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tricks for your treats!

it seems like caramel apples are everywhere this fall...
several magazines have them on their covers (FOLK, Martha)
and a few more have images inside (Country Living, Matthew Mead, BH&G)

well, i'm joining the party ;0) 
i JUST found these images in my files, and thought i'd pop them up here for you
because there are a few SUPER EASY IDEAS shown in them:

1. sit your caramel apples on a bed of raw sugar - and sprinkle a bit on top, too. 
it doesn't melt into the caramel, but it will stick to both the top
and the dripping gooey stuff that ALWAYS seems to slide off the bottom onto the plate.
the caramel apples shown here are lady apples - very small, and very easy to eat!
2. display your caramel apples or cupcakes on a plate, then sit the plate on top of a glear glass vase that has been filled with with fun decor - like these sparkly foam pumpkins [at Dollar Tree, a buck each] or real orange mini-pumpkins, or a few bags of candy corn. you can use several vases of different heights on your serving table for great results AND these are much more stable than a cake stand. 

[Here's a decor tip: you can re-use candy for decorative purposes. you just have to store it in an airtight container between uses. one of my residential decor clients had two HUGE glass vases that she filled up with candy corn every fall - we're talking about five GALLONS of candy corn in them! when i came in to decorate for the Holidays, she'd have me dump that candy into the sealed plastic containers where it was stored all year. it wasn't EDIBLE, but it was re-usable - and that saved her about fifty bucks each year!]

3. serve popcorn or trail mix from a large glass vase - and use regular coffee cups to scoop & serve! you could easily tuck a colorful paper napkin into the cup handle, too. this also works well for serving soups - use a ladle to serve instead, but the cups are a perfect portion size AND easy to hold.

looking at these images of caramel apples and popcorn makes me think of caramel popcorn balls - one of my favorite childhood treats. my mom also made popcorn balls with corn syrup, sugar, and KoolAid powdered drink mix for flavor & coloring. i had four kids, and making popcorn balls just took too long because i was always having to chase around after someone..... so i would CHEAT! i gave them a sweet, fun popcorn treat that was just as good as popcorn balls without all the work.

my 'trick and cheat' popcorn treat:

pop the corn, then pour it into a paper grocery bag
drizzle it with a LITTLE bit of melted butter
mix together a little bit of salt, KoolAid/CrystalLite powdered drink mix & sugar in a mixing cup
sprinkle the mix over the popcorn in the bag
shake in the paper bag to coat the popcorn with the sugar/KoolAid mixture
dump into a huge bowl [or glass vase, as shown above!]
serve to ravenously hungry kids... and adults ;0)  

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