Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kernel Season's Popcorn Gift Pack Review and Giveaway...Featuring S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix

It’s that time of year…the weather is cooling off – only to the low 90s in Texas…but we take what we can get! Football season is underway, and school’s back in session. That means yummy snacks are on the agenda these days…and the recipe I’m sharing today works perfectly for both gameday noshing and after-school pick-me-ups!! I combined the taste of s’mores with the crunch and healthy fiber of popcorn to create a snack that everyone will love, from kids to the grownups. 

This snack mix is positively addictive and super-easy to whip up in about 20 minutes. Kernel Seasons recently sent me a product pack containing their popcorn oil, popcorn kernels, butter-flavored popcorn spritzer, and several of their lowfat flavored popcorn seasonings. I told them that I'd play around with their products in my kitchen, share my opinions with you…and create an original recipe using the goodies they sent. My package contained several fun sprinkle seasonings, including Kettle Corn, Ranch, White Cheddar, Nacho Cheddar, Chile Lime, Butter, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Marshmallow. What’s really cool about their versatile seasonings is that they have other uses than sprinkling on popcorn. 

They can be used to flavor pasta, steamed veggies, and baked potatoes…and that’s just for starters! I’ve been having fun trying the seasonings out in my kitchen. The White Cheddar is really yummy on cooked, buttered orzo…and the Ranch was really good sprinkled on oven-roasted red potatoes for a quick weeknight side dish. But…when I saw the Chocolate Marshmallow flavor, I immediately had one thing on my mind: s’mores. I started thinking about how I could turn that idea into something fun to munch on while we watched the Texans pre-season game last weekend.

What I came up with was simple and over-the-top delicious: fluffy, tender popcorn sprinkled with the Chocolate Marshmallow seasoning was the foundation of the snack mix. I added mini marshmallows and mini Teddy Grahams on top, but that wasn’t needed something more. So, I drizzled layers of white chocolate AND dark chocolate on top. Once it set in the fridge for about 15 minutes, I broke the snack mix into pieces and stored it in a air-tight container until kickoff. To say this snack mix was addictive is an understatement…it’s SO GOOD, I know that you’ll want to make a batch of your own ASAP!!!

S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix
a Weekend Gourmet Original Recipe

Step 1:  Pop 8 cups Kernel Seasons popcorn. I used 2 tbs. Kernel Season's popping oil and about 1/2 cup Kernel Season's popcorn kernels and popped over medium heat according to package directions.

Step 2:  Place parchment paper on top of a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Spread the popped popcorn on top of the parchment and spray with Kernel Season's butter-flavored popcorn spritzer. This helps the seasoning stick to the popcorn. Generously sprinkle the popcorn with Kernel Season's Chocolate Marshmallow seasoning, tossing and spraying to coat the popcorn evenly on all sides.

Step 3:  Melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in two small bowls. I melted the chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between to ensure they don't scorch. Drizzle the white chocolate over the popcorn, then drizzle half of the semi-sweet chocolate on top of the popcorn.

Step 4:  Evenly sprinkle 1 cup miniature marshmallows and 1 cup mini Teddy Graham crackers on top of the popcorn base. Drizzle the remaining half of the semi-sweet chocolate on top of the entire pan. Place the pan in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set the chocolate, then break into bite-size pieces.

Each piece should have a bit of each flavor: chocolate, marshmallow, and crunch graham...all resting on a base of fluffy chocolate-marshmallow flavored popcorn! Look how pretty this looks...don't you just want to grab this piece and eat it?!?!?

I decided to try a fall-themed snack mix for this weekend’s Texans-Colts game. This mix will feature popcorn with Apple Cinnamon seasoning, bits of chewy dehydrated apples, mini Teddy Grahams, and a drizzle of melted white chocolate flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. My idea is that this will taste a bit like apple pie…I’ll share that recipe in a post this weekend. In the meantime, want to win a Kernel Seasons popcorn prize pack? One of my readers will receive a package containing the following goodies: a bottle of their popping oil, a 1-pound bag of Kernel Season’s popcorn, butter-flavor popcorn spritzer, and a variety of their popcorn seasonings...including Chocolate Marshmallow so you can make my yummy S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix for yourself! 

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me how you would use these seasoning to flavor popcorn. For a second comment, you can follow The Weekend Gourmet…or let me know that you’re already a follower. Entries will be accepted until 1159 p.m. this Sunday, and I’ll contact the winner early next week. Please be sure to include your e-mail on your comment so I can easily find you if you’re the winner, ok?

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