Everybody loves popcorn-the granddaddy of all snack foods. Discovered in the Americas thousands of years ago, popcorn has captivated people for centuries with its mythical, magical charm. Yet through the ages, popcorn has remained relatively unchanged. Popcorn is a seed, which just happens to do some nifty things when heated.
Put a spin on a classic popcorn treat to create something colorful for your Easter table.
We’ve added sugar-free gelatin to our basic popcorn ball recipe for an egg-citing array of avors and colors. Try two or three of your favorite avors, mix in a handful of jellybeans and you’re in for a tasty, eye-popping treat. You won’t want to hide these eggs!
Hoppity poppity Easter eggs
Yield: 16 eggs
10 cups freshly popped popcorn
1 cup pastel colored jelly beans
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 package (10 1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows
1 package (3 oz.) blueberry, strawberry or lemon gelatin
Combine popcorn and jelly beans in large bowl; set aside.
Microwave butter and marshmallows in large glass bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed.
Stir in gelatin. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and jelly beans.
Mix lightly until coated.
Shape into 16 (2-inch) eggs with greased hands.
Make it a family project. Get creative with this hands-on sweet treat. Kids love the feeling of slippery, buttery hands, which you will need to prevent the popcorn from sticking to your hands. Unlike food coloring, the color of the gelatin does not come off on your hands.
Choose a solid color and form into an egg shape. Decorate with jellybeans if desired. Or, take a small amount of popcorn from each colored batch and mix together to create vivid masterpieces.
The sleepy lull of the winter solstice has finally come to an end. Whisk away the cobwebs, pack away the parka and haulout the patio furniture -spring is underway and not a moment too soon. Everywhere you turn, the earth is teeming with life. It is an unabashed season of rebirth; an awakening of the dormant spirit that calls for celebration.
Now is the perfect time to welcome the out-side world back into your home. Plan an afternoon tea with friends and neighbors who’ve been in hibernation these past few months.
An afternoon tea gives you the perfect excuse to get your spring cleaning done; use your seldom seen china and silver and pretend you’re a British royal and wear a fashionable hat.
Of course, Americans have favored coffee over tea since 1773, so you’ll want to have both available. Additionally, offer guests finger sandwiches and sweets.
The following recipe tops a shortbread-type base with the sweet goodness of strawberry preserves, popcorn for an added whole grain bonus and drizzled chocolate for an elegant touch.
Strawberry popcorn bars
Yield: 24 bars
4 cups popped popcorn
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
1 egg white
1 (10 oz.) jar strawberry preserves
1 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by13-inch pan; set aside.
Process flour and confectioners’ sugar in food processor several seconds. Add butter and process until dough comes together.
Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Lightly brush egg white on top of the mixture.
Bake 25 minutes, or until golden.
Immediately spread preserves evenly over warm crust. Press popcorn into preserves; let cool.
Melt chocolate chips in small zip lock freezer bag. Heat in microwave 30 seconds, or until melted. Snip corner of bag and drizzle chocolate over cooled popcorn. Cool and cut into bars.
Sew the seeds of friendship
You can get a head start on your garden by asking your guests to bring seeds, seedlings or bulbs to share in order to cultivate a true “friendship garden.”
Popcorn plants are a unique offering that’ll guarantee good times when they’re harvested. Soak a few paper towels in water and place them in a glass jar. Place a small amount of popcorn kernels in the jar on top of the paper towels.
Place the jar where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day and where it can be kept reasonably warm at all times. After kernels sprout, transfer to planting trays filled with potting mixture. Cut trays apart and share!
Baseball fever is running high and fans are root-root-rooting for the home team as the season gets underway.
Whether you are part of the crowd gathered at a major league ballpark or little league stand, sitting hunched over your 5-inch black and white or lounging in front of the plasma TV, baseball is best enjoyed in the company of another All-American-Popcorn.
Like baseball, popcorn is a product of the Americas and has been around for thousands of years. Yet over time, it has remained a simple little kernel of goodness. Wholesome and whole grain, popcorn contains energy-producing carbohydrates and provides needed to the diet. And, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories-a great asset for a team player.
If your fan has a serious case of baseball fever, offer them a homemade remedy that is sure to cure.
Looking to re-create a classic ballpark favorite?
Just add peanuts to this easy oven caramel popcorn recipe and hide a tiny surprise in each bowl for kids young and old alike.
No need for a candy thermometer to make this foolproof, crunchy caramel corn.
Easy oven caramel corn
Makes: 5 quarts, 40 servings (1/2 cup each).
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
5 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar, packed !rmly
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Optional nuts – choose one:
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350-degrees
Line a large, rimmed baking pan (17 by12-inch) with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Spray a large mixing bowl (not plastic) lightly with cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
Spread optional nuts over popcorn, if desired.
In a medium saucpan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat and boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda.
Quickly pour over over popcorn; stir well to coat.
Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool completely in pan; store in an airtight container.
The following recipe appeals to the heartiest of appetites. We mix bacon and cheese, which pairs perfectly with popcorn for the ultimate guy food, but gals will love it too.
Bacon and cheese popcorn
Makes: 4 quarts, 32 servings (1/2 cup each)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
4 quarts popped popcorn
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke seasoning
1/3 cup bacon bits or soy ‘bacon’ bits
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon seasoned salt or kosher salt
Place popcorn in a large serving bowl
Place butter in a small bowl and melt in microwave, about 20 seconds. Stir liquid smoke into butter. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.
Sprinkle bacon bits, parmesean cheese and salt over popcorn. Toss and serve immediately.
Recipes courtesy of The Popcorn Board.
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