sara's caramel popcorn

right before i took this picture...i dropped my camera. shattered the display beyond recognition. so i am not responsible for the quality of these pictures. i'm slightly impressed with their quality, since i couldn't see anything at all. so this is my sister sara's famous caramel popcorn that she and her husband used to make every sunday and watch the x-files.

let's get started. you'll need some popped popcorn, karo syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, and baking soda.
pop your popcorn however you like. i like the airpopper.
but whatever.
after your popcorn is done, melt a stick (1/2 cup) butter in a saucepan.
add in 1/4 cup of karo syrup,
and 1 cup of brown sugar.

mix and combine well,

and bring to a boil.then add in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. baking soda.

stir, and it will start to get very...frothy.
like this. keep stirring....
as you pour it over your popcorn.
stir until it's evenly distributed among the popcorn....and enjoy!

so easy and SO good.

sara's caramel popcorn

1 cup unpopped popcorn--popped in an air popper
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup karo syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

melt butter in saucepan. add in karo syrup and brown sugar. bring to a boil, then add baking soda and salt. remove from heat and pour over popped popcorn. stir until caramel is evenly coated among the popcorn kernels.


ellen's chicken corn chowder

this soup recipe is so easy and really good. the green chile makes it sort of mexican-y (is that a word? no? well you tell me something better dude). let's get started. you need 2 cups of chicken, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cream of potato soup, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 can of corn, 1 small can of diced green chiles, 1 jar of sliced mushrooms (not pictured because dave doesn't like mushrooms) 1 1/2 cups of milk (not pictured, whoops), cheddar cheese, green onion, and tortillas.

i was taking this to a party so i put it in the crock pot so it would stay warm, but it only takes about 10 minutes to make so you don't need to crockpot it at all. in fact, it doesn't really work in the crockpot because you have to bring it to a boil. so imagine i'm pouring these things into a soup pan on the stove instead. start by boiling your chicken for 30 minutes or until no longer pink. while that's boiling, pour all of your liquid ingredients into a pot: first the broth, then the cream of chicken soup,the cream of potato soup,and the milk.

use a whisk to combine well.
it should be smooth and look like this:
now chop up some green onion (as much as you want, i used about half a bunch for this recipe),

and add that to your liquid.then add in your green chile,

your corn (drained),

and your chicken (shredded into bite-size pieces).stir and heat until almost boiling.
now slice some flour tortillas into strips. the recipe calls for 4 but i think that's too many, so i only do two. i put them on top of each other, then slice in half and put the halves on top of each other, and again into quarters. then i slice into thin strips, like this:
once your soup is boiling, separate the strips and add the tortillas in.
simmer for ten minutes. after ten minutes, add 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.
stir until it melts,
and serve.
the tortillas get soggy, so if you're not a fan of sogginess (i'm definitely not), beware of that. they still taste really good--this soup is delish--just be prepared for soggy tortillas. at the party i served it at my friend goes, "that's totally unexpected but totally delicious. that would win a prize at my cooking group." and she cooks with professional chefs. so there you have it. it really is that good.

ellen's chicken corn chowder

1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups chicken
1 can of corn
1 jar sliced mushrooms
1 can green chile
1/4 cup green onion
4 flour tortillas cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

boil chicken for 30 minutes or until no longer pink. shred. in a separate pan, add the liquids together and mix well. add everything else through green onion and bring to a boil. add tortillas and simmer 8-10 minutes. add cheese and serve.


how to cut a green onion

this is how i do it. i know lots of people actually like the tops of green onions--the actual green part--but i like the bottoms. i think they taste better and have more flavor. more bang for your buck, as it were. so, this is how i do it.

first, i cut off the weird ends. the roots, i guess, is what they're probably called. throw them away.next, i peel off the outer layer. usually it's kind of yucky and dirty, so i just peel that sucker right off. throw that out too.next, i break off the tops. i'm not sure why i do this, but i think it's because it's easier to work with them when they're shorter. you can skip this step if you want. but if you do, just break them off about 2/3 of the way up and discard them.

then, wash. i usually use cold water and just rinse them well to make sure there's no surviving dirt on them. you can skip this if you want, but i would definitely do it if you don't plan on cooking them (putting them in a salad or something).
now lay them out on your cutting board with the bottoms even, and start slicing. i keep them thin because nobody likes to bite into a big chunk of onion.

and there you have it!green onions. try it. you'll like it.


the perfect thanksgiving tool

my mom bought this a few years ago from williams sonoma. it's genius!

with this tool you don't have to skim off the fat from your turkey drippings before you make gravy!

just cook your turkey on a tray (like this one), then pour the liquid left in the bottom of your pan into the strainer of your gravy maker. the fat rises to the top, leaving the liquid at the bottom for you to pour out and turn into magical turkey gravy.

$24 from williams sonoma.