How to make homemade microwave popcorn in two easy steps

On Tuesday evening this week, I pushed back my chair and closed my laptop with a sigh after putting the first two thousand words of the cookbook down on virtual paper.

I was ravenous; there is something about transferring a small part of yourself into writing that leaves one feeling mentally drained. Satisfied, but peculiarly empty.

I thought of the quickest snack possible and tipped a quarter cup of popcorn kernels into a paper sandwich bag. I slid it into the microwave and exactly two minutes later was wolfing down popcorn. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of melted butter was all I needed to transform it into a gourmet treat.

With a glass of apple cider and my popcorn, I tiptoed upstairs, past the rooms housing three sleeping children, and to our loft, where Danny was still awake.

How to make homemade microwave popcorn

“Two thousand words”, I said, as I sank onto the bed with a groan. “Do you know what this means? I’ve started.”

Through mouthfuls of popcorn, I offered every cliche I could think of related to beginning. I’m out of the gate. I’m off and away. I’ve set sail.

Danny didn’t seem quite as struck as I was with the magnitude of my commencement, but he hadn’t witnessed my internal sluggishness leading up to this point. I have been busy, ohmyyes, but busy with everything except writing a cookbook.

The pantry has had a rigorous clean out and restocking. My kitchen stove has been deemed slightly above useless and a replacement has been researched. I’ve taken a roll call of the pots, pans and casseroles in my kitchen and made a list of missing members. A kitchen timer has been procured, as well as two thermometers – meat and candy. One must be precise when recipe testing for a cookbook.

I’ve even ordered a quilted table runner from New Zealand, for goodness sake, although that -maybe, just maybe- was a random Etsy impulse buy. It’s as though I’ve been nesting – only this baby is words, photos and recipes.

In retrospect, I see now that it all had to be done (except for the table runner, perhaps) before I could start the book in earnest. Like decluttering an old work desk before sitting down to compose a new piece of writing, I’ve been organizing both my thoughts and my kitchen.

Here’s hoping the gears are sufficiently oiled and all the moving parts will function as a whole as I embark on this project.

For now, I offer a bowl of popcorn, easily made, free of preservatives, and popped in your microwave.

[Read more…]

Preserving Spring: Spicy Pickled Asparagus

pickled asparagus

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

When I was a brand new canner, pickled asparagus was one of my very first projects. Asparagus has long been one of my favorite vegetables and so, when it went on sale in mid-spring, I bought several bundles, consulted a multitude of cookbooks and set to work.

I quickly learned that pickling asparagus was a task well worth doing (particularly since commercial versions can cost as much as $12 a jar) and added it to my list of mandatory yearly recipes. I have since made at least 100 jars and every year, I still run out well before asparagus season arrives again.

[Read more…]

Travel snacks and an easy Chocolate-Oat Cereal Bar recipe

header

I‘m looking at suitcase on the floor, overflowing with light and airy garments with flower prints on them, white sandals, and a stack of Danny’s T-shirts. Just above, a window looks out on to our snowbound backyard, frosted white like a slicked sheet cake. Something does not quite compute.

BUT. Our flights are booked and an enormous villa is rented on a quiet beach near a remote fishing town on Mexico’s West Coast. Yes, we’re headed South! My three siblings and I are finally pulling off a tropical getaway that we’ve only been talking about for, oh, five or six years. Together with our families, we’re flying into Mexico from all over North America for a ten-days vacation together, Wimbush-style.

Here’s what we’re leaving behind…

snow collage

I’m so excited to bring my children back to the beach and just let them run. It will all be worth the massive effort required to coordinate such a trip for a family of five. Ugh. Toiletries in Ziplock? Not so much, but packing travel snacks is my specialty.

[Read more…]

Black Bean Hummus with Lime and Cumin

black bean green chile hummus

Written by Katie of GoodLife Eats

I am not really into football, so the upcoming Super Bowl doesn’t really appeal to me. Truth told, I don’t even know who is playing. But I do love all the tasty party food that pops up this time of year! I’ll never say “no” to a good spread of party food.

One of my favorite easy, appetizers is hummus. It is healthy so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it and it tastes great. Plus there are endless variations depending on what beans you use or what flavors you impart to the recipe.

[Read more…]

Baby-Led Feeding (BLW) with Clara: a 10-month update

This update has been a long time in coming, but I think the reason is that our baby-led method for feeding Clara seems so natural I don’t think to write about it. She eats what we eat and it couldn’t be better.

Of course once I actually sat down to share our progress, I discovered I had quite a bit to say on the subject. Funny how that seems to happen with topics I am particularly enthusiastic about! Feeding babies nourishing, whole foods is certainly one of those passions.

If you’re not completely familiar with baby-led feeding (or Baby-Led Weaning, as it is actually called), I wrote about embracing this method for introducing solid foods to baby last September. Since then, Clara’s progressed quite a bit. I’ve had many great discussions on the subject and a few of my friends have even gotten on board with their little ones.

I frequently get asked about what exactly Clara eats, so today I’ll share about her diet at 10 months old.

[Read more…]