Tastefully Simple products. Sold by independent consultants such as Kourtney Aller, the young mother in my church who introduced me to their awesomeness, these direct-sale foods were developed by Jill Blashack Strahan and have a reputation for exceptional flavor. I considered joining their sales force, but I really have no interest in selling; I just want to buy and enjoy their products. Their Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce is my preferred condiment, and I use it on everything, from nachos (yes, really!) to sandwiches.
These popcorn mixes are a result of recipes from Tastefully Simple's website and my favorite go-to recipe spot, Allrecipes.com. The beauty of snack mix recipes is that you can be creative and incorporate items from your pantry. The Zesty Popcorn Mix is just that - it is spicy and crunchy and very addictive. The caramel corn recipe is my favorite, crispy and buttery, and I always add molasses which gives the caramel glaze a dark allure. Twisty Grahams, pretzel-shaped graham crackers, added a toffee-like crunch, and the addition of Goldfish and toasted, salted pecans was a nice contrast to the sweetness.
Zesty Popcorn Mix
adapted from Tastefully Simple Recipes
1-2 tablespoons Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party Dip Mix or spicy seasoning salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce or a sweet, smoky barbecue sauce
12 oz box baked cheese crackers such as Cheez-Its
5 cups popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix crackers and popcorn on a large baking pan. Combine first 3 ingredients and slowly pour over mixture in pan; toss gently. Bake at 300° for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and place in storage container or plastic Ziplocs.
Caramel Corn Snack Mix
adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 cup salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cups molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup Twisty Grahams or bite-sized graham crackers
1 cup toasted salted pecans
1 cup Goldfish or bite-sized cheese crackers such as Cheez-Its
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn, pecans, graham crackers, and Goldfish in a very large bowl or 2 large shallow baking pans. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in thin stream over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for about an hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces. Place in storage container or plastic Ziplocs.