Date night idea

January 23rd, 2017

Perhaps you  are looking for something to do with your sweetheart, what could be more fun than discovering what is included in the Manawa Mystery date together.  An evening complete with dinner, lodging, entertainment and a few surprises and even breakfast the next morning!

Operation Popcorn Finale

December 31st, 2016

For our final recipe of the popcorn challenge, we are using the salt & vinegar popcorn again and this time using it in a recipe for Scotch Eggs.  For those of you thinking that making scotch eggs means you’re having a glass of scotch while cooking eggs, it is not really that so much as it consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. Just as with our previous recipe, we decided not to deep fry the scotch eggs, as I don’t own a deep fryer.  So instead we pan fried them and finished them off in the oven.

  • 8 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 package of Jimmy Dean pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup salt & vinegar popcorn
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Cut the roll of pork sausage into 8 equal pieces.  Place the egg on the piece of sausage and mold the sausage around the egg.  Once the egg is encased in the sausage, roll the sausage in the pulsed popcorn/panko mixture.  Place in a hot skillet coated in olive oil and brown on all sides.  Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking.  Enjoy!  p.s. these definitely were a hit.



Operation Popcorn 11

December 31st, 2016

Well as sometimes happen, the time got away from me so here it is December 31st and to end the year with 2 recipes.  I needed to do 2 recipes in December as shock of shocks November got away from me as well.  It seems to just get busier and busier the more holidays come and go.  Well in any case, back to the first of two recipes.  The flavor of popcorn that Brian Busby, aka “Hey Popcorn Guy” dropped off in November was Salt & Vinegar popcorn.  I love salt & vinegar potato chips so I was excited about this challenge.  This was the recipe that I was going to post in November as a way to use those turkey leftovers.  A croquette is a small often rounded mass consisting usually of minced meat, fish, or vegetable coated with egg and bread crumbs and deep-fried.  Although as some of you may have caught on by now, I look at recipes as suggestions, and I baked the croquettes and instead of just bread crumbs, I rolled them in a mixture of salt & vinegar popcorn that I pulsed in the food processor and panko bread crumbs.

Turkey Croquettes

  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 sleeve of butter crackers
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup salt & vinegar popcorn, pulsed in food processor
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

In a food processor with the chopping blade, place the celery and carrot and pulse till smallish pieces, add crackers and turkey and pulse, then add mayo, sour cream and egg and pulse just until combined.  I used a pampered chef brownie pan and sprayed it and placed it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and take a scoop of turkey mixture and roll it in a mixture of salt & vinegar popcorn and panko breadcrumbs and press down into pan.  Repeat until all spaces in brownie pan are filled.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.



Operation Popcorn September Edition

October 1st, 2016

It has come down to the wire yet again for this month’s installment Operation Popcorn.  This month’s selection from Hey Popcorn Guy is Flair marshmallow bits.  A great addition to cereal, yogurt, cakes, cookies and my favorite…brownies.  I will admit and stand by the fact that I make brownies using brownie mix.  I have had some really fabulous homemade brownies in my time, have even made a few.  Just let me say I always seem to be in way too big of a hurry and the mix works for me.  We add in chopped candy bars, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, chocolate stars and the list goes on.  Now on the list of add ins are Flair marshmallow bits.  It is important to mix the bits into the dry mix and then add the oil, water and eggs.  Any way you slice them, they are delicious.  Don’t underestimate the power of using mixes to make life a bit easier during the busy times.  Stay tuned for next month’s installment of Operation Popcorn, we shall see what Hey Popcorn Guy has in his bag of tricks.


Operation Popcorn August

August 31st, 2016

For the month of August, “Hey Popcorn Guy”…your friend and mine Brian Busby contacted me and asked if it was too late to send over the flavor for this month’s challenge…and I of course said “bring it on”.  As I saw “Hey Popcorn Guy” pulls out of my driveway in his van, I realized the drop had occurred and went to check only to find Butter Toffee popcorn.  He is taking it easy on me I thought to myself and immediately opened the bag to have a taste.  After forcing myself to stop eating the butter toffee popcorn (it had been a bit of a stressful day), I came up with a plan for the recipe.


Butter Toffee Pecan Cookies


¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 sticks butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter toffee popcorn, broken into smaller pieces

½ cup roasted salted pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Cream sugar and butter together until creamy, add eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla.  Mix together the flour and baking soda and add a bit at a time until combined.  Stir in the popcorn pieces and pecans.


Drop onto cookie sheets by teaspoonful’s, bake for 13 – 15 minutes approximately.


  • Be sure when you pick up the butter toffee popcorn, that one of your family doesn’t eat it before you get the chance to make this recipe…just sayin’


Remember life is what you make it…so make it delicious!



Operation Popcorn July Edition

July 31st, 2016

Lo & behold, I returned home one day to find another offering from “Hey Popcorn Guy” for the month of July, and it was……Creamy Cucumber!  Now I will be honest and say that I thought to myself, what in heaven’s name am I going to do with this?  I came up with an idea after some careful thought.  In the height of summer, what is something you can hardly give away and grows plentiful in most gardens, you guessed it zucchini!

I was thinking about it a bit more and decided dill would go really well with this recipe as well, and there you have it, a recipe was born.  The creamy cucumber popcorn is from “Hey Popcorn Guy”, the Dill olive oil is from Winemaker’s Daughter and the zucchini is from Triple B Produce all of these businesses are in and around Manawa.  Check out your local area, lots of fun finds to be had.


Stuffed Zucchini Boats


1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small summer squash, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 mini colored peppers, diced

1 small potato, diced

1 medium zucchini cut in half

2 cups creamy cucumber popcorn

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 to 2 teaspoons Dill olive oil from Winemaker’s Daughter

1 teaspoon butter

Heat up skillet and drizzle olive oil into the hot pan and place butter in pan as well.  Place diced veggies into pan and sauté approximately 10 minutes until they begin to soften.  Place cucumber popcorn in a food processor with the chopping blade and pulse until the popcorn becomes quite fine.  Add popcorn to the skillet, along with the dried dill and salt.

Scoop out seeds from zucchini, scoop out insides and chop and add to the skillet and sauté a few additional minutes.  Drizzle olive oil on the cut side of the zucchini halves, and spoon veggie mixture into zucchini halves.  Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the zucchini halves and bake in a 13 X 9 pan in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.  You could also wrap them in aluminum foil and place them on your grill.


Enjoy! Stay tuned to our next installment of Operation Popcorn!



Operation Popcorn, June Edition

July 1st, 2016

It is the end of June and I find myself in a bit of a hurry to post the latest recipe using “Hey Popcorn Guy’s” choice of popcorn.  This time I must admit I am a bit more excited with the offering, it is Maple Walnut Popcorn.  I thought well what am I going to do with this?  Yes an idea sprang forth and in keeping with a bit of a bed and breakfast sort of thing I chose to use the latest offering in Maple Walnut Almond Granola.  I am feeling good about this recipe it is in the oven right now toasting.  Please try this recipe, with some fruit and yogurt or maybe just with some fresh berries and milk.  Either way you choose to enjoy it, give it a try and see if you don’t come away with a few ideas of your own for using the many different flavors offered by “Hey Popcorn Guy”!  See you in July with yet another challenge!

1/3 cup Maple Syrup

3 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups oats, old fashioned (all I had was quick cooking, so that is what I used)

1 cup slivered almonds

1 – 2 cups Maple Walnut Popcorn

Stir together maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil.  Heat in microwave for 1 minute, stir . Mix together oats, slivered almonds, salt and maple walnut popcorn.  Pour maple syrup mix over oat mixture and stir to combine.  Toast in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Store in an airtight container.



Operation Popcorn, May be yes, May be no

June 1st, 2016

So for the month of May it is down to the wire.  The flavor of the month is Chocolate Dipped Banana, and yes Hey Popcorn guys sense of humor just keeps on giving doesn’t it?  So with the help of my daughter Morgan, we concocted a plan.  Banana chocolate chip oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwiches.  And just for a little added bonus, rolled in chocolate dipped banana popcorn.  I have to say that we road tested those ice cream sandwiches, and yes they are delicious.  So check out next month, heaven only knows what Hey Popcorn Guy has in store for us next, always with a twinkle in his eye and a laugh….thank goodness.  Until next month, check out Hey Popcorn Guy on Facebook and see what flavors he is highlighting and where he will turn up next.

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

3 medium bananas, mashed

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.  Add to creamed mixture and combine.  Stir in mashed bananas, oats and chocolate chips.

Grease baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  I actually baked these in a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, for approximately 20 minutes and let them cool.  Then cut them with a biscuit cutter to get the round shape.


Operation Popcorn, April Fool’s

April 21st, 2016



This month Hey Popcorn Guy dropped of the flavor for this month’s challenge and it’s no April fool’s!  Honey Mustard is the flavor this month.  My daughter Morgan came to visit with our new granddaughter Willow for a few days and so we were throwing out ideas as to how to utilize the honey mustard popcorn in a recipe and Honey Mustard Meatballs was the winner.  So this month’s challenge was made by Morgan Kubash, and they were tasty.  Served alongside mashed potatoes, oriental style veggies, it was what’s for dinner!

Honey Mustard Meatballs

3 cups Hey Popcorn Guy Honey Mustard Popcorn

10 Ritz Crackers

1 pound hamburger

½ medium onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon Honey Mustard


Pulse together honey mustard popcorn, Ritz crackers and medium onion together in a food processor, pulse until the consistency of bread crumbs. Mix into the hamburger, with the honey mustard, just until incorporated.  Form into small meatballs, place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.  Serve with honey mustard cream sauce.


Honey Mustard Cream Sauce


4 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

4 Tablespoons Honey Mustard

¼ teaspoon season salt

Pinch of black pepper

1 teaspoon dill


Place butter in a pan to melt.  Once the butter is melted, add flour and whisk into butter and cook for approximately one minute.  Add milk and continue to whisk until thickens.  Add honey mustard, salt, black pepper and dill.

Operation Popcorn Easter

March 21st, 2016

In preparation for our own version of March Madness, Hey Popcorn Guy messaged me at the end of February and let me know that he would be delivering the next challenge soon.  He did sound in the message a tad bit on the devilish side, however I hoped for the best and was pleasantly surprised.  Grandma La La, Hey Popcorn Guy’s better half, dropped off the challenge a few days later, she said it reminds them of Spring.  So being that Spring brings Easter time I thought why not make an edible candy bowl for all those sweet treats.  Any holiday that offers up candy is one I can get excited about so here is the recipe for our edible candy bowl using Citrus Blend popcorn compliments of Hey Popcorn Guy!

1/3 bag of 10 oz. bag of marshmallows

3 Tablespoons butter

6 oz. white chocolate chips

Melt together in a sauce pan the marshmallows, butter and white chocolate chips.  Once melted turn off the heat and add the bag of Citrus Blend popcorn and stir to coat.  Pour into a plastic bowl and with buttered hands, work to form the shape of the bowl.  Let set up.  Remove from the plastic bowl once cooled and fill with your favorite candy.  Enjoy!