So we’re going to get all sporty today on Our Best Bites. Most of you know that although my home is now in Idaho, I’m a Seattle girl, born and raised. And if there’s one thing Seattleites are (besides umbrella-free, tree hugging coffee addicts) it’s loyal sports fans. I spent many days of my childhood walking the ramps at the Kingdome before it was blown to pieces (no seriously, it was literally blown to pieces– one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen), so naturally I’m ecstatic to see my hometown boys in the big game. Denver fans- don’t tune out just yet. I have you covered too, keep reading! Before we before we get to the good stuff, I have something that will make you laugh out loud. Really. I dare you to keep it in. If you’re at work, go get all of your co-workers and have them gather ’round your computer. Tell them I said their boss said it was okay. And hold some documents in your hands so you look busy and productive in case anyone suddenly interrupts your movie break.
Oh my gosh I love those so much. Okay, back to food. We’ve done lots of team-colored treats in the past and today I realized something. Every major team I care about (and heck, even my kids’ school) has at least one of their colors as blue. And blue is a little tricky when it comes to food. One of my go-to color themed treats is our Fruity Candy Popcorn, but the one color/flavor combo that doesn’t really work is, you guessed it- blue. It turns green when you bake it and gets all weird. So I thought I’d show you another way to make basically the same thing, but with another product (that you might even have sitting in your pantry right now.) This recipe has been floating around the universe for as long as I can remember, and it’s a good, easy way to make a sweet, crunchy popcorn with fruity flavors in any of your favorite team’s colors.
Start with some fluffy white popcorn. You can use air popped or microwave popcorn, but I always advise using a natural or light variety if using microwave. The heavily buttered varieties are so bright yellow that it often affects the color of your finished product here. Lightly salted, however, is just fine. Heaven knows we’re dumping enough sugar on here, so a little extra salt won’t do anything but help balance. I like to use air popped just because it’s so clean and white and there aren’t any competing flavors.
In a pot on the stove, combine some butter, sugar, and corn syrup.
Stir it until it melts, and then comes to a simmer. You’ll boil this mixture for 3 minutes, stirring it constantly.
Then you’ll add a packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid, any flavor you want. A little trick is to look at the photo of the glass Mr. Kool-Aid is holding (does that dude have a name?) and that’s the color of the mix. Sometimes you get colors and flavors that are confusing by the packaging, so make sure you check that.
The Kool-Aid adds fruity flavor and a light color.
If you want your color more intense, you can add a little food coloring.
I love these AmeriColor gel colors. I buy them from Orson Gygi and I love that they are little squeeze bottles (as opposed to those little pots that you have to scoop out with a tooth pick and inevitably get all over your hands, the counter, etc.)
As an avid fan of 3 teams that sport navy blue as one of their colors, I’ve found it’s nearly impossible to achieve that shade, so I’m okay with a bright royal, or anything close.
Mix it up and immediately pour it over your popcorn.
Spread the popcorn out onto a lined baking sheet.
And bake in a low 225 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring after each 10 minutes. I made a batch of blue and a batch of green. Obviously.
Now, if you’re a Seattle fan and want to go all Beast Mode on your popcorn, you know you also need some of these.
See there’s this “thing.” Seattle fans and their Skittles. It’s all because of star running back Marshawn Lynch (nick name: Beast Mode), and I love this back story. With all of the famous people, including professional athletes, who get media coverage for ingesting things like drugs and too much alcohol, this guy caught national news media attention because he constantly munches on, yes, Skittles.
When asked what the deal was, he told reporters they’d have to ask his Momma. And what did his Momma say?
“When Marshawn was 12 or 13, we’d go to his games and I’d always have little candies in my purse,” Lynch’s mama explained. “Before the game, I would say, ‘Here Marshawn, come and get you power pellets.’
“I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, ‘Eat ’em up, baby. They’re going to make you run fast and they’re going to make you play good.”
You guys. Power Pellets. This made me laugh so hard. It totally sounds like something I’d say to my kids (says the woman who once treated a sore arm with a
tic-tac magical orange super-healing pill). The tradition continued through high school and then onto his college football career, where they’d buy Skittles by the case. I love that a silly tradition from a sweet mother still lives on even now, as he’s made it all the way to a respected professional athlete. She must smile as she sees this Skittles thing take off.
It honor of Marshawn Lynch and the Super Bowl, Skittles even released a “Seattle Mix” (I so wish I could get my hands on those!) and is also donating some proceeds to charity. Since I couldn’t get my hands on any of those, I just bought a variety of other Skittles and picked out greens and blues (you certainly don’t have to pick them out, you can just toss regular multi-colored Skittles in there).
While we’re on this topic- can we just discuss tracking down the individual in charge of replacing lime with green apple in the standard Skittles bag? And how they should be tied to a pole somewhere for a public shaming?
I found that the Skittles stuck to the popcorn if I pushed them into clumps of hot popcorn the moment it came out of the oven. It’s a little tricky to make them stick, but hey, it’s more about the symbolism anyway 😉
This stuff is so buttery, sweet, and crunchy, and it makes a ton (especially if you make 2 colors). It’s also great to make a day ahead,
So whip up a batch and have it all ready for munching during the game.
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And Denver fans- You know I wouldn’t forget you!
Game Day Kool-Aid Candy Popcorn
Recipe from: the universe
12 cups popped popcorn
1/3 cup real butter (5 1/3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup light corn syrup (that’s light colored, not light in calories
1 cup sugar
1 packet unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
food coloring, optional
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Chop butter in a few pieces and place it in a medium-large pot over medium-low heat. Add corn syrup and sugar and stir until butter is melted. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to keep mixture at a simmer and let it bubble way, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and stir in Kool-Aid and baking soda. Add food coloring if desired. Once mixed up well, pour immediately over popcorn and stir until it’s all coated. Spread popcorn out onto baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely and then break into chunks.
*If adding skittles, it works best to gently push them into the popcorn clumps as soon as it comes out of the oven. The heat from the popcorn mixture will help “glue” the skittles to the popcorn.
Now, let’s do something fun today; a Facebook showdown. I’ve shared both of those photos on our Facebook page. I’m curious to see who has more fans. Share your team’s photo to root for either the Seahawks or the Broncos. You can see and share Seattle’s photo here, and Denver’s photo here. Let’s see if OBB can predict the winner! (10am update- Seattle has a sizable lead!)