Friday, March 11, 2011

For Love of Popcorn (and Abi!)

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. Has been for as long as I can remember. When we were kids, my brother was in Boy Scouts and there were a few years that he was the #1 seller of popcorn in his troop. Perhaps that's where it all began. Our house was always stocked with at least a year supply of popcorn.


I ate a lot of popcorn in college (although, let's face it, I ate a lot of everything in college). One of my best friends and roommates, Abi, was a fellow popcorn lover. Abi and I lived across the hall from each other in the dorms sophomore year, and shared a bedroom in our off-campus apartments junior and senior year. After graduating, Abi and I got an apartment (with 3 other girlfriends) in Brighton. Abi and I lived together up until I moved in with Pat, so we have a long history. 

One of the things I associate with Abi is popcorn. She'd probably say the same about me. We were always the ones popping bags of popcorn to snack on at night, in college it was probably accompanied by some Keystone Light (ugh) and after college we upgraded to wine.

In the past year or two there have been a lot of reports about the harmful chemicals found in microwave popcorn and the packaging. This can't really be a big surprise - what did you think was mixed into that congealed mass of butter and kernels? I've cut back from my bag-a-day habit, but its still among my favorite snacks.

I don't know why it took me so long, but I finally quit messin' around and bought some straight kernels - organic, no chemicals, and far less expensive than the pre-packaged bags.

I still chose to make my popcorn in the microwave because I don't have an air popper and I didn't want to add any oil/butter (which is necessary for cooking in a pot on the stove). All you need is corn kernels, a paper bag, and a microwave!

Pour 1/4 cup kernels into the bottom of a paper bag.

Fold the opening over twice, and place face down in the microwave.

Cook on high for 2 minutes, or until popping has slowed to a few seconds apart.

Pour into a bowl and add your desired toppings!

I added some sea salt and cashews to my popcorn because I was in the mood for just the traditional salty flavor. Now that I have a big bag of kernels, I'll be testing out different combinations of flavors. One of my favorites is throwing a handful of m&ms or chocolate chips into a bowl of salted popcorn - I love the sweet and salty together!

Popcorn Tip: store your kernels in the refrigerator to retain moisture and get a bigger pop!

Exercise News

Last night I did the easy run that was on the schedule - 2 miles at a 9:13 pace. I'm hoping to fit in some strength training after work today, and tomorrow I have a 10 miler. Should be nice enough to run outside!

Check out this article from NPR this morning - it talks about the added benefits of exercising outside instead of inside. While I feel better after any type of exercise (whether its indoors/outdoors and running/biking/strength training) I do always feel more rejuvenated when I'm exercising outdoors - even if its not sunny, the fresh air really helps to boost my mood.

Danger Zone

Pat just sent me this picture from his office. This year he ordered EIGHT boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Thin Mint (eat them frozen!) and Peanut Butter Patties are my favorites, and Samoas come in close after.

I may be abstaining from sweets Monday - Friday, but tomorrow those are fair game!

What are your favorite types of Girl Scout cookies? Or what is your biggest snack/sweet weakness?


  1. Hey, thanks for the article on the mental health benefits of outdoor exercise... I shamelessly stole it to motivate my running group for our freezing, gusty, and precipitation-filled (cleverly described by the weather guy as a "wintry mix") seven miler tomorrow! :)

  2. I never knew you could make popcorn in a paper bag, how creative is that?! I eat popcorn everyday (it's my secret obsession, haha) and need to try this out.

    Ooohh all those girl scout cookies look so good. I can never decide on which one is my favorite, I would glady eat them all! :)

    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels

  3. Love the popcorn in the bag idea. I have to have butter on mine..I'm a lover of all things butter. I do hate the microwave popcorn, it always would leave a horrible film in my mouth.

    My fav girl scout cookies are all that you have shown. Thin mints being my #1. I wish I had these! Enjoy!

  4. I love popcorn, too! Such a good snack! You've inspired me to pick some up at the store. I love that you topped yours with cashews. Mmm.

  5. Those girl scouts are difficult to resist. I just got a couple boxes yesterday.