Popcorn Bars

This is a repost from 5 years ago! Wow time flies! Still loved making these and they were oh so good!!

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Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn! I LOVE popcorn. If there was a popcorn diet I’d be on it for sure. The smell of freshly popped buttery goodness has to be the best smell in the world. I can’t walk past a movie theater without taking a huge deep inhaling breath! Aaahhh….The only type of popcorn I don’t usually like is popcorn balls. I don’t know why but for some reason they just don’t appeal to me at all. But these popcorn bars are something entirely different. They have salty peanuts, pretzels chocolate chips and candy! What’s not to like!  The candy coated pieces can be in red and green for Christmas! Kids large and small will love them! I know I do!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 package microwave popcorn, popped (about 9-10 cups)

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup coarsely crumbled pretzels

1 cup light corn syrup

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 package (11 ounces) butterscotch OR white chocolate chips

1 cup candy coated chocolate pieces (like M&Ms)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the popcorn, peanuts and pretzels.


2. Cook the corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil for 1 minute.


3. Remove from the heat and add butterscotch chips, stirring until melted. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. Stir in candy coated chocolate pieces.


4. Press into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Cool at least one hour. Cool in the refrigerator also. It makes cutting them into bars much easier. Cut into bars.


Makes about 24 bars

Saucy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Well it has been much longer than I had anticipated for posting a new recipe. But as we all know, life can get pretty busy sometimes. But it’s no excuse. I have so many recipes I need to post so I’m starting with the one I made just last night. I posted the photo on Facebook and had a few requests for the recipe so here it is.

This recipe started out with me making my Buttery Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. Then I thought maybe I should try something slightly different. I had a bit of marinara sauce in the fridge, really it was only about 2 ounces, but I figured it would come in handy and it did. I added it to my recipe and tweaked it a bit and came up with a new flavor. They were delicious. No leftovers here!

Quick note about the chicken wings I use. In the past I have bought Tyson uncooked wings or Perdue. But they can be very pricey. Then I switched to Great Value (Walmart). Not bad. But now I am using only the wings I have purchased at a store we just discovered, Save-a-lot. A 4 lb bag costs about $6.00! And the wings are huge! Most of the other brands were have the size for more money! And they are delicious! 

Ingredients

20-24 chicken wings, frozen or thawed (flats/drumsticks)

4 tablespoons butter or butter substitute (I use I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter)

8-10 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 ounces marinara sauce or whatever red sauce you may have around. Plain tomato sauce is good too.

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (we use Locatelli Romano)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF. (I have a convection option on my oven and I use convection roast)
  2. On a large cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan lay out the wings. They can touch and crowd each other because they do shrink a little.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes for frozen. Flip every 10-15 minutes or so. If using thawed, reduce cook time. Bake to desired crispness.
  4. Meanwhile in a food processor place garlic, olive oil, basil and oregano. Pulse until garlic is finely minced.
  5. Add butter to small saucepan and melt on low heat (careful not to burn). When melted add the garlic mixture and red pepper flakes and cook till heated.
  6. When wings are done remove from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. (You can blot up some of the chicken grease with paper towels if you like also)
  7. Add the cheese to the garlic mixture and add to the wings in bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Return wings to pan, sauce and all and bake another 5-10 minutes but keep an eye on it. You don’t want all the sauce to dry up.
  9. Return to bowl you mixed them in and serve. Or if you want a pretty presentation put on a platter.

Serve with bleu cheese and celery/carrot sticks!

Buttery Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

I think just about everyone loves chicken wings. But after a while they can get a little boring. Same thing all the time…We have a favorite wings place here in Florida called Hurricane Wings. (They’re on Long Island in NY now too!) They have lots of different flavors along with the usual hot stuff. So the other night I remembered I had a bag of frozen wings and wanted to make up a batch. Well as most of you know, I love garlic. Can never have too much if you ask me. I also love butter and parmesan cheese. So why not combine them all with the chicken wings! Wonderful idea. What I liked most about this is that I didn’t have to defrost the wings first. I just followed the directions on the bag. Baked them for 45 minutes at 400ºF. My oven also has a convection option so I used the convection roast setting. I also turned them over a couple of times during the cooking. We love crispy wings and if you do them this way you won’t have all the extra fat from deep-frying. I am happy to say they came out awesome! We also served them with the usual blue cheese dressing. I also didn’t have any celery so I cut a cucumber into long slices and that worked just fine.

I’m thinking of making up another batch for tonight! 

INGREDIENTS:

2-4 lbs. uncooked chicken wings (frozen or unfrozen)

6-8 cloves garlic minced (cut back if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

6-8 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup of grated parmesan cheese of choice

½ teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Follow cooking directions on bag of chicken. Different cooking times for frozen or thawed. Place the chicken wings on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and cook as directed. This will take 30-45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the melted butter, garlic, basil and oregano. Add ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese. Mix well.

  3. When the wings are done to your liking, we like them crispy, remove from cookie sheet and put them in a large bowl. Add the butter, garlic mixture to the wings and mix well.

  4. Put the wings back onto the cookie sheet, making sure you get all the mixture on them. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.

  5. Broil for about 5 minutes about 3-4 inches from the broiler element. Keep an eye on them so the cheese doesn’t burn.

  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a platter and dig in!

Roasted Garlic Mayo & Butter

So I am in week two of being back to work. I’m still trying to get organized so today’s blog will be brief. I’ve been on a garlic roasting binge lately and I am using it in everything. I have now made roasted garlic butter and roasted garlic mayonnaise.Both delicious and not so strong because the roasting mellow the flavor. Yes they both look similar but they are very different and very tasty!

Roasted Garlic Butter

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup softened butter/butter substitute

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Roasted Garlic Mayo

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup light mayonnaise (or regular)

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Spiced Carrot Strips

As promised here is the recipe I make with the Honey-Glazed Chicken. Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables and this is another very easy recipe to make. It only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook so it’s fast as well. Great way to get kids to eat veggies too. I remember as a kid having plain frozen sliced carrots. Maybe with a little butter. Boring!!! This recipe is much more exciting. Well as exciting as carrots can get anyway! No strange ingredients either. Give it a try, even if you don’t like carrots. You may change your mind!

INGREDIENTS:

5 large carrots, julienned or cut into thin sticks

2 tablespoons butter/butter substitute, melted

1 tablespoon sugar/sugar substitute

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place carrots in a saucepan and cover with water.

2. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Combine the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon and pour over the carrots. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings

Southern Bourbon Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Today’s recipe is courtesy of The Wave Restaurant at the Contemporary Resort in Disney World in Florida. Once again mixing food and booze, always a good thing! I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but I love Disney World. Don’t worry though I am not one of the fanatics who have their entire being transformed into Disney. Disney house, clothes, car, tattoos, etc. No, I am not like that. But Disney World is my happy place. I love going anytime of year and just wandering around the parks checking out all the new stuff as well as the old. Living in Florida I have become spoiled. We are only a little over 2 hours away by car so we can make the trek a couple of times a year at least. Plus Florida residents get a really awesome discount on annual passes. My goal is to stay at all the resorts on the property. I’ve done most of the Value and Moderate resorts and a few of the deluxe but the Contemporary has still eluded me. One day…So instead I came across this recipe for their version of mashed sweet potatoes. I have not made this yet but it looks incredible.

Don’t these look delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups diced sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
3 tablespoons Jim Beam Bourbon
DIRECTIONS:
1. Steam the sweet potatoes until well cooked. 

2. While the potatoes are cooking place butter, sugar, cream and bourbon in a small pot and heat up. Don’t boil it.

3. When potatoes are done, place them in the oven for 5 minutes or so at 350º to get some of the moisture out of them.

4. Place potatoes in a large bowl and add a whip attachment to an electric mixer, whip until desired consistency. If you don’t have a whip attachment just use a regular mixer attachment.

5. Add cream mixture and then season with salt and pepper to taste

6. Re-season with more salt, pepper or Jim Beam if you think it needs more.

Serves 4

Brownie Holi-Pops

Well tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Wow where did the time go to? As a kid Christmas could not get here fast enough and now many years later, ok decades later, Christmas appears as if out of nowhere! It was just Halloween! My house is decked out, inside and out, and it is certainly festive looking! The weather is cooler, in the 50s and 60s so it’s not so hot that we do forget it’s winter here in south Florida. And I am still sticking with my no dieting till after the New Year. Weight Watchers can wait a little longer for me!

So here I am putting together the last “cookie” blog for the  year. These cookies are actually brownies, but also a lollipop. But hey, I’m using it anyway. I am not really a big brownie fan. Never was. Love making them but not eating them. The only ones I truly LOVE are my friend Debbie’s. They are little bitty ones and she puts frosting on them! I swear they must also have some kind of booze in them or something. They are so moist and just down right addicting! I could eat a dozen no problem! But these are not those. Sorry. I will have to get her recipe another time! These are just too cute not to include them and the kids will love them also. I have not actually made these as of yet but I think I will soon!

I actually got this recipe from Land-o-Lakes. Aren’t they just adorable!

BROWNIE MIXTURE:
¾ cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, divided

3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, divided

1 cup sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2  eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup powdered sugar
COATING:
16 ounces vanilla or chocolate flavored candy coating (almond bark)
40 lollipop sticks
DECORATIONS:
Holiday nonpareils, jimmies, sprinkles and/or decorator candies. Your choice!

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine ½ cup butter and 2 ounces chocolate in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted (3 to 5 minutes). Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well.

3. Spread batter evenly into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely.

4. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter and 1 ounce chocolate as above.

5. Finely crumble cooled brownie into large bowl. Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; mix well.

6. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place onto waxed paper-lined jelly roll pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

7. Melt candy coating according to package directions; keep warm.

8. Remove 1/3 of balls from refrigerator; insert lollipop sticks. Dip balls into melted coating, swirling or tapping off excess; press coated balls into desired decorations. Push lollipop stick into craft foam or place coated balls onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand until coating is set.

Makes 40 pops