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The Recipe of the Week from The Happy Chef: Mary’s Sweet Bunco Mix

Friendships, we all have them – Some deep, some casual, some ever-changing, some solid as a rock. Like with anything in life, we get what we put into them. The most beautiful and true rela- tionships are when we can really see into a person’s heart and love them for what is there and in turn open our heart and share ourselves. Of course it is a risk – we make ourselves vulnerable to another and trust them with that vulnerability. It is a great gift to be given and the only way to truly love. It is how God asks us to love. Yet in this rough, selfish and often unkind world, where such true friendships seem hard to find, it is easy to wonder why God even bothers with us. What makes us so worth it and so beautiful? And then it always hits me it is that potential for us that God knows and then I understand.

My friend Kelly is one of the reasons why I understand the potential of friendship and how we are to love one another. Just thinking about my friend Kelly makes me smile. I know why God loves her. She is fun and funny and her heart is so good but most of all she is honest and sincere and she shares who she really is with me and I love her for that. She is moving away from Roanoke this week and I will miss her so much. I know we will always have our friendship but I will just miss having her here. No recipe from some Happy Chef who is sad could express my gratitude for the blessing of her friendship but I couldn’t let her go without such a send off. So goodbye Kelly, here is that delectable popcorn recipe that Mary made for bunco. Feed this to your new friends and give them some of Gina’s Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and they will wonder how they ever survived in Richmond without you! You will be missed here but I know you will be loved there. Some very lucky people await you.

9 cups corn chex 4 cups popcorn 1 1?2 cups silvered almonds 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 stick butter 1?2 cup light corn syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1?2 tsp. baking soda 1-10 oz pkg. Nestle tollhouse swirled milk chocolate and caramel morsels

6 oz pkg. sweetened dried cranberry

-Preheat oven to 250 degrees -Grease roasting pan -Mix cereal, popcorn and almonds in pan

-Combine sugar, butter and corn syrup in saucepan bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly for five minutes

-Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda -Pour over mixture evenly -Bake 45 minutes, stir every 15 minutes

-Cool completely and stir -Once cool stir in morsels and cranberry

By Leigh Sackett
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