It was Christmas morning. There was a few inches of snow blanketing everything and big fluffy flakes were still falling from the sky. There was a fire blazing in the fireplace. <Okay, ours is a gas fireplace with a switch to flip on the wall next to the mantle, so it’s not exactly a production.> Christmas music was blasting. The dining table was decked out to the nines. I’d made fabulously fragrant monkey bread, and Jacques Pépin’s quiche, and gotten those onto the table along with nice strong coffee and kicked-up mimosas. I just had to finish up my strawberry Santas. I’d taken a shortcut and bought whipped cream in a can. It comes with its own dispenser. Genius, right?! I cut all the strawberries in half and gave a puff of whipped cream to each, placed their little hats on, and as I started putting the little chocolate chip eyes in place, the canned cream started deflating and the little hats started sliding off. I tried to nudge them back into position, but it clearly wasn’t happening. I skipped the lovely tray that was waiting for them. I listened carefully. Yup. Everyone was seated in the dining room, happily chatting. I carried in my drunken defeated Santas right on the ugly, flexible plastic cutting board that I’d created them on. Everyone burst into laughter. They were so wonderfully sad and pathetic. All day long, people would randomly let out shoulder shaking giggles and blurty, blasty laughs. Huge Christmas win. Yeah, I collect these epic fails because they can bring the magic in a way that perfectly orchestrated gorgeousness never could.
My girlfriend, Mary, texted me the other day, “You’ve reached “nailed it” status.” And up popped a pic of my Veggiewise the Clown sculpture next to someone’s recreation of it. It was glorious! Celina, I don’t know you, but you made my day! Thank you!
So I thought I’d share a tray of deliciousness that doesn’t even pretend to be aesthetically pleasing. This one is yummy, easy, and pulled together in minutes, so you can go enjoy cozy movie time with your peeps. I’m a total popcorn head. And it’s a whole grain, so boom! Nutrition *nailed*. I make mine in this cutie, but a pot on the stovetop, or a bag in your microwave will all get you to the same place.
Jen’s popcorn base
(1/2 this if you’re on the stovetop!)
1 cup popcorn kernels
¼ cup coconut oil (canola or olive oil is fine on the stove, too)
1 teaspoon flavacol (salt or seasoned salt is fine, too)
Jen’s Kitchen Sink Popcorn
2 handfuls pretzel twists, grids, or sticks
2 handfuls of salted, roasted peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil or Crisco
2 handfuls coconut
Cover a sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat to make clean-up easy. Or lightly oil it.
Cover the cookie sheet in about an inch of buttery, salty popcorn. Toss a few handfuls of pretzel sticks, and peanuts on top. Put about a cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with a teaspoon of coconut oil or crisco, and microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat if it’s not smooth and drizzly. Drizzle over the top and sprinkle with a handful or two of coconut. Hand it to smiling kids.
This is my popcorn machine. If you need one, they are fantastic. I’d made window treatments and window seats in a black and deep gold with a slight sheen, so I wanted a black popcorn maker so that he could stylishly blend into the corner of my kitchen. If you read the reviews, they all seem to arrive with a petite dent somewhere and mine was no different. It was small on on the lower left, so I didn’t care at all. One of my kids could easily accomplish that with a loaded backpack. I thought I’d mention it in case that would drive you nuts, because it seems pretty common. The red ones are much easier to find, sometimes even at the big wholesale clubs around Christmas.