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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flavored Popcorn

A close friend is marking half a century. Friends and family from all parts of her life are coming together to celebrate with an evening of elegant picnicking and lighthearted roastings.

I struggled with what dish to bring that was carefree, simple to pack and move around and that stands up to the weather. To add to that, I was given her AARP card that showed up in the mail to do something creative with. Let me deviate from the recipe for a moment to say we are talking about a women who has a better body than any one half her age, stunning looks and has the fun attitude to go with it it all. Simply Fabulous!

Somehow I landed on the idea of making serving bowls out of copies of her AARP card. From there, it was easy to come up with a snack to fill those paper bowls - flavored popcorn.

Two easy recipes but wildy different in taste. The Parmesan and Oregano Popcorn is rich and buttery while the Indian Spice Popcorn is exotic and finger licking good.

Everyone loves popcorn and these are fun, simple favors for all fat and happy ages.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Chat Masala is an Indian spice mix that has both a sweet and slightly sour taste; it's often sprinkled on fruit, snacks or street food. Dried mango powder helps to give it a bright edge that is perfect on a simple food like popcorn.

Flavored Popcorn

Follow the directions below for popping corn on the stove (or use your preferred popcorn method) and then choose your flavor. Drizzle, grate, shake and salt. Serve with plenty of napkins!

Parmesan Oregano Popcorn with Melted Butter 

4 cups fresh popped popcorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbls melted butter
Salt, as needed

Add the popcorn, grated Parmesan, oregano and butter to a brown bag or large bowl and shake or toss well. Salt as needed (the cheese and butter are salty by nature, so you may not need much salt.) Serve immediately.

Indian Spiced Popcorn with Butter Olive Oil

4 cups fresh popped popcorn
1/2 tsp chat masala
2 Tbls butter flavored olive oil
Salt, as needed

Add the ingredients, except the salt, to a brown bag or large bowl and shake or toss well. Salt as needed and then serve immediately.

Popping Popcorn on the stove:

1/2 cup popcorn
3 Tbls canola oil

Pour the oil into a deep pan that has a lid, and set over medium-high heat. Choose a pot without a coating for best results.

Add the popcorn into the pot, cover with the lid, shake every so often to keep the kernels from burning. When you start to hear the popping, shake the pot and crack the lid to help moisture escape. Some kernels may fly out of the pot, but this will keep the popcorn from getting soggy. Lift the pan above the heat and shake, return pot to the heat.  

Continue until the popping stops and you don't hear kernels rattling on the bottom. Pour out of the pan and flavor with your preferred choices above. 

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: When using the stove top method of popping fresh corn, start with cool pan. Try running it under cool water before setting it on the heat. If you are popping two batches, be sure sure use this method to cool the pan down before you pop the second batch.

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