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Aug 23, 2018

Essential Life Skill: How to Make Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

perfect stovetop popcorn

I've got favorite foods, in every category imaginable. In my head, I write little Pablo Neruda-style odes to each one of my cravings.

And in the snack world, popcorn reigns supreme. As long as it's still crunchy, I'll eat just about every form of burst corn kernel—air popped, microwaved, butter/cheese/caramel split into a holiday tin, warmed under a heat lamp at the movie theater concession stand and drenched in butter "topping." (OK, so I actually skip the butter.)

But the Great Emperor of the Popcorn Realm is now, and will always be, freshly oil-popped stovetop popcorn. As early 90's kid, I grew up on the microwaveable stuff, but I got the entrance to the backstage party from my cooking wizard mother-in-law, and I've never looked back. Nothing can cook the starch in popcorn kernels quite like hot oil, and it's so convenient to be able to salt it perfectly when the thin sheen of oil is still glisten atop each little puff.

Read on for the time-honored technique of making the best stovetop popcorn you've ever had!

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Jul 12, 2018

How to: Make the Perfect Homemade Jerky...No Dehydrator Required

A food dehydrator is on my list of kitchen appliances I should probably never buy myself. Like its brother, the deep fat fryer, I know I'd just get carried away, dehydratin' and frying stuff left and right.

How to make the perfect homemade salmon jerky

But, that doesn't mean I don't wanna create my own tasty and natural dried foods every once in a while...particularly: jerky.  Of all kinds. So, I figured out a way to make some without any specialized tools.

Making jerky at home can seem quite complicated, and it can be if you don't follow the right steps. But, here's the ManMade guide to making your own salmon jerky, complete with everything you need to know. Grab some meat and

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May 20, 2016

Please Stop Making Margaritas Wrong - Here's How to Do It Right, Just in Time for Summer

How to make a really good margarita.

Have you hit 90 degrees yet where you live? We have (yep - 92 on May 6 in Minneapolis, crazy), and I loved it. After months of snow and cold and slush and sweaters, I absolutely revel in the warmth. Maybe later in the summer I'll be crouched down inside next to the air conditioner, but not now. Right now, when it's warm out, I want to soak my bones in it. 

Summer warmth

The warm weather also means a change in the beverage seasons. Out with the heavy, comforting drinks of winter, and in with the light, bright, refreshing stuff. As part of our series of posts celebrating tequila (one, two), we've teamed up with Olmeca Altos to show you how to perfect the perfect drink for summer: the margarita.

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Apr 15, 2016

Make It: The Perfect Tequila Cocktail to Help Celebrate Spring

Orange tequila cocktail and chili-lime popcorn

Regular ManMade readers know we love a good cocktail. Whether it's a simple highball, a classic gin and tonic, a bright and fresh French 75, or a smokey Swedish Flame, we think knowing how to make and enjoy a high-quality drink at home is part and parcel of the ManMade ethos. So when Olmeca Altos Tequila reached out to us to celebrate this awesome time of year — late spring and early summer — we were pretty excited about the chance to team up and create some tasty cocktail and food recipes.

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Jan 19, 2016

6 Healthy, Protein-Filled Snacks that Will Actually Make You Feel Full

Most of us start off January with healthy eating goals. Not diets, of course. Just smarter choices that counteract holiday excesses and get us back to feeling normal. And they work ... for about the first two weeks of the month. 

created at: 01/13/2016

But by the time we get this far into the year, the old temptations have started again. All this calorie counting and vegetable crunching leaves you hungry, and no matter what that magazine article said, one quarter of a grapefruit and a pickle slice just aren't cutting it.    

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Feb 01, 2013

How to: Make Barbecue Sweet Potato Chips at Home

created at: 02/01/2013

There are few things in life I have trouble resisting...and barbecue potato chips are on the very top of that list. Bad ones are awful, but great bbq chips have a perfect blend of salty, smoky, sweet, and savory, all bound in a great crunch. I'm a total sucker...   

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Nov 28, 2012

How To: The Trick to Perfect Stovetop Popcorn [Video]

Hands down, stovetop popcorn is my favorite make-at-home snack. It's relatively healthy (whole grains, right?!), can be diverse and customizable, and I simply never don't want some. I've become a proponent of the pop-in-a-stainless-steel bowl method, but after discovering this tips from our buddies at America's Test Kitchen, I might be converted.  

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May 09, 2012

How to: Make Pad Thai Popcorn [Video]

Thai cuisine is all about the balance of four essential taste experiences: salty, sweet, sour, and piquancy (spicy heat). (Some would also add bitter to the list). This is well-represented by the most well-known Thai dish in the U.S. - Pad Thai (its name refers to its identity as a national dish of Thailand, with the pad coming from it's being cooked in wok - literally, stir-fried Thai-style).

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May 18, 2011

How To: Make DIY Veggie Chips for Tasty, Healthy Snacking

created at: 05/18/2011

I work from home, meaning I never keep regular hours, and can always/never been at work. And though I do try, it also means I rarely eat regular meals. Most often, I split my nutrition into six or eight tiny, half-meals...or, you know, snacks. And sometimes, I need those to be crispy, salty snacks. And rather than stuff my self with no-good-for-you, processed junk foods all day, I try to satisfy those cravings with something a bit better for me.

Like veggie chips. And now, with this awesome collection of recipes from Chow, I'ma just make my own in bunches, and munch all week.  

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Apr 11, 2011

How To: Make the Ultimate Party Dips

It's usually okay to go for the low-fat options: they're usually tasty enough, and worth the calorie cuts. Skim milk, reduced fat carbs like crackers and salty snacks, and low-fat yogurt are okay by me. But sometimes, you simply can't skip. Non-fat cheese? Impossible, and pretty non-edible.

The same does not go for snack dips. Sometimes, you just gotta admit something is party food, and go all out.  

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Oct 15, 2010

How To: Make Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

created at: 09/21/2010

created at: 10/15/2010

Four our money the pumpkin is kinda like the most diverse food ever - you can carve scary faces into them, you can bake inside them, you can make lanterns out of them, you can cook the flesh into both savory and sweet dishes, you can decorate with them, and our favorite - roast the seeds into an unbelievable, healthy snack, that, if you've already bought the pumpkins, is totally free.  

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Mar 15, 2010

How To: Make Crunchy, Homemade Potato Chips in your Microwave

I never thought a microwave could produce crispy ANYTHING, let alone the airy crunchiness of of perfectly cooked potato chip.

But I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong, especially when me being wrong equals the ability to make quick and easy homemade potato chips without the mess of deep frying.

Ingredients and Materials:
1 russet potato
Non stick spray
Salt and Pepper
Slicing mandoline or sharp knife or vegetable peeler
Parchment paper or glass plate
Microwave  

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