Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day sweet treats

Hendrix and I put together some sweet treats for Valentine's day last evening. I got the recipe here. I'd never made popcorn balls before, so it was a new experience.

First, I popped a couple bags of microwave popcorn, and put it in a greased 9x13 baking dish. I kept the popcorn warm in a 200 degree oven while I was doing the next steps.

I melted a bag of mini-marshmallows with a 1/2 cup of butter (1 full stick) in a large dutch oven pan. Hendrix was my stirring helper. He discovered that the pan gets hot. Poor guy. No real injuries though, just a bit of a shock to him. After the marshmallows were completely melted, Hendrix added some red food coloring. Then he added some more! We ended up with this pink goo.

Then we took the popcorn out of the warm oven and poured the goo all over it. I did the next part, due to the heat: mixing the popcorn up so that it's all evenly coated in the goo (sorry, I like "goo" better than "marshmallow mixture!"). The recipe I was following said to coat your hands with cooking spray or butter, but I learned that simple water works much better. So I mixed. It was hot. But I'm tough, so I kept mixing. ;)

Once the popcorn was all coated and mixed, I waited a few minutes for it to cool a bit, then added a small bag of M&M's. Then, I mixed some more. (Lots of mixing here.) Then, I grabbed small handfuls, and squeezed the popcorn together. These things don't just magically stick together with no effort. You have to SQUEEZE! Then, as they're cooling, the tend to fall apart, so you have to squeeze some more. But overall, a fairly simple process, and a cute treat that I got to send to the babysitter with my Hendrix man.

And, this little guy was quite thrilled to be able to help! (Ok, pleeeease ignore the mess in the kitchen. It's embarrassing, but hey.....we were having fun.) He just loves being able to help in the kitchen lately. I let him pour, stir, shake, whatever he can do that's safe, I let him do. He's my little helper. Love this man!

We don't have any plans for Valentine's Day today. Honestly, it's just another day to me. I just took the opportunity as an excuse to make a yummy treat. :) We're having leftover spaghetti for dinner, and then we'll play with the kiddos and probably try to get a little housework done (remember the list? Always in the back of my noggin!).

What about you? Any special plans for this "holiday?"

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