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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ooey-Gooey Peanut-Butter/Honey or Nutella Popcorn

My daughter said she made this childhood treat recently and thought I should post it..."Mom, it's sooo good!"

When my children were small, I was always trying to think of healthy snacks.  They just loved this easy peanut-butter/honey popcorn I concocted.  I didn't really bother to make it into balls or anything; I just made one big bowl and had a lot of napkins handy.  Now, you could do that and maybe dish into individual bowls; or if you wanted it to be a little more neat (and attractive), you could serve as popcorn balls in individual paper cups, as per the directions I've given below.  You can make it with smooth or crunchy peanut butter...I prefer crunchy, although it seems some people, especially children,  prefer smooth.  I also experimented with combining Nutella and peanut butter, which my brother really liked! (My favorite is the peanut-butter/honey combination, but I like's fun to have a little variety!)

                                     Ooey-Gooey Can Be Healthy!

                                     And Fun For Kids of All Ages!

Makes approx. 14 popcorn balls

  • 12 cups air-popped* popcorn (approx. 3/8 c. unpopped popcorn)
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, even reduced fat works well!)
  • 1/2 c. honey (I love the whipped clover honey*!)
  • I use a gadget especially made for air popping popcorn in the microwave.
  • Kroger has a very competitive price on their brand of whipped clover honey (fancy, pure white honey).   
  • You can use Nutella in lieu of the honey for a peanut-butter/chocolate popcorn, just add 1/4 cup of light corn syrup.

  1. Mix the peanut butter and honey together and melt in the microwave for 15 seconds on 50% power. Thoroughly but gently combine the mixture well with the popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. For the popcorn balls, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure the mixture for each ball and release onto a piece of cello-wrapping paper sprayed with a butter-flavored cooking spray.  Gather the wrapping paper around the popcorn mixture; squeeze and shape into a ball with your hands, then release into a paper cup.
  3. If you're feeling extra casual, just scoop servings into individual bowls.  
**Extra Tips:  Spray all utensils used under the directions with a butter-flavored cooking spray for easy release.  Be Sure to tell everyone to be careful of seeds!

So reward them with a special treat after a slash in the pool or as a snack after playing outside all afternoon...or just cuddle up with your loved one(s) and enjoy while watching that summer movie!  They'll all watch their "p's and q's" for this ooey-gooey treat!

What's That Got to do with this?                                      

                                    He's a two-fisted lemon eater!

Keeps My Grandson Happy When We Eat Out!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Tribute to Monet and Bonnie's Spaghetti Sauce Revisited

A very dear and sweet blogger friend who has been an inspiration to us all, Monet from Anecdotes and Apple Cores, recently suffered a loss of some very close family members to a tragic accident and she has understandably had a very difficult time.  I contributed my recipe for spaghetti sauce to a binder of comfort food recipes compiled by her blogger friends to help ease her pain.  You may remember Bonnie's Spaghetti Sauce which I originally published last November.  If you missed it, I feel you'll really enjoy this sauce which is one of my most often-requested recipes.

I encourage you to visit Monet at Anecdotes and Apple Cores where you'll discover recipes for wonderful, classic breads and pastries which have an occasional surprising and interesting twist.  You'll also find her incredibly beautiful writing very captivating and moving.

For a truly easy and delicious recipe, see Bonnie's Spaghetti Sauce.  You can omit the meat if you prefer; just saute the onion in a little oil until translucent.

                                            Find a Little Comfort
                                                  And Enjoy!                                                                

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Daughter's Tomato/Mozzarella Salad Stacked with My Homegrown Basil

I've been working on a container garden including herbs.  So far, my basil is my biggest herb success.  I moved most of my herbs to my courtyard because I needed more plants there. However, my courtyard is mostly shaded.  I know herbs need a lot of sun, so I keep watching where the sun is coming in and I keep moving the herbs.  My basil plant is doing so well probably because it's still on my porch which gets a lot of sun.  I wonder if I'll give in and move all the herbs to the porch...I'm pretty determined to keep the majority of them in the courtyard, so we'll see.  If you feel you have any advice on growing herbs, please share it!

                                             Isn't It Gorgeous!

                And this is after I stole a large stem for propagation!

If you're looking for an easy, light and delicious salad that makes a fantastic presentation, you'll love...


Ingredients (Per Serving)
  • 1 fresh tomato (I used a vine-ripe tomato* in the photos; my daughter typically uses Roma)
  • approx. 3 slices of fresh Mozzarella cheese ball (approx. 2 1/2 oz.)
  • approx. 3-4 large, fresh basil leaves + 1 for plate garnish (approx. 3-5 total)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

  1. Wash (under cool water) and dry the tomato and pat dry the basil leaves.
  2. Slice the tomato and the cheese into approx. 1/4" slices.
  3. Stack or overlap (repeating until one tomato is used) in this order: one tomato slice--add salt & pepper, cheese, basil leaf.*  End with a tomato slice and, if you like, a basil leaf.
  4. Lightly sprinkle the vinegar over the salad.
  5. Garnish the plate with a basil leaf.

*Tips:  If you can use homegrown tomatoes, all the better!  If you elect to stack the salad, secure the first layer with a toothpick and use additional ones as you need while you stack. (I probably used three toothpicks in the photo of the stacked salad.)

While I was photographing the stacked salad in my courtyard, a big bolt of lightning frightened me! The layered salad was photographed inside!

                                        Beautiful Stacked!

     (Without the basil leaf on top and before the vinegar was added.)

                           Even Easier and Also Impressive Layered!

           (With the basil leaf on top and after the vinegar was added.)

Great, a dish you can enjoy with no guilt!

Printable Recipe