Fourth of July Popcorn | Popcorn & Chocolate

Popping 4th of July

Fourth of July Popcorn | Popcorn & ChocolateHello popcorn lovers! Can you believe it’s already almost the 4th of July? What are all you doing? For me every year is different. When I was little, my family used to go to the local park and watch the fireworks with our close friends. I always loved this since they set up a carnival and rides beforehand. My dad and I used to bike down early in the day so I could play on the rides. I always remember one year he bought me a balloon and just as we left, the balloon popped because it was so hot out! I was sad so we went back and got another. We got half way home on the bike with this balloon before, POP! We ended up just going home, and my dad drove back later and got me a new balloon. I kept this one until it got small and pruney. Thanks dad :)

Strawberry Pie Flavored Popcorn | Popcorn & Chocolate

Holiday Popcorn | Popcorn & Chocolate

More recently I prefer to grill up some good food, make a refreshing drink, and watch the Macy’s fireworks on TV. I know that’s lame, but it’s always fun to watch! Plus, then you can pop up a huge fresh batch of popcorn and eat it right out of the bowl. And lately I’ve been dreaming up this delicious red white and blue inspired sweet treat for your 4th of July get-together. This strawberry pie popcorn is sweet and decadent without being too over the top. The best part is that it’s not too messy, so you could pack it up in tupperware with your picnic and bring it to share with whoever you watch the fireworks with. But be warned, you might want to hoard it all for yourself. It’s that good. Plus, it’s very allergy friendly – there’s no dairy, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, or gluten here! Just freeze dried strawberries, coconut butter, coconut oil, salt and sugar. Simple and delicious! What are you waiting for? Let’s get popping!

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Ingredients: Serves 2 hungry popcorn lovers or a group of 3-4

  • 1/4 cup Freeze dried strawberries  (we bought them at Target, but Trader Joes also has a good selection)
  • 1.5 tablespoons slightly melted Coconut butter
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons melted Coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (if you don’t have vanilla sugar you can just use the sugar of your choice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup kernels

Instructions:

  1. Pop up your kernels either on the stove top or in an air popper and then lay out on parchment paper on top of a baking sheet
  2. Preheat your oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Grind the freeze dried strawberries, the vanilla sugar and the salt together in the food processor for a couple of seconds or until the strawberries are a fine powder
  4. Mix together the coconut butter, 1.5 tablespoons of the coconut oil, and about half of the strawberry mixture in a small bowl
  5. Drizzle the remaining coconut oil over the popcorn and then sprinkle the remaining strawberry mixture on top of it
  6. Drizzle the coconut butter mixture on top of the popcorn
  7. Pop in the oven for about 5 minutes – you don’t want it to burn!

Strawberry pie fourth of July popcorn | Popcorn & chocolate

Strawberry Pie Fourth of July Popcorn | Popcorn & Chocolate4th of July popcorn recipe | Popcorn & Chocolate

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Apple Cider Popcorn

IMG_8648As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m trying to finalize my menu and get everything ready so I know what to make ahead of time and what has be done the day of.

IMG_8662I love to plan things, but I’m not the best at executing them. I’ll spend days looking over different recipes online trying to find the perfect one that fits well with everything else that is being made. Usually I save a few and go back and forth between them before I throw in the red flag and give up on it all.

IMG_8666As I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, I am determined to not give up! I have all my recipes planned out and I won’t let myself change them up last minute… although I did just find a mashed potato recipe that looked better than the one I chose…

IMG_8677I’ve got plenty of delicious looking sides and my mom is graciously going to help me with the whole turkey situation as that is foreign territory to me.

IMG_8686For dessert, my family always loves a classic apple pie, so I will gladly make that (and eat it too)! But, after talking to Rose, who is baking 2 desserts for 3 people (I’m cooking for 5) I’m suddenly worried I won’t have enough desserts for everyone to enjoy. I mean, you always want leftover desserts to go with your leftover turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes, right?

IMG_8694Rose and I have the perfect extra recipe that can be added last minute to anyone’s Thanksgiving menu and is guaranteed to go with everything. What is you ask? Well, popcorn is involved… and apple cider.. yep, we made an apple cider popcorn! It is crunchy and sweet and full flavor, perfect for a pre-dinner appetizer or an after dinner sweet treat.

IMG_8697Apple Cider Popcorn (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple sugar (or brown sugar or coconut sugar)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Pop the popcorn kernels on the stovetop or in an air popper (if you need directions, look at this post) and lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan on medium heat, reduce apple cider until it is thicker and looks about 2 tablespoons, stirring occasionally. This should take around 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once reduced, add coconut oil and turn the heat to low, stirring frequently.
  4. Add in the maple sugar and simmer for another 2-3 minutes until frothy, stirring frequently.
  5. Drizzle over popped popcorn and sprinkle with salt and sugar to taste.
  6. Enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

IMG_8640There you have it! A, what I would call, perfect addition to any Thanksgiving feast! It is quick and easy to make and can be made ahead of time as to not add to the Thanksgiving cooking stress, although I can’t guarantee that you won’t be tempted to eat it all before Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!IMG_8638

Thanks to Tatertots & Jello for hosting!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cups

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & ChocolateYou know what is better than pumpkin spice peanut butter?? Pumpkin spice peanut butter that is surrounded by white chocolate!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

I know I know! I just couldn’t resist the combination: pumpkin spice, peanut butter, white chocolate! What isn’t to love??

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

Plus, these are ridiculously easy to make and even easier to eat. We followed the same steps to how we made our homemade Easter Bunny Reese’s.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

So grab some white chocolate and that pumpkin spice peanut butter I know you made 😉 and get to it!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • White chocolate – we used a bar of Ghirardelli since we’ve found in the past that white chocolate chips don’t quite melt right
  • Pumpkin spice peanut butter (note: you could use any type of peanut butter but seriously what fun is it if there is no pumpkin or pumpkin spice in it??)

Steps:

  1. Heat white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl stirring often so it does not burn (we usually do about 20 seconds, stir, and put it back in for 10-20 second intervals after that until it’s mostly melted, then stir in the rest).
  2. Pour a thin layer of melted white chocolate onto the bottom of a mold (we used one like this – you can find good ones on amazon) or mini cupcake wrappers (big one’s if you are really wanting something sweet!). Put in the freezer for 15-20 minutes just so they harden up a little bit.
  3. Scoop out your peanut butter and add it on top of the white chocolate. You can do a thin layer or really glob it on there depending on the pb/chocolate ratio you want. We used a medium amount so it covered the whole bottom but wasn’t piled on. Put in the freezer again for a couple of minutes to harden.
  4. Top the peanut butter with the remaining white chocolate and then set back in the freezer to harden fully.
  5. Once it’s all hardened up, put in the fridge until you’ve eaten them all!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

See, wasn’t that easy? Easy as, well, pumpkin pie!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

These mini delights would be the perfect treat to bring to a festive fall or Halloween party. Or, they would be perfect to bring to your couch and eat while watching the newest episode of Nashville – it’s totally up to you.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

Want to see some other delicious pumpkin recipes? Check out this party thanks to Sarah, Holly, Alyson, and Tabitha!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cups | Popcorn & Chocolate

4th of July Pops

red white and blue fruit popsicle

As a kid growing up in New Hampshire where the summers are hot and sticky there wasn’t anything that I wanted to eat more than a nice refreshingly cold popsicle. I used to spend my summer days swimming and then go and buy a popsicle from the little stand by our pool. It was always such a hard decision which popsicle to get; do you get the ones with the gumball eyes? Or the creamsicle? Or the classic red, white, and blue firecracker popsicle? You really couldn’t go wrong with any of those choices.

red white and blue fruit popsicles

As it has gotten closer to the 4th of July I’ve been seeing the firecracker popsicles taunting me at the grocery store with their festive coat of red, white, and blue. My 5 year old self started drooling at remembrance of those decadent delights. The purple stained lips and tongue, the sticky fingers, the wonderful surprise as you go from each different flavor. Oh, how my stomach longed for those popsicles. After a few days of not being able to shake that craving I had to take action. I whipped out my blender and grabbed some fresh fruit, yogurt, and milk from the fridge. I was going to make a festive treat that could be enjoyed guiltlessly at anytime of the day, and one that would hopefully not stain my teeth purple..

red white and blue popsicles

Here, my friends, is our version of the infamous firecracker popsicle perfect for your 4th of July soiree. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes delicious! Not to mention it is full of nutritious fruit. Enjoy the simplicity of a wonderfully refreshing popsicle on the 4th of July.

red white and blue fruit popsicle

Ingredients:

  • 1/3  – 1/2 cup strawberries – or any red fruit
  • Yogurt – we used greek yogurt, but you could sub dairy free yogurt as well
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • Honey, or sweetener of choice
  • Milk – we used almond milk

1. In a blender blend together around a 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of fresh strawberries, 1 tablespoon greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon honey, and a dash of milk (around a tablespoon or 2 depending on how well your blender can blend non-liquid foods). Pour the contents from the blender into your popsicle molds; this made about 4-5 popsicles for me. Put popsicles in the fridge to set up for about 15 minutes.

2. For the next layer just blend together greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon honey, and a splash of milk. I did about 1/2 cup of greek yogurt for all of the popsicles. Pout this next layer on top of the strawberry layer in the popsicle and again let it set up for about 15 minutes.

3. For the blueberry layer, blend about a 1/3 cup of blueberries, 1 tablespoon greek yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon honey, and some milk (again, it depends on how well your blender works). Pour the final layer on top of the greek yogurt layer and stick the popsicle stick into the mold. Let the popsicle fully freeze before enjoying on a hot summer day!

Red white and blue firecracker popsicles

These popsicles are so yummy and easy to make, plus with all the greek yogurt they add a good source of protein for an afternoon snack! I’ve been munching on these once I get home from work pretty much every day this past week. Yum yum yum, my childhood self is quite content with these new ‘firecracker’ popsicles!

melting popsicle

Got to eat them before they melt!