We love Halloween in my house—the sweet part of it, right? The little trick-or-treaters in their costumes, the homemade goodies for family and friends at harvest gatherings, the seasonal displays of pumpkins and gourds, squeals and laughter. But we don’t mind getting a little salty either, especially when it comes to snacking: just the right combination of salt and sugar is the magic incantation for those treats so good you just can’t stop eating.

But they should be at least a little healthy right? I mean, if you are going to eat a lot of a snack, it should have nutritional benefit, don’t you think? Okay, before you think I’ve taken all the fun out of Halloween, consider my newest creation: Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas. A little bit corn nut, a little bit Payday candy bar in a protein-packed snack. TaDa!

And just in case you are not in the cooking mood–for an on-the-spot super delicious snack right out of the bag, I’m featuring Popcorn Indiana’s Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn and its classic Movie Theatre Butter variety straight from the New Hope Network Blogger Box. Really, we like to mix it all up, some chickpeas and some popcorn–remember Cracker Jack? Win, win!

Now, I have several recipes for roasted chickpeas, some from famous chefs, who season them with salt and cumin and hot pepper, etc. and then use them to top Italian salads and fill out antipasto trays or spark up Middle Eastern dishes. But a Delicious Living Magazine recipe from a few years back has always intrigued me because it isn’t really savory like all the rest; it’s sweet—Maple Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas. So I got to thinking how we all love the mix of salt and sugar in our snacks. What if I could combine these two versions somehow to come up with the perfect balance of salt and sweet? TaDa! TaDa!

In the end, inspired by about five different versions of roasted chickpeas, I came up with mine. Easy to make—yes, it is!—and so yummy. Give it a try and toss some in your little goblin’s pumpkin. Then read on for the review of Popcorn Indiana—a perfect addition to the party table—even if the party is just you and the TV.


Snuggling Up with PBS and a Bag of Popcorn Indiana

Spring and Summer are outdoor times for us. We watch almost no TV, and going to the movies is a rarity. We usually attend free movies in the park during summer months and bring a picnic. But once the weather gets cold and damp and sunset happens about 5:30 p.m., Don and I spend the evenings snuggled on our futon upstairs with our cats. We love PBS, and have been members ever since our daughter was a baby. Young as we were back then, we realized how beneficial public television would be to our family. We’ve never had cable, there are only dishes in my kitchen and dining room, and, other than the occasionally main-stream movie, we exclusively watch PBS at home.

Masterpiece Theatre, American Masters, The New Hour, Frontline, NOVA, Nature and, of course, all those cooking shows—that’s what we are watching. Watching and…sometimes…nibbling, too. The cooking shows, in particular, make us hungry. Enter Popcorn Indiana—just rip open that bag and we are all set. Even the cats have batted around a stray piece or two that has fallen on the floor.

The samples of Popcorn Indiana Movie Theatre Butter flavor and their Kettle Corn have to be Don’s all-time favorite Blogger Box find so far. In fact, I don’t have a photo of the Kettle Corn because it disappeared, almost immediately. We’ve since replenished.

You probably know by now that I don’t purchase lots of pre-made food. But I really have faith in Popcorn Indiana—a short and simple list of ingredients—nonGMO selections and nothing that looks like it came from a chem lab. What they use is basically what I would use to make popcorn. So no worries and LOTS of amazing flavor. Strikingly absent from these two luscious varieties are what you typically find in processed foods: GMO soy and corn oil, high fructose corn syrup and tons of cheap sugar and salt. Nope, none of it. So when I told Don he could buy more at the grocery store, he almost couldn’t believe it. But he did run right out and buy a couple bags. After all, there is a chill in the air, the sun sets at 6 and we are ready to cuddle up with PBS…and some roasted chickpeas and Popcorn Indiana!

Looking for more fall-inspired snacks?   How about Cassava Flour Pita Chips? Or how about a bowl of healthy granola?

What are you snacking on this Fall? We’re listening….