Archive | March 2012

Joan Pope’s Caramel Corn

Back in the late 80’s I worked with a woman named Joan Pope.  She used to bring this caramel corn to work.  We always called it Joan Pope’s Caramel Corn, don’t know where it originated, but this is how I know it.  I just recently found the recipe and made it for a baseball kick-off party we hosted.  There was none left at the end of the night!  My friend who is on a gluten-free diet discovered she can eat it too!  Yay!  I’ll be making it again soon.

Caramel Corn

Preheat oven to 250°.

Corn pops


1 – 8 oz. bag of corn puff popcorn

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. baking soda

In a sauce pan melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup over low heat until combined.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stir constantly.

Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and baking soda.

Put corn pops into a large bowl and pour mixture over corn pops.  Stir to coat.  Place pops on a large cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, stir and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  Repeat a total of 3 times.

Let cool and store in a covered container.  Enjoy!


Granny’s Sugar Cookies

My son Andrew loves his Granny’s Sugar Cookies.  Just made them recently for an event at school.  They are always a big hit!

Granny's Sugar Cookies


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream the ingredients above.

Mix in just until combined:

5 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tarter

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°, on ungreased cookie sheet (I like to line mine with super parchment) placed 1.5″ dough balls spaced 2 inches apart.  Moisten the bottom of a glass and dip into sugar, press to flatten the cookie dough.

Bake for 10 minutes until edges just start to brown.  Remove to a rack to cool.  Enjoy!

Baked Spaghetti

This is one of those recipes that I always have the ingredients on hand.  If I think ahead I will take out some ground beef from the freezer and plan to make this family favorite for dinner.  It’s adapted from Paula Deen’s cookbook “The Lady & Sons, Too!”

Baked Spaghetti


1 – 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I like petite)

2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

1 cup water

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (I use whatever I have on hand – red, yellow, orange, green)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

12 oz. uncooked spaghetti (I like rigati)

2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese


To make the sauce, in a stock pot combine the first 14 ingredients (thru bay leaves).  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour.  In a large saute pan, crumble the ground beef and cook until no pink remains, drain the fat.  Add the ground beef to the sauce.  Simmer for another 20 minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 in pan with sauce (I use a glass pan).  Add a layer of pasta, then half of the cheese, repeat the layers, ending with the sauce (save the other half of the cheese).  You will have some pasta leftover (great to saute with butter, salt and pepper and parm. on another day).  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Top with the remaining cheese, return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into squares.