Buddy’s Taco Popcorn

taco popcornI think it’s safe to say that Buddy is addicted to popcorn.

He has some at least once a day – some days twice.

There are even days when he pops popcorn before the dishes from the last meal are dried. But then – he is a teen age boy and thus – a bottomless pit.

Good thing popcorn is cheap and filling.

Most days he tops his freshly popped popcorn simply with salt and butter. But at some point this last winter he started to experiment a little.

He was like a mad scientist with all kinds of spices in front of him.

Multiple batches of popcorn later he had a winning combination.

The result was this yummy snack with a Mexican kick.

And I do mean a kick!  You may wish to up your popcorn to spice mixture and maybe skip the dash of cayenne. 🙂

Taco Popcorn

1/3 cup unpopped popcorn (8 cups popped)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1/8 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon cheddar cheese

Pop popcorn. (Buddy always uses the brown bag in the microwave method.)

Mix the seasonings together.

Melt the butter. Add the cheese and stir till melted. Pour over the popped popcorn and sprinkle the seasoning over the top. Toss together.


“Mom, What’s for snack?!”

I sometimes think that my children eat by the clock rather than because they feel hungry because every day at 3:00 the questions begin. “What’s for snack mom?” I’m hungry, what can I eat?”

Inexpensive and healthy snacks are hard to find. Fruit is a wonderful snack and always my first choice, but it’s not always available at a good price.

Popcorn has become a favorite stand by. It’s pretty cheap to buy in bulk, easy to pop, and everybody around here likes it. It also fills up those tummies that seem to be bottomless at times.

Personally I prefer oil popped popcorn slathered in melted butter (yes, I know it isn’t good for me!), but for snack time I wanted something easier and healthier.

We found a hot air popper at a garage sale last summer and it has turned into an excellent investment. It’s so easy to use that even my youngest can do it and there’s minimal clean up involved, (except for sweeping the popcorn off the floor!)

If you’re really feeling brave or need a wild afternoon activity, put a clean sheet on the floor and take the top off of the hot air popper. The popcorn will fly into the air as it’s popped and your kids will think you’re amazing!

Cheap, filling, and even somewhat nutritious, popcorn earns a spot on our Thrifty Snack List.

Frosted Shortbreads

It’s a cool, damp fall afternoon here in the hills of Southern Iowa. The perfect afternoon for something warm with melted gooey chocolate. But with a full schedule, I needed to bake something quick. The perfect solution, Frosted Shortbreads. My husband’s sister-in-law first introduced me to the delights of shortbread. She loves to whip up a batch in the evening and eat it warm with a cup of strong coffee.

Frosted Shortbreads:

Cream 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar.

Add 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Then add 2 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp. of salt.

Carefully press the dough into a 15″ by 10″ greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately press 4 milk chocolate bars (1.55 oz. each) broken into rectangles, over shortbread.

Let stand 1 minute and then spread the chocolate around evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. of nuts if you desire ( today I used toffee pieces) and enjoy!

You should have heard the mmm’s and seen the smiles I just got from all five children. I of course substituted a glass of milk for the coffee and added an apple to round out our afternoon snack. But I am still “mom of the year”, at least in this Little House on the Prairie!