Pop Fly Popcorn and an award from Puget Sound Energy

Michael Elkins, Colin Clark, and Aaron Longstreth accepting the PSE award on Safeco Field (they are the three on the right) © Sassy Sampler 2012

Many of our shoppers know that you can recycle all kinds of things at the Co-op, including batteries, plastic bags, and CFL light bulbs.  This past Wednesday, eight of us Co-opers got to travel to Safeco Field in Seattle to accept an award from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) for being the largest recyclers of CFL light bulbs in their service area – more than any place in Seattle even.  Our staff, owners, and customers brought in over 2500 bulbs to be recycled, just in the last three months!

from left: Cordata Store Manager Terry Parks, Cordata Facilities Manager Colin Clark, and Cordata Front End Assistant Manager Nate Wright in the Mariners Press Room. © Sassy Sampler 2012

Michael and Colin with the Mariners Moose © Sassy Sampler 2012

It was an exciting event – we got to go into the Mariners press room to take photos (and got to sit in the chair that our beloved Ichiro Suzuki sat in a couple of days before to announce that he was traded to the Yankees).  After that we exited to the field where three of our staff accepted the award on behalf of the Co-op and our shoppers, and we also got to pose with the Mariners Moose before the third game of the Mariners/Yankee series got under way.  PSE provided us with fantastic seats behind home plate, and while the Mariners didn’t win, we all had a really amazing experience!

Myself and my husband Michael © Sassy Sampler 2012

I got to go to the be official photographer, and my husband (who is a huge baseball/Mariners fan) got to go as well.  It was an experience we never thought we would have and we thank PSE, the Co-op, and all our fantastic customers for allowing us this opportunity!  It was a chance of a lifetime that we won’t soon forget.

In honor of this experience, I thought a baseball themed recipe was in order.  I found a recipe on Taste of Home for Pop Fly Popcorn (essentially a fancy Cracker Jack recipe) that sounded like a good starting place, so I made the changes to the recipe that I thought were needed (like cutting waaay back on the sugar and fat, adding some locally grown nuts to the mix, and using organic ingredients) and came up with a winner – customers thought it was delicious with just the right amount of sweetness and the samples were gone before I knew it!

Pop Fly Popcorn © Sassy Sampler 2012

Pop Fly Popcorn

makes twelve one cup servings


  • 3/4 c organic popcorn kernels
  • ~1 c roasted hazelnuts
  • ~1 c organic roasted almonds
  • 6 T organic dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c salted butter (or soy margarine)
  • 1/4 c organic light agave syrup
  • 1/2 t organic vanilla
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • Sea salt (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Pop your popcorn, ideally in a hot air popper.  You should have about 12 cups of popped popcorn.
  3. Pulse nuts in a food processor 10 –12 times to break them up (you can also chop them).  Pour them on top of the popcorn, but don’t mix them in (they will sink to the bottom of the bowl/bag if you do).
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, and agave syrup.  Bring to a slow simmer and stir frequently with a rubber spatula (being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan) for about 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  5. Remove caramel mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Add the vanilla and mix well, and then sprinkle the cream of tartar and baking soda in a mix well.  The caramel mixture should lighten in color.
  7. Drizzle over your popcorn mix—if you have a very, very large bowl then you can use that, or you can use a large, clean paper shopping bag.  Mix carefully, as the caramel will still be very warm.
  8. Immediately spread the popcorn over two baking sheets (lined with parchment paper or greased).
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes, mixing popcorn about halfway through.
  10. Remove from oven an allow to cool for about an hour.  Optional—sprinkle with sea salt.
  11. Break apart popcorn and serve—best  when served the day you make it, but it will keep in an airtight container for a few days.  You can crisp it back up by putting it in the oven for a few minutes.

Pop Fly Popcorn PDF

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