#FoodieExtravaganza: Popcorn

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This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is popcorn. TheFoodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla for hosting this poppin’ party.

There wasn’t any question about whether I’d participate in the first Foodie Extravaganza of 2017.

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. Or meals… Truth be told, one of my favorite things to do with my mom is have a dinner of popcorn while watching movies (or catching up on Once Upon a Time).

The thing I miss most about movie theater dates is 80% the movie theater popcorn and 20% getting lost in a movie plotline. We got the chance to see Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them in early December when my parents were visiting and while the theater was great with insanely comfy seats, the popcorn was a letdown. I’d be way more upset about it if it weren’t a Harry Potter franchise movie.

The at-home popcorn snack I’m sharing today is spicy and savory. It utilizes za’atar, an herbal spice blend popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. I’d heard of the seasoning watching Food Network and when my sister-in-law asked if there was a spice I wanted to try, I instantly had an answer for her. I’m looking forward to exploring more uses for it, but this popcorn pretty much hits it out of the park.

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • canola oil
  • 1/2 C popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

Steps:

  1. Put canola oil in pot over medium high heat along with 2-3 kernels of popcorn. Cover and stand by. Once you hear the kernels pop, add the 1/2 C of popcorn. Cover and cook over medium heat until popping slows. Gently shake the pot during the popping process so as not to burn the popcorn at the bottom. Remove from heat and remain covered until popping has ceased, unless you want to be pelted with popcorn. (If you have another method of popping popcorn, feel free to use it.) Place popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. While popcorn is still hot, add the remaining ingredients and mix to distribute flavors evenly.

*This recipe is adapted from Stephanie at http://www.thekitchn.com/vegan-party-or-anytime-snack-z-136417*

Spicy Za'atar Popcorn for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other popcorn recipes:

Hubby’s Vanilla Caramel Popcorn by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Kirsten’s Popped Corn Crack by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Parmesan Popcorn with Lemon & Thyme by Caroline’s Cooking

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn by Food Lust People Love

Popcorn Cornbread by Palatable Pastime

Popcorn Pairings (Yes, With Wine) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn by Sew You Think You Can Cook

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn by Hardly A Goddess

White Chocolate Popcorn by Sneha’s Recipe

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Countdown to 2017: Appetizers & Snacks

unnamedLast year I participated in a Countdown to 2016 and it’s that time of year to start the countdown again. This time to 2017!

Sarah, blogger at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, is hosting the countdown again this year and I’m so glad she is. At this busy time of year it’s fun to look back on 2016 and share yours and my favorite recipes and posts. I hope you join me on this ride.

Today we’re talking Appetizers & Snacks. I hope you find something to fit your New Year’s Eve celebrations and to munch on during the College Football Playoffs and bowl games.

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Broccoli Artichoke Dip

Chickpea Cocoa Dip

Maple Fish Party Mix

Best Apps & Snacks from 2016 | Sew You Think You Can Cook

See more great recipe round-ups here: An InLinkz Link-up

#ChoctoberFest: Chickpea Cocoa Dip

#Choctoberfest

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think today’s offering might be my favorite recipe of my #ChoctoberFest menu.
Friends of ours brought this chocolate hummus dip to Firecracker’s birthday party and it was a huge hit. Kids and adults alike couldn’t get enough of it! I’d been dying to make it at the house and here was my perfect opportunity.
I was a little nervous that Firecracker wouldn’t go for it, as homemade hummus is not “real” hummus and he won’t touch it if it’s not out of a store bought container. However, as this dip doesn’t have tahini it’s not technically a hummus variation anyway, it’s simply a sweet bean dip.
I got him to help me in the kitchen and simply told him we were making chocolate. He couldn’t be more ecstatic. He absolutely loves to help in the kitchen and his current favorite phrase is “need any help?” almost to the point of annoyance, but I do want and need to encourage this helpful attitude!
I broke out the step stool and had him push the buttons on the food processor. (Treat looked on in anticipation.) He kept informing me it was ready in his impatience to eat some chocolate. He did a fabulous job waiting until after I took some photos before I handed him his own little snack kit of dip, pretzels, and apple slices.
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chickpea-cocoa-dip-for-choctoberfest-kid-approved
If you’re looking for a guilt-free way to satisfy that chocolate craving, I encourage you to break out the food processor for this snack.
Chickpea Cocoa Dip
Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Steps:
  1. Place garbanzo beans in a food process and pulse a few times. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Enjoy with pretzels and fruit.
Chickpea Cocoa Dip for #ChoctoberFest from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more chocolate recipes today:

#SundaySupper: Sleepover Foods

You guys, guess what?

You know this super awesome theme for today’s Sunday Supper? Sleepover Foods? Yeah, it was mine!

If you have some super epic ideas, you can easily submit them here.

A big thank you to Marion of Life Tastes Good for hosting the event. I’m so excited to see what everyone has to offer for our virtual sleepover!

Originally, I’d have loved to share a fun popcorn recipe perfect for watching movies late at night. But the reality of doing so had me switching gears to a different salty snack.

Why couldn’t I share popcorn? Well, because I have two little boys, who, while awake ensure I will burn the popcorn every time. They’re also not of popcorn-eating-age, so when I make popcorn I have to wait until after bedtime. But by then, there is zero light by which to take a drool-worthy photograph. And let’s be real, there wouldn’t be any leftover to try shooting some stale-popcorn pictures.

I started thinking about party mixes and thought it’d be fun to make one out of all Goldfish. (No, I am not sponsored by Pepperidge Farm – I WISH!) I thought about my favorite popcorn flavor – salted honey – and knew I wouldn’t be able to transform that to my fishy mix because Treat isn’t yet one year old and can’t have honey. Agave wouldn’t lend enough flavor, so I decided on real maple syrup!

Firecracker was more than happy to be my little model. I put him into a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor and handed him of cup of my Maple Fish Party Mix.

An Original Recipe

Maple Fish Party Mix

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 2 C cinnamon graham cracker goldfish
  • 2 C pretzel goldfish
  • 2 C whole grain cheddar goldfish
  • 2 C original goldfish

Steps:

  1. Melt butter and syrup. You can do this in a small pot on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, toss together all of the goldfish. Pour the melted butter and syrup over the top and toss to coat. Microwave 1:30min, toss, and microwave another 1:30min.
  3. Spread the goldfish mix onto a baking sheet and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container. The goldfish will keep up to 2 weeks.

Maple Fish Party Mix for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Breakfast

Snacks

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out ourPinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Broccoli Artichoke Dip

Right before the Super Bowl the Sunday Supper Movement hosted a Big Game Day Recipes event. During that event I shared Slow Cooker Thai Wings. There were a good number of recipes I wanted to try, but the Roasted Broccoli Artichoke Dip by Cooking Chat was the one I’d picked to make first! With only two (maybe 2.5) of us, I halved the recipe. I shouldn’t have though, because I ate about half of it for lunch that day! The rest of it was inhaled by my husband. Between the two eating sessions, I stored the dip in the fridge. When cold, it got a little too hard for the chips to hold up against, but a quick 10-15 seconds in the microwave fixed the broken chip problem.

We ate this dip with multigrain tortilla chips (our favorite!), but it would be wonderful with pita, too.

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Broccoli Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli, florets chopped
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic, divided use
  • ½ can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ C sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1/8 C Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon juice, as needed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss broccoli in olive oil with ½ the garlic. Season with S+P. Place on a baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes, until softened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place broccoli, artichokes, and scallion in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Add cream cheese and sour cream to the food processor and pulse until combined. Mix in the parsley, cumin, and Parmesan, pulse until fully incorporated. Add lemon juice, S+P to taste.

*This recipe is adapted from David at http://cookingchatfood.com/broccoli-artichoke-dip/*

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#EVOOChallenge: Olive Oil Crackers

Today marks day 1 (of 5) of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

To kick off I’m sharing Olive Oil Crackers. As I was rolling out the dough my husband jokingly asked if I was making gingerbread crackers, after all it had finally snowed! I said that actually wasn’t a bad idea and pulled out an airplane cookie cutter that I’ve had for 6 years and never used. My 18 month old had fun helping me press the cutter into the dough. Unfortunately, that first batch ended up burnt so I ended up with less than 10 airplane crackers. (The majority of the dough was cut into squares because it was much less time consuming!)

Originally, I followed the recipe directions to sprinkle the herbs over the crackers before they go into the oven but they simply didn’t adhere. My husband had another good idea to roll the herbs into the dough. It definitely worked and tasted better, too! Having the herbs and salt baked in the cracker brought out the beautiful flavor of the olive oil.

These crackers are perfect for dipping in hummus!

Olive Oil Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt, divided use
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine the flour and 1 tsp salt. Slowly add in the water and oil while mixing at medium speed. Mix dough until it comes together, it will be a little tacky.
  2. Divide dough into 8 balls, cover and let rest 45 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl combine oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp Kosher salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll each ball dough out as thinly as possible, cut crackers, poke with a fork, and place on prepared cookie sheet. Options: Sprinkle cut crackers with seasonings or roll seasonings into the dough before cutting.
  6. Bake 8 minutes until crispy – keep an eye on them, they’ll burn quickly.

*This recipe is adapted from Lacey at http://www.asweetpeachef.com/snack/olive-oil-herb-crackers/*

Olive Oil Crackers for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

BBQ Kale Chips

10313804_10103445114255281_4038587599929197876_nI have reached a new point as a busy mom of two trying keeping up a household and a blog. This post is being written from the WordPress app on my phone while I kid myself that I’m going to bed “early.”

Last week was the first week back to reality from the holidays. And it was a rough one! My husband started his final quarter of his Masters program and is working tirelessly on his thesis. The boys had doctor appointments 3 of the 5 days which made getting a rhythm of Dad back at work a little more difficult. Both naps and bedtimes have been difficult which means if I want to get any blogging done it’s not until after 11 or 12 and that means I crawl into bed at 1 am (with the hopes and prayers that both boys will sleep solidly until 7).

So now I’m trying out this app to see if I can gain multi-tasking time in snippets during late night feedings and moments when the kids fall asleep while out running errands.

Good thing I’m trying this post out on an easy recipe! Kale chips. These kale chips are dusted with barbecue seasoning after baking which makes this crunchy healthy snack a little addicting.

BBQ Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • bunch of kale, stems removed
  • 1/8 C paprika
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces. Place on prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Bake kale chips 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy.
  4. Make barbecue seasoning: combine all the spices and brown sugar.
  5. Sprinkle seasoning over the kale chips after removing from the oven.

*This recipe is adapted from Jeff Mauro, Food Network Magazine January/February 2015*

BBQ Kale Chips | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Earlier this month I hosted our monthly Po-Ke-No game. Po-Ke-No is essentially bingo but instead of letter-number combinations, the board is filled with different playing cards and a standard deck of cards is used to call out the “tiles.”

Each month someone new hosts and gets to pick a theme for the night. We all bring $1 and a “Secret Santa” style $10 gift in a bag. We play through two rounds. In the first, the winner of each game picks a bag and shows everyone what’s inside. In the second round, the winner of each game gets to steal a gift of their choice. Each gift can only be stolen twice, making it effectively “owned” a total of three times. (Starbucks gift cards and cash are the first to be finished.) We play one more game for “all the marbles” aka that $1 buy-in.

While it’s not a requirement, I like to make my “Secret Santa” gift match the theme of the night. For example: for the theme of flowers I brought a flower silicone bowl cover (similar to this).

I chose the theme of citrus. I made a large batch of my Fresh Lemonade, these orange rosemary roasted almonds, and my Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake. Everything was a success.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

SRC: French Onion Dip

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned the blog Palatable Pastime. Sue is the writer, photographer, and cook behind Palatable Pastime. She lives with her husband and cats in Cincinnati, not too far from where we’re currently located – I’ll definitely have to check out her restaurant reviews! I’ve actually been to a couple of these locations already! Small world.

Sue’s recipe index actually changed formats during the few days I was perusing her site. She now has “galleries” that are links to her Pinterest boards. It’s actually really pretty clever – go check it out!

I saved over ten contenders to make this month including Bang Bang Tacos, Chinese Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce, and German Sauerkraut Balls. I will be making her Blueberry Kumquat Infused Water for my husband, too, as he has a love for kumquats but we never know what to do with them.

I ended up making French Onion Dip. It’s been on my “list” for a while and I had some potato chips in my pantry. I don’t ever have potato chips on hand, but last month when my mom was here we binge watched Once Upon a Time and enjoyed some chips and dip. I still had some dip in my fridge when she left so I had to buy another bag of chips. Then I ran out of dip. You could see how this could turn into a very dangerous unhealthy shopping cycle. Instead I decided I’d make my own dip – but it never happened. Thank you, Sue, for finally getting me to do it!

I halved the recipe because my husband was out of town for work and I really didn’t need 4-6 servings of dip just for myself… because I would eat it all… I also had to substitute very finely diced scallions instead of wonderful chives because the two stores I stopped at didn’t have any! Hey, Ohio, who’s buying all the chives?!

This dip was so simple and inexpensive to make, I’ll definitely be whipping up another batch as soon as I can get my hands on some chives!

French Onion Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 C softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/8 C mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (I used 1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste)
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until tender and slightly caramelized.
  2. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion powder, garlic, Worcestershire, S+P with a hand mixer. Mix until smooth. (It’s important your ingredients be at room temperature for even mixing. You could also do this in a food processor if you preferred.)
  3. Fold in the onions from Step 1 and the chives, reserving some for garnish.
  4. Place dip in the fridge and serve chilled.

*This recipe is adapted from Sue at http://palatablepastime.com/2014/07/08/french-onion-dip/*

French Onion Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

I had so much fun making different flavored popcorns leading up to the Super Bowl, but there was one major flavor that I didn’t make. Cheddar Cheese! I had planned on it, but as I couldn’t find the powdered cheese at any of my local stores I had to order it off Amazon (Kraft Cheese Powder) and because I procrastinated in ordering, I didn’t get it in time. But I knew that an orange colored popcorn could be a great tie in to basketball and March Madness!

march madness

While basketball isn’t my favorite sport, I do get into creating a bracket for the tournament. If you are creating a bracket, Selection Sunday is tomorrow March 16th and the first round begins March 20th. The tournament continues until April 7th when the Championship Game will be played.

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • canola oil, enough to coat bottom of pot
  • 2/3 C popcorn kernels
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2/3 C cheddar cheese powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard

Steps:

  1. Put canola oil in pot along with 2-3 kernels of popcorn. Cover and stand by. Once you hear the kernels pop, add the popcorn. Cover and cook over medium heat until popping slows. Gently shake the pop during the popping process so as not to burn the popcorn at the bottom. Remove from heat and remain covered until popping has ceased, unless you want to be pelted with popcorn. (If you have another method of popping popcorn, feel free to use it.)
  2. In a small bowl whisk together cheddar cheese powder and mustard.
  3. In a large bowl toss popcorn in butter. Once coated add the cheese mixture, toss to coat evenly.

*This recipe is adapted from Anisa at http://whiskandheels.com/kitchen/cheesiest-cheddar-popcorn*

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P.S. – My keyboard may or may not be covered in cheddar cheese dust at the moment…. This is like the CHEETOS® version of Popcorn!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.