Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grandma G's Microwave Caramel Corn

I think this recipe came from my Grandma, but maybe it came from mi madre. Either way, it's still Grandma G's recipe. I've enjoyed numerous batches of this crunchy treat over many, many years. Last night around 9:30 Mauri requested we make some, since she will be getting braces today and will have to stay away from all things sticky/crunchy/gummy for a couple of years. I hadn't made it for a long time, and was reminded once again how quick and easy it is.

Grandma G's Microwave Caramel Corn

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cube BUTTER (or margarine)

Microwave for 2 minutes, then stir. Microwave 2 more minutes, then add:

1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Stir (will foam a little), then pour over popcorn. Stir. Microwave all together for 1-1/2 minutes more, stirring every 30 seconds. Let cool until crispy.

*Notes: Always use a glass bowl for the caramel. Once, when Bill and I were visiting my sister in Maryland (18 years ago), we made it in a plastic bowl. Not a good idea. The caramel melted a nice big hole in the bottom of the bowl and we had a hot mess. Literally.

The quantity of popcorn needed is subjective. I have made this using air-popped popcorn or microwave popcorn (it's delicious over butter flavored, and the salt gives it a little savory, too). I have found that the perfect amount of popcorn is pretty much a single full-sized bag of microwave popcorn per recipe.

Per my grandma, ALWAYS sort the unpopped kernels (I think we used to call them old maids) out of your popcorn before pouring the caramel over. We wouldn't want any EXTRA dental work!!

You can do the last step (popcorn and caramel together) in a plastic bowl, if needed. You just have to make sure it will fit in your microwave.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Misty's Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

I am not doing great at getting my favorite recipes posted. Obviously.
I've actually been in quite a baking/cooking/grilling/making dinner RUT. Life has been so busy that, by the time dinner rolls around, I am only looking for cheap, fast, easy, and low-mess options. Unfortunately, this has led to many a freezer-to-stovetop-to-table meal. (We've been having a lot of Costco's Crazy Cuisine brand of Chicken Teriyaki over rice with frozen oriental veggies lately. 20 minutes, 2 frypans + a rice cooker, about $7 for the entire meal for 4.)

Excuses aside, I've had the pic for this cake on my desktop since we made it for Shi's birthday, and decided today was the day to git 'er done - before I lose the recipe (it's happened before).

This recipe came from my awesome next-door neighbor, Misty.

Misty's Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
12 oz fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10" Bundt pan (10 to 15 cup pan). Sift together 2-1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place in oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, pipe cream cheese icing over the top and serve.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbs. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Yummy, yummy!