Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm Spoiled When It Comes to Popcorn!

I admit it...I'm spoiled... at least when it comes to popcorn!  I have had a love affair with popcorn all of my life.  It started when I was a kid.  My mom would pop up the delicious snack on the stove in a saucepan with lid because, back then (caveman times, my children joke), that was the only way you could make it.  Then, along came the microwave.  And, though I love the convenience, nothing tastes quite as good as the old-fashioned method of on the stove.

A couple of years ago we got one of those awesome new movie theaters
in town.  One with a water feature in the lobby, a huge menu of choices for
snacking, and many, many theaters.  I was spoiled, indeed!  But the one thing
they included that sold me most of all was that you were given the power
to butter and flavor your own popcorn! What?!! Yeah...heaven!
At this time I was introduced to this deliciousness....

This comes in many flavors such as white cheddar, butter, ranch (oh my goodness, it's good!), nacho cheese...  yum!  Now, my local Walmart has started selling these too!  I'm so spoiled now, I cannot tolerate just buttered, unflavored popcorn at the movies anymore.  I refuse to visit a theater closer to us because they do not have these powdered flavors!! Snobby, aren't I?! LOL

I am going to give you my wonderful husband's recipe for making "movie theater" worthy popcorn at home in your own kitchen.  Try will thank me.  No, it's not good for you, but it is delicious!

Movie Worthy Theater Popcorn

plain popcorn kernels (we buy the cheapest we can find)
Orville Reddenbacher's Butter Flavored Popcorn Oil 
Pop Kernel Flavoring in your choice of flavor(s)
Vegetable Oil

In a saucepan, pour in just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your pan.  Turn on burner on med-high.  Add a couple of dry popcorn kernels to the pan.  When these start to pop, your oil is hot enough to add the rest of your dry popcorn kernels. The amount varies.  If I want just a good sized bowl of popcorn, I will only add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the saucepan.  If you want more popcorn, add more! Cover with a lid and lightly shake the pan back and forth as the popcorn begins to pop.  Turn the burner down to medium and continue to move pan back and forth.  When popping stops, or slows to a pop between seconds, it is done.  Remove from the stove.  In a bowl, pour 1/4 of your popped corn in and sprinkle with the butter flavored oil.  Sprinkle with popcorn flavoring liberally.  I like to mix ranch and white cheddar together on my popcorn.  Add another 1/4 of the popped corn on top and season with oil and flavorings.  Keep doing this until all the popcorn is in the bowl, seasoned and sprinkled with oil.  Enjoy!

disclaimer:  I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post.  These comments are my own and shared from my own experience using all the products mentioned.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun and Disaster With Fondant

Fondant is so cool!  I really enjoy working with it.  If you have never tried it, you must!  It's like playdough for cakes! :)  I have worked with Wilton Fondant a few times.  It is almost fool-proof and so easy to tint in colors.  My first and second attempts with Wilton Fondant were very successful.  I have been quite popular at making belly cakes for ladies having baby showers.  Here's my two belly cakes:

I got brave and decided that I was ready to jump and make homemade marshmallow fondant.  The ingredients are simple and straight-forward.  You only need a microwave and lots of muscle.  But... boy did it whoop me...whoop me good. LOL
I shed a few tears on that project.  I read all sorts of blogs and watched video online giving advice for working with homemade fondant.  I still had a LOT to learn!
I used too much shortening on the countertop and too much on my hands not realizing that it changed the consistency to being too melty.  Even the heat of my hands messed it up!
I learned later that all I had to do was add more confectioners sugar to dry it back out, but at the time, I didn't know that!  I managed to finally slap the cake together.  My granddaughter could of cared less.  She was 1. LOL

One day I will try to make homemade fondant again and I know I will have learned from my mistakes.  But for's Wilton or bust! LOL

Have you ever tried fondant?