Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Caremel Popcorn

3 quarts popped popcorn, unpopped kernels removed
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Fleischmann's Original Margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place popcorn in a 14 X 10 X 2 1/2-inch roasting pan; set aside.

Heat sugar, margarine and corn syrup in heavy 1 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Boil 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn; stir to coat evenly.

Bake in preheated 250°F oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread mixture onto baking sheet to cool, stirring occasionally to break apart. Store in airtight container.

Makes 3 quarts

Helpful Tips

Store unpopped bulk popcorn in an airtight container for about 1 year. For best results, keep the container in the refrigerator or freezer so the kernels retain more or their natural moisture and pop up larger and fluffier.

Mix 'n' Match

Nutty Caramel Popcorn:
Follow the above recipe adding 2 1/2 cups peanuts to popcorn.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 1/2 cups wagon wheel pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups hot milk
1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack or White American cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat over to 400°F. Grease a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

Meanwhile, heat butter in large saucepan and add the onion; cook 1 minute until onion is soft. Stir in flour until combined. Whisk in hot milk and cook over medium heat until thickened; stir in mustard.

Add chesses to sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add the pasta and stir to coat. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter; sprinkle over pasta mixture in baking dish.

Bake until bubbly and topping is browned, about 30 minutes.

Helpful Tips

For best flavor, drain, but do not rinse, pasta after cooking. Add pasta to the cheese sauce as soon as it is drained so pasta won't stick together.

Mix 'n' Match

Use penne, elbow or other short pasta in place of the wagon wheels.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pineapple Turnovers

2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, undrained
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated piecrusts
1 Tablespoon milk

Combine, cornstarch and 1/4 sugar in a small saucepan. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and turns clear, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Cool pineapple mixture to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out each piecrust on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch square. Cut each into four 6-inch squares.

Spoon about 1/4 cup pineapple mixture along diagonal of each square; fold dough over filling to form a triangle. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Brush turnovers with milk; cut vents on top of each. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake turnovers until golden, 20-25 minutes. Remove from baking sheets; place on wire racks to cool.

Makes 8 turnovers

Helpful Tips

The pineapple filling becomes extremely hot; be sure to let the turnovers cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Mix 'n' Match

For a colorful tropical dessert, use the cooled pineapple mixture as a topping for your favorite sundae.