Tuesday, July 07, 2015

BIRTHDAY CAKE OREO POPCORN + A FAB GIVEAWAY!

If you know me well, you know that my love for popcorn is vast and borderline obsessive. It all started when I was a child with our Sunday Popcorn Nights. Remember the Stir Crazy Popper? It was an alien-esque dome-shaped contraption that was half popper, half popcorn bowl and probably kind of unsafe since you had boiling hot oil at pretty much eye level with any child (ahem, me) monitoring the popping progress on the counter. 

As kids, we would purposefully put more kernels in than necessary just for the pure joy of watching the popper overflow. The fluffy white popcorn would lift the dome up and suddenly a confetti of freshly popped corn would shower the kitchen. And it was awesome. Every single time. 

Birthday Cake Oreo Popcorn | Club Narwhal

And then we would drizzle copious amounts of melted butter and salt over the whole shebang and boom, that was dinner. I mean, with seven kids roaming around, you have to make dinner concessions sometimes. 

As Warren has witnessed, I have been known to eat a popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan for dinner. I'm an adult and I can do what I want, right? Plus, Parmesan Popcorn is basically a whole grain plus dairy. Round that off with a green smoothie, and I call that a balanced meal!

Birthday Cake Oreos | Club Narwhal 
As I got older I discovered fancy popcorn. At first fancy popcorn just showed up once a year, around Christmas, in the tri-flavor popcorn tin that amazed me to no end. It was like a popcorn revelation. I had no idea popcorn came in flavors, much less sweet flavors.

My air popper got me through some tough times in college and has continued to make me friends when I come bearing massive bowls of popcorn, generally of the over-the-top sweet variety. 

Because as much as I love to make complicated desserts, sometimes people just want what their heart wants. And let's be real, that usually involves Oreos. 

My signature party dish is a vat of Oreo Popcorn, which is basically almond bark + crushed Oreos + a pinch of salt. It takes all of ten minutes to put together and about one second for party peeps to descend upon the bowl and inhale. I'm okay with that.


I wanted to put a twist on my favorite popcorn by dressing it up with sprinkles. Which immediately reminded me that Birthday Cake Oreos exist (remember my Birthday Cake Oreo Stuffed Cheesecake Bars? Yeah, I still dream about those). And they are perfection.

Which brings me to my contribution to the wonderful thing that is Popcorn Week: Birthday Cake Oreo Popcorn. It's the same formula as my Oreo Popcorn but I subbed Birthday Cake Oreos and lots and lots of sprinkles!

I have thrice made giant batches of this in the past two weeks and every single time it was devoured. If you want to make people love you at any potluck, game night, or BBQ, bring a bowl of this. You will be hailed as a conquering hero. 

Birthday Cake Oreo Popcorn | Club Narwhal
Friends, I am SO pumped for Popcorn Week. This was inspired by a Collaboreat Twitter chat long ago and Susannah from Feast + West brilliantly got it off the ground. 

This week we are celebrating all things popcorn with a week's worth of amazing popcorn recipes, plus a crazy good giveaway that I wish I could win. That West Bend Air Popper is honestly my dream come true, and an amazing upgrade from my dirt cheap (but totally workable) air popper. One day I will own it but today we are giving our readers the lucky chance to win one for themselves!

Popcorn Week Contributors

I teamed up with 14 other bloggers to share amazingly delicious popcorn recipes with you and to bring you an eye-popping popcorn giveaway. We're using the hashtag #popcornisforbloggers on social media this week. Check out everyone's blogs to see their popcorn recipes throughout the week:

Beth at bethcakes // Amy at Club Narwhal // Abby at The Frosted Vegan // Nick at Macheesmo // Linda at Brunch with Joy // Meghan and Cake 'n Knife // Erica at The Crumby Cupcake // Molly at Hey There Sunshine // Meredith at Meredith Noelle // Katie at Twin Stripe // Sarah at The Sugar Hit // Erin at The Speckled Palate // LeAndra at Love and Flour // Heather at Sugar Dish Me // Susannah at Feast + West

Also, a big thanks to Cabot Creamery and Bob's Red Mill for generously sponsoring our project and giveaway. We're giving away a big movie night prize pack that's worth more than $115! See the Rafflecopter below to enter to win this amazing set. The prize pack includes:

Movie Night Giveaway

Giveaway rules:
  1. Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. Everyone gets a free entry! You can enter multiple times, up to 18 additional entries by following the giveaway sponsors on social media. (If you’ve followed in the past, that counts! Just enter the info as prompted.) All entries will be verified. No purchase is necessary to win.
  2. The giveaway is open until Friday, July 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. EST. One winner will be chosen at random and emailed within 48 hours. Winners must claim prize within 48 hours of initial contact. The retail value of the prize is $117. Prizes shown in the graphic are the only ones available.
  3. Open to U.S. residents with a valid shipping address only. Must be 18 years of age as of July 6, 2015.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Birthday Cake Oreo Popcorn | So easy and delicious! via Club Narwhal

 

Birthday Cake Oreo Popcorn


1 batch air popped popcorn (1/4 cup kernels for the air popper, or one bag plain microwave popcorn)
5 oz. vanilla almond bark (5 squares) - you can find almond bark by the chocolate chips in the store
2 rows Birthday Cake Oreos, smashed
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
pinch or two of kosher salt

Pop your popcorn your preferred way (I love my air popper, but you can pop 1/4 cup of kernels in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat on your stove.  Be sure to use a heavy pot with a lid!). Put popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.Make sure to remove any stray kernels before mixing in the almond bark!

Melt almond bark in a glass bowl for 1 minute, then for 30 second increments until smooth (usually takes 2 minutes, total).

Use a rubber spatula to drizzle half of the melted almond bark over the popcorn. Scatter half of the crushed Oreos, half of the sprinkles, and a pinch of salt over the almond bark. Use the spatula to incorporate ingredients together (use a light touch so you don't smash the popcorn). Repeat steps with the remaining ingredients.

Let the almond bark set and use the spatula to break apart popcorn into clumps. Enjoy! 


*One batch makes enough for 4-5 adults but I usually double the batch since it gets inhaled in seconds if you bring it to a party!


 Looking for more sweet treats? Check out my Project Yum Pinterest Board!


Also, some of my favorite Popcorn Recipes:



Peanut Butter Kettle Corn with White Chocolate | Club Narwhal


S'mores Popcorn Balls | Club Narwhal



Birthday Cake Oreo Stuffed Cheesecake Bars | Club Narwhal
 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

SKINNY BLUEBERRY LIME SCONES

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

You guys, I cannot even tell you how excited I am to share these Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones! For one thing, they are delicious and for another, they are made with so much love in honor of Zainab who is expecting her first child--a little boy!

Zainab is the powerhouse behind one of my favorite blogs, Blahnik Baker. You might remember our shoe and sweets collaboration and the Oreo Cinnamon Rolls I shared awhile ago. We have bonded over our shared adoration of all things shoes, sweets, blogging, and (of course) baby boys. 

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Z was one of my very first blogging friends and I have loved seeing her grow and evolve. I don't know exactly how she juggles her academic/blog/personal life but she does and it amazes me continuously. On top of it all, she has a heart of gold and is always, always looking out for those around her.

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

When I think about her little boy, I love to imagine the two of them baking together as he grows, creating sweet memories that he will savor for his whole life. 

I know Z is going to be a marvelous mother. From her example, she will inspire her boy to be a loving, stalwart man full of integrity and zest for life--I know this because these attributes are deeply ingrained in Zainab herself. 

I can't wait to "meet" the little bambino in a few short weeks and I wish Zainab and her family so much love and goodness as they welcome their little mister into the world!

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Because Zainab is a lady after my own heart and loves tropical flavors, these scones are stuffed with lime zest, blueberries, and coconut. These are the flavors I crave when summer comes (well, pretty much any berry and citrus combination). 

While they would taste great in smoothie form, I wanted to make them into a sweet, carbolicious breakfast for Z to enjoy. And sure, these scones will never be considered health food, but I made a few alterations to cut the calories a bit--which means you can indulge in two scones instead of one!

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal

Congratulations, Zainab and Mr. J! Can't wait to meet your little dude!


I joined forces with some of Zainab's awesome fan club for a surprise baby shower! Thanks to the fabulous Alice, Allie, and Jocelyn for throwing such a fun party! Check out the other delicious, tropical recipes below:

Blackberry Coconut Cupcakes, by Baking a Moment 
Blueberry Coconut Meusli Bars, by The Spiffy Cookie 
Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars, by Eats Well with Others 
Chocolate Coconut Cake, by Brunch with Joy 
Coconut Cake, by I am Baker 
Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream, by The Recipe Rebel 
Coconut Energy Bites, by The Kitchenarium 
Coconut Key Lime Angel Food Cake Roll, by Flavor the Moments 
Coconut Key Lime Pie Cookie Bars, by Two in the Kitchen
Coconut Key Lime Macarons, by Life Made Sweeter 
Coconut Pineapple Banana Smoothie, by The Bitter Side of Sweet 
Coconut Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp, by Healthy Nibbles and Bits 
Coconut Sweet Potato Muffins, by Luci's Morsels 
Key Lime Coconut Button Sandwich Cookies, by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody 
Key Lime Coconut Pound Cake, by Grandbaby Cakes 
Lavender Coconut Macarons, by Broma Bakery 
Mango Coconut Donuts, by Chez Catey Lou 
Mango Coconut Smoothie, by Jessica in the Kitchen 
Mango Summer Cake, by Keep it Sweet Desserts 
Mini Coconut Cream Pies, by Hip Foodie Mom 
Pina Colada Pie, by Life, Love, and Sugar 
Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones, by Club Narwhal 
Toasted Coconut Banana Meringue Pie, by The Sweet {Tooth} Life 
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Sangria, by Shared Appetite 

Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones | Club Narwhal


 Skinny Blueberry Lime Scones

Adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 cup white sugar
zest from one lime
1/2 cup fat free milk (or almond milk)
juice from half a lime
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 large egg white, slightly beaten (for egg wash)
sugar to sprinkle on egg wash

For the Lime Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
juice from half a lime
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put sugar and lime zest in a large liquid measuring cup and smoosh together with your fingers so the sugar becomes infused with lime. Add milk, lime juice, vanilla extract, and egg; whisk to combine. 

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Use a pastry blender or fork to cut in the butter until mixture takes on a sandy texture. Fold in blueberries and coconut. Add milk mixture and stir until just moist. The dough will be pretty sticky at this point.

Turn dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut dough into 10 triangles. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18 minutes, until golden. Serve warm and drizzled with lime glaze.

To make the lime glaze, whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together. Add milk a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency you like. 




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

EASY THAI RED CURRY

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

You know, I heard about pregnancy cravings but never really understood how they can hit you so suddenly and with such fervor you literally cannot think another reasonable thought until you satisfy the craving. The craving, for me, manifests itself as a compulsive voice in my head: "MUST EAT ___" on repeat.

Lately, that obsessive voice has been chanting: SHRIMP, SHRIMP, SHRIMP! And sure, I love shrimp as much as the next gal (Shrimp Sliders, anyone?) but this craving is, like, all encompassing.

Which brings me to this lovely Thai Red Curry. 

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

While these gorgeous veggies (I mean, how photogenic can asparagus get, am I right?) are all well and good, I'm just here for the shrimp. Lots of it. I love how they plump up in the delicious coconut curry broth and am literally salivating just thinking about this meal. 

Asparagus | Club Narwhal

And yes, this is basically a knock off of my favorite Thai Green Curry recipe but just go with me.

Because: shrimp.

SHRIMP, SHRIMP, SHRIMP!!!!

Easy Thai Red Curry Ingredients | Club Narwhal

Also, Warren claims he likes this red curry even more than the green curry, which is saying a lot. I've made this a few times in the past month and I'll always put in some pan fried extra-firm tofu for him (since he, as you well know, is a lifelong shrimp hater).

This turns out to be the perfect arrangement because it means I get all the shrimp to myself, plus pan fried tofu. #winning

More importantly, we all know that pan fried anything is never a bad idea.

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

But perhaps the best thing about this meal is that it is on the table in 20 minutes. Just start the rice when you start the curry and your shrimp craving can be settled in less time than it takes to wait for your Five Guys order (which is another thing I've been craving, like, whoa).

In other news, I haven't killed any of the basil yet! I even grew some cuttings to get even more basil--like I'm a real gardener or something. But never fear, I'm sure my black thumb will kick in at some point, like when I attempt to transfer said cuttings into a pot to see if they'll actually, well, grow. Suffice it to say, everything we make gets some basil tossed in. This curry was no exception.

Finally, I'm trying to build an arsenal of super quick meals for when the bambino arrives--any suggestions from your tried and true recipe trove? I would love to hear!

Easy Thai Red Curry | Club Narwhal

Easy Thai Red Curry

Adapted from my favorite Green Curry Recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (look in the Asian section of your grocery store)
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 oz. large shelless shrimp, thawed
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh basil for garnish
lime slices for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add curry paste and fry for about 30 seconds, until curry smells fragrant. Add coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and add asparagus and red pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.

Add shrimp and cook for a minute more. Add frozen peas then stir in fresh cilantro and basil. Cook for one more minute, until peas are heated through. Serve with steamed white rice and lime slices.

***Note: If you, like Warren, live in a sad, anti-shrimp world, just add your favorite protein. I highly recommend pan fried extra-firm tofu but you can't go wrong with a chicken breast sliced into 1-inch chunks. Or, if you're vegetarian, you can just add in more veggies--zucchini and eggplant would be prime in this.

Love Thai Food? Me too! Check out my Asian Flair Pinterest Board for more ideas!

P.S. Here are some of our favorite Thai recipes:


Easy Thai Green Curry | Club Narwhal


Vegetarian Pad See Ew | Club Narwhal


Thai Chicken Satay Salad | Club Narwhal