Mark Bittman (the Minimalist) unveiled his 101 Things to Prepare in Advance for Thanksgiving, but some of these recipes could be used for parties or everyday eating.
Here are my picks:
#27: unique way to use cranberries & polenta
#42: a novel, out-of-the-box way to cook brussels sprouts, the "it" vegetable of the moment
#53: see my previous photo of purple cauliflower to make this recipe
#62: with frozen spinach on hand in the freezer, make this dish for any night of the week
#85: pair these biscuits with any of Bittman's soups for a quick work-day lunch or dinner
#101: probably the easiest dessert or first course to make ...