Saturday, December 17, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

Can you guess what I am doing today?!  YUM!!!
"Great caramel popcorn for any holiday or occasion. If you like chewy popcorn, bake less."

Prep Time:  30 Min
Cook Time:  1 Hr

Ready In:  1 Hr 30 Min
Original Recipe Yield 5 quarts

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popped popcorn in a very large bowl (I use a roaster pan, so it can go in the oven - if you divide the popcorn for lack of large containers, you need to also divide the gooey part).
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces (or tasting it!).
Nutritional Information

Amount per Serving Calories: 253 | Total Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 24mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

I think they are figuring 20 servings per 5 quarts, so a cup each...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like Slurpees for Adults

I have been meaning to post this but life tends to get in the way…

My friend Sarah and I bought a Living Social coupon for wine blending and finally used it.  We had so much fun!!  It combined a few of our favorite things: wine and chemistry (or anything that makes you mix!).  We tasted the 4 different red wines and then made different combinations to find the best one and this is what we made.

There were definitely wines we did not like (all I could smell was banana) and some we did.  Of our combos, we actually liked 2 but decided with our last combo since.  After we bottled our blend, we corked and heat-sealed them.  Apparently we could have emailed a photo for our labels but didn’t know that until we got there.  Next time though…  They had labels for us to choose from then we named our wines.  We can’t wait to go back!  

 This is such a great concept! There were people bottling wines for their wedding with a photo of the happy couple on the label. You can also make your own wine from concentrate. We really are ready to book our next trip.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3rd 3-Day!

They say the 3-Day is like forget the pain when you consider having another child.  I don’t know if that is completely true but I know that I cannot stay away from this event! I love everything about it – the people, support, even sleeping in pink tents!  But most importantly, I love the cause.  I am, for the third time, walking 60 miles with Team Tracy to raise awareness in hope that, one day, a cure will be found.  This year, our amazing team captain Tracy will be walking as a fighting survivor as she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for the 3rd time.

Statistics show that 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Chances are that if you thought of eight women, you would know more than one who has been affected in some way.  Please consider making a donation so that one day, we will defeat this disease.  
Many companies have a matching gifts program, so please ask your employer if they will double your donation with a matching gift.

This year we are also looking for corporate sponsors at the $250 and $500 level.  Your business logo would be printed on our team shirts.  If you are interested in doing this, or know someone who would be, please let me know!

To follow my progress or for other ways you can donate, check for updates on my personal page on-line at We are brainstorming some fun events, so stay tuned!

If you would like to follow Tracy and her journey, you can visit her blog at

Thank you for all the support once again! I could not continue to participate in this event without your help.

We walk to remember the lost, support the fighting, celebrate the survivors, and for our future!

60 miles, 3 Days, 1 Cure

Monday, March 28, 2011

new seasons

Maybe it is the change of seasons, maybe the changes of life, but I have been a little nostalgic lately.  I have been missing friends that are out-of-state and even across the country.  My parents have relocated and I think that is starting to finally hit me also.  People are getting older and we are seeing them less, becuse life happens.  But enough of the depressing...

We (somewhat) recently spent the weekend with my paternal grandparents and we did what we always do, aside from over grandpa pulled out homemovies!!!  My brothers and I always enjoy watching them and laughing at ourselves and how high our voices were!!!!!  Growing up we were blessed to live near, not only my grandparents, but also my great-grandparents.  We often spent Sunday afternoons at my great-grandparents' house, eating lots of delicious food and yummy desserts that came from the Swan's man, and taking a candybar (our favorites were always stocked!) from the breadbox under the counter for later (see a trend).  We played board games at every family get-together, and still do, and played with the toys that were usually from a cereal box.  The kind that would stick to the wall but then always had to be rinsed off because, when they hit the floor, they were covered with cat and dog fur!!  Everytime we pulled out that bag, the room smelled of mothballs! To this day, I still think of my great-grandparents whenever I get a whiff of mothballs.

Back to the movies...being close to all those relatives, meant that they were also caught on film.  It was great to hear my great-grandpa laughing at everything we did!  Even until his last days, he was still laughing and telling jokes!  One of my favorite home movies is a clip from Christmas, and Barney (his nickname) was singing Silent Night auf Deutsch, a musical memory I hope to never forget!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


My brother Paul got married a couple weeks ago and for us that meant road trip!!! To SUNNY California!  We could not have asked for better weather, especially with all the snow and rain we have been getting.  It was a fun weekend seeing family and gaining a sister-in-law. 

The Pacific Ocean


This year we traveled over the river and through the woods to my granmother's snow.  There was lots of delicious food and a house full of family to share it with.  My uncle's family made the drive from Minnesota as well and it was great to see them.

My family is full of musicians, specifically singers.  That being noted, we sing our prayers and this year the Doxology was nothing less than 8-part harmony.  Even Happy Birthday is in full harmony (and we even had a Thanksgiving birthday!).  You may think us strange, but it would give you chills!  It really is a lot of fun. 

This year we had the extra joy of snow!  We had a great time outside trying to throw snowballs at each other (usually my dad).  And of course, Thanksgiving pre-dinner wouldn't be the same without looking through ALL the Black Friday ads and planning our route for the morning (or lack of one). 

pumpkin patch

OK, its time to get caught up!!  Life has been a little crazy around here, but what else is new?! 

In October, we took our annual outing to the pumpkin patch.  This is a tradition Daren and I have been doing since we were dating!  It just isn't Halloween without it!  We like to visit different farms and this year we went to Thomasson Family farm in Enumclaw.  They are a working farm complete with livestock!!  It is very kid friendly and we highly recommend it.  We had fun wandering the pumpkin field, petting the animals, playing in the corn pit, and racing rubber duckies!