This year, I’m hosting Christmas dinner at my house. And this year, things are changing, my friends.
Gone are the Christmas dinners with scalloped potatoes from a box (yuck).
We said ‘sayonara’ to eating prime rib, which seems to be a cut of meat that is 5% actual meat, 95% inedible fat.
And Cool Whip ambrosia? Get. Out.
For this year’s meal, I wanted to make a turkey–my first time!–and simple things, like really creamy mashed potatoes, a yummy apple and sausage stuffing, the classic green bean casserole, and maybe a couple pies. Nothing fancy, nothing boxed (shocker!) But in order to make dinner a success, I had to practice. Enter: Practice Christmas.
Practice Christmas happened this past weekend and it was my first time roasting a turkey. Or touching a raw turkey. Or, um, molesting a turkey, since they make preparing that bird one of the most shameful and awkward things one has to do.
I mean, really.
While prepping the bird, I read that both the neck and giblets needed to be removed from the turkey prior to roasting. As this naked, glossy bird sat in front of me, I stared in the hind cavity with disgust, said a brief prayer (and apology to the bird) and stuck my hand in there hesitantly, as if this particular turkey had like, mutant, flesh-hungry fangs inside of it that would rip my hand off.
But I could not–for the life of me or my hand–find the damn neck or giblets. And I sat there, elbow-deep in this turkey feeling very much like a vile human being, as I blindly tried to feel around inside this poor animal for the damn promised neck and giblets.
Alone, miserable and disgusted, I did what any right-thinking person would do. I ran over to my neighbor’s house and begged her to “please help me find my turkey’s giblets! I can’t find them anywhere.”
My neighbor, probably suspecting I was going to ask for an egg or something, seemed shocked to be asked to participate in a turkey benecking, and said okay (note to self: I have an awesome neighbor). Together, we assaulted that turkey and finally found those pesky giblets, and after much tug-of-war, I finally–gruesomely–ripped out a neck.
And it was then I decided that there has to be a better way to do this. Turkey companies, do you hear me? DON’T MAKE ME MANHANDLE A TURKEY. At least make the rewards be worth it and not a bag of giblets which look like boy parts (ugh) or a neck (hardly a cool prize worth risking my hand for).
I’m sure my dogs who sat, unhelpful, as they watched me manhandle a turkey, could have used some popcorn for the show. Puppy chow popcorn, to be exact, even though this popcorn has A) no traces of actual puppy chow and B) cannot be consumed by dogs, but you get the picture.
When I saw a version of puppy chow popcorn on Sophie‘s blog, I knew I had to try it. It was so intriguing: classic puppy chow but with popcorn instead of Chex. Genius!! And since I am a firm believer in more is always better, I added crushed Oreos and Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Methinks, the perfect sign-off to Practice (or regular) Christmas.
Cookies n Cream Reese’s Cup Puppy Chow Popcorn *inspired by Sophie’s recipe HERE
About 8 cups popped popcorn, kernels removed
5 squares white chocolate bark (like Candiquik)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
About 1 & 1/2 cups Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed
About 2 cups Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
3 squares chocolate Candiquik
1. In a large bowl, mix together the popped popcorn, cookies + peanut butter cups lightly. Set aside. Line a flat work space with wax paper.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, melt the white chocolate candy according to package directions until smooth + melted. Stir in the Tablespoon of peanut butter to combine. Immediately pour the pb mixture over the popcorn and, working quickly, toss to coat completely.
3. Pour the coated PB popcorn mixture onto the wax paper in an even layer. Allow the mixture to set about 10 minutes.
4. Next, melt the chocolate candy until smooth. Drizzle copiously over the popcorn. Allow the mixture to set, about 15 minutes at room temperature. While the popcorn is setting, pour about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a large paper bag or resealable plastic bag (gallon size). Place handfuls of the popcorn mixture into the powdered sugar bag, seal, and vigorously shake for about a minute until the popcorn mixture has been completely coated with powdered sugar. Repeat if needed.
5. Store the puppy chow popcorn in an airtight container for several days.