We hope you joined us last week for our post on how to set up a killer outdoor movie night. And what’s a movie night without popcorn? Not the fatty, goo-laden stuff you get a theater, mind you, but homemade, flavor-packed popcorn recipes that will appeal to a range of ages and palates. Since we can’t stop “testing” these popcorn toppings here at the office, we knew we had to bring them back for an encore, and some additional tips.
Always start with freshly popped kernels; popcorn is simple to make in an air popper or even a covered wok on the stove, and a whole lot healthier (and cheaper!) than the microwave-bag variety. Pour the fresh, warm popcorn into bright, festive bowls, and set out paper lunch bags so each guest can take his or her ideal portion size.
Provide at least one decanter or pitcher each of olive oil and melted butter, so guests can choose their favorite. Arrange these, plus mason jars or decorative bowls filled with the popcorn toppings, on a pretty tray with some spoons for scooping. And don’t forget about some sassy placemats and napkins.
Which of these popcorn topping recipes would you most like to try?
Garlic, Olive Oil, and Cayenne
1. Combine 2 parts garlic powder to ½ part cayenne and shake to mix in a mason jar or stir in a bowl.
2. Drizzle warm olive oil over the popcorn, and top with the garlic and cayenne mixture just before serving.
Thyme, Sea Salt, Pepper, and Asiago
1. Combine equal parts thyme and freshly ground sea salt. Add black pepper to taste.
2. Drizzle warm olive oil or butter over the popcorn, and sprinkle in the thyme mixture. Top with finely grated Asiago cheese for a sophisticated bite.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
1. Combine 1 part cocoa powder to 2 parts granulated sugar. Mix in enough ground cinnamon until you can taste its zesty flavor, but it doesn’t overwhelm the sweetness of the chocolate and sugar.
2. Drizzle warm olive oil or butter over the popcorn, and generously sprinkle the chocolate mixture on top.
Sweet Orange Ginger
1. Combine 2 parts light brown sugar to ½ part ground ginger and ½ part orange extract. Add the zest of a fresh orange, 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste, until you strike the ideal balance of sweetness with the gingery zing. The mixture will be clumpy.
2. Drizzle warm olive oil over the popcorn, spoon the ginger mixture on top, and shake or mix well.
1. Combine equal parts finely crushed graham crackers and mini chocolate chips; add cinnamon to taste. Set aside a bowl of mini marshmallows.
2. Drizzle warm butter over the popcorn and generously sprinkle with the s’mores mixture, then add a handful of mini marshmallows and mix well.