Tag Archive: snack

Dec 23 2013

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn #client

We’re down to the wire here. Christmas is hours away now and the stores are mobbed with last-minute shoppers. And there’s nothing I dislike more than crowds. I have a strong fear of being buried alive–and shopping on the day or two before Christmas feels a little too much like being buried alive.

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn

You’re in luck, though! You probably already have all you need right in your kitchen to make the perfect gift for those who remain on your list: Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn. Homemade is better than anything store-bought anyway, right? Who needs those brightly-colored tins of stale popcorn when you can make your own scrumptious caramel corn at home. And by making it yourself, YOU control the ingredients–which means better flavor (especially with the addition of a bit of Irish whiskey!).

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn

I highly recommend paying the little bit extra and using Kerrygold butter for this recipe. The butter you use will make a huge impact on the overall flavor of this caramel corn, and Kerrygold’s grass-fed Irish butter can’t be beat! You’re worth it–and so are your gift recipients!

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn

Merry Christmas! May your holiday be full of joy and love!

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 8
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt (Maldon is a good one)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Pop your corn however you prefer to get about 10 cups of popped corn. I have one of those Whirly Pop things that has a hand crank to help toss the kernels around inside so the heat is more evenly distributed, so I added the coconut oil and popcorn kernels to that and popped my corn. Dump popped corn into a large, heat-resistant bowl, add the pecans, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a 3-quart heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat.
  4. Add to it the brown sugar, corn syrup, and sea salt and stir until it starts to boil.
  5. Boil for 4-5 minutes without stirring. If the caramel isn’t dark enough after the time has elapsed, you can cook it longer, but watch it carefully; it will go from perfect to burned in no time if you’re not paying attention.
  6. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, whiskey, and baking soda. It will bubble up, so be careful not to get burned.
  7. Stir until smooth, then quickly pour over the popcorn and pecans.
  8. Toss the popcorn and pecans to coat evenly, then spread half in an even layer in one prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other.
  9. Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until it has reached desired dryness. Every 15 minutes, rotate pans and toss the popcorn a bit, breaking up any big pieces.
  10. Store in air-tight containers for up to 3 days.
I referred to [url href="http://food52.com/blog/7767-how-to-make-any-caramel-corn-in-5-steps" target="_blank"]food52[/url] and [url href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/classic-caramel-corn/" target="_blank"]allrecipes[/url] for advice on the method for this recipe.

Disclosure: Kerrygold Cheese & Butter provided me with butter to develop a recipe for a contest they were running (which this recipe ultimately won!). No other compensation was received for this post. All photos and opinions remain my own.

Aug 26 2013

How do you rewrite the dinnertime rules with vegetables? #client #playwithveggies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Birds Eye Vegetables. All opinions and photos remain my own.

broccoli muffin pizzas vegetables

This summer, Birds Eye wants to know how you rewrite the rules with vegetables:

Ninety percent of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of veggies each day and summer is an ideal time to try a new approach. Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy is on a mission to put the play back on the plate. She’s teamed up with Birds Eye Vegetables for a multi-week challenge for families to seize the fun and Rewrite the Dinnertime Rules leading up Nickelodeon’s 10th annual Worldwide Day of Play this fall.

In addition to playing with their veggies and enjoying more relaxed family dinners, this summer kids and parents can also enter for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to join Jennette McCurdy at Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play flagship event. Through this campaign families have an opportunity to learn new ideas that could help shape a lifetime of healthy eating. Each week kids can follow along online at Nick.com/BirdsEye for veggie-themed games and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos with Jennette. Parents should visit www.BirdsEye.com for easy advice on getting kids to eat their veggies, more dinner “rules” and recipe ideas created for and tested by kids. The sweepstakes deadline is August 26 at noon.

Bird's Eye Steamfresh

There are so many ways to get your kids interested in eating veggies. Whether you let them choose the vegetables themselves–my kids love doing this, and actually enjoy browsing the farmers’ markets, too, because they can have a say in what I select–or try veggies in a new and exciting way, it’s important to get them eating their vegetables at a young age. I’ve been very lucky that my kids usually don’t balk at the idea of snacking on broccoli and munching on carrots, but I know it’s difficult for many parents to get their kids to partake.

broccoli muffin pizzas vegetables

Birds Eye not only makes it easier to get the veggies on the table with products like their Steamfresh pouches, which take mere minutes and no prep time, but they also have some great, imaginative recipes for you, too. How about some veggie smoothies made with carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli? Your kids will ask for seconds without even realizing how much good they’re doing their bodies!

Fall is around the corner–sad to say–and with it comes a very busy sports schedule for us. It’s not always possible to get dinner on the table before soccer practice, but what I’m sharing with you today will hold them over and they can make it themselves. All you need are some English muffins, pasta sauce, shredded cheese, and Birds Eye frozen vegetables. I went with broccoli this time, but their frozen asparagus, spinach, and even green peppers will be sure to please.

broccoli muffin pizzas vegetables

To help you out, Birds Eye has given me a $50 Amex gift card to give away so you can get started on your veggie revolution. I also have 10 coupons for free Birds Eye products for a 2nd winner. We want your kids eating right, and this will get you well on your way to that. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Winners will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be selected. Giveaway is open to residents of the United States only.

broccoli muffin pizzas vegetables

Broccoli Muffin Pizzas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 4
  • 4 English muffins, split down the middle
  • ⅔ cup jarred pasta sauce
  • ⅔ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 package Birds Eye Steam Fresh frozen broccoli
  1. Lightly toast the English muffins.
  2. Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Divide the sauce evenly among the muffins.
  4. Divide the cheese evenly among the muffins, sprinkling over the sauce evenly.
  5. Pick out broccoli florets from the package and let the kids place them on the English muffins. They do not need to be pre-cooked (serve any remaining as a side dish).
  6. Place muffin pizzas on the center rack and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the broccoli is warm. (This may take 2 rounds to bake all the mini pizzas, depending on the size of your toaster oven; if you don’t have a toaster oven, you can do this is in your regular oven.)
  7. Serve immediately.

Easy, right? Making vegetables a part of your kids diet doesn’t have to be difficult!

Now get yourself entered in the Amex gift card and coupons giveaway so you can stock up on Birds Eye vegetables! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 18 2012

Week 4 #12WksXmasTreats: Coconut Nut Balls

Life is flying by these days at an impressive rate. Just when I think I may be able to catch up, grasp the moment and wring everything possible out of it, I”m falling behind again, watching it all whiz on by.

Coconut Nut Balls

Like the month of October. It seems like it was only yesterday that I celebrated my 35th birthday, yet here we are, over two weeks later, and I can’t figure out where the intervening time has gone. Before we know it, Christmas will be here. It slips away so much faster the older I get.

Coconut Nut Balls

Take some time. Revel in the moment. Grab your kids and hug them til they beg you to stop. Someday, they won’t be there to hug at will anymore and you’ll miss that. Despite all the hand prints on the walls and crayon on the floors, the lack of their echo in the hallways will be a too-obvious absence, something to be wistfully wished for again. Love every moment of every day; life is too short to spend it unhappy.

Here’s a little bit of mirth for your mayhem: coconut nut balls. It’s fun just saying what they are. They’re even better in your mouth. Enjoy!

Coconut Nut Balls

Coconut Nut Balls
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 15
  • ¾ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup almonds, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus ¼ cup for rolling
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut butter
  1. Combine the toasted nuts and ¼ cup of the coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Process until nuts are chopped.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the ¼ cup additional coconut for rolling. Process until it comes together somewhat.
  3. Line a plate with parchment paper and pour the ¼ cup shredded coconut into a bowl.
  4. Using a Tablespoon and your hands, gather the mixture and roll into balls (it may take some work to get them to stick together).
  5. Roll the balls in the coconut and place on the prepared plate.
  6. Refrigerate to set, at least 1 hour.
The original recipe said it would make 10, but I ended up with at least 15 nut balls.

Meal Planning Magic‘s 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats gets you ready with plenty of ideas for your Christmas festivities! If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us! And don’t forget to follow our Pinterest board to keep track of all the yummy recipes.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats 2012

Sep 11 2012

What To Pack For Lunch: Chocolate Granola Bars

Another school year means another year of getting creative with lunchboxes. Granted, the little guy is in Kindergarten, so he’s not technically there for lunch every day, but they have snack time (and my daughter has afternoon snack in addition to lunch!), so we have a full house of lunch on the go to prepare.

Chocolate Granola Bars

My kids love packing their lunches. I have a hard time holding them back so I can ensure they come up with a balanced meal. Sometimes it’s all fruit, other times all grains, but it’s always completed with enthusiasm. Far more enthusiasm than I usually have for the job.

I’m lucky that my kids are mostly adventurous eaters. Hummus is not that unusual, meanwhile I only just tasted it for the first time in the last 2 years. My daughter can’t get enough of single-serving-sized Brie. My son’s weakness is for raw broccoli. He’ll eat it all before I can use it for a recipe.

Chocolate Granola Bars

This year, I’m tasking myself with making more of their snacks. I got pretty complacent halfway through last year and relied far too much upon hot lunch, despite my initial desire not to. None of that this time around! No excuses!

Muffin Mondays make great additions to snack and lunch bags. In addition, this week I made Chocolate Granola Bars. An ice pack is recommended for the lunchbag, as they get a little melty in your hands at room temperature, but they’re worth the mess. And since I made them, I controlled the ingredients. Not much sugar here, but both the kids gave them their seals of approval.

Chocolate Granola Bars

Chocolate Granola Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1½ cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • ⅓ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup smooth natural peanut butter
  1. Grease and line a 9″x13″ pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together the chocolate chips, cereal, oats, coconut, and almonds. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, boil the brown rice syrup and coconut oil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add to it the peanut butter, stirring until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix with a large silicone spatula until evenly distributed. The chocolate chips will melt a bit–this is perfectly okay.
  6. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, using wax paper and your hands to press it down evenly.
  7. Refrigerate for at least one hour before attempting to cut.
  8. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I’m going to try to make this somewhat of a series to help the other stumped parents out there. Look for more What To Pack For Lunch!

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