red plums. They’re sweet enough to balance the cranberries but still pack enough tartness that they won’t mask the flavor of the littler guys. These tiny pies come topped with one of our favorite things in the whole world: a cinnamon-brown sugar crumb topping. The good news is you can make the crumb topping up to a month ahead and stick it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.