Gourmet Popcorn — Homemade gift giving

Tis the season to be jolly–and to give until it hurts no more. Giving gifts is supposed to be fun, right? Well if you’re anything like me, waiting in long lines, and inching through crowds of people at a mall, all so that you can get something a loved one may or may not appreciate, just isn’t fun! So this year, I’m giving the gift of food. Everyone young and old appreciates it, and if done right your pocket book will too. One of my favorite gifts to receive when I was a kid was one of those huge tins of popcorn. The tin always contained caramel, plain, and cheese popcorn, all delicious in their own rite. You could go out right now and buy one of those tins, or you could make my version of gourmet popcorn and make a loved one very, very happy! My recipe for Caramel Popcorn with almond and coconut flakes is to die for. It’s so good in fact that my mom told me I should remove the recipe from my blog and sell it on the free market. After tasting it recently, I think she may be right…it is soooooo good! Addicting even! My recipe for coconut kettle corn is equally as good! Trust me if you make these two gourmet pop corns and give them as gifts, your friends and family will thank you and thank you some more!

Caramel Popcorn with Almonds and Coconut Flakes

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of Organic non GMO popcorn
3 Tablespoons of Coconut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of Almonds
1 cup of Organic Sugar
4 Tablespoons of grassfed butter
3 Tablespoons of Organic Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon of Sea salt
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of coconut flakes (optional)

Spray a large baking sheet with coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Add popcorn kernels and 3 Tbsp. coconut oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, shaking frequently. You will start hearing the corn pop after a few minutes—keep cooking until there’s a gap of about 5 seconds or more between pops. Immediately remove the pan from heat and pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet. Add the almonds.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water. Place over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until the mixture is a light caramel color, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and stir to combine. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and almonds.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the caramel becomes thin and shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and with a rubber spatula, fold the popcorn and Almond to coat with the caramel. When the caramel hardens, you’ll know it because the popcorn mixture will be harder to move, return the baking sheet to the oven. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to completely coat the popcorn and Almonds with caramel and until the caramel has darkened to a dark amber color. I did this 5 times checking on the popcorn and tossing it, in 5-7 minute intervals. On my 4th turn and check I added the coconut flakes. I just sprinkled them in and gave good toss.

Once you remove the popcorn, let it cool for 2-3 minutes, then break up the popcorn into bite-size pieces. Let cool completely. It will last two weeks stored in an air-tight container. This makes enough caramel corn to fill 3 treat bags, or 2 good sized tins. If you need more then double or triple the recipe.

Coconut Kettle Corn
1/4 cup of organic corn kernels
3 tablespoons of  organic coconut oil
1.5 teaspoons of coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Add all of the ingredients except for the sugar to a pan with a tight lid. Place on high heat until the corn starts popping. Once the popping is active, turn off the heat and allow the corn to pop on residual heat, shaking occasionally. Once the popping stops sprinkle with the coconut sugar, shake to coat and then transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower with Parsley Lemon Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower with Parsley Lemon Garlic Sauce

I love roasted Cauliflower, it’s one of my favorite side dishes. My daughter loves it too. Since we eat so much of it, I decided to try it with this little twist. I’m so glad I did because it is definitely something I will add to my arsenal of cauliflower recipes!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

1 head of cauliflower roughly sliced
1 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/2 juice of a medium lemon
1 clove of garlic
6 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Place cauliflower on a roasting sheet/pan toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and black pepper, and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork tender and takes on a bit of color. While the cauliflower is roasting, place, the parsley, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small blender or processor and blend until it comes together. Season the sauce with sea salt to taste. Once the cauliflower is done, toss with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and reserve the rest to serve on the side.

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Indian Spiced Cabbage

Indian Spiced Cabbage

I love cabbage! I wish more people shared my love for it. I say that because, it’s rarely on menu at restaurant’s, and when I go to a friends house for dinner, it’s rarely served. I don’t quite understand that, because it’s one of the most soul fulfilling veggies I know, in the same league as collard greens, and kale. I would happily eat it any day of the week! This is one of my favorite ways to prepare and eat cabbage! If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant then you’ve probably had this. It’s so quick to make at home that it’s almost an afterthought!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

1 small head do cabbage, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt to taste

In a cast iron skillet heat the oil along with the mustard seeds and turmeric, when the seeds begin to pop add in the the cabbage, cook for 10 minutes, allowing the cabbage to breakdown a bit. Add salt, toss, turn off fire, cover for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy!

What is your favorite cabbage recipe?
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