LIVING
10/05/2011 03:42 EDT | Updated 12/03/2011 05:12 EST

Thanksgiving Dinner: Add Flavour To Your Meal With Tips From Canadian Living's Annebelle Waugh

The International Collection

With Thanksgiving around the corner, why not try something new to not only spice up the dinner table, but get your guests' taste buds going.

We talked to Canadian Living test kitchen director -- and one of the creators of The International Collection: Home-Cooked Meals From Around The World -- Annebelle Waugh for her tips on how you can add not only an international touch to your Thanksgiving meals, but also how you can incorporate ethnic flavouring into everyday cooking.

Play Around With Autumn Ingredients

"Thanksgiving is a harvest meal. Markets are overflowing with all sorts of winter squashes, sweet potatoes, peppers, cabbage and sprouts and I'm far more likely to try new recipes around Thanksgiving, just solely due to the fact that there is so much in season right now," she says. "Remember that spice doesn't equal heat. Some spices have no heat, but are full of flavour. I love cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cinnamon and fennel seed. And since I love heat, I also always have hot pepper flakes and cayenne on hand."

Here are some Thanksgiving sides and dessert alternatives Waugh recommends.

Baked Fennel Parmesan: Click here for recipe.

Apple Spelt Cake: Click here for recipe.

Rösti With Gruyère Cheese: Click here for recipe.

Easy Tips For Everyday Meals

"There's no harm in switching up some of your regular meals for something with a little ethnic flair. It doesn't really take any longer to make bulgogi (Korean marinated beef) than it does a regular stir-fry. Tuscan Bean Soup takes 30 minutes to make, but is very nutritious and delicious."

Dealing With Picky Eaters

"Let the kids into the kitchen while you're cooking. Get them involved. Let them see and smell the spice or the new ingredient before you add it. Have them help out with the washing and stirring and make sure to taste along the way. Children are much more likely to want to eat something if they've had a hand in the preparation. Food you've helped make is not nearly as weird and mysterious."