Fall Treats

I don’t share recipes much, having exhausted my repertoire some years ago. 🙂 But this lovely fall afternoon I wanted to make some Caramel Corn, and I thought I’d share the recipe here. This is one of my husband’s favorite snacks, especially when warm from the oven, and seems especially fallish.

I’ve been using this particular recipe for years. I don’t remember who I got it from, but I do remember asking someone for it after we had it at a ladies’ meeting at church. I stuck it over the Caramel Corn recipe in my cookbook, and it has been there ever since, some 30+ years now!

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Speaking of cookbooks, this is my Betty Crocker cookbook that I have had since college. It’s in sad shape, with the spine and back having come off a while back.

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I’ve thought about getting a new one, but I am sure the recipes would be different. I’ve thought about taking it apart and putting the recipes I use in the recipe books I compiled a few years ago. But – I know this one well and can find things by instinct at this point. So I’ll probably just use it as is until it falls apart.

By the way, I have a theory that the most stained recipes in a cookbook are the most used and therefore the best ones. Unless the cook is extremely neat – which I am not.

Anyway, back to the Caramel Corn. Here is the recipe:

Caramel Corn

Ingredients:

22 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 sticks margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup Karo (corn) syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread the popped corn in two ungreased baking sheets. Boil the margarine, brown sugar, and syrup in a saucepan on low to medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring very frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt and soda. Mixture will get foamy. Pour over the popped corn and stir to coat evenly. Place baking sheets in oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove sheets from oven and let cool just until you can handle the popcorn, maybe 10 minutes. It hardens quickly. By hand or using a spoon put the popcorn in a container and cover.

Optional: Use 20 cups popcorn and 2 cups unsalted or lightly salted peanuts.

Unfortunately, as I was putting supplies away while the corn was in the oven, I noticed the corn syrup said it “might” contain trace elements of wheat. I had been looking forward to sharing these with my daughter-in-law, who is sensitive to gluten. That’s one of those items you would never suspect had gluten. The way it was worded makes my husband think it was just processed in a room with wheat or the corn grew in a field next to wheat. I’ll leave it to my daughter-in-law to decide whether it’s worth the risk. This was a store-brand corn syrup – I don’t know if the name brand would be the same.

I also made some Rice Krispie treats, only using the gluten-free off-brand and the recipe on the package. I always add peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture and melt chocolate chips (sometimes adding peanut butter chips if I have them) and spread them on top.

I like to eat the first serving while the chocolate is still gooey. 🙂

Of course, the Rice Krispie treats aren’t particularly fallish, but I’ve had a hankering for them recently. 🙂

I have another cookie recipe I especially like to make in the fall, but that will have to wait. What are your favorite fall treats?

(Sharing with Made By You Monday)

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Recipe Round-Up: Side dishes

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Recipe round-up is a monthly meme hosted by different bloggers with a different emphasis every month. More information about it can be found here. This month’s focus is on side dishes and the hostess is The Accidental Pastor’s Wife.

I had actually thought this was coming up on Thursday, so I an running late!

To me deciding on a side dish is almost harder sometimes than deciding on a main dish. Here are a few of our favorites.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8-oz. carton sour cream
2 T. minced onion or 1 small onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 sleeve of Town House, crushed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Combine ingredients in large bowl; spoon into 9 x 13-inch pan. Combine 3 tablespoons melted butter with about 1 sleeve crushed Town House crackers. Top casserole with crumbs. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Yield: 8-10 servings.

(I usually start it in the microwave before adding the crumb topping, stirring every five minutes for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, then top with the crumbs and bake in oven for about ten minutes. This is a family favorite but probably pretty high calorie.)

Vegetable Medley

(I developed this as a way to eat broccoli without adding cheese sauce, which is the way I originally learned to like them, then added cauliflower and carrots later.)

1 1/2 c. fresh broccoli cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c. fresh cauliflower cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c. baby carrots, sliced
1 T minced onion
1/2 c. water
1 T. instant chicken bouillon

Mix all ingredients. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave another 3 minutes. Stir. Adjust cooking time according to how well-cooked you like your vegetables. We like ours between crisp and mushy. You could try different vegetables as a variation.

Carrot Coins with Thyme

4 cups frozen sliced carrots, thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute the carrots and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, thyme and pepper; heat through. Yield: 4 servings.

(This was adapted from a Simple and Delicious magazine recipe. I used raw carrots instead, which worked fine except that it took a little longer.)

Find more great side dish recipes here.

Country-Style Eggs

saturdaystirrings.jpgFiddleDeeDee at It Coulda’ Been Worse has started Saturday Stirrings where we can share favorite recipes and find new favorites. I hope you will join in!

This was in a cookbook that came with my microwave, oh, some 20-25 years ago. We’ve had two or three microwave ovens since then, and this recipe has worked fine in each. of course, microwave ovens vary, so the times might be different for you. We’ve used it as a “breakfast for dinner” recipe, but it would also work fine for breakfast.

Country-Style Eggs 

4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 ounces frozen hash browns
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese

Cook bacon according to microwave oven instructions; crumble and set aside.

Put margarine, potatoes, onions, and green pepper into an 8-inch round glass cake or pie dish. Cook uncovered in microwave oven 6 minutes on high or until vegetables are tender; stir once.

Mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Flatten potato mixture and pour egg mixture over the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Cook in microwave oven 6-7 minutes at medium-high, or until egg mixture is almost set; stir once.

Sprinkle bacon and cheese over egg mixture, Heat uncovered 1 minute at medium-high, or until cheese just starts to melt.

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes, Cut into wedges to serve.

4-6 servings. 

I usually leave out the green peppers. I also usually use the “heat and eat” already cooked bacon since we don’t use bacon very much — I’d hate to have to wait on a dish like this to cook the bacon first. If I didn’t use that what I would probably do is get regular bacon and fry it all up at once, and then freeze it to use just a few pieces at a time.

I’ve also made a single serving of this, though I couldn’t give you exact measurements. I usually eat my breakfast after taking Jesse to school, and sometimes cereal just doesn’t appeal to me. This is a nice change even though I normally don’t like eggs scrambled in the microwave. I basically follow the same recipe, only I put just a few hash browns in a smaller dish with margarine and a sprinkle of minced onion, microwave for a minute or so, stir, and cook again until the potatoes are mostly done, then mix two eggs with a little milk, salt, and pepper and pour them over the potato mixture and microwave at medium-high for 45 seconds to a minute, stir, and then microwave again until mostly set. I often tear up a piece of ham lunch meat instead of the bacon when I do it this way and add that and a sprinkled of shredded cheddar cheese, microwave for about 20 seconds, then let it sit for a few minutes. Delicious! And nice when I need a heartier breakfast than usual.