Dani Stone

By Dani Stone

It’s officially fall, so naturally my taste buds are tingling for Honeycrisp apples with big honkin’ mounds of caramel, cinnamon-roasted almonds, anything with pumpkin in the recipe, and assorted candy corn flavors from our local Nifty Nuthouse.

nifty nuthouse, wichita kansas

It’s also the time of year when the big holiday trifecta — Hallo-Thanks-Mas — starts barreling toward me.  With school parties, office potlucks, and family gatherings headed my way, I should be panicked because of my less-than-stellar baking skills. But I’m not, because I have crack. It’s portable, easy to make once you get the formula just right, and it’s so delicious, I always have people begging for more. Yes, sir, people just love my bags of crack.

And of course by crack, I mean Puff Corn Candy.

puff corn candy

I was first introduced to this weird-textured but tasty concoction by my neighbor who loves to make holiday treats. One Halloween she delivered four popcorn balls, one for each person in our family. From the first bite I was hooked. When Doug returned from taking our son trick or treating, I had eaten every last one. Don’t judge. Also, at the time, my daughter was just over a month old and you can’t give popcorn to infants so really, I was being a responsible parent.

The next year she got us all hooked on Puff Corn Candy and now it’s my official go-to treat for all those gatherings at school, church, and Cubicle City.

Before I share the recipe I have two bits of caution for you. I know you’re excited for the crack, but don’t skip ahead, these are important.

  • Make sure you always use the Chester’s brand of puffs. This is not the time to skimp or you’ll wind up with corn syrup-flavored packing peanuts.
  • Do NOT let the wax paper harden in the pan or on the cookie sheet because it will stick like cement and that will cause you to shout, “EARMUFFS” to the children so you can cuss at high decibels while you scrape and peel the wax paper off.

PUFF CORN CANDY

Ingredients:

1 bag Chester’s Puffed Corn (butter flavor)

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white Karo Syrup

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Spread Puffed Corn in large baking pan or deep cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

In sauce pan, bring butter, sugar and corn syrup to boil.  Boil 2 minutes.  Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Pour mixture evenly over Puffed Corn. Bake one hour, stirring mixture every 15 minutes.

Let cool, then break up into pieces.

About Dani Stone:

Dani is an author from the great flat state of Kansas. She’s married to her favorite oily beau hunk, and together they’re raising two precocious children who have a wicked sense of humor and smart mouths, courtesy of their mother. She’s a vanilla latte fanatic, carb queen, bookaholic, nervous thumb-picker, Tina Fey fan, nonprofit founder and seafood loather. You can follow her adventures here: www.danistone.net. Her novelette NEXT LEFT is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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JoAnn Jordan, Blogger of the Month for September 2014By JoAnn Jordan, Blogger of the Month for September

Finding points to connect with other generations is something each of us needs to be doing. It can be as simple a sharing a story or sitting around a dinner table. The age of the initiator isn’t important. Rather, it is the connecting and engaging that counts.

intergenerational

Back in the old days, aging parents lived with or near their children. The generations had a network of mutual support. While there are exceptions, over the years our society has moved away from this.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead stated, “A society that cuts off older people from meaningful contact with children … is greatly endangered. In the presence of grandparents and grandchildren, past and future merge into the present.”

My experiences with my grandparents and my great-grandparents are a testimony to this. The good news is my work experiences demonstrate the blood relationship is not required for this to happen.

In the mid-1990s I was activity director for a nursing home that was located across the street from an elementary school. Together with facility staff and classroom teachers, I developed an intergenerational program for third through fifth grades. It was an interactive program providing lots of personal attention for residents and students.

One day a teacher pointed out a student, fully engaging a resident in conversation. She said the young man struggled in the classroom but shined brightly in this program. It had become a new way for her to see him and for her to assist him in applying skills to the classroom.

Intergenerational programs continue to be important in my work. In Hays I offer Music Sparks Sharing, which links preschoolers with residents of an assisted living facility. Others are encouraged to create similar offerings through the ideas shared on my blog.

It is more than worth your time to connect yourself and those around you with other generations. A teen can help a grandparent or grandfriend locate a favorite old song on YouTube. An older adult can read a story to a preschooler. Ages can get together to carve pumpkins, assemble food baskets, or to sing songs.

As beautifully stated by Albert Einstein, we can “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Let’s work together to connect the generations.

About JoAnn:
As a board certified music therapist, JoAnn provides music therapy and enrichment services for older adults and preschoolers in and around Hays, Kansas. She is known for the vibrant connections she delivers through intergenerational programs. You can access her engaging caregiver resources on her blog, Music Sparks.

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Sunday Link-Up {September 21, 2014}

September 21, 2014

Welcome to the Sunday Link-Up! This is the place for our members to post their best work of the week. Remember to visit & comment on your KSWB sisters’ blogs and leave a comment to let them know you found them on KSWB! To add your post, use the “Click here to enter” link below. […]

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Share the Music of Your Life {Back in My Day}

September 15, 2014
Share the Music of Your Life

By JoAnn Jordan, Blogger of the Month for September In the “About Me” post, you learned I am a music therapist working in senior living communities. When someone moves into a senior living community (a.k.a. skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers) they receive an assortment of assessments. The activity assessment often includes a couple questions […]

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Sunday Link-Up {September 14, 2014}

September 14, 2014

Welcome to the Sunday Link-Up! This is the place for our members to post their best work of the week. Remember to visit & comment on your KSWB sisters’ blogs and leave a comment to let them know you found them on KSWB! To add your post, use the “Click here to enter” link below. […]

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Chopped Salad Your Way {Foodie Friday}

September 12, 2014
Chopped Salad

By Erin O’Donnell, Editor, Kansas Women Bloggers Getting my family to eat salad is a chore. They look at a bowl of leafy greens as if it were yard waste. My husband, who endures salad more than he enjoys it, got braces this year. They have altered his bite, making it nearly impossible for him to […]

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Opening the Album {Back in My Day}

September 8, 2014
JoAnn Jordan and dog Misty

By JoAnn Jordan, Blogger of the Month for September “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein As I open photo albums and think back to my childhood in the 1960’s and 70’s, I am filled with memories — some good, some so-so, and some bad. I’ve made a choice in life to […]

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Sunday Link-Up {September 7, 2014}

September 7, 2014

Welcome to the Sunday Link-Up! This is the place for our members to post their best work of the week. Remember to visit & comment on your KSWB sisters’ blogs and leave a comment to let them know you found them on KSWB! To add your post, use the “Click here to enter” link below. […]

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Blogger of the Month for September: JoAnn Jordan

September 1, 2014
Thumbnail image for Blogger of the Month for September: JoAnn Jordan

Hopefully you have had the opportunity to hear a “back in my day” story from a grandparent or a parent. While some likely made you roll your eyes (I walked 3 miles uphill to school) others likely made you smile (Did I ever tell you about how I used to sneak out of the house […]

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Introducing our Whole Foods ambassadors! {Foodie Friday}

August 29, 2014
KSWB Members at Whole Foods

By Erin O’Donnell, Editor, Kansas Women Bloggers When we launched Kansas Women Bloggers more than a year ago with the tagline “Gather, Grow, Connect,” we had big dreams for realizing the “connect” part. We want to connect bloggers with each other. And we want to connect our members with opportunities to help them do the […]

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