Halloween Popcorn Treats
(These festive popcorn balls are made with local honey, rather than the high-fructose corn syrup called for in many recipes. Kids will love assembling these adorable figures and they make great party favors for children and grown-ups alike.)
Makes 12 treats
Cook time: 7 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
8 cups popcorn, unsalted and without butter (see below for more details)
2 tbsp butter
½ cup honey (recommend local honey)
¾ tsp salt
Optional add-ins: ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds, 1/3 cup pistachios, or 1 cup dried fruit
For decorations: lollipop sticks, ¾ yard each of colored tulle, eye and mouth stickers, construction paper (for noses), miniature witch hat, small feathers, raffia, pipe cleaners, and glue gun.
Directions: If using microwave popcorn: follow package directions and prepare two bags of popped corn. Place prepared corn into a large heatproof bowl.
If using stovetop method and corn kernels: Add 1 tablespoon coconut butter to large pot over medium heat. Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot (1 kernel deep). Once kernels begin to pop, cover with lid, and continually move pot in a circular motion over the burner until corn stops popping, about 3 minutes. Place prepared corn into a large heatproof bowl. Add butter, honey, and salt (along with additional spices, as desired) to small sauté pan over medium heat. Whisk mixture until a rolling boil is reached. Remove from heat and pour mixture over popped corn (add in any additional seeds, nuts, or dried fruit at this time). Let sit for ten minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
Using an 8’x8’ piece of plastic wrap, form one cup of popcorn honey mixture into a ball using your hands. This process will require force to get the balls to stay intact. Insert the lollipop stick into the ball. Wrap the formed ball in tulle, secure with raffia, and decorate as desired.
Hauntingly Healthy Butternut Bisque
(Fill the kiddos with this vitamin-rich snack before trick-or-treating. This decadent bisque makes a wonderful party hors d’oeuvre when served in a festive glass.)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 whole bay leaves
¾ cup organic whipping cream
Directions: Heat butter over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and beginning to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute, stirring frequently. Add butternut squash, stock, and seasonings. Bring to a vigorous boil and reduce to low-medium heat. Cook for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is fork tender. Remove soup from heat and add cream.
Allow soup to cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender or food processor until well blended. Serve in cocktail or shot glasses.