My friend Ashley spent all last week raving about her incredible maple cayenne popcorn. She gave me the recipe she used from December’s Cooking Light Magazine. I’m not one for carmel corn, but holy moly was Ashley right. It’s sweet, salty and just the right amount of spicy. This popcorn deserves some kind of professional Nom Nom Award. First prize!
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the popcorn, cover and shake till kernels are popped. Stir in the cashews. Meanwhile, add the sugar, syrup, butter, salt and cayenne to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Pour syrup over popcorn and cashews and stir. Spread out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and let cool at least 3 minutes. I stirred the mixture around on the cookie sheet to combine everything better.
My coworker Bryan gave me this easy recipe for homemade granola. Be sure to use rolled oats and not any kind of instant, quick cooking oatmeal. Also, I’d look for white chocolate that does not contain palm oil, as I’ve heard that stuff is really bad for you. I used Ghiradelli white chocolate in bar form, not the baking chips.
Be creative with this recipe. I used different kinds of nuts and dried fruits. Bryan originally had canned mandarin slices, which was really tasty.
1.5 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup dried mixed fruit, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mixed nuts
1 4-oz. bar of white chocolate
Preheat oven to 220 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats and apple sauce. Add the fruit and nuts and mix thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out the granola on the pan. Bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the chocolate finely. Place half of it in a mixing bowl. When granola is done baking, add it to the mixing bowl and top with the rest of the chopped chocolate. Mix thoroughly until chocolate is melted. Place in a gallon ziploc bag and store in fridge.
Kale is a beautiful plant. It’s ruffly and looks so healthy. But who cooks Kale? I know little about this vegetable. So today I decided to try something new: kale chips. It’s simple. Take a fresh bunch of kale and dry it as much as possible. Tear the thick stem away from the leaves. Break the leaves into bite-size pieces and toss lightly with olive oil. Transfer to a cookie sheet, making sure none of the leaves overlap. Lightly salt and place in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. What comes out are crispy and salty. You wouldn’t believe you’re eating something so rich in beta-ceratene and vitamins A and C!
No photo, but I’m sure you can imagine what popcorn looks like. OK, here’s a stock Google photo:
I wanted to make some popcorn that was super tasty but not as unhealthy as smothering it in butter.
Pop some popcorn and drizzle it with:
Raspberry balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.