Introducing the Ultimate Baseball Snack: Popcorn

Batter up! Next up at the plate is a contender for the ultimate baseball snack. He goes by the name of popcorn, and he’s sure to knock this competition out of the field!

baseball-popcorn-tins

Sure, we at The Popcorn Factory may love popcorn for any occasion, but it’s during baseball season when that love for the crunchiest, most satisfying snack around gets to really shine. So what makes popcorn the ultimate baseball snack? It’s fairly simple, from the assortment of flavors to satisfy any baseball fan, to the festive touch one of our sports tins adds to the occasion, to the endless ways you can reuse that tin, it’s safe to say we’ve got baseball snacking down to a science.

How to Make Your Baseball Outing a Home Run with Popcorn:

Step 1: Represent Your Team
Did you know that The Popcorn Factory has a wide collection of and baseball tins representing some of the most popular baseball teams in the country?! Give a nod to your favorite team by choosing the perfect tin for your special baseball fans.

Step 2: Serving Size Snacking
Once you’re at the game, it’s time to divvy up the popcorn treats. Using the included popcorn scoop boxes or disposable cups, hand out a serving of snacks to your fellow baseball fans. Breaking the popcorn into smaller servings is a great way to keep the kids from overindulging while also keeping the mess to a minimum. This can also be done ahead of time, pre-packing plastic sandwich bags full of popcorn for easy snacking.

Step 3: It’s Cool to Reuse
Now that the popcorn has been gobbled up, you’re left with an empty tin. Line that tin with a clean garbage bag, and now you’ve got the perfect drink cooler to store water bottles, soda, or even (for the adults) beer! Since you chose your favorite team popcorn tin, you’ll be chilling your drinks while showing off your team pride!

Bonus: If you’re looking for the perfect festive popcorn snack for the ride or for on-the-go snacking, our baseball popcorn balls are fun, easy, and irresistibly tasty! You can even hand them out as party favors for the outing – now isn’t baseball just so sweet?!

baseball-popcorn-balls

Go Behind the Scenes with Our “What’s Your Flavor” Contest Winner

On March 25th, 2014, our “What’s Your Flavor” contest winner, Rebecca, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn her popcorn flavor dreams into a reality. Using her personal garden as inspiration, she came up with a unique, flavor-packed blend of ingredients for a truly savory popcorn concoction! Read about her experience at The Popcorn Factory’s headquarters, where she helped create her own batch of Sage Brown Butter Crunch, from unpopped kernel to culinary creation.

The Popcorn Factory Headquarters

How does one become inspired to take an ear of corn and transform basic kernels into wildly convivial and refined flavors? Leave it to the experts at The Popcorn Factory to conjure the taste of tradition. In huge copper cauldrons, popcorn explodes from a naked state into well-dressed buttery, sweet perfection. My kitchen is not as mystifying or sophisticated as The Popcorn Factory’s cooking kingdom, but my idea of cooking with creative flavor is just as innovative.

urban gardenThe Popcorn Factory soars beyond the cornfields and turns a crop full of corn, agriculture’s abundant ingredient, into a blank canvas. Popcornologists harness their magic like kitchen sorcerers; they make our mouths water and give us the popcorn our taste buds crave. The culinary inspiration for Sage Brown Butter Crunch came from my 19th floor balcony, my own urban backyard. To satisfy my own craving, a salty, sweet, spicy and herbal blend came to life.

For me, cooking is refining familiar flavors, like turning a simple snack food into a delicacy with fresh herbs and exotic spices. While watering plants, I plucked the only remaining herb from my garden that was still growing in abundance: the all mighty, fragrant Sage. Out of convenience I introduced the timeless popcorn-and-butter duo with its new best friends, another timeless duo, sage and brown butter.

What's Your Flavor Rebecca in the KitchenLayering flavors to stimulate all of the senses inside our mouths is what makes food appealing and exciting to eat. I figured popcorn with complex flavors, dedicated to artistic culinary appeal doesn’t have to be elite. We can all appreciate munching on good popcorn with a cold beer so why not have the perfect popcorn to go with a cocktail, wine- even Champagne? Ingredients like sage, brown butter, five spice, Turbinado sugar, and pecans make a perfect popcorn for pairing!

To me, it just made sense. I made popcorn inspired by the season and used whatever I had on hand – I got creative and it worked. Now, The Popcorn Factory is making it happen. Get ready for some awesome popcorn, Sage Brown Butter Crunch!

What's Your Flavor Behind the Scenes

Creative Ways to Use Caramel

Move over flour, there’s a new baking staple in town and it’s got an irresistibly sweet flavor few taste buds can resist! In honor of National Caramel Day on April 5, we’re celebrating all the creative ways to use caramel – from baking to decorating.

Creative Ways to use Caramel

Use as an edible adhesive. If you’re looking for an edible adhesive to take your recipes to the next level, look no further! Whether you’re looking to add fun toppings to decorate or add flavor, add a dab of caramel and press down to secure.

Use to decorate. A vase becomes a sweet centerpiece when you fill it with caramels and top with a flower! Similarly, put wrapped caramel candies in a decorative bowl for when guests come over to decorate end and coffee tables. Who knows when a caramel-loving guest will stop by and snack on these ooey gooey bites?!

Batch of Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornUse it in recipes. Perhaps the most popular way to use this sticky ingredient, there are tons of mouth-watering recipes (like our double caramel marshmallow popcorn recipe) that utilize this sweet substance.

Infuse it with vodka. Chop up your caramels in fine pieces and throw in a glass mason jar or empty vodka bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite unflavored vodka and let sit until the caramels fully dissolve. Once fully dissolved, add a pinch of salt to really bring out that caramel flavor; now you have salted caramel vodka!

Use it to decorate drinks. Throw a few caramels into the microwave (in a bowl) and use the melted substance to rim your cocktail glasses – it’ll add both decoration and flavor!

Use it as a Coating. There’s a reason caramel apples are so popular; there’s simply delicious! Using caramel as a coating, we created caramel coated popcorn balls on a stick – you can customize them with your own toppings if you really want to get creative!

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Use it to decorate foods. Use melted caramel and a toothpick to create beautiful caramel creations on food or serve ware. Melt only a little bit at a time so it doesn’t solidify before you’re finished with your masterpiece.

Use as a dip. Finally, serve melted caramel alongside apples, grapes, and your favorite desserts for a fondue-style dipping treat! You can even set up a dessert bar with a selection of toppings for a unique dining experience at home.

Popcorn of the Month: Sour Green Apple

March’s popcorn of the month is lean, green, and (not so) mean Sour Green Apple! Crunchy and sweet with a sour kick, this festive popcorn flavor is packed with what we like to call “pucker power.”

The Popcorn Factory Sour Green Apple PopcornWhy did we choose this flavor as our favorite popcorn for March? Simple! Not only does the green-filled holiday St. Patrick’s Day fall during this month, but March 20th also happens to be the first day of spring – a day that’s equal parts sweet and sour just like the flavor. The excitement of the season of regrowth warms our hearts, while we can’t quite hold back the sadness of saying goodbye to the beauty of winter.

We’re celebrating by using this tangy treat to make festive (and edible) jewelry! And yes, we will definitely be sporting this DIY Idea on St. Patrick’s Day! To make this wearable St. Patrick’s Day craft, all you need is green popcorn, a needle, and some thread!

Supplies for DIY St. Patrick’s Day popcorn necklace:

Sour Green Apple Popcorn
Needle
Thread

How to Make a St. Patrick’s Day popcorn necklace:

DIY St. Patrick's Day Popcorn Necklace

First, clear your area as this project can surely get sticky! Once your area is clean, simply thread your needle, and stick it through the popcorn. Pull the thread all the way through.

DIY St. Patrick's Day Popcorn Necklace

Repeat this step until you are satisfied with your result! You can make necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even sweet popcorn belts. The possibilities are endless!

Make It Personal With Customized Popcorn Gifts for Every Occasion!

Big Day Small Canister SetHave a big day coming up? Whether you’re celebrating a Sweet 16, a wedding, a birthday or an annual family trip, nothing makes your present pop out from the crowd more than a customized label for your gourmet popcorn tins! So the next time you want to make the day extra-special, try one of these two awesome ways to personalize your snack gifts!

Big Day, Small Canister

These small custom canisters send a big message that’ll make your big event even more memorable. Each set of four canisters comes with adorably illustrated logos that can be tailored with the name and date of your event. Choose from a selection of three out-of-this-world popcorn flavors to fill your canisters with: caramel, Cornfusion (a blend of caramel, butter and cheese popcorn) and pink passion fruit popcorn. Then, pick the label theme that best fits your special day: baseball, congrats, golf, birthday, patriotic, party, summer, or wedding. These pint-sized snacks make the perfect party favors or miniature gifts for the guests of honor!

Personalized ZigZag 3-Flavor Popcorn TinCustom Popcorn Tin Labels

These popcorn tins don’t just come in super-stylish designs. You can make them even more unique for your big occasion by adding a custom photo label on the lid. There are loads of tin designs to choose from, including flowers, butterflies, patriotic stars, birthday party hats and more. Plus they come filled to the brim with mouthwatering gourmet popcorn flavors (like cheese, white cheddar, and almond pecan, just to name a few), pretzels, cookies, candy and more! Once you’ve chosen your tin and the snacks you want to fill it with, put the final personal touch on your present: a completely customized label. Whether you add a photo, a message or both, this is one keepsake gift that will last long after all those delicious snacks are gone!

How will you choose to personalize your popcorn gifts for your next big celebration?

Beat the Summer Heat With Popcorn Ice Cream Cones!

Popcorn Ice Cream ConesStepping out into the scorching summer sun with frozen ice cream could turn snack time into a hot, sticky disaster rather than a refreshing retreat. Looking for a popcorn ice cream recipe that won’t melt into a puddle? These popcorn ice cream cones are the perfectly sweet-and-salty way to cool off on the hottest summer day … without the mess!

Popcorn Ball Decorating KitWhat You’ll Need

12-ounce bag milk or white chocolate chips
The Popcorn Factory’s Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit
1 package ice cream cones
1 large bag candy
Champagne flutes (one for each ice cream cone)
2 large forks

How to Make Popcorn Ice Cream Cones

Milk Chocolate Chips Melted in a Bowl

  1. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them up for about 2 minutes until the chocolate has completely melted. Make sure to stop the microwave every 30 seconds to stir the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn.
    Ice Cream Cone Dipped in Chocolate and Filled With Candy
  2. Dip the rim of an ice cream cone into the melted chocolate, and then place the cone bottom-down into a champagne flute. Make sure the ice cream cone sits snugly and securely in the glass without wobbling around. Fill the cone with your favorite candy and a few chocolate chips, and allow the chocolate to dry.
    Popcorn Ball Dipped in Chocolate and Placed on top of Ice Cream Cone
  3. Using two forks, dip a popcorn ball from your Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit into the melted chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip away into the bowl. Then place the chocolate-covered ball directly on top of the dipped cone sitting in the champagne flute.
    Chocolate-Covered Popcorn Ball Ice Cream Cone Decorated With Sprinkles
  4. Before the chocolate hardens, quickly use the giant sprinkles and decorative candies in your Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit to garnish your ice cream cone and make it look even more lifelike! Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each cone.
    Ice Cream Cone Made With a Chocolate-Covered Popcorn Ball
  5. Place the cones, along with their champagne glasses, in the refrigerator to cool off for a half hour, or until the chocolate completely hardens. When they’re ready, take the cones out of the champagne glasses and enjoy a deliciously cool snack that’s sure to beat the heat!

What other kinds of refreshing summer snacks will you make with your popcorn this summer?

Colorful Graduation Gifts for Every Grad

Whether they’re getting a master’s degree or a kindergarten diploma, every grad deserves to be applauded for their hard work and great achievements. And what says “You did it!” better than a delicious gift of gourmet popcorn? After your favorite grad marches down the aisle, hand them one of these colorful graduation gifts as a wish for a bright and promising future!

Say It In Color Snacker's Choice Gift BoxSay It In Color Snacker’s Choice Gift Box

A special occasion like this one calls for a gift with a very special message. So don’t settle for plain snacks; give your grad something with meaning. This neon gift box isn’t just filled with yummy gourmet cheese, cinnamon, almond pecan, and cracked Pepper and sea salt popcorn; triple chocolate cookies; honey roasted peanuts; foil-wrapped chocolate stars; sour stars; Jelly Belly jellybeans; and two original-recipe popcorn balls. It also features a heartfelt graduation message inside that shows your alum just how proud of them you are.

Say It In Color Tins & TowersSay It In Color Tins & Towers

With so many accomplishments stacked up high, your grad now has a stepladder to reach for the sky! Show them how monumental their graduation day is with a whopping seven-tier rainbow tower filled with sandwich cookies, gourmet pretzels, chocolate chip cookies, foil-wrapped chocolate stars, sour fruit chews, jellybeans and more. Plus it comes with a 2-gallon popcorn tin with our famous three-flavor assortment: butter, cheese and caramel. The stars are the limit!

ZigZag 3-Flavor PopcornZigZag 3-Flavor Popcorn Tin

Just like your alum stands out from the crowd on commencement day, give them a gift that’ll really pop too! With a vibrant design on the outside and three mouthwatering flavors of popcorn on the inside, this popcorn tin will make grads of all ages beam with joy. To make your gift really unforgettable, personalize it with a thoughtful message, your favorite photo of you with your grad, or both. After the popcorn is gone, the tin becomes a keepsake they can enjoy well after they’re on the road to success.

Celebration CanistersCelebration Canisters

What graduation bash is complete without some colorful confetti? When your dearest grad finally has that diploma in hand, top off their big day by showering them with confetti popcorn! One canister of this sweet and salty kettle corn comes with four festive colors to celebrate one of life’s most shining moments. Go ahead: Toss that cap into the air and celebrate graduation in a delicious way. A lifetime of achievement starts today!

Which colorful gift will you give to your special grad on commencement day?

Crosstown Rivals: Fun Facts About the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox

Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox 3-Flavor MLB Popcorn TinsWe here at The Popcorn Factory are proud to be from Chicago. What’s not to love? It’s such a powerhouse city that not one, but two grand-slammin’ MLB teams call it home. The electrifying crosstown rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox has been sending shocks of high-voltage excitement through fans’ blood for ages. So grab a Cubs or Sox 3-Flavor Baseball Popcorn Tin and join in on the action: We’ve got all the fun facts you need to know about the Windy City’s most exhilarating teams!

Chicago Cubs Trivia

Chicago Cubs 3-Flavor Popcorn Tin

Today, the Cubs are one of the top five grossing teams in the MLB.

The Chicago Cubs are one of four major league baseball teams that do not have mascots.

The Cubs’ logo has been changed so many times over the years that no one really knows who designed it.

Before they were known as the Cubs, the team was also called the Chicago White Stockings, the Colts, the Black Stockings, the Orphans, the Rainmakers and the Cowboys. They didn’t get their modern-day name until 1902, when a newspaper reporter used the nickname “Cubs” to refer to the team in an article.

Every time the Cubs win a game at Wrigley Field, a flag printed with the letter “W” for “Win” is hoisted high above the scoreboard.

Only four Cubs uniform numbers have been retired: 14 (Ernie Banks), 10 (Ron Santos), 26 (Billy Williams) and 23 (Ryne Sandberg).

The Cubs were the first team ever to win two back-to-back World Series championships. They won their first series in 1907 and claimed victory again in 1908. However, they haven’t won a championship since then, though they did win National League titles in 2007 and 2008.

The Cubs didn’t start playing at Wrigley Field until 1916. They called five different parks home before they settled at Wrigley: 23rd Street Grounds, Lakefront Park, West Side Park, South Side Park, and West Side Grounds.

The first baseball game to ever be covered on the radio was aired on October 1, 1924, when the Cubs defeated the White Sox 10-7.

There are 42,157 seats in Wrigley Field, including standing room tickets.

On July 27, 1930, Wrigley Field hosted its biggest crowd ever: 51,556 fans. There were so many people that, in order to make everyone fit, visitors were allowed to stand along the outfield’s warning track.

Lights weren’t installed in Wrigley Field until after 1942, when the initial fixtures were donated to the war effort after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In Game 4 of the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, the Cubs didn’t allow William Sianis—owner of the Billy Goat Tavern—to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field. Sianis angrily declared that the Cubs would never win a World Series again. So far, what’s known as “The Curse of the Billy Goat” has come true: The Cubs lost the series that year and every year after that.

The first regular season Cubs game to be broadcast on television was aired on April 20, 1946.

Sammy Sosa hit 33 home runs in his first season with the Cubs. Before he played with the Cubs, he hit 28 runs with the White Sox in fewer than three seasons. Continue reading

Afternoon Sugar Rush: How to Make Double Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn

Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornThe day is winding down, and so is your energy. But that’s nothing a double shot of caramel can’t fix! For the ultimate sugar rush, whip up a wickedly delicious batch of this Double Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn recipe. It’s got twice the sweet flavor, and it’s twice as easy to make as any other dessert. So go ahead and give that afternoon slump a one-two punch!

Batch of Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornWhat You’ll Need

2 canisters The Popcorn Factory caramel popcorn
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups brown sugar
23 large marshmallows

Directions

  1. Pour the caramel popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a pot over low heat.
  3. Add the corn syrup, vanilla extract, brown sugar and marshmallows to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Stir the ingredients until the marshmallows completely melt and the mixture takes on a smooth, thick caramel texture.
  4. Carefully pour the caramel marshmallow mixture over the caramel popcorn and stir until the popcorn is evenly coated.
  5. Let the popcorn cool for a few minutes, and then serve in a bowl or store in an airtight container.

What other popcorn flavors do you turn to for a midday pick-me-up? Tell us about your favorite!

Popcorn Tins With a Spin: The Perfect Gift for Earth Day!

Tins With a Spin - Gardening TinLet’s all get into the recycling spirit: Earth Day is Monday, April 22! Show our planet and your friends some love by gifting the fun (and reusable!) Tins With a Spin from The Popcorn Factory. Aside from being filled with everyone’s favorite popcorn flavors, these popcorn tins come with a little surprise: They come in different themed patterns so you can reuse them once the snacks are done—no DIY painting or decorating required. Talk about upcycling made easy!

The idea behind this perfect Earth Day gift came straight from you: our lovely fans. When we asked, “What do you store in your empty Popcorn Factory tins?” your answers inspired us to create this one-of-a-kind collection. We came up with six adorable designs for you to choose from, depending on what you want to store in your tins after you’ve devoured your delicious treats:

  • Tins With a Spin - Fido Food TinBirdseed
  • Toys
  • Pet food
  • Gardening tools
  • Snacks
  • Christmas tree ornaments

So mouthwatering snacks and extra storage space makes this popcorn gift doubly delightful—plus it helps save the Earth’s resources!

Even More Different Uses for Popcorn Tins

Have other Popcorn Factory tins at home that you’d like to upcycle in honor of Earth Day? If you prefer to take the DIY route and decorate your tins yourself, here are some other items you can store in your crafty creation:

  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Sewing or knitting materials
  • Gift-wrapping supplies
  • Magazines
  • Hats, gloves and scarves
  • Hair accessories
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Spare change
  • Cookie cutters and other baking supplies
  • Umbrellas
  • Plants or flowers
  • Wood logs for the fireplace
  • Small towels
  • Ice and cold drinks
  • Tea packets or single-serve coffee cups
  • Flour or sugar
  • Bath toiletries

What will you be storing in your Tin With a Spin to celebrate Earth Day this year?