Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I don't know about you but this weather calls me to slow down and snuggle up.  As much as I love the warmth and sunshine, I see the beautiful qualities this time of year brings to our family.  We are inside more.  We are actually home more.  We get a little bit more sleep.  We read more. We do more crafts.  I find it's just a whole different season in so many ways.  Our lifestyle shifts a bit, and I must be honest, I'm loving it (now this might be a different story come February but for not it's all love).

My husband and I started a little tradition of sorts awhile back.  Monday night is T.V. night around here. Obviously it didn't start during football season and some weeks it just needs to change because of some "big" game, but regardless it's pretty consistent.  After the kiddos go to bed we relax and put school work aside or any other seemingly pressing task and just relax together.  It's a date night of sorts to kick off our week.  It's silly but we love it and we look forward to it each week.  We've found it's so fun to just sit and laugh together.  As life gets demanding and things get busy it's easy to lose sight of that time to just sit and be silly and laugh. 

The only thing that usually accompanies us on our date is a rather large bowl of popcorn.  Now I must tell you I'm from Indiana, so I think it's just natural that I have a love of this food.  It's like it's in my blood.  One of those childhood foods that I have no desire to part with.  So I don't.  I enjoy every last bite of it!

Over the years we've played around with our popcorn recipe to make it a little healthier and to avoid the overdose of salt and butter.  It took some time for me to get used to this but I must admit I love it now and couldn't go back to that old microwave stuff I held dear as a child.  Now that doesn't mean when I walk into a movie theater that I don't just start salivating at the smell of that movie theater popcorn because I absolutely do.  And you know what I even still eat it from time to time.  Again, when those times happen I enjoy every single last bite.  No guilt allowed.

I wanted to share with you our favorite popcorn concoction just in case you find yourself cuddled up on the couch with a good movie and hoping for a bowl of 'healthier' popcorn to find it's way to you.

We use an air popper for our popcorn. There are surprisingly several different varieties of popcorn to choose from.  If your ever in Indiana (particularly Northern Indiana) you'll discover this for yourself if you do any small town shopping. I do buy organic popcorn.  Corn is a highly genetically modified crop and very subsidised.  Corn is also on the top of common allergens so if you notice side effects from corn or corn products it's best to find another movie time snack option.  A few nutrition nuggets to think about.  Just want to be real about it!  If a little popcorn from time to time is no problem for you, well then by all means please continue to read on. 

We top our popcorn with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I picked up this cool little Misto thing awhile back ago and it works like a charm.  I spray on a bit of olive oil.  I like to add some Mrs. Braggs Amino Acids.  I even found this in a small spray bottle years ago and just refill the bottle so I can simply spray it on the popcorn.  This keeps the popcorn from getting saturated and to wet.  I usually like to add a splash of Balsamic Vinegar as well.   I shake it up real well to get the popcorn coated. 

Then onto the spices.  It may sound weird but you seriously just need to try it.  I add dill.  That's the key ingredient.  I really don't cook much with dill but somehow it found it's way into my beloved popcorn bowl.  Finally I'll add a dash of sea salt. Viola'.  A tasty bowl of goodness with some flare.

A few other adaptions we enjoy:

~omit the balsamic vinegar and add raw apple cider vinegar
~a light dash of cayenne pepper is so good.  Start super light.  Remember you can always add more.
~a bit of your favorite vegan cheese slightly melted and then tossed around
~ground kelp or wakame (seaweed).  Sea vegetables are loaded with amazing minerals and give it a    naturally salty taste.
~I like to toss in some apple or pear slices to have the sweet and salty combo.

Like all recipes, experiment.  Find what suits you and your tastes.  Get creative.  Enjoy!

I hope that weather or not you like popcorn you find yourself slowing down and snuggled up more during this season of rest. 

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