popcorn

A Study In Fours

Cordelia’s Mom from Cordelia’s Mom, Still invited me to play the Four Fact Survey. Basically I give four answers to each of the questions below. So settle down with bowls of my Popcorn Four Ways and have some fun!

Popcorn Four Ways

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Ingredients
8 cups freshly popped popcorn
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn. Toss to combine.
Place 2 cups of popped corn into each of four bowls.

for Traditional Salted Popcorn
Sprinkle in sea salt to taste. Toss to combine.

for Cumin Popcorn
Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Toss to combine.

for Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. Toss to combine.

for Cocoa Popcorn
Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. Toss to combine.

You can vary the seasonings to your own taste.

Four Fact Survey
Four names people call me other than my real name:
Panda Lady
Purple Haired Lady
Variations of my names
The usual “nicknames” 🙂

Four Jobs I’ve Had:
Bass Player in a Punk Rock Band – It was a very short career
Examinations Supervisor – I was nicknamed the Dragon Lady but that was a long time ago
Producer and Director of two Community TV Programs:
– The Pet & Wildlife Show – where I got to be in an enclosure with 8 Mississippi Alligators
– Eat – where I got to consume great food
Tutor and Lecturer in Cinema Studies – When I screened The Exorcist, half the class didn’t turn up because they were scared!

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:
Interview With The Vampire
Kung Fu Panda
Nosferatu/Dracula
The Wicker Man

Four Books Or Authors I’d Recommend:
Anything by Anne Belov
Anything by Terry Pratchett
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice

Four Places I’ve Lived:
I’ve only lived in Melbourne but I have moved around a bit. The most interesting place I have lived has been on campus at La Trobe University in Bundoora.

Four Places I’ve Visited:
China – to cuddle a baby giant panda
Iceland – for the puffins and the scenery
New Zealand – because it’s totally awesome
Romania – for all things Dracula

Four Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now:
Cuddling baby pandas with Justin Trudeau
Dancing with Channing Tatum
Patting my dogs
Spending more time with my partner whilst cuddling baby pandas with Justin Trudeau, dancing with Channing Tatum and patting my dogs 🙂

Four foods I don’t like:
There aren’t many foods I don’t like but I am allergic to the capsicum/bell pepper family which limits my choice. I’m also sensitive to tomatoes and eggplants which also limits my choice.

Four of my favorite foods: 
Alcohol
Cookies
Cupcakes
Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Four Shows I Watch: 
Bewitched
Buffy/Angel
Hamish Macbeth
Seinfeld

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year: 
Eating and drinking at interesting places
Finishing writing one of my cookbooks
Going to Adelaide (South Australia) to see the giant pandas Fu Ni and Wang Wang again and maybe meeting a coati
Spending more time with my partner and dogs

Four Things I’m Always Saying:
It’s too early to get up
This is doing my head in!
Time for a drink
What’s to eat?

If you enjoyed reading this Q&A and want to join in please do.

I am tagging the witty and acerbic Not Cordelia’s Mom to join the fun. I know how much she will love it!

 

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Achoo! – Revisited

Just over a year ago I saw a movie about the famous sneezing baby panda that became a YouTube sensation. No one really knew the identities of the sneezing baby panda or the mother panda who nearly drops her cookie in shock, although there was much speculation and many guesses. The film “Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie” suggests the mother panda is Mao Mao and the baby panda is Chi Chi. You can read my review of the movie here.

But now, thanks to the wonderful Pandas International, the real identity of the sneezing baby panda and startled mother have been revealed. Why was it so hard to find out who these pandas were? The main issue was that the video was released on YouTube in 2006 and the assumption was that the footage was from 2006. But the footage was actually from a documentary filmed in 1998. This has caused much confusion and incorrect assumptions about who the pandas are. After much consultation and research, Pandas International recently revealed that the mother panda is Xue Xue and the sneezing baby panda is Mei Xiang!

If you know anything about famous pandas you’ll know that Mei Xiang is big news. Mei Xiang lives at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC and is the mother of two very famous pandas; Tai Shan (Butterstick) and Bao Bao.IMG_7812a

Ironically, Tai Shan is one of the stars of “Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie” and plays the role of the sneezing baby panda Chi Chi. As we now know, the sneezing baby panda is not Chi Chi but Mei Xiang, Tai Shan’s mother. So the lovely and talented Tai Shan actually played his mother in the movie 🙂

Baby sister Bao Bao is also a sensation in her own right. She has been a Smithsonian Cover Girl and was voted the Smithsonian’s Most Iconic Item. Both Bao Bao and her parents have had silver coins made in their honour.

Bao Bao is also famous for her incarnation as Princess Pinky in The Panda Chronicles by Anne Belov. Princess Pinky is currently running for President of the United States in 2016. You can follow her exploits at the Chronicles and also her reaction to finding out that the sneezing baby panda is actually her mother! You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

So sit back, grab the popcorn and indulge in some pandamonium! And what better way to enjoy popcorn than in a cuppycake. From the (coming soon) cookbook “The Panda Chronicles Cuppycake Cookbook: Favourite Recipes of the Panda Kindergarten” by Anne Belov and me, is this delicious Popcorn Cuppycake. The Panda Cam Cuppycake is dedicated to all the wonderful pandas who have made us laugh and cry at their onscreen panda play and especially to the sneezing baby panda Mei Xiang and her mother Xue Xue.

Panda Cam Cuppycakes
Popcorn studded cornmeal cuppycakes with butter and cream cheese frosting are the perfect food for watching panda antics.

panda cam

Ingredients
for the cornmeal cuppycakes
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten

for the butter and cream cheese frosting
1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8oz/225g) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons powdered (icing) sugar
freshly popped popping corn, cooled

Method
Preheat oven to 220C / 430F
Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 paper cases.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the cornmeal, almond meal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In a small bowl mix together the buttermilk, oil and eggs.
Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.
Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter evenly into the 12 paper cases.
Bake for 10 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cuppycakes are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and beat until frosting reaches a piping consistency. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cuppycakes.
Decorate with popped corn.