Monday, October 3, 2011

Turkey Dinner and Cake Pops!

If you don't already know this about me, now you do: I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!! And because I love the holidays I'll make turkey dinner a few random times throughout the year.  Today was one of those days.  Next Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving so I guess I could use that as an excuse but mostly the turkey was on sale and I love stuffing so...yeah. ;)

The turkey I prepared today was about 13 1/2 lbs so I roasted it at 325 degrees for about 4 hours.  I am old school.  I still stuff my turkey with stuffing...I mean, that's why it's called stuffing right?  I'll give you my stuffing recipe in a minute.  Back to the turkey.  I cleaned it all out and then poured about half a can of chicken broth over the bird.  I then rubbed a bit of melted butter, sage and Lawry's seasoning salt under the skin then poured the rest over the turkey. I did not do a foil tent at all with this turkey though sometimes I do.  It turned out fine without it.

For the stuffing I tried a few new ingredients today to test them out on my immediate family before Thanksgiving next month.  I used 4 hot dog buns, 4 hamburger buns (both on clearance at Kroger) and a loaf of wheat bread.  I ripped it all up and then added a LOT of sage, some Lawry's, one egg, some chicken broth and a half stick of melted butter.  I told you we splurge on butter, right? ;)  This time I added a handful of original Craisins, a diced talk of celery and shredded half a carrot into it. Smashed it all together by hand (the fun part) then stuffed it in the turkey.  It turned out great!  The cranberries gave it a little sweet taste.  Mmm.  Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.

I also made (from scratch) mashed potatoes.  I didn't take a picture of them, though because mashed potatoes all look the same whether you make them from scratch or a box of flakes, amirite?  However, I did make them from scratch, I promise.  I peeled and cubed 5 or 6 potatoes, boiled them and strained them.  I then dumped them in the bowl from my Kitchen Aid mixer (Betty White) and added some milk and, you guessed it, butter.  I let Betty do the bulk of the work and she put a hurtin' on those taters!  They were awesome and I love that I didn't have to smash them.  I love Betty White!

I did a pan of Pillsbury crescent rolls (gosh we love those little loaves of Heaven) and a bag of frozen corn and jar of gravy.  See, here's the thing about gravy.  Some people say it couldn't be easier to make gravy.  I say it couldn't be easier for me to mess up.  I have yet to make a good gravy from scratch so whatever is on sale will not only do, but will make my family a lot happier.

Ok, about cake pops.  They are delicious.  They are a hit.  Everyone loves a cake pop.  They're a great alternative to a whole piece (or four) of cake.  However, they are time consuming little buggars!  Now you can use whatever flavor(s) of cake, frosting, candy coating and toppings you want.  Experiment!  It makes it really fun!  And this is one baking project Ewan LOVES to help with and he begs me to roll the balls and stab the little sticks in them.  I'm thinking of adding these to my baked goods gift baskets for the holidays.  So anyway, here is how I made this particular batch.

I started by making a Devil's Food cake and a Funfetti cake from the box.  I let those cool on a wire rack for half an hour or so.  I then broke up the cake (one at a time) into Betty's bowl and added half a can of pre-made frosting (Chocolate for the Devil's Food and Vanilla for the Funfetti) and let Betty do the work...again. Once it was all in a big ball inside the wisk I removed it from the mixer and rolled the mix into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.  I then melted about 7-8 pieces of the candy (again, chocolate melts for the Devil's Food and vanilla for the Funfetti).  Dip the lollipop sticks into the candy then place one stick in each cake ball.  Now comes the hard part. Make space in your freezer for the cake balls and stick them in there for an hour to set.  As the end of that hour approaches, melt the rest of the candy and put your toppings into bowls.  Dip the cake balls into the melted candy coating and then into the topping(s) of your choice.  I used sprinkles, coconut and peanuts.  My favorite combination was the Devil's Food cake dipped in milk chocolate rolled in coconut.  SO GOOD!  Ewan prefers the sprinkles on Funfetti. ;)  So yeah, they take forever but totally worth it!