A Salty Sweet Tropical Treat: Lime & Coconut Popcorn

Sweet & Salty Lime & Coconut Popcorn

Sweet & Salty Popcorn with Coconut, Honey and Lime

Salty and sweet is not a new combination in the snack world. There’s a reason things like chocolate covered pretzels and salted caramels are so popular and I know I’m not the only one dipping french fries in my milkshakes. Salt with sugar is an amazing, glorious thing and people are constantly finding new ways to mix the two together.

Personally, over the last few years I have forgone the old-school butter-and-salt popcorn as a snack in favor of a more delicious treat — sea salt & honey butter popcorn, which I discovered a few years ago on The Faux Martha blog. The recipe is easy — equal parts melted honey and butter tossed with popcorn and salt.

Once I started making popcorn this way, I couldn’t stop. I also could not stop eating it. It is addictive in a way I had not anticipated. The honey butter makes the salt cling to the popcorn, so every bite is pure salty, sweet bliss. (You can also cut back on the butter ratio if you prefer — I tend to use less butter than honey and I still think it’s pretty awesome.)

A few weeks ago, while I was preparing a batch for a late-night treat, I grabbed the jar of honey and noticed it was sitting next to my jar of coconut oil. On a whim, I swapped coconut oil for the butter, heating it gently in the microwave with the honey.

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Heart on a String: A sweetly simple sign of love

It’s funny the way that holiday decorations can instantly bring me to a happy place. In December, the stress of holiday traveling melts away when I see my childhood stocking (made by my mother years ago) hung over the fireplace. In college, I remember the sense of connection and solace when my friends and I would do silly things like paint Easter eggs together or decorate our dorm rooms with hand-print turkeys. It made being away from home a little easier.

Vase of Pussy Willows

Seeing this vase makes me feel like I’m home.

This is how I feel every February when I go up to my grandma’s house for my birthday and see a familiar white vase on the table, full of pussy willows and dangling red heart candies. I feel like a kid again, like I’ve come home from camp or a weekend slumber party.

Logically, it doesn’t make much sense because growing up I was never at my grandparents’ house this time of year — I was always in school. Instead they would fly to Alaska (on alternate years) to visit my brother and me for our birthdays. I was oblivious to the whole pussy willow/candy heart tradition until I was living in Portland and began spending my birthday weekends with them in Tacoma. Yet, there’s still a nostalgic feeling attached to those little gummy hearts.

Maybe it’s because the story connected to the vase and its enticing sweets is so familiar. Every year I hear about my uncle, who in his younger days used to pull all the hearts off their strings, leaving behind the empty circles of thread as evidence. My grandma loves to tell me this story and honestly, every year I enjoy hearing her recount the memory. It makes me feel connected knowing that traditions (along with having a sweet tooth) remain a constant in my family.

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Was it Worth it: Is Julia’s banana bread really the best?

Julia's Best Banana Bread

  • The Background: My love for cooking magazines is well-known so it’s no surprise that this recipe is straight from Bon Appetit (March 2013). What might actually surprise you is that my fellow-blogger Liz from Food For Fun/deLizious food communications beat me to making it! Her post/recipe review, found here, is what inspired me to make this banana bread immediately instead of letting the recipe get buried in my pile of things to make “someday.”

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In the Belly of the Beast: Maple Pork Belly w. Corn Waffles

Pork Belly PromisesOh pork belly. After years of being on the upswing of trendy foods, it amazes me how many people still don’t know what pork belly is. In my job as a meat distributor, I work mainly with chefs who are well-versed in their cuts of meat. However we often get calls from “general public” people (our term for those unassociated with the industry) who want to buy pork belly because they need it for a recipe, but have no idea what it is and are often worried that it’s some bizarre unusual piece of meat.

I then get to explain to them that they’ve most likely been eating pork belly for years — in its cured and smoked form, bacon. Usually they are shocked, which I always find a little funny. But it makes me happy to know more and more people who are not chefs are getting to appreciate this delicious and decadent cut of pork.

My point here is that pork belly = glorious, happy goodness.

Which is why for Thanksgiving this year my husband and I said screw the turkey, let’s cook a pork belly. We actually did a whole “Momofuku” spread with steamed buns, pickled vegetables and roasted pork belly (don’t worry, a full post is in the works!). It was an amazing meal, but considering it was a monstrous 12-pound piece of pork, we still had lots of leftovers.

Which means I had an opportunity to make this dish for dinner last week:

Pork Belly Perfection!

Pork Belly Perfection: Corn and Cheddar Waffles with Maple-Glazed Pork Belly.

It was absolutely, positively as fantastic as it looks! I promise you. If you don’t believe me, you’ll just have to make it yourself.

Did I just hear you say “challenge accepted”?

Okay then, follow my lead:

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