Yesterday, I stumbled upon a pearl of wisdom. Adulthood is not a zero sum game. You can be a twenty-four year old lady and still indulge in the habits of teenagerdom.
For instance, I think I’m going to buy an ironing board. It’s high time that I stop being such a wrinkled mess, and there’s only so much ironing I can do on the kitchen table.
Ironing board. Seems pretty adult, right? But eating popcorn for dinner is pretty much the opposite of adulthood. And I eat popcorn for dinner sometimes. I do. And sometimes that popcorn has chocolate mixed in (and nuts and dried fruit).
If I eat popcorn for dinner but iron (somewhat) regularly, can I still call myself an adult? I say YES. Or, I can at least call myself a pseudo adult. I’m adult-ish. Adult-lite.
And I’m totally OK with that.
Popcorn Trail Mix
This is not so much a recipe as a suggestion for mix-ins. In general, you want a 2:1 popcorn, mix-in ratio. So, if you have four cups of popped popcorn, you’ll want to mix in 1/2 cup each of nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit. Get it?
- Popcorn, popped and cooled
- Dry roasted cashews
- Dry roasted almonds
- Dried cranberries
- Dark chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Devour.
Hello, 2013. I’m glad you’re here at last.
Don’t get me wrong, 2012 was grand. I started my first real job, made a lot of new friends, successfully lived on my own for a full year, ran my first road race, attended a dear friend’s wedding, paid taxes, purchased an iphone. Big stuff. Adult-esque stuff.
But I’m stoked to dive head first into this new year. I think 2013 has some good things in store for me. After all, in the wee hours of January 1st I managed to catch a cab. If that’s not a good omen, I don’t know what is.
Another good omen is a tray of roasted chestnuts. A tray of roasted chestnuts means my apartment smells AMAZING. It means I’m about to ingest something seriously delicious and a tiny bit indulgent. It means I get to hold onto the holidays for a little bit longer.
Come New Year’s Night, “The Holidays” grind to a screeching halt. I have to set my alarm for the first time in over a week and contemplate doing laundry in a somewhat timely fashion. I start to think about things like public transportation and packing lunches. But give me a tray of roasted chestnuts and my festive feelings return.
Trust me. You’ll want to bring these babies into the new year.
Simple Roasted Chestnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetite
- 2 pounds fresh unshelled chestnuts
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet. Place chestnuts, flat side down, on a cutting board and use a sharp paring or utility knife to cut an X into the rounded side of each chestnut’s shell. Soak scorred chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for 1 minute.
Drain chestnuts, and place them in a medium bowl. Add rosemary, olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg. Season coated chestnuts with pepper and arrange in a single layer in center of the baking sheet.
Roast for 30-45 minutes (until the peel begins to curl up and chestnuts are cooked through). Exact time may vary depending on the size and age of the nuts. Serve hot or warm.
Yesterday I got some shocking news.
When did that happen? And why? And what’s up with all these back-to-school advertisements? Even though I’ve been out of academica for over a year (!?!?), I still find them offensive. I mean, I’m still trying to live my summer dreams.
The only rational response is to eat as much watermelon as humanly possible in the next month and a half. Today, I think I’ll eat my weight in watermelon salsa.
Full disclosure: This recipe is not my own creation. A neighbor copied it down for me many, many years ago. I have no idea where she found it, originally. I suspect it was Martha Stewart Living, or similar.
- 4 Cups watermelon, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeños peppers
Place diced watermelon in a colander to drain while preparing the other ingredients. Combine everything in a large bowl, and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or spoon over sweet potato tacos (recipe to come).
These roasted chickpeas may not look like much, but they are addictively delicious. I was inspired by the innagural post on my friend Rosa’s blog, Honey & Garlic. Her roasted chickpeas boast a plethora of spices — paprika, cayenne, ginger, cumin…
This spin-off pares things down to the essentials: cinnamon and salt. And, of course, some coconut oil for roasting. It couldn’t be simpler.
These nearly-monochromatic beauties are perfect for topping salads, adding extra crunch and flavor to a bowl of grains, or, you know, eating pipping hot off the tray.
Special bonus: they’ll make your kitchen (or tiny apartment) smell divine.
I promise to post something more photogenic next week.
Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- a sprinkle of salt (I prefer kosher salt, as it has more texture and saltier taste)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread chickpeas in an even layer across a shallow roasting pan, sprinkle with oil, salt, and cinnamon. Give it all a good toss and place it in the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until chickpeas are crispy in texture and golden in color.