Snowed In?…No Problem!

Out playing in the snow!

Out playing in the snow!

This past week we’ve had record breaking snows in Lexington, Kentucky. It caused a panic that triggered an avalanche that resulted in most of the grocery stores running out of the necessities like bread and milk. Luckily at my house we don’t do anything that’s ordinary, so not having bread and milk didn’t really bother us. However….we did have to get our version of the necessities, especially since my Mom is here visiting! So we braved the stores to make sure we could make it through the apocalypse and came out only slightly worse for ware! Just a quick tip…never come between a Mother of 3 and milk. Her fangs come out and you feel like your in a scene from Vikings and she’s about to go Mid-evil on your ass!

My Mom....The best looking snow bunny in the Bluegrass State!

My Mom….The best looking snow bunny in the Bluegrass State!

Bourbon and popcorn are all we really need to survive being cooped up in the house (and just so no one comes after me with pitch forks, I was not partaking in the Bourbon! As much as I wanted to, I settled for drinking my hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and no alcohol!). I keep the house pretty well stocked most of the time (thank you to my boss, Stonnie, who has taught me the importance of always being prepared!) so luckily, we didn’t need to risk our lives in the store for too long. After making it out of Kroger with our lives still in tact, we stopped by the liqueur store. If you know me and my husband, you know that our house has a bar that will rival anything you see downtown. So why stop by the liqueur store you may ask? Well, Trev has an incredibly nice bourbon collection and it would be a sin if we got stuck in the house and drank ALL (ok, maybe most!) of his “priceless” bottles. So off to the liquor store we go. I was incredibly surprised to see how empty the store was! And very few items were sold out. The shelves for the most part were completely stocked! How is it possible that we are the only people in our area who think spirits are necessary for survival! I know that some of my readers are on the same page as me, and would have stocked up on libations as well, but compared to the grocery store, this place was a ghost town! Well good enough for me, I’m 7 months pregnant and having to go in a store that I love and not able to partake in any of the offerings was a test of my will. Not having a crowd was a nice little gift for me.

Snow masks!

Snow masks!

So we get back home and wait for the dreaded snow storm to start. While we wait, we talk about one of our favorite subjects…..food. Mom had seen a recipe on the Today Show for Buffalo Wing Popcorn. Well it just so happened that I had bought popcorn (because no one was down at that end of the isle wielding an axe to buy the last box!) and I had stock items in the house that matched the recipe pretty closely (see it pays to be prepared!). So we decided to give it a try, and let me tell you, it was FANTASTIC! I’ll put the recipe at the end of this post (with the notes from how I actually made it, because as you know, I never follow the directions for anything that closely!). It pairs well with a nice bourbon. Trev was nice and let us (and by us, I mean Mom…mostly 🙂 ) open his good bottle of George T. Stag for the occasion. It made for a very pleasant evening!

Deacon, after rolling around in the snow! Obviously his coat kept him warm!

Deacon, after rolling around in the snow! Obviously his coat kept him warm!

The moral of this story is that you don’t need much to survive. The best way to get through a boring, snowed in day, is to try something new. In our house it’s usually a new recipe or drink concoction. It’s a fun way to pass the time and hopefully start a new tradition.

This recipe is great anytime of the year and will pair well with bourbon and wine alike! You should check out http://www.today.com/ for some other great recipes.

Buffalo Wing Popcorn and Bourbon. You really don't need much else to survive!

Buffalo Wing Popcorn and Bourbon. You really don’t need much else to survive!

Buffalo wing popcorn

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 8 cups popped plain popcorn (from ½ cup kernels) (I used 2 bags of popcorn, because that is what I had on hand)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce (I used Louisiana Hot Sauce and upped the amount to 1/2 cup, because my Mom likes her sauces just like her….SPICY!)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne pepper, but I did have crushed red pepper, so I substituted that and it worked just fine)
  • I added truffle oil and finishing salt to the end of this recipe, because I can’t help myself, but it’s not a requirement

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment and a large bowl with nonstick spray. Add popcorn to bowl. Set baking sheet aside.

Bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a deep amber color, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in hot sauce and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to a boil and cook another 3 minutes. Cacky’s notes….if it seems like your caramel is getting to hard very quickly, just put it back on the heat.

Remove from heat. Stir in salt, baking soda and cayenne. Cacky’s notes….again if it seems like your caramel is getting to hard very quickly, just put it back on the heat. Working quickly (and carefully-caramel will be very hot), pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss to coat. I used a spatula to help mix everything and get all the goodness out of the pot. Spread out popcorn on prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until dry, 15-20 minutes. Let cool. At this point I sprinkled with finishing salts and drizzled truffle oil over everything before I put it in a bowl to serve, but don’t worry about this step if you haven’t prepped like me and don’t happen to have these ingredients on hand.

Final step…go get a glass of snow and pour some bourbon over it. ENJOY and start a new family tradition!

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