Hi I'm Jaci

Welcome friend to my food and travel blog. I love sitting by the fire with a book and a cup of coffee. I love big porches at the beach with a breeze and rocking chairs, and spices and salts  that pop in my mouth. I love sharing a good story with friends. Looking forward to our shared moments together. 

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Popcorn

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Popcorn

Anyone who thinks they’re too grown up or too sophisticated to eat caramel corn, is not invited to my house for dinner
— Ruth Reichl

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Popcorn

Eating is pleasurable until you have stress.  Then it becomes habit, or because you have to,or eating for the wrong reason.  You know the kind of stress I'm talking about?  The kind where you have to make decisions but want to hide away in a cave.  The stress that hurts your heart and breaks you up inside.  The brain is scattered and doesn't know how to react to all the things that keep coming at it.  The anguish inside keeps you from friends, breaks down your internal organs and burdens your soul. 

What is it about this phenomenon that keeps us from falling apart?  What do you do?  I pray.  A lot.  The old saying is that "time heals all wounds," but even time can't keep you from scarring.  The open wound hurts the worst, but it begins to slowly heal.  It takes so much time and causes so much pain that sometimes one isn't sure if the stitches are in place.  Do you get me? 

Have you had hurt like this?  Maybe someone you know died, maybe you just lost your home in a hurricane, a fire, an earthquake? 

It doesn't matter what has happened you probably feel buried alive without a way out.  You twist and a little more dirt falls, you seek the solace of a bubble of oxygen and until you find it you keep hunting, searching for each gasp of air.

  It's amazing how those little gasps and sighs or whatever you want to call them can bring you some calm.  Your prayers are answered, your thoughts calm down and you find that now you can move, maybe a finger or two.  It's inch by inch, or hour by hour however you decide to look at it, but maybe, just maybe, you can escape. 

The power of sadness is overwhelming, I know, I understand.  I've had it, I've been there.  Deep down in that darkness of the pit.  I started searching for that bubble of air.  That maddening little day by day, hour by hour thing that everyone around you has said, don't worry it will get better, but you couldn't or wouldn't  believe them.  After all, they aren't you, how could they know? 

They aren't in your situation.  They haven't been through what you've been through, or maybe, just maybe, they have?  A little?  Yeah, okay, you tell yourself, maybe a little. 

Can you believe them?  It's hard.  Hard doesn't even cut it.  It's the most exhausting mental and physical thing of your life.  But somehow they did it, and came out stronger?  How?  I don't know the answer to that yet.  But when I do, you can bet I'm going to tell you.  Until then, minute by minute, hour by hour, hang on, because you and I are going to get through this.  I promised myself.  Will you do the same?

On a side note this popcorn is the bomb 💣...Do people still say that? 🤣 Anyway make it and share it, or don't...either way you will be thanking me, I promise.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Popcorn Kernels
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  •  1 cup of Salted caramel (see ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Toasted Hazelnuts 
  • Fine Sea Salt, to taste

Salted Caramel (make ahead)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons room temperature butter cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt (Maldon is a great brand, I like and use)

 

Step 1

A day or two before make the salted caramel.  Have all ingredients ready before beginning!

 In a large flat bottomed stainless steel sauté pan with high sides or in a  non-nonstick pot heat the sugar on low-medium, pay attention as you wait for the sugar to melt.  Once you begin to see the sugar melt wait a second or two longer then slowly begin to push the sugar to the center, allowing the sugar to melt away.  Once all of the sugar has melted continuing stirring the carmel around until it reaches an amber brown color.  When at the amber color add room temperature butter and stir.  Be careful this is VERY hot! Remove the pan from the heat and stir in slowly the room temperature cream.  It will bubble up quickly so again beware but just keep stirring until everything is incorporated and melted.  Add Salt and pour into a glass container and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if not using the day of making the popcorn. Remove from refrigerator prior to cooking popcorn.

Step 2

Make the popcorn the day of for  freshness.  Have caramel at room temperature before making popcorn.

To make popcorn:  Use a medium size pot that has a handle and lid. Add the coconut oil to pot and heat on medium heat until melted.  Add popcorn kernels to pot and cover.  When you hear the first kernel pop hold the lid and shake pan back and forth over the stovetop until you hear only one or two kernels left.  Turn off heat and remove lid. Immediately dump popcorn into a large bowl.

Step 3

Pour caramel over popcorn and stir using a spatula or other non-stick utensil.  Add Chopped Hazelnuts.  Taste, and if more sea salt is needed, add, and stir to taste. Place in a large bowl or small bags and serve.

Tips

  • Never leave your caramel unattended and have all ingredients ready before beginning the process.
  • Fine Sea Salt will stick best to the popcorn and the caramel after mixing but use the finger-pinch method and add a little at a time.  Remember their is salt in the caramel.  TASTE,TASTE,TASTE
  • Homemade popcorn is scrumptious and once you know how to make it you will never go back to the microwave again!  It can be made in almost the same time as the Microwave bag!

 

Mandarin Juice

Mandarin Juice

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