Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn

Happy Hump Day! I just realized that I said (about a month ago- oops!) that I would share the pumpkin spice popcorn I made for my coworker’s baby shower, and I never did! The last few months of the school year feel like I’m being dragged along to the finish line. 😉

This recipe has been a crowd pleaser both times I’ve made it. I know that pumpkin spice is usually a fall thing, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t just be limited to one season. Plus, the weather has felt like it’s fall lately, so there. 😉

Be warned though, this stuff is rich. The pumpkin spice flavor is not over-the-top either; it just adds something different! It’s like caramel corn’s dramatic, sassy, older sister. 😉 It makes a lot too and keeps well for about a week (if it’s not all eaten before then!).

I got the recipe from Cookies and Cups blog (via Pinterest, of course!). You can go there to see the full recipe and better pictures than I could ever take!

pumpkin
Source

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn

Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn*
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  2. Pop popcorn and put into several large bowls.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon sea salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes, without stirring.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.
  6. Pour popcorn into a lined pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt on top and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Allow popcorn to cool on parchment lined counter.

*Note- I always go easy and just pop two bags of lightly buttered microwave popcorn.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite “pumpkin-spice” flavored sweet?

 

 

 

Advertisements
Weekend

Weekend Recap

Hi there! Another dreary weekend, huh? Come on Spring, you can do it! This back and forth weather is driving me nuts!

Our weekend was pretty low-key because of the cold weather, causing us to stay inside most of the time.

On Friday night, we went over to Zach and Emily’s house to watch a movie. The guys were in the mood for a scary movie (though us girls weren’t!), and we finally decided to watch “Get Out.” We all thought the preview made it look pretty chilling. However, it was….terrible. The acting was awful, the “scary” parts were over-the-top dramatic, and the ending wasn’t satisfying.

It’s like the movie was slow and boring for 95% of the time and the last five minutes or so were when everything big happened. If you haven’t seen it, SKIP IT! It might be one of the top worst movies I’ve ever seen.

On Saturday, we decided to run errands in the morning. I talked Travis into going to Target…you know since it was cold and miserable out- nothing better to do. 😉 The best way to start a Saturday, right?! We also ran to Menard’s for some wood for a house project and to Dillon’s.

Travis bought me a gigantic tub of peanut butter because I go through it so fast. I use it for breakfast, cooking, and a lot of times, just eating out of the jar. 🙂 I probably eat peanut butter every single day. This baby is SIX pounds of heaven, and hopefully it lasts me awhile. No guarantees. 😉

IMG_4973.JPG

We had a pretty lazy rest of the day. I did laundry and Travis made me some floating shelves for my office, and then we laid around a lot.

IMG_4974.JPG

We did make a gourmet meal of roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, and salad. It’s usually a free for all on Saturday nights around here, so it was amazing to have an actual nice meal. 🙂 We watched Inception that night, and holy cow, that movie is a thinker, but it’s so good!! It was my second time to watch it, and I picked up on so much more this time around!

On Sunday, Travis drove back to his parent’s house to help his dad with the cattle. I spent most of the morning finally deciding on art that I want in my office and ordering. I have the hardest time pulling the trigger and ordering big house decor items like that. I’m so excited for it to get here and to liven up that room a little though! I’m going for a very neutral, Hamptons style coastal vibe.

In the afternoon, I got a productive streak and cleaned our floors, made baked oatmeal for the week, worked out, and did the sheets. Wheh! After all that, I let myself kick back and relax a little. I’ve started watching a new show on Netflix called “The 100,” and it’s sucked me in. Originally, I was just going to watch it when I work out on the treadmill, but it’s been so intense that I’ve already broken that rule to keep watching it. I am the queen of getting sucked into new tv shows, no matter if they’re really that good or not. I love dystopian shows too, so this one was right up my alley.

Travis finally got home late afternoon and we (surprise, surprise) had another lazy evening. 🙂

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Question of the Day: What’s the worst movie you have watched lately?

 

Friday

Five on Friday

Good morning and Happy Friday!

This week has been great- nice weather for taking walks outside and kids are loving our new novel unit. However, it’s also felt beyond busy. Excuse the short post today; I’m barely keeping my head above water with end of the year stuff. I forget how busy it gets each year!

one. My coworker Erin has her last day at school today before she is out for maternity leave, and then she moves to Alaska a few months after that. We threw her a little celebration during team on Thursday with some gifts and treats. I’m in total denial that she’s really leaving, as she has been my sounding board for the past three years. We plan on having some pool days this summer to catch up before she really moves. 😦

two. On Tuesday of this week, our school’s ELA and Social Studies teachers got subs for half a day so we could grade our students’ Social Studies Writing Assessments for the state. We divided into teaching groups of 6th grade and 8th grade to assess the writing, and even though it was work, it felt like a nice refresher during the week to unwind and get to talk to coworkers more than the usual rush between classes.

We even got done early before our subs were supposed to leave, and got to go out to eat and take a long lunch break. Be it the habit that we’re in, we were all still done eating in about ten minutes- ha! We are trained creatures to our usual super short lunch times. Days with extended time to talk to coworkers really do rejuvenate me and remind me how important they really are for my sanity. 😉

three. I can’t believe after having 85 degree days this week that the weekend is going to drop into the thirties again. What the heck, Kansas?! I’m hoping Travis and I can get some simple shelves built for my office and maybe even stain and hang them up too. Got to be productive!

four. Last week, my students made mini newscast videos about The Great Depression with some causes and tips to survive through a depression. While their videos might not be the most accurate, they seriously cracked me up. Seeing their little personalities come through made me laugh. I even made Travis watch some of them with me at dinner one night this week, and he was cracking up too.

Of course, some of them are a little inaccurate, but you get the point. We used a site called Flipgrid, and I will definitely be using it again. The kids loved it, and it was a unique way to “present.” Check them out here (seriously, scroll to the bottom ones if you’re going to watch. 🙂 ).

five. Welp, I wasn’t planning on talking about school for the whole post today, but you can see where my mind is. This last unit with our book “A Long Way from Chicago” is my absolute favorite thing to teach, but it’s also a lot of work to keep up with. Lots of grading and some exhausting days, but it’s all worth it when I have students asking, “Are we reading today? I really want to know what happens next.” That makes my heart pitter-patter, especially coming from kids who normally claim to not like reading!

Have a good day!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you hope to accomplish this weekend?

Weekend

Weekend Recap

Good morning! Hopefully this weekend was the last one of cold weather, right?! We keep getting tempted with some warm days, and then the next day is full of snow. What the heck?!

On Friday, we had plans to go to the movies with Zach and Emily to see Blockers, a new comedy. We originally planned to go to the 8 p.m. showing, but when we got to the theater (thirty minutes early), there weren’t any sections of four seats together. We debated on what to do, and the worker helping us said that the 10:45 p.m. showing had plenty of openings (duh- who wants to go then?!). 

After realizing we sounded like elderly people for thinking the 10:45 option was too late, we decided to just buy the tickets for the later show and suck it up. 😉 We went back to Zach and Emily’s house to talk for about three hours before going back to the theater.

The movie was pretty good! It definitely had some funny one-liners and was a good mix of comedy and feel-good/mushy moments.

On Saturday, Travis was up bright and early to do some landscaping work (despite it being so cold), and I had more of a lazy day, doing some cleaning, laundry, and laying around. Travis has the back of our house basically done with landscaping. He added a couple bushes this weekend and transplanted some of our other plants back there that were still in good condition. Now, just the front to go!

That night, we went back over to Zach and Emily’s and had a game night with them and Coleman. We started with Cards Against Humanity and then we brought their cornhole game inside to play. Cornhole was actually a lot of fun indoors, but we are all beyond ready for summer. 😉

On Sunday, we did the normal morning routine out and got back, ready to be productive. I made some energy ball snacks for the week. Then, I pegged Travis down and made him come to my office to help me decide about decor I’m planning for in there. I was between two different design “styles” for my office, and he was very patient as I showed him each little option of art/decor and got his opinion. 🙂 There’s nothing that gets me quite as excited as decorating a new room. It’s a rush, I tell ya!

We spent the afternoon laying low and just hanging out. I threw a crockpot meal together, worked out, and sketched out how I’m going to arrange things in my office (that’s normal, right?!).

I’m actually feeling excited for this week, as my students really loved our novel that we started last Friday. I can’t wait to keep reading and analyzing it with them!

Have a good day!

Question of the Day: What’s the most recent movie you have seen in theaters?

Travis and I hadn’t been to the movie theater in probably 4-5 years. Our new one in Manhattan is nice with the comfiest seats ever. We might just be going a little more frequently now. 😉

Friday

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! This is the first Friday that I’ve had school in about a month. I was getting used to those four-day weeks. 🙂

As usual, here are five happenings from the week.

one. Yes, the first highlight of the week is this candy. Raffaello’s by Ferrero. It’s that good to go as number one.

raffello
Source

My mother-in-law put some of these in our Easter baskets last weekend, and I might just have a new favorite candy. If you’re a coconut and almond fan, go get some of these. They’re the perfect balance of crispiness and creaminess, and the coconut flavor is strong and delicious!

My mother-in-law said she got them at Walmart. I’m not sure if they are just a holiday thing or what, but she loaded me up with another box after she found out how much I like them. I might be going back for another box soon too. Drool-worthy, I tell you.

two. Even though it’d been near arctic conditions (in my opinion) this week, Travis has still been going strong on working on our house landscaping each night after work. What began as a plan to just redo the front of the house has turned into a whole-house landscaping revamp, and I’m pretty excited for the much-needed facelift.

Even though he gets home around 5:45 p.m. each night, he has still been going out and doing a couple hours of work putting in edging and laying rock/mulch. Though he acts like it’s such a chore, he really loves it, and he is enthralled with telling me the latest developments/plant options that he’s been planning. 🙂

three. You know I’m the biggest sweet potato fan, and this roasted sweet potato salad that I found on Pinterest did not disappoint. When I make it again, I will double the amount of sweet potatoes used, but other than that, it was great as is! It’s going to be a good/easy summer lunch around here!

four. If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you know that I jokingly tease that we live in a retirement community because of the average age of our neighbors. We do have some younger families too but they’re few and far between.

Well, two of our little old lady neighbors complained and complained that people drive way too fast through our little street. They would know, I guess, since they have a little walking group that’s at it twice a day when it’s nice out. 😉

Those two old ladies decided to buy these to put besides their houses to remind people to slow down. (I can’t say that it’s worked, but it’s given them some much-needed peace of mind – ha!).

IMG_4946.JPG

They didn’t stop there though. They decorate these for every holiday/season, which just makes me laugh. The picture above shows them in their Easter/spring glory. Before that, they donned their winter gear: mittens, a hat, and a scarf.

They haven’t had them long enough to be in a summer season, but I’m wondering if they will go all out and put sunglasses and bikinis on them then. Time will tell. I’ll keep you updated. Big happenings in our neighborhood, I tell ya. 🙂

five. In my Language Arts classes this week, we started our last unit, where we read the novel “A Long Way from Chicago,” a book I absolutely love. This is my favorite thing that I teach all year (AND it means that the school year is almost over- bonus! 😉.

I feel like I’m introducing my students to my own relative when we read about the main character, Grandma Dowdel because I feel like I know her that well! She’s a kookie old woman who doesn’t care about breaking the law, which thankfully keeps my students engaged during this final home-stretch to summer. Hooray for almost making it through this year!

Have a superb weekend! This one doesn’t seem like it will be too warm, but hopefully soon we get there! 😉

Question of the Day: What is your favorite candy?

Up until this point, I’ve always said Kit-Kat’s are my absolute favorite, but I’m thinking the Raffaello’s just took the lead! 😉

Weekend

Easter Weekend Recap

Happy Tuesday!

Today I have a recap of our Easter weekend back home with family.

We drove back Saturday morning to northeast Kansas and got to squeeze in a quick visit with Travis’ grandma that morning. Then, we drove over to my parents’ house for lunch with my family and grandma.

That afternoon, the guys loaded some ammo while mom and I talked and did some cooking/baking for that evening.

At one point during the day, my dad started talking about a parachute that he used to wear when he was flying, around twenty years ago. That lead to him finding it in the basement and Travis trying it on. 🙂

IMG_4938.JPG

At about this point, Travis realized that the parachute had a stank like no other (my dad claimed the adhesive had caused the stench after sitting for so many years, but it smelled like someone got sick in it- bleh.).

IMG_4939.JPG

Thus, Travis got out of the parachute quickly and my dad had to put it on to see if the stank really was that bad. (Spoiler alert. It was. Phewww.)

IMG_4942.JPG

Since my dad, brother, Travis, and Duchess’ birthdays are all in April, we celebrated early with a big steak dinner for them that night.

I don’t think I have much of a future in cake decorating. Can we say shaky hand?! I barely got all the names to fit!

IMG_4951.JPG

After already having two large meals and lots of dessert at my parent’s house, I was feeling pretty miserable that night…and it wasn’t even Easter yet! 😉

Since we were celebrating their birthdays, we also had some early presents for the guys, and let’s just say that Travis was beyond surprised and ecstatic with his gift from my parents. Enough said. (Dad, you blew it out of the park!)

IMG_4954.JPG

We stayed the night at my parent’s house, woke up to find that the Easter bunny had came (#NeverGrowingUp), and then we drove over to see Travis’ family.

We were there a few hours before church so we were able to talk and then have a mini-egg hunt in the basement. Not quite the same as doing it outside, but we weren’t going to be out in the wind and snow any more than we had to.

IMG_4947.JPG

After church, we quickly changed and then headed to Travis’ aunt and uncle’s house where they always have a large gathering for Easter with all of the extended family on the Snyder side.

The afternoon went quickly- another delicious meal that made me miserably full, another indoor egg hunt for the kids, and an egg “war,” a Snyder tradition.

Travis’ aunt Jayne collects egg shells all year long. She lightly cracks them after using them, stuffs them with confetti, and then seals them back up for this “war.” It’s always a lot of fun cracking them on people and we all end up with confetti throughout our hair, down our clothes, etc. 🙂

While there, I got this picture from my mom of the birthday celebration they were having for Miss. Duchess at home. Gah, she’s precious.

IMG_4948.JPG

Travis and I left late afternoon to drive home, since neither of us had Monday off from work. It was nice to get back, unpack, and relax a little before the new work week began.

My students have their Language Arts State Assessments today. Let’s pray that they can remember something I have taught them this year. When we reviewed last week, some of them weren’t giving me much hope. 😉 Ay yi yi.

Have a great day!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite Easter tradition?

 

Weekend

A Happy (late) Easter to you!

Good morning! It’s always hard to go back to work after a holiday weekend at home, but I’m trucking on!

We enjoyed the (cold) Easter weekend both with time at my parents’ house and time with Travis’ family (a HUGE perk when you’re both from the same area). I hope you had a wonderful weekend…with whoever you celebrated with!

I’ll see you back tomorrow with a full Weekend Recap then!

Enjoy the day!