Favorite Recipe: Chunky Caramel Popcorn

You may not see a pattern to it yet, but today is the Favorite Recipe day.
I was just telling my friend about this Chunky Popcorn recipe shown below and how you make the caramel from scratch. It is so easy to make and really yummy. I actually got this recipe for free in the mail after signing up for recipes from Land O'Lakes.  Good ol' butter!

Chunky Caramel Popcorn
12    cups popped popcorn
1     (9.75-ounce) can (2 cups) whole cashews
1     (5-ounce) bag (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves
1     cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4  cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2  cup light corn syrup
1     teaspoon baking soda

1        cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2  teaspoons shortening
1/2     cup white baking chips

Heat oven to 250°F. Place popcorn, cashews and pecans in large roasting pan.

Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (7 to 8 minutes). Continue boiling 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.

Pour butter mixture over popcorn mixture in pan; stir well. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; place onto waxed paper or parchment paper. Cool completely. (DO NOT BREAK INTO PIECES.)

Place chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening into resealable plastic food bag. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 30 to 45 seconds; knead bag. Continue microwaving at 15 second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn mixture. Repeat with white baking chips and remaining 1/2 teaspoon shortening, microwaving on MEDIUM-HIGH (70% power). Drizzle over popcorn mixture. Let stand until chocolate is set (3 to 4 hours). Break popcorn mixture into pieces.

Store in container with tight-fitting lid or resealable plastic food bag.


Owl Ornaments

These Patchwork Owl ornaments would be perfect for a little child's Christmas tree.  I love them, but they are a bit pricey at $23.95!  You can find them here.

Handmade Etsy: Decorative Tiles

Wouldn't these be cute on presents for Christmas?  These white porcelain tiles is handmade and fired in a kiln.  I love everything about these tiles from their soft white color to their silky soft texture.  You can purchase them here.


Created for You- Christmas TV Schedule

I have created a Christmas TV Schedule that you can access at all times by clicking the link at the top right with with same name.  Call me crazy, but I create this list every year.  I love Christmas specials and movies and I get disappointed if I miss one.  I decided to share my list this year, but be warned as the times are listed for the Central Time Zone for my convenience.

The schedule is pretty full as I am including TV sitcoms and Made-for-TV Movies as I find them.  I don't watch Lifetime movies, but maybe you do.  I'm including them this year just to make the list as complete as possible, but that may change next year.

This schedule will be updated on a weekly basis as I get more information and as dates pass.


Family Chore Chart

Through my morning blog wanderings I came across this Chore Chart located on a blog called ModEco Kids.  I think it's a great time to start thinking about how you will get those extra chores done for the holidays.  I like to make lists and check things off (just like Santa!) and this chart can get the whole family involved.  You can download it and customize it for free, simply click here and you can start teaching your family the joys of cleaning?!


Jars of Candy

I keep magazine clippings of ideas that I really like.  These Candy Shop gift ideas from Martha Stewart's Living magazine were showcased as a good things in the December 2003 issue.  The idea is to display holiday candy in pretty ways as gifts to people.  Martha suggest saving old jars and spray painting the metal lids in a festive color.  A simple and elegant method of gifting.

Over the years, Martha's web site has really expanded to include ideas from her many publications.  The amount of information and ideas is amazing on this site and I probably don't need to be saving these clippings, I can just jump to the web.


Favorite Recipe: Oreo Truffles

photo via Flickr

Kraft Foods has a great selection of recipes and a friend alerted me to this one a few years ago.  It is really easy and fast to make.  I added it to my annual holiday cooking immediately.  Any leftoever chocolate can be used to cover pretzels or other treats.

Oreo Truffles 
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened 2 pkg. (8 squares each)
Milk Chocolate chips, melted

1.    Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.
2.    Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
3.    Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

 Do you have any favorite holiday recipes that you make year after year?


Handmade Etsy: Christmas Stockings

I purchased these stockings from Ahna Holder's Etsy Shop last year.  I loved that I could mix and match and get a more contemporary feel with my stockings.  The color selections are inspired.  A little photo frame is attached to the keep the stockings straight, as well.


Welcome to Modern Mantle!

I am an architect in the Midwest with a passion for design, planning anything, and the holidays.
I have been looking for a one-stop blog about the holidays with a modern twist for a few years now.  I never found what I was looking for, so I have quit looking and am starting my own.  This blog will include more than just design; It will discuss a number of topics like traditions, entertainment, and planning for the holidays.
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