A child of two working parents, I was immeasurably lucky to spend a good chunk of my childhood at my Aunt Debi Lewis’ house. She worked as a writer, author and stay at home mom, so it was she who took care of me, my sister, and her own five children after school. It was at the Lewis house where I learned how to climb a tree, play bumper pool and Atari, bake cookies, and distinguish poison ivy from the more innocuous flora in the woods behind the house.

Even my sweet aunt will tell you that my sister and I inherited a bit of a stubborn streak, and at a young age, we decided we didn’t like anything chocolate. Despite being a chocoholic herself, my aunt tried to appease us, often trying out different recipes that excluded chocolate. She hit the jackpot with this one: Magic Caramel Popcorn! The buttery, caramely taste and texture can’t be beat, plus there’s a bit of “magic” when you add the final ingredient. Kids will love helping you make this perfect movie night snack!

Now that I’m grown, I understand the importance and necessity of chocolate, so this version includes cocoa powder for that added chocolate flavor. Get creative by adding semi-sweet chocolate morsels, mini-marshmallows, crumbled pretzels, or dried cranberries to your caramel popcorn concoction!

Back in the day, my cousins and I always made big messes—sorry, Aunt Debi! But now you can breathe a little easier with SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet. It makes cleanup a snap and protects your floors from stubborn stains (and stubborn kids).  

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Microwave Magic Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

12 cups popped popcorn (either 2 bags of microwave popcorn or ½ cup popping corn, popped)

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup butter or margarine

1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pop the popcorn and set it aside. In a microwave bowl, cook the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt.

Bring it to a boil for two minutes, stopping to stir it every 30 seconds.

Take the brown sugar syrup out of the microwave and call all children in the house to “watch the magic.”

Sprinkle the baking soda into the brown sugar mix and stir while it begins to bubble and foam (that’s the magic—it will more than double in volume very quickly.)

Pour the syrup over the popped corn and stir gently to coat the corn.


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