Thanksgiving recipes for the confused college kid


When Thanksgiving comes to most people’s minds, they think about turkey, stuffing, rolls and pie. Each family has their secret recipe for each of those treasured food items, but some people’s families won’t share the recipes or they’ve made the recipes and they don’t taste the same. In addition to lacking chef-like cooking skills, students also don’t have a huge kitchen other than the kitchen available in the residence halls.

There are some Thanksgiving delicacies that are better bought than made, including turkey and stuffing.

Turkeys take hours to thaw and are extremely confusing to make. My suggestion is to make turkey cutlets or buy the frozen equivalent.

Stuffing is another matter entirely. With stuffing, luckily, there are boxes just waiting to be prepared at your local Hy-Vee or Wal-mart.

Here are some recipes that can help you bring a simpler version of Thanksgiving to your table.

Pecan-pumpkin pie




1 Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour


Pumpkin Filling

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


Pecan Filling

1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups pecan halves



Heat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle both sides of pie crust with 1/2 teaspoon flour; smooth flour over crust. Place crust in 9-inch glass pie plate. Carefully line pastry with double thickness of foil, gently pressing foil to bottom and side of pastry. Let foil extend over edge to prevent excessive browning.

Bake 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil; bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or until pastry begins to brown and has become set. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

In medium bowl, beat all pumpkin filling ingredients with whisk until blended. Pour filling into partially baked crust. In another medium bowl, beat all pecan filling ingredients except pecans with whisk until blended. Stir in pecans. Carefully spoon mixture over pumpkin layer.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Cranberry sauce


1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest, optional

dash cinnamon, optional



Rinse and pick the cranberries over, discarding damaged berries; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the sugars and orange juice to a boil and cook, stirring until sugars are dissolved.

Add the cranberries and orange zest or cinnamon and bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cranberries are popping.

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Sweet potato casserole


1 (40 ounce) can cut sweet potatoes, undrained

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk


1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup butter, melted



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 2 quart baking dish.

Place the sweet potatoes and their liquid in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and mash.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, 1/3 cup butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

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