In October I shared some of Vincent Price’s recipes and cooking tips in a post titled “In the Kitchen with Vincent Price” and the response was overwhelmingly positive. In celebration of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share a few holiday recipes from some of Hollywood’s most loved and admired stars. The recipes are variants of traditional dishes and desserts often served in American homes during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most were compiled from newspaper archives and a few were borrowed from books. I hope the variety of the recipes I’ve gathered together might inspire you to spend some time in the kitchen cooking with the stars this holiday season. The first item on today’s menu? Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing!


Marilyn Monroe’s Stuffing
This recipe originally appeared in Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe and was adapted by the New York Times.

A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
1/2 pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
1/2 pound ground round or other beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped curly parsley
2 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon pepper.

1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.

2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.

4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing.

Yield: 20 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese or 8 chickens.


Melvyn Douglas’ Buttermilk Cornbread
This recipe originally appeared in a 1971 issue of the Texas newspaper, The Victoria Advocate.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tbsps. All-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg beaten slightly
2 tbsps. bacon grease
1 tsp. salt

In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, egg and bacon grease; add to dry ingredients.

Stir only until dry ingredients are barely moistened. Pour into a well-greased 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake in preheated 450-degree oven for 30 min. Serves 6.


Ben Johnson’s Buttermilk Biscuits
This recipe originally appeared in a 1971 issue of the Texas newspaper, The Victoria Advocate.

1 cup flour
2 heaping tsps of baking powder
Good pinch of baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps. shortening or bacon fat

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Quickly stir in buttermilk until dough holds together, but is not too sticky. Turn out dough on lightly floured board. Pat down dough. Knead lightly and handle gently. Roll out dough ¾ inch thick. Cut biscuits into rounds using a biscuit cutter (or a glass dipped in flour). Melt shortening in baking sheet. Turn biscuits on both sides in melted shortening. Bake in pre-heated 450-degree oven 12-15 minutes. Serve at once split and served with gravy (or butter).


Shirley Jones’ Quickie Green Bean Casserole
This recipe originally appeared in a 1969 issue of the Florida newspaper, The Evening Independent.

2 15 ½ oz. cans of green beans (cut or French-style) drained
2 tablespoons of sweet butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 10 ½ ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
1 3 ½ one can French fried onion rings

Place beans in greased two-quart baking dish. Dot with butter, sprinkle evenly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon cream of mushroom soup evenly over beans, stirring so soup seeps into the lower part of the casserole. Top with onion rings. Bake uncovered in preheated 400-degree oven until beans are heated through (about 20 minutes). Serves 6


Rod Steiger’s Pumpkin Pie
This recipe originally appeared along with an interview in a 1971 issue of the Texas newspaper, The Victoria Advocate.

1 nine-inch unbaked pie shell
1 ½ cooked (or canned) pumpkin
1 tbsp. molasses
½ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. ginger
1 tsp. finely grated orange (or lemon) rind, optional
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup Half and Half (or evaporated milk)

Prepare pasty from scratch according to a favorite recipe or used prepared pie shell. Line 9-inch pie pan leaving fluted edge for the crust. Combine all ingredients for filling and pour into shell. Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 45 minutes (or until knife inserted in center comes out clean). Chill before serving. Serve alone or with slightly sweetened whipped cream.


Diahann Carroll’s Sweet Potato Pie
This recipe was based on her mother’s recipe and originally appeared in a 1970 issue of the Texas newspaper, The Victoria Advocate.

Sweet potatoes peeled (4 or 5 medium-sized potatoes to make 1 ½ cup)
1 ½ cup milk
½ stick of sweet butter
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup dark rum or rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 8-inch pie shell unbaked

Put peeled sweet potatoes into a saucepan with boiled salted water to cover them. Cook until potatoes are tender and water has almost cooked away. Partially cool in pan.

Put sweet potatoes in mixing bowl. Add about 1 cup milk and beat until soft and fluffy. Add butter, sugar, and eggs. Blend well with an electric mixer. Add rum (or rum extract), vanilla extract and nutmeg. Add the rest of the milk to make a fluffy mixture. Taste to correct seasoning.

Pile mixture lightly into pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until lightly browned (about 1 hour or until knife inserted in pie filling comes out clean). Serve warm for dessert with strong coffee. Serves 6-8


Bing Crosby’s Christmas Venison
This recipe originally appeared in a 1971 issue of the Texas newspaper, The Victoria Advocate.

For the marinade:
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
Handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or dry)
8 crushed peppercorns
3 juniper berries or large bayleaf crumbled
1 tsp. salt
1 stalk of parscal celery with leaves crushed
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1 bottle dry white wine
1-3 cup fine-grade olive oil
Combine all ingredients. Mix well and set aside.

(Serves 8-10 generously)

To prepare venison:
10 lb. roast aged venison (saddle loin or haunch)
1 ½ lb. salt pork (or suet)
Larding needles
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. chopped onion
1 clove of pressed garlic
Salt, freshly ground pepper
Meat thermometer
Pan vegetables: 3 carrots peeled and sliced, 3 stalks of celery with leaves chopped and 1 onion, peeled and chopped.
3 tbsps. sweet butter

Larded venison can be purchased on order from fancy butcher. To lard venison at home, cut salt pork (or suet) into long strips; cut strips into pieces about 3-inches long. Roll strips in herb mixture of parsley, onion and pressed garlic; let stand several hours. Thread larding needles, strict strips at 1-inch intervals into the roast, drawing needle with the grain of the meat. Place in large bowl (or crock); cover with marinade. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate 3 days (or longer), turning meat in marinade 3 times daily. Allow meat to reach room temperature. Wipe dry, salt and pepper well. Place on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in center of meat (be sure it does not strike bone) Place uncovered in preheated 450-degree oven for 15 minutes and 350 degrees for remaining time. Allow 15 minutes per pound; or until thermometer registers 130 degrees. Halfway through roasting time add pan vegetables. Baste venison every 20 minutes during cooking time. Strain marinade and bring to boil in small saucepan. Add butter, heat to melt. Boil rapidly for a few minutes. Use to baste until sauce is used up. Remove roast to heated platter, discard vegetables. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.


Robert Mitchum’s Eggnog
The recipe is part of The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents: Christmas in Tinseltown by Frank De Caro.

12 egg yolks
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1-quart rum, brandy, or whiskey
2 quarts cream
1-quart milk
12 egg whites
½ teaspoon salt

Beat egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the rum, brandy or whiskey. Add cream and milk. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Fold this mixture into the liquid. Chill. Serves 20.

If you’d like to learn more holiday recipes used by Hollywood stars I highly recommend getting a copy of Frank De Caro’s The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents: Christmas in Tinseltown. Besides Robert Mitchum’s Eggnog you’ll find recipes for many more holiday treats including Bing Crosby’s sugar cookies, Dinah Shore’s fruitcake and Joan Blondell’s buffet ham.

by Kimberly Lindbergs and originally published on the Turner Classic Movies official blog November 28, 2013