A year ago, I stood in my kitchen after a long day of teaching kids how to use hot plates and reflux condensers for chemistry experiments (and mopping up the ensuing water that flooded the classroom floor). With no brainpower left for creativity, I chopped up carrots and celery, tossed them in a pan with canned white beans, and sautéed my simple dinner.
As I mindlessly stirred, I stole a sliver of celery from the cutting board that didn’t quite make it to the stove. As I crunched, two thoughts floated through my mind.
Ants on a log. That classic childhood snack. As a 5-year-old, when Mom left the kitchen, I would scoop a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter from the jar, spread it down the center of my celery stalk, and carefully line up the raisins on top so they all faced the same way. Crunch crunch, munch munch, and lick my fingers clean.
Thanksgiving stuffing. Throughout most of our younger years, my brother and I were staunchly picky eaters and refused to try any part of the feast except for Dad’s whole wheat rolls and (eventually) Mom’s pumpkin pie. Instead, we inhaled plates of plain pasta with Kraft powdered Parmesan cheese while everyone else passed around the cranberry salad and sweet potatoes. Around middle school, I mustered up the courage to sample all of the side dishes, and now I look forward to a small scoop of Dad’s sausage-filled stuffing every fall.
Back in the present, while I continued stirring my skillet diner, those memories—ants on a log, pick eaters, Thanksgiving stuffing—drifted around my brain and magically combined into…
Ants on a Log Stuffing!
This fun side dish uses regular everyday ingredients, most of which are probably in your pantry and fridge already. Milk, eggs, peanut butter, bread, celery, and raisins. That’s it! No special or last-minute emergency trips to the grocery store needed, so you don’t have to miss one minute of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Even better, this recipe required minimal time, effort, and oven space. The hardest part is cubing the bread and cutting the celery! You’ll stir everything together with a fork in the same bowl—only 2 things to wash—and divide the mixture between 2 ramekins to bake for 15-18 minutes. I actually stuck mine in my tiny convection toaster oven, which would free up your regular oven for the rolls and pecan pie.
I scaled the recipe down to make only 2 servings because most of my family friends have 2 children, but you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the ingredients to make more if your Thanksgiving dinner includes an entire table full of kids (or picky eaters). Plus, fewer leftovers free up valuable refrigerator space for the extra desserts!
The peanut butter flavor really shone through in this Ants on a Log Stuffing, and the slightly crunchy celery complemented the soft bread and raisins. Everything melded together into an addictive sweet-and-salty combination, and I just couldn’t stop myself—I devoured both servings in a single afternoon. Despite being a fully-fledged non-picky-eater adult, I might need to make this again alongside our regular stuffing on Thanksgiving this year!