Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn & The Holiday Yacht Parade

16 Dec

The weekend before Christmas is one of my favorite weekends of the year. It’s packed with a couple much-loved events that get me off my laptop and away from the gym for a couple of days. The first of which is the Marina del Rey holiday boat parade & fireworks, a long standing tradition and cause of celebration among my best friends and I. Each year, everybody brings their favorite bottle of wine and whips up a bunch of appetizers to snack on before we head downstairs to watch a quick firework show and a lineup of incredible yachts, all dressed up in their holiday finery. Despite the fact that we have fireworks in December and the most insanely drool-worthy boats ever, the real party is always the food and drinks beforehand. There’s usually a lot of rap music, dancing, laughing (duh) and general stupidity (duh), most of which lasts throughout the night.

This year I’ve been extra into dark chocolate, so I made a bunch of deserts including a healthy and vegan spin on the famous Neiman Marcus cookie, a homemade dark chocolate dipped graham cracker, Almond Joy Bark, and a couple other random things, but my favorite ended up being the result of having a lot of leftover spare parts: Healthy Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn (recipe below). Melted dark chocolate, peanut butter, and sea salt made this air popped popcorn deliciously addictive, and so much healthier than it tastes!

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Reeces Peanut Butter Cup Pop Corn

  • 3-4 tbsp dark chocolate chips (few reserved)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • handful roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 tbsp popcorn kernels
  • kosher sea salt

To air-pop popcorn without using microwavable popcorn (the lining of the bag is questionably full of health risks, so I opt to avoid), simply put 3-4 tbsp of kernels in a paper bag, fold the top of the bag over a couple of times until sealed shut, and microwave around 2 minutes or until the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. Lay out evenly on parchment paper.

Meanwhile, put the dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 30 seconds at a time at 50% power, stirring in between each interval. It should take around 2 minutes to melt the chocolate into a liquid consistency.  Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn- you’ll probably have leftover chocolate (I trust you’ll put it to good use elsewhere).

In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and coconut oil for 30 seconds at a time until the oil is melted, and whisk together with a fork. Drizzle over the popcorn. Add peanuts and dark chocolate chips as you please, give the popcorn a good shake of sea salt and let cool for about an hour, then go to town.

***

You know you’re in for a great night when this is your December sunset:

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And when your holiday party includes yachts, Christmas lights, and Phil Jackson:

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We watched the boats float by from big comfy leather couches while sipping wine, singing along with the DJ and being generally amused with the scenery.

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couchlarge3Erin shows off a couple of her favorite dance moves:

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Another perfect night at the beach, and one of my favorite festive traditions.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

XO

M

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