Moving on In: Poppin’ Dorm Warming Gifts

They’ve moved in, met their roommates, and hung up their posters, now what’s next? It’s time to enjoy their first days living on their own and celebrating their independence! Make their first days even sweeter by surprising your scholar with a wow-worthy dorm-warming gift for them to snack on then reuse!

Here are some of our favorite crunchy, student-approved back to school gifts they’re sure to love!

dorm-warming-gifts-college-team-tinCollege Team Tins

Help your scholar cheer on their school’s team with one of our College Team Tins, each filled with 3 gallons of our famous popcorn. Once the last kernel has been devoured, they can reuse the tins to organize their supplies or simply line with a plastic bag and use as snack storage for when they are watching the games!

dorm-warming-gifts-single-serve-popcorn-bagsSingle Serve Snacks

How do we make our irresistibly crunchy and savory popcorn even better? Pack it into single-serve, on-the-go snack bags! Surprise your special college student with an assortment of individual bags filled with their favorite popcorn treat. Choose from a classic assortment featuring our most POPular flavors (cheese, white cheddar, and caramel) or from our flavor variety sampler featuring over a dozen different flavors for more flavor fun.

dorm-warming-gifts-personalized-tinPersonalized Tins

Take your favorite popcorn tin gift to the next level with personalization! Add a photo of your scholar’s family, friends, or even favorite pet so they have a piece of home nearby no matter how many miles away they might be. Choose from a classic popcorn combo or snack assortment for the perfect personalized gift for your special scholar.

dorm-warming-gifts-snack-assortmentSnack Assortment

Popcorn is a cool classic, but if you’re looking to mix things up with their snack selection, send a savory, fun-filled gift with one of our must-try Snack Assortments! From candies to cookies to chocolate covered pretzels, there is a snack selection to satisfy all.

Play With Your Food: Pool of Popcorn Scavenger Hunt for Kids

pool-of-popcorn-scavenger-hunt-kids-7Looking for a unique, delicious, and educational activity for the kids this summer? Turn a kiddie pool or large basin into a popcorn-filled scavenger hunt for them to dive and dig in to!

For this kid-friendly activity, we used just one tub of our 20 gallon popcorn and yielded a full day of family fun and snacking. We created special scavenger hunt sheets and printed enough for each child to have their own; the sheets were printed in black and white giving the little ones the opportunity to get artistic and color them in!

To make this an educational experience, pick a theme for your scavenger items and pair it with a mini lesson. For example, if you are asking children to find items in certain colors, pair it with a quick lesson on color combinations (i.e. blue + yellow = green).

pool-of-popcorn-scavenger-hunt-printout

Scavenger Hunt Theme Ideas:
Find the letters or numbers (using foam shapes)
Find the animal (plastic animal toys)
Find the color

Alternatively, if planning a party with a theme, pick scavenger hunt props that fit the bill such as characters from the movie or paraphernalia relating to the topic.

Supplies for Pool of Popcorn Scavenger Hunt

20 gallons of Popcorn
Kiddie pool or large basin
Plastic or foil lining
Scavenger hunt items
Scavenger hunt sheet (download the one we used here)

Directions for Pool of Popcorn Scavenger Hunt

First, line your pool or basin with a plastic or foil liner. This is to ensure easy cleanup after the activity. Then, dump half of your popcorn into the pool or basin.

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Throw your scavenger hunt items into the popcorn. Then, cover with the rest of the popcorn.

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Now your popcorn pool is ready for some snacking-filled scavenger fun!

Here are some photos of this creative activity for kids in action:

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The kids first gather around to examine the surroundings.

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Now, it’s time to start searching for the treasures listed in the scavenger key!

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Our famous scoop boxes make it easy to sift through all the popcorn goodness!

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A participant records his progress as he makes his way through the hunt.

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After the scavenger hunt is over, it’s time to celebrate…

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…with more crunchy, buttery, irresistible popcorn!

How to Have the Ultimate Summer Movie Night

Schools out and summer is in! Celebrate by inviting friends, neighbors, and family members to enjoy a family-friendly summer movie night filled with food, fun, and irreplaceable memories.

Alternatively, you can make your summer movie night exclusively for the members of your household – just don’t forget to include snacks for your favorite pup!

summer-movie-night-invitations

Summer Movie Night Invitations
Start with the invitations. Provide not only the start time of the event, but also the time you will start screening the movie. That way, if guests are running late, they will know when to be extra quiet and cautious when entering.

The Main Attraction: Picking the Right Movie
As with any event with a group, you want to make the choice that pleases the majority. If there is a special occasion surrounding your event (i.e., 4th of July, FIFA World Cup), choose a movie that can be related to that special theme! If not, it is a good idea to have one first choice movie, and then 3-4 backups just in case.

You may also choose to include a selection of 3-4 movies on your invitation and have guests vote for their favorite – just be sure to state this CLEARLY on the invitation! Here are some family-friendly movies for some inspiration for your summer movie night.

Poppin’ Treats for Movie Night
 movie night snacksThere’s a reason the traditional movie night treat is popcorn – from its irresistible crunch to savory scent to easy-to-eat bites, the combination is just popped perfection!

Start with an assortment of popcorn fun from our popcorn bowl and snacks set (perfect for a family affair) or for a larger group, opt for our movie night popcorn sampler, filled with 18 individually packaged treats in a variety of flavors.

For dessert, end on a sweet note with our caramel popcorn cupcakes – complete with FREE movie night printable cupcake wrappers for a treat that’s festive, fun, and irresistibly delicious.

Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

What are your suggestions for the perfect summer movie night? Share with us in the comments!

Patriotic Popcorn Snacks: Printable American Flag Cones

patriotic-printables-american-flag-popcorn-cone-2Did you know that each and every popcorn kernel sold by The Popcorn Factory is grown and produced right here in the Unites States of America? Celebrate the land of the free’s birthday with the ULTIMATE patriotic snack – red, white and blue popcorn!

We’ve created free paper cone snack holders inspired by the American Flag to pair with your festive 4th of July snacks for the ultimate Independence Day celebration!

Supplies for Patriotic Popcorn Cones

Paper cone printables (2 copies of stripe file, 1 copy of star file)
Cardstock or similar weight paper
Glue or tape
Scissors
Red, white, and blue popcorn

Directions for Patriotic Popcorn Cones

Print out the patriotic paper cone printables onto medium weight paper. You will need 2 copies of the stripe file for every 1 copy of the star file. Once printed, cut out the design.

patriotic-printables-american-flag-popcorn-cone-fold

Next, apply glue or tape to the grey area of the striped printable. Roll the cone onto itself so the red end of the cone overlaps the grey area. Hold down for 3-5 seconds to secure the glue. Set the cone aside.

Now, take the starry blue strip and fold along the black solid line. Then, use scissors to cut along the dotted grey lines; there are cut lines on both sides of the strip.

patriotic-printables-american-flag-popcorn-cone-glue

Once your strip is cut and folded, apply glue or tape to the back of the tabs you have created (the ones that are blue sans stars on the front). Slowly begin attaching those tabs to the inside of the cone, holding down for a few seconds after each tab to secure. Do this until the entire blue strip is attached to the cone.

Use your finger to slightly raise the edge of each tab for a fun effect. Now, your patriotic paper cones are ready to party!

patriotic-printables-american-flag-popcorn-cone-1

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

Food for Pops: Father’s Day Popcorn Brunch Menu

Father's Day Popcorn Brunch MenuStart prepping now because Father’s Day 2014 is Sunday, June 15! Celebrate Pops with a popcorn-packed meal that’ll wow his taste buds with flavor and creativity! We’ve put together a delicious 3-course Father’s Day brunch menu – from appetizer to dessert – using all 3 flavors (butter, cheese, and caramel corn) found in our most POPular Father’s Day Popcorn tin. We start with a protein-packed popcorn egg bake, follow with a crunchy and meaty double cheddar popcorn bacon, and finish with a delicious salty & sweet trail mix to keep Dad’s energy pumping for the rest of the day!

The best part? Once all of the snacking is done, dear ol’ Dad can reuse the tin to store things such as tools or keepsakes, making it a Father’s Day Gift he’ll always remember!

First Course: Butter Popcorn Egg Bake

Ingredients
Butter Popcorn
Egg (or egg whites)
A pinch of salt + pepper
Cookie Cutter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 In a bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Set aside. (If you are using egg whites, omit this part).

popcorn-egg-bake-recipe_butter-popcorn

In a greased pan, lay out an even spread of butter popcorn. Pour the whisked egg (or egg whites) over the popcorn in a nice, even spread.

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Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Once slightly cooled, use a cookie cutter to cut out delicious popcorn egg bake shapes.

popcorn-egg-bake-recipe

Serve with tomatoes for a tasty, protein-packed starter!

 

Second Course: Double Cheddar Popcorn Crusted Bacon Strips

Ingredients
Bacon
Cheddar popcorn
Cheddar cheese

Directions
To bake the bacon in the oven, line a baking sheet with tin foil. Then, turn the oven on for 400 degrees and pop the bacon in right away. Cook for 15-18 minutes and remove from oven.

double-cheddar-crusted-bacon_bake

Then, top each bacon slice with a layer of cheddar popcorn. Follow with a layer of cheddar cheese and place in the oven for a few minutes until melted.

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Optional: top with a light coating of seasoning to taste.double-cheddar-crusted-bacon-1

 

Third Course: Salty & Sweet Caramel Popcorn Trail Mix

Ingredients
Caramel corn
Nuts (we used cashews)
Milk chocolate candy pieces
Peanut butter candies

Directions

sweet-salty-caramel-corn-trail-mix

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.

sweet-salty-caramel-corn-trail-mix_face

Then, separate into individual serving sized baggies. We used a twist tie to make a “tie” for Dad and added a smiley face ping pong ball into the extra space to make this dessert festive and fun!

Scholar-Inspired Snacks: DIY Graduation Cap Popcorn Balls

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ballCelebrate your special scholar with a party celebrating their important achievement! We gave our famous popcorn balls a scholar-worthy graduation dessert, worthy of an A. We put this adorable treat on a stick for a fun presentation, but you can opt to omit this piece and lay out on a festive plate or in cupcake wrappers.

Personalize this graduation dessert idea even further by using the graduate’s school colors for the licorice tassels!

Supplies for DIY Graduation Cap Popcorn Balls

The Popcorn Factory popcorn balls
graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball_suppliesLicorice – make sure it’s the kind you can easily pull apart.
Candy eyeballs
Chocolate squares (the Harry London chocolate squares were the perfect size)
Small coated candies
Peanut butter cups
Frosting (to be used as adhesive)
Skewers (optional)

Directions for DIY Graduation Cap Popcorn Balls

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball_prepare-candy

First, prepare your candies. This may include unwrapping the peanut butter cups and pulling up the licorice strings.

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball_frosting

Once your candies are ready, it’s time to start decorating! Using the frosting as an edible adhesive, add a black licorice smile and edible eyeballs to make the face.

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball_candy-grad-cap

Now that your graduation dessert has it’s million dollar smile on, it’s time to dress it up with an edible graduation cap! To make the cap, add a layer of frosting to the top of the popcorn ball head, then place the peanut butter cup, larger side down. Then, add another layer of frosting to the top of the peanut butter cup, and place a chocolate square on top. Then, add another dash of frosting and add the licorice “tassles,” and top with a small coated candy.

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball_stick

If you want to serve on a stick, grab a skewer and push the pointed side of the skewer into the bottom of the popcorn ball until secure. Add some filler to a vase and they’re ready to present and serve!

graduation-party-desserts_grad-cap-popcorn-ball-closeup

Personalized Mother’s Day Gifts

This year, take your Mother’s Day gifts above and beyond by infusing them with memories and sweet nostalgia! Adding a personal touch instantly takes your gift to the next level, making Mom feel that much more loved and appreciated.

Even if all that’s on Mom’s wishlist is her favorite flavor popcorn from The Popcorn Factory, you can still make it special and unique by personalizing it with a photograph or memory. Here are some of our favorite personalized Mother’s Day gift ideas that Mom can then reuse and show off for years to come.

Personalized Popcorn Tins:

Wow Mom with a festive tin overflowing with her favorite crunchy snack. Choose a tin design Mom will love and personalize it with a funny or sweet family photo. You can also send Mother’s Day gifts to any ”Moms” who have helped you this year or in the past – even if they’re not your own! A generic “Thank You” tin with a photo of you and that special someone will really make her feel special. Alternatively, choose the perfect tin for Mom’s unique personality from our Tins with a Spin collection – creatively designed with reusing in mind!

TPF Spring Tin with Flowers

TPF Spring Tin with TulipsTPF Fun TinTPF Thanks Popcorn Tin

 

 

 

 

From left to right:
Spring Floral Popcorn Tins
Tulips Popcorn Tins
Fun with Snacks Popcorn Tins
“Thanks So Much” Popcorn Tins

Personalized Snack Assortments:

Of course Mom lives popcorn, but if she can’t seem to settle on just one snack favorite, surprise her with a sweet assortment of candies and treats! Choose from wow-worthy snack towers, festive boxed goodies, or even an adorable wooden basket with an erasable chalkboard panel!

TPF Chalkboard Basket with Popcorn Gifts

TPF Snack Sampler with Smiley FacesTPF Spring Tower Snack AssortmentTPF 7 Way Snack AssortmentFrom left to right:
Spring Chalkboard Basket
Smiley Face Jumbo Sample
Spring Floral Tower
7-Way Snack Assortment

Make Pastel Popcorn with this Edible Paint Recipe for Kids

If you’re looking for some creative activities for kids that require little to no prep work and supervision, use our edible paint recipes to “paint” all kinds of delicious things – from cookies to fruits.

Edible Paint Recipe

The kids will love channeling their inner artist while learning how to safely use a brush. You may even choose to have them mix the colors themselves! They can see in action how different color combinations work and also just how the amount of pigment affects the final project.

Be sure to set up a craft area for the kids as this activity can certainly get messy. Line your tables with old newspapers and make sure kids are wearing clothing they can comfortably get messy in.

Supplies for Pastel Popcorn Activity for Kids

How to Make Edible PaintPlain Yogurt
Food Coloring
Finger bowls
Brush
Popcorn

Directions for Edible Paint Recipe

Scoop a few spoons of yogurt into a finger bowl or similar dish. Add a few drops of food coloring and mix.

How to Make Edible Paint

Add additional food coloring as necessary to get the desired color you want.

Make Pastel Popcorn

Now that your edible paint is made, clear an area for your child to get to the fun part. Be sure to provide a water cup so they can rinse off the brush when switching colors.

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