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Snickers Cupcakes

Easily one of the best cupcake recipes I've come across, these chocolate cupcakes have middles that are filled with bits of snickers covered in homemade caramel sauce. What, did your teeth just tell you to stay away from these? You may want to make a dentist appointment after eating them, but they're amazing and will charm the pants off of your everyone at your party when you bring them out!

Chocolate Dump Cake

It may not have the prettiest title, but this chocolate cake is so easy that you'll actually volunteer to bring it to family functions. No kidding! With a shockingly low amount of ingredients, this chocolate cake spans seasons. Need a quick dessert for dinner? Dump cake. Need to bring a cake into work when you don't care enough to bake something for people you don't even like? Dump cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Icing

You only turn 26 once, and when you do you should celebrate with Red Velvet! These cupcakes come with a long line of recommendations and will not disappoint. Scouts honor.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Guest Post! Hosting Your First Thanksgiving and Why It All Hinges on Fennel

Editor's Note: Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! If you happened to read my last post you could probably feel my anxiety about hosting Thanksgiving this year at our house, but I'm happy to report that all went smoothly and aside from a minor grease fire we fed and spirited everyone until we had to roll them out the door.

Today's post is a little different. Because Kevin was in charge of the turkey, and because it tasted amazing, he's writing the post today. I know, I know - but sometimes we need to sit back and let others have all the glory. For an amazingly easy and delicious turkey recipe read on my friends!

Hello, Spouse here!  When Danielle started Yeah, I'd Bake That I figured that at most I'd get a few tasty treats (which I was already accustomed to) and that would be that.  What I didn't expect is that this blog was actually the start of a pattern in our house -- a pattern that led to a new word, "Pinteresty".  I come home from work and Danielle will say something like "Kevin, I need a pallet" or "Kevin, do we have a tomato cage in the shed, I want to make a Christmas tree." I happily say to her, "Ok, lets go steal a pallet, and yes I do believe there is a tomato cage back there."  I've quickly learned not to ask questions because the answers are never as good as her final project, and I am not skilled in her Pintresty ways.  So when she says to me "...find as many shoebox lids as possible and if you happen to see a window shutter somewhere pick it up." I do it, because I know the house is going to be better for it.

I've pretty much applied the same "ask no questions Pinteresty attitude" to the rest of our lives too.  When Danielle asked me if I thought it would be a good idea to host Thanksgiving at our house, like Jim Carrey I said "Yes!" At some point -- and really who knows when, I have a habit of saying things and forgetting about them -- I said, "I'll make the Turkey!" It wasn't until we had a 30 something pound turkey in our freezer did it dawn on me that I had never cooked a turkey, or really anything beyond my staple of four dishes, and that I had to do so with my parents, my grandmother, Danielle's grandmother, sister and parents all sitting in my house.  Oh and also, in case you don't know, Danielle's father is the king of meat and something of a world class chef.  No pressure.

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving I researched everything I needed to know. I looked up thawing times, good recipes, cooking times, etc.  I bought a digital meat thermometer, a baster, an injector.  I had a panic attack in a grocery store because they DIDN'T HAVE FENNEL!  Also, what is fennel!? Why am I in need of fennel? Seriously, I had to google image search fennel in the middle of the store and try to figure out if I could make this turkey without it.  After a trip to Giant we found fennel and a very non politically correct minded clerk who informed us that to him fennel looked like an onion with a mental handicap.  All was complete.

So, the big day was here and I was ready to go.  I pulled up this very easy and delicious recipe from the Food Network and gave it a go. In the end the turkey came out great, all the other food was amazing and Danielle threw another amazingly successful soiree.  She once again proved to me that I don't need to ask questions. She knows what she's doing and whether I have to steal a pallet, buy 900 feet of twine, or cook a turkey she already knows how it's going to end.  All I need to do is put my trust into her pintresty power.

Roast Turkey with Garlic, Sage & Fennel
Courtesy of The Food Network
Link: Roast Turkey with Garlic, Sage and Fennel

Note: The recipe in the above link also has the directions to create gravy - we opted not to make the gravy so below is my edited version of the recipe.

1 20-pound turkey (there should be an "ish" here.  Our turkey was probably around 30 pounds.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head garlic
1 small onion, cut into 6 wedges
2 cooking apples, quartered
1 large bunch fresh sage
1 small bulb fennel, cut into 6 wedges
1 small carrot, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup of chicken stock (OPTIONAL, SEE STEP 5)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and place rack on lowest position, so that the top of the turkey sits near the middle of the stove.
2. Remove the neck and liver (and anything else) from the cavity of the bird.  If you are making gravy, I guess you are supposed to keep these things.  I looked at them, made this face, and threw them away.
3. Dry the turkey inside and out with a paper towel and season the inside of the cavity with some salt and pepper.

4. Halve the garlic crosswise and stuff into the cavity along with 3 of the onion wedges, all of the apples and 1/2 bunch sage.

5. Place the remaining 3 onion wedges, the fennel and carrot in the center of a large roasting pan with 1 cup water.  Instead of water I used chicken stock, which I read online can make the turkey much more moist.
6. Set a rack above the vegetables and place the turkey breast-side up on the rack.
7. Chop 3 tablespoons sage, then melt 3 sticks butter with the sage and salt and pepper to taste in a saucepan over medium heat. Fill a meat syringe with the sage butter and inject it into the breasts, legs and thighs; continue until you have used about half of the sage butter. Brush the bird with the rest of the butter and tie the legs together with twine.

8. Roast the turkey, uncovered, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees. Once you hit that magical number, turn off the oven but leave the turkey inside until the thermometer registers 170, 15 to 20 more minutes.
9. Pull the turkey out and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, then you are ready to carve and serve up.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Source: Food Network
Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/roast-turkey-with-garlic-sage-and-fennel-recipe/index.html



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