Recipe: Quick & Easy Caramel Popcorn

Looking for a quick and easy recipe for caramel popcorn? I don’t know about you, but sometimes regular popcorn is just not enough, and I crave that sweet edge that caramel popcorn satisfies. Unfortunately, making caramel popcorn can be a total pain… At least it used to be.

I was given this amazing recipe for Caramel Popcorn a long time ago, when I was a kid. It was the first time I had actually heard of caramel being made in a microwave, and I’ve used this recipe ever since. It is quick, easy, and minimizes the mess that often accompanies making caramel. I totally recommend it!

Quick & Easy Caramel Popcorn

Snack

Quick & Easy Caramel Popcorn

A perfect mix of sweet and crunchy, this favorite snack is the perfect answer to your snack-time cravings.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup popcorn
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon flake salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Tools:

Large bowl will lid

Hot air popcorn popper

½ measure cup

¼ measuring cup

1 cup measuring cup

½ teaspoon

Spatula

While air popping the ½ cup popcorn, put butter, corn syrup and brown sugar into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Tip: When measuring out the corn syrup, spray the measuring cup with vegetable spray. It will keep the corn syrup from sticking to the measuring cup, and it will release more easily.

Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Put in microwave for 1 minutes. The mixture will lighten and turn frothy. Remove from microwave and stir until froth settles.

Tip: After popcorn is popped, scoop it into another bowl. This will give you the opportunity to fish out unpopped kernels. Those unpopped kernels will get stuck in the caramel and could possible serve to ruin dental work, if you bite down on it.

Pour caramel mixture over the popcorn, using a spatula to scrap out the last, golden ribbons of the caramel mixture. Put tight lid over bowl, and shake until the caramel thoroughly coats the popcorn.

Let sit for 15-20 minutes (with lid off), and then replace the lid and shake again. Serve.

Tip: I have friends who make this recipe and they always put the popcorn in a paper bag, pour the caramel over the popcorn in a paper bag, and then shake rigorously. However, whenever I try this approach, I always end up ripping open the bag while shaking it or the popcorn turns into a giant popcorn bowl and not all of the popcorn gets covered.

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Recipe: Banana Bread

Whenever the Fam is looking for a reasonably healthy and easy snack, our go-to is banana bread. You simply cannot be a nice slice of banana bread. It not only gives you energy to tackle whatever you’ve got planned, it provides a great way not to waste those overly ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl.

Why I love this recipe is it provides the right balance between moist and dry. I hate banana bread that is so moist that it seems like it isn’t cooked all the way through. I am also not a fan of banana bread that is so soft (i.e. moist) that it falls apart when you pick up a piece. However, I’m also not a fan of banana bread that is so dry that you need to take a drink of something just to choke it down. Here is a recipe that is quick and easy that is firm enough to stay together, but is also so moist there is no need to add a schmear of butter. And if your banana bread cracks at the top… Don’t worry about it. It just makes it rustic.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted multi purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed, over-rip bananas
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

Stir shortening to soften. Sift in dry ingredients. Add bananas and half the buttermilk; mix until all flour is incorporated. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Add remaining buttermilk and the eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Fold in nuts.

Bake in paper-lined loaf pans at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Use the toothpick method to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Cool for 10 minutes in pans and then remove.

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Recipe: Crab Dip

I use to work at a food manufacturing company, where one of the great perks of the job came in the research and development department. It was there that they not only tested new ideas, they tested recipes for existing products. These recipes, if successful, were utilized in a variety of ways – from marketing/advertising to business-to-business opportunities. Though I didn’t work in research and development, I was friends with the person who whipped up those recipes and became one of the few privileged who sampled those dishes. One of the best? This crab dip!

This has now become a family favorite. If there is a big gathering and this crab dip is sitting on the table, my cousin will dive in. In fact, if it were physically possible, she would literally dive into the bowl. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share this wonderful recipe with you.

Recipe: Crab Dip

Recipe:  Crab Dip

Ingredients

  • • 16 oz. of cream cheese (preferably whipped)
  • • 1 cup of mayo
  • • 4 tablespoons of chopped dill pickles
  • • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • • 1 pound imitation crab meat (chopped)

Instructions

Thoroughly mix together the cream cheese and mayo. Add chopped dill pickles and onions and mix. Finally, add imitation crab meat and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve with crackers, plain tortilla, or pita chips.

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Recipe: White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

My little family did a little baking over the weekend, so I thought I would share the recipe of one of the goodies we produced.  These fantastic little cookies work wonders in my household because my little sister is allergic to chocolate, so her cookie selections are limited.  Typically, if we make a cookie that has chocolate in it, we have to make another cookie that has no chocolate in it.  While normally, one would think “Yes! Two types of cookies!” my little family doesn’t necessarily need all those cookies laying around – begging to be eaten (at least “begging” in our own minds).  So, this cookie is one of the great compromises for us.

And, yes… I’ve already eaten quite a few (and have the sugar rush to prove it).

Recipe: White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Recipe:  White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of no salt butter – softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar – packed
  • 2 eggs – room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unsifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups (on 11 oz bag) of white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Macadamia nuts – chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Blend in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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