Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Dressed Up Popcorn!

Today is a Tasty Tuesday party over at Jen's Balancing Beauty & Bedlam blog. Stop by her site today for some great recipes and cooking ideas!

The inspiration for today's recipe came from a little mommy-daughter outing that Natalie (my 3 year old) and I shared this morning.
I have always enjoyed going to the movies. I still remember my O'pa taking me to see The Jungle Book as my first movie theatre experience. I had no idea where we were going or what was going to happen, but I know I was enchanted when the lights went down and the screen lit up.
Our local theatres offer free kids' movies twice a week in the summer. I thought that at three years old, Natalie would be old enough to share the experience with. Her first question?
"Can we get some popcorn?"
She asked me every time I mentioned the movie for the next week.

As we pulled up to the theatre this morning..."Mommy, may we get some popcorn?"

After the obligatory shot with Will Ferrell and a T-rex..."Oh, look! There's the popcorn place!"

Waiting for Desperaux to start and eating popcorn.
That popcorn wasn't cheap. Not even remotely. She certainly ate my money's worth though. She ate so much popcorn that 45 minutes into the movie she said her tummy hurt and she wanted to go. Oh well...at least the movie was free, right? (By the way, I thought it was an adorable movie, and I'd love to actually see the entire thing sometime. I think she would have held out if I could have pried the popcorn bag from her sticky little fingers.)
I started thinking that it might be much more economical to do some movie nights here at home. Michaela Byrd's attention span lasts about as long as Elmo sings "La-la La-la," but it might be fun to fix up some pop corn and watch a movie together as a family. Certainly it would cost less than the TWELVE DOLLARS I spent on a popcorn and drink this morning.
I got to thinking that popcorn can be so much more interesting than just butter and salt. So I decided to do a little research for you, my readers, to find some yummy recipes to dress our popcorn up for movie nights! These two looked the best to me.

{Dressed Up Popcorn Recipes!}

Chocolate Popcorn
12 cups popcorn
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large, shallow roasting pan with vegetable spray. Mix popcorn and peanuts in roasting pan. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, cook corn syrup, sugar and margarine over medium heat, until the mixture boils, stirring constantly. Stir in chocolate and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over popcorn and peanuts; stir to coat well. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Pour onto foil and let cool. Store in tightly covered containers.
Cracker Jack Popcorn

4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup peanuts
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 250° F.
2. Combine the popcorn and peanuts on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.
3. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
4. Stirring over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Using a cooking thermometer, bring the mixture to the hard-crack stage (290°F, or the point at which the syrup, when dripped into cold water, forms a hard but pliable ball). This will take about 20 to 25 minutes (or until you notice the mixture turning a slightly darker brown).
6.Remove the popcorn and peanuts from the oven and, working quickly, pour the caramel mixture in a fine stream over them. Then place them back in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Mix well every five minutes, so that all of the popcorn is coated.
8. Cool and serve or store in a covered container.
Of course, there's always good, old fashioned Orville Redenbacher's.
If your kids are a little older, they might enjoy making their own movie tickets to hand you as they enter your home "theatre." Every so often I'll see the red and white striped pop corn buckets (like in the photo above) at Target's Dollar Spot or The Dollar Tree.

I usually drink water at home, but a fun treat for the grown-ups might be these Kristian Regale sparkling drinks from IKEA. I have the Lingonberry-Apple Juice, and they are amazing!!! Tried and true juice boxes work well for the kids as a special treat too.

Hope something here sparked your taste buds today!
{Bon Appetit!}

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  1. We almost went today! My kids had just watched Desperaux the other day so we decided to skip - maybe we will see you some time!

  2. Oh, I was also going to tell you - I bring sandwich size ziplocks and fill and re-fill them for my kids with the popcorn. Keeps the battle over who gets to hold the bucket down AND helps to limit their consumption a bit...sometimes I even pre-fill the bags with a few M & M's in the bottom to sweeten the deal too!

  3. That's how they can afford to offer the free movies. ;) The popcorn recipes sound great!

  4. I had the best popcorn at a TS party a few weeks ago...drizzled the White Mousse Chiller Drink Mix (made to a thicker consistency) and let it "dry"...it was the tastiest balance of salty to sweet! It was great :)

  5. Yummm! I saw those cute popcorn containers in the dollar spot as well. Love your profile pic too:)

  6. I like to put white cheddar popcorn seasoning on mine!

    But I don't share with my kids! They have to get their own!

  7. I would love the Cracker Jack popcorn. As a kid, we never, ever had popcorn at the movie theater. My mom always packed a snack for us. I think I've had movie theater popcorn maybe once in my life!

  8. yea - these are SO fun! WE do the same thing, but once a year we splurge for movie and popcorn and I hyperventilate the whole time thinking "how in the world can they justify charging us that much." hee hee...well, they can justify it because we all buy it. :)
    This was a fun post. Thanks for linking with Tasty Tuesday, and so sorry her precious tummy hurt.

  9. :) How fun ! My sister always made popcorn and I would pack the drinks to the Movies we had alot of fun when we where Kids..
    Thanks for sharing :)


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