Cravings Blog

Entries for January 2013

28
Super Bowl of Snacking – New Orleans Style

This year the Super Bowl is on February 3rd in New Orleans.  Super Bowl parties are always a great snacking event. This comeback for New Orleans puts us in the mood to explore snacking Super Bowl and New Orleans style.  For starters we went to the New Orleans Newspaper, The Times-Picayune, for some great local recipes. Rather than print out all of the recipes, we are providing a brief description and a link:

This recipe was suggested last year for the Saints and Lion’s game.  Chicken wings from New Orleans favorite Emeril Lagasse.

A crawfish bisque eggroll will offer the New Orleans seafood flair to your Super Bowl snacking.

New Orleans native Thelma Lewis brings us a classic “Pone” with sweet potato, butter, and cream.

Eula Mae Dore, a cook for a New Orleans family, shares this classic popcorn ball recipe from her cook book.

And, to close out our New Orleans snacking theme, we are bringing you a Buttery Cajun Popcorn recipe (below) from A Taste of Home. It tastes great and is a wonderful low calorie option weighing in at just 83 calories per cup:

Prep/Total Time: 15 min. Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

12 cups air-popped popcorn

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons lime juice

4-1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

4 to 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Combine butter and lime juice; drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat. Combine Cajun seasoning and cheese; sprinkle over popcorn and toss to coat. Yield: 3 quarts.

No matter who wins the Super Bowl, your guests will all be winners with some super snacks – “nawlins style.” Enjoy!  

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.


Posted in: Recipes
21
Let Corny Jokes Rule National Belly Laugh Day

Every year January 24th is National Belly Laugh Day.  The advocates for this special day truly believe that laughter is the best medicine.  Listed among the therapeutic qualities of a good old belly laugh are:

-Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.

-Laughter increases pain tolerance.

-It exercises facial, abdominal and chest muscles.

-Improves brain functioning.

-Laughing mixed together with the positive emotions of humor, and happiness lowers the stress hormones, corticosteroids and epinephrine. The release of growth hormone and endorphins plays a role in lowering the stress hormones.

At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we would like to get the day and the belly laughs rolling by proclaiming it “Corny Joke Day” for National Belly Laugh Day.  To get us started here is popcorn “Corny Joke” excerpted from a blogger Sam Wilson on kids jokes from her blog.

I am going to leave you with my son’s favorite kiddy jokes of the moment.”  Six-year-old Benjamin:

What’s the difference between popcorn and pea soup? Anyone can pop corn.

Here is one from www.Joke Buddha.com:

Peanuts! Popcorn!

President Ronald Regan told this joke about Fidel Castro: Castro was addressing a large audience in Cuba, and he began, "They accuse me of intervening in Angola..." and a man going through the audience called out, "Peanuts! Popcorn! “Castro went on: "They say I'm intervening in Mozambique..." and the same loud voice shouted, "Peanuts! Popcorn! Castro continued: "They say I'm intervening in Nicaragua..." and the voice yelled again, "Peanuts! Popcorn! By this time Castro was boiling mad and he sputtered, "Bring that man who is shouting 'Peanuts! Popcorn!' to me, and I'll kick him all the way to Miami. And everybody in the audience started shouting, "Peanuts! Popcorn!"

What are your favorite “corny” jokes?

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.
(Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net)

Posted in: Pop Culture
17
No Accounting for Taste

Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live classic skit on sour milk? One of the actors opens the refrigerator and pulls out a carton of milk and takes a swig and then promptly spits the milk out as it has gone sour. He makes a big fuss about it to his friend who takes the carton to taste for himself …and, of course, spits out the sour milk.  This gag continues and gets funnier and funnier as more and more people feel compelled to taste for themselves. 

If you have been in our store you will notice that we stock a wide variety of soda pops, some hard to find classics plus a nice variety of unusual flavors.  Included in the unusual flavors category are: buffalo wing barbecue-flavored soda, bacon-flavored soda, and celery-flavored soda.  In our opinion these are some of the grossest tasting sodas …EVER!

Grossest Flavors, Top Sellers

It might be the novelty of the name that compels people to buy and sample these gross sodas. Or, maybe it is the SNL effect where people need to experience the taste for themselves. We can’t say that we have had anyone spew their gross soda out while in the store, the health department would definitely frown on that…and so would we.  But, what baffles us is the fact that these gross soda flavors are among our top sellers in the store.  Whether you buy it because you love it, or have other reasons for purchasing such as for a gag gift…let us just say thank you very much!

At Cravings we will definitely keep stocking what sells the best.  Have you tried our Sweet Corn soda? Try it, you’ll like it!

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

Posted in: Soda Pop
14
Popping Popcorn at Home - The Right Way

Yup! There is a right way and a wrong way to pop corn. It all starts with quality seeds. The kind of seeds you choose will determine both the flavor and the texture of the popped corn.  New seeds, commonly called baby seeds will yield a smaller and crunchier corn with a nutty flavor. More mature seeds will have a milder sweeter flavor and a chewier/softer texture.  Our favorite vendor for quality popping corn seeds is Amish Country Popcorn, we carry of full line of their products in our store.  You will only find non-genetically modified popping corn in our store – just a good idea to avoid a product that has been altered to create its own pesticide.  Look for Non-GMO on the package.

We highly recommend using the Whirley Popper.  This stovetop device calls for you to be present to tend to the popping by cranking, listening and smelling. All in all, this is a pleasant experience, especially if you engage help.  You guessed it – Whirley Poppers are available in our Old Town Lansing store.

You need oil for popping the corn, from our point of view the only real choice is coconut oil. Once you have it in your home you are going to find lots of other uses for coconut oil which go far beyond cooking in the kitchen. This website presents 122 uses for coconut oil. Who knew?

We’ve said it before, naked popcorn tastes good and is a perfectly healthy choice, but, if you want, there are oh so many wonderful flavors you can add to your popped corn. Watch for more on this topic later this week or next.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.   Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
10
Grandma Katie Has a Popcorn and Movie Date

Cravings owner, Chad Jordan, was gracious enough to share a Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper with me so I could experience the fun of popping corn first hand.  I was briefly schooled on the various options available in the store for popping seeds and selected the variety mix. 

At the first available opportunity I made a movie date with my grand-daughter Annalise.  We had a great time getting set-up and reading the directions (These were very simple).  The one thing that surprised me was the suggestion that we start the popping process from a pan that is not pre-heated. Annalise was the designated crank turner to keep those seeds moving in the coconut oil.

Because I chose the variety mix with several different kernel sizes, the recommended three minute cooking time was not exactly right. But, the good thing is you can hear the popping action very well and you definitely know when the popping is done. 

We added just a little melted butter and some sea salt and sat down to watch the original Muppet Movie, a free film online. While Anna liked the movie, it was my son and I that really enjoyed this classic. We marveled at the technological feat it was for its time and also the awesome cast of big name stars assembled to be part of the movie.  Did you know that Orson Welles was in the Muppet Movie?

The popcorn was so good that it was gone before the movie was over and there was not one un-popped kernel in the bottom of our bowls.  The variety mix definitely delivered a lot of different flavors and textures, but I am thinking next time we will try two separate batches of seeds and do a taste comparison.  Plus, now that I know how easy the Whirley Pop is to operate, I plan on creating some of my own seasonings recipes and popping more corn at home.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

Posted in: Family
07
Popcorn Seasoning - Be the Gourmet

The best way to learn how to create your own unique gourmet flavors for your popcorn is to review some existing recipes. We have selected, from Popcorn.org, three low-fat or no-fat recipes for flavoring your popcorn at home.  Look at these recipes closely for inspiration and make your changes. Another tip that was suggested in some recipes: use egg-whites as a no-fat alternative to adhere flavors to the kernels.

Dilly Lemon Munch

Yield: 2 quarts

Ingredients

2 quarts popcorn popped

2 tablespoons shredded lemon peel

1 teaspoon dill weed

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium salt

Directions

Toss popcorn with lemon peel and dill weed.

Flavor enhances as popcorn stands.

Cheesy Popcorn

Yield: 10 Cups

Ingredients

2 tablespoons garlic flavored or vegetable oil (We recommend coconut oil)

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1 tablespoon melted butter, optional

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or brewer’s yeast (found at health food stores, adds a cheese-like flavor without the calories or fat)

1 teaspoon curry powder, optional

Directions

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (with a lid), place oil and about 3 popcorn kernels.

Heat over a medium-high heat until you hear a kernel pop. Add remaining popcorn; cover.

Once corn begins to pop, shake pot constantly over heat. When popping slows, remove pot from heat and transfer popcorn to a serving bowl. Pour butter over popcorn, if desired, and toss.

Sprinkle yeast and curry powder, if desired, over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.

Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

1 quart popped popcorn

1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast powder (or nutritional yeast; available in health food stores)

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Spread popcorn on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn.

Heat about 7 minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

 

Hope you enjoy these seasoning ideas and are inspired to create your own. Send your own recipes along in the comment section.

 

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

 

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
03
Fitness for the New Year

Okay, it’s here, the New Year and time for a new you. Maybe you've heard it before, but getting fit is usually a combination of the right food and the right fitness regime.  If you have a ways to go before you can claim a healthier life, here are a few good pieces of solid fitness advice to get you started:

Set Goals – We know you've heard how to set goals a million times. But where most people go off the rails is being too ambitious. You are far better to start with “baby steps” to measure your success.  We have a friend who started running three years ago. She had a very smart trainer with her to help her stay focused on those baby step goals, offering loads of encouragement along the way. Early in her training her goals were: walk for 5 minutes, run for 1 minute. It was a gradual climb to continuous running for a number of minutes, and then an increase in intensity.  Three years later she has run a 5K, has set her sights on a half-marathon, and continues to run every other day.

Exercise in Short Bursts – Fitness expert and TV star, Jackie Warner, suggests shorter, more intense workouts. Shorter time frames seem easier to work into your schedule, and greater intensity will have a longer lasting effect on your body over the course of the day.

Track Your Workouts – Keep a log, use an online tool, write little shorthand notes on your calendar.  Anything that will help you remember, what you did and whether you thought it worked, and how you felt (good or bad).  Over time this record is solid proof of your commitment, evidence that you have made progress, and incentive to keep going.

Change Your Playlist – We interpreted this piece of advice two ways. First, if you like to use music during your workouts, consider changing your playlist occasionally to create a new burst of energy to move you to the next level.  Second, consider the playlist of negative thoughts you have running through your head. These are those deep dark secrets of self-talk about your lack of ability or unworthiness.  Dumping this negative self-talk and changing to a playlist of lighter more positive and life affirming messages is another interpretation.

Now on to the food in the fitness and food combination, post work-out snack suggestions from Fitness Magazine call for eating to replenish lost energy with some healthy combinations of protein and carbs. Protein to re-build muscles and carbohydrates to create a fast energy burst. 

This just in for snacking in general, there is new research on popcorn as the perfect snack food. “Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It’s the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grains. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called ‘whole grain,’ this simply means that over 51 percent of the weight of the product is whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way,” said researcher Joe Vinson PhD, while delivering report to scientific community at annual conference.  To read more visit this site.

And finally, we offer a shout-out to our favorite personal fitness trainers at Iron Quest Fitness in Lansing. These people are well-versed on the right kinds of fitness and food combinations for people of all fitness levels. Take a look at their website to learn more about how they work.

Make it a fit and fabulous New Year!

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

Posted in: Pop Culture
01
Snow Day Survival Kit

Here is a good idea. Save one of the bigger/nicer boxes that will be in plentiful supply from Christmas gifting.  And, on one of those last days with the kids at home for the Christmas break, task your family with creating a Snow Day Survival Kit. Take the box and make decorating the box your first step in creating a Snow Day Survival Kit. Next use your imagination to fill the box. Here is a list of idea starters:


                - Favorite family games that have been tucked away for a long time

                - An idea checklist of fun inside activities and outside activities

     - Put a list of household chores that need doing but never get done and create a fun challenge and reward for knocking one of these off the list

     - Visit the dollar store and load up on interesting finds to be used in a craft project

     - Load the box with new crayons, markers, glue sticks. 

     - Ideas for an Epic Creative Challenge (Put on a show; Write a play; Shoot and edit a movie)   

                - Ingredients for some kid-safe kitchen activities.   

                - Scrap booking materials to update family photo albums

These are just a few ideas on things you can put in your Snow Day Survival Kit. Once you have your kit assembled tuck it away and don’t pull it out until you have a snow emergency! Keep Cravings Gourmet Popcorn in the loop, we want to know what you would add, so make a comment to add to the list, and if you take up the challenge take a few pictures and send them along.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online and shipped to anywhere nationwide.

 

Posted in: Family