Christmas Popcorn Mix: SRC and The Yummy Life

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This is my third month participating in Secret Recipe Club and I got the fantastic blog The Yummy Life for my assignment.  I’m not exaggerating about the blog being fantastic!   Monica has a lovely blog, it’s very easy to find whatever you are searching for: recipes, gifts and household/decorating tips.  Evidently her son ‘T-Man’ is the web designer.  Very convenient, hint hint to any of my children who might be looking for a new career….

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After reading a little bit about Monica, I could tell that she has a great sense of humor and enjoys life along with the Rams and the Cards.  I know exactly what kind of passion there is for the Rams and Cards after living 5 years in the St. Louis area.  Just Monica’s mention of gooey cake and Ted Drewes made me yearn to go back (if only they could take the humidity away).

Typically you hear from all the SRC participants that it was so hard to pick a recipe.  Nope, not for me.  I stumbled across Monica’s Green Popcorn and Pretzel Mix recipe and knew right away that it was what I wanted to do.  Not that Monica doesn’t have a zillion great recipes, she does.  It’s just that my mind has been on Christmas.

I know, I know it’s not even Halloween yet.   Normally my thoughts don’t wander to Christmas until after Thanksgiving, I’ve never been the super plan ahead type.  However, this year’s a little different.  I’ve decided to make gifts, particularly foodie gifts.  Naturally when I saw that The Yummy Life had a tab just for gifts, I honed right onto it.

The Green Popcorn and Pretzel mix was originally for St. Patrick’s Day but I thought with an addition of some red components it could easily be converted to a Christmas Popcorn Mix.  I noticed that Monica was able to purchase just green M&Ms;  the benefits of a big city.  Alas, that is not an option here in little ol’ Great Falls.  So I bought a big bag of regular M&Ms and sorted them.  There is obviously a big disparity between the amount of red versus the green.  The good news, is that between the two I got a half cup of M&Ms.

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As most of you know,  since I first started participating in SRC, the Baby boy has been involved.  This time was no different.  How could he resist when it involved candy, popcorn and pretzels?

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Did you notice the Baby boy has white chocolate on his fingers? Boys!

I followed her recipe almost to a “T” (other than adding red).  I did run into one problem that had absolutely nothing to do with the recipe.  Since I didn’t have the recommended type of coloring, I purchased a boxed set of frosting colors.  The boxed colors were “Duff” brand (from Ace of Cakes).  I followed the instructions and melted the white chocolate chips, oil and color.  Unfortunately, the color cooked and then it wouldn’t blend.  On top of that the chocolate seized.  So I started over, making sure that my measurements were exact (just in case I made a mistake before), omitting the color then melting the white chocolate and oil per the instructions.  As soon as I stirred the color in, it seized again.   I added a little more oil and recovered it to a usable consistency.  In the future I would not use that brand of coloring.

The only other thing I did different was cook my popcorn in my Whirly Pop and omit the dye.  I thought the red, white, green combination would have a nice Christmas look.

In the spirit of The Yummy Life, I also decided to make my own gift containers.  I’m not super crafty, but I’m not un-crafty either, it’s just not my normal gig.  After reading The Yummy Life,  how could I not be inspired.  I didn’t just make one, nope I made three gift containers…go Giggles, go Giggles!  I’m doing my crafty cool dance (try not to picture it for your own sake).

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I purchased a plain white box and used craft paper and scrap booking items to decorate the lid for a family sized gift.

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I also put some in a purchased Chinese take out container and simply added a bow.  The translucent container showed off the pretty mix inside and didn’t need much more adornment.  I thought it would be the perfect size for a couple to share.

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Lastly, for individual gifts, I wrapped a standard used and washed can in craft paper, put a ribbon and bow around it then added a small sticker.  The popcorn is in a cellophane treat bag.  This one ended up being my favorite (and cheapest).  I loved that I recycled an ordinary can and turned it into a fun container.

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Monica, thanks for great gift idea, I’ll definitely be checking out The Yummy Life for more gift ideas and recipes!

Christmas Pretzel Mix
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Ingredients
  1. 4 dozen (approx. 2 cups) small pretzel twists
  2. 8 cups popped corn
  3. 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
  4. 1/2 cup green and Red M&Ms
  5. 1/2 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  6. 1 cup white chocolate or vanilla baking chips, divided
  7. 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  8. Red and green food coloring*, optional (oil based preferred over water based)
  9. 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  10. decorating sprinkles (green and red coarse sugar, green/red/white nonpareils, or similar)
Instructions
  1. Melt 1/2 cup white chips with 1/2 tablespoon oil in microwave; stir after 40 seconds, continue cooking and stirring at 20 second intervals just until last chips melt in when stirred. Dip half of each pretzel in the melted chocolate and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. While still wet, sprinkle with colored sugar or other decorative sprinkles. Set aside to harden.
  2. Spread popcorn on another large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or waxed paper. Sprinkle peanuts and M&Ms evenly over top. Combine chocolate chips with 1/2 tablespoon oil and melt in microwave (see melting chocolate at The Yummy Life). With spoon, drizzle evenly over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Add food coloring and 1/2 tablespoon oil to 1/2 cup white chips, melt, and drizzle over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with decorating green sugar and nonpareils.  After melted drizzle harden, break into pieces, add pretzels, and store in airtight container or sealed plastic bags.
  3. *Food coloring can be omitted entirely--use plain white melted chocolate and rely on M&Ms and sprinkles to add color to the mix.
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/

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29 Responses to Christmas Popcorn Mix: SRC and The Yummy Life

  1. Monica @ The Yummy Life October 24, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Rhonda! Thanks so much for all of the lovely things you said about my blog and recipes. How fun that you used to live in St. Louis (GO CARDS!). I love your Christmas version of the popcorn party mix. It’s so festive and fun (and yummy!). Perfect to bag up for gifts, too. Great job, and thanks again! 🙂

  2. Monica @ The Yummy Life October 24, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Forgot to add how much I LOVE your crafty gift containers. AWESOME ideas!

  3. Kita October 24, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Look at you with the red and green out already. Lol, normally Im like you too and hold off until after Thanksgiving but I am thinking of making a lot of my gifts this year as well. This Christmas popcorn is so fun looking. And its a great pick of far too many awesome choices on The Yummy Life.

  4. Kelly October 24, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    How cute, I love this!!! So glad to be in Group C with you and great SRC post!! xoxo

  5. Lisa~~ October 24, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Both the popcorn and your crafty container are beautiful and what perfect gifts these would be.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  6. feast on the cheap October 24, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    What a great treat – there is nothing I love more than chocolate and salty popcorn. The best of both worlds.

  7. Angie @ Bigbearswife October 24, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    I love how you packaged that up! So pretty! Christmas in October! Love it

  8. cindy October 24, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    I’m making this for Thanksgiving Favors! It would be beautiful in fall colors! I love your cute containers. Very fun.

  9. Karen October 24, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I joined SRC last month then completely missed the deadline, so will have to wait until next month. This looks like a good mix and your containers are adorable!

  10. Oma Lea October 24, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Hi Kiddo–Mom here.
    The recipe is sounds great, is one I want to try you do an awesome job : ))) Hint: Use an oil base food color only for chocolate and you can order M & M’s by the color if you go to http://www.mymm.com–Hope I got that right.

    • Giggles October 24, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      Boohoo, I thought I bought oil based but I was wrong! Thanks for the tip on buying colored M&M’s. If I’m doing big batches of them that would be the best plan!

  11. Oma Lea October 24, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Correction — http://www.mymms.com

  12. adventuresindinner October 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I would need to make these and two minutes later take them to someone else’s house 🙂

  13. Eliot October 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Wow–great post. I love the holiday trimmings. This WOULD make great little gifts. I, too, am thinking about the holidays! It won’t be long ’til they’re here.

  14. Jamie October 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    This looks delicious! I’m going to bookmark it for the holidays!

    Check out my SRC post at http://www.cookinwithmoxie.com.

  15. Teri@thefreshmancook October 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    This looks incredible! Every year I try to make some type of food Christmas gifts, also. I hope you don’t mind if I copy some of your ideas. I like the can best too! Great post!!

  16. veronica gantley October 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Wow that popcorn looks great! I bookmarked it to make later. What a great blog you got for SRC and you picked an awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Cara October 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    What a great Christmas treat! Can’t wait to make it at Christmas time!

  18. Kitchen Belleicious October 25, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    This is so cool- i love the idea for christmas gifts. I am always looking for something new to give to my friends and family. Great SRC post!

  19. patsy October 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    I’m totally bookmarking this for holiday gift-giving! Love it!

  20. Suzanne October 29, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    WOW, I can’t wait to make these. Very, very pretty!!! And “Popcorn Balls” is my middle name. Great SRC pick.

  21. Desi November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I just pinned this! I love love love this so much! I hope to be making this for Christmas, and using some of your packaging ideas for inspiration too. And where do you purchase your Chinese take out containers? LOVE it all!

    vickdn512@gmail.com

  22. laura martin November 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m new to the cooking world but love this idea.
    I’m def gonna be making some for Christmas gifts 🙂

  23. Popcorn Gifts December 3, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    Both the Popcorn Gifts and your crafty container are beautiful and what perfect gifts for Christmas.Thanks For sharing this.I hope you don’t mind if I copy some of your ideas. I like the can best too! Great post!!

    • Giggles December 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      I see that you have lots of popcorn stuff too, yum. Feel free to use my ideas and you can send some of your popcorn my way!

  24. Mary December 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Hi – this looks delicious. I was going to make for my boyfriend’s parents as a Christmas gift – something quick & easy. Does it keep very long? I worry that the popcorn might go stale if they don’t eat it right away…any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Giggles December 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      Hi Mary, this is a great Christmas gift. Surprisingly it keeps very well, probably because it doesn’t have butter on it. If kept in an airtight container it should be good for a couple of weeks.

  25. Mary December 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks so much for the quick response!! I will definitely make this 🙂

    • Giggles December 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Your timing was perfect, I just happened to be working on a new post. Let me know how it turns out, hope it impresses your boyfriend’s parents!