Popcorn balls and candy apples are a hallo-winner.

Popcorn Ball Recipe

Courtesy of Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 7 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring

Directions

  1. Place the popcorn on a large baking pan and keep warm in a 200° oven.
  2. Mix the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat on the stove until a candy thermometer reads 235° (the “soft-ball stage”). Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the butter, vanilla and food coloring. Stir until the butter is melted. Immediately pour over the popcorn and stir until evenly coated.
  4. Once the mixture is cool enough, shape into 3-in. balls. Pro Tip: dip your hands in cold water to prevent sticking.

Candy Apple Recipe

Courtesy of Just A Taste

Ingredients

  • 12 small apples (red or green)
  • 12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon food coloring

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the apples.
  2. Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks into the apples. Set the apples on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper coated with cooking spray.
  3. Mix the sugar, corn syrup and water. Place in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the “hard-crack stage”).
  4. Take the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the food coloring.
  5. Dip the apples into the candy mixture one by one. Swirl each apple to coat them thoroughly.
  6. Move the coated apples to the cookie sheet and let them cool until the candy has hardened.

Hand out these sweet treats to trick-or-treaters…or keep them all yourself (muahaha). Either way, these popcorn balls and candy apples are sure to be a huge hit this Halloween!


Game time meets snack time: Epic Chili Cheese Corn Chip Salad

Game time meets snack time: Epic Chili Cheese Corn Chip Salad

Football season is back! Your playbook (i.e. recipe book) just got a whole lot better with this winning chili cheese corn chip salad. Fair warning: once you serve this epic app, you’ll be hosting football watch parties from here on out. It’s so simple, and so good. Check it out!

 

Ingredients

  • frozen sweet corn (thawed)
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 4 finely sliced green onions
  • ½ cup finely-chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup finely-chopped orange pepper
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 bag Chili-Cheese Fritos Corn Chips

Dressing:

  • 1-cup mayonnaise
  • 1-cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • ½ envelope Fiesta Ranch Dressing Mix

 

Directions

  1. Chop all the vegetables and place in large bowl.
  2. Add shredded cheese.
  3. Mix dressing and blend into other ingredients.
  4. Chill overnight.
  5. Just before serving: crunch up Fritos in the bag. Toss crunched-up Fritos into the salad and serve.

 

Your team may not make it to the BCS National Championship or the Super Bowl, but you’ll definitely feel like a champion after serving this appetizer!

 

Celebrate National Sandwich Month with the Turkey Avocado Club

If you’re looking for a tasty way to celebrate National Sandwich Month, this Turkey Avocado Club recipe is a sure bet. Join the club and add this delicious sandwich to your lineup. This recipe comes from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices whole-grain bread, lightly toasted
  • 8 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 slices
  • 12 ounces sliced low-sodium deli turkey breast
  • 1/2 small English cucumber, sliced

Directions

  1. Toss the onion, vinegar and water in a small bowl and let stand 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Cook the turkey bacon until crisp.
  3. Mash the avocado and yogurt in a different small bowl until smooth. Mix with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread half of the avocado-yogurt mixture on four slices of bread.
  5. Add turkey breast, bacon, cucumber and red onion onto the four slices.
  6. Spread the rest of the avocado mixture on the other slices of bread.
  7. Set spread-side down on top of the sandwiches.

Recipe credit: Food Network

So simple. So scrumptious. Celebrate National Sandwich Month with the tantalizing Turkey Avocado Club.

Make your own pickles. Yeah, it’s kind of a big dill.

Summer and pickles go together like, well, summer and pickles! Pickle slices on burgers, pickle relish on hot dogs, pickle spears with BBQ, or even just a whole pickle on its own.  Good eatin’, if we may say so ourselves. Turns out making pickles on your own is super easy, too. See how with this recipe from Food Network star Alton Brown.

Ingredients

  • 5½ ounces (about ½ cup) pickling salt
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 3 lbs. pickling cucumbers, 4-6 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 large bunch dill

Directions

  1. Stir the salt and water in a pitcher until the salt dissolves.
  2. Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly. Snip off the blossom end stem.
  3. Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into a 1-gallon crock. Add the cucumbers to the crock. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers. Pour the remaining water into a 1-gallon plastic bag and seal. Place the bag on top of the pickles making sure that all of them are completely submerged in the brine. Set in a cool, dry place.
  4. Check the crock after 3 days. Do you see bubbles rising to the top of the crock? Awesome, fermentation has begun! Check the crock daily and skim off any scum that forms. If scum forms on the plastic bag, rinse it off and return to the top of the crock.
  5. The fermentation is complete when the bubbles have stopped rising. This should take approximately 6 to 7 days. Once fermentation is complete, cover the crock loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3 days. Store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator, skimming as needed. If the pickles become soft or start smelling bad, throw them away.

Recipe credit: Alton Brown, Food Network

Road trip fun—printable puzzles and games

Planning a long drive with the kiddos in tow? Keep them occupied with puzzles and games from ENERGY KIDS, an initiative from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • They might not be able to find their shoes, but kids love finding words. Check out the Energy Kids crossword puzzles and word searches.
  • Why did the foolish gardener plant a light bulb? He wanted to grow a power plant, of course! Get your kiddos thinking about energy with brain teasers. You can find plenty more gems on the Energy Kids riddle page.
  • Going on a long trip? The Energy Ant activity book has plenty of fun energy-related activities to help pass the time.

 

Simply download and print before hitting the road. Happy vacationing from your friends at PSO!