recipes

Appetizers & Sides 14 September 2018

Exquisite Eating

Small plates to make for appealing dishes

(Family Features) Imagine treating yourself and your dinner guests to a delicious, restaurant-caliber meal without leaving your dining room or hiring a personal chef. Small plates, also known as tapas, are lighter, bite-sized indulgences that you can prepare and style seamlessly. By putting your own artful, unique spin on small plates, you can indulge in a meal that appeals to the senses and conveys sophistication.

It can be easy to create delicious small plates: all you need are wholesome, seasonal ingredients to pair with an artisan-crafted, quality olive oil such as Carapelli. The line, with three varieties to explore, brings a renaissance to the modern kitchen and is ideal for endeavoring chefs looking to try new flavors and experiment with tastes or recipes. It embodies a true passion for the art of creating extra-virgin olive oils and is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience.

Keep in mind that when it comes to small plates, what’s important isn’t just the recipe, but the plate – and plating – of the cuisine itself. Foods that appeal to the eye are likely to tempt the taste buds as well. Invest in appropriate-sized dishware for small plates that allows the food to take center-stage.

For a true multi-sensory indulgence, also take time to garnish your dishes, big and small, with edible enhancements that lend a subtle complement to the main attraction. A selection of fresh greens, sprinkling of herbs and even a light drizzle of olive oil can do the trick.

Plan how you’ll adapt your favorite dishes for size – and season – with more tips and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Carrots and Fresh Herbs with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon clover honey
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon basil, finely chopped

 

  • 1          pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2          tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch  pieces, for garnish
  • 1/3       cup Champagne Vinaigrette
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper,  to taste
  • chive sticks, for garnish
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. Whisk constantly until well combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil: whisk to combine.
  2. In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives. Add dressing. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chive sticks.

Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.
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Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese Beet Skewers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, plus cooling time
Servings: 42 skewers

Beets:

  • 2          beets (about 1 pound), 3 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • arugula, for garnish
  • flaked sea salt, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese:

  • 4          ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4       cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat sous vide water bath to 185° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine beets, olive oil, thyme and salt; toss to coat. Remove beets from liquid and divide, placing them in single layer into two quart-sized vacuum-seal bags, leaving any excess liquid behind.
  3. Use vacuum sealer to remove air and double-seal bag. To use zip-top bags instead, slowly dip slightly open bags into large container filled with water, allowing water to displace air. Seal bags when air is removed.
  4. Place vacuum-sealed bag into prepared water bath, placing heavy, heat-resistant bowl on top of beets to keep them submerged, if necessary. Cook 3 hours.
  5. If you do not have a sous vide machine, bring large stock pot filled with water to rolling boil. Place vacuum-sealed bags in water. Reduce to gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  6. Carefully remove beets from water bath and cool in sealed bag until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes more before serving.
  7. In mini food processor, cream goat cheese, ricotta and olive oil until smooth. Add zest, salt and pepper: stir to combine.
  8. Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with star tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. To serve, remove beets from bag and arrange on serving platter. Pipe dollop of Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese onto each beet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Garnish with arugula and pinch of flaked sea salt; place skewer through each beet to serve.

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Olive Oil Drizzled Pecorino Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/3       cup yellow popcorn kernels
  1. In bowl, combine pecorino and pepper; mix until well combined and there are no cheese clumps.
  2. In small saucepan over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; keep warm.
  3. Add remaining olive oil and popcorn to large Dutch oven. Stir until all popcorn kernels are coated in oil.
  4. Cover Dutch oven with lid and cook over medium-high heat, shaking pot periodically. Once popcorn begins to pop, lower heat to medium and continue to shake pot approximately every 15 seconds. When popping slows considerably, remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to rest until popping ceases, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove lid and transfer popcorn to large mixing bowl. Drizzle warm olive oil over popcorn; toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese mixture over popcorn; toss to coat.
  6. Divide popcorn into bowls. Sprinkle some freshly grated pecorino and dash of freshly ground black pepper over top; serve.

Source:  Carapelli Olive Oil

Dessert 12 July 2018

Pop Up Sweet Treats

(Family Features) When the weather is warm and it’s time for a sweet treat, look for seasonal goodies that complement summertime fun. For example, reach for an option like whole-grain, fluffy and crisp popcorn which can be an easy, DIY snack.

Combine sweet and salty flavors to create something delicious to devour like Coconut Popcorn Crunch Pie or delightful Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn.

To better serve a crowd, try these Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares, Popcorn S’mores or Key Lime Popcorn Clusters at your next family pool party or summertime barbecue with friends.

For more creative, DIY popcorn recipe ideas, visit popcorn.org.
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Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn

Yield: 10 cups

  • 3          tablespoons melted butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 1          cup dried apple chips, broken into large pieces
  • 1/4       cup toffee bits
  1.  Heat oven to 300° F. Whisk melted butter with vanilla. Toss brown sugar with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
  2. Toss popcorn with butter mixture. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Stir. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle apple chips and toffee bits over top. Bake 15 minutes, or until toffee bits start to melt. Cool before serving.

Tip: Add chopped pecans for extra crunch.

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Key Lime Popcorn Clusters

Yield: about 32 clusters

  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 4          whole graham crackers, finely chopped, divided
  • 1          jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1/4       cup butter or margarine
  • 2          tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 1          tablespoon key lime juice
  1. Line 9-inch square pan with foil.
  2. In large bowl, combine popcorn and all but 2 tablespoons graham cracker pieces.
  3. In large glass bowl, microwave marshmallow creme and butter on high 1 minute. Stir until butter is melted. Stir in lime peel and lime juice.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Using damp hand, firmly press mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker pieces. Refrigerate 2 hours until firm.
  6. Lift foil from pan. Break popcorn mixture into clusters.

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Coconut-Popcorn Crunch Pie

Yield: 12 servings

  • 2          quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
  • 1          can (4 ounces) flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1          cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2       cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          teaspoons salt
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          quart vanilla, spumoni or butter pecan ice cream
  • fresh fruit, for topping (optional)
  • chocolate sauce, for topping (optional)
  1. In large, buttered bowl, mix popcorn and coconut. In saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, butter, water and salt. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until syrup reaches hard crack stage (290-295 F).
  2. Stir in vanilla. Pour syrup in fine stream over popcorn mixture; stir until particles are evenly coated with syrup.
  3. On buttered, 12-inch pizza pan, spread half of popcorn mixture in thin layer, covering bottom of pan. Mark off into wedge-shaped servings; set aside. Repeat using remaining popcorn mixture; cool.
  4. Cover one layer with ice cream; top with second popcorn layer. Store in freezer. To serve, cut in wedges. Serve with fruit or chocolate sauce, if desired.

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Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares

Yield: 12 squares

  • 1          cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2       cup sugar
  • 1/2       cup brown sugar
  • 1          cup reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 3/4       cup raisins
  • 8          cups air-popped popcorn
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. In large saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter.
  2. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly; boil 2-3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.
  3. In large bowl, combine raisins and popcorn; pour hot mixture over popcorn and toss carefully with wooden spoons until well-coated.
  4. Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; press popcorn mixture into pan and cool completely.
  5. Cut into squares and serve.

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Popcorn S’mores

Yield: 20 pieces

  • 1          cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2       cup corn syrup
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 10        cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1          package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2          cups mini graham cookies
  • 1          cup chocolate chips
  1. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.
  2. Cook over high heat 5 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
  3. In large bowl, combine popcorn and marshmallows.
  4. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
  5. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
  6. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan.
  7. Let cool completely. Break into pieces.

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Ballpark Popcorn Crunch (VIDEO)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 quarts unsalted popped popcorn
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Cream together butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss popcorn and walnuts.
  3. Add creamed mixture to popcorn and nuts. Combine until coated.
  4. Spread on a large baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake at 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until crisp.

Source: Popcorn Board

Dessert 15 November 2017

Popping Up a Winter Wonderland

Edible, handmade holiday decor perfect for gifting

(Family Features) ’Tis the season to pop up some holiday fun by creating a scenic winter wonderland that tastes as great as it looks.

Gather the kids and make a hands-on family holiday tradition out of crafting festive, edible decorations. Popcorn is the perfect choice to pop up and eat while trimming your popcorn tree and decking out your creations. At 30 calories a cup, whole-grain, freshly popped popcorn offers a nutritious alternative to traditional holiday party nibbles. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar-free.

These clever recipes can help you make edible decor or gifts to give to friends, family and co-workers. Find more creative holiday recipes at popcorn.org.

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Festive Popcorn Trees

Yield: 10 trees

  • 10        cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1          bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • green decorating sugar
  • blue decorating sugar
  • 1          tube white frosting with decorating tip
  • small, colorful candies (such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees)
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  2. Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
  5. Line baking sheet with foil.
  6. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop up about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
  7. Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
  8. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
  9. Make nine additional trees.
  10. Pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.

Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.

Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.

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Holiday Popcorn Snowman

Yield: 5 snowmen

  • 1          package (1 pound) large marshmallows
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 10        cups popped popcorn
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • licorice (optional)
  • gum drops (optional)
  • cinnamon candies (optional)
  1. In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Pour over popcorn and stir mixture.
  5. Butter hands well and form into balls.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, as desired.

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Holiday Wreath Popcorn Treats

Yield: 8 wreaths

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          quarts popped popcorn
  • 4          tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 3          cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3          tablespoons lime gelatin dessert mix
  • small red candies
  • jellybeans
  • red fruit leather
  1. Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
  2. In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert mix until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix until coated.
  3. Spray hands with cooking spray and press firmly to form into 9-inch logs then bend to form wreaths.
  4. Place wreaths on wax paper. Press candies and jellybeans into wreaths as decorations; cut fruit leather to make ribbon and add.
  5. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage. Add ribbon tie to plastic wrap as decorative closure.

Tip: Soak saucepan before cleaning.

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Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer

Yield: 8 reindeer

  • 8          cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 2 1/2    cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2       cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 2          tablespoons butter or light olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 16        pretzel sticks
  • 16        eyeball candies
  • 8          red candy-coated chocolate candies
  1. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In saucepan set over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.
  3. Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls total. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.
  4. Insert pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for eyes and red candy for nose. Let cool completely.

Tip: Eyeball candies can typically be found in baking aisles of supermarkets or bulk food stores.

Snacks 19 June 2017

Pop-ular Summer Snacks

(Family Features) From casual gatherings with friends to outdoor athletic activities and leisurely time at home, all of the best summer pastimes have one thing in common: tasty snacks make them more enjoyable.

Light, airy and fresh popcorn is a perfect summer snack. It’s naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free – all the makings of an ideal guilt-free treat. Whether you enjoy it one delicious handful at a time, sprinkled with seasonings or as an ingredient in fun summertime recipes, popcorn offers plenty of versatility for every occasion.

You can kick up the heat with a zesty popcorn mix or take a sweeter route with a blend of toasted coconut and bananas. No summer sporting event is complete without some good old toffee-style popcorn and nuts, and even a favorite like ice cream sandwiches can only get better with the addition of sweet, crunchy popcorn and candy.

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Spice Up Summer Snacks
Freshly popped popcorn is a light snack perfect for summer, and you can add just about any flavor to satisfy whatever you may be craving. Start by sampling these topping favorites then taste your way to other creative combinations.

  • Garlic salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Dry taco seasoning mix
  • Dry ranch-style seasoning mix
  • Lemon pepper
  • Italian herbs: oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and crushed rosemary
  • French herbs: marjoram, thyme, summer savory, basil, rosemary, sage and fennel
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Nutmeg

Find more popcorn recipes perfect for summer at popcorn.org.

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Coconut Monkey Mix

Yield: 7 cups

  • 1 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried banana chips
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. Spread coconut in 13-by-9-inch baking pan, breaking up any clumps as needed. Bake 10 minutes, or until edges of coconut begin to brown.
  3. Spread popcorn over coconut and sprinkle with butter; toss. Sprinkle popcorn mixture with sugar, salt and nutmeg; toss.
  4. Bake 5 minutes longer, remove from heat and toss with banana chips. Serve immediately or cool and store in airtight container.

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Popcorn Chipwiches

Yield: 12

  • 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (6 ounces) chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 pints brick-style vanilla ice cream
  1. Keep popcorn warm.
  2. In 3-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vinegar and salt. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until hard ball stage (250 F on candy thermometer).
  3. Pour syrup over popcorn; stir to coat. Add chocolate pieces and nuts; stir just until mixed.
  4. Pour into two 13-by-9-by-2-inch pans, spreading and packing firmly. Cool.
  5. In each pan, cut 12 rectangles. Cut each pint of ice cream into six slices. Sandwich each ice cream slice between two popcorn rectangles.

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Ballpark Popcorn Crunch

Yield: 3 quarts

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 quarts unsalted popped popcorn
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In separate bowl, toss popcorn and walnuts. Add creamed mixture to popcorn and nuts. Combine until coated.
  4. Spread on large baking sheet in single layer.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until crisp.

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Beach Party Popcorn

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups assorted seasoned snacks (crackers, pretzels, etc.)
  • 1/2 package (0.56 ounces) bacon-onion dip mix
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add soy sauce and hot pepper sauce to melted butter.
  3. Put popcorn and seasoned snacks in large bowl. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and snacks; toss. Sprinkle with bacon-onion dip mix; toss again.
  4. Spread mixture in 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jelly roll pan and bake 8-10 minutes, stirring once.

Source: The Popcorn Board

Snacks 30 January 2017

Plan an Award-Worthy Watch Party

(Family Features) Whether you’re gearing up for awards season or spending an evening catching up on your favorite TV drama, there are plenty of small screen events that provide the perfect backdrop for a watch party. Gather your friends and family and get ready to tune in to a fun-filled evening with these helpful tips.

Use themed decor to set the stage. If you’re watching an awards show, go big on blingy accents and metallic tones that mimic the glimmering trophies. Golden-hued serving bowls and plastic cutlery help carry the theme into your kitchen. For an extra special touch to help capture memories of the celebration, create a red-carpet photo booth and snap photos of your VIP guests as they arrive.

Provide ample comfy seating. You don’t have to have an elaborate theater-style media room to create a comfortable viewing experience. Just be sure you have a spot for everyone, even if you rely on pillows on the floor.

Plan a menu that reflects the occasion. Since no party is complete without a delicious food spread, create finger foods that fit the theme of your viewing party. An iconic option like microwave popcorn is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because of its delicious flavor and versatility. Whether you create an enticing popcorn station with fun mix-ins or prepare mouthwatering snacks like festive Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate Fondue, microwave popcorn is always a party pleaser. Use a high-quality gourmet popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher’s, which is the only leading brand that uses real butter. From buttery to sweet and savory, all varieties feature non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn.

Pop onto orville.com to find more recipes for your watch party, or look for Orville Redenbacher’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate ‘Fondue’


Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! 94 Percent Fat-Free Butter Microwave Popcorn
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup stick butter or margarine (1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light chocolate syrup
  • colored candy sprinkles (optional)
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels. Spray large bowl with nonstick spray; add popped corn.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and vanilla. Heat 5 minutes, or until marshmallows melt, stirring frequently. Pour over popcorn; mix well with spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Moisten hands with water before shaping popcorn mixture into 24 small balls, about 1/3-cup popcorn mixture each.
  3. In small saucepan, heat chocolate syrup over medium heat 5 minutes, or until warm, stirring occasionally. Transfer to small, fondue-style pot.
  4. Use wooden skewers or fondue forks to pick up popcorn balls and dip into chocolate and sprinkles, if desired.

Source: Orville Redenbacher's

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Holiday 19 January 2017

Classic Holiday Flavors Inspire Fun Snack Recipes

(Family Features) The holiday season is filled with family food traditions, from stuffing and pumpkin pie, to festive cakes and frosted sugar cookies. This year, wow your family, guests and friends with a fun, crunchy twist on the great tastes of holiday favorites.

No one can replace grandma’s classic pie recipe, but have a little fun and surprise your family and friends. With creative takes on traditional dishes, Chex® Party Mix will help you wow your guests with familiar flavors and aromas, served up in a playful way that’s sure to impress.

It’s easy to re-create the taste of each of these treats in a quick, delicious party mix. Visit www.ChexPartyMix.com for more than 150 party mix recipes that can be made in the microwave in just 15 minutes.

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Peppermint and Chocolate Chex® Mix

Featuring melted white chocolate, crushed candy canes and a dark chocolate drizzle, it’s easy to add holiday cheer with this festive mix.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Start to Finish: 15 Minutes
Makes: 16 servings (1/2 cup each)

  • 3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
  • 3 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (16 miniature, unwrapped)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Mix cereals in large microwavable bowl. Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper.
  2. In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy.
  3. Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy.
  4. Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave on High 50 to 60 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth; drizzle over top. Let stand in refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes. Gently break into clusters. Store in airtight container.

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Chex® Pumpkin Pie Crunch

This recipe is great served in your favorite colorful pie plate. Set the pie plate out on the table with the other dishes, and put a scooper out so guests can help themselves. For party favors, leave small bags next to the pie plate and ask guests to take a bag home for an extra treat later.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish: 15 Minutes
Makes: 16 servings (1/2 cup each)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups Cinnamon Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups Honey Nut Chex® cereal
  • 8 ounces pecans
  1. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. In small microwave-safe dish, microwave butter on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in vanilla. In large microwavable bowl, mix all cereals and pecans. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly distributed. Add sugar and spice mixture and stir until coated.
  2. Microwave uncovered on High 5 minutes or until mixture begins to brown, stirring every minute. Spread on wax paper or a cookie sheet to cool. Store in airtight container. Note: Make mix up to two weeks ahead and store in airtight container.
Snacks 29 December 2016

Party-Perfect Flavors to Savor with Friends

(Family Features) No matter the occasion, a good host knows that great food is the key to any party. These crowd-pleasing snacks and desserts are the perfect treats to make your gathering just a little sweeter.

Find more party-worthy recipes at Culinary.net.

A Naturally Sweet Party Treat

Easy-to-make Cinnamon Honey Buns are a delicious treat party-goers will adore. Naturally sweetened by the addition of honey, they make for a wonderful addition to any spread. Learn more about the health and flavor benefits of honey, and find delicious recipes, at honey.com.

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Cinnamon Honey Buns

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
Servings: 12

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened and divided
  • 1/2 cup honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. Grease 12 muffin cups with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. To prepare honey nut topping: Mix together 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup honey and chopped nuts, if desired. Place 1 teaspoon topping in each muffin cup.
  3. To prepare buns: Mix together remaining butter, remaining honey and cinnamon. Roll out bread dough onto floured surface into 18-by-8-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough. Sprinkle evenly with raisins.
  4. Starting with long side, roll dough into log. Cut log into 12 slices, 1 1/2 inches each. Place one slice, cut-side up, into each prepared muffin cup. Set muffin pan in warm place; let dough rise 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 375° F.
  6. Place muffin pan on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until buns are golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert muffin pan to remove buns.

An Award-Worthy Snack

Whether you’re gearing up for awards season or spending an evening catching up on your favorite TV drama, there are plenty of small screen events that provide the perfect backdrop for a watch party. Gather your friends and family and get ready to tune in to a fun-filled evening with this delicious snack.

Since no party is complete without a delicious food spread, create finger foods that fit the theme of your viewing party. An iconic option like microwave popcorn is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because of its delicious flavor and versatility. Whether you create an enticing popcorn station with fun mix-ins or prepare mouthwatering snacks like festive Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate Fondue, microwave popcorn is always a party pleaser. Use a high-quality gourmet popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher’s, which is the only leading brand that uses real butter. From buttery to sweet and savory, all varieties feature non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn.

Pop onto orville.com to find more recipes for your watch party, or look for Orville Redenbacher’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate ‘Fondue’

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! 94 Percent Fat-Free Butter Microwave Popcorn
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup stick butter or margarine (1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light chocolate syrup
  • colored candy sprinkles (optional)
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels. Spray large bowl with nonstick spray; add popped corn.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and vanilla. Heat 5 minutes, or until marshmallows melt, stirring frequently. Pour over popcorn; mix well with spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Moisten hands with water before shaping popcorn mixture into 24 small balls, about 1/3-cup popcorn mixture each.
  3. In small saucepan, heat chocolate syrup over medium heat 5 minutes, or until warm, stirring occasionally. Transfer to small, fondue-style pot.
  4. Use wooden skewers or fondue forks to pick up popcorn balls and dip into chocolate and sprinkles, if desired.

An Un-beet-able Dessert

There’s nothing like a colorful dessert to cap off an evening of entertaining. These vibrant cupcakes don't need artificial dyes to give them their red hue. The secret ingredient is beet, which adds coloring and packs fiber, manganese and iron. Find more healthful recipes perfect for any gathering at aicr.org.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 12

  • 1 cup canned beets, drained
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa, plus 1-2 tablespoons for decorating
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil, chilled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Drop paper liners into 12-cavity muffin pan.
  2. Working knife up and down in measuring cup, coarsely chop beets. Place beets in blender, add 1/4 cup buttermilk and blend until beets are finely chopped. Add remaining buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla and blend to puree. Set beet mixture aside.
  3. In small bowl, combine flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, combine oil and sugar. With hand mixer on medium speed, mix until sugar is evenly moistened. Add cold egg and beat on high until mixture resembles mayonnaise and sugar is almost completely dissolved, 90 seconds. Add beet mixture and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients into bowl and mix, either on low speed or by hand until combined with wet ingredients.
  5. Divide batter evenly among lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full.
  6. Bake cupcakes 28-30 minutes, or until tops feel springy. Immediately transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
  7. Ice cupcakes, using about 1 tablespoon frosting for each. Place remaining cocoa in strainer and sprinkle over frosted cupcakes. If desired, let cupcakes sit at room temperature to allow frosting to set, about 2 hours.

Note: Frosted cupcakes can sit at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

To make Cream Cheese Frosting: In small bowl, work sugar and cream cheese together with wooden spoon or hand mixer until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Note: Frosting is best when refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, loosely covered, before using. It keeps in refrigerator 5 days.

Cinnamon Honey Bun photo
(photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Red Velvet Cupcakes photo
(photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Source: Culinary

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Snacks 20 December 2016

Party-Perfect Popcorn Treats

(Family Features) While every day is cause to celebrate the light, fluffy and buttery goodness of popcorn, the chillier winter season is perfect for popcorn lovers looking for delicious ways to switch up their snacking routines. Break out of your popcorn rut and put some of these tasty popcorn recipes to the test as you try to beat the bluster of winter. Don’t forget to share all that goodness and invite your friends and family to pop on over to celebrate your favorite snack together.

To feel good about the party snacks you serve, check out Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn, which features high-quality ingredients like real butter and non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn.

For the best results, follow these popcorn preparation tips:

  • Ensure your product is fresh by checking the "Best By" date on your carton or bag of microwave popcorn.
  • Use a clean microwave oven every time.
  • Because microwave ovens vary, always cook your popcorn to "sound" and listen to the pop to know when to stop.
  • To maximize taste, shake the contents of your bag before pouring it into a bowl. This will help coat the popcorn with flavor. And to maximize crispness, be sure to open or vent the bag immediately after cooking.
  • Store popcorn in a cool place, such as a cupboard, out of direct sunlight. Always keep popcorn bags sealed in the original plastic wrapper until you're ready to begin cooking.

Find more recipes and fun popcorn facts at Orville.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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1. Cookies and Cream Popcorn Balls – Everyone’s favorite sandwich cookie blends chocolaty crunch with marshmallows and gourmet popcorn for an unbeatable ball of yum.

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2. Gigantic Turtle Candies – There’s just one way to make traditional turtle candies better: add the decadent flavor of gourmet caramel popcorn.

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3. Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars – Gourmet popcorn and pretzel pieces coated with yummy caramel peanut-butter glaze makes for the perfect sweet and salty combination that will have your mouth watering.

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4. Movie Theater Popcorn Candy Bowl – Popcorn may be a movie staple, but when you mix in your favorite theater candies you’ll have a fun blend worthy of critical acclaim.

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5. Marshmallow Popcorn Bars with Chocolate Candies – A unique twist on the classic crispy rice treat, these bars offer the perfect light crunch that both kids and adults are sure to enjoy.

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6. Popcorn Party Mix – Add a satisfying crunch to your party platter with a zesty blend of peanuts, pretzels and snack mix, along with the delicious taste of the real butter used in Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popcorn.

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7. Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Squares – This crispy confection made with popcorn, peanut butter and chocolate is sure to become a crowd favorite, so be ready with a back-up batch when the first serving runs out.

Source: Orville Redenbacher's

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Snacks 19 December 2016

Add Some Pop to Your Party

(Family Features) No matter the occasion, every celebration is better with snacks. Whether you’re hosting game day with the guys, catching up with girlfriends, gathering for family movie night or inviting your kids’ friends over for a grade school sleepover, you can’t go wrong with popcorn treats.

Popcorn is the perfect partner for a broad span of flavors, especially when they’re sweet or salty – or both. You can make each mouthwatering bite pop even more by adding texture with crunchy nuts or silky melted chocolate.

Even if you simply serve plain popcorn to your guests, you can feel good about serving healthy, whole grain, freshly popped popcorn, which is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free.

Find more ways to pop up more fun for your next party at popcorn.org.

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Caramel-Nut Popcorn Crunch

Yield: 20 pieces

  • 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Heat oven to 225° F. Spray 15-by-10-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix popcorn and almonds.
  3. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Over low heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, almond extract and baking soda.
  4. Pour over popcorn and almonds, immediately stirring gently to coat. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake 1 hour. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

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Maple Bacon Popcorn Mix

Yield: 2 quarts

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, divided
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line jelly roll pan with foil. Place wire rack in pan. Arrange bacon in single layer on rack. Bake 15 minutes, or until ends of bacon start to curl. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Brush bacon with 2 tablespoons maple syrup; bake 15 minutes until browned. Cool then coarsely chop bacon.
  3. In large bowl, combine popcorn, pecans and cranberries.
  4. Combine butter, black pepper, maple extract, remaining maple syrup and reserved bacon drippings. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Drizzle over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spread popcorn mixture in jelly roll or roasting pan. Bake 5 minutes. Toss in bacon pieces. Serve warm.

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Poppy Chow

Yield: 2 quarts

  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Microwave 2 minutes; stir until smooth.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir until well coated. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over popcorn and stir until coated.
  4. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 24 hours.

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English Toffee Popcorn Bars

Yield: 20 bars

  • 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Toffee:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) chocolate pieces
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  1. Heat oven to 200° F.
  2. In large bowl, combine popcorn, peanuts and toasted coconut. Cover bottom of buttered 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jelly roll pan with half of the popcorn mixture. Keep filled pan and remaining popcorn mixture warm in oven.
  3. To make toffee: In heavy 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and blend well.
    Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches full boil. Add water and corn syrup; mix well.
  4. Wash down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar granules.
  5. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches soft-crack stage on candy thermometer (280° F). Immediately pour mixture over warm popcorn in jelly-roll pan, making certain all popcorn is covered. Quickly spread and press remaining popcorn mixture into hot toffee. Set aside to cool.
    For topping, melt chocolate and shortening over low heat. Spread over popcorn mixture, making certain any loose pieces are held in place.
  6. Cool. Cut into bars. If bars will not be served immediately, wrap in plastic wrap for storage.

Source: The Popcorn Board

Snacks 17 August 2016

Sensible Snacks that Really Pop

(Family Features) Next time you reach for a snack, go for a great-tasting option that delivers on both flavor and nutrition. Sensible snacks can be surprisingly delicious when you choose ingredients wisely.

One pop-ular choice: popcorn. Ideal for between-meal snacking since it satisfies but doesn’t spoil the appetite, popcorn is also the perfect addition to treats such as snack bars and trail mix. The key to smart snacking is finding good-for-you ingredients that make your body healthy and your taste buds happy.

With no artificial additives or preservatives, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. The whole grain provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates and contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.

Find more healthy snack solutions at popcorn.org.

Perfect Popcorn

There’s nothing like the taste of freshly popped popcorn and nothing like the disappointment of burnt popcorn. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect popcorn every time.

  • Whether on the stove or in the microwave, popcorn will begin popping in a few minutes.
  • When the popping begins to slow, listen until you can count two seconds between pops. Remove the pan from heat or bag from microwave.
  • Remember to lift the lid or open the bag away from your face to prevent steam burns.

13346 Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Corn

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Corn

Yield: 10 cups

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup crunchy granola
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  1. In bowl, toss popcorn with melted butter.
  2. Combine sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss with granola, raisins and walnuts until combined.

13346 Crispy Crunchy Apple Popcorn

Crispy Crunchy Apple Popcorn

Yield: 7 cups

  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups dried apple chips
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. Line 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil; butter foil. Spread popcorn in pan and drizzle with melted butter; toss popcorn. Sprinkle popcorn with sugar and cinnamon, and toss again.
  3. Bake 7 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle apple chips over popcorn and heat an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Serve warm, or cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.

13346 Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix

Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix

Yield: 9 cups

  • 5 cups popped popcorn
  • 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (or other nuts)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. In large, microwavable bowl, stir together popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
  2. In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
  4. Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool.
  5. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

13346 Popcorn Granola Snack Bars

Popcorn Granola Snack Bars

Yield: 16 bars

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granola cereal
  • 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  1. Line 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, heat honey until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.

13346 Yummy Yogurt Popcorn

Yummy Yogurt Popcorn

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

  • 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  1. In large bowl, keep popped popcorn warm.
  2. In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, combine yogurt, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat to hard ball stage (250° F on candy thermometer).
  3. Pour over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.

Source: The Popcorn Board

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