Buddy’s Taco Popcorn

taco popcornI think it’s safe to say that Buddy is addicted to popcorn.

He has some at least once a day – some days twice.

There are even days when he pops popcorn before the dishes from the last meal are dried. But then – he is a teen age boy and thus – a bottomless pit.

Good thing popcorn is cheap and filling.

Most days he tops his freshly popped popcorn simply with salt and butter. But at some point this last winter he started to experiment a little.

He was like a mad scientist with all kinds of spices in front of him.

Multiple batches of popcorn later he had a winning combination.

The result was this yummy snack with a Mexican kick.

And I do mean a kick!  You may wish to up your popcorn to spice mixture and maybe skip the dash of cayenne. 🙂

Taco Popcorn

1/3 cup unpopped popcorn (8 cups popped)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1/8 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon cheddar cheese

Pop popcorn. (Buddy always uses the brown bag in the microwave method.)

Mix the seasonings together.

Melt the butter. Add the cheese and stir till melted. Pour over the popped popcorn and sprinkle the seasoning over the top. Toss together.

Enjoy!

Paper Bag Popcorn

brown bag popcornI love popcorn. I mean, I really, really love popcorn.

I could eat it every day and sometimes do!

My favorite way to make it is on the stove in coconut oil with my vintage white mountain popcorn popper. Then I cover it in melted butter and popcorn salt and indulge.

Sometimes I even share. 😉

But – let’s admit – this way of popping popcorn does leave a bit of a mess and is slightly caloric. 🙂

While we love the ease of microwave popcorn – they are pretty expensive and I’ve heard some talk about unhealthy preservatives.

My solution? Brown bag popcorn.

I saw this on Pinterest and was skeptical – but trust me – it really works.

And it’s so simple!

Just take a brown, lunch size paper bag and pour 1/4 cup of popcorn in it. Fold over the end and put it in your microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Just listen carefully for the popcorn to stop popping.

Done.

I told you it was easy!

Of course my kids always pour their popcorn into a bowl and cover it with melted butter and salt And then they pass the bag on to the next kid in line – because one bag can pop multiple batches of popcorn.

I just bought 100 brown paper bags for less than $2.00. With several batches per bag – that sure beats the price of regular microwave popcorn! And there’s no popcorn popper to wash.

And that my friends is a winner!

Enjoy!

Marshmallow Popcorn

PopcornI’ve got an ooey gooey treat for you today!

It’s a perfect snack to enjoy while watching the Olympics! (Opening ceremonies are Friday night!)

But you might need to make a practice batch or two before then  – just to make sure you have the technique down! 🙂

Marshmallow Popcorn

3 bags of microwave popcorn – popped (or just pop up about 2/3 cup of regular popcorn) 
2 sticks of butter
16 ounces of mini-marshmallows
1 cup of brown sugar

Pop the corn and set aside.

Put the butter, marshmallows and brown sugar in a saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring until everything is melted together.

Pour melted mixture over popcorn and mix it up.

It starts out very warm and sticky and delicious – but hardens up as it cools.

There might be just a few calories in these – but that’s okay – you’ll burn them off watching all those athletes!

Let the games begin!

Caramel Corn

My dad is famous for his popcorn and the size of his popcorn bowl! But when the calendar turns to December his favorite treat gets a sweet holiday make-over into Caramel Corn! Mom was kind enough to share our family recipe with you all- enjoy!

Carmel Corn

Here on the prairie we have 6 inches of snow covering everything and blowing about into drifts. Our Christmas Tree is up along with other traditional decorations.

Now it’s time to think about making all of our favorite Christmas treats, starting with caramel corn!

Popcorn is a staple at our house. We eat it every Sunday night and many times will have a bowl in the evening. But at Christmas Papa Jim turns the ordinary into a treat when he makes caramel corn!

A large tin of it provides a sweet and crunchy snack.

No one can resist the fragrance of warm caramel & freshly popped corn. We get it picked up off the counter and in the can as soon as it is cool to be sure we have some for later!

Papa Jim has experimented with several different recipes including one that you bake in the microwave, but we’ve always come back to this one. It was given to us years ago by good friends. (They still make it too- although for health reasons they can only eat the “puffed corn”. So this year she used this recipe to make caramel puffed corn! Which is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!)

Oven Carmel Corn
From Karen Jungling

Pop 8 or 9 quarts of popcorn and set aside. Do not salt or butter.

Mix together in a saucepan:

2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup Margarine
½ Cup Syrup (light or dark)
¼ tsp Cream of tarter
½ tsp Salt

Bring to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.

Add 1 tsp. baking soda & stir well. It will foam. Keep stirring until soda is well-mixed & foaming dies down. Pour over Popcorn. Mix with wooden spoon until corn is coated.

Put in cookie sheets—can be a thick layer.

Bake in 250° oven for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

Pour out on a flat surface to cool.

Store in an airtight container.

You can add peanuts to the popcorn before you pour the caramel over to make your own cracker jacks! Almonds or walnuts are also delicious.

This makes a great and inexpensive gift to share over the holidays with friends or teachers. Just put it in a pretty jar or even a plastic bag with a bright bow and a tag!

Until next time,

Nana Shirley

“Mom, What’s for snack?!”

I sometimes think that my children eat by the clock rather than because they feel hungry because every day at 3:00 the questions begin. “What’s for snack mom?” I’m hungry, what can I eat?”

Inexpensive and healthy snacks are hard to find. Fruit is a wonderful snack and always my first choice, but it’s not always available at a good price.

Popcorn has become a favorite stand by. It’s pretty cheap to buy in bulk, easy to pop, and everybody around here likes it. It also fills up those tummies that seem to be bottomless at times.

Personally I prefer oil popped popcorn slathered in melted butter (yes, I know it isn’t good for me!), but for snack time I wanted something easier and healthier.

We found a hot air popper at a garage sale last summer and it has turned into an excellent investment. It’s so easy to use that even my youngest can do it and there’s minimal clean up involved, (except for sweeping the popcorn off the floor!)

If you’re really feeling brave or need a wild afternoon activity, put a clean sheet on the floor and take the top off of the hot air popper. The popcorn will fly into the air as it’s popped and your kids will think you’re amazing!

Cheap, filling, and even somewhat nutritious, popcorn earns a spot on our Thrifty Snack List.