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Stovetop Popcorn (Perfect Every Time!)

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Stovetop Popcorn tastes infinitely better than the kind you’d microwave in a bag, and all you need is about 10 minutes to make it. Get all of my tips & tricks below!

popcorn in two black bowls

Why Is Stovetop Popcorn Better?

Stovetop popcorn is made with just 3 ingredients– popcorn kernels, oil, and salt.

If you look on the back of popular microwave popcorn brands, I think you’ll find significantly more ingredients, some of which you might not even recognize. Some brands even contain a flavoring chemical called diacetyl, which the CDC has linked to lung disease.

How to Avoid Chewy Popcorn

Why can popcorn turn out chewy? If you keep the lid tightly sealed on the pot while the popcorn is popping, the excess steam might be absorbed by the popcorn, giving it more of a “chewy” texture.

Be sure to leave the lid slightly cracked as the popcorn pops, so that steam can escape. This will ensure your popcorn stays as crisp as possible!

Is Popcorn Healthy?

As far as crunchy, salty snacks go, popcorn is one of the better options, especially when you use organic kernels and a good quality oil. Popcorn is a whole grain, and one study suggests that it has 15x the antioxidants compared to a snack like whole grain tortilla chips.

Here’s more to love:

It also couldn’t be easier to make! Below you’ll see how, with step-by-step photos.

popcorn in pan and 2 bowls

How to Make It on the Stove Top

  1. Add oil to the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot. I like to use a 4-quart dutch oven (like this one), which retains heat really well, especially when compared to stainless steel pot.
  2. Cook over medium heat. Don’t be tempted to use too high of a temperature, or the popcorn kernels may start to burn before they pop. If you smell a “burnt” aroma as the popcorn pops, the whole batch will taste burnt. So, be patient!
  3. Test a few kernels first. I like to place 2 to 3 kernels in the oil as it heats up. Once you hear them pop, you’ll know the oil is hot and you can add the rest of the kernels.
  4. Leave the lid cracked. If you totally seal the pot with the lid, the popcorn may get an unappealing, chewy texture from the steam trapped inside. Leave the lid cracked, so the popcorn won’t pop out, but steam will have the chance to escape.
  5. Lower the heat slightly. Once you hear the popcorn popping rapidly, it’s okay to lower the heat slightly. This will help to ensure the popcorn doesn’t burn as the last few kernels pop.
  6. Season liberally. If you think your homemade popcorn tastes bland, you may not have seasoned it enough! I typically use 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt per 1/2 cup of dry popcorn kernels. If you want to get fancy, you can add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (in that case, cut back on the salt), or nutritional yeast for a dairy-free “cheesy” flavor.

Which Oil Works Best?

You can use any mild-flavored oil you have on hand, but coconut oil or olive oil are my preferences when it comes to the oil to use. Do not use butter, as it will burn before the popcorn is popped.

Should you Worry About the Smoke Point of Oils?

If you’ve been concerned about cooking with olive oil due to its smoke point, research published in 2018 shows that an oil’s smoke point doesn’t necessarily predict how it will perform when heated. In fact, olive oil has proven to be a very stable oil when heated, possibly due to its antioxidant levels and monounsaturated fat content, even when heated at high temperatures. (Coconut oil is also shown to be a stable choice in this study, right behind olive oil.)

How Much Does 1/2 Cup Kernels Make?

A 1/2 cup of dry popcorn kernels makes approximately 14 cups of popcorn. That makes the serving size very generous! One serving is roughly 3.5 cups of popcorn, so it’s no wonder it’s so filling!

popcorn heaped in glass bowl

Stovetop Popcorn (Perfect Every Time!)

Here’s how to make perfect Stovetop Popcorn, with just 3 simple ingredients. It’s a great healthy snack when you need a salty fix!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (use 3 tablespoons if using a 6-quart pot)
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • In a pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and 2 of the popcorn kernels. I typically use a 3.5-quart pot with a lid, but if you’re using a larger 6-quart pot, be sure to use an extra tablespoon of oil so that the bottom is totally coated, for best results.

  • Listen carefully for the 2 kernels to pop. When they do, add in the rest of the popcorn kernels, cover with a lid, and remove the pot from the heat briefly, about 30-45 seconds. You may start to hear the popcorn kernels start to pop, even while they are removed from the heat.

  • Return the pot to the burner, and be sure to crack the lid so that steam will escape, without letting any kernels pop out. The popcorn should start popping rapidly. Every 20 seconds or so, gently shake the pot so the un-popped kernels will fall to the bottom.

  • When the popcorn starts slowing down, I like to lower the heat even more, so that the already-popped popcorn won’t burn. If you smell burning, the whole pot will taste burnt, so watch it closely. It takes roughly 2 to 3 minutes for the whole batch to pop. When the pops are 5 seconds apart, turn off the heat and let the pot rest for 1 more minute, so there’s no surprise pops when you take off the lid.

  • Season the popcorn right away with salt, and any other seasonings you like. I typically use 1/2 teaspoon of fine Real Salt per 1/2 cup of kernels, but you can start will half that and add more to taste. Popcorn is best served right away, but the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 48 hours without losing too much crunch.

This recipe makes approximately 14 cups of popcorn, so a serving is 3.5 cups in this case. Nutrition information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 1mg

If you try this Stovetop Popcorn, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite salty snack? Be sure to try my Baked Sweet Potato Chips or Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, too. If you need something sweet, my Peanut Butter Granola Bars are also a hit!

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Spinach Artichoke Baked Chicken

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This is basically a tasty warm spinach artichoke dip with hen baked right into it. It’s your favored application became supper—and also it’s very easy! Simply dice boneless skinless poultry bust, organize it in a baking meal, as well as leading it with an abundant and also velvety blend of softened lotion cheese, garlic, Parmesan cheese, a glob of mayo, spinach, and also artichoke hearts. Bake at 350 for 35 mins as well as voila! Supper is offered. The hen cooks up tender while the spinach and also lotion cheese mix merges an abundant lotion sauce that would certainly be scrumptious over rice(or cauliflower rice to maintain it reduced carbohydrate), pasta, or potatoes(or mashed cauliflower). Tips for Spinach Artichoke Baked Chicken As soon as baked, the sauce bordering the poultry will certainly be a little slim.

Do not fret! It will certainly enlarge as the meal cools down, and also no matter, it tastes excellent! The hen and also various other components will normally launch a little bit of fluid as they prepare, however the most effective means to stop the sauce from being as well watery is to eliminate as much fluid as feasible from the high-moisture web content components: the thawed out spinach as well as the canned artichokes. To do this, make use of a cooking area towel or pile a couple of paper towels in addition to each other, cover them

securely around the spinach, as well as wring it out, disposing of any kind of excess fluid. Do the exact same point for the artichoke hearts. Make Ahead Baked Chicken This is among those baked poultry dishes that’s optimal for a stressful weeknight since you can make it beforehand! To prep it ahead of time

and also cook it later on, simply adhere to the dish guidelines for setting up the meal and also as opposed to baking immediately, cover as well as cool for as much as a day prior to food preparation.

Spinach Artichoke Baked Chicken This is basically a tasty warmspinach artichoke dip with poultry baked right into it. It’s your favored application developed into supper—as well as it’s very easy! Simply dice boneless skinless poultry bust, prepare it in a baking recipe, as well as leading it with an abundant and also luscious mix of softened lotion cheese, garlic, Parmesan cheese, a blob of mayo, spinach, and also artichoke hearts. Bake at 350 for 35 mins and also voila! Supper is offered. Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time35 minutes< period course=”wprm-recipe-details-label wprm-block-text-faded wprm-recipe-time-label wprm-recipe-total-time-label”>

Total Time 45 minutes Course: Dinner, Main Course Keyword: baked poultry dish, poultry dishes, warm spinach artichoke dip, keto poultry dish, reduced carbohydrate hen dishServings: 6 Calories: 662

  • kcal 2 pound boneless skinless hen bust cut right into 1 inch items 10 ounce plan icy spinach defrosted 8 oz lotion cheese softened 1/4 mug mayo 1/3 mug grated Parmesan cheese 1 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp newly ground black pepper 14.5 ounce can artichoke hearts in water drained pipes Preheat the stove to 350 ˚F.Squeeze as much dampness out of the thawed out spinach as well as artichokes as you can. Make use of a kitchen area towel or pile a couple of paper towels in addition to each other, cover them snugly around
  • the spinach, and also wring it out, throwing out any type of excess fluid. Do the very same point for the artichoke hearts. When drained pipes, approximately cut the artichokes.In a tool dish, blend the lotion cheese, mayo, parmesan, garlic powder, and also black pepper up until incorporated. Mix in the spinach and also artichokes.Arrange the reduced up poultry bust
  • in all-time low of a baking meal as well as spread out the lotion cheese combination over the chicken.Bake for 35-40 mins or up until poultry is prepared
  • via. Allow cool for 5-10 mins prior to offering over potatoes , rice, or pasta(
  • or cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower to maintain it reduced carbohydrate!). Calories: 662 kcal| Carbohydrates: 45 g |< period course =” wprm-nutrition-label-text-nutrition-label wprm-block-text-normal”> Protein: 58 g | Fat: 28 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g| Cholesterol: 147 mg | Sodium: 2933 mg |
  • Potassium: 2262 mg| Fiber: 23 g | Sugar: 9 g | Vitamin A: 56104 IU | Vitamin C: 28 mg | Calcium:

717 mg |Iron: 10 mg

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Great Gift Ideas for Toddlers 2020

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Blocks, Puzzles & Games

There are tons of benefits that come from playing with blocks and puzzles. They promote imaginative play, creative expression, experimentation, problem solving, building an awareness of space and shapes, improving fine motor skills, etc. All this to say, a good puzzle or set of Legos is as worthwhile a purchase as it gets when it comes to kids’ play.

*This post contains affiliate links

LEGO DUPLO Classic First LEGO Set $25

LEGO DUPLO Mickey Mouse Birthday Parade $17

Melissa and Doug farm puzzle $9.99
Safari animals puzzle
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse puzzle

I Never Forget a Face memory game $16
A fun memory game in which kids can match the smiling faces of 24 children from countries all over the world.

Pretend Play

Melissa & Doug Pet Vet Play Set $23.99

Fisher-Price Food Truck $75
James sees me cooking all the time so naturally he loves having a kitchen of his own. He got this for Christmas last year and has enjoyed it so much that I sent it to my best friend’s daughter on her birthday.

Musical Instruments Set $35
We as parents may regret getting these when we’re on hour ten of tambourine jangling, but the kiddos will be so happy it’ll be worth it.

Paper Doll Friends $25

Art

I firmly believe there’s no such thing as too many art supplies when it comes to kids’ activities (even better if they’re washable and mess-free!). These are some favorites:

Aquadoodle Mat $24.99

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Kit $22

Crayola Baby Shark Wonder Pages,​ Mess Free Coloring $5.99

Crayola My First Finger Paint For Toddlers $30

Crayola Kids Wooden Easel, Dry Erase Board & Chalkboard $60

Stuffed Animals

We have a dozen or so Jellycat stuffies for James and Levi and they’re all as soft and cute as can be. In fact, James’ best friend might be this Jellycat bear that he creatively named Teddy Bear.

Jellycat If I were a Puppy Board Book and Bashful Puppy $35

Jellycat espresso cup $14

Jellycat croissant $16

Sports

Hopscotch Play Mat $39.99
I love the idea of bringing the classic playground game inside.

Little Tikes Basketball Hoop $31.99
We have a basketball hoop in our driveway that Daniel and James use all the time, but this mini version is perfect for indoor play (especially during the long months of winter).

Little Tikes Trampoline $56
So many fellow parents recommended this mini trampoline to us—and it has proved to be a fantastic buy. James jumps on it (and gets a little of his neverending energy out) every day.

Books

There are about a million great children’s books that I could recommend, but this year I’m focused on books with stories that center BIPOC and women.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable!

I Am Every Good Thing
The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through—as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he’s afraid, because he’s so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you—and shows you—who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!

The Girl and the Wolf
While picking berries with her mother, a little girl wanders too far into the woods. When she realizes she is lost, she begins to panic. A large grey wolf makes a sudden appearance between some distant trees. Using his sense of smell, he determines where she came from and decides to help her. Through a series of questions from the wolf, the little girl realizes she had the knowledge and skill to navigate herself—she just needed to remember that those abilities were there all along.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
This beautifully illustrated board book edition of instant bestseller Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History showcases women who changed the world and is the perfect goodnight book to inspire big dreams.

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History
Author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in this #1 New York Times bestseller. An important book for readers of all ages.

The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story
Kanzi’s family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts. That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.

Bigger Gifts

Rockabye Plush Rocking Horses $100+
My bff Sabrina gave this unique rocking horse to James on his first birthday and he loves it. It’s soft, cute, and even plays music.

Damhorst Toys name stools $80
These customizable, solid-wood name stools will come in handy and last forever.

Kids Fire Tablet $139
This 8-inch tablet with a built-in parental controls and a kid-proof case can provide your kiddo a mix of entertainment and education, with access to thousands of books, games, shows, apps, and more.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2020

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Choosing the perfect gift for someone special can be difficult, to say the least. I’m always looking for new and different ideas, especially for the women in my life. So if you want a little inspiration for the holidays 2020, here are some of my favorite things!

*Note: This post is not sponsored in any way. Everything you see here is something I either bought myself or was gifted by my mom/best friend. Some of the links are affiliate links.

UGG Ansley Slippers $99
Every morning and evening when I slip my feet into these comfy, supportive, shearling-lined moccasins, I sigh with relief and thank my mother (silently) for gifting them to me three Christmases ago.

Silk pillowcase $45
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is said to be better for your hair and your skin (I know people who travel with theirs). But it’s one of those things I always hesitate to buy for myself—which is one of the criteria I use to determine if it’s a good gift for someone I love.

Turbie Twist microfiber hair towel $7.99
Last year my mom gave me a Turbie Twist, just…out of the blue. I didn’t expect much, in fact, I laughed when I saw it—but it has quickly become an everyday essential. It dries my hair in no time and dries itself even faster (no damp towels here).

Jigsaw Puzzles
We need all the indoor activities we can get, which is why puzzles are such a hit in 2020. These three are pleasantly challenging and absolutely beautiful.
Piecework Rise and Shine Puzzle $36
Areaware Gradient Puzzle $20
Gray Malin Two Sided Beach Puzzle $25

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $40
I’m not overstating things to say that this is a holy grail product for every person who wants full hair with unbelievable body and volume. It’s just a bonus that it happens to smell amazing, too.

Olive and June The Mani System $50
All the tools you need for perfect nails at home, plus a polish of your choice and their super glossy top coat. Olive and June’s long-lasting polish is also 7 free: formulated without Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor, Ethyl tosylamide, Xylene.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic $166
Years ago I went to the dermatologist for a skin check (always watching out for skin cancer) and after I got the all-clear I asked her, “What is the one product you’d recommend for anti-aging?” Without hesitation, she said, “Skinceuticals CE Ferulic.” I thanked her, wrote down the name, went home, and looked it up online. Turns out there are countless other dermatologists, estheticians, and skincare-obsessed folks who swear by it, too. It’s pricey but with that kind of cult following, it might be worth it.

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush $42
Every person that blow dries their hair with some regularity has cursed the process a time or two and wished—prayed—for an easier way. Well this might be the way. When I saw there were just shy of 99,000 (99,000 I said!) reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon, I added two to my cart immediately (one for my mom, one for me).

Untamed $17
I adore Glennon Doyle and was blown away by her newest memoir, Untamed. It was funny, raw, utterly compelling, and full of moments of self reflection for me. I’d recommend it to anyone, but especially the women in your life.

Johanna Howard ‘100% That Girl’ candle $24
“You took a DNA test and it said you were strong, smart, caring and fearless.” This hand-poured candle is scented with lavender, sage, and rosemary, and according to the website, it’s made from a proprietary blend of coconut and soy wax, with a cotton core wick and phthalate-free fragrance oils to create an environmentally friendly, long-burning, wonderful smelling candle.

Cavo ‘After A Good Cry’ candle $24
This 100% organic soy wax candle from Cavo is said to smell like a hug (Rainwater + Lavender + Vanilla Bean + Bourbon) and comes with its very own playlist.

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding $56
When I was pregnant last summer, I casually mentioned to my best friend how good a big ol’ bowl of banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery in NYC sounded. Days later, I had a party-sized tub of it on my doorstep and I was in heaven…and then in a food coma. Here’s where you can order it as a gift, too.

Cookbooks ~$20
It’s safe to say we’re all cooking more this year, so now is the time to invest in cookbooks—for ourselves and the ones we love. Here are my recent favorites:

Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook: Favorite Everyday Recipes from Our Family Kitchen

Skinnytaste Meal Prep: Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Freezer Recipes to Simplify Your Life

Holy Sweet!: 60 Indulgent Recipes for Bigger, Better Desserts

The Pretty Dish: More than 150 Everyday Recipes and 50 Beauty DIYs to Nourish Your Body Inside and Out

The Well Plated Cookbook: Fast, Healthy Recipes You’ll Want to Eat

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

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