Patriotic Popcorn

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I don’t normally write two posts in one day, but it’s the Fourth of July celebration weekend and with it comes friends, family, food, and fun. Right? Some of you may be heading out for some fun tomorrow, and I thought I’d give you an idea you may just want to add to your celebration arsenal.

Sarah turns 4 on July 5, so the weekend turns into a big celebration for whomever from our families can come (and by “big celebration” I mean we sit around the kiddie pool eating, drinking, and talking; we might go to a parade–but there is cake!). We also don’t have fireworks in the grand city of Elgin anymore, so when the sun goes down we often sit around the firepit making s’mores with the kids, decked out in glow bracelets. When the kids go to bed, we sit around the fire, eating, drinking, and talking. Do you sense a theme for our get-togethers? 🙂

A snag in the whole celebration thing can be the fact that it can be blistering hot and humid this time of year. No need to add fuel to the fire by turning on the oven! So, how do you come up with festive snacks that are transportable (to picnics, fireworks, parades, or the firepit) and don’t turn your kitchen into a sauna? The microwave, my friends! A few weeks ago I wrote about a snack involving popcorn, cereal, pretzels, and peanuts made in the microwave (see Popcorn in the Pot). Perfect! However, using that basic recipe, I one-upped myself.

This is a snack for the Fourth of July!

It makes a large batch, so have a big container (or two) ready. And yes, just think about the possibilities… football get-togethers, back-to-school parties, baby showers, wedding showers, Halloween (though don’t ask me how to get black without burning the popcorn!), Christmas…

Happy celebrating, everyone!

——————————————————————————–

 Patriotic Popcorn

The Presto PowerPop or another microwave popcorn popper is going to help a lot with this recipe to keep the temperature in your kitchen down.

  • 24 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 12 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • red food coloring
  • blue food coloring
  • salt 
  1. Place 8 cups of popcorn in large microwave-safe bowl; set aside. 
  2. In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 1/4 cup margarine, 6 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. corn syrup, and 1/s tsp vanilla. 
  3. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until mixture is boiling, stirring after 1 minute.  Add red food coloring (how dark you want it will determine how much you add; I added 10 drops or so for a vibrant color) and stir. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until all pieces are evenly coated. 
  4. Microwave on high 2 to 4 minutes, stirring thoroughly with rubber spatula every minute and scraping sides and bottom of bowl.* Watch carefully–it can burn on the bottom rather quickly; this time around I ended up only doing it 3 minutes.
  5. Spread on waxed paper to cool (or just put in the big container); stir occasionally to break up.
  6. Repeat process with 8 more cups of popcorn, but use blue food coloring in the coating mixture.
  7. Add the remaining 8 cups of popcorn (you could do more, too, if you wanted) to the large container. Sprinkle whole mixture with salt and mix together. 

Store in airtight container.

 *Mixture may be baked in conventional oven instead of microwave—bake for 45 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes.

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