Holiday, Recipes

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn

Get in my Mouf | White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn

As much as we like to complicate things, sometimes you need to keep things easy. That’s what White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn is all about. An easy snack, for a busy season.

The recipe stems from one of our family’s favorite holiday cookies: The White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie. So simple, yet so addicting, the White Chocolate Cranberry Cookie would cause a civil war if it were absent during December.

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn | getinmymouf.com

The only downside is that you have to actually make cookies. Sure, baking cookies isn’t hard, but it is time consuming and there always a bunch of dishes you have to clean afterwards… Seriously, why would anyone bake cookies ever?

Ah, right. Because cookies are awesome.

Anyway, White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn, on the other hand bridges the gap between a wanting a sweet, salty, tangy snack and actually having to spend the time to make it. It’s a win, win, win, win, win.

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn | getinmymouf.com

Perfect for Christmas Morning snacking, or for holiday light tours, this popcorn will make you forget about all those big brands that make a living selling over-priced popcorn in gift boxes.

Snack hard this holiday season.

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn | getinmymouf.com

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups of Popped Popcorn (One bag of microwave popcorn, if you want to keep things easy)
  • 1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar
  • One 4 oz bar of White Chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Christmas Sprinkles
  • Pinch of Salt (more or less depending on how salty your popcorn already is)

Instructions:

  1. Make the popcorn according to the instructions. Seriously, no judgement on using microwave popcorn.
  2. Toss the minced cranberries in the powered sugar – This will help separate the cranberries and allow them to stick to the popcorn better.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread out the popcorn on the sheet and top with the cranberries.
  4. Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 45 seconds. Stir and heat for another 20 seconds and stir again – All of the chocolate should be melted.
  5. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and cranberries, then sprinkle the sprinkles on top and mix well.
  6. Let the mixed popcorn sit in the refrigerator for about five minutes to set up.

White Chocolate Cranberry Popcorn | getinmymouf.com

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Holiday, Recipes

An Evening with a Spiced Pecan

Spiced Pecans | Get in My Mouf

Our Spiced Pecan recipe (at the bottom of this post) has become an MVP of our holiday season, playing a role in multiple dishes both savory and sweet. From green beans, to cookies, to binge eating at midnight whilst watching Netflix, these pecans really are team players. We had an opportunity to get to know one of deez  these nuts a bit more intimately and to try and figure out what makes them such a solid classic.

Get in my Mouf:  Really appreciate you taking the time to sit down with us–I realize this is a busy time of year for you.

Spiced Pecan:  Not a problem. I’m happy to be here. Prefer to keep it short, though. Already a bit behind this year…

GIMM:  Absolutely–I want to start with a question, an old debate that’s be around for a while. What do you prefer to be called. Pe-con or Pee-can?

SP:  Well, I don’t go by either, since that’s not my name. It would be like me calling you “Human.”

GIMM:  Oh, I’m sorry… What’s your name?

SP:  Charles. Friends call me chuck.

GIMM:  Pleasure to meet you, Chuck!

SP:  Charles.

GIMM:  Right… [awkward pause]

Egg Whites | Get in My Mouf Spiced Pecans

GIMM:  Anyway, you’ve seen quite a bit of success over the years–You’re a very traditional holiday staple–Is it hard to stay consistent? There are a lot of food fads that take hold and I could see that becoming a distraction.

SP:  Not really. I grew up in a family where tradition and work ethic were really important. You do your job. I do my job. It’s just what we do. I watched a lot of our friends get mixed up with Wasabi and Sriracha. Sure that’s popular now and I get it, I really do. Commercials, prominent shelf space at Target, features on FOOD BLOGS. There’s definitely an allure that’s hard to turn down. But at some point the fame will fade and at the end of the day, people always go back to the classics.

Pecan & Egg Whites | Get in My Mouf Spiced Pecans

GIMM:  I’m not sure if anyone picked up on the tone you had about food blogs, but it did take a bit of persuasion to agree to sit down with us. Why were you so hesitant?

SP:  Honestly, recipes should be shared between family members on faded scraps of paper. This whole internet blogging thing is just too impersonal. For example, when you want to make a pumpkin pie, what do you do?

GIMM:  I Google a recipe. 

SP:  Exactly! Now how many choices are there?

GIMM:  Who knows…hundreds of thousands? A million?

SP:  How do you know which one is a good recipe?

GIMM:  I’ll try and find a site that has reviews or find a recipe that’s on a blog I trust.

SP:  Basically, you’re outsourcing your pumpkin pie recipe and basing your decision on a stranger’s who may or may not have a similar flavor profile as you.

GIMM:  Sure, but–

SP:  Meanwhile, you could have just called up your mother and asked her if she had any secret family recipes. AND during which you could engage her in an actual conversation. A real human to human interaction. Why is that important? Food is at its peak enjoyment when it’s connected to memory or tradition. Would you rather eat a pie that you found online from a stranger, or eat a pie that has roots to your family?

GIMM:  If given the choice between two pies, I would prefer to sample each before making a decision.

SP:  When was the last time you called your mother?

GIMM:  Speaking of…my mom is actually VERY allergic to pecans.

SP:  Her loss.

GIMM:  Agreed. You are delicious.

[Another awkward Pause]

GIMM:  I’m not going to eat you.

SP:  I think we better wrap this up.

Spiced Pecans | Get in My Mouf

Well, that was fun. A big thanks to Charles for joining us. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure who was interviewing who. He might be stuck in his old fashioned ways, but man he was, er is–from what I’ve been told–delicious. Want to give him and his friends a try? Don’t bother your mother, as she’s probably busy planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Instead give our recipe a try, ’cause we’re sort of like family at this point, right?

SPICED PECAN RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Pecan Halves
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Mix together the sugar and spices and set aside.
  2. Combine the egg white and water and whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold the pecans into the egg white mixture. Once completely moistened, add the sugar and spice. Mix well.
  4. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread pecans into an even single layer. This single layer may not sound important, but it is. Crowded pecans mean too much moisture and, in the words of Alton Brown, definitely not good eats.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 300°. Remove from oven, carefully stir, and reduce oven to 250°. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wired rack – we keep ours on the parchment paper so they don’t fall through the cracks – until they come to room temperature.
  7. Try not to eat all of them in one sitting. They are seriously addicting. Sorry, Charles.

Spiced Pecans | Get in My Mouf

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Holiday

5 Essential Ingredients for a Mother’s Day Tea Party

Mother's Day Tea Party | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #029 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

It seemed like just yesterday that we were inexperienced tea party hosts. We had no clue where to begin and yet today we are certified Tea Party-ologists.

Actually, we just kind of guessed at what would make for a fun party based on blogs, movies, books, and Tina’s trip to London. The real secret is that there’s no secret and as long as you have good food, family, friends, and at least one dog everyone will have a great time. However, that seems like a cop out for a post, so here are 5 Essential Ingredients for a Mother’s Day Tea Party.

1.  Tea. If you forget the tea, then it’s just a regular party and your guests will become hostile, as they were expecting tea. Make sure you have more than one type and serve some hot, some cold. Everyone wins.

2.  Scones. We used this Barefoot Contessa recipe as a base for making cheddar dill savory scones and strawberry scones. I’m still not entirely sure how they’re different than biscuits, but since this is a tea party, biscuits are actually cookies. Get it? Good.

3.  Clotted Cream. Never had it before? Neither did most of our family, yet we easily finished off a jar. Here’s your mission: Find some, put it on a scone with jam, eat, then repeat 30 times or until you pass out.

4.  Sandwiches. In order to balance out all of the scones and clotted cream you’ll be eating, make sure to throw in some tiny sandwiches like chicken salad, egg salad, and/or cream cheese & olive tapenade. Guys out there might not be comfortable eating tiny sandwiches, but there is a nice perk. Come closer. Okay. Before the party starts, you’ll be hungry, but technically you shouldn’t be eating yet because not all of the guests will have arrived. Luckily, the sandwiches are tiny enough that you can usually eat one in less than two bites without a plate or napkin. No evidence and your hunger pangs will be calmed.

5.  Moms. It’s Mother’s Day, come on! They’re almost as important as the tea. Almost.

teaparty

Bonus:  Our last post, Mother’s Day Coconut Macaroons aka My Mom is Addicted to Coconut, discussed my (as the title would indicate) mother’s love of coconut and all things tropical. Completely unaware of that post my mom brought these tropical Jello bowls to the party:

Tropical Jell-o | getinmymouf.com

Too perfect.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Holiday, Recipes

2014 New Year’s Eve Menu

New Year's Eve Menu 2014

Hello, 2015. Pleasure to meet you.

Taking a quick break from breaking down cardboard boxes (thanks, Amazon!) and putting Ikea furniture together to do our first post of 2015. In our last post we shared our New Year’s Eve tablescape along with a PDF template for our food tent cards. Now let’s get to the foooooooooooood! Here’s a look at what we ate during the final hours of 2014 (and also the first few hours of 2015).

Sausage Bites

Sausage Bites Bon Appetit

These are are our take on Bon Appétit’s Pigs in Sleeping Bags. Rather than make our own sausage, we used a chicken sausage with spinach and feta from Wegmans. These might be my favorite of the lot and are normally the reason for our first empty plate of the night. They are much better hot, but they’re not too shabby cold at 2 AM, either.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we make deviled eggs for pretty much every occasion (and many times for no reason at all). We used our classic deviled egg recipe, spiked with Sriracha and dusted with cayenne. After staying up late many times to make these eggs, it’s nice to finally eat them late at night.

Mini Mac ‘N’ Cheese (#glutenfree)

mac n cheese bites

Because it’s more fun to eat mac ‘n’ cheese with your hands, this Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins recipe from Allrecipes.com made several appearances in our house during 2014. Also, these are baked in a muffin pan to facilitate maximum crispy-edge-ness. We modified the recipe by skipping the breadcrumbs and used a gluten-free elbow pasta from Barilla. Oddly enough they actually turned out better than gluten-full pasta, as the edges were even crispier than normal. We also added a dash of nutmeg for fun. It’s a great base recipe to tweak (each time we change up some part of it), so feel free use your favorite cheeses or even add some spices to your liking. We do want to warn that these don’t quite hold up as a leftover, so be sure to eat all of them the day they’re made.

Caprese Bites

caprese bites

In a world full of heavy, meaty, carby appetizers, these Caprese Bites are here to add a bit of freshness to the table. A classic italian combination of tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar made party-ready with a toothpick. Our secret weapon is Acetum Blaze Glaze, which is basically a pre-reduced balsamic glaze that will save you hours over the stove reducing vinegar. Definitely worth keeping a bottle around for balsamic emergencies.

Mini Chicken & Waffles

Mini chicken & waffles

Wanna trick your mouf into thinking you’re at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, but don’t feel like jumping on a plane to L.A? Here’s the secret: Mini Eggo Waffles and Chic-fil-A nuggets. (Chicken from Popeyes would also probably work fantastically.) You could go all homemade if you want, but then you wouldn’t have time to make anything else. There are tons of variations on this appetizer, but we serve ours with a blend of pure maple syrup, Log Cabin syrup (for texture), and Sriracha for a small kick.

Spinach & Kale Bites

Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Bites

This is a small cheat, as these are frozen and are supplied by Trader Joe’s. They’re pretty good when they’re hot, but be sure to re-heat for guests, as they’re not so good at room temp.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

white chocolate & cranberry cookies

These cookies have become a holiday staple in our family. It’s unfortunate, because I don’t really like white chocolate all that much. However, it’s a crowd favorite that ends up on all their Christmas wish lists, so we make a couple batches in early december and freeze the pre-formed dough to ensure we’re fully-stocked and ready to bake throughout the season. The recipe is written down on a scrap of paper from my mom, so who knows where it originally came from. It’s a fairly standard cookie nowadays, so take your pick from Google.

Cheesecake Bites

cheesecake raspberry bites

Tina first saw this “recipe” on the mint love social club blog. The reason for the quotes around “recipe” is that there’s really no recipe other than cutting a frozen cheesecake into squares, adding a raspberry on each, then popping a thick toothpick in the middle. Seems a little too easy… After stuffing my face with salty snacks it’s nice to have a sweet, fruity, creamy bite. But don’t count how many you eat, as you don’t want to realize you just ate an entire cheesecake one bite at a time.

NYE 2014

We clearly ate well and this was for a small gathering of about five people. Just imagine if we had a full-blown par-tay…

Stupid Disclaimer: No compensation or free stuff was provided from anyone for this post. All references to websites, products, and/or brand names are done so because we actually use and like them.

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Holiday

NYE Tablescape + Food Tent Card Template

New Year's Eve Tablescape

Click here to download the Food Tent Card Template!  Instructions are at the end of this post.

10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1!

We were originally hoping to have a a big, moderately crazy New Year’s Eve party–one that would make our HOA’s Facebook page explode with passive aggressive complaints–but, unfortunately holiday fatigue (meant as a joke, but it’s a real thing!) and an epic flu knocking out most of our family forced us to scale things back to “small gathering” level.

Food Tent Card

Even though the party has shrunk, that doesn’t mean the decor will be reduced to red solo cups and leftover Chipotle napkins. Tina knocked it out of the park with the decorations, transforming our humble Ikea dining table into something fit for Stefan Löfven (the Prime Minister of Sweden).

New Year's Eve Decorations

It’s the simple touches that help class things up a bit. The food isn’t anything outlandishly fancy (we’ll share our menu in tomorrow’s post), but each item has its own tent card! Our mini mac ‘n’ cheese might as well be wearing tuxedos. Aside from looking like a White House gala, it’s useful so your guests know what they’re putting in their moufs. ‘Cause nobody wants to start the new year with a lawsuit over a peanut allergy.

Food Tent Card

Being married to a graphic designer has its perks. For example, while Tina slaved away setting up these cards, I got to play her brother in Madden (I lost in overtime with one second remaining; it was a game we will all remember for a long time). Since all the hard work was done, we figured it might be beneficial to extend the perk to the blog in case anyone else out there is looking for a quick tent card solution. So, follow the directions below and in just a few short minutes, your food will no longer be anonymous.

NEW YEAR’S EVE FOOD TENT CARDS:

  • Ostrich Sans Bold Font – You don’t have to use this font, but it gets a ton of use in our house. You can download it free from FontSquirrel.com. If you’ve never installed a font before, it’s ridiculously easy and Google will be happy to help you out. Seriously, stop using Calibri for everything and live a little.
  • Cardstock is preferable for printing, but regular printer paper will suffice in a pinch.
  • Food Tent Card TemplateClick here to download a PDF of the tent cards Tina made for our party. Make sure you download/install the Ostrich San Bold font first, then enter the food names on the second, fourth, and sixth rows and they’ll be mirrored in each row above (but, upside down since this is a double-sided tent card). Cut along the bold black lines, fold in half and BOOM. (Drop us a line if you have issues or need help!)

Food Tent Card

Oh, and…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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