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Friday, January 21, 2011

Screw it, I made popcorn.

I forgot to defrost the fish. The kids and I were exhausted from swimming for 4 hours and then dance class. I made popcorn on my stove top and then we're going to go to bed early. And here's the thing, the Mom police are not going to come and get me. My high school nutrition teacher will never know. The kid's teeth will not fall out from scurvy, nor will they spontaneously develop rickets from one meal of popcorn. I get a nice break and the kids get to have a treat that they can eat, smack dab in the middle of the living room watching "Wizards of Waverly Place". This has been a super busy week and I think we are all a little worn out.

A note on the popcorn; I make mine on the stove-top because I think it tastes better, I can control the salt and oil content, and it is way cheaper to buy a jar of kernels than bags of microwave popcorn. It doesn't take significantly longer either, though you do need to be there for the entire time.

How to Make Stove Top Popcorn:
Place a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a heavy bottomed skillet. Add 1/2 C of popcorn kernels to the pan and place it on medium high heat. Put a lid on it. Wait till you hear popping sounds and start gently shaking the pan back and forth. When the popping stops (more than 3 seconds goes by between pops) remove from heat and serve.

My dad would take the fresh popcorn and put it in a clean paper bag from the grocery store with salt and small pats of butter and then close the bag and shake the heck out of it! This distributed the salt and butter very evenly. I don't usually have any paper bags handy, so I add half the popcorn to the bowl, pour on some melted butter, shake on the salt and then add the other half of the popcorn to the bowl and stir it up. This works almost as well.

What is your favorite, No-Cooking Dinner? Cereal? Sandwiches? Cheese and crackers? Does your family look forward to these breaks from the routine or is everyone sad you didn't cook?


  1. Added bonus - no nasty carcinogens when you pop popcorn on the stovetop rather than those microwave bags.

    My no-cooking dinner would be pesto. I make up a huge batch every few months and freeze it in portions. When I'm exhausted, I can still boil water, dump in pasta and frozen corn and mix.

  2. Well, our no-cooking dinners usually consist of fast food. The last two nights though we did a sort of choose your own adventure. Kenai had tomato soup (she always does, I buy a case at Costco every other week or so!) Elliet's go-to is cheese quesadillas. Ziva just eats cheese or bologna and fruit. DH and I eat leftovers, this week it was BBQ pork butt. Which, seriously? I don't think I can buy pork loin ever again after having pork butt. YUM.
    Also (sorry, I've been drinking), I have no idea how to cook fish. I've tried once or twice and FAILED miserably. So I am looking forward to learning how to buy and prepare fish!

  3. Well, I had heard that about the microwave popcorn, but the real reason I started buying the kernel corn was because it was less expensive (by quite a bit!) That is a good idea about the pesto. One could even do that with red sauce or chili too. I usually have some emergency back-up meals in the freezer for nights such as this, but I need to restock.

    I have been historically skittish around fish, but I will say that having one of my best friends down here be a professional fisherman has taught me a lot. I will do better next Friday and really go into detail on a fish recipe. I can now prepare fish baked, fried, grilled and I plan on learning to smoke fish!

    Pork butt is the shoulder of the pig and it is a very tasty piece of meat.

  4. We love popcorn and are seriously addicted. Recently, the girls got braces and can no longer eat it ("Pirates Booty and "Cheddar Puffs" to the rescue).

    If you haven't done so already, try some of the delicious kernel varieties. Our favorite is "Crimson Jewell" and "Black Jewell" in a variety of oils such as sesame or sunflower. Each type is a bit different in taste and texture and each oil creates a unique flavor. Really delicious!


  5. Thank you! I will try them, I've just been using plain old Orville Redenbacher in a jar kernels. I'd love to try something else. Also thank you for the popcorn alternatives, my niece just got braces and has been so sad to miss out on popcorn with the family!

  6. We make stove top popcorn all the time; Ronald pretty much insists on it. We have a glass-lidded sauce pan and an induction stove (so nothing gets hot except the pot) so I let him stand on his stool and watch the corn popping. Today I finally went to the bio store about a mile from our house, so we've gone back to sprinkling nutritional yeast on top in place of butter.

    No-cooking night is usually leftovers, and one step up from that is tomato sauce and pasta with garlic toast.

  7. That's true, stove top popping corn is a real crowd pleaser. When we have other kids over, my children call them into the kitchen to watch me make it. I am seriously considering getting an air popper though, just to cut out the oil all together. Not sure I have the kitchen space to store it though.

    I will have to try it with nutritional yeast on it too! Never done that before.

  8. No cook meal for us is quesadillas. We have a sandwich toaster. A couple of tortillas, some cheese, whack it in the sandwich press, serve with a jar of salsa and some sour cream (we use greek yogurt). If I'm really inspired, I might throw some spinach and black beans in there.

    On serious no cook nights? Fish and chips from the take away. Wrapped in newspaper. In front of the TV. Done.

  9. Mmmm fish and chips. They really wrap it in newspaper? I wonder what will happen when all the newspapers go digital?!

    My husband has a sandwich press at his office, it is the whole office's to use, like a communal coffee pot. *jealous*