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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Sweet Taste of Autumn

When the first truly chilly day of fall arrives—usually mid-October here in the South, everyone in my family clamors for one of our favorite fall snacks—caramel corn! 
halloween-christmas-popcorn-balls For years I tried to make yummy popcorn balls, but the humidity of Florida was my adversary.  I generally ended up with sticky, gummy mounds of popcorn, which is a treat that should be crisp and crunchy.  Then, my sister-in-law, Miss Pynn, saved the day with her three-ingredient caramel corn recipe, and I’ve been making it ever since!
Caramel corn packaged in cellophane bags and tied with raffia or twine makes the perfect Halloween treat for teachers and classmates.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this as a homeroom parent, and how many times teachers have requested the recipe! 

It’s great for tailgates and parties, too; I love serving it in kraft paper cones. 
And it’s a T&C family Halloween tradition to enjoy a big bowl of caramel corn while watching the Don Knott’s comedy classic The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Miss Pynn’s Caramel Corn
1 six-serving bag microwave popcorn (we like Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Salted)
1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Pop the popcorn, and set aside in a large bowl.
Melt together the butter and the brown sugar.  I do this in the microwave for one minute, then stir, and microwave a few more seconds, if needed. 
Whisk butter and sugar together well, and pour over popcorn.  Stir popcorn well. (A table knife works great for this.)  At this point, you can spread the popcorn out on waxed paper or parchment, and scoop into bags or cones for treats, or simply enjoy straight from the bowl.  One bag of microwave popcorn yields eight to 10 treat bags or cones.

I’d love to hear about your favorite fall snacks!  And, I’d love to hear what you think about Miss Pynn’s Caramel Corn—I promise you won’t believe how tasty (and addictive) it is!


  1. I have to try this. I love caramel popcorn but I hate labor intensive stuff. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. I have about $100 worth of BSA popcorn to use up!

  3. My daughter ADORES caramel corn... can't wait to make this with her!

    So glad to hear that the temps have the temps cooled for you finally!

  4. I was just craving this yesterday at the game after smelling it cook for 4 hours!! I've got to try some for the holidays. Thanks. :) xoxo

  5. Oh yum! I was just thinking about the popcorn balls we use to make when I was little. This is even better ~ thanks for sharing.


  6. I just can't wait to make this recipe! My family loves popcorn balls and WALLY WORLD only had 1 box left!!


    PS...prob. our last ROAD trip to CLEMSON.....will seek CHEAP airfare from here on out!!!! I am sure we will get the opportunity to connect shortly!!!!

  7. I LOVE caramel corn. This post has started a craving...

  8. Yes, we have all three items in the pantry right now! Fun for the boys and I to make... Can't wait!


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