thanksgiving dinner is a really big deal for the lady sparkler’s family.

everybody contributes a dish (or two) and each of the recipes are suitable for the pages of bon appetite or gourmet — wild rice with dried cranberries and chick peas, mexican Chayote with garlic, green beans with lemon zest and hand roasted pine nuts, a spiced pumpkin souffle.

for the first time since “i” became “we,” i joined the thanksgiving culinary arms race this year — with macaroni and cheese.

granted, it’s an adult version of mac and cheese — it uses gruyer and fontina instead of just cheddar, and uses both a tablespoon of mustard and a bit of red pepper to add a little kick.

i’m pleased to say that i held my own.

(i’ve tweaked the recipe each of the last four times i’ve made it, but it was originally based on alton brown’s baked macaroni and cheese.)

full recipe after the jump.