Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chipotle Carmel Popcorn...popcorn gone gourmet

Chipotle Carmel Popcorn...Popcorn gone Gourmet…a treat for sure!

In the last year I discovered chipotle. It is so delicious.

What is chipotle? It is a smoked and dried jalapeno pepper.

This recipe calls for Chipotle in Adobo Sauce.

The brand I use is called La Morena which can be found in your supermarket.

“Chipotles in adobo sauce is a condiment in which chipotles (smoked jalapeño peppers) are stewed in a sauce with tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. The spices vary, but generally include several types of peppers (in addition to the Chipotle and most likely those on hand), ground cumin and dried oregano. Some recipes include orange juice and lemon or lime juices.
They often include a pinch of brown sugar just to offset any bitter taste.”

Since my discovery of chipotle, I am exploring different ways to incorporate it in my recipes.

So, here goes the recipe which I found on a blog called The Dog’s Breakfast.

Chipotle Carmel Popcorn
adapted from Fat by Jennifer McLagan

2/3 cup popcorn kernels (about 8 cups popped popcorn)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt or fleur de sel (table salt can be used)
1 ½ tablespoons puréed chipotle in adobe sauce (for less spice reduce amount)
½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil.
Add one kernel of corn; once it has popped, add the rest of the kernels, cover the pan and shake it occasionally until popping has subsided.
Pour popped corn into a large bowl.

In a sauce pan, add sugar, butter, corn syrup and sea salt over medium heat.

Stir until sugar melts and mixture comes to a boil and reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda and chipotle.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir well with a spatula.
* To ensure even coating easily, spread mixture over the entire popcorn surface. Do not pour carmel on top of the popcorn in one heaping mound. Why? The caramel starts hardening and the mixing process will take longer.

Bake for 35 minutes, stirring a few times.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

*Please eat in moderation…keep in mind this is spicy…if not, you’ll get a tummy ache.

Here is another variation found on Serious Eats called Chipotle Caramel Popcorn Crunch which includes NUTS.

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As I was driving to the store one day, I came upon Bedens Brook Farm, located in New Jersey, which had horses visible from the road. I stopped, got out and took a few photos.

I went back to my car, and Bruce, who works at the farm, came to me and said that I could take more pictures of the horses if I wanted to. I was soooo happy! YiPpEe!

Bruce then spoke about and showed me the show horses,

Paparazzi and Spellbound.

Here is where Paparazzi and Spellbound reside. Their quarters are beautiful.

Paparazzi (black horse) is male and Spellbound (brown horse) is female.

Bruce mentioned that Spellbound is a high jumper. I would love to see these horses in action at a show!

Here is Bruce with Paparazzi and Spellbound. He is feeding them carrots.



Bruce and Spellbound...

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill

It was a wonderful experience photographing these horses. A
special THANK YOU to Bruce for his hospitality in allowing me to photograph all the horses.

Peace in baking,


Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Tour De Franklin ~ Fundraiser

April 25, 2010, Sunday ~ The 2010 Tour De Franklin

What and where is this bike tour?
Cycling through beautiful central New Jersey, you will ride on a well marked course with full support and rest stops.

Open to walkers and riders-both kids and adults can come join the fun

Help raise funds for The Franklin Township Foodbank located in Somerset County, New Jersey!

The Franklin Township Foodbank

Event Details ~

We ride rain or shine! Helmets required for all riders.

Date: Sunday, April 25, 2010
• Start & Finish (except D&R Canal Path events): Community / Senior Building, Municipal Complex, 475 DeMott Lane ( Between New Brunswick and Amwell Roads) Somerset, NJ 08873
• Starting Times & Registration Fee / Minimum Pledges:
o 62 Mile Metric Century - NEW TIME - 7:30 AM, $45.00
o 40 Mile 6 Towns of Franklin - NEW TIME - 8:00 AM, $40.00
o 25 Mile Bike Tour - NEW TIME - 9:30 AM, $35.00
o 5/10 Mile D&R Canal Path event (begins and ends at the Ranger Station on Canal Road near the intersection of Canal And Blackwells Mills Rd.) - 10:00 AM, $35.00
o 1-5 Mile D&R Canal Path Bike or Walk - 10:30 AM, $30.00
o 1-5 Mile Bike or Walk - 10:45 AM, $30.00
o 10 Mile Bike Tour - 11:00 AM, $35.00
o Post Event Festivities - NOON
o Prizes, Club Awards & 5/10/15/20 Year Awards – NOON

My contribution to the fundraiser?

I baked so that the cyclists and walkers can enjoy dessert after their lunch.

I baked a Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Rum Raisin Sauce.

This recipe will be posted on May 16, 2010.

I am in a group called Sweet Melissa Sundays and I will be hosting this recipe on that day.

Look for the recipe on my May 16, 2010 post.

I also baked cupcakes...

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Coconut Cupcakes

Desserts await the bikers and walkers from their bike/walk tour…

Lunch is ready for the bikers and walkers arrival…

Pictured below from left to right: Kody, Damien, Ariel, Carmen.

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On my way home…I saw cows very close to the fence at this cow farm in

Middlebush - Franklin Township, New Jersey called


…had to take a few shots…beautiful sight…

Miss Cow says "Good Day"

Peace in baking,

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul




Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)