Recipes: Cranberry muff stuffers n’ veggies (aka Friendsgiving)*

Cranberry Stuffing and Smoky Roasted VeggiesOne of my more cynical friends and charmingly resistant readers suggested part of the title for this post after partaking in the cranberry stuffing muffins written up below. Because why refer to something as a stuffing muffin when you can instead turn to the prose that is muff stuffer? It’s really quite excellent in its inappropriateness. But then I suppose me referring to anyone else on this Earth as inappropriate would be the very definition of kettle-pot name-calling.

I digress.

On Monday, Chris and I had a few friends over to to celebrate a bit of an impromptu Friendsgiving complete with festive food, free-flowing vino and an eclectic vinyl soundtrack. (Yes, we totally sat around and listened to records.) We started with easy-prep, store-bought apps (ummm, have you had Trader Joe’s Parmesan Pastry Pups?) and then kept things super simple with a dinner solely comprised of…sides. No turkey, no ham, no fancy something-en-croute. Just a big bowl of salad greens and these two low-maintenance, crowd-pleasing, holiday-friendly dishes.

And it gets even better: because these guys bake at the same temperature and require very little prep, you can literally get dinner going in 15 minutes. While the sides bake, toss together a salad, open a bottle of wine, maybe even prep some stuffed baked apples to throw into the oven while you enjoy your supper. It’s darn near magic.

Just think of them as the Little Twin Stars of sides.

*What to do you get when you forget to take pictures of your finished products, hot out of the oven and all sorts of pretty? This ghetto snapshot of leftovers. 

Cranberry Stuffing Muffins
By Emily Stoffel
Cooking Time: 45 mins | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups crusty bread, cubed
  • 1 stick (8 T) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup prepared cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F. Liberally grease a 12-muffin pan (or two 6-muffin pans). In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and smooth. Add eggs, cranberry sauce, berries, nuts and spices and stir to combine. Add bread and mix well, ensuring bread is thoroughly soaked with egg mixture. Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Allow to set 10 minutes before loosening muffins with a spatula or butter knife and serving.

Smoky Roasted Green Beans n’ Butternut Squash with Smoked Salt
By Emily Stoffel
Cooking Time: 45 mins | Serves: 6

Note: You can make this recipe even simpler by purchasing all the veggies prepped at most supermarkets. Trader Joe’s offers all three veggies (beans, squash and onions) in their fresh produce cases around the holidays. I do recommend dicing the cut squash for more even cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced (about 1/2 inch)
  • 1/2 lb pearl onions, peeled
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt (or more, to taste)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, toss together all items except for the smoked salt and turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer (or close to it). Bake for 40 minutes, tossing once. Just before serving, top with smoked sea salt.

Braised Pork Belly Tacos (my first Pigsgiving!)
OH, the places you'll go...and baked stuffed apples

4 Comments on “Recipes: Cranberry muff stuffers n’ veggies (aka Friendsgiving)*”

  1. Muff-diddly scrumptious, em! And there is no trader joe’s over here in Turrialba, CR… But we will have some green beans tomorrow and maybe I can get my hands on a butt-nutt squayshe. Happy Friends-giving! I’m down for the veggie dish tomorrow.

    1. I love me some veggies. And don’t worry about no TJ’s in Turrialba…it doesn’t have to be these veggies, in particular. So…how did it go?

  2. Found some smoked salt (finally) and totally tasting the roasted green peppers and butternut squash, lots of character ie. smoked salt/paprika, black peppers and garlic against sweet and tart of the cranberry stuffing muffin….yummy

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