Homemade Caramel Corn (and how to have a happy husband)

Way back when we were dating, my hubby and I would spend our Saturday nights with a movie, iced tea and caramel corn.  It continues to be one of his very favorite things.  A love he may have passed onto the kids.  This caramel corn is my own version of the caramel corn my grandma (Effie) used to make for my cousins and I when we were little...for what else but movie night!
So find your loves, grab a movie and a cozy blanket and snuggle up with some of this goodness!

Caramel Corn (the best possible, super easy, really yummy recipe)
yield: 6-10 healthy servings | time: 10 minutes

2 cups popcorn kernels ready to pop (or 8 cups popcorn)
8 oz. butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Directions:  Pop your popcorn and set aside.  
In a saucepan, combine remaining ingredient and whisk over high heat.  Continue to stir the entire time.  Slowly, the sugar and butter will combine and begin to bubble.  Let boil for 4 to5 minutes,  mixture will get lighter and start to bubble up.  You will be able to see that it is smooth. 
Immediately poor over popcorn and mix in.  Let it cool before you eat it (I know, it smells delish and you have no self control at this point..but I assure you that the molten hot lava sugar will make you cry.  Wait a few minutes)

Because I Don't Know What To Say

I know I don't need to explain myself.
But, its hard to see my visits fall off the chart.
I felt the need to say something...where have I been and what have I been doing that could possible keep me from blogging.

This summer has been a whirlwind of a summer!  Between school/studying, deciding where this next home school year will take us, trips, health issues, money problems and just life in general...some days its been hard to keep my head above water. 
Its a miracle we eat, let alone take pictures of our food.
I still love it.
I really do.
But I am deciding weather or not this new phase of life has room for my love of blogging. The thought of pulling the plug on this site sickens me, I am in no hurry to give up, but the truth is there just are not enough hours in the day right now!
The world is changing around me and its still a little new, so we will see how it all works out.
My love to all of you.
Until sometime,

Guest Post | Smoked Paprika & Brown Sugar Salmon

Todays bit of yummy comes from fellow blogger, Oregonian, and mama Jenna
 You can find her over at 
Northwest Nightingale!  Hop on over and say hello!

Smoked Paprika, Brown Sugar Salmon
  • Salmon flank (1.5lb for 5 people)
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning 
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, and cajun seasoning. Place foil over pan and coat foil with olive oil. Place Salmon skin side down onto foil-covered pan. Spread mixed seasoning rub over salmon. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until salmon begins to easily flake with fork.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Wash brussels sprouts and cut each in half (we cut the hard bottoms off as well). Spray/cover baking dish with olive oil. Spread out brussels sprouts onto pan. Sprinkle more olive on top of brussels. Sprinkle garlic salt and a dash of pepper over veggies. Roast for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. 


Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

  • Russet potatoes
  • Minced garlic
  • Garlic salt
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Wash potatoes. Chop into small chunks. In a larger bowl, mix minced garlic, garlic salt, and a few pinches of parsley (Sorry, we really don't measure anything- just add up a mixture that will nicely season that amount of potatoes you have). Mix potatoes and seasoning in large bowl and add a douse of olive oil to help seasoning "stick" to potatoes. Spray baking dish with olive oil (can cover dish with foil and spray if desired). Evenly spread out seasoned potatoes and roast in preheated oven for 25+ minutes or until lightly browned (can take shorter or longer depending on thickness of cut potatoes). Remove from oven and sprinkle potatoes with Parmesan cheese. Place back in oven and broil on low for 2-3 minutes or so. Remove and enjoy!

Sauteed Spinach

  • Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper

Turn stove top to medium heat, pour a douse of olive oil into larger sauce pan. Add handfuls of spinach into heated pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes with frequent tossing. Add dash of salt and pepper. 


Sweet Orange Glaze

  • Orange Marmalade (low sugar)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Olive oil spray

In small bowl mix 2 spoonfuls of orange marmalade. Cut limes in half and squeeze lime juice into bowl. Add honey. Mix. In small sauce-pan on low heat, spray with olive oil. Pour mixture into sauce pan and warm up, stirring frequently. Use glaze as additional flavoring for salmon.

 Friends of ours shared this salmon recipe with us a few years ago and we've been enjoying it ever since. As for the roasted veggies- they are a family staple of ours. Give this meal a try and enjoy!

Guest Post | Honey Sweetened Sunbutter

Peanut butter is a staple in most homes and for good reason. It's easy, high in protein, and everyone loves it. Unfortunately, nut allergies are on the rise and peanut butter is having to stay out of some homes. My house is one of those homes. We are a nut-free family due to one of my kids having a nut allergy. Thankfully, there are alternatives to peanut butter like sunbutter. Sunbutter is actually quite delicious and I find myself enjoying it more, each time I have it. It's also incredibly easy to make and homemade always tastes better than store bought!

Honey Sweetened Sunbutter

yield: 1 cup | total time: 5-10 minutes

  • 2 cups unsalted, raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbs coconut oil - melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbs honey

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sunflower seeds on baking sheet and roast for 5-10 minutes. Stir them around half way through so that they roast evenly.
Take seeds out and allow to cool.
Pour seeds into a food processor and turn it on. Allow to process for 5-10 minutes. You many need to occasionally scrape down the sides.
When the sunflower seeds have turned into a smooth paste, add in the remaining ingredients.
Turn food processor on to fully incorporate all ingredients.
Pour sunbutter into a jar and store in refrigerator.

A mother to four kids, Brittany began her journey of living naturally because she wanted the best for her children. She soon realized that natural living was a benefit to herself as well. She now shares what she is learning on her blog, The Pistachio Project. When she is not blogging, you can find Brittany washing cloth diapers, homeschooling her kids, or drinking her fourth cup of tea.

Jessi's Sweet Potato Meatballs

Today's little bit of yum is brought to you by a fellow foodie, wonderful photographer and beautiful friend Jessi Couser. 

Jessi's Sweet Potato Meatballs
yield: 20 | time: 40 minutes
  • 1 lb ground meat (I prefer lamb for this recipe)
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, skin left on (steam ahead of time)
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh leafy herb, chopped (I prefer parsley)
  • 1/2 almond meal or coconut meal (not coconut flour), or breadcrumbs if you aren't avoiding gluten
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 T hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  If the mixture seems too wet to form into meatballs, add small amounts of almond meal/breadcrumbs until it reaches a workable, but not too dry consistency.  Form into meatballs - the recipe should make about 20.  Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 25 minutes, or until the meatballs register on a meat thermometer at 160 degrees.  Allow the meatballs to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is so simple, quick, healthy, and versatile.  I literally whipped it up with things I have around the house.  As long as you keep the foundation of meat, sweet potatoes, egg, and almond meal (or dry ingredient of choice) - you can flavor to your heart's content!  

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