Vegan Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Wasn't it just Halloween? My how the time flies! If you're feverishly looking through your recipe box or searching online for new and unique Thanksgiving recipes, you've come to the right place.

Here are a few of Mr. Handyman's favorite Thanksgiving Day recipes:

Eric's Vegan Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Ingredients List
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pie mix)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (reduced from original recipe's 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (reduced from original recipe's 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup natural apple sauce (to reduce original recipe's vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (original recipe is molasses)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Use paper muffin liners or lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin. Roughly chop the cranberries. Mr. Handyman prefers larger chunks of cranberry in the muffin. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, apple sauce, chopped cranberries, and maple syrup. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. Evenly fill the muffin cups to about three-fourths full. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Mary's Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Ingredients List
  • 2 cups crushed pretzel sticks
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip / whipped cream
  • 1 (6 oz.) package strawberry-banana jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages of frozen strawberries, should be partially thawed
Mix pretzels, butter, and sugar and press into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) for 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Beat sugar and cream cheese. Fold in Cool Whip / whipped cream. Spread over pretzels. Mix jello and water until completely dissolved. Add strawberries to Jello mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture. Chill.

Nicole's "Cement Mixer" Turkey Brine

Ingredients List For the brine:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water
  • 1 (clean) cement mixer

Combine vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and ginger in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve all the solids and bring brine to a boil. Remove the brine from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, combine the brine and ice water into a clean cement mixer. Place the fully thawed turkey (no innards, please) into the cement mixer until it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate for 8 to 16 hours.

What do you think of these recipes? Have some recipes of your own? Please share them in the comments section below.