You may be wondering about the first part of that recipe title, or you may very well have just noticed “Maple Bacon Popcorn” and chose to scroll all the way down through my ramblings to the recipe.
No judgment – maple bacon popcorn is indeed something to be excited about! But today I want to introduce yet another mini-series of posts: Confessions of a Broke Food Blogger.
Now I can only imagine the phone calls and/or text messages I am going to receive from my lovely parents, grandparents, or other family members who read the blog, asking if I am “okay with money” and the like.
I am fine, my wonderful family! Thank you, but when I say “broke” I am referring to the rather normal state of affairs my bank account is in, and what I am sure is a normal state of affairs for many of my peers who have recently graduated college.
Even if you haven’t recently graduated: grown-up budgeting is difficult. When you are young, an “allowance” of five dollars seems like a treasure trove of riches. My first job at a pizzeria when I was fifteen left me feeling like I could “make it rain” whenever I so chose. In truth, I should have saved more of that cash, but that is besides the point.
Now that I’m an adult and have to deal with the multitude of bills that face every other adult, I began to think about food blogging. Yes, it is my second job, but I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of income.
Instead, I was attempting to comb through recipes I’d pinned on Pinterest to compile a weekly meal plan. In doing so, I realized how expensive food blog recipes can be when trying to feed a hungry family.
That is not an accusation or condemnation of these recipes. They are drool-worthy, comforting, and sometimes even healthy.
But drool-worthy, comforting, and/or healthy does not always come cheap.
So I thought to myself – ‘what if I started making a few recipes here or there that fit within my tiny post-college-student-who-has-too-many-bills-to-pay budget?’
‘What if I tried to make drool-worthy food that didn’t burn a hole in my pocket?’
So, that’s where this maple bacon popcorn came from; and hopefully that’s where plenty more comforting, cheap eats will come from in the future!
Homemade popcorn is surprisingly simple, and infinitely cheaper than those pre-packaged envelopes you buy at the store. A giant 2 lb bag of kernels cost me just about $1 from ShopRite, and a mere 1/3 cup of kernels gets you over 4 cups of popped corn.
You might think of bacon as a more expensive ingredient, but just a few strips provide all the smoky, salty flavor you need in this recipe. The bacon fat gets used to pop the corn kernels; the chopped bacon bits get tossed right into the mix along with a few tablespoons of a melted butter/maple syrup mixture.
Oh, and in terms of maple syrup? Don’t judge the nice lady-shaped bottle of syrup.
She and I are old pals.
I know the absolute out-of-body experience that is true Grade A or Grade B Maple Syrup, but that stuff is hard to come by with my budget. I buy store-brand syrup all the time, and a few tablespoons provide all the maple goodness you’ll need in this recipe.
If you happen to have the good stuff on hand, by all means, go for it. But I tested this recipe with the one I had in my cupboard.
The whole recipe came to about $3, and left me with oodles of this savory-sweet, gourmet-style popcorn. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did!
I’ll be back on Wednesday with a recipe for Banana Caramel Scones; and soon I’ll be back with more #brokefoodbloggerrecipes so I hope you’ll stick around for more great eats!