Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cat's Spicy Dark Cocoa Popcorn

Revised from recipe for Cocoa Cayenne Popcorn

This is a very quick, fun snack that can be made for seasonal gifts - or just for fun. I used pre-packaged popped corn, which was a real time saver. Not that I needed to save time. And it wasn't because I didn't have an air-popper; I just bought a new air popper since my old one got flooded in our storage unit this summer. But our grocery store didn't have any popcorn kernels on the shelf for several weeks. and I managed to grab the very last package of pre-popped popcorn that they had on the shelf the day I was there.  I have been waiting several days to actually get around to making the recipe. A chilly, snowy day seemed just the right time.

Now... the bag of popcorn that I bought for this recipe said it contained five 4-cup servings. The original recipe called for 10 cups of air-popped corn, so I figured I should double the ingredients for 20 cups. My finished product showed a much thicker coating of the cocoa mix on the popcorn than the photo in the original recipe. But, if you don't like to lick your fingers or keep washing cocoa off your hands when you eat it, feel free to cut the quantities for the cocoa mixture in half. You'll get a lighter coating, I'm sure.

The original recipe said a serving size should be 2-1/2 cups... their recipe would yield four servings.

My recipe? Ummm... I think we're only going to get two servings out of it, and that's not because we planned to package any up to give away! :-)


  • 6 T. confectioners' sugar
  • 2 T. unsweetened Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 - 2 tsp. or several shakes of Penzey's Arizona Dreaming seasoning*
  • One 5-oz bag Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn (or 20 cups air-popped popcorn)
  • Olive oil cooking spray 
  • Four 1-oz. squares Baker's Premium White Chocolate
  • 2 tsp. organic extra virgin coconut oil


1.   Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.   Using a bowl large enough to hold about 1 quart, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and seasoning.

3.   Place the popcorn in a large, shallow bowl; I used a stainless steel mixing bowl. Spray the popcorn with olive oil. The original instructions said to spray about 10 seconds, but I sprayed a little, stirred, sprayed again while stirring until I felt I had coated the popcorn enough to hold the cocoa mixture in place. 

4.   Sprinkle the cocoa and spice mixture evenly on top; toss until well-coated. I used an old Pampered Chef powdered sugar container with a handle to "dust" the mixture over the popcorn as I stirred and tossed it to make sure it was evening coated.

5.   Spread a single layer of the cocoa coated popcorn evenly onto each of the two baking sheets.

6.  Using a Pyrex bowl, or one that can safely be used in the microwave, heat the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it has begun to melt evenly. Mine took about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes to heat until melted. Then remove the bowl from the microwave, stirring the chocolate until there are no more lumps. Stir the coconut oil into the melted chocolate and, using a teaspoon, drizzle it over the popcorn. 

Cocoa popcorn with white chocolate drizzle. Feel free to use dark chocolate, if you prefer!
7.   Allow the popcorn to cool thoroughly so that the chocolate drizzle is no longer runny. Then package it up quickly before you eat it!

NOTE:  If you don't have Penzey's Arizona Dreaming, just use the spices from the original recipe. Go ahead and add that 1/2 tsp. of cayenne for extra burn!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chicken Zucchini Burgers: Dinner Tonight

Sorry... I just can't find the link to where I found this recipe - and this is not my photo, but don't those look good?. They ARE good! Especially when you are really hungry and you need something really fast. And it's great to have leftovers. I put leftovers in the freezer, separated by waxed paper in between layers. Sure will make it much easier to get dinner made tonight! :-)
I like that you don't have to use bread crumbs to hold them together. And you can start with ground chicken in the first place so that you don't have to involve the food processor - except maybe to shred the zucchini. I used a 1/3 cup measure to form the burgers. Trying to remember how many that made... starting with a 1.2 lb. package of ground chicken (or you could sub ground turkey) it was about eight, as I recall.

Chicken Zucchini Burgers

1 lb (400 gram) chicken breast fillets
1 cup chopped zucchini
2cm piece fresh ginger chopped
2 spring onion chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 egg
3 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed
Extra virgin coconut oil

Blend everything except the oil in the food processor. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Now use a large spoon to form 5-6 patties. Cook patties for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through.