Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red, White and POP!

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. It's the one holiday that seems to bring the country together and it's the one holiday that is smack in the middle of SUMMER!  Every year, we go to an outdoor concert to hear and see the Minnesota Orchestra play and then we get to watch some pretty amazing fireworks.  It's something I look forward to every year and we nearly make a day of it.  We show up a good 3 or 4 hours early, have a picnic dinner, walk around to see the kids' activities and then wait through the warm up bands until the real thing starts.  You just can't beat the full luscious orchestra playing some of the crowd favorites and I always love hearing some of the unexpected selections of the night too.  I might be slightly biased toward the world renowned Minnesota Orchestra.  I think they're pretty darn great.

The last few years I've been in charge of bringing one of the family's favorite treats: Red, White and Blue Kettle Corn.  It's a great way to "Fourth of July" your popcorn!  It's fun, easy and kids love it.
olive oil (any oil will do, but I prefer the flavor of olive oil)
blue and red food coloring

1/3 c. popcorn
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. sugar
1-2 drops food coloring

1.  Add one or two drops of food coloring into the sugar and mix well.  (If you have candy or oil-based food coloring, I would guess you could add that to the oil instead, but I've never done it that way, so I can't vouch for how it works.  Most people use regular liquid or gel colors anyway.)

2.  Add the colored sugar, oil and popcorn into the popcorn popper and cook over high heat according to the poppers directions (basically turn the crank until it's popped).  There's a fine line between popping it all and burning it.  I always use an oven mitt since the steam can escape and burn my hand slightly.

3.  Pour the popcorn out onto a pan or parchment paper immediately to cool. 

4.  Salt lightly while the popcorn is still sticky so the salt sticks to it.  If you wait too long, it won't stick and you won't get the yummy sweet and salty flavor mix.

5.  Repeat with the other color.

I usually do a 1:2:2 ratio - one recipe of white popcorn (which I pop first), 2 of red, and 2 of blue.  I mix it all together and the color ratio is perfect. The 5 recipe batch is enough to fill 2 two-gallon Ziploc bags or one large paper grocery bag.  You can do little gift bags.  I made these for some little friends we saw at the park.

There you have it.  It's yummy, easy and very fun!  You can mix up the colors for different holidays or game days (I did the Super Bowl teams' colors one year), but this is my favorite!

Happy Independence Day!


  1. Great for Bella's theme! Yummy too! Happy 4th!

  2. love this.... I think I want to eat it!!

  3. So creative! Thank you for sharing.