Popping Up February Favorite Recipes

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Story and Photos By Amanda Causey Baity

During the winter months, our family loves to stay inside and catch up on our movie watching that we missed the rest of the year. Popcorn is always a go-to snack for us. Popcorn is so great by itself that it’s difficult to think about adding ingredients to it or altering its flavor in any way. But here are some interesting recipes to try for popcorn lovers and even those who are not a fan of the yummy snack!

Bacon and Cheese Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1⁄3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke seasoning
  • 1⁄3 cup bacon bits or soy “bacon” bits
  • 1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or kosher salt

Directions: Place popcorn in a large serving bowl. Place butter in a small bowl and melt in microwave for about 20 seconds. Stir liquid smoke into butter. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly. Sprinkle bacon bits, Parmesan cheese and salt over popcorn. Toss and serve immediately.

Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars

Ingredients

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1-1⁄2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1⁄2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2⁄3 cup honey
  • 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted

Directions: Line a 13” x 9” pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl. Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan; cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly. Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars. Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax-paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.

Popcorn Dinner Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 5 cups popped popcorn
  • 1-1⁄4 pounds extra lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped celery
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 1⁄4 cup 2 percent milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup chili sauce or ketchup

Directions: Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray an 8” x 4” loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Process popcorn in a blender or food processor until finely ground; pour into a large bowl. Add ground beef, celery, onion, milk, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly blended. Press meat mixture into pan; spread chili sauce over top. Bake for an hour, or until cooked through. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing.

Valentine’s Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces white chocolate
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 tsp. salt • sprinkles
  • (optional) conversation hearts

Directions: Heat chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler until melted. Place the popcorn in a large bowl, and pour the melted chocolate over it. Then use a spoon to toss the popcorn gently until it is evenly coated with the chocolate. Spread the popcorn out evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, and then sprinkle with as many sprinkles and conversation hearts as you would like. Let cool for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Break up into small pieces then serve or store in an airtight container for up to one week

 

Amanda Baity (abaity@princewilliamliving.com) is Prince William Living’s director of operations and photo editor. She shares recipes at her blog semperfreshfarmhouse.com.

 

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