Caramel Corn

I looooooooove caramel corn! It is the bees knees! I found a wickedly delicious recipe for it with nothing but granulated sugar, water, butter, baking soda and popcorn. It turned out ridiculous! I got a tummy ache from eating it.


Caramel Popcorn

                                           
At Craft restaurant in Manhattan, where I work as the pastry chef, I like to send out a small bowl of caramel popcorn as a parting gift to guests. I prefer yellow popcorn; it seems to yield the biggest popped kernels. Yields about 4 quarts.
                    
Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil
3 Tbs. vegetable oil, such as peanut or canola
1/2 cup popcorn kernels, preferably yellow kernels
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) cold  unsalted butter, cut into small pieces



Pop the popcorn: Ok the original recipe asks you to pop kernels on the stove top, but honestly I know for a fact you can use what you have on hand. If all you have is microwave just don't add salt to the caramel.
Make the caramel: Measure the baking soda into a small dish so it’s ready to go. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment, foil, or nonstick silicone mats. In a 4-quart or larger saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, butter, and 1 cup water. Gently stir with a wooden or metal spoon just enough to immerse the sugar. Brush down the sides of the pot with water and a clean pastry brush. Cook the sugar mixture over high heat without stirring until it melts and bubbles and turns a very light golden caramel color on top; this will take 10 to 20  minutes, depending on your stove. The caramel will be darker than it appears on the surface, so don’t overcook. At this point, remove the pot from the heat.
caramel corn
Brush the sides of the pan clean with a wet pastry brush after you stir the water, sugar, salt, and butter.
caramel corn
Watch the boiling syrup, but don’t stir or swirl it. Once the syrup turns a golden caramel color, take it off the heat.
Working quickly off the heat, thoroughly whisk the baking soda into the caramel. Do this in or near the sink in case it spills over. The baking soda aerates the caramel, which makes it easier to eat when it’s cool, but causes it to bubble vigorously now, so be careful. Immediately pour the bubbling caramel over the popcorn in the bowl. Only use the caramel that pours out easily; don’t scrape the sides of the pot (the sugar on the sides of the pot crystallizes easily and can cause the caramel to do the same).
caramel corn
Whisk in the baking soda. The caramel will bubble vigorously and quickly rise up in the pan.
caramel corn
Pour the bubbling caramel onto the popcorn, taking care not to get any on yourself. Don’t scrape out the pot.
Using the heatproof spatulas, toss the caramel with the popcorn. When the popcorn is thoroughly coated, pour it onto the lined baking sheets and use the spatulas to pat it into one flat layer. As soon as it’s cool enough to touch, use your hands to break the layer into smaller clusters. Let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to a week.
caramel corn
Toss the popcorn and caramel as you would a salad, using two heatproof spatulas.
caramel corn
Pat the caramel popcorn into a ­single layer on lined baking sheets.

Variations

Spicy: Stir 3/4 tsp. cayenne into the baking soda and add to the caramel as directed.
Nutty: Toss 2 cups lightly salted peanuts with the popcorn before pouring on the hot caramel.
Chocolaty: Add a handful of M&Ms candy or chocolate chips for another delicious variation!
Original recipe found on Fine Cooking
HERE.



Honibe Lozenges Review!

I got to review Honibe Lozenges to go with my giveaway I did. I am quite pleased with these little drops of golden goodness! I am not a big fan of cough drops most of them are too strong for me. But these ones are very nice. They are the worlds first lozenge made from 100% pure honey!



They are all natural and unrefined and are great relief for sore throats and nasal congestion. Honibe Honey Lozenges are a great alternative for diabetics and people on low carb diets. Honey is rated lower on the glycemic index then sugar and a study comparing homey to DM based cough syrups found that honey based products are healthier for adults and children. (Penn State Medical, 2007) They are available in Honey with Menthol and Eucalyptus, and Honey with Lemon, Menthol and Eucalyptus. They are both great! For more information visit www.honibe.com!

Lil Sproutz Childrens Boutique!


With three kids buying everything brand new is out of the question, but buying things that have been barely used is much more realistic! There are a few different thrift stores here in West Kelowna but the quality is questionable because they dont have high standards. A consignment store is the best place to buy used for your children. And Lil Sproutz is at the top of my list! They have such amazing quality products because they have such high standards! And when its your little one your buying for, quality matters. The prices are fantastic because it is previously used, but you can hardly tell that it is used items your buying. I also like to take my kids gently used toys, clothes and shoes in there and make some extra cash. If your thinking about consigning there are certain things you need to know. Over the next month I will be sharing tips and tricks to get the most out of consignment as well as what the best things to buy previously used are. 


If you are in the Okanagan and surrounding areas or taking a trip here sometime soon you should take a peek at what this awesome store has to offer! Your kids are not going to stop growing and that means your never going to stop buying for them. You might as well get the most for your hard earned dollars without sacrificing quality! Visit Lil Sproutz this Saturday and Sunday 20% off almost everything!


24-2475 Dobbin rd
West Kelowna
V4T 2E9
778-754-5594

Store Hours:
Monday - Saturday 9 am to 6 pm




Epic Blend Lip Balm Review and more...



I am a lip balm fanatic! I love how soft and sweet my lips are when I wear it. I have tried a million different kinds and this lip balm called Epic Blend is really nice! It is super smooth and the flavors are fantastic. I have had some pretty nasty lip balms before, gritty ones that feel like you applied sandy goo on your lips, ones that smell like a menthol chest rub, and ones that are so sticky you feel like you just used a glue stick on your lips.Ever since those sad experiences with lip balms I have been very picky about what goes on my lips. Especially since I don't wear makeup my lip balm has to be top of the line! Epic Blend is one of my most favorite lip balms. They have three different sets of balms, Hemp, Vegan, and More Moisture! The Hemp balm comes in four flavors vanilla, citrus kick, mint, and coconut. The Vegan balm comes in two flavors pineapple-mint, and wildberry. And More Moisture comes in four flavors as well green apple, cherry, grape, and unflavored.


Epic Blend makes premium lip balm with top shelf ingredients

Hi, we're Epic Blend - We make lip balm. So, if you have dry lips or chapped lips, big lips or small lips, light lips or dark lips, thick lips or thin lips, lips that like kissing or lips that like blowing kisses...we've got you covered.  We think happy lips make happy people, so we design products that make lips happy.

Hemp Balm

  • Natural flavors
  • Petroleum free
  • Gluten free
  • No synthetic preservatives
  • Non-GMO

Ingredients
New Formula: Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Grapefruit Essential Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Vitamin E, Rosemary Extract

 HEMP - CITRUS KICK
Vegan Balm

  • Beeswax free
  • Natural flavors
  • Petroleum free
  • Gluten free
  • No synthetic preservatives
  • Non-GMO

Ingredients
Organic Jojoba Oil, Candelilla Wax, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Berry Flavor, Vitamin E

 VEGAN - WILD BERRY
More Moisture Balm

  • Made with 7 moisturizers
  • Petroleum free
  • Gluten free
  • No synthetic preservatives
  • Non-GMO
Ingredients NEW FORMULA: Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Cocoa Butter , Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Vitamin E , Rosemary Extract 


MORE MOISTURE - GRAPE

For more information or to order your own top of the line lip balm visit www.epicblend.com.

I have wanted a super cute mobile for my nursery since I started having kids 4 years ago. I never ever got one and never really thought much about making one. Why, I don't know. So this weekend between the fifty million other things I had going on I decided to make a puzzle piece mobile. I had a puzzle kicking around that was missing some pieces and I just love puzzles so this was the perfect craft idea. It turned out really cool.


All I did was take a metal coat hanger and bend it to a diamond shape then glued some puzzle pieces together back to back, tied them together with some thread, and then tied those to the coat hanger! For the piece that made it hang from the ceiling I took some fishing line and cut it into for even pieces, tied it to the coat hanger on each point of the diamond, then tied the ends together like a teepee at the top. Then I used a hook and hung it on the ceiling. It is adorable and my son is mesmerized by it! If your a puzzle freak like me don't forget to enter my contest to win a personalized (your photo) toddler puzzle from Joslin Photo Puzzle Co. Go HERE to enter!



Lovable Labels Review, Giveaway, and more!





I got the honor of reviewing Lovable Labels this week! These labels are fantastic! I have put them in my kids shoes, on backpacks, lunch boxes and even my cell phone! With small kids in preschool and soon kindergarten these labels are going to save me a ton of money! No more replacements to purchase! Yay! Lovable Labels started with a mom that found herself in the middle of a problem. When she took her con to childcare they had asked her to label all of his belongings. This meant labeling everything from outdoor clothing to inside shoes. She recognized there was a need in the market for personalized labels that were tough and durable and could stand the test of time and the everyday use children put them through!
   

I received the Ultimate Camp Pack!
Description: Best Value! Keep your kids' things out of the lost and found bin with the Ultimate Camp Pack! It's fast and easy to label backpacks, water bottles, clothing, shoes, toiletries and so much more!


Price: $44.95

Colors: Available in 20 designs / Colors and 45 Icons

Features: Dishwasher and Microwave Safe, Waterproof, UV Resistant, Peel & Stick


Quantity (Hover Over For Description)


They have a million different products to label everything you own! Multi purpose labels, shoe labels, clothing labels, tags, safety labels, household labels, stationery, and much more!

Lovable Labels is located online making it easy for anyone to order anywhere in the world. They are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week! Visit www.LovableLabels.ca or call 1-866-327-LOVE (5683)

I have a special coupon code for all my loyal readers! The coupon code is as follows: CAMP1303 This coupon offers $5 off any purchase of $25 or more (before taxes and shipping) and is valid until June 30th, 2013.

Would you like to win your own Ultimate Camp Pack? Well here is your chance! One of my lucky readers will receive an Ultimate Camp Pack valued at $44.95. You get to choose the design and there is a design for every child! Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Today we made a movie night blanket! We took an extra blanket we had laying around and bought some fabric paints then just painted it the way we felt like doing it! It is super cute!


My kids love painting, what kid doesn't? They also like displaying their artwork, what better way to do so then on a beautiful blanket they can enjoy over and over again?

Sally Hansen Nail Polish Review and more...


This week I got to review Sally Hansen nail polish. I received six different shades in two different styles. The colors on the left are called Complete Salon Manicure the names of the shades are (from left to right)  #450 Kook a Mango, #320 Earl Grey, #440 Punch Drunk. Complete Salon Manicure has been reformulated with patented Vita-Care Technology to provide advanced wear, more shine, and nourishing care. The new technology over the course of ten days delivers 7 salon benefits in a single bottle:



As a base coat
The formula perfects nails, and smoothes out imperfections for a flawless surface.

As a Strengthener
It reinforces nails to help resist splits, chips and cracks.

As a Growth Treatment
The formula protects problem nails, allowing them to grow longer and stronger.

As a High Intensity Color
It glides on concentrated pigments in two coats for a salon-quality manicure.

As a Top Coat
It provides extra protection and brilliant shine.

As a Chip Resistant
It ensures durability for longer lasting wear.

As a Gel Shine
It creates a high impact-ultra glossy colour for a gel like look!


It is absolutely amazing to get all those benefits from one single bottle! They have 49 shades, 37 new and 12 existing best sellers! They are $8.95 a bottle and can be found in major drug stores, grocery stores, and other retailers across Canada!

The other three polishes are called Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in shades (from center to right) #420 Pacific Blue, #485 Golden-I, and #200 Strobe Light. They are super bright funky polishes my daughter just adores! To see all the other amazing products Sally Hansen carries visit www.sallyhansen.com!  

 
 
In other news I began planting my seeds in my garden this week. So far I planted chives, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, lettuce, spinach. We will see how things go, I am pretty sure most will be ok but I think its too early for my strawberries and tomatoes :( I looked up on google when I should start sowing my seeds but I never looked up separate planting time... duh! Oh well trial and error. The only way to learn is to try!
 
My son planted a sunflower seed for me at preschool and it is getting huge! So at least I know it will flourish in my garden!
 
 
 

Honibe Honey Lozenges Giveaway!

I have a great giveaway for you my friends! A package valued at $35.00 CAD from Honibe!  

Honibe Honey Lozenges - Nature's Cough Drop:
Honibe Honey Lozenges are the world's first lozenge made with 100% pure dried honey, with a small amount of naturally derived menthol and eucalyptus and no artificial ingredients. Honey Lozenges come in two varieties: Honey Lozenges with Menthol and Eucalyptus and Honey Lozenges with Lemon, Menthol and Eucalyptus. Honibe Honey Lozenges are for the temporary relief of sore throat and nasal congestion with only 10 calories per piece (2.6 g) and are available in blister packages of 10 lozenges. Honey Lozenges are conveniently sized for easy transport in pockets, cars, briefcases or purses for increased consumer enjoyment.



                 Dont forget to check out my other giveaways to!  

Puzzle Piece Picture Frame!



I love puzzles! I love doing them with my kids, I love watching my kids do them and I love how you can make things with leftover pieces. I had a puzzle that was missing a number of pieces and instead of wasting it I thought I could give the puzzle a forever home on my fridge!


So here is what you will need:
  • scissors
  • cardboard
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • extra puzzle pieces
  • magnets (optional)

Cut out squares of cardboard for your base of the frame. Begin gluing pieces of puzzle in no particular order or position.


When you have covered your cardboard square you will have something like this. Now you could put a string on it and hang it on a wall, or you can get even more creative and resourceful.


You know all those magnets you get from businesses that have bombarded your fridge? They have a much more crafty use. And for us frugal people who don't want to spend on craft magnets this is the way to go.


All you need to do is flip your frame over, cut the magnets to fit around your frame. And that's it!


Now you used your leftover puzzle pieces that could have ended up in the recycling, and magnets that have been on your fridge for far too long! And this frame looks a lot better than a business magnet!



You could make this into a huge picture frame if you have a lot of puzzles with missing pieces, or just a bunch of puzzles you don't use anymore. I bet it would look really neat with a mixture of sizes and colors.


OMG Review...



 
Wow! That was my first response to trying OMG's candy. I got to review each flavor. They are all so ridiculously addicting it is not even funny. They are these clusters of chocolate and graham pieces, toffee bits, and slivered almonds. They come in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and peanut. OMG is the perfect name for these delectable delights. My kids and I have eaten a bag of each kind already and cant seem to stop, one cluster at a time we slowly reach the bottom of the bag. They are 130 calories per 5 pieces so they are very decadent treats you probably shouldn't eat like they are going out of style. But for all of the chocoholics out there and ladies who need a soothing nibble when that grumpy time of month rolls by, change your expression from WTF?! to OMG! And become one with the cluster, it will melt your problems away with pure satisfaction!
 
 
OMG's can be found in your local grocery store for under 4 dollars a bag. Which is definitely a good thing because you are going to need more then one bag I promise.
 
 
I am going to try mixing these into vanilla ice cream for a tasty treat as well as using them to make an ice cream cake. I am super excited to try it! I will post the recipe and instructions this month sometime! For more information visit www.omgs.ca!
 
 
Another OMG moment of mine lately is snapping photos of my growing baby, he is getting bigger everyday, its so sad :( But wow is he ever a cutie pie. I was thinking I might submit his photo into some cute kid contests. Look at those chubby little cheeks!
 
 
It is getting close to garden time! I am going to have a lot of fun with my new patch. I will be posting all about what I'm planting how I'm doing it etc. I am a complete newbie at gardening. The most I ever did was help my grandma water and pick. So this could get interesting! I want to start my garden off right and was just reading that seaweed makes amazing soil conditioner. There are 2 ways of using it. One way is to dig it into your garden beds in the fall and it will do its thing over the winter months or if you want to use it in the spring/summer you can steep it like tea, add it to a pot, boil, remove seaweed, let water cool, then water your plants with it. So if you live by the ocean give it a try, or if your like me and live by a giant lake with seaweed go for it! Have fun!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Halftee Review!

Girlee

I got the opportunity to review a couple of the most awesome layering shirts this week. I got one for myself and one for my daughter. Hers is called a Girlee Basic Halftee which is a t shirt that is half the length of a regular t shirt so that you have no bunching of your layers and is cooler then wearing another full length shirt. It is perfect for sundresses, and spaghetti straps that could use a little more coverage. They are great for that beautiful layered look with any outfit. I got for myself a Boyfriend Halftee in black and cant wait to start mixing and matching my shirts with it. They are absolutely stunning, and so super comfortable it feels like your not even wearing anything! They have quite a few different styles to choose from and a variety of sizes. If your a trend setting fashionista and love making a bold statement with your wardrobe, but still enjoy being comfortable at the same time, the Halftee is perfect for you.

 
Here is what she looks like with just the Halftee and then her favorite tank over top. It looks fantastic and is so versatile! We are going to have fun trying out all the different looks, she's a little supermodel! For more information, and to get your Halftee visit www.halftee.com!

 
The Original

Vida Grains Review & More...

 
I got to try this fantastic line of products called Vida Grains. In my package I received 1 package of each flavor, a recipe card for each individual flavor as well as serving suggestions, a pamphlet on the products, and a business card!
 
 
 Vida Grains are a delicious superfood supplement. They come in three flavors, Savory Fiesta, Morning Glory, and Naked Cereal. They are sodium and sugar free, gluten free, cholesterol free, high in protein, fibre, omega 3 & 6, zinc, calcium, folic acid, iron, and more! They are fantastic in all your everyday meals. I tried the Morning Glory in my oatmeal, which was delicious. The Savory Fiesta in with my rice, so good! And the Naked Cereal in my pancake mix, the kids devoured them and had no idea that I added so many healthy ingredients!
 
 
 
If you are looking to incorporate healthy ingredients into your meals without changing what you eat, Vida Grains is the right choice for you! For more recipes, contact information, and nutritional information visit www.vidagrains.com .
 
I wanted to make a centerpiece for my dining room table today, I love having a nicely decorated house but find it hard to do with little ones and a strict budget! So what I did is make some play clay.
 
 
 
Homemade Play Clay
 
4 cups flour
1 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups water
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes. You may need to add more water or more flour until you get the consistency of playdough. You can divide into portions and dye with food coloring if you like or bake and paint the finished pieces.
 
2. Mold your shapes. Make whatever you feel like having, plates, bowls, cups, bracelets, beads. The possibilities are endless. Then bake for one hour or until hard.
 
That's it. Pretty simple. I learned that for some reason making hand prints and foot prints doesn't really work with this stuff. They will poof up like pillows. I tried to make a hand print of my two oldest and a foot print of my baby and they came out really silly. We also made rings, bracelets, and of course my funky centrepiece. Now I need to get some paint and paint these. They look and smell edible but please don't eat them, they taste horrible.
 
 
 
 
I used a baking pan to get the shape I wanted for my centrepiece, I lined it with cut out butterflies and then added a layer of dough and pressed firmly around the edges, like making a pie crust.
 
 
 
I made each of my oldest kids a ring with the first letter of there names.  
 
 
And my littlest sat and played in his Exersaucer and watched us make our creations.
 
 




 

5 Little-Known Facts About Disney Princesses - Nat'l Princess Day is Nov. 18

Princesses are inspiring because they typically kick butt while still being poised, confident, and kindhearted. However, feeling and embodyi...