Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken with Tyson Any’tizers Popcorn Chicken for Quick Meal! Plus Support Your School with Tyson Project A+! #WMTProjectAPlus

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This Homemade Sweet & Sour recipe is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Tysons Popcorn Chicken Any'tizer

We just love takeout Chinese food in our family & the all-time favorite dish is Sweet & Sour Chicken. However, as you know, takeout Chinese can get pricey, especially when you add in delivery when you’re short on time, so we were excited when we came up with a recipe that our girls love to have Sweet & Sour Chicken homemade at home.

It can be a little time-consuming to make on busy school nights, though, as you first have to fry the chicken and then bake it in the sauce for about an hour to keep it crispy.  So, I was excited to try a short-cut using  Tyson® Popcorn Chicken- Any’tizers® snacks for our chicken and then combining it with our homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Tyson Popcorn Chicken Any'tizers

We headed to Walmart today to pick up the Tyson® Popcorn Chicken- Any’tizers® snacks and by the time we had gotten home from running other errands, it was late & I needed to fix dinner quickly. This was such a nice way to still have a home-cooked meal but with the added convenience of using the pre-cooked chicken to speed up the whole process. All I needed to do with the chicken was to heat it up in the oven (you can microwave it too if you really need it quickly) and then combine with the sauce that I cooked on the stove top.  So, it sped up the whole process of making Sweet & Sour Chicken so I could get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.

Sweet & Sour Chicken::

Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken

I’ve included the directions for making your own fried chicken in the recipe below, but I definitely encourage you to think about buying Tyson® Popcorn Chicken- Any’tizers® snacks as that will definitely speed up the process for getting dinner on the table quickly for this yummy Sweet & Sour Chicken meal.

You can also take out the pineapple if your family prefers not to have pineapple in the dish; however, I think that gives it a little extra sweetness, so you may want to adjust the Apple Cider Vinegar (lower it a little more) if you take it out or add a little more sugar. This recipe will really rely on what your taste is as to whether you like it more sour or sweet & you can adjust the Apple Cider Vinegar & sugar accordingly once you’ve tried it out.

Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken
Ingredients
  • Recipe for Fried Chicken (or use Tyson Popcorn Chicken - Any'tizer Snacks in place of these instructions)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Recipe for the Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can of pineapple slices or pineapple chunks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. To make the Sweet & Sour sauce:
  3. Add sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a large bowl and mix together with a whisk. Heat this up to boiling & then turn the temperature to medium. Add pineapple slices and simmer on the stove for 10 minute, stirring frequently.
  4. To Fry the Chicken::
  5. In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
  7. (You can skip this step if you use Tyson Popcorn Chicken. If using the frozen chicken, place on a baking sheet & place in oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until crispy.)
  8. Add chicken to sauce simmering on the stove and stir it all together.
  9. Serve with rice.

 

Tyson Popcorn Chicken Any'tizer

After trying out our homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken using the Tyson® Popcorn Chicken Any’tizers® Snacks, the whole family agreed that it was very tasty & tasted just like our version using chicken we fried ourselves. The chicken was very moist & tender and held the Sweet & Sour sauce & flavor very well.

It is all-white meat, which is packed with protein to give your kids extra fuel on those busy school nights. We will definitely be keeping these on hand for dinner shortcuts during the busy school year as they are so simple & easy to prepare for dinner or even an after-school snack.

Here are more Tyson® products which are participating in the Tyson Project A+™ Program::

  • Honey BBQ Chicken Wyngz* – Any’tizers® snacks
  • Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Wyngz* – Any’tizers® snacks
  • Popcorn Chicken- Any’tizers® snacks
  • Homestyle Chicken Fries – Any’tizers® snacks

Tyson Project A+™ program:

Tyson Project A+ Program

Not only does Tyson® have great products to help you during those busy school nights, but you can also help support your school by buying select Tyson® products with the Walmart Tyson® Project A+™ program. You can collect Tyson Project A+ ™ labels from participating packages (look on the back to make sure it has the label) and clip the label off when you’re done with the product. For every label submitted, Tyson® will give your school cash to use the money however they need. This is definitely information to share with your parent-teacher group at your school or directly with the school, so they can encourage parents to buy Tyson® products & bring in those labels to support the school. You can find out more about the program at Walmart.com/TysonProjectAPlus.

 

Zucchini Bread – Moist & Flavorful and Great Way to Use Up Summer Produce!

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Zucchini Bread - Moist & Flavorful

Have you had an abundance of zucchini this year? Our zucchini plants have been going full force for most of the summer (since late June) and they just haven’t stopped producing zucchini, so we’ve been trying out all sorts of ways to use the zucchini. Our favorite way to use up the zucchini is to make zucchini bread & we’ve been trying out different recipes. My kids are the true taste testers as they will let you know which one is best and they decided that this recipe was the most moist & flavorful and it happens to be a favorite in my extended family, too, as it’s my sweet aunt’s recipe.

If you don’t have the time to cook up the zucchini bread or want to be able to extend the time you can make zucchini bread into fall, you can just shred up the zucchini and freeze it. Then you’ll be able to pull it out & make zucchini bread at a later date.  Or make the zucchini bread and then store the bread in the freezer to bring out when you want to enjoy it  or to give to a new neighbor or when you bring a meal to someone.

How to Freeze Shredded Zucchini::

If you have a large zucchini (these are the ones we often use for bread as they are not as good for slicing), first cut it in half long-wise & use a spoon to scoop out the center with all the seeds.

Shred the zucchini – I like to leave the peel in mine for added nutrients, so I just shred it without peeling the skin, but you can peel it first if you prefer no skin.

Put the shredded zucchini on several paper towels & blot the zucchini with another paper towel to try to get as much moisture out as possible before freezing it. This is because zucchini can be very mushy after you freeze then thaw it, so the more moisture you can get out ahead of time, the better!

Place shredded zucchini inside a ziploc bag. I like to freeze it in 1 or 2 cup baggies so I know how much is in each bag. In this case, this recipe calls for 2 cups, so I would freeze the zucchini in 2 cup size baggies.

Write the date you freeze it & how many cups it is on the outside. I like to double bag my freezer bags. If you’re freezing several of these bags of 2 cups of shreddedzucchini, you can put  them inside a gallon size freezer bag all together & then just take out a bag as needed.

When you are ready to use it, bring it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight. Once it’s thawed, you may need to blot it again with a paper towel to pick up the excess moisture/water before using it in the recipe.

Moist & Flavorful Zucchini Bread::

Zucchini Bread - Moist & Flavorful and Great Way to Use Up Summer Produce!

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2 loaves

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs until foamy in bowl.
  3. Add in sugar, zucchini and vanilla and mix lightly but well.
  4. Next add in flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, mixing it all together.
  5. Fold in chopped nuts by spoon.
  6. Grease two loaf pans.
  7. Pour mixture into two loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. This will make 2 loaves of zucchini bread.

 

Let us know what you think of this zucchini bread recipe! We’d also love to hear your favorite ways to use zucchini in recipes!

More of our favorite summertime recipes:


Freezer Cooking Meal Plans – 20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meal Plans for $160 from $5 Dinners

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 Make 20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals in Under 2 Hours! Freezer Cooking Meal Plans for Slow Cooker – 20 Recipes for around $160!

As we get ready for back to school time, I know I am already thinking about ideas of making life easier during school time and meal planning is always at the top of my list. With a regular meal plan, it takes the stress out of deciding what will be for dinner and it’s more frugal as you’re not headed out to the store for last-minute ingredients by buying the ingredients ahead of time for what you will need to make for meals.

To help with meal plan ideas, Erin Chase from $5 Dinners has created a meal plan to help you plan ahead by first creating Freezer Meals which you can then put into the Slow Cooker for those really busy days! These are freezer meal ideas that require little prep  so you can fix them, store them in the freezer and make later in the slow cooker.

You can make enough dinners to last a month in less than 2 hours & fill your freezer for around $160 (prices may be slightly higher here in the NW depending on the sales)! You can then thaw the meals in the fridge and throw it in the crockpot to have dinner ready when you get home!  Plus there are modifications to make these meals gluten free, dairy free as well as Whole30 & Paleo modifications, too!

All of the recipes are “Freezer to Slow Cooker Recipes” with very minimal prep. Just load up all the bags with the ingredients and freeze them. Then you can take the meal you want, thaw it partially in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of warm water on the counter for 20 minutes and drop all the ingredients into the slow cooker.

Here’s what you’ll find in this plan::

Recipes:

Each pack in this plan is DOUBLED except for the pork chops, so these 11 recipes make 20 packs total! Each pack is portioned to serve a family of 4. Larger families or those with bigger appetites can double or use 2 packs for 1 meal! There are also suggested side dish ideas on the recipes & shopping list

  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
  • (1) Slow Cooker Orange Pork Chops
  • (1) Slow Cooker Islander Pork Chops
  • (2) Slow Cooker (Ground) Beef Stroganoff
  • (2) Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Soup
  • (2) Slow Cooker Beef & Black Bean Chili
  • (2) Slow Cooker Tamale Pie
  • (2) Slow Cooker Beef ‘n Broccoli
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sweet ‘n Sour Beef

Shopping lists: 

  • Warehouse Store Shopping List – 1 shopping list for the warehouse store and what you might need from the grocery store (although most ingredients are pantry staples or spices you already have on hand.) This shopping list comes with both the basic & the complete plan. 
  • Grocery Store Shopping List – 1 for the grocery store, if you plan to shop for all the ingredients at once from the grocery store. (Included in the complete plan option)
  • Grocery Store “by Meat Type” Shopping List –  for the grocery store, broken down by type of meat…so that when that meat is on sale, you can buy just what you need for those recipes and assemble those meals. By getting the meat when it’s on sale can cut at least $20-$30 off your total bill for all these ingredients. (included in the complete plan option)

More Included::

  • Warehouse Shopping List
  • Recipe List
  • Gluten Free Modifications for each of the recipes
  • Dairy-free modifications for the 2 recipes that include dairy
  • Whole 30 & Paleo modifications for each of the recipes too

 Meal Plan Package Options::

  1. 20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals – Basic Meal Plan – $2.49  This includes the printable recipes and printable warehouse shopping list  – $2.49
  2. 20 Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals – Complete Package of Meal Plan – $5  – Includes printable recipes, shopping lists, assembly instructions & video, as well as instructions on how to make it even more budget-friendly with ways to save on the ingredients  – $5

 

Easy Blackberry Cobbler / Crumb Recipe & Blackberry Picking

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blackberry cobbler

We are fortunate enough to live near many blackberry bushes. Each year around this time, I take my kids out and we will spent the afternoon picking blackberrys. One of our favorite things to do with the blackberrys (well the ones that make it home that is), is to put together this quick and easy blackberry cobbler / crumb (I know a cobbler is more of a batter top, but folks seem to call this recipe by both names, so just kept it easy). I love this dessert, because if you have those thorny blackberry bushes somewhere near you, you can usually get the fruit for free, and the remaining ingredients are fairly inexpensive. We pick enough blackberries to freeze some, so we can make it throughout the year. Its very forgiving too, so if you want to mix in other berries or fruit with this dessert – the more the merrier!

Step 1 – Have Fun! A little dramatic posing for the camera usually helps this process.

 Step 2 – Eat As You Go! I know this step may gross some people out, but my family is just gross like that :)

Step 3 –  Bring A BIG Bucket. When they are ripe, they are ready to be picked, and its so easy to freeze what you don’t use.

To freeze put your berries out in a single layer on a tray and add to the freezer for about 20 minutes. You can then transfer them to a storage container or freezer bag, without having them all stick together in one clump once frozen.

Now, to make the cobbler!

Blackberry cobbler recipe

Blackberry Cobbler / Crumb Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups of blackberries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Package of yellow cake mix (only 1 cup is needed)
  • 1 cup of instant rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • cube of real butter (cold)

To Make the Berry Mix

  • We started by washing our freshly picked blackberries (you could substitute frozen berries, just thaw them), and filling the bottom of an 8 x8 dish with the berries (about 3 or 4 cups, if its a shallow pan, about half way up with berries).
  • Add a 1/2 cup of sugar to the berries and gently mix in (you can add more, I like mine slightly tart to contrast with the sweeter crust, and ice cream we always add).

For the Cobbler Topping:

Mix together –

  • 1 cup of packaged yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of instant rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of flour ( you can substitute more of the yellow cake mix if you like your batter on the sweeter side, instead of the flour)

Cut in 1/4 of the cube of butter

Blackberry crumb recipe

I do this by using my cheese grater and grating the butter over the mixture, then using a fork to work it in.

Crumble the topping over the top of the berry mix so that it covers it all.

Take the remaining butter and using your cheese grater – grate a thin layer of butter over the top of the crumble mix. I usually end up with about 1/4 of the stick of butter left after this. This step is important, as it will turn that dry crumble mix you just sprinkled on the top, into the golden crust shown above. You will want your butter to be really cold, to grate easily.

All in all, it probably took me 5 minutes in prep time, once the berries were clean. Put in a 350 degree over for approx. 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

We served with some Fred Meyer brand vanilla ice cream we picked up for $1.59 last week. Talk about big taste bang for your buck.

More dessert ideas:

No Bake Cake (could use blackberries with this one too!)

Summertime Blueberry Pie

Cheesecake in a Jar

Ivars Clam Chowder Recipe (SO Good!)

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Ivars Clam Chowder Recipe 2

If you love Ivars Clam Chowder, and want to try making it at home, we have the recipe! My husband is a huge fan of the thick and creamy Ivars Clam Chowder, so we recently tried our hands at this Ivars Clam Chowder Recipe (as shown in Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook!). We loved it, and it will be a go to recipe for chowder moving forward!

Clam Chowder Recipe 1

Here is the Ivars Clam Chowder Recipe (slightly adapted) as shown in Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook!

Ingredients 
3 thick strips bacon, coarsely chopped
½ cup finely chopped onion (¼-inch dice)
½ cup finely chopped celery (¼-inch dice)
½ cup finely chopped potatoes (¼-inch dice)
1 (6½-ounce) can minced clams, drained, clams and juice reserved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half, warmed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clam Chowder Recipe

1. Cook the bacon until browned in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, until cooked, but not crispy.

2. Drain the juice from the clams into a separate bowl, and set the clams aside (you will need the clam juice for the next step).

3. In the same pot that you browned your bacon, stir in the onion, celery, and potato, and add the reserved juice from the clams. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables (as shown in picture above), set the pan over high heat, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to med low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender.

4. Next, melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

5. Whisk in the warm half-and-half, and continue whisking and cooking for about 5 minutes over medium low heat until the flour is cooked, and mixture is thickening and smooth (note –  you can substitute milk here, but will lose some of the richness of this recipe).

6. Once you have the half and half base down add all of the cooked vegetables AND their cooking liquids to the base.

7. Add the clams you set aside.

8. Lastly, season with salt, and pepper and parsley.

We love to serve it with some great sourdough bread, but its perfect on its own too! Its also great refrigerated and reheated for a couple of days after making, or freeze in single serve sides for easy lunches!

Ivars Clam Chowder

And, if you want the 100% authentic Ivars Clam Chowder recipe, then check out the Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook.

Other Soup Recipes you might be interested in:

Many Uses for Honey for Beauty, Cooking & more! #BenefitsofHoney Plus Mexican Mocha Coffee Creamer Recipe!

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Mexican Mocha Creamer

We have been in the process of finding more ways to live a healthier lifestyle by using less processed ingredients & sugars, using more natural products around our home, as well more natural products for our bodies.  We have been using honey more as a natural sweetener in things like smoothies, greek yogurt berry parfaits and baking, but I was surprised to learn about the other important ways that honey can benefit us in our daily lives.

I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by the National Honey Board last week at the Seattle Art Museum, which was very enlightening for me and inspired me to find many more ways to incorporate honey usage into our daily lives as honey is such a versatile staple to have on hand in your home.

Honey Varietals

I was also surprised to learn that there are over 300 varietals of honey! Did you have any idea there were so many different kinds? We only typically see a few varietals in the stores, but if you’re interested in some unique varietals, then check out the Honey.com website where they have a Honey Locator to find which locations near you may offer different varietals you’re interested in. I got to try several different varieties & found that I loved the Orange Blossom & Alfalfa varietals, but it will all depend on your preference for sure. I think it would be fun to have a get-together where you offer different varietals of honey for folks to try with different kinds of cheeses & crackers as part of the appetizers. They call these “Honey Tasting Parties” and it’s fun to see which are the favorite flavors.

Benefits of Using Honey::

Natural Cough Suppressant:

I was most interested in finding out more details about honey as a natural cough suppressant as both of my kiddos had been sick the last two weeks with a bad cold and cough. When I called the Nurse Helpline at our doctor’s office for tips on helping my kids feel better since they were both so miserable, one of the tips the nurse shared was to have my daughter to eat a spoonful of honey or put a spoonful of honey in a warm liquid like tea or even warm apple juice. This is something I have long heard from my grandma (also a nurse), but I wondered about how effective it was compared to cough suppressants.   I talked with Nurse Barb Dehn, who was at the National Honey Board event, to find out more about this and she shared that research has shown that a small dose of buckwheat honey was more effective than over the counter cough suppressants for nighttime cough relief & sleeping. We really try to use any over-the-counter medications sparingly and have been actively searching out natural options in place of medications, so I love that such a basic staple like honey is something we could use to help relieve the uncomfortableness associated with a cough & help our kids sleep better at night when they are struggling with that cough that just won’t end.  {Just remember that honey shouldn’t be given to a child under the age of 1}

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Popcorn Bar – Perfect for Many Occasions (Easy On the Budget Too)!

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Popcorn Bar Ideas 2

 

With graduation time coming up, we thought we would share this idea for a popcorn bar again, in case any of you are looking for an affordable way to throw a graduation party!

We love using a Popcorn Bar to entertain on a budget. Its a great way to have a fun snack for everyone, on a budget. You can make a gourmet Popcorn bar, or keep it really simple with just a few ingredients. Popcorn bars are suitable for birthday parties, football and game day parties, holidays and just because. Sometimes I will put one out for my kids for an after school snack, and they love that.

You could do a simple one for just a few dollars too!

grown up pocorn

Setting up your Popcorn Bar

Popcorn Bars not only provide a snack for guests, their set up makes great party decor too. Two super affordable options include:

  • Brown Paper Bags
  • Paper Cones

I love to use plain brown paper bags for serving, to keep it simple and affordable. You can decorate the outside of the bags ahead of time to make your popcorn bar look special. If its a kids party, you could have the kids decorate their own bags, so now its a snack and an activity, and you can get a bag of brown paper bags at the dollar store. Or, grab a roll of brown craft paper (I also find this for $1 at the Dollar Store), and make cones out of it to serve the popcorn in.

For the toppings you can do one of two things:

1) Set out toppings that guests can add to the popcorn themselves

or 2) Make up a few different Popcorn recipes and set them out to let your guests serve themselves

The quick and easy route is to make a large pot of plain popcorn, and serve it up in a bowl with melted butter and topping options on the side. This option will take around 15 minutes to cook and set up, so super easy!

Theme Ideas

Movie theater popcorn bar

Movie Theater Popcorn Bar (this one is fun for family movie nights, or a teen party, and more). I found all of these items at my local Dollar Store, but Amazon often has great prices on similar products. We used a set of the Popcorn bags and popcorn tub, but you could use these cute Popcorn boxes or boats too. I find the bags easiest to use so folks can add butter and toppings, close up bag and shake it up well.

I used a measuring cup for butter, added some salt, mexican chocolate, cinnamon and sugar and parmesean to the shaker sets we also found that the dollar store, so folks can top their own popcorn. A few simple pieces printed out clip art to finish off the decorations and this spread is ready to serve.

Popcorn Bar Final

Football Party Game Day Popcorn Bar – Use brown paper bags to make faux footballs for folks to scoop their popcorn into. You could use a paint pen, craft paint, or white tape to create the laces look (but we loved the Seahawk colors)!

Popcorn Craft Bags

Kids Art Party – Let the kids decorate the paper bags themselves as an activity, and then they can use their own bags for their popcorn treat!

You can also get all kinds of different colors for party bags, starting at just $1.49 per pack, if you are looking to coordinate them with specific party colors.

Flavored Popcorn Bar

Grown Up Popcorn Party – Popcorn fun is not just for kids. You can make a few of your favorite popcorn recipes (see below for ideas) ahead of time, and display them in a few of your best containers (these 1 gallon glass jars would be perfect). Label them to let folk know what they are. You can even create a card to let folks know what the best drink pairing would be, if you are offering different drinks (ie the Buffalo recipe will pair well with beer, the ranch recipe could go nice with a bottle of dry white, the Mexican chocolate with a cab, etc).

You can use your favorite paper for the Popcorn cones too. Simply wrap up a wax or parchment paper cone to put inside the decor paper to keep the buttery popcorn options from leaking through.

I used a Friends with Words game for signage. You could search your local Value Village or Goodwill for affordable scrabble games and use the letters from those for a similar look.

Popcorn 2

How to Make Popcorn 

You can use microwave popcorn, but I prefer fresh popped popcorn (and find it cheaper to just buy a bag of popcorn seeds). This Arrowhead Mills Organic popcorn is $3.69 on Amazon

I have a popcorn popper, but if you do not, you can simply make it in a large stockpot over the stove top.

To make popcorn over the stove you will need a 6-8 quart stock pot.

  • Set it on a burner, on medium heat and add 2 tbls of oil.
  • Let the oil heat up, then add a 1/2 cup of popcorn seeds and cover with the lid.
  • Gently shake the pan so that the oil covers the seeds and let it sit on medium heat until you hear the popcorn start popping.
  • Once popcorn starts popping, you can gently move the pan (shake lightly) back and forth to keep popcorn on the bottom from burning.
  • Once the popping noise stops, remove from heat immediately.

Popcorn Toppings 2

Topping Ideas for the Popcorn (Sweet  & Savory popcorn recipes): 

Note – you will want to have some melted butter available for folks to add to their popcorn first so that these toppings will stick.

Sweet popcorn recipes:

  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Sugar and salt mixture (for the sweet and salty taste)
  • Mexican Chocolate (mix 1 tbls chocolate powder, 1tbls sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon)

Savory popcorn recipes:

  • Salt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Salt and Pepper Mix
  • Your favorite herb mixes (Italian herbs, basil and lemon zest, etc)
  • Dry BBQ Seasoning

Toppings you can use and skip the butter: 

  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • M&Ms (the mini ones are fun)
  • Trail mix
  • Raisins

If you wanted to take the easy route, you can buy an 8 pack of Kernel Season’s Mini Jars Seasoning Variety Packs for under $15 too.

Gourmet Popcorn Recipes (or pre-made popcorn ideas): 

One easy tip to make a fun party popcorn is to prepare a baking tray with parchment paper, and lay out popped popcorn on the tray. Melt a bag of marshmallows in the microwave (put marshmallows in microwave safe bowl, and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave).

Once marshmallows are melted you can add in 1/2 stick of butter, salt, chocolate, toffee pieces, or any other flavors that sound good to you. You can also use food coloring if you are going for a certain color scheme for your party.

Pour marshmallow mix over your popcorn, mix, and let it sit until it firms up.

You can then add single serving sizes to the paper cones to serve.

Looking for more gourmet popcorn recipes? The Food Network has 50 Popcorn Recipes here you can use. We loved the Frito Pie, Bacon Chive, Baffalo and Maple Pecan especially!

 

8 Foods You Can Freeze

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8 Foods You Can Freeze

8  Foods That You Can Freeze 

We already know that the freezer is a great place for storing meats and frozen foods from our grocery store.  But it also is an ideal place to freeze those things that we don’t want to waste and we can use at a later date.  Here is a list of  8 surprising foods that can be frozen and used again in the future.

Freeze Butter

Butter  – Butter freezes remarkably well so put a few sticks in it’s original wrap in freezer bags and store for up to 6 months.

Freeze Eggs

 

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Chicken Enchiladas Recipe – Only 5 Ingredients!

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Chicken Enchiladas

Looking for an easy chicken enchilada recipe? Here is one that requires only 5 ingredients, and is pretty simple to put together! The nice thing about these enchiladas is that you can easily make them mild to spicy to suit your families taste buds! This is also a great freezer cooking recipe. I like to double my batch when I make them, and I freeze one batch for a quick and easy meal another night later in the month.

The other thing that is fun about this recipe is that you can keep it simple, or make it as fancy as you want just by adding side dishes. On a busy night I will make the enchiladas and serve them with a little sour cream and lettuce. If we are having company I will often put out various side condiments like this homemade Pico De Gallo, or Cowboy Caviar or Mexican Relish (cilantro, onions and lime – pictures above), some shredded lettuce, homemade Guacamole, and sour cream, and let guest serve themselves by adding their favorite toppings. Add in a batch of rice and beans, and this meal can be an affordable (and tasty) way to feed a crowd too.

chicken enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe - Only 5 Ingredients!
Ingredients
  • Shredded chicken breast (I use two good size chicken breasts)
  • 1 can of your favorite Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortillas (you can use flour or corn, your preference)!
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken breasts until cooked through
  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, let cool a bit and shred the meat
  3. Dice up half of the white onion
  4. Add in ⅓ cup of the enchilada sauce to the shredded chicken and mix well
  5. Fill Tortilla with a layer of seasoned shredded chicken, diced onion and shredded cheese, and roll up
  6. Place rolled enchiladas in a baking dish
  7. Spread the remaining ⅔ of the Enchilada sauce over the tortillas (covering all the tortilla tops)
  8. Add the remaining cheddar cheese to the top of the enchilada dish and cover with foil
  9. Bake at 350 for 15 -20 minutes
  10. Remove foil and let cheese on the toil broil up a bit (until its golden and bubbly)
  11. Let sit for a few minutes before serving

 

 

Mexican Relish (Cilantro, Onions and Lime)

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Mexican Relish

With the beautiful grilling weather, I love to make a batch of this Mexican Relish and use it on just about everything. I love to top grilled meats with it, mix it into salads, or mix it into some coleslaw for the perfect topping to fish tacos! Its a go to recipe at my house, since it is so easy to make, and really affordable, yet adds some great fresh flavor to many dishes. I can generally find all three ingredients for under $1 each, so it costs just around $3 to make a batch of this. Depending on how you use it, a batch can stretch across multiple meals too.

Mexican Relish (Cilantro, Onions and Lime)
Ingredients
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro, washed and patted dry
  • 1 Small white onion, or half of a large one, diced
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Once the cilantro is cleaned dice it up and add to a bowl
  2. Dice up a small white onion, or half of a large one and add the diced onions to the bowl with the cilantro
  3. Add the juice from one lime
  4. Add salt to taste (approx. ½ tsp)
  5. Mix together well, and store in the refrigerator

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