Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Magazines and Recipes and Homemade Cracker Jacks

I have several magazine subscriptions.  I am also a lover of books.  I'm never without a novel close by.    My magazine pile had gotten big so I decided not to start a new book until I had read the stack of magazines.  This was a serious decision.  Me without a book is like a teenager without a phone.  I like magazines because you can rip out pages with interesting crafty ideas (I don't keep many, I'm not a big craft do-er) and recipes.  Never would I dream of defacing a book this way.  Novels usually don't have interesting recipes or crafty ideas anyway.  I put my recipes in a simple binder with sheep protectors -- the ones I jot down, print from the internet and cut out of magazines.  That way they are all in one convenient place.  Here's my handy notebook:

Can you see I'm a little behind on sorting and organizing this notebook?  Its already overflowing.  After reading at least 6 magazines over the weekend, this isn't even all the recipes I have ripped out.  There's another stack hiding somewhere.  Organizing this mess is on my winter project to-do list.  I know you're thinking, "but isn't that what Pinterest is for?"  Read my previous blog post regarding my experience with using an electronic device to cook.  I like the sheet protectors, they make excellent splash guards!
Best recipe find of the weekend: Homemade Cracker Jacks.  
Easy, perfect.  Irresistible.  
You probably have the ingredients in your pantry waiting to be turned into this tasty snack.

First, pop about 8 cups of popcorn.
I used my Nordic Ware microwave air popper and about 1/3 cup of unpopped corn is the right amount.

Then, combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter and 3 tablespoons light corn syrup in a saucepan.  Heat until it reaches 255 degrees.  (A candy thermometer works for this step.)
Pour this delicious caramel over the popcorn and toss gently to coat.  Spread the coated popcorn on a greased cookie sheet and put in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Stir the popcorn and bake another 5 minutes.
Spread popcorn on another cookie sheet, lined with foil.  Sprinkle with about 1 cup of peanuts.
You won't want to, but let it cool before you dive in.
Just because I love these collage pictures, here they are all together:
This recipe is a keeper and definitely worth flipping through those magazines this weekend.  I am hooked.  The whole process took roughly 30 minutes.  It turned out so well, I made another batch to share!  

This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens July 2013 issue.  If you've got that one laying around, collecting dust and waiting to be read, go find it!

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