Cravings Blog

Entries for ' popcorn'

01
Euchre Party with a Twist

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties. If you are a card player this idea is for you even if you don’t yet know how to play Euchre.

Euchre is an easy going, easy to learn card game for four people in teams of two.  While it is easy to pick-up there are nuances to strategy for the game that make it fun and competitive.   We are suggesting a tournament of 4 to 5 tables.  In a traditional tournament the winning pairs continue to advance in brackets to the end of the evening and a big pay-off.   However, instead of continuing to reward the winning pair to advance, find a way to throw an unexpected twist into the night by planning some surprise split-ups where the winning pair is split and are matched up with one of the losing players.

Even though there is strategy to winning at Euchre, a less than seasoned player can be dealt interesting winning hands or unmindfully play a gutsy move.   The evening is sure to be a fun mixer so encourage non-Euchre plays or novices to come along for the fun, food and prizes.  To make it easier you can share this link on the basics of playing euchre.

You can make your own chart or order a Tournament Euchre score chart online at www.tournamenteuchre.com. You will need several things to set up a euchre tournament: Euchre playing cards (one deck per table), large piece of paper or you can order a tournament Euchre Chart at the above website, the number of players should be divisible by 4 since each table has 4 players. You can have each guest bring an appetizer or dessert to share and their own beverage. Check out Cravings Gourmet Popcorn for unique popcorn flavors and classic or obscure sodas.

You can spice it up at your Euchre Party with a Twist by adding money for the winner’s pot or just play for fun bragging rights or crazy white elephant prizes.

Looking for a reason to party, try a Euchre Tournament Party. Looking for great party snacks; look no further than Cravings Gourmet Popcorn.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in: Events
29
JazzFest Meet-Up Party Idea

This month at Cravings we are talking parties, all sorts of ideas for interesting parties.  This one is a party in a great big jazzy party.

Every great party needs some music, and jazz is always a popular choice to set the right party mood.  At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we have a ring side seat to a real jazzy party – Old Town’s JazzFest 2013 is put on by MICA, the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, and a project of long time community supporter Terry Terry.  JazzFest comes to Old Town on Friday August 2nd and Saturday August 3rd. 

An exciting lineup of performers for the 2013 outdoor music festival has been planned, including the Rodney Whitaker Quartet, Terell Stafford and Mardra Thomas. The three have decades of performing experience between them, and will play at mid-Michigan’s premier free outdoor jazz event of the summer.

JazzFest 2013 is the 19th annual event which hosts over 10,000 visitors to experience music, food, and some of the coolest shops in the Greater Lansing area.  And, one of the best parts of JazzFest is the people you see and meet while you are here. 

Why not plan a JazzFest meet-up party on the fly?  Coordinate with your friends and choose a location for your meet-up…say Cravings Gourmet Popcorn on Turner?  It’s the perfect spot to start your party; you can’t miss us, just look for the giant popcorn box! 

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

 

Posted in: Events
26
Meet Meat in Old Town

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

It’s great to have such a popular neighbor in Old Town.  Just two doors north from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn on Turner Street you will find the home of Meat, Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine.  Meat opened up shop in Old Town in late April of 2012, and just like the way they slow roast their meats for over 18 hours to get the right flavors, this little restaurant’s popularity has gone from unknown to done just right. 

If Home Improvement star and comedian Tim Allen were talking about Meat it would surely be punctuated by Allen’s signature manly grunt and snort.  This is a very manly kind of restaurant that makes no apologies for what it is …in fact on the Meat menu there is a snarky little nod to vegetarians, posting only soft drinks and iced tea under the options for vegetarians.

In addition to the slow roasted meats that are used for all of their meat dishes and sandwiches the folks at Meat prepare all of their Southern inspired side dishes and sauces from scratch.  This is messy but delicious eating; you get that when you see rolls of paper towels on every table. Fans of Meat have learned to get there early because when the roasted meat is gone, the doors will close.  Meat has a take-out menu and a catering menu in addition to their dine-in options.  Truthfully, the best way to choose is to follow your nose, these slow roasted meats and sauces create a tantalizing aroma in Old Town. To get a better idea about the menu choices you can visit their website, or give them a little love on their Facebook page

While you are in Old Town checking out Meat be sure to pop in to Cravings for a savory starter or a sweet ending popcorn treat.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Entertaining Tips
15
Go to the Movies at the Turner Street Old Town Theatre

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

We remember going to the drive-in movie theatre as a fun family summer time treat.  The kids would all pile into the family station wagon with blankets and jammies and a big bag of fresh popped popcorn for snacks. The speaker was taken off the post and hung on the car window and we were in for a night of fun!

In Old Town we are in our third year showing outdoor movies as a nod to those family fun times gone by. You will be sitting-in instead of a driving-in to our outdoor theatre set-up. Our huge screen and audio system is put against the wall of the old Chrome Cat building at the base on Turner Street and Grand River, special thanks to sponsors like Such Video. 

This year the movie selections are:  Rear Window (Albert Hitchcock Thriller) Ghostbusters, and the comedy Three Amigos (Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short). Commemorative posters have been created for you to purchase, another way to support the efforts of the Old Town Commercial Association.

The family friendly/family safe movies start after dark so be sure to bring your own chair/blanket, beverages, snacks. Beginning on July 19th on Friday nights the family movie line up is as follows:

July 19, 2013, 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm            Three Amigos

July 26, 2013, 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm            Rear Window

August 9, 2013 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm        Ghostbusters

Cravings will be open late so be sure to stop in before the movie starts to get your popcorn and soda.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Events
08
Craving’s Own Matt Strickling, Chief Flavorologist

In this July series of blog posts Cravings Gourmet Popcorn acknowledges events, people and businesses that positively contribute to the unique identity and experience of Old Town.

Matt Strickling starts his day early (7am) at Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, especially when it is a busy time in Old Town. Before or after an event like the Festival of the Moon and Festival of the Sun there is plenty to do to build up or replenish the stock of fresh flavored popcorn, including the unique to Cravings flavors.

Craving’s product line is continually enhanced with new flavors to try out based on customer comments and requests and Matt’s own crazy creative foodie mind. “I’m always thinking about food and flavors that might translate well to a popcorn seasoning recipe,” says Matt. “At Cravings we start more unique flavors than any popcorn store I know of.”  It is a point of pride with this flavorologist that the flavors that are created always start from the core ingredients. “If I have an idea for a flavor I will source several good recipes looking for the common themes or ingredients to create the base recipe and then go looking for that one ingredient that will top off the flavor.”

Matt relies on his wife, Steph, for a critical opinion as he tweaks a recipe. Once it is deemed ready for customer comment he creates a large enough batch of the recipe to dry into a seasoning powder and rolls out the new popcorn flavor for local sampling and critique.  Local customers are alerted to the new flavor via the Cravings Facebook page, or Matt walks the Old Town district to offer free samples to other business owners and workers.

Currently Matt has three new flavors in development: spicy mustard, cool ranch, and chili cheddar. One of these flavors will end up being the house flavor for Zoobies Tavern. Which one do you think will go well with the Zoobies craft beers and local wines?

Matt Strickling and his wife Stephanie have recently purchased a home from the Ingham County Land Bank (a great deal – he says) and are putting down roots for good. When asked about living and working in the Lansing Old Town district Matt says, “This area is really becoming something to be proud of, something that we want to talk about to everybody. There are so many great things happening here.”

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
24
Cravings Part of Something Big

How cool is it to do business with the next great thing in online businesses and to know that this business hails from Michigan? Owner and developer of Conpoto, Matt Lepard, launched his business in 2012 from his home base in Holland, Michigan; the online virtual gift service that is rapidly growing into several states and cities, including Lansing.

At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we are psyched to be among the first businesses in Lansing to sign-up for Conpoto the e-service that makes it possible for people to gift items like drinks, coffee, snacks (popcorn J) at cafes or businesses like ours to someone else via the internet. 

Conpoto is easy to use to say ‘thank-you’ – ‘good job’ – ‘happy whatever’ or even ‘sorry’ in a novel way. Customers of Conpoto go to the website, select a state, city and a vendor like, say Cravings, to place an order, pay by credit card, and arrange to have notice of the virtual gift delivered to the gift receiver.

Check-out the line-up of virtual gifts and prices from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn available on Conpoto.

So, next time you have a reason to give a gift, make it the easy online way with Conpoto and Cravings. When you do, you will be investing in two great Michigan-grown companies.

Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is located in Old Town Lansing, the hippest area of Lansing, Michigan.  Cravings Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased online at cravingspopcorn.com and shipped to anywhere nationwide and for gifting virtually to Lansing area residents via Conpoto.com.

 

Posted in: Pop Culture
13
Cravings Honors Father’s Day

Here is a poem for Dad. It touched us, feel free to share it with the Dads in your family, we are sure anonymous will not mind.

What Makes a Dad ?

God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity,

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so,

He called it ... Dad

- Anonymous




Forget the tie, get Dad something he will really like for Father’s Day – a Cravings Gift Card or Tin filled with his favorite flavor(s).

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
29
 Gallery 1212 Features Illustrator Dennis Preston

One of the best ways to get out and enjoy a pleasant day is to participate in the regular Old Town First Sunday Gallery Walk.  What a great way to experience some of our area’s most creative talents ---all on display in the galleries of Old Town.  At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we love First Sunday Gallery Walk because new people find their way to the area, and of course, to our store.

Gallery 1212 in Old Town is pleased to announce that they have a permanent  gallery wall for one of the most prolific and creative illustrators – Dennis Preston. “We love Dennis’ work and it has proven to be very popular here,” said Gallery 1212 co-owner, Donna Randall.

When you look at a Dennis Preston illustration you will see a style that has echoes from the past.  In the late 60’s and 70’s Preston distinctive style was put to good use creating concert posters for bands and artists like:  The Byrds, Earth Wind and Fire, Bob Seger, and The Guess Who.   Nowadays if you haunt local Biggby’s Coffee Shops you may have seen Preston in the corner doodling on a napkin.  Preston says sometimes it is the people that come in that may inspire a doodle or idea, or maybe it is the news of the day.  These doodles have been a real boost to the barista tip count, Preston makes sure that every napkin is labeled as the property of the baristas and is only available for sale with a generous contribution to the tip jar.

Preston, a truly gifted illustrator, is also a musician and has several places online where his illustrative work and music can be seen or purchased.

While you are in Old Town be sure to stop in to Cravings and say hello!

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: Events
18
Cravings Invites You to Experience Old Town

Friends, we bet that if you were to measure the fun per square foot, Old Town really packs a punch. There is so much to see and do in Old Town – you just have to experience it.  Here are two good, family friendly ideas for your next visit to our part of town. 

Fascinating Fish

The Brenke Fish Ladder is an amazing feat of form and function.  It is one of six installations along 184 miles of the Grand River from Lake Michigan to South Lansing. It was built to help salmon and other fish with their natural migration to swim upstream against the strong current of the Grand River. The Brenke is a unique spiraling ladder. 

Fish ladders enable fish to pass around barriers, like dams, by swimming and leaping up a series of relatively low steps (hence the term ladder) into the waters on the other side. The velocity of water falling over the steps has to be great enough to attract the fish to the ladder, but it cannot be so great that it washes fish back downstream or exhausts them to the point of inability to continue their journey upriver.

Watching the fish making their way up the ladder is a wonderful natural history experience for the whole family.  You will find the Brenke Fish Ladder in the heart of historic Old Town.

Just Two Blocks East

Here is another fascinating fish opportunity for your next visit to Old Town.  Just around the corner from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn and few blocks east of the Brenke Fish Ladder is Preuss Pets, an enormous pet store that is more amusement park than pet store. 

The store includes an outdoor water feature as well as an indoor stream stocked with some very well-fed Koi.  While Preuss has more than fish for pets, they have a stock of fresh and saltwater fish that will keep you mesmerized for quite some time.  And, that’s alright with the folks at Preuss, every department has knowledgeable staff experts that are more than willing to allow you to look for as long as you want and to answer any questions you might have. 

They also breed many of their fish right in the store.  They produce all of their: angelfish, guppies, platies, mollies, and swordtails.  They've also begun to breed a significant portion of their freshwater shrimp, corydoras catfish and rainbow fish.  They will be only too happy to tell you about the advantages of keeping these locally bred fish!

Preuss Pets understands that it is a destination store and that is why they encourage school field trips to their store, monthly educational events for kids, and even birthday parties.  We are proud to have such an awesome neighbor in Old Town!  While you are here, don’t forget to stop in to see us for a little popcorn love. 

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
04
Take Me Out to the Ballgame

"An Opener is not like any other game. There's that little extra excitement, a faster beating of the heart. … You know that when you win the first one, you can't lose 'em all." Early Wynn .

Opening Day Baseball helps us remember that anything is possible. The playing field is level and every team has a shot at winning for a brand new season. That is why at Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we love the idea of Opening Day.

Locally, Opening Day for the Lansing Lugnuts is April 4th, playing against the Cleveland Indians starting at 6:30pm.  Major League Baseball is back with full force as the Detroit Tigers meet the New York Yankees on Friday April 5th at 1:05pm.

Opening day for baseball can be iffy weather-wise so plan ahead. We might have a bright sunny spring day, maybe it will rain a bit, or we might even have snow. No matter the temperature, Opening Day is still a special day. If you are a baseball lover, your happy space has almost arrived.

Even if you can’t get out to Opening Day in Detroit or Lansing, you can enjoy some great caramel popcorn from Craving’s Gourmet Popcorn as you watch the MLB season unfold on television.  We think that’s better than cracker jack any day of the week!

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.

Image courtesy of pichart99thai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in: Pop Culture
01
No Fooling…We’ve Got a Great New Flavor

April Fool’s Day is a great day for pranks and other foolishness.  You will get some extra leeway on this unofficial holiday of Fools as you try to pull a hoax on your friends and family - because on this day, everyone can take a joke!

The early history prior to the actual April Fools' Day includes the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, held on March 25 and there are even references to April Fools in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, circa 1390.  But seriously, there is something to the idea of taking the risk to be foolish.  Cher, of Sonny & Cher fame, suggests that “…until you are ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”

At Cravings Gourmet Popcorn we are taking the risk of looking foolish this month by introducing our latest new flavor, Chicken and Waffles!  Inspired by this southern soul food tradition we are bringing you this flavor for your consideration and tasty sensation.   

Stop by and give it a try. We think it’s great!

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.

Image courtesy of boulemonademoon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in: Gourmet Popcorn
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