Don’t let the next food holiday pop up on you.

Thursday marks National Popcorn Day, and there are more ways to enjoy this delicious treat than with the same old buttered bucket.

Bacon popcorn

Ingredients

1/2 cup bacon grease

3/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

1/2 teaspoon season salt

3 tablespoons bacon bits

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Measure the bacon grease into a 6-quart pot and place on the stove over high heat.

Insert one or two popcorn kernels in the grease to test. When they pop, add the rest of the kernels and cover the pot with a lid.

As the kernels starts popping, shake the pot back and forth constantly.

When the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand as the kernels stop popping.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl or paper bag. Sprinkle the season salt on it and stir. Add more, if desired.

Toss the popcorn with bacon bits and shredded cheddar and serve.

Cinnamon popcorn

Ingredients

1 cup butter

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups cinnamon red hot candies

8 cups popped popcorn

Directions

Link baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the butter, corn syrup and cinnamon candies in a bowl over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for five minutes.

Pour the syrup over the popcorn in a large, heatproof bowl and stir to cover as evenly as possible.

Spread the popcorn on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the popcorn at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes until the coating is set.

Let it cool and serve.

Kool-Aid popcorn

Ingredients

6 quarts popped popcorn

2 cups white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

2/3 cup butter

2 envelopes Kool-Aid, any flavor

1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Grease a large baking sheet. Place the popcorn in a large bowl.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and butter in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil for about three minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Combine the drink mix and baking soda in a large bowl. Pour the sugar mixture into the drink mixturing, stirring carefully. The sugar mixture will bubble.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn and then toss to evenly coat. Transfer the popcorn to the baking sheet.

Bake the popcorn at 225 degrees — stirring every 10 minutes — for about 30 minutes until the coating hardens.

Let the popcorn cool then break into pieces and serve.

Sweet Sriracha popcorn

Ingredients

1 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds

12 cups popped popcorn, fresh

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon butter

1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Spread the pecan halves and pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them at 350 degrees for six to eight minutes or until fragrant. Let them cool slightly.

Melt the brown sugar and cinnamon butter with the Sriracha sauce.

Make the popcorn and while it’s still warm, combine it with the pecan halves, pumpkin seeds and cranberries in a large bowl. Drizzle the popcorn with the butter mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle it with the salt and toss again.

Serve immediately.

Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 765-640-4805.

​Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.

Kelly is the features reporter for The Herald Bulletin. She writes about art, churches, music, theatre and interesting people throughout Madison County.

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