Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm in my final year at university and with exams not far off I'm getting down to some revision.  As much as I think it's important to have a good diet (not just when you've got exams!) sometimes you need a break from the brain foods (although I do love avocados and blueberries).  So for those moments when you just need a tasty treat my advice is popcorn and not just the boring salty or sweet options (although these are perfectly fine).  I've tried out a couple of more exciting combinations.

I got a popcorn maker at the start of the year.  This may seem extravagant  but I realised that microwave popcorn really is expensive and that I would quickly save the £20 the machine cost me simply because basic popping corn is so much cheaper.  The Andrew James popcorn maker is also a much healthier way of making popcorn as it is air popped (rather than using fat).  You generally need to add a certain amount of butter or oil to get toppings to stick but this way you are in control of exactly how much goes on.  If you don't want to invest in a machine then don't worry, you can also just use a saucepan.

One thing I did learn while preparing this post was how hard it is to photograph popcorn, especially when your bowl is bright green!  I must therefore apologise if the photos don't look as appetising as they could, I will work on my photography skills in future.

The first batch of popcorn I made I flavoured with paprika.  You will be seeing quite a few recipes appearing on my blog which use paprika.  This is because a friend brought a lot of paprika after a visit to Hungary and I decided it was high time to use it.

Hot and sweet paprika

After popping some corn I mixed a couple of teaspoons of sweet paprika with about a tablespoon of olive oil and poured it over the popcorn before mixing in until the popcorn was nicely coated.

Paprika popcorn
Paprika popcorn is very tasty as it is, especially if you are fond of savoury popcorn.  However, we decided to make the popcorn even better by grating some cheddar cheese over the popcorn and microwaving it to melt the cheese.  This was a great idea and made for a very tasty treat.

Paprika popcorn with melted cheese
For those of you who have a sweeter tooth, the next batch of popcorn is for you!  Simply pop some corn and while it's popping melt a tablespoon of butter in a mug in a microwave, then add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the butter and mix it in along with a teaspoon of white caster sugar.  When the popcorn is ready pour over the butter, cinnamon and sugar and mix it in until the popcorn is evenly coated. I have read that cinnamon also works well with honey instead of butter and sugar but have not tried this combination yet!

Cinnamon popcorn
The great thing about popcorn as a snack is that you can use pretty much anything as a topping - I recently tried some salt and pepper popcorn which was interesting and grew on me as a flavour combination the more I ate.  As snacks go, this one is cheap, versatile and most importantly, delicious!

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