Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Popcorn Princess

I'm declaring my Dad the official "Popcorn King". Actually I think it runs in the family so there are probably some contenders for the royal title...maybe we have lots of kings that rule their own kingdoms in popcorn happiness. This gives me the title of "Popcorn Princess" and the authority to instruct my subjects on the perfect batch of popcorn. Hear ye! Hear ye!

There are probably as many ways to make popcorn as there are years of my life...we've all tried microwave, there's the old air poppers that some swear by and then there's the superior method of pan popping. If you've never tried this, don't be intimidated. It's super easy and produces a batch of popcorn with better texture and taste than anything else. After you've tried this you'll think microwave popcorn tastes like cardboard.

I used to think people that didn't put butter on their popcorn had problems with their taste buds. Cardboard! But this last year I finally devised the perfect way to make popcorn so that it is both healthy and also tastes better than any kind I've made before. The secret ingredients are olive oil and sea salt...don't bother trying vegetable oil and regular salt...I've tried. Although it makes little sense to me using these two ingredients tastes completely different.

Here's the instructions:

1. Pour enough olive oil into your pan to coat the bottom. If you're used to popcorn with butter you can start by adding a little extra oil but you don't need tons.

2. Set your heat at medium high.

3. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover pan.

4. You'll know the oil is hot enough when all three kernels pop. Carefully open the lid just enough to pour more kernels in the pan. Add enough to cover the bottom of the pan with one layer of kernels.

5. While they pop get your bowl and salt ready. No need to shake the pan. Just stay close and listen to the popping.

6. As soon as you hear the popping slow way down turn the heat off (or remove from burner if your range is electric).

7. Open and pour into bowl. Be careful...it's very hot and some kernels may still be popping!

8. Pour sea salt over popcorn and stir until it tastes perfect-o!

9. Curl up to your honey, turn on a good movie and enjoy! Or if you have mini popcorn princesses that like it as much as me -- pop it at 10am while you sing "popcorn popping" and enjoying it for a morning snack!

(These great plastic popcorn holders are available in the Target dollar aisle a couple times a year--they really get us all in the popcorn mood!)

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sometimes it takes a while to realize how big things like the current "economic crisis" effects our little lives.

Although we've been living in the midst of the economic downturn for a while and definitley feel it, recently, it seems that something brings it a little closer to home everyday. Last week our neighborhood was featured in a local news story...nothing to be proud of when you realize that the topic was garbage! And of course it all boils down to effects from the economic crisis!

For those not from these parts I'll explain that we live in a pretty decent neighborhood. Sure, we live in a townhome, but when we bought it was worth way more than I ever imagined spending on even a dream home! If you watch this news link...you'll notice that things have gone a little downhill. (actually, I just realized that the news clip gives a little too much info about where we live for a public blog...so no link!) Home prices have halved and are still not selling. 5 out of the 8 homes in our block of townhomes have gone into foreclosure. The neighborhood is now begining to slowly fill with renters as investors buy the foreclosed homes at auctions. And in the meantime, we're pretty stuck--probably like many of you out there.

Back to the garbage. The garbage company stopped picking up our trash. After a couple missed trash days we finally made a phone call and found out that the HOA is way behind on bills for trash and other things because so many homes aren't paying the HOA fees. Not surprising--but a problem. We plan on getting a little more involved in our HOA board to find some long-term solutions.

We've recently watched as neighbors with full ability to pay their mortgage walked away from their home because it just wasn't worth it to them to be that far "under water". It leaves me wondering where this whole thing will leave us?

Don't get me wrong...I'm so grateful for Ryan's good and secure job, love our home even if we hadn't planned on staying in it this long, and am grateful that we have all the basics covered and so many luxuries too. But when you watch the big picture unfold it sure is a little bemuddling!

Anyways, if it isn't hitting home enough for you, or you feel a little confused by all the techincal explanations, below is a great little video explanation of why we are in this economic crisis. It's pretty entertaining too. Be sure to watch the additonal 3 mintues by clicking on part 2 when it's done.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Even though we love the easter egg hunts and treats...this is really what it's all about! One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.

Twice a year the leaders of our church address the worldwide membership in a "General Conference" via satelite, cable and internet sources. It is such an uplifting weekend of inspiring messages that help me to revaluate where my priorities are and set goals for the next 6 months. Our most recent conference was last week. Below is a video of a short clip of one of the talks. I definitely had an "Ah-ha" moment as I listened to this talk. Elder Holland verbalized so eloquently what the Atonement of Jesus Christ means to me. Enjoy!