Sunday, October 13, 2013

Caramel Corn

When I think of caramel corn, I think of fall.  That’s when my mom made it at our house when I was a kid.  And since I have been seeing spider lilies like crazy for a few weeks (a symbol that fall is coming to the south!), I decided to make caramel corn.  Well, it was also Movie Night at our house and we usually have popcorn.  So this week we had caramel corn!
Since my mom couldn’t find her recipe and I couldn’t find mine…and I had some delicious caramel corn my friend Emily made…and I had asked her for her recipe months ago, I used her recipe.   
It’s easy (though a bit time consuming but it’s not bad) and the rewards are worth it!  This recipe makes a ton so I usually make half. 

1 ½ sticks butter
1 ½ cups firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup light or dark corn syrup (I’ve used pancake syrup too)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
6 quarts popped corn (you can use natural microwave popcorn or air pop the corn; I use my microwave by putting about 3 tablespoons corn in a small paper lunch sack, fold over twice and use the microwave’s popcorn setting.)

Melt butter in medium saucepan; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil, stirring constantly; boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over popped corn, mixing well. Turn into 2 large, shallow baking or roasting pans. Bake @ 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly-covered container. Makes about 5 quarts.

You can mix chex cereal and/or Cheerios in with the popcorn.  I would think dry roasted peanuts would work too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Miniature Quiche

Makes about 36 quiche

¾ cup margarine or butter, melted
1 ½ cups flour
Stir together and press into 36 miniature muffin cups.  I used a small cookie scoop to scoop uniform sized amounts of dough and then divided the dough balls in half for each muffin cup.  I then used a tart maker dipped in flour (from Pampered Chef).  This is an inexpensive tool that’s quite helpful!  I still have to form the dough on up the upper part of the sides of the pan but it doesn’t take very long to do this.

6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3-4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use any cheese; I will try Swiss next!)
4 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Divide the crumbled bacon among the muffin cups.  Add a little cheese.  Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.  Make sure this mixture is mixed together extremely well.  Carefully pour mixture over the cheese and bacon (I used a one cup measure cup with a nice spout), about 2/3 full.
Bake at 325 for 10-20 minutes or until set.  Serve warm.