Life in Lape Haven

Category - Recipes

Tried It Tuesday: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies . A tasty but easy tweak to traditional chocolate chip cookies, this recipe is delicious. Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies - genius! Homemade cookies with a hint of gourmet.

One day, about week or so ago, when my hubby came home from work, he said, “Guess what I had at work today?”

Since his office tends to order food in for the employees quite often, it could have been pretty much anything, so of course, I didn’t know.

“Bacon chocolate chip cookies.”

As his words registered, I thought, “That’s genius.” And then and there I told him that I’d be making some…soon.

Because I was sure I could find a recipe for them on Pinterest.

I was right, and I had plenty of options to choose from.

When I realized we had company coming down for the weekend, I knew I had to make these cookies for us all to try out.

Now, I know some people think that bacon in everything is kind of cliché and so overdone, but you know what? There is a reason, people:

Bacon is GOOOOOD! 🙂

Therefore, I set out on Friday to make my first ever batch of bacon chocolate chip cookies. I have to admit that I was pretty excited.

The first step is to cook your bacon, obviously. And while you can do that in any way you like, I prefer to cook my bacon in the oven, per Alton Brown’s method:

“Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels.”

This is an easy way to get crispy bacon without much effort. 🙂

I let the bacon cool a little, then transferred it to some paper towels to drain. I also poured the bacon fat from the bottom of the baking sheet into a measuring cup. I used a 12-ounce pack of bacon and ended up with about ½ cup of fat.  You need ¼ cup for this recipe.

To make the cookies, I adapted this recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies. You are basically making a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but you substitute ¼ cup of the butter with the bacon fat and eliminate the usual teaspoon of salt. When you fold in the chocolate chips, you can add in bits of crumbled bacon, too. That’s pretty much it!

Since this was my first time making them, I kind of underestimated how much the cookies would spread out on the baking sheet, so as they baked, the cookies spread into one big connected cookie, plus I think I made them too big. I also let them cook a bit too long so they were a little crunchier than I would have liked.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry too much about the presentation of the cookies since I was serving them to my family and very close friends. I did, however, whip out my biscuit cutter to cut out a few round cookies. I did a few with my star-shaped cookie cutter, too, just for the boys. The extra, odd-shaped edges were more like cookie sticks, which made them great for dunking in milk. 🙂

Oh, and despite not being the prettiest cookies I’ve ever made, they were still pretty tasty. Like, really, really yummy. While they are still similar to a regular chocolate chip cookie, they are different enough that they aren’t the same at all.

In fact, I was right. Bacon chocolate chip cookies ARE genius.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies . A tasty but easy tweak to traditional chocolate chip cookies, this recipe is delicious. Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies - genius! Homemade cookies with a hint of gourmet.

I know that you are eager to try these for yourself, so here is how I made them:

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies . A tasty but easy tweak to traditional chocolate chip cookies, this recipe is delicious. Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies - genius! Homemade cookies with a hint of gourmet.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) Butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Bacon Fat
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2-1/4 cup Flour
  • 1-1/2 cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Bacon, crumbled (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. (I baked a 12-oz. package of bacon in the oven at 400 degrees, about 12-15 minutes, until crispy.)
  2. Remove bacon to cool and pour off bacon fat in to a measuring cup to cool and solidify.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. In a small bowl, blend together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  5. Cream together your softened butter, bacon fat, and sugars in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  7. Beat in vanilla.
  8. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix until flour is just incorporated.
  9. Fold in chocolate chips and bacon crumbles.
  10. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined (or ungreased) baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Allow cookies to cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely...if you can wait that long.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2016/02/02/bacon-chocolate-chip-cookies/

5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes

5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes, Life in Lape Haven. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

Straight on the heels of telling you that you don’t have to do everything to have a great Christmas, I’m breaking out a list of five of my favorite Christmas goodies recipes to tempt you into making time to try them out.  🙂

Baking Christmas cookies and treats is on our family’s list of must-do traditions. Every year I get together with the ladies in my family (both sides, moms and sisters, whoever can make it), and our children to bake and decorate cookies and goodies. We spend the afternoon in cutesy aprons, taking over one of our kitchens, covering the table and counters with sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and whatever other yummies we’ve brought to make and share.

5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes, Life in Lape Haven. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

It’s much easier to keep my sanity during cookie decorating with my excited boys when I have the back-up of a Grandma or two and a couple aunts. 🙂 I love my boys, but Elijah’s stubborn independence and creativity and Josiah’s two-year-old curiosity (and climbing) can really test my reflexes and patience, especially in the kitchen when they are “helping.”

By the end of the day, we’ve all laughed, shared good conversation, and sung along with some Christmas music, as we’ve made memories and enough Christmas treats to fill a platter for us each to take home.

So, from our great times of baking and bonding, here are five of my favorite recipes for Christmas cookie and goodies exchanges.

(This post contains an Amazon affiliate link, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link.)Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: 5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

ROLO TURTLES

For such an easy, EASY treat, these little guys are deliciously addicting.

All you need are 3 ingredients: pretzels, Rolos, and pecans. Stick some pretzels on a cookie sheet, top them each with a Rolo, pop them in the oven to soften, finish them with a pecan, and you’re done.

(Salty + Sweet + Creamy) + (Crunchy + Gooey) = Awesomeness.

Rolo Turtles Recipe

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: 5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES

These started out as something special to make for my husband. If you scroll through my collection of recipes on Pinterest, you’ll see that I’ve pinned quite a few chocolate chip cookie dough recipes because my hubby loves cookie dough.

However, these quickly became a family favorite (as soon as we made the first batch!).

They are pretty easy, but it does take some time to roll them into the balls and dip/cover them in chocolate. I’ve yet to get the hang of making them really pretty when I dip them in the chocolate, but they taste good no matter what they look like. Haha.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: 5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

At the top of the picture, you can see the wrapped caramels.

CARAMELS

These are so yummy, but what else do you expect from something made of basically just butter and sugar. Yeah, these don’t even pretend to be healthy at all.

The first year we made these, we were unprepared for how tasty they were and how long it would take to roll every little piece of caramel up in wax paper. This batch goes on forever because you don’t need big pieces (remember – just butter and sugar)! We split it up between everyone and still had some to freeze.

Caramels Recipe

 

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: 5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

We never really did gingerbread cookies much when I was growing up, and from what I had of other gingerbread cookies, I didn’t mind not having them. However, when I found this recipe, it changed everything.

I love this gingerbread recipe, and both of my boys have loved it, too. In fact, it was Josiah’s favorite of all the cookies during his first Christmas.

I leave the cloves out of the recipe, mostly because I don’t usually have cloves on hand, but other than that I follow the recipe. The dough is a sticky one, so you definitely want to chill or freeze it before you cut out your shapes.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday: 5 of My Favorite Christmas Goodies Recipes. From our family Christmas cookie exchange, some of my favorite Christmas cookie and treats recipes, including homemade Marshmallows and Gingerbread.

My sticky-faced helper after we made marshmallows for the first time.

 MARSHMALLOWS

Yes, homemade marshmallows. These have made me famous…well, in my family and with a few people at my church. When you taste them, you may join my fan club.

Now, don’t be afraid. They are actually a lot easier than you think and so much more delicious than what you might think based on store-bought ones.

My love for homemade marshmallows can be traced directly to Alton Brown and his episode of Good Eats, “Puff the Magic Mallow,” which was all about marshmallows.

I watched him make marshmallows, then promptly added gelatin to my shopping list. Having loved marshmallows since I was very little, I had to try this.

Now this recipe does call for using a stand mixer (I love my KitchenAid). I guess you could use a hand mixer, but since you have to whip the sugar syrup for at least 13 minutes, it’s rather convenient to be able to let the mixer work without you. (Plus, it’s always dangerous to have little ones running around free while you are occupied and stuck in one spot for that long.)

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe and Tutorial Video

There you go, five of my favorite Christmas cookies and treats recipes. By the way, if you find you have leftovers, or if you just want to pace yourself with all the sugar intake, you’ll find that the cookie dough truffles, the Rolo turtles, and the caramels all freeze nicely. The gingerbread has never lasted long enough for us to test it out in the freezer, and I would say that the marshmallows need to be used within a couple of weeks. If you’ve not devoured the marshmallows by then or amped up your hot chocolate with a few, you should definitely use them to make Rice Krispies Treats. Oh, talk about deliciousness (That might be a sixth favorite recipe there).

As always, let me know if you try any of these, and tell me what you think about them.

What is your favorite Christmas goodies recipe? Share it in the comments so I can add something new to my list!


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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to Make Salted Caramel Cream

Life in Lape Haven: How to Make Salted Caramel Cream - An easy recipe for making a salted caramel cream for hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or for drizzling over ice cream and other treats.

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link to make a purchase.

When the weather gets cold and blustery, there is something truly special about a cup of delicious hot chocolate to warm you up, and when I want to make it an extra special treat, I stir in a generous splash of homemade salted caramel cream.

Luscious, sweet, and just a touch salty, this tasty cream is rather easy to make, but it instantly transforms the simple into the decadent.

I adapted this recipe from one for Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate that I found last year on Pinterest (where else?). However, I already make a decent cup of cocoa (using the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box, but doing half regular cocoa and half cocoa). I just needed the Salted Caramel Cream part.

I like having the cream available to add to other things in addition to hot chocolate. It’s perfect in some sweet cinnamon tea (this tea is one of my new favorites, and it’s such a yummy combination with the cream), over warm apple crisp or apple pie, or even on ice cream. Honestly, it’s so good, you might be tempted to just drink it all by itself, and I wouldn’t blame you (probably not the healthiest option, though).

Okay, so how does one make their own container of Salted Caramel Cream? It’s not hard. It might get a little boring even because it does take a little bit of time.

Basically you are mixing water and sugar, and reducing it down to caramelized sugar – that’s the part that takes the longest. Then you mix in some warm cream, salt, and vanilla. This step takes some patience, too, because you have to get it all thoroughly combined. The cooling sugar hardens quickly and needs dissolved back into the cream.

However, once it’s all mixed, you’re done, and it’s delightful.

Having this on-hand for the holidays is a must around here now. The little extra oomph of flavor that the cream brings to hot cocoa, teas, and treats makes it feel even more festive and celebratory. I wouldn’t be surprised if it tasted good in coffee, too.

This Salted Caramel Cream would also make a nice addition to a homemade goodies gift basket…if you can bear to part with it.

(By the way, it works great in a squeeze bottle. You can get them at most stores or through Amazon.)

Okay, here are the real, far-more-detailed instructions so you can make your own batch. Whether you choose to share it or not is up to you.

Salted Caramel Cream

Life in Lape Haven: How to Make Salted Caramel Cream - An easy recipe for making a salted caramel cream for hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or for drizzling over ice cream and other treats.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1-1/2 cups Heavy Cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan just to warm, not scalded, and set aside.
  2. In a nonstick saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-high. Combine the two, but then leave it alone once it’s mixed. No more stirring.
  3. Watch the sugar carefully. When the edges of the sugar start turning golden and caramelizing, lower the heat to medium-low.
  4. Swirl the pan in circles, but don’t use a spoon to stir. The entire pan of sugar will slowly darken as it caramelizes, and when there are only a few spots not turning darker, reduce your heat again, this time to the lowest setting. If the sugar gets dark brown, you’ll burn it. Burnt sugar doesn’t taste nearly as delightful as caramelized sugar.
  5. At this point, you might need to warm your cream a tad if it’s cooled a lot in the waiting. Add your sea salt to your cream.
  6. You’re looking for a nice amber color all over. Once that is achieved, remove your pan from the heat. Check your cream, making sure it’s warm. Then SLOWLY add the warm cream to the sugar, being careful of splashing it, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. If the sugar hardens, keep stirring until it dissolves into the cream. (Sometimes I’ve had to give it a little heat to warm up the sugar ever so slightly, but be careful not to burn or boil it)
  7. Once it is all thoroughly combined, allow the sauce to cool a bit, and then add the vanilla.
  8. Store in a covered container or a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate if you’re not serving it immediately.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2015/12/03/make-salted-caramel-cream/

 

The Legacy in an Apple Pie Recipe

The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making, Life in Lape Haven. This simple, delicious apple pie recipe combines one of my great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.
A Delicious, Easy Apple Pie Recipe, Four Generations in the Making

This past week, for Thanksgiving, I made a homemade apple pie from scratch.

Now while that might sound tasty to you, it probably doesn’t sound significant, and maybe in your family, it’s not.

However, for me, this apple pie represented four generations of good cooks (yes, I’m counting myself in there. Trust me – this apple pie earned it for me).

The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making, Life in Lape Haven. This simple, delicious apple pie recipe combines one of my great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.

My Great-Grandma Leora (my maternal grandpa’s mother), whose pickles I learned to make this summer, used to make apple pies. It was one of the many recipes for which she is remembered. She often made apple pies ahead and froze them, so that she would have them when apples weren’t in season.

Amazingly enough, when she died, my grandfather found some of her apple pies in the freezer. Since I was pretty young at the time, I don’t remember how many there were, but I do remember my mom telling me that Grandpa had the last of her pies about a year after she’d passed.

How cool is that?

Now I don’t know if Great-Grandma expected her legacy to be her baking, but at least part of it is. Not only was she still feeding her family a year after she’d died, but her recipes have become an inheritance for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren (my cousins and me), and even her great-great grandchildren.

From her pickles to her pies to her cakes and cookies, she’s still at all of our family gatherings.

Of course, Great-Grandma didn’t give out all her secrets. For example, my mom’s apple pies didn’t start tasting exactly like Great-Grandma’s until she figured out that the apples that Great-Grandma used in her pies, the ones from the tree in her yard, were Cortland apples. It made all the difference.

With that knowledge, my mom makes some delicious apple pies!

As for me, well, I’ve always struggled with getting my pie dough just right. I can slice up the apples and toss them with the sugar and cinnamon and freeze it in batches ready to fill a pie. But my pie crust has never gone well or been “as easy as pie.”

However, knowing that I CAN make pie crust from scratch, I refuse to buy it. I have kept trying out new recipes to find one that works well for me and tastes good.

When I was at my grandma’s learning how to make the lime pickles, I talked to her about my frustrations with making pie dough.

Flipping through her recipes, my grandma found a recipe from her mother, Edith, titled “Never Fail Pie Crust.”

“This is the one I always use, “she told me.

Life in Lape Haven: The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making. An apple pie recipe that combines one great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.

Scribbling it down, I tucked it away with several other family recipes that she gave me that day, anxious to try them all out.

Of course, I waited until the day before Thanksgiving to try out the pie crust recipe.

Thankfully, it was the easiest pie dough I’ve ever worked with. I mixed it up and rolled it out in one take! Yea!!!

As I was laying the dough into the pie plate, it occurred to me that I was making an apple pie with one great-grandma’s filling recipe and another great-grandma’s pie crust.

I thought about all the family holidays, church potlucks, and special gatherings that each of those ladies had baked for and brought dishes to. I imagined them as mothers, working in the kitchen while their children (my grandparents among them) played in the next room or helped them with a chair pulled up to the counter. I could see my mom as a little girl, learning how to roll out pie crust from her mother and her grandmothers so that one day she could teach me.

Life in Lape Haven: The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making. An apple pie recipe that combines one great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.

Suddenly I related to my great-grandmas in a way I hadn’t really done before, as wives, moms, and women. It was kind of like that moment as a child when you realize that your parents are people, too. (Haha) I could see the legacy they passed down beyond just wonderful recipes. They both took good care of their families, loved God and serving Him, and shared their gifts with those around them.

I imagine they would both be quite pleased to know that their recipes were continuing to fill the tables (and tummies) at our family festivities.

To top off my great-grandma pie story, at our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, my grandpa reminded us that the day would have been his mother’s (my Great-Grandma Leora’s) birthday.

I was definitely giving thanks for Great-Grandma Leora, Great-Grandma Edith, and their baking legacy as I bit into my first piece of delicious homemade apple pie.

Life in Lape Haven: The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making. An apple pie recipe that combines one great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.
Want to enjoy some tasty apple pie of your own? Here you go – my Great-Grandmas’ Apple Pie recipe. (For good tips on how to roll out your pie crust, read here.)  Yum

My Great-Grandmas' Apple Pie

The Legacy in an Apple Pie - A Delicious, Easy Recipe Four Generations in the Making, Life in Lape Haven. This simple, delicious apple pie recipe combines one of my great-grandma's apple pie filling with another great-grandma's pie crust recipe.

Ingredients

    Great-Grandma Leora's Apple Pie Filling:
  • 5 cups Cortland Apples, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 5 shakes of Salt (That's how my mom has always measured it - 5 shakes of the salt shaker. It's not more than 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Butter
    Great-Grandma Edith's Never Fail Pie Crust:
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/4 cup Shortening or 1 cup Lard
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg, beaten well
  • 5 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar

Instructions

    Apple Pie Fillng:
  1. Mix flour, corn starch, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Add apples and mix to coat.
  3. Use right away or freeze until needed.
    Pie Crust:
  1. Combine flour and salt.
  2. Cut shortening or lard into the flour mixture.
  3. Combine egg, water, and vinegar.
  4. Pour liquid into flour mixture, mixing all at once and blending until moist. (Dough can be kept up to 2 weeks, wrapped in plastic or in a sealed container, in the refrigerator)
  5. Roll out half the dough on a lightly flour surface until you have a circle larger than your pie plate and a dough thinner than 1/4".
  6. Fold the crust in half and gently drape it over the pie plate, opening the crust, and working it down into the pan. Gently pat the sides to make sure the crust is against the plate.
  7. Place apples in a prepared pie crust.
  8. Place dollops of butter on top of the apples (4-5 places in the pie).
  9. Roll out the remaining dough, following the steps above, to create a top crust. Poke a few holes, as decoratively as you like, at the center of the crust.
  10. Add top crust, sealing the top and bottom crust edges together by lightly dabbing some water on the upper edge of the bottom crust, where the two crusts will come together.
  11. Trim off the excess dough and pinch the crust together.
  12. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  13. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baking for an additional 30 minutes.
  14. Allow pie to cool before serving.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2015/11/30/legacy-apple-pie-recipe/

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Tried It Tuesday: My Kitchen Hack for Mashed Potatoes

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - My Kitchen Hack for Mashed Potatoes. Baked mashed potatoes make dinner preparation easier for me.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the links.

Some days, dinner is my nemesis.

As much as I like cooking and baking and concocting in the kitchen, some days I just don’t want to. It’s like a culinary version of writer’s block. You know you have to feed your family, but eh. (Do we have anything quick, easy, and healthy?)

Sure I could do crockpot meals, if I remembered to start it in the morning, and sometimes I do. Those are good days. Other times, I don’t, and we’re back to deciding what to do for dinner.

I’m pretty sure it was one of THOSE later afternoons that I stumbled upon my new favorite way to make mashed potatoes.

I’d gone through the effort of prepping a whole chicken to roast. Ok, not ALL the prepping – I didn’t have to go out back, kill it, gut it, and pluck it. But I DID thaw it and get it out of the annoying packaging while trying not to drip chicken ew all on my counters and sink to avoid salmonella-ing my family. I also managed to get it into the roasting pan, seasoned well for roasted chicken goodness, and into the oven early enough for it to be done in time for dinner.

But we couldn’t just eat chicken, by itself, for dinner…I guess. So, sides.

Mashed potatoes are great with roasted chicken, and all three of my guys devour them. But the peeling, dicing, boiling – I just didn’t want to. (I sound like some incompetent infomercial actor trying to chop with an appalling lack of skill – “Oh, the peeling and dicing!” Haha. Yeah, it’s not hard. I just didn’t want to.) Plus, my boys were being a little unruly that day, if I remember correctly, so I decided to try something out.

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - My Kitchen Hack for Mashed Potatoes. Baked mashed potatoes make dinner preparation easier for me.

I grabbed the potatoes, about 6 or so, washed them, rubbed them with a little oil, and popped them into the oven on the rack around the roasting pan.

And I was free to move on to corralling my boys for about an hour.

By the time the chicken was done, the potatoes were baked through.

While the chicken rested, I sliced the potatoes in half, then holding them in my Ove’Gloved hand (my Ove’ Glove is one of my favorite kitchen items), with a scoop or two, and sometimes a little squish, I added cooked potato to a bowl in no time. I did a little happy dance when I realized how little time it took me to scoop out the cooked potato flesh versus the time I would have spent peeling and dicing them. My plan was working!

From there I made mashed potatoes the same way I always had: mash them; add butter, milk, and salt; and whip them up well.

The verdict: My guys LOVED them!

Life in Lape Haven: Tried It Tuesday - My Kitchen Hack for Mashed Potatoes. Baked mashed potatoes make dinner preparation easier for me.

The taste is like a baked potato, and while the texture can be a little less fluffy than conventional mashed potatoes, using my good mixer helps get them close enough for us.

Plus, you retain more nutrients baking the potatoes versus boiling them (or so I’ve read), and instead of throwing out the skins, as I would if I peeled them, I save them because my guys love to add a little ketchup (or a LOT, right, Brad?) and eat them.

Since then, this has been my go-to method for making mashed potatoes, especially on those days when I don’t really feel like cooking but want to eat like I have.

Do you have any unique prep or cooking methods that you’ve developed in your kitchen? Have you ever made mashed potatoes from baked potatoes?

Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn

Life in Lape Haven: Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn recipe. A quick, tasty, and fairly healthy stovetop popcorn recipe using coconut oil.

For some reason autumn always makes me want popcorn.

It might be all the fall festivals with the warm scents of kettle corn wafting through the air. It might be that we’re more likely to be cuddling up on the couch for a movie now instead of playing outside as long as we can. It might be the simplicity of the treat.

It might just be that I really like popcorn.

According to family lore, my first steps were taken to get to popcorn, and I was busted as a little one eating strung popcorn off the Christmas tree (there’s even photographic evidence).

So popcorn and I go back a few years…or more.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you, I will get a small percentage if you make a purchase through the link.)

Life in Lape Haven: Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn recipe. A quick, tasty, and fairly healthy stovetop popcorn recipe using coconut oil.

Then several years ago I was helping at a youth gathering at a fellow youth leader’s home. We often had youth group at their home because they had a large house and loved hosting people. The leader’s wife always had something special for us – fancy teas and hot chocolate, homemade waffles after a sleepover, and stovetop kettle corn at this particular meeting.

She had a funny pan with a crank that amused us all, but it produced the tastiest popcorn ever! Plus she had all kinds of variations she could make, and they were all good.

I immediately wanted a Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper for myself, so I could have yummy, crunch, sweet, and salty kettle corn and not have to share it with a dozen hungry teenagers.

It would be a few years later before I got my wish when I found a barely-used Whirley-Pop at the thrift store.

After that, I went on a hunt for recipes, finding all kinds of ideas online. I made plain salted popcorn, sweet kettle corn, caramel corn, and recently, pumpkin spice kettle corn. However, my very favorite (and my boys’ favorite, too) is Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn.

It’s super easy to make, and even easier to enjoy. It’s so good that I have to stop myself from eating the entire bowl…pretty much every time I make it.

I make popcorn often, especially in the fall and winter. It’s a fairly healthy, cheap, and really quick snack to make. In not much longer than it takes you to microwave a bag of popcorn, you could stovetop-pop a huge bowl of way healthier, tastier popcorn.

My recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn has come from some trial and error and tweaking of other recipes I have found. As always with my recipes, feel free to get creative and make it your own. If it comes out better than mine, please let me know!

Also, I imagine you can make this the old-school way with just a regular pan on the stove. I never have, but it should work just fine. Or you can scour your local second-hand stores in hopes of finding one, although I haven’t seen another one since the day I got mine.

Amazon carries the Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper, though, so you could get it brand-new or add it to your Christmas wish list.

However you can make it, I know you’ll enjoy it. Whether or not you share it or eat the whole bowl yourself is up to you.

By the way, I shared my Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn recipe a couple of weeks ago in my “Family Room” email newsletter. Make sure you sign up to get other exclusive content and ideas. You can sign up by clicking HERE.

Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn

Life in Lape Haven: Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn recipe. A quick, tasty, and fairly healthy stovetop popcorn recipe using coconut oil.

A quick, easy, fairly healthy, and super delicious Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn recipe using a stovetop popper and coconut oil.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
    Tips:
  • You can use a different oil, such as canola or vegetable oil, but the coconut oil is much healthier and leaves a very clean taste. Also, the popcorn is not as greasy feeling.
  • Salt to taste. Sometimes a dash is enough, other times a little more is needed.
    To make Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn:
  • Replace Cinnamon with 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice.
  • Replace 1 Tbl Sugar with 2 tsp. Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add coconut oil and popcorn kernels to your pan.
  3. Close lid or cover and heat on medium to medium-high, stirring (cranking the Whirly-Pop) or shaking the pan often.
  4. When you hear the first kernel pop, quickly add your cinnamon-sugar mix to the popcorn pan. Be careful and quick as the popcorn may pop and try to escape when you open the lid. Do not add the sugar and spice at the beginning. I've done that. The sugar will start to burn before the popcorn pops, which makes for very unpleasant popcorn.
  5. Cover again, stirring or shaking the pan constantly as the kernels begin to pop.
  6. Once the popping slows to a few seconds between pops, remove from the heat.
  7. Immediately remove the cover and pour popcorn into a serving bowl and serve.
https://lifeinlapehaven.com/2015/11/05/cinnamon-sugar-kettle-corn/


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