Friday, November 29, 2002

Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn

How to make homemade caramel corn in the microwave with no more than a few ingredients and a paper bag. (No mess, no fuss!) Just add some shake-it-up energy for some good family fun!

Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn | no mess, no fuss thanks to a paper bag | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4 | Kitchen Parade

A few years back, my book club read Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season.

We were a group of mostly young mothers, some at home, some working outside the home. Many of us were caught up with creating memorable holidays for our families.

We’d wanted it all! The shopping, the gifts, the wrapping, the food, the parties, the decorating, the tree, the concerts, the church programs, the special outfits, the … you get the picture.

We had become “Christmas Machines” and had lost the real spirit of Christmas.

The book and our discussion helped us think about the holidays in a new way. Many of us decided to pare back our holiday activities to those we found most meaningful.

For families with children, making caramel corn some afternoon just might make the list. No special equipment or big expense is required. You can plan ahead or just wait until the right moment arises. Just imagine the fun of the kids (and the grandparents?!) dancing around the kitchen shaking their paper bags!

ALANNA's TIPS Do not double the recipe – if you want more, make multiple batches. It may take a grown-up's touch every so often to give the bag enough 'shake' to distribute the caramel.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a special activity with the kids around the holidays? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

HOMEMADE MICROWAVE CARAMEL CORN

Total preparation time: Take off your watch, round up the kids and have a good time!
Makes 16 cups
    CARAMEL
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (79g) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

CARAMEL Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in four-cup Pyrex measuring cup or a container of similar size that can go in the microwave. In the microwave, heat the mixture for a few seconds and stir well to combine, repeat if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil, this will take 2 – 3 minutes on high, depending on your microwave’s power. Once boiling, boil for 3 minutes, stirring each time the mixture boils up and begins to overflow, do watch carefully so that it doesn't boil over. Remove from the microwave and stir in the baking soda (the mixture will bubble up). Mix well.

Meanwhile, place popcorn in a large paper grocery bag. When the caramel is done, immediately pour it over the popped corn in the bag. Close the bag and shake well, distributing the caramel throughout the bag. Cook 3 minutes in the microwave on full power, shaking the bag thoroughly every 30 seconds to distribute the caramel onto the popcorn and to prevent burning. If your microwave revolves, make sure that it can turn. Pour onto cookie sheet to cool, breaking apart the pieces with your hands as the popcorn cools.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup when made with air-popped popcorn: 145 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 15mg Cholesterol; 124mg Sodium; 23g Carb; 1g Fiber; 16g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4

Tis the Season: Holiday Baking!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Colored Roll-Out Sugar Cookies Graham Cracker Toffee Frosty Christmas Trees

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Friday, November 22, 2002

Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Chutney has been my favorite cranberry for relish for more than twenty years. It's cranberry for grown-ups, thick with cranberries, dried fruit and toasted nuts, deepened with a splash of brandy. And it's a season-spanning chutney, good for Thanksgiving but also as a side (or a hostess gift!) during the weeks before Christmas.

Cranberry Chutney | Cranberry relish recipe with pecans, raisins, dried apricots, ginger and spices,  perfect for Thanksgiving or hostess gift | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3 | Kitchen Parade

Thanksgiving tables call out for cranberries, especially when turkey is the main course. While canned cranberry sauces are easy, a few simple recipes can make the difference between 'convenient' and 'delicious and convenient'.

For Thanksgiving this year, consider serving a duo of cranberry condiments.

For the traditionalists in the family, the first choice is your home’s customary cranberry dish, whatever it is. If it's a can of jellied cranberry? Go for it, it's tradition. But then stretch to something new.

May I suggest Cranberry Chutney both for the table and for a homemade food gift for teachers, neighbors and friends? My friend Cindy says she invites me to Thanksgiving dinner, knowing I'll bring an extra just for her! And one cranberry lover, who shall remain anonymous, has been known to take spoonsful straight from the fridge. It's that good!

ALANNA's TIPS Cranberry Chutney should be made at least a few hours in advance so the rich flavors have the chance to meld but it keeps so can also be made days, even weeks ahead of time. My four-quart Dutch oven is the perfect size for making either a single batch or a double batch of Cranberry Chutney. It's big enough to allow room for the cranberries to puff up and pop a bit as they cook.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What’s the favorite cranberry concoction at your house? Share your recipe via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. If you like these Kitchen Parade recipes, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. This column was published in print in 2002 and published online for the first time in 2007.

RECIPE for CRANBERRY CHUTNEY

My traditional Thanksgiving cranberry
Makes 4 cups
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 20 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (or 16 ounces if you prefer more cranberry taste)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced (or other diced dried fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (about 1/2 knob), optional
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, dark rum or other spirit, optional
    GARNISH, OPTIONAL
  • Additional toasted pecans and cranberries

Place water and sugar in a heavy four-quart kettle and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, rinse berries, removing any bruised or bad berries. Add berries to syrup and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and let simmer until berries begin to pop.

Add remaining ingredients (except spirits) and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens.

Add spirits and simmer another 1 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before serving or storing.

Can be made ahead of time, keeps for several weeks. Makes a great hostess gift!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/4 cup: 102 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 19g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3

More Ideas for Cranberry Relishes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Apple Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker

More Long-Time Thanksgiving Recipes

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Squash Puff Sausage Stuffing Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

Still More Cranberry Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies Cranberry Apple Crisp Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce

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This Recipe Has Moved

The recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish has moved,
please see
Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger





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Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger

Cranberry Orange Relish is that old-fashioned family favorite, you know the one, where you grind cranberries with a whole orange and sweeten it with sugar? In my contemporary version, a little fresh ginger brightens the mixture. It's especially icy-good when ground at the last minute with frozen cranberries.

Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger | cranberries ground with a whole orange, fresh ginger | Low carb. Weight Watchers PointsPlus 1 or 3 | Kitchen Parade

This is a contemporary version of an old favorite Thanksgiving recipe, the Cranberry Orange Relish. While the relish can be made in advance, it’s quite special when made at the very last minute with frozen cranberries. The result is an icy froth rich with bright ginger. This was discovered by accident awhile back but it’s so good that now I make it only when the dish can be served right away!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH with FRESH GINGER

Hands-on Time: 10 minutes
Time to Table: 10 minutes
Makes 2 cups
  • 1 whole orange, skin on, stem removed, washed well
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 12 ounces frozen cranberries, rinsed under running water, picked through for soft or dried berries
  • 3/4 cup sugar (Splenda works great too)

Just before serving, drop the orange and ginger in a food processor and chop roughly. Add frozen berries and sugar and pulse until chopped fine. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/4 Cup, made with Splenda/Sugar: 28/100 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 7/26g Carb; 2g Fiber; 3/22g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1/1.5 & Weight Watchers PointsPlus 1/3

For the "Cranberry Course": More Ideas for Cranberry Relishes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Apple Apple Cranberry Compote Cranberry Chutney

Cranberries! Cranberries! Cranberries!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Cranberry Cake Cranberry Apple Crisp Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2002, 2009, 2015 Kitchen Parade