joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

caramel corn.

My dad makes really delicious treats for us. Most notably Chex Mix, coffee cake, and caramel corn. I have fond memories of my dad getting out the giant paper bags, popping a whole bunch of popcorn and whipping up some caramel corn. It was a good time in our house those days. This recipe is not my dad’s but it is just as delicious. Okay, maybe a tiny bit less delicious; dad knows best.


This recipe came from the pastor’s wife of the church I attended in Illinois during the last few years I was there during and after college. (Thanks, Cathy!!) Whenever I go back to visit, Cathy, my best friend Bethany, and I make caramel corn and talk until way past our bedtimes. Which is what Bethany and I did when she was here visiting last weekend. It’s kind of our thing. That and watching Parks and Rec nonstop.


Summer is almost over but I’m hanging on as much as I can. Caramel corn makes me think of stress-free days and breaks from classes. I hope it brings you good memories too!


Happy cooking, friends!

Caramel Corn
makes about 5 cups

5 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Spread about 12 inches of wax paper out onto the counter. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Stirring constantly bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Immediately pour onto the popcorn and fold the popcorn until all of it is covered in caramel. Spread into a somewhat even layer onto the wax paper. Eat immediately or wait until cool.
Store in plastic zip top bags once cool.

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best friend birthdays.

Today is one of my really good friend’s birthday today! He’s super awesome and one of the coolest people I know. He’s pretty much a brother to me. We’ve been friends for a couple years and they’ve been fun times. We often take late-night trips to the grocery store to buy baking things. He lives in Texas which is a really long ways away from Illinois. I decided to make him a sweet birthday package full of awesome things not only to celebrate his birthday, but also to make up for my poor friendship in the last few months. (Sometimes I get really stressed out and become a hermit…I’m cool like that.) So this is an idea of a package to send to your far-away friends.

Remember when I said I was knitting dinosaurs? It was awhile ago, so I don’t blame you if you don’t remember. Mike gets a brachiosaurus because he’s super tall and it made sense. It’s pretty adorable. There were also some other non-food things: a crocheted Yoda, an Aston Martin hot wheel, and a birthday card. All of which are super awesome.

There was a lot of food in there as well. Birthday cake fudge wrapped up in a lot of plastic wrap to make sure it didn’t melt all over and then stuffed into an empty butter box (I had to improvise on packaging). A box of s’mores cookies which pretty much embody summer and are delicious. And 3 mason jars full of birthday cake and frosting. This is super easy. I used a boxed cake mix. You probably think this is terrible because I hate canned frosting, but boxed cake mixes are so great when you don’t have a lot of time or just don’t feel like doing anything really stressful. I like those things. Also because funfetti is the bomb. Ask anyone; they’ll agree with that statement.

This is how this cake in a jar works. Bake the cake according to the directions. Let the cake cool. Make some frosting. Crumble some cake into the bottom of the jar. Put frosting in a pastry bag and pipe a layer over the cake. Add more cake almost to the top of the jar. Cover with frosting. At this point I added some plastic wrap to help keep the cake good, but you don’t have to do that. Put the lid on and share with a friend. Simple and fun. Love it.

Happy birthday, Mike!!!

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