Homemade kettle corn is so easy to whip at home, it allows you to avoid all the loud chewers and mouth breathers at the movie theater!
Ah, popcorn. The world’s most perfect snack food. And yet, completely polarizing. You either love popcorn or you hate it. Some can’t stand the smell of cooking popcorn – burning popcorn is worse. Others conjure up vivid memories as soon as they get a whiff of buttery kernels popping away. I fall into the second category, thinking about movies of my youth and time spent with friends every time I smell popcorn, hear popcorn, see popcorn. It’s a snack food I can never resist.
My most favorite type of popcorn is – and if you know me, this shouldn’t be a shock – kettle corn. A slightly sweet, slightly salty popcorn snack is always a welcome treat as far as I’m concerned. I knew I wanted to make it for The Leftovers Club as soon as I saw my match. Elizabeth is our leader in sending back and forth delicious treats. She organizes, puts up with all of our issues and works tirelessly to make this fun for everyone. It means that she needed some kettle corn – the best snack ever – in her life.
A word on making popcorn at home: there are multiple ways in which to pop kernels. You can heat a bit of oil in a pot over medium heat, then add the kernels and a lid. They’ll pop like crazy, it will be good fun. But I had trouble making the kettle corn this way. I followed the instructions exactly and each time, the sugar burned in the pot and it was disgusting – to say the least. My sure-fire, never-fail method is cleaner, neater and easier. Fill a brown paper bag with popcorn and toss it in the microwave. It acts exactly as a bag of popcorn would. After it’s finished popping – use the same guidelines you would on a normal bag of popcorn, listen for the popping to cease – pour it in a bowl and coat it with sugar. The sugar will stick to the hot popcorn and you’ll have this fantastically easy snack ready to go!
Be sure to check out the other Leftover Club recipes, too! Head over to Elizabeth’s blog to sign up!
Popcorn – real popcorn made from kernels – makes an excellent, filling treat that satisfies your need for junk food. To ease your sweet cravings, try this vanilla sea salt popcorn on for size.
For Christmas, my mom gave us a retro popcorn machine. She had it shipped to our house early and it sat in my closet for weeks, killing me every time I’d see it. All I could do was dream of all the popcorn I’d eat. If there is one indulgence I love, it is popcorn. I can’t resist it at the movies, all gooey and buttery and salty. Kernels stuck in my teeth, grease on my pants, popcorn stuck on my shoes from what has fallen on the floor.
As much as I love movie theater popcorn, I am trying to avoid junky foods. It’s not easy for someone like me – a self-proclaimed junk food junkie. How could I resist that velvety, rich slick of butter slathered all over my popcorn? It’s hard but I find that creating new popcorn recipes that pack on the flavor makes it a little easier. I started dreaming up this one all those weeks ago, while the popcorn machine taunted me from its hiding spot. I knew I wanted a sweet and salty combo. Typically, I’d achieve this by tossing a giant handful of Snocaps into my popcorn bucket. Clearly not an option here! So instead, I mixed up a vanilla butter and drizzled it on top, followed with a generous sprinkling of sea salt.
Now, I still used real butter. Sometimes in life, you just have to use butter. But it’s a small amount for a large quantity of popcorn so I feel ok with it. This recipe serves 2, but you could easily devour it yourself in one sitting. It was a big hit with even the pickiest of eaters around here.
Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Combine the melted butter and vanilla then pour evenly over the popcorn. Sprinkle with sea salt.
*Note - we have a popcorn machine and use approximately ¼ - ⅓ cup of kernels to get 5 cups of popped popcorn. You can pop popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave as well. Be sure to use unflavored, unsalted popcorn.
Super Bowl Sunday has got to be one of the biggest food holidays of the year. Wings, chips, dip, beer. I myself am known to indulge despite my lack of interest in everything but the commercials and adorable Puppy Bowl show.
A good snack is key to enjoying a holiday mainly based around food and competitive sports. But you don’t need to sit around and eat like a cave man. Wings are great, of course. I could eat my weight in wings. Although why not go for something a little more sophisticated? Serve these poppyseed chicken salad bites if you want to class up your game-day party a little. They pack a flavor punch that will leave you satisfied and not regretting the decision of choosing cute foods over saucy and sloppy foods.
By this time, everyone is well aware of my undying love for both sweet potatoes and salty snacks. I’m a self-confessed junk food junkie and while I wish that would stop, it won’t. Chips, cookies, candy, chocolate, fruity snacks. They call to me. Really. I’m ok at avoiding the impulse buy at the grocery store but still… I go to the cafe at break time for a glass of water and the chips press their crinkly, shiny bag up to the vending machine glass as if to taunt me. It’s a sad, sad world where chips tease you.
I’ve never been known to turn down a salty, crispy potato chip and so, it makes eating healthy, making new lifestyle choices, losing weight all very challenging. I could be skinny if I just cut all of my ties with junk. In the meantime, I just try and make better choices. TRY. Not always succeed but you know, oh well. Either way, I find these sweet potato chips to be a really decent alternative to standard fried chips. They may even be, dare I say, better?! Really. I think they are. They’ve got a little sweetness to them that I love. And they’re still salty enough to satisfy my cravings. Plus they are baked so I can eat a ton and not feel completely guilty.
We have only 18 days left until Christmas. 18, people. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I’ve been falling behind this year. Typically, my cookie stash would be pushing maximum density by now. Instead, I’ve only made a few batches that have already been eaten by ravenous house mates (and by that, I mean me). I think this holiday season is just a bit more hectic than others of Christmas past. There’s more to do. More to wrap. More to buy. Our weekends, my usual baking time, have been packed with activity and thus leave me little time to bake.
That’s going to change this weekend. I actually cannot handle NOT having cookies around at Christmas. You never know when there will be an unexpected visitor to offer them up for or a last minute party to attend. Christmas cookies and treats are the universal pleaser this time of year. Trust me. No one turns down a Christmas cookie.
These meringues could be considered treats more than cookies, I guess. But really, meringues are out of this world. You get a bunch of different textures all wrapped up in one neat little package. They are crispy when you bite in, then light and airy as you continue to eat them. Their middles are like soft, pillowy marshmallows with just a bit of chewy texture. I tinted mine green, piped them out with a standard circle tip and added some sprinkles to make them “trees”. They make me feel cheery and at this time of year, I appreciate all aspects of cheer. The more cheeriness, the better!