My pumpkin pie is ready! There are three things I always do the day before Thanksgiving. One lesson I’ve learned over the years is: Do everything you possibly can in advance. So I already made my pumpkin pie, fresh cranberries, and I’ve made a pot of turkey stock. Here’s how… I roasted some turkey wings for an hour at 375 and then scraped up all the drippings. I put the wings, drippings, water, and the same vegetables and spices I use in my chicken stock into a pot, and cooked it for 2 1/2 hours. I let it cool down and it’s now in the fridge. Tomorrow I’ll skim off the fat use it for my make-ahead gravy and in my stuffing.
This year I’m trying a new way to roast turkey – at 500 degrees! It will be an adventure. I hope it turns out but no matter, it’s good to take occasional risks. But there’s no risk with my amazing pumpkin pie. The crust is made without butter or shortening so if you want to try it, click here for the recipe.
If someone invites you over for a homemade Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, cranberries & pumpkin pie) no matter how good or bad the food was, you should lift them up, in their chair, and carry them around the neighborhood like the Rose Parade with everyone following and cheering for the cook. You might even build a float for them made out of plywood and turkey feathers, because cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a huge accomplishment for even the most experienced cook. After the parade, send them to Hawaii for a week. They’ll need it.
After every Thanksgiving turkey dinner I make, I always say, “Next year, we’re going out. I’m not doing this again. It’s too stressful!” But then we go out and the food is awful and I miss my home cooking so I do it again. All this is to explain why I have no turkey dinner recipes to share. But I do have sides and desserts!
I wish I could share a fabulous roast turkey or stuffing recipe but I’ve never made my stuffing the same way twice. I make a bread stuffing and sometimes I add mushrooms, sometimes shredded apple, sometimes walnuts, and sometimes all of the above. And my turkey? Well, I’ve roasted it upside down, right side up, brined it, bagged it, rubbed it, and I still don’t have a recipe I can share.
But I do have these four contributions to Thanksgiving cooks that I hope you enjoy. For my Fresh Cranberries recipe that cooks in 5 minutes, click here. For my Easy One-Rise Dinner Rolls recipe, click here. For my Healthier Easier Pumpkin Pie recipe that uses no butter, click here. For my Easy Pecan Pie recipe that you can also make without butter, click here.
Pecan pie doesn’t have to be complicated. Mine is simple and you don’t need any fancy ingredients. And it’s healthier too, with an olive oil crust. I used to make pie crusts the old way with either shortening or butter and ice water but an oil crust is so much easier. It’s quick and you can just pat it into the pan or I roll it between wax paper and then transfer it into the pan. By the way, the pan is never greased when you’re baking pie.
In this case I use a standard 9-inch pyrex glass pie pan and not a deep dish pan. My pecan pie filling is super simple. Everything goes into one bowl, stir for one minute and boom. Done. It uses less butter than most along with brown sugar, white sugar, and corn syrup but keep in mind that corn syrup IS NOT high fructose corn syrup. They don’t even sell HFCS to the public.
If you’re trying to bake without butter, I also have a completely butter-free pecan pie in my Baking Without Butter category. My two pies are exactly the same recipe except one uses butter in the filling and one uses a trans fat-free spread. For my butter-free filling I used Benecol. I baked both pies today for a blind taste test and I served a small slice of each one on the same plate. Guess what? Nobody could tell the difference! They are both so delicious, filled with lots of toasted pecans and a sweet, gooey filling. I’m definitely making my pecan pie for Thanksgiving this year, and probably Christmas too, and maybe my birthday… then there’s tax day… and well, you get the picture. Enjoy! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Click the “Your Photos” link at the top and use the link provided or just click on this link: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com An email window will open and you can attach or drag your photo into the email and send it.
Is it too soon to start some Christmas baking? Not at my house. I just made my Christmas wreath bread because it’s never too soon to start testing all my holiday recipes. This slightly sweet egg bread is filled with golden raisins and topped with a light glaze and sprinkles. I love sweet breads and I thought about adding some nuts but I prefer it with only raisins.
It’s very similar to my original holiday bread, which was a braided loaf, but this one is shaped into a circle to make a wreath. Use as much or as little glaze as you like but the sprinkles are what makes it a Christmas bread. If you use pastel sprinkles, it becomes an Easter bread, or make it with no sprinkles or glaze and it becomes a fabulous toasting bread. I know it’s early but I’ve been waiting all year to start my Christmas baking.
UPDATE:Please note the correct baking temperature is 350and not 375 as initially posted.
Thank you for sharing your creations. I’m thrilled every time I see that someone made one of my recipes. Please send your pictures to: Your Photos@jennycancook.com …or share it on INSTAGRAM or TWITTER and hashtag it #JennyCanCook
KEITH MADE MY GRANOLA “I made your Granola and loved every bite. A thousand times better then anything I’ve bought in the shops. Thank you and love from Ireland xxxxx”
מאורה MADE MY NO KNEAD CRUSTY ROLLS “Dear Jenny, I could not believe that just 1/4 tsp of yeast would be enough, but decided to stick with your recipe. The result was just awesome. The first picture is after 35 min. And the others are selfexplanatory… Thank you so much!”
CHIN CHIN MADE MY CINNAMON ROLLS “Hi Ms. Jenny. I made a “cinnamon rolls” for the first time and I followed your recipe. Thank you.. More LOVE from The Philippines…You Rock.”
TOMMY MADE MY POTATO PANCAKES “Thanks Jenny some potato pancakes. Polish placki kartoflane. My polish grandma born in Poland taught me many things about cooking, she was a senior cook for Fanny Farmer Candies. Wrote cook books for them and retired before the company was sold. I joined the US Marine corps and lost any recipes being in the service. You have brought back so many things from my youth. Thank you.”
…and MY BREAD “Home made bread your recipes thank you. “
…and MY PAN PIZZA “Your Pizza recipe in a lodge skillet several times, perfect every time. I can not tell you how many times I have shared your recipe. Thank you from one Pollock to another. “
SHAKIBA MADE MY CINNAMON ROLLS “Hi Jenny. I made your cinnamon rolles recipe and it turned out awesome!! I’m 17 and It was the first time that I was baking cinnamon roles but following your directions from your youtube video wasn’t hard at all; and actually I had alot of fun! Thank you for your awesome funny videos and healthy recipes! P.s. I made the doughe only by hand and while kneeding it, I had to add an extra cup of flour in order to reach the right texture! 🙂
CHRISTINE MADE MY PAN PIZZA “Jenny, I love your YouTube videos and your web site. The recipes are all so good and you are so fun to watch. I love your galley kitchen. If I could have a house built, it would have your kitchen. Unfortunately, I’m 71 so that ain’t gonna happen. I made the pan pizza tonight. The crust was crisp but tender. My husband loved it. He has trouble eating crispy food but this was easy to eat. It was fantastic. I also made a small one gluten free, following your recipe, but using gluten free flour mix instead of regular flour. It turned out so much better than I hoped for, not like cardboard like most gluten free. As soon as I watched the video of how you made the crust I knew I could make it gluten free because the secret to good gluten free is a loose dough. The attached pictures are of the big one made exactly to your recipe and the small one is gluten free with a piece of left over from the big one to the side in the picture. Can hardly wait to make that pecan pie that came in the mail today. “
SHARON MADE MY FASTER NO KNEAD BREAD “This is not only the fastest artisan bread to make, but also the best! This is my second loaf in three days time, this was so delicious. …I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the first one, and almost didn’t get a picture of this loaf. My dutch oven handle was only for temps up to 400º, so I removed the handle, and rolled up a piece of aluminum foil to stick in the hole 🙂 This recipe, thanks to you Jenny, is one I’ll make often!”
ADELE MADE MY PACZKI “Hi Jenny, I have made your polish donuts twice and they came out awesome. My polish husband was skeptical at first because the original donuts are fried. After I baked it, he was stunned. It was healthier and tasty. Most of all, I get to use his favourite jam from the Polish store – Fruta Plum Butter, Stovit. He reckons that only Polish jams are real jams with real fruits. I plan to make this for the upcoming festivals to share with friends and family. You are awesome, making cooking and baking so simple.”
MARILYN MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD, CINNAMON ROLLS & LEMON BROWNIES “I make your no-knead bread almost every day and I have made your cinnamon buns a few times along with the lemon cake. Just finished making the rib dish and, sure enough, the meat is so tender it falls right off the bone. I will be making your stew recipe next. I did add a few raisins at the end to my cinnamon rolls, just poked them into the openings. Thanks again for the wonderful recipes. I have quite a few family and friends now cooking your recipes out here in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. Take care.”
HEALTHIFYMYKITCHEN MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD “You knead to make this! Whole wheat sandwich bread – Easy to make and so much better than store bought! Thanks for the recipe.”
ANNA MADE MY SIMPLE WHITE BREAD INTO ROLLS “Hi Jenny! I made your Simple White Bread recipe today but shaped them into dinner rolls because I was running out of time (for the baking part)… I also put a bit of melted butter on top after taking it out of the oven… my daughters loved it! Thanks so much again! 🙂 “
TANIA’S DAUGHTER MADE MY PIEROGI “My 14 year old daughter had to cook at school, an international dish for her food tech assessment this year, she followed your recipe and came away with an A grade…thank you!!”