easy recipe

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Balls

When summer comes around I always think about amusement parks and popcorn balls. The only time I had popcorn balls as a kid was when my family would go to the local amusement park. This park, long gone, was known for their popcorn balls. I was asked to come up with a simple gift kids could make for their dads for Father’s Day.  I decided on popcorn balls. Easy for the kids to work with. Once the popcorn balls were cooled they were wrapped in plastic wrap. The kids then took pieces of cellophane and wrapped the popcorn balls up to look like candy. Add ribbon and a Happy Father’s Day gift tag and we were good to go.

Popcorn Balls

9 c. popped popcorn
1 c. sugar
1 T. butter
1 T. vanilla
1 c. corn syrup*

Place popcorn in large bowl and set aside. Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and corn syrup in a saucepan. Heat and boil until thick, about 4 minutes. Pour over popcorn . Stir until well coated. Let cool until safe enough to handle. With buttered hands form mixture into balls. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap until ready to eat. Best eaten within a few days of making. Makes about 8.

*If you don’t have corn syrup- or don’t want to use it here is a way to make a substitute for it.

 

Sugar Syrup- corn syrup substitute

3  cups granulated sugar

1 cup Water

1/2  tsp. Cream of Tartar

1/4 t. salt

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook to soft-ball stage. Stir frequently.

Soft ball stage occurs at 235-245 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. In the water, use your fingers to gather the cooled syrup into a ball. If it has reached soft-ball stage, the syrup easily forms a ball while in the cold water, but flattens once removed from the water.

Remove from heat. Cool and store at room temperature. It will keep well for a month or two.

 

Cellophane-wrapped popcorn balls

Cellophane-wrapped popcorn balls

 

Easy Chicken Nuggets-Baked!!

Easy Chicken Nuggets

Easy Chicken Nuggets

This might be a nice choice for kids to make for Mom. Easy to make and so much better than what is served at fast food places. I often make a big batch and freeze some for later.

Chicken Nuggets

1 egg

3 T. milk

1 t. dried parsley

1/2 t. paprika

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/4 t. garlic powder

1 lb. boneless chicken, cubed into 1-inch pieces

bread crumbs- about a cup

oil

Combine egg with milk and seasonings in a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth. Add the chicken to the egg mixture and stir to coat well. Using a fork remove the chicken pieces and drop in the breadcrumbs, rolling to coat evenly. Place breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little oil and place in a preheated 450 degree oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is cooked. Serve with barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey  mustard or whatever dipping sauces you like. Serves 3-4.

To freeze for later use you can freeze raw or cooked- I prefer to freeze the nuggets raw and cook when needed. Place nuggets on a baking sheet and place in freezer until hard. Place in freezer container. When using frozen uncooked nuggets- bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.