Saturday, October 29, 2016

Great balls of caramel corn

Thanks to Christine for alerting me to this recipe after learning of my purchase of 2 kilos of popping corn. People you better be liking this shiz.

Recipe modified from here:

Ingredients MAKES ABOUT 10  makes about 44

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 cups popped popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)
⅔ cup coarsely chopped smoked almonds
1 cup sugar
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup mini marshmallows
4 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary thyme
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ teaspoon baking soda


Lightly coat  Get a large nonreactive plastic bowl with nonstick spray. Add popcorn and almonds and toss to combine.

Combine sugar, butter, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to completely dissolve sugar. Once sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear, cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to caramelize in spots, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula to ensure even caramelization, until caramel is light amber, about 4 minutes. Check instagram and forget it is cooking for about 5 minutes and rush back just to save it before burning.

Using wooden spoon heatproof spatula, stir in marshmallows, rosemary, salt, and fresh thyme cayenne, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramel is smooth, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble). Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and toss with 2 wooden spoons (1 actually...I can't be bothered using strikethrough on that part) heatproof spatulas (the caramel will become very stretchy, with lots of thin webs of sticky stuff). Spray hands with nonstick spray Be brave and use hands to really really quickly and form popcorn mixture into 2½" little balls like squash ball size  (you should have about 14 balls). This will make lots. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.

Do Ahead: Popcorn balls can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.

Dog of China - #192 (Xi'An edition)

Dogs of China - # 191 (Xi'An edition)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday night sounds

There hasn't been much on this blog of late has there? Except for the odd dog photo. Things have been spiralling out of control and back again after a frustrating interesting few weeks.

A quick work trip to Shanghai meant some lovely hang time with familiar faces, and now this Friday night I eat cheese amongst a bench of chaos (think multiple lists, work documents, gin and an online grocery delivery), listening to a great playlist with a plan involving bedtime before 9pm. 

And after that grocery delivery person had left I said our loud how much I love it here. In China. I said "I love China". I'm not sure why I said it right then, but it was a timely reminder - sometimes life gets in the way and  you forget to realise what you like and also what YOU ARE like.  Sorry about the shouting.

And now, Sebadoh has come on the playlist, License to Confuse. Lou Barlow is singing to the beat of the changing neon lights across the way, I kid you not. And life is good.

Dogs of China - #190 (Xi'An) edition

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dogs of China - #186 (Xi'An) edition

APF Cafe

Another great cafe opens in the G to the Z. This town could only get better if it were to open a good record shop (or just any old record shop), a deli, perhaps silo and a winery. Oh and a petting zoo.

Anyways, APF is at 42 Huakang Street, Tianhe.

Dogs of China - #185 (Xi'An edition)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sean Scully

Who is Sean Scully? I had no idea until I went to this exhibition - turns out he's great. He's been painting since 1967 and relocated to the US from the UK, which is where he spends his time now. These were rooms filled with great big abstract pieces, all colour and line. 

Really beautiful and stunning in size and composition. I was lucky to catch this in Guangzhou.