Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sara Jane: Fireworks and a treat

Hello hello hello!

I love the Fourth of July.  Not only do we get to celebrate this spectacular country of ours but we get to blow things up.  Who doesn't enjoy doing that???

For my craft  you will need:

Wire cutters, wire (I used 22 GA), twine, paint (red, white and blue), a fancy star, sandpaper and wood.  The wood can be any size you like.  I used an old 2 x 4 piece of wood I found at my in-laws house and cut it into 3 pieces - a 10 inch, an 8 inch and a 9 1/2 inch piece.  (AND just in case you're wondering....I CUT the wood.  This is huge for me because I usually just have my hubby do all the work when it comes to power tools.  I'm now looking forward to my next project.)

First, paint your wood.  I like a more distressed looking piece of wood so I only did one coat.  If you want a more solid color, do two or more coats until it looks how you want.  Again, since I like the distressed look, when the paint was dried, I took a piece of fine sandpaper and lightly sanded the corners.

Next, I cut three pieces of wire.  I first tried the silver wire but you could hardly see it so then I tried the gold wire and it was exactly what I wanted.  Each piece of wire is several inches long.  I cut it long enough to be able to manipulate it and still have length.

Next, I drilled 1 hole in the center of the top of each block of wood.  Each hole is approximately 1 inch deep.  Use your smallest drill bit when doing this.  When your hole is done, stick the wire in.  If you are having a hard time getting it to stand up, maybe try a small dab of hot glue.

Finally, wrap your twine around the blocks of wood and decorative star.  Does it look something like this....

 Finally, everyone (except my Penelope) loves to watch fireworks, right?  Why not have a tasty snack while you are enjoying your Fourth festivities.

Simple Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is a favorite for movie night at my house.  The best part about it is that there is always left over caramel to be used to dip apples in, drizzle over a yummy spice cake, or to just eat with a spoon, like I do.  I know a lot of people like the kind of caramel corn that is baked in the oven.  If you are one of those people, this is probably not the recipe for you.  This caramel popcorn is a delicious mess.  My kids usually end up having sticky hands, faces and hair when they are done with this treat.  We like a good mess around here.



1/2 cup butter
2 cups packed  brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 T water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 T vanilla extract
3 bags of microwave popcorn.


Pop popcorn.  I tend to use microwave popcorn because it is so convenient.  Use light butter flavor.  The full butter flavor just is too much with this recipe.  If you want to use air-popped, it tastes just as yummy :)

Combined all ingredients, except vanilla, in a large sauce pan over medium high heat.  Stir until butter melts.  Watch the mixture carefully as it can burn quickly.

When the mixture comes to a soft boil, continuously stir for 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Take the pan off the heat and add vanilla.  Stir until combined.

I have found that the easiest way to combined popcorn and caramel is to do it in a LARGE pan.  I like to use my roasting oven pan.  That being said, pour 2 cups of the caramel over the popcorn and mix with a large spoon (I use a spatula...easier to clean).

Save remaining caramel in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  It saves pretty well for a few weeks.


Most of the recipes I make are kid friendly in that the kids can help make them.  THIS IS NOT A KID FRIENDLY RECIPE!  Please make sure you know where your little ones are when you are making this recipe (and whenever you are using the stove/oven).  The caramel is so hot and can do some major damage in very little time.

Happy Fourth of July!

Sara Jane


  1. What a cute craft! I think I might even be able to handle that. Brent has a ton of left over wood from projects. Is that the same recipe for caramel corn that mom would use when we were growing up? I have a bunch of memories of sitting around a huge bowl with a wet washcloth near by to keep our hands clean. :) Thanks for sharing!!

    1. No. I like mom's recipe but this one is much easier. I don't have a candy thermometer and always forget to buy one...this one doesn't need it so problem solved :)

  2. I love your Fourth of July craft and that popcorn!! Very nice!