♥ Seriously Addictive Caramel Corn & A Lovely Surprise

I’ve only been blogging for a few months now, but I have lurked around the vegan blogging scene for years. I didn’t actually start leaving comments  on the blogs that I have followed, and enjoyed, until I created my blogger identity. Before I became “greyt”, making up an online identity along with my comment was too much trouble to show my appreciation of their hard work. Apparently.

I was pleasantly surprised (and outed!) when one of my favorite long-time lurking “targets” (Andrea at Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking) bestowed upon me a “lovely blog” award. By accepting this award, I agree to link back to the award-giver, share 7 things about myself and pass the award on to 15 newly discovered bloggers.

Okay, 7 things about me. Here goes (in random order):

  1. I have a rescued racing greyhound (or rather, he has me) and he is partly to blame  for the name of this blog.
  2. I eat peanut butter every day. For as long as I can remember.
  3. I was born Jewish and raised Catholic. That in itself explains a lot. A  whole lot.
  4. I am a 5-year cancer survivor. I credit my healthy lifestyle for my success at beating the odds. And I credit cancer for making me a compassionate vegan. And Erik Marcus, too.
  5. I was a vegetarian when pregnant with my son 20 years ago.  I didn’t drink milk, either. All the “experts” (and other annoying types) warned me that I was starving my baby and that he would be malnourished from lack of protein (which was synonymous with meat, apparently). My baby boy weighed in at a scrawny 11 pounds. I am so ashamed.
  6. My first “rescue” was an orange striped cat that found me playing in my yard. I named him “Tiger”. Not at all original but, hey, I was only 3! He was the first of many stray cats and dogs that found me over the years. I made up beds in our junk-filled garage for the cats that came and went and I fed them on the sly. I knew that if I told my parents what was going on, the dreaded “pound” truck would come take the cats away.  Apparently, my parents were none the wiser. The St. Bernard mix that followed me home one day, however, proved more of a challenge to hide!
  7. It took me 10 years to finish my college education. My first declared major was nutrition, toward the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. Then it was  geography, until I figured out what I could do with a geography degree (teach). Then I became a city planner. And now I blog about vegan food and my love affair with a greyhound. Go figure!

There are so many great vegan blogs out there; but the blogs that I have been following (or lurking about!) are not new on the scene. I think those bloggers can rightfully be called “pioneers” in the movement. Since I joined the blogging community, however, I have discovered a handful of new (well, new to me) vegan (or vegan friendly) blogs that have captured my interest. In no particular order, other than the order in which they popped into my head, I present my  more recent finds (or they found me and I quickly grew attached):

la vida vegga

JL goes Vegan

Play With My Food (sidenote: I now regret giving away those Rubbermaid totes full of my son’s discarded action figures!)

Cadry’s Kitchen

Virtually Vegan Mama

The “V” Word

Food Feud

Mehitable Days

The Witchy Kitchen

The Vegan Mouse

katshealthcorner

lovinlivinvegan

No Meat Athlete (not new, but he recently made the leap from vegetarian to vegan)

Bren McClain

♥ And lastly, the source for my renewed caramel popcorn addiction: Recipe Rhapsody.

Veronica at Recipe Rhapsody adapted my version of white chocolate for her Vegan Cinnabon Caramel Corn recipe. Of course, I could not resist the temptation (sweet AND salty, heck yeah!) and I tried the recipe. Multiple times, actually. Using both white and dark chocolate.

I must admit, I actually prefer the dark chocolate on the caramel corn. When made with cashews, it totally reminds me of Moose Munch, which I haven’t had since I gave up dairy. And I once loved Moose Munch. I think I am in serious trouble here!

♥     ♥     ♥

Seriously Addictive Caramel Corn

Adapted from Recipe Rhapsody

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped)

1 cup lightly salted peanuts or cashews (I like the sea salt varieties)

1/2 cup non-dairy butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 250F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Use an air popper to pop the corn into a large bowl. Pick out the un-popped kernels, then sprinkle the nuts over the top and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the non-dairy butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, agave nectar, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, then allow to boil for 4 minutes (reduce the time by half for higher altitudes) without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and  the vanilla.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn/nuts and stir well to coat. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir the caramel corn, then return the baking sheet to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes. At the end of the baking time, transfer the caramel corn to waxed paper on the counter and spread evenly.

Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds; stir. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth.

Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and allow it to cool completely before breaking apart.

Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bags.

Okay, just one more look!

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24 responses to “♥ Seriously Addictive Caramel Corn & A Lovely Surprise

  1. You are so kind to include me! I’m a big fan of your blog so it means a lot!

    The problem with reading blogs at 5:30 a.m. is that I want that caramel corn for breakfast now 😉

  2. Thank you for sharing so many personal things! I have never seen such a decadent version of popcorn before. Mouthwatering!

  3. I agree with Mihl — the caramel corn is the most decadent version out there! My husband dished out vegan caramel corn at Vegfest, and he could barely keep up with the demand. If this had been the offering, I think he would have been hiding under the table to escape the crowds!

    That’s quite a religious history you’ve got — do you feel guilty a lot? 😀

    Now I’ve got to check out the blogs on your list — some of them are new to me.

  4. Thanks for including me on your list, I’m honored1 =) Your blog was one of the first I found when I started mine in january, the whole blog world is so new to me and I was immediately hooked on yours. The wonderful person you are comes through in your writing and your recipes are amazing =) I’m going to make that caramel corn for my kids, they will be so happy!

    ((((HUGS))))

    Jen =)
    Jen =

  5. What a great, greyt post! Thanks so much for the plug (even tho’ we cringe at the displaced action figures 😉 ‘Never would’ve thought you were that new to this, you’re page and pics always look top-notch. And we really loved reading the 7 personal items. I read them aloud to my fiancee. So wonderful that you’ve given your greyhound his forever home (she designs and prints her own line of greeting/note cards & invitations and some proceeds go to a local greyhound rescue). And that was a satisfying story about being a veggie during your pregnancy – HA! – good for you. Finally, big congrats on that award – so cool! You deserve it.
    I see Mihl and others regularly sharing info, posts, and comments around here and it feels like we’re all beginning to build a strong online vegan community – such a positive way to spread the message and help one another.

    • Yeah, sorry about the action figures! I was thinking that you could have had fun with them! We both were “mildly” obsessed with Batman and Jurassic Park (a strange combination, actually) back in the day.

      How wonderful that you two are contributing to the greyhound cause, too. I wish I could adopt a dozen (but I lack the square footage)!

      I can’t help but be a bit smug about the veggie baby thing (did I mention that he was 11 pounds at birth?!). Ha ha!

      I agree with you: the vegan blogging community is an impressive group of talented people. Now that veganism has gone mainstream, hemp-wearing granola-eaters are a force to be reckoned with! 🙂

  6. Congrats on the award and thank you for including me in those you passed it on to! Your caramel corn looks beautimous and is making me want to dig into the batch I just put into a Ziploc bag. I’m not sure whether to be happy or apologetic that you like this caramel corn so much–lol! Do I owe you new pants? 😉 I’m starting Weight Watchers tomorrow (it’s all the caramel corn’s fault–LOL!) so there will be a lot less caramel corn in my future, but I’ve been making some vegan veggie wraps that I will continue to enjoy for sure. I’ve scheduled one of the wrap recipes to post in the morning!

  7. Come to think of it, my pants are way too snug lately! Cool, I will blame YOU, and not my complete lack of willpower and poor decision making. YOU forced me to eat caramel corn for dinner. While sitting on the couch. Wearing sloppy sweatpants (hey, they still fit!). And watching Friends DVDs. A couple of nights in a row. It’s all your fault! He he!!

    Now that the caramel corn is gone, I will be dutifully reading your post WW vegan friendly posts and re-acquainting myself with the treadmill again! I will blame you for that, too. 🙂

    • LOL, I know I’ve been using f/b way too much when I search for a “like” button on everything, such as your reply, when I don’t have anything clever to say in return. BTW, love Friends. The crazy thing is I never watched it while it was current but ended up buying all ten seasons when the show was over and now we’ve watched the whole thing 2-3 times and break it out whenever we’re in the mood to watch something but don’t know what.

  8. That caramel corn looks crazy delicious. I will have to look for an excuse to make it sometime. “Oh, look. It’s a Sunday! We must celebrate!”

    I really enjoy reading your blog too, and so it was a treat to see myself on your blog award list along with some of my other favorite blogs. I had fun reading your seven random things. Only 11 measly pounds? What a lightweight! 😉 That was a cute story about you trying to hide the St. Bernard mix. I can see why that was a bit of a failed experiment, but it sure is adorable in the retelling.

  9. Now I can’t figure out why I’ve never thought to add chocolate to my caramel corn- That looks insanely good!

  10. Oh, my gosh – GORGEOUS photos! That caramel corn looks AMAZING!!!

    I love posts like this. So interesting to learn about fellow bloggers! I can’t believe your son was ELEVEN POUNDS!!! Haha, holy moly, you’re Superwoman! 😀

  11. Ha ha! It was definitely one of those (rare) times that I didn’t mind having ‘child-bearing hips’! And thank you, btw. I’ve been a lurker on your blog for some time now!

  12. You’re too sweet – and I’m not just talkin’ about that popcorn recipe! 😛 Thanks for including me! I enjoyed reading your facts, and I’ll post mine soon.

    I love your 7th fact, because I’m fascinated by people’s life stories! I don’t think I’ve ever met/heard of anyone who actually had a geography major at any point. 🙂

    Aaand I’ve been on a major popcorn kick lately, so this caramel corn is definitely next on my list. Yum!

    • Sure you have; I think they are called 7th grade social studies teachers! Just kidding, most of my geography (I switched my major to a minor) was focused on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or “computer mapping” as I explained it to my grandmother!

      I look forward to reading your facts; I always enjoy your posts (and I have forgiven you for all negative balsamic vinegar comments). 🙂

  13. Pingback: ♥ Hot Diggity Dogs! | it's a Greyt Vegan Life

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