Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lace, Workouts, and Stovetop Popcorn

I'm sure I'm not the only person on the face of the planet with lots of things I'd like to do.  I've got projects coming out of my ears.  Sometimes I settle down long enough to get something done... other things are just on-going, never-ending, infinite projects.

Like cleaning.  Cleaning NEVER ENDS.  And just when you think you've got it done, something gets messy again.  I'm sure you've all been there... especially all you parents out there.

Anyway, enough ranting.  I'm not here to talk about that... instead, I'm going to give you all a little snap shot of my life.

My current lace project is starting to look super awesome:

I'm really excited for this one.  I've been working on it whenever I have a moment (which is not often) but it's really coming along nicely.

On to the working out thing - I know, I know, you're all thinking 'What?! The lazy wife doesn't work out!' or maybe 'Exercise? Do you even know the meaning of the word?'  Yeah. I'm lazy. I dislike "working out" - I dislike being sweaty.  But I've started to find that I have no energy, my bones ache, and I'm about 50 pounds heavier than I should be for my health.  Oddly enough, that's not due to my pregnancy, but because I slowly put on more and more pounds before I got pregnant.

All that to say that I'm working on getting healthier, lighter and more energetic.  And since I'm posting about it, hopefully I'll stick with it.  Here's my "plan":

1. I started using the RunKeeper App on my phone - I'm doing a 5K training.  Not that I'm actually "running" so much as walking and occasionally jogging until I start wheezing and die can't keep it up and walk again.  So far, so good - note that I've been doing this for all of two days.  Still, it's a start.

2. I'm doing an hour of yoga every Saturday.  Well, every Saturday that I can.  I used to do yoga a lot. It really helped with my thoracic scoliosis. Since that's been giving me a lot of pain recently, I really need to do yoga.  Lucky for me I have my own personal instructor (my husband used to teach yoga).

3. I'm trying to eat healthier.  This one is sort of touch and go.  I never thought of my diet as all that bad, but I am trying to eat more veggies, fewer empty carbs, and more small meals rather than bigger ones.  I am also trying to drink more green tea.  I'm going for life style changes rather than just temporary dieting.

And now, one of my favorite snacks: Stovetop Popcorn!

I learned this from a friend - its super easy, tastes awesome and doesn't have all the junk that microwave popcorn does.  I will give two BIG warnings.
1. It's super easy to burn this popcorn.  A smoke filled home is not our goal.
2. It's super easy to burn yourself while making this popcorn.  I got myself really good one time while making this, and I had a scar for 2 years.  I burned myself while tipping the pot to dump the popcorn into a bowl.  So don't burn yourself.  Be careful, and be aware of how you're holding the pot so you don't end up with a very painful burn.

If you're brave enough, here's the simple recipe:

About 2 Tbsp coconut oil (I don't carefully measure, I just put in what seems right at the time.)
1/2 cup popping corn (make sure you get the kind for making pop corn)
Some salt to taste

In a large pot, add the oil and the corn.  Turn up the stove to medium high heat.  I find that for my stove the sweet spot is about 3/4 of the way to high - it's has to get pretty hot to pop the corn, so you may need to use high heat depending on your stove.
Make sure the lid is on your pot!  You don't want popcorn all over your kitchen.
Just like when making microwave popcorn, wait until the popping has slowed down, then turn off the heat and remove from the hot burner.  This usually ensures that the popcorn doesn't burn.  I've made this popcorn lots of times and I still occasionally get what I call a "burnerated" batch. So, keep an eye on it.
Once off the heat, sprinkle with salt and pour into a bowl.  The coconut oil adds a nice flavor and the right amount of oiliness - It's delicious!

Weird tangential story: when I was a kid, my parents had a air-popper for making popcorn.  It was this awesome machine that would spin the kernels in a heated section and the popcorn would jump out of a chute and into the bowl.  It had a metal section where you could melt butter, but we never put butter on our popcorn (I was raised SUPER healthy).  We did put soy sauce in a spray bottle and sprayed that on the popcorn when it was done.  It was actually really delicious - so if you need something low sodium/low calorie to spice up your bland air popped popcorn, you might just give a spray bottle of low sodium soy sauce a try.