Movie Night: A Poppin’ Good Time!

If you love popcorn (who doesn’t?) you might be interested to know that the typical American consumes 68 quarts of the stuff every year.


If you mostly eat concession stand movie popcorn, those 68 quarts are costing a bundle. To get a handle on that cost without giving up the joy, why not have more at-home movie nights (your local public library is likely to have all kinds of movies on DVD you can borrow for cheap or even free) when you make your own popcorn? Add a little variety to your popcorn and you might find it not only cheaper, but better to stay home now and then.

Kettle Corn

  • 1/2 cup un-popped popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Place the popcorn, sugar and salt in a large pot with vegetable oil. Cover then place over medium heat. When you hear the first pop, shake the pot and continue shaking back and forth to ensure that the popcorn kernels and oil do not burn. Once the popping has slowed, remove the pot from heat. Servings: 5.

Caramel Corn

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 F. Place popcorn in a very large bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces. Servings: 20.

Good ‘n Healthy Popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast*
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add popcorn, and place the lid on the pan. Shake to coat kernels with oil. When the corn starts to pop, shake the pan constantly until the popping stops. Remove from heat, and pour popped corn into a large bowl.

Drizzle the melted butter over the corn if using, and sprinkle with yeast, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to mix. Servings: 6.

*Nutritional yeast tastes similar to parmesan cheese and is healthy, low-fat, and has lots of amino acids. Find it in natural food or health stores.

Popcorn Nachos

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1 gallon popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, mix together butter and taco seasoning. Place still-warm popcorn in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the butter mixture and Cheddar cheese. Toss until well mixed. Servings: 16.

Question: Got a great popcorn recipe you’d like to share? Please do that in the comments below.

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3 replies
  1. Carol E.
    Carol E. says:

    Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
    1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (popped)
    1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    1 cup brown sugar
    3/4 teas. cinnamon
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup light corn syrup
    1 teas. vanilla
    1/2 teas. baking soda
    3 squares almond bark

    preheat oven o 250 F, Place popped popcorn & pecans in large bowl and set aside. combine brown sugar & cinnamon in medium microwave safe bowl (2 qt. size) – mix well. Cut butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. pour corn syrup over all. microwave on high 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 2 minutes. stir. microwave for 2 more minutes. remove form microwave and add the vanilla and baking soda. stir to combine. pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir well to coat. spread popcorn mixture onto a foil or silicone lined rimmed baking sheet. bake 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. remove the pan from oven and spread popcorn out on large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or greased/sprayed foil. melt almond back according to package instructions. drizzle over the popcorn .. let almond bark cool until it is set . break popcorn apart and enjoy!

  2. KGresk
    KGresk says:

    Good for me popcorn: Microwave* ¼ cup popcorn; spray with butter flavored “Pam”; sprinkle with butter flavored salt. *Orville Redenbacher’s (Presto PowerPop popper) microwave popper; I use the bottom of a round oatmeal container to replace the expensive PowerCup concentrators.


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