James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Cynthia Graubart creates the right-sized recipes for downsized celebrations in her newest title, Thanksgiving for Two (or Four): Downsized Recipes for Today’s New Thanksgiving Dinner (2020, Empire Press). This e-book comes just in time as families are facing the new reality of being unable to gather in the traditional ways because of  COVID-19 precautions. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the Frontline Workers Fund, providing financial support to critical workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. 

No one could picture back in March of 2020 what Thanksgiving would look like. The pandemic has influenced many family gatherings from birthdays, to weddings, funerals, and now the holiday season. This cookbook is for all of the families who are gathering differently this year. All the traditional favorites are here from comforting casseroles and side dishes, to elegant turkey breasts, homey skillet turkey thighs and mini pies for dessert. Some of the turkey entrees are sized to yield those beloved leftovers for a second meal or sandwiches, but not so much that it is an eternity of repeats.

“Families are used to creating one dish that serves sixteen to carry to Aunt Kathy’s for the big meal and have never had to make a small Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to help those whose recipes served a crowd find a way to bring joy and right-sized recipes to their table,” said Graubart.

Recipes include: Turkey Thighs with Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans with Browned Butter Pecans, Buttermilk Brussels Sprouts Casserole, New-Fashioned Green Bean Casserole, Apple Pastry Tarts, etc.



In parentheses throughout the ingredient lists and directions are quantities and times if serving four people. Most are a straight doubling of the recipe, but in some cases, only a little extra is needed. All of those calculations have been done for you.

Sweet Potato Soufflés

Baked in individual ramekins, these single-serve soufflés are a sweet side dish addition to the Thanksgiving table. Sweet potatoes are sweet on their own, so omit the brown sugar if you like yours a little less sweet. Marshmallows are optional, but I do love when they become slightly burnished on top.


2 (4) medium sweet potatoes, baked or microwaved until soft, cooled

1 (2) teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 (1) teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 (1/2) teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 (2) large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 (1/2) cup chopped pecans, divided

1/2 (1) cup mini marshmallows, optional

Heat oven to 350°F.

Mash sweet potatoes in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir into sweet potatoes. Using the same small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Stir the egg and half of the pecans into sweet potato mixture. Divide the mixture between two (four) 1-cup ramekins. Top each with remaining pecans. Move ramekins to baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. If topping with marshmallows, do so 10 minutes before the end of baking time. Serve warm.

Note: No ramekins? A single small baking dish of any kind will suit.

Makes two (1-cup) soufflés (or four 1-cup).

Load comments