Fall (or autumn as my sophisticated friends call it) is the season of change. After the long stretch of heat that is summer passes over, we are greeted by three to four months of cool winds, warm clothes, beautiful colors and of course, the holidays. The holidays are a time of getting together with loved ones, showing appreciation for those in your life and of course, consuming copious amounts of food.

The holiday traditions in America are almost as a rich as the gravy but, with fall being the season of change, it’s only natural we spice things up around this time of year.

Turkey and Cranberry Sauce are favorites but here are 5 exciting spins on some Thanksgiving classics.

1. Turducken

For some, messing with the classic Thanksgiving Turkey is blasphemous but for those who prefer to live on the wild side (or just plain love meat), Turducken is the next culinary step towards taste-buds Nirvana. Turducken is exactly what it sounds like, turkey stuffed with duck, which in turn, is stuffed with chicken. It may sound like a lab experiment but it tastes like anything but.

2. Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce

If you’re willing to pick up some fresh or frozen fruit this year you don’t have to eat cranberry sauce from a fallout shelter. This spin on the gelatinous classic includes an assortment of spices and berries all soaking in cabernet (or any red wine) resulting in a side dish that steals the show.

3. Crab Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese tastes good every day of the year, but why not spice things up and do something special this Thanksgiving? Crab Macaroni and Cheese is exactly what it sounds like: a cheesy, baked, pasta and seafood marriage. For a more affordable take on this recipe, feel free to use imitation crab legs.

4. Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a guilty pleasure of many, but why not substitute those white Idaho’s for a more nutrient-dense option? Sweet mashed potatoes are the perfect addition to those savory sides. You can even spice things up with some caramelized pecans on top.

5. Wild Rice Stuffing

Some people live by the brad filled glory that is Thanksgiving stuffing but why not ditch the gluten this year?

Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries, Apples, and Pecans is both savory and sweet while also being a lighter on the calories.

These new takes on old favorites are sure to wow some guests at this year's Thanksgiving dinner. Read about 4 fall favorites to make for the holidays or How to make your own pumpkin spice latte