Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chicago Mix Popcorn

My family and I are a bunch of popcorn junkies. Buttered, cheese, sweet, savory, as long as its my hand putting it into my mouth I am happy. Who am I kidding, it could be YOUR hand putting it into my mouth and I'd be happy! As long as it's clean right? :)

I saw this popcorn featured on Food Network one time from the Garrett popcorn company and knew it would be amazing (salty and sweet? Yes please!). Then I went to Vegas and they were selling some and I just had to try it... Pure popcorn love. Then Nadia G from the Cooking Channel had a PMS episode, a girl after my own heart, and she made Chicago Mix Popcorn. Call it fate, or destiny, but I knew then that it was time to try my hand at it.

Who knew making caramel popcorn was so easy?

It probably shouldn't have been me since now I want to find any excuse to make it...

1 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Cheese Topping:
4 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Nacho Cheese powder

1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

First start by making your popcorn. You can do this in an air popper, microwave, (or our favorite) over the stove top. Separate the popcorn into to large heat proof bowls (about 6-8 cups popped in each bowl).

Start by making the cheddar popcorn and melt your butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle some butter over the top, sprinkle with the cheddar seasoning and mix. Continue this process until all of the popcorn has a nice coating of cheesy goodness. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

For the caramel popcorn, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt. Whisk until melted together and starting to bubble. Let the mixture bubble over medium high heat for 3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and sprinkle with baking soda. Swirl the pan gently to incorporate the baking soda.
Pour over your prepared popcorn and using spoons, toss well (do not use your hands as it is VERY hot!). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread caramel popcorn onto it in a single layer. Place into your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the popcorn at every 10.
Remove from the oven and when cool enough to touch, break up with hands then let cool completely.

In a large bowl, toss together the cheese and caramel popcorn's and enjoy!

This popcorn mix is beyond addicting! Trust me, all of that popcorn will be gone before you know it. Ya know... Just speaking hypothetically and all...


Monday, June 17, 2013

Homemade Horchata

I'm not going to lie... I am addicted to Mexican food. But it has to be authentic. And I'm not (too) picky either (except Menudo, sorry I just cant!). I love tacos, Pozole, Enchiladas, Chilaquiles, Chile Rellenos... all of it.
But I simply can not go to a Mexican restaurant without ordering a delicious cup (err jug) of horchata. I love the creamy rice and milk flavored drink with just a touch of cinnamon, but, I'm super picky about the flavor. I hate when it's too watery, I really don't like when the cinnamon over powers the rest of the flavors, and I can not STAND when it tastes like nuts (why!?).
So I started out on an adventure to make my own recipe and I think I came pretty close. Next time I would let the rice mixture soak overnight and use one cinnamon stick during that time as well.
Want to find out how I did it? Here's my recipe:
For the Horchata:
1 1/3 cups long grain rice
5 cups water
1/2 Tablespoon ground (quality) cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
In a blender, add the 1 1/3 cups of rice, 2 cups of water and the 1/2 Tablespoon of cinnamon. Blend until the rice is roughly ground. Add the remaining 3 cups of water and blend for another minute until blended thoroughly (there should still be chunks of rice).
Pour rice mixture into a pitcher (this is also when I would add the one cinnamon stick) and let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours and up to overnight (this would produce more flavor).
When the time is up, strain the mixture through a sieve, removing all of the larger pieces of rice. Add in the milk, vanilla and sugar and stir until combined.
Serve over ice and enjoy! This recipe, minus a few changes I would make after my first attempt, is creamy and absolutely perfecto!
Happy Monday Everyone!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Easy Donut Ice Cream

All over blog land, people have made this easy ice cream. I knew I had to join in and make some but it couldn't just be vanilla, this is a food blog after all...

Also, I'm notorious for losing tiny pieces from my ice cream machine (I've been through 2 already). When northern Nevada hit 100 degrees over the weekend I absolutely HAD to make a delicious frozen treat for my family.

I introduce you to... Donut Ice Cream.

Obscenely sweet, obscenely decadent, and obscenely delicious! Every bite is like a creamy donut dream.

For the Ice Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
3 glazed donuts

Take one of your three donuts and chop it into small pieces. Place the other 2 donuts into your blender or food processor and blend until fine crumbs form. Set donuts aside.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Slowly pour in the sweetened condensed milk and fold together until combined. Add in your donut chunks and crumbs until incorporated.

Pour mixture into a freezer safe, air tight container, and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours or up to over night.

And there ya have it... Easy peasy ice cream with no need for an ice cream machine. Think of the endless flavor possibilities.

The only thing I regret is not adding pieces of candied bacon to my ice cream... Don't judge me.