Caramel Almond Popcorn from Martha Stewart

OK folks. I LOVE popcorn, I mean seriously love it. I go to the movies just to order the biggest bucket I can. I’m not ashamed about the free refill buckets either. I’m old school, too. No microwave popcorn in this house. In fact, we don’t even own a microwave, but that is a different story for a different day!

I like mine with butter and salt most if the time, but then I feel a little fancy every now and then and go for the good stuff. The other day I was feeling extra adventurous and decided to make caramel almond popcorn.

Homemade Golden Caramel Almond Popcorn in a Bowl
Homemade Golden Caramel Almond Popcorn in a Bowl

You see, it was a rainy day and everyone was feeling a little bored at the house. We had some movies laying around and I figured it would be fun to host a little family movie night. I made some pizzas and, being the health conscious mom that I am, made a light salad to go with. I popped up some fresh popcorn and kept some on the side plain, but the rest I whipped up Martha’s recipe below. Needless to say, it was a HIT! There was nothing left at the end of the night, nothing!

I love family movie nights so much. My husband and I like to crawl up under a blanket on the couch and my kids have this really groovy teepee for kids that normally lives in the play area, but it’s a fun place to hideout and watch movies in the living room. Ah, to be a kid again! Wait, scratch that, because I got to have wine with my movie. Yes, adulting is way better :)

kids play teepee
Movie night in the teepee tent!

It was an extra special night with this recipe. So without further ado, here is the recipe I made, courtesy of Martha Stewart:

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheets 
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil 
  • 2 cups raw almonds, lightly toasted 
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter 2 rimmed baking sheets; set aside. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds; toss.
  2. Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Divide between prepared sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

 

 

 

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

The holidays in my house means pot pie time. Whether it’s left over turkey from Thanksgiving or some chicken that I roasted (or bought roasted for convenience), I get many requests from the men in the house for the Pot Pie Dinner.

It’s important to tell you that when this Mom makes Pot Pie, it’s never just one. Sometimes I make a large 9×13 pan full with just  top crust, and sometimes I make two 9 inch pie dishes with both top and bottom crust. My guys prefer the latter. I kinda do too, but that means 4 pie crusts! (my easy-peasy pie crust recipe is happening soon around here, don’t worry!) For now I will tell you it’s a basic all butter crust with a little wheat flour missed in. Oh so delish.

The boys make quick work of this dish, ok ok, so do I. But they eat at least two large servings of dinner and then another for breakfast. It basically never lasts more than a day or two in this house. It’s delicious, and I try to switch up the veggies a little here and there if I can, but for the most part, it’s pretty basic. Below is a recipe for ONE regular 9″ double crusted pie. Please enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Pie Crusts (Make your own or buy ready made. I use my homemade all butter crust)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/4 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed or chopped
  • 2 cups veggies, chopped. (You can use a combination of any of the following: celery, carrots, potatoes, peas, green beens, mushrooms – or whatever else you fancy)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt pepper to taste
  •  1 cup shredded or chopped leftover chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup milk
  •  1/4 cup flour 

DIRECTIONS

*Preheat oven to 375

  1. Heat 1 tbsp butter in pan, add onion and cook until translucent then add garlic and cook one minute more, until fragrant – do not burn
  2. add veggies and cook for two or so minutes then add the chicken stock, thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, cover the opt and simmer until the veggies are slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the other tbsp butter over medium heat,  add the chicken or turkey and stir in the flour until coated, ad milk and stir.
  5. The stock and veggies should be tender, add the poultry and milk mixture and stir. Cook over medium high heat until thickened then remove from heat.

At this point you have the filling ready, You can wither use it now or store for later use. If using now,  cool the filling for about 10 minutes in the fridge so you do not melt the pie crust. Once you are ready to bake, line a 9″ pie pan with your crust add filling and add top crust. Poke holes in the top to vent and bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the filling looks like it’s bubbling.