On Friday night we hosted a cocktail party. After an entire day of working, it seemed completely unreasonable to put together a bunch of food for 10 people but somehow, we pulled it off and were even able to relax and enjoy time with our friends. The spread included whiskey glazed chicken drummies, spring roll cups filled with spiced kabocha, pecans, and cranberries (recipe coming soon) with a dollop of whipped cream, and a big, heaping bowl of popcorn. Yep. We went for the classic snack food to help satisfy our guests’ hunger and save us some time. Our friends brought food to contribute as well. Pumpkin hummus made an appearance, as well as a beautiful Japanese chestnut cake. All in all, it was a successful and scrumptious evening!
After the party, I got to thinking about popcorn and how versatile it is. Caramel corn, Kettle corn, buttered popcorn, cheese popcorn…the flavors go on and on. Then I started wondering how I could add a unique twist that was all my own. The wheels started turning. Then I remembered when I was in the grocery store the other day and spotted powdered kabocha (Japanese pumpkin)! I had never seen anything like it before, so I was thrilled at my discovery.
I’ve been saving the little packet of joy for a couple weeks now. Until today when I had a flash of brilliance! OK, maybe not brilliance…but it was exciting nonetheless. What if I made a spice mix to add to popcorn? Ah, yes. A recipe is born! This popcorn is tasty enough to serve at a holiday party as a flavorful yet light appetizer. It would be perfect alongside a glass of champagne or sparkling cider. If you are looking for a stylish way to serve the popcorn, I would recommend using these pine wood cones (click on the link to order- type in “tokyoterrace” as a coupon code and receive 10% off!) from restaurantware.com. I just love the way the popcorn looks piled into the eco-friendly cones! Elegant and simple.
The process was simple- I took a bag of microwave popcorn (the buttered kind so the spices stuck to the popcorn) and added the spices directly to the bag when it was done popping. I just shook the bag around to coat the popcorn and it was done! Fast, easy, and full of flavor. If you love kettle corn, you’ll go crazy over this. The combination of brown sugar, warm cinnamon, all-spice and of course the kabocha powder, make a perfect addition to popcorn. Brad ate the entire bowl while I took the photos. The entire bowl. That’s a really good sign!
So, if you are hosting Thanksgiving and would like a light snack for everyone while the turkey is roasting away, this is the perfect choice. Serve it with a glass of champagne garnished with pomegranate seeds (click on the link for the cocktail) or cranberries and you’ve got the perfect holiday starter!
Kabocha/Pumpkin Spice Popcorn
Makes enough for 1 bag of microwave popcorn
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons powdered pumpkin (or kabocha)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 bag microwave buttered popcorn
Place the popcorn in the microwave and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl using a whisk or fork. When the popcorn is done, pour the spice mixture in the popcorn bag. Roll the top closed (be careful- the popcorn may still be hot!) and shake it to distribute the spice mixture. It is important to do this with hot, buttered popcorn so the spice mixture sticks to the popcorn kernels.
Pour into pine wood cones and serve!