I have a little bit of a confession to make. I sometimes go to the movies, not for the actual movie, but for the popcorn. I know I cannot be the only one who does this. Am I really the only popcorn obsessed person I know?
I’m the type of person who will order a caramel and salt mix popcorn, and will then buy a bunch of extras to take my popcorn to the next level. Mnms, maltesers, minstrels.. you name it. I was even introduced to the idea of ordering cheese dip on the side, and then dipping my popcorn into that.. and oh my goodness. No regrets.
As fun as that is (for me at least), there are nights where I just feel like staying in and getting cozy on the couch to one of my favourite movies. And I may be nuts, but going to the cinema just to get a bag of popcorn and driving back home to have it with my movie, is a little too nutty for me. I know what you’re thinking, there are microwavable bags of popcorn. Yes there are, but let’s admit that they do not taste anywhere as good as the real stuff. They lack the excitement and crunch that comes with every bite. And that brings me to this recipe (took me long enough to get here), I thought why not take a bag of microwavable popcorn and take it up a notch. And this my friends, led me to the joyous discovery of oven baked caramel popcorn.
I’m now going to take you down this road with me, and take you to the light.
P.S. I apologise to all cinemas that could potentially lose profit as a result of this post. I could reconsider this post with a good offer, and I accept popcorn as a currency.
- 3 microwave popcorn bags
- 3 cups pecans
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 120 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Pop your popcorn as per package instructions, then place in a large bowl. Add the pecans, then mix well and spread evenly on baking tray.
- In a saucepan set on medium-high heat, add butter, brown sugar and light corn syrup. Stir together, then bring to a boil for 5 minutes while stirring a little in between. Remove, and add vanilla extract.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn, and stir until all the popcorn is evenly coated.
- Place baking tray into oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the popcorn from the oven, stir the popcorn around, and again bake for 15 minutes. Keep doing this until you have reached an hour.
- After an hour, remove the popcorn from the oven. Let cool for 2-3 minutes, then break it up into pieces and serve.
Today’s post is the result of how done I am with this heat. It has been about 45 degrees Celsius every day for the past month now, and I’m slowly starting to evaporate.
I have started to resort to ridiculous activities just to stay cool, almost asked for a membership at Ski Dubai, just because. I have, however, calmed down and decided to resort to different solutions. Edible solutions, because these are always the best. Food solves all your problems. I promise you.
So, coconut mango popsicles. Ice cold, straight out of the freezer and into your belly. It’s amazing how much they cool you down. I’m a much happier/cooler person typing this post, and it’s all thanks to these babies. Enjoy, and happy cooling.
- 2 mangos, diced
- 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- Mix together the yogurt and coconut milk, then pour 2 tbsp of the mixture into the popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 mins. (You will have leftover yogurt & coconut mixture, set it aside as you will need it).
- Blend the diced mango and the orange juice until smooth, then divide into 2 halves.
- Pour about 2 tablespoons of the yogurt & coconut mixture into one of the mango & orange halves, and mix well. This will give you an ombre effect.
- Pour 2 tbsp of this yogurt-coconut-mango-orange mixture into the popsicle molds, then freeze again for 30 mins.
- Remove from the freezer, and stick in your popsicle sticks halfway through. Then pour in the other half of the orange-mango mixture.
- Freeze overnight, and serve!
Growing up in Dubai, away from home in Jordan, always had me missing the culture back home. Almost every summer, we would fly off to Jordan for a break to visit my grandparents. There were always so many things I liked about Jordan that we don’t get that much over here in Dubai, like the nature, culture, but most importantly, the food.
My favourite part of staying at my grandparents’ house was always, what we called, the kaak guy. Every Friday morning, we would wake up to his voice as he drove around our neighbourhood screaming ‘kaak kaak’. He’s basically Jordan’s version of the ice cream man, except he didn’t have a speaker blasting the classic ice cream truck sound on, he had one hell of a loud voice instead.
Kaak is basically a sesame crusted bread ring that comes in a specific shape, and is god sent. We generally have it for breakfast with a side of tomatoes and cheese, or sometimes it’s stuffed with the works instead. Till today, whenever anyone goes home to visit Jordan, our one request is for them to bring back Kaak. And although there’s something special about having to wait to have it once a year, I recently decided I wanted to have more of it, and not wait for that relative or friend to bring it back for me anymore. After only one try (I had thought it was going to be a difficult recipe to crack down), I nailed it! I wanted to share this delicious recipe with everyone else, as I’m positive anyone who tries it is going to love it just as much.
- 7g active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup lukewarm water (separated)
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup molasses
- Blend the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup of water from the first measure in a bowl. Set aside until it becomes frothy, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the salt and flour in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the yeast mix and the remaining first measure of water (1 1/4 cup water), and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Beat on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. You could also knead the dough by hand for 10-15 mins.
- Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth, and set aside to rise in a room temperature environment for an hour and a half.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Knead the dough gently to remove any air bubbles. Then divide into 10 equally sized portions. Roll into balls, then cover and rest for 30 mins.
- Grease a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Combine the molasses and the remaining 1/2 cup water, and mix well. Scatter the sesame seeds on a flat plate, and set aside.
- Roll the dough into 12 inch logs, squeezing the ends. One at a time, hold one end and twist the other to make a twisted rope (basically just twist the rope), then join the ends into a circle and seal the ends by squeezing tight. Dip into the molasses to moisten, and then directly into the sesame seeds to coat.
- Place on a baking tray, and then continue with all of the remaining dough. Set the rings aside until puffy, approximately 30 mins.
- Bake for about 20 mins, or until golden brown.
- Serve with cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and white cheeses like feta, akkawi cheese, halloumi cheese or even mozzarella.