White Chocolate Popcorn

christmas 2009 012

All the rage–these days, and for good reason. Incredibly simple. Dang yummy. Perfect for your New Year celebration.

White Chocolate Popcorn

Ingredients:

4 c. popped popcorn

1 Tbsp. Crisco Shortening

1  11 oz. bag Ghirardelli Chocolate Classic White Chocolate Baking Chips

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, pecans, pretzels –or any combination you’d like

Directions:

Important Note:

You can pop the corn yourself or buy the bagged kind–either way is fine. However–please, please pour the popped corn in a large bowl and shake it around–to get the un-popped kernels and the “Old Maids” to sink to the bottom. Then, lift the whole, popped corn out and set in another big bowl. Throw away all the nasty little tooth breakers. Seriously, they don’t get to be part of our adventure. Now, then–with that said…

Melt the Crisco and white chocolate together. Pour the mixture over the popped corn mixture and thoroughly coat all the pieces. Spread on waxed papered cookie sheets to set. Store in tightly covered container.

Nibble until 2010…and beyond.

White Chocolate Popcorn
 
:
Ingredients
  • 4 c. popped popcorn
  • 1 Tbsp. Crisco Shortening
  • 1  11 oz. bag
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Classic White Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, pecans, pretzels --or any combination you'd like
Instructions
  1. Important Note:
  2. You can pop the corn yourself or buy the bagged kind--either way is fine. However--please, please pour the popped corn in a large bowl and shake it around--to get the un-popped kernels and the "Old Maids" to sink to the bottom. Then, lift the whole, popped corn out and set in another big bowl. Throw away all the nasty little tooth breakers. Seriously, they don't get to be part of our adventure. Now, then--with that said...
  3. Melt the Crisco and white chocolate together. Pour the mixture over the popped corn mixture and thoroughly coat all the pieces. Spread on waxed papered cookie sheets to set. Store in tightly covered container.

Twelfth Night

Loving the holidays like we do, it’s always been hard to buckle down and put the Christmas stuff away. We just never felt quite ready to let it go. Then, a few years back, a good friend began this wonderful tradition of throwing a party that she called Twelfth Night. I had no idea what it was suppose to mean, but hey…I’m not so complicated that I over-think the purpose of a party. As an added benefit, this turned out to be a great incentive to let the decorations slip back into the tubs without the usual resistance because we still had a great event to look forward to…until…

…this friend moved away…far away.

Oh, we still hear from her now and then, which is wonderful. Even so, it left the “party junkies” at a negative – 1 in the celebration department.

Not acceptable.

So, with no other choice but to do the event ourselves, we felt that perhaps a tad more research was in order.

Turns out that Twelfth Night, also called Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is a festival marking the biblical arrival of the Magi to worship baby Jesus. Typically recognized on either the 5th or 6th of January, many people celebrate by drinking, feasting, gift giving and general “merrymaking.” I really like the word merrymaking.

That, I get.

12th-night-068

So, since people all over the world celebrate this day in dozens of ways, there seems to be a bit of latitude here. I like that too.

Our approach is to use the evening of January 6th to:

1- Celebrate the closing of the holiday season. That is suppose to mean putting away all the Christmas stuff and setting up January decorations. We’re working on it.

2- Make and share *character goals–You know, the kind that help you be a better person, like–being more positive, or being less judgmental of others—that sort of thing.

3- Open Party Crackers–which you can buy at party stores or online, but that are also incredibly fun and easy to make. I’ll show you how in the post below. They are full of candy, games, toys and always…always a tissue paper crown. Very important element. We made our own.

4- Drink a gallon of  Wassail. No explanation needed.

5- Eat “King’s Cake.” Traditionally, this was more of a sweet bread with filling, but of course, it can actually be whatever you want it to be. More in the post below. Ours is a Glazed Holiday Eggnog Cake from Lehi Roller Mills.

6- Play games until it’s time to put somebody to bed—usually…me.

After all this, believe me–we are ready to take on the New Year, and the world…

or sleep for a week…

:]

*New Year’s Goal #2   “Character”

I will take my own advice and “be nice or be quiet” while mingling with the other drivers on the road. No matter how amazingly everyone else drives, I will keep my mouth shut and not say, “The nuts are loose!” Not even once.

Party “Crackers”

Party Crackers:

These are the tissue wrapped paper tubes stuffed with treats and little random prizes and always a paper crown. In several of the Harry Potter movies where there is a Christmas celebration–you’ll see a “Christmas Cracker” sitting by each dinner plate. You can buy them if you like, but they are simple to make so don’t be afraid.

Supplies needed:

Empty paper towel or tissue rolls

Colored tissue

Glue Stick

Small prizes like puzzles, stickers, tiny toys

Small treats like suckers, taffy or gum

Tissue paper crown–rolled and folded up

Curly Ribbon

Instructions


Wrap the prizes and treats if you want. Stuff them carefully in the cardboard tube.

Roll the tube in colored wrapping tissue. I used two different colors and left 3 or 4 inches on both ends. When you get to the end of the rolling, use a streak from a glue stick to keep it in place.

Tie each end with curly ribbon. Decorate the tube with more ribbon or stickers–or strips of tissue.

That’s it!

King’s Cake

Kings Cake:

This can really be anything from a fancy bread, coffee cake, jelly roll or a filled cake. Traditionally, a dried bean or tiny toy baby was hidden in the batter or dough and whoever got the piece with the bean or trinket became “king” for the day. The King could expect to be waited on (within reason) and could make silly requests of his friends and family–such as–singing a song, doing a trick, dancing or making animal sounds.

I’m never that excited to have someone chip a tooth on a surprise in the dessert–so we put little charms on the glaze of the cake, that say things like “live, believe, laugh, hope, wish, love”—and I can’t stand for anyone to be left out–so everybody gets one.

Some people add color to the cake or frosting to make it more festive. One year, we made a steamed chocolate cake in a plum pudding pan. This year it will likely be spice cake in a Bundt pan decorated with gum drops. We’ll see…

Tissue Paper Crowns

You will need a sheet of tissue paper–any color, a pair of scissors and a glue stick.

Fold the tissue over on itself until it is about 3-4 inches wide. Cut a point shape about 3 inches up.

Unfold it and glue the two ends together with a glue stick.

Ta-Da!