Spicy Chili Cheese Popcorn

Spicy Chili Cheese Popcorn
How about a snack? So everybody loves popcorn, right? Plus, it's a healthy snack! It's a good source of fiber, it satisfies your craving for something salty and crunchy, and it's low in calories and you can eat a lot of it without feeling guilty! Um... yes please!

My friends at Virtual Potluck and I teamed up with the good people at Savory Spice Shop and we were lucky enough to receive a sampling of some of their spices to play with and create recipes with.  I was able to choose the spices I wanted, so I of course got things like ancho chile powder, chimichurri marinade seasoning, etc...  stuff you would expect me to get, but I also thought this would be a great opportunity to get a good cheese powder for popcorn.  Why?  Because Mark makes AMAZING popcorn.  He loves popcorn and he often likes to spice it up with not only salt, but things like cheese powder, chili powder, herbs, cayenne, etc...
So I ordered the Cheddar Cheese Powder and asked Mark if he would create a special popcorn using this powder.  Well he did, but he also stepped it up a notch and used several more spices to create a delicious, spicy, addicting popcorn that you will LOVE!

He ended up using the following spices - all of which you can purchase at Savory Spice Shop:

SavorychecheCheddar Cheese Powder

SavorychilanchoGround Ancho Chiles

SavorypapsmspnswSmoked Spanish Sweet Paprika

SavorygarlicvfinePowdered Garlic

SavorychilcayGround Cayenne

SavorythymefrFrench Organic Thyme

... as well as sea salt and black pepper.  

Before I show you how Mark made this popcorn...

How would you like to win some of your own Savory Spices!?
The folks at Savory Spice Shop is offering a special gift set called the Fire Eaters Gift Set especially for FOODIE readers!  Their gift sets are the BOMB.  You get 4 full-sized jars of spices and it's packaged so super cute with little bonus things like a star anise, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, a chile, and bay leaves.  If you're a true FOODIE fan and love the type of cooking I do, then you will love it!

Check out Savory Spice Shop on Facebook

About the Fire Eaters Gift Set:  

This gift set contains: 

From the website: 
There is a theory that if you are a habitual chile eater you can develop immunity to the heat. We’ve created this set to test that hypothesis. These four selections are not only hot but quite flavorful. And if that is not enough, we packed this set with super hot Chinese red peppers that rate between an 8 and 9 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. If you can prove the theory true, then come see us for our scorching hot habanero powder, which rates a 10 or maybe even an 11! Remember, the best relief for a burning mouth isn’t water; it’s a mild yogurt or sour cream. Be careful! The additional spices used to pack this set are also of excellent quality and should be stored in a container for future use.
Fire Eaters is a 4 jar gift set made up of our 4 fluid ounce glass jars.

The Fire Eaters spice gift set is the perfect gift for someone that wants more than a little spice in their life!   Available exclusively at Savory Spice Shop

Ways to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what spices you would like to try from Savory Spice Shop.
  2. Visit the Savory Spice Shop Facebook page, click the Virtual Potluck link, choose a spice from the Chile Blends section, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
  3. Share this post on Facebook, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
  4. Tweet about this post on Twitter, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
  5. Follow Savory Spice Shop on Twitter, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
This contest will run until Saturday, April 21st.  On that day, after 3pm, I will choose a winner using Random.Org.  Please do not comment anonymously because I will have no way to contact you if you win.  This contest is open to U.S. residents only.  Good luck! 

This contest is now closed.
Congratulations to Amy! 
You've won the Fire Eaters gift set! 

See how to make this popcorn after the jump!


True Lemon and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

True Lemon and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Ready for a little dessert? I admit, I don't make a whole lot of desserts. Probably because if I did, I'd eat all of it and that would not be good for my waistline. Also, I'm very much a cook and not so much a baker. I've never been good at baking pies, but I can pull off cakes and cookies pretty well. For me, it's so much more enjoyable to cook savory food because you can create as you go and you don't really have to measure anything.

True LemonSo, I usually reserve my baking stints for occasions such as the this. The Virtual Potluck group that I'm a part of teamed up with True Lemon, a really cool company that makes crystallized citrus products that you can use to flavor your water, tea, or even cook with it in place of real citrus juice! The company provided me with the following products to try and play with:

Check out all of these products here!
  • True Orange crystallized orange
  • True Lime crystallized lime
  • True Lemon crystallized lemon
  • True Orange for your water
  • True Lemon for your water
  • True Lemon original lemonade
  • True Lemon raspberry lemonade 

logoAs you can see, they offer all types of products, and not just stuff to cook with.  Are you looking to drink more water, but you just hate the taste of it?  If so, you may enjoy the Orange or Lemon for your water (all natural, 0 calories), or the Original or Raspberry lemonade mixes (all natural, 5 calories).

I agreed to try these products out because they are all natural and don't use any artificial sweeteners, which I believe are little doses of poison and I refuse to put that into my body.  True Citrus products use Rebiana (Stevia), which is a 100% Natural Sweetener from the Stevia plant.  

But aside from using these products to keep your calories down by flavoring your water, you can also use the crystallized lemon, lime, and orange to cook or bake with just as you would fresh lemon, lime, or orange.  I thought that was pretty inventive, so I was excited to give it a try.  

To see how I made the Lemon and Dark Chocolate Biscotti, meet me after the jump!


The Fabulous Food Show Returns to Cleveland!

fabSpringFoodShowLogoLet the backyard barbeque battles begin! The first edition of the Spring Fabulous Food Show pays homage to the masters of the flame April 28 & 29, 2012, at the I-X Center right here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tickets are on sale now for the best celebrity grillers in the business, from Fabulous Food Show favorite Bobby Flay to first time appearances by Emeril Lagasse, “Barbeque Bible” grilling authority Steven Raichlen, and Weber Grills’ Jamie Purviance! Tickets can be purchased online at www.fabulousfoodshow.com, and include admission to one celebrity chef show in the Backyard Patio Theatre.

“Hosting the show in April allows for a whole new food show experience,” said Eric German, executive show director. “While the fall show emphasizes holiday cooking and entertainment, this event will encompass the entire outdoor living experience, from designing the perfect patio to becoming a master griller. It will get people ‘thinking spring’ and about getting back outside!”

Helping patrons get to “grill mode” will be a powerhouse of celebrity chefs that have taken outdoor cooking to a new level. 

fabEmerilEmeril Lagasse, host of Emeril’s Table on the Hallmark Channel and Cooking Channel’s Fresh Food Fast, The Originals with Emeril, and Emeril Live, makes his Spring Fabulous Food Show debut on Sunday, April 29th in the Backyard Patio Theatre.  A TV cooking veteran, Lagasse’s unbeatable passion for cooking and teaching will surely inspire any backyard warrior to turn up the heat!

fabStevenBarbeque master, lecturer and grilling authority Steven Raichlen joins the celebrity chef lineup, sharing some of his best practices and insight into the world of barbeque. Raichlen has written a multitude of cookbooks for grilling aficionados and hosts his own “Barbeque University” in Colorado Springs.

fabBobbyNo stranger to the Fabulous Food Show, Bobby Flay returns to break out some of his favorite grilling recipes! Flay hosts the widely-popular Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill, Brunch @ Bobby’s, Bobby Flay’s Barbeque Addition, and Emmy-award winning Grill It! with Bobby Flay.

fabJamieGrilling expert Jamie Purviance represents Weber Grills and will share his expertise in the Weber Grilling Pavilion, an outdoor feature of the show. Purviance has authored many Weber grilling cookbooks, including Weber’s Real Grilling™, Weber’s Charcoal Grilling™, Weber’s Way to Grill™, and his latest book, Weber’s Smoke™. Purviance will host live demonstrations on grilling, barbeque, and smoking techniques, and will also be joined by Weber’s Grilling Expert Kevin Kolman. Kolman will offer insight and tips on the best Weber equipment to match any cooking challenge.

Create a great memory with your favorite chef and get their autograph at the Celebrity Book Signing Pavilion! A Book Store will be on-site with all celebrity chef books for sale.

Additional show features include the Outdoor Living Stage, hosted by industry professionals presenting the latest products and ideas to help consumers create their own outdoor paradise. Learn how to perk up a backyard with new landscaping tips, design a stress-free garden, or build a patio perfect for entertaining.

An expanded Farmers’ Market will offer fresh local produce and products, while the Farmers’ Market Stage will feature local chefs highlighting seasonal dishes and gardening.

The Ice Cream Shoppe will feature numerous frozen treat vendors offering dozens of delightful confections for sampling, from yogurt to ice cream to gelato. It’s the perfect place to relax and “chill” during the show!

Escape to the “outdoors” in the Tasting Gardens, hosted by the American Wine School. More than 300 wines, spirits and specialty beers will be available to sip, swirl, and savor. Seminars in the Cadillac Tasting Theatre will help select the perfect beverage for outdoor gatherings, and the conveniently located Wine Cellar will allow patrons to purchase their favorite finds onsite.

Ticket prices: One-day Admission ticket: $25 (advanced) online at www.fabulousfoodshow.com, or $30.00 onsite and online April 28-29, 2012, at the I-X Center.

Each ticket includes admission to exhibits and seating to see one of your favorite celebrity chefs, and also allows patrons to see other celebrity chefs on the day of the visit -- on a first-come, first-served basis. See website for standby and ticket upgrade procedures.

Saturday, April 28 — 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 29 — 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

The Spring Fabulous Food Show is held at the I-X Center at One I-X Center Drive in Cleveland, Ohio on Route 237, adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. It is easily accessible from I-480, I-71 and the Ohio Turnpike. For more information call 216.265.COOK or visit us online at www.fabulousfoodshow.com

Wanna win a pair of general admission tickets 
of your very own?  
Ways to win:
  1.  Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to go to the Spring Fabulous Food Show.  What event are you most excited to see?
  2. Share this post on Facebook by using this link: http://tinyurl.com/7ws2qn4, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
  3. Tweet about this post on Twitter using the following tweet: I just entered to win 2 gen admission tix to the CLE Spring Fab Food Show! Check out @TaratheFoodie's post & enter now! http://tinyurl.com/7ws2qn4, then leave another comment on this post telling me that you've done so.
This contest will run until Saturday, April 21st.  On that day, after 3pm, I will choose a winner using Random.Org.  Please do not comment anonymously because I will have no way to contact you if you win.  Good luck! 

This contest is now closed.  
Congratulations to Henry Harris!! (@ on Twitter)
I hope you and your girlfriend have a great time!