Monday, February 07, 2005

The Best Caramel Corn

I tried this at a Christmas party and just now got the recipe. There was another batch of caramel corn there and this one beat it all hollow.

1 cup hot air popcorn kernels
2 cups butter
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pop the corn. Mix butter, sugars, and salt. Boil for five minutes. Then stir in vanilla and soda. Drizzle over popcorn. Place in a large roasting pan and bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir frequently. Cool before serving.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Successful Soup and Substitutions

I tried the "Cream of Acorn Squash" recipe that Sarah posted a while back (post entitled "Tale of Two Soups"). Delicious soup. I'm sure that if I'd followed the recipe, it would have been just as good.

I mostly did follow it. Due to an absence of limes and cream, I used lemon juice and evaporated milk/milk instead. I also added salt, garlic, and celery salt. It was quite good, served with biscuits. I'm enormously proud of myself for making and enjoying a squash dish. Thanks for the recipe, Sarah.

Also, I made a coffee cake that called for sour cream, which I didn't have. I used plain yogurt and cream cheese instead. How often will you have plain yogurt and cream cheese instead of sour cream on hand? Well, if it ever happens, now you know what to do.

-- SJ

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mexican Corn and Bean Soup

While this is not the exact recipe that Sarah is looking for, we had it for dinner last week and it was very good. As with any soup, you could add in any extra vegetables you have on hand and just make more broth. The benefit to this recipe is that it is FAST. Great for coming home from work and having something ready 20 minutes later.

2 t olive oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1 t ground cumin
1 t minced garlic (the bottled kind or fresh)
1/2 t dried oregano
1 C frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 t black pepper
1 - 14 oz can chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
Lime slices (optional)
Cilantro (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, cumin, garlic and oregano; saute 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in corn, pepper, broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Serve with lime slices and top with cilantro if desired. Serves 2-3.