Buttered Popcorn Gelato

3 words: Buttered Popcorn Gelato. Are you in?! Heck yes you are. This is (microwaveable) buttery, slightly salty, popcorn soaked in milk and cream (more milk than cream b/c it’s gelato and we fancy), combined with brown sugar and egg yolks to become the creamiest, richest, borderline fluffy custard that’s then churned away into Popcorn Wonderland. (Disclaimer: this trip to Popcorn Wonderland requires an overnight stay in the fridge. Gotta chill that custard, babe.) If you really want to make this dessert true magic, make the honey-brown sugar-caramel corn to go on top. Real talk though, you are already magic for making gelato… hellooooo. ✨

2 small dish of buttered popcorn gelato with caramel popcorn on top

This recipe is where my ice cream machine met its destiny. It was born for this. I was born for this. And if there is ever a reason to buy an ice cream machine, this is it. Truth: I can’t promise you’ll get the same lush, alluring textural result with any method other than using an ice cream machine. Sorry. The good news is, I’ve been using this one from Cuisinart for 7 years; it only requires the flip of a switch to operate, and it costs less than $70. (*These are a guaranteed gift-giving win. At least 3 people in my life have given or received one, always to great success.)

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Buttered Popcorn Gelato

2 small dishes of buttered popcorn gelato with caramel popcorn on top

The creamiest, most silky-smooth gelato flavored with caramely brown sugar and buttered popcorn (hint: you steep the popcorn in the milk and cream! So Good!)

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes/overnight
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 C whole milk
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 bag of microwaveable popcorn w/ butter (I used Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter Popcorn b/c there are no artificial ingredients)
  • 3/4 C brown sugar, divided
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn in the microwave. Combine the milk and cream in a sauce pan over low heat and add the popcorn. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, into a bowl and discard the popcorn.
  2. Return the milk/cream mixture to the sauce pan and add 1/2 a cup of the brown sugar. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat.
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with an electric mixer until it is thick and light yellow – about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 a cup of the milk/cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine. Pour this into the sauce pan with the rest of the milk/cream mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and when you coat the back of a spoon with it, you can draw a line through it with your finger. Add the vanilla and salt to taste. (The eggs are cooked at this point; it’s ok to taste.)
  4. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
  5. Add the chilled mixture to your ice cream machine and churn for about 30 minutes or according to manufacturer instructions. (Start tasting it after about 25 minutes to check the texture; gelato is naturally a little looser than ice cream but it should be thick and not super runny.)

Notes

If you want to make the caramel corn garnish shown in the picture: Pop another bag of popcorn in the microwave. Melt 1/4 C of brown sugar and 1T of honey in a large sauce pan over low heat; stir constantly with a rubber spatula until it becomes the consistency of caramel. Add about 1/2 the bag of popcorn and stir to combine. Let cool before touching!

The idea for this recipe came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s gorgeous cookbook, Nopi. Except, I made it faster/easier, made it gelato instead of ice cream (because creamy-silky-smoothness is my jam), and I used brown sugar for more of a caramelly flavor, kinda like caramel corn.

Balsamic Steak and Apple Salad

Oh man, am I a sucker for a salad. Good salads. Like, reaaaallllly really good ones. This is because, I have a finely tuned Salad Lame-dar which easily detects such disappointing features as wateriness, blandness, and lack of crunch and contrast. Enter, my new sweetheart: Balsamic Steak and Apple Salad. Cannot get enough of this! Thinly sliced, seared flank steak, sauteed apples caramelized with a little brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, tossed with arugula, green onions, funky/salty blue cheese, and pralines… Aggghh! I can’t with this. I love it so much.

steak and apple salad with arugula, blue cheese, and chopped pralines in a green bowl with a fork
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Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burgers

I see you, temperatures above 60 degrees… I’m here for you random daffodils popping up on the corner… And I am living for you, flip flops! It’s springtime! Fire up the grill, give me an icy cocktail, and turn the music up, pleeeeeaaazzze! We’re putting the bacon on the mushrooms on the swiss on the burgers today. Specifically, a bacon/mushroom/onion/beer reduction. Mouth: watering. And guess what? It’s super simple. Cook bacon, sizzle mushrooms and onions in the fat, slosh in some beer and let it bubble for a minute or two. Ta da: the best burger topping you’ve had all year. 2019 is still young, there may be some legendary burgers yet to come, but today – this one’s it for me.

chopped bacon, mushrooms, and onions in a cast iron pan with a wooden spoon
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Vegetable Samosas

Vegetable Samosas: the result of a hungry prowl around the kitchen. Scratch that – the flaky, spicy, delicious, veggie-packed result of a hungry prowl. Mashed red potatoes, sweet peas that were on the verge of frostbite in my freezer, and spinach. And the requisite (for me) sauteed onions, garlic, ginger, serrano peppers, and spices. (OMG -the spices, you guys… this is the best use of cumin seed I’ve found in a long, long time. We’ll get there in a sec.) The flavors in this recipe are a total win for me but you could really, truly, probably work any vegetables (or meat) into these bewitching little hand pies. Basically, use this recipe as a guide, blend in whatever you have on hand, love yourself, and eat some samosas.

vegetable samosas cooked, on a baking sheet with parchment paper
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Chorizo Potato Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast for dinner fans – hands up🙌! Okaaaaayyy, living life on the edge today and having breakfast tacos for dinner. Joey and I watch a show on A&E called 60 Days In, where people volunteer to go to jail, undercover, for 60 days to gather information on jail operations. The last episode we watched, the participants who’d done their time were released to a hotel room where the producers had arranged takeout food to be waiting for them- whatever they had requested that they’d most like to eat after having jail food for 2 months. It got me thinking what I’d request… At the time I thought a fried chicken sandwich but I think these Chorizo Potato Breakfast Tacos might be my actual truth. My spirit meal. My one true food love.

Chorizo Potato Breakfast tacos topped with avocaso, cheese, and cilantro in metal taco holders on a board
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Indian Chicken Curry

🎶Turn on your light now baby and stay with me awhile… and rock steadyyyyy 🎶 Shout out to Bad Company for that banger of a song. It’s stuck in my head today, probably due to this rock solid recipe for Indian Chicken Curry. It’s kind of a big deal, guys, ’cause it’s a copycat recipe from our one and only amazing local Indian restaurant, Masala Bay.

Yup – they gave us a recipe. Or, at least a version of a recipe, that is definitely not their exact, top secret recipe, full of special Indian ingredients and techniques. But, with one or two tiny tweaks, it’s pretty darn close if you ask me. I’m a self-proclaimed expert on the food at Masala Bay; half of my thoughts on a day-to-day basis are centered around their chicken curry and vegetable fritters. So, I can safely say, if you love curry from Indian restaurants, this recipe will meet your at-home curry needs.

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Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Woot! Sharing some delicious snacky-snacks with you guys today! I feel a little shady calling these “peanut butter” and jelly bars because there is a negligible amount of actual peanut butter and a lot of peanuts, oats, coconut oil, and honey all pulsed together to make a magical crust and crumble topping. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here, though? The oat/honey/coconut oil combo means these are healthier than traditional peanut butter and jelly bars and still duh-lish-us. No added refined sugar… no butter… no flour. You could even make them gluten free if you buy GF oats. It’s spring, you guys, and my bathing suit and I need to be friends by summer, but I still need sweet things for my 3:00 snack attacks. So, here we go: Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars!

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Meatball Banh Mi

This Meatball Banh Mi is a FIYACRACKER 💥 I mean, pickled carrots and onions, cilantro and mint, jalapenos and cucumber? Juicy meatballs, soft bread, creamy sriracha mayo, and salty peanuts? Come on, now… Gimme 30 minutes of your time and make this sandwich so we can be Bahn Mi Besties.

meatball banh mi math

When I made this the other night, I had everything except for, ahh, the main ingredient… pork. But, I did have hot Italian sausage. And I had mushrooms. So here’s my banh mi math:

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Homemade Dog Food

Shout out to all the old, picky, stubborn dogs! Ours has lumps and bumps, is slowly losing his guard-dog sense of hearing, and occasionally treats us to a #2 in the house. He’s sweet and funny and 100% part of the family. All of you pet owners know how real the feelz are for your animals. Caesar has really been perfecting his stubborn, picky eating game in the last couple months. Read: not eating, except for treats. Well, no one in my house is gonna not eat. I mean… Imma feed you… it’s kinda what I do. Enter: turmeric egg muffin cups for breakfast and ground beef and sweet potatoes for dinner for this enormous pumpkin head:

cane corso with big ears
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Chicken and Broccoli Bowls with White Wine Pan Sauce

It’s me, back again with the broccoli! I can halfway promise you these broccoli recipes will taper off as we inch towards spring/summer. Maybe. For now, I can’t not share these chicken and broccoli bowls that are SO easy, completely delicious, good for your body, and yep – totally suitable for meal prep!

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