Buttered Popcorn Cookies

This is basically going to be a fangirl post followed by a recipe.  You’ve been warned.  If you don’t like carbs or cookbooks…well, then I’m not sure why you’re here but maybe I can convert you because these cookies are FUN!

IMG_1100

 

But first, the cookbook!  I’ve been a fan of smitten kitchen for a long time.  It’s easily my favorite food blog and Deb’s recipes never fail.  Her Buttermilk Roast Chicken and Mom’s Apple Cake are comfort food staples at my house.  When I heard she had a cookbook coming out I was thrilled and I have no idea what took me so long to get my hands on it.  As it turns out I ended up receiving two copies of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and it has been everything I hoped it would be.  Great photography, delicious recipes, adorable anecdotes…absolutely classic.  I foresee myself cooking from this book for years to come.

 

This popcorn cookie recipe was very intriguing to me.  I had never even considered putting popcorn in cookies before and honestly only made this recipe because I thought my kids would like and it seemed über simple.  As it turns out, not only was it über simple but it was addictive; a fabulous combination of salty and sweet.  The flavor is similar to caramel corn but without the cloying sweetness that can sometimes have.  Add to that the chewiness of cookie mixed with the crunch of popcorn and it’s just perfection.

IMG_1091 IMG_1096

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make this happen for yourself.  You will not regret it.

Smitten Kitchen Buttered Popcorn Cookies

2 Tbs oil

1/4 cup popcorn kernels

1/4 tsp table salt

1 Tbs butter – melted

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter – softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Make the popcorn: Pour the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan (with lid) and add the popcorn kernels.  Shake the pan around so the kernels land in a single layer over the bottom of the pan.  Cover the pot, heat over medium-high heat and once the kernels start popping keep the pan moving until all the kernels have popped.  Toss the table salt and melted butter over the popcorn.  You may want to transfer the popcorn to another bowl so you can fish out any unpopped kernels.  You should have about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of popcorn.

Mix the dough: Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.  Stir the combined dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture.  Fold in the popcorn so it’s evenly distributed throughout the batter.  This will seem impossible at first because the batter to popcorn ratio is crazy but I promise, it works.  Just keep at it for a minute or two and don’t worry about some of the popcorn breaking up.  It all turns out great in the end.

Bake the cookies:  Scoop heaping tablespoon sized mounds 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are light brown.  Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Advertisements

New Mom Beauty

This post could go many ways.  I could write a few paragraphs telling you how earthy and beautiful and wonderful you are now that you’ve just given birth to a brand new human being.  (And seriously, good on you for that!  Well done, indeed!)  Remind you that the glow of happiness and breastmilk is really all you need to feel amazing about yourself each and every day.  Or I could tell you a few sure-fire ways to drop a couple of pounds.  Perhaps give you a handful of recipes for green smoothies; which you might be interested to find out are green due to large amounts of vegetables and not green m&m’s.  Somewhat disappointing but true.  However, what I’m going to do instead is something far more practical.  I’m going to tell you how not to look like you got hit by a truck.

Of course I would never tell you that you DID look like you’d been hit by a truck.  You know, inner beauty and all that sort of thing.  But here’s the deal, I think most of us who’ve just had babies tend to look a little, ummm…rough during those first sleepless months.  Maybe you don’t. Maybe you look all dewy and perfect after five broken hours of sleep.  In which case you and Kate Middleton should take your happy asses out for margaritas or something.  The rest of us mere mortals will be at home, freebasing coffee and placing orders with Sephora.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I’m not at all an expert on makeup.  Not even a little.  I’m not terribly adventurous or creative but what I lack in skill I make up for in strong opinions and a decent collection of neutrals.  Also, I understand the lack of time most of us are dealing with.  Sure, I’d love to actually use all those nice makeup brushes I got for my birthday but when it’s 6:30am and you’ve got three children already hounding you about breakfast you don’t really have time to sort between your “contour brush” and your “concealer brush”.  Hell, you don’t really have time to do much contouring at all.  And if you want to go to Target looking mostly human then what you need are a few good quality products that can be applied fast, with your fingers if necessary.  These are those products:

s905364-main-hero

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer:  This stuff is awesome.  It is so light I can easily wear it even during our god-awful hot Texas summers but it still manages to make my skin look really even and smooth.  You can absolutely apply it with a beauty blender or a brush but I can tell you from experience, it blends on beautifully, and quickly, with just your fingers.

 

 

 

 

s1140276-main-hero Laura Mercier Undercover Pot: No, not that kind of pot.  This kind of pot will actually help you look awake and not like you’ve just been punched in the face.  By and large I just use the regular concealer in the section on the right.  However, the section on the left contains a concealer that’s great for the occasional blemish and the tiny section underneath contains a highlighting powder that’s wonderful when you actually have time to get out one of your tiny little brushes and apply it.  Now, fair warning, you are going to look at this little container, then look at the price and say something along the lines of, “Oh fuck no!”  BUT, as someone who has looked at her own dark undereye circles and said the same thing, I can tell you I much prefer to say it once and get the makeup than to say it basically every morning and have no way to cover them up.  And honestly, if you think of all the booze you haven’t bought since you got pregnant and gave birth….you should have enough money from your booze fund to buy at least a dozen of these little guys.

 

s1299213-main-heroJosie Maran Argan Color Stick: In the past I was not much of a blush wearer.  I didn’t feel like I needed it.  Some days I still skip it but I do notice that a little color goes a long way towards “waking up” my face and making me look a little less sleepy.  This handy little stick is easy to apply and blends really well; it looks so natural.  Also, it lasts ages. A really good buy.

 

 

 

s1345339-main-hero Tarte Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Liner:  Yes, that name is a serious mouthful.  The product itself is seriously great and super simple to use.  Eyeliner is probably my biggest weakness, meaning that I’m terrible at applying it and used to avoid it completely.  However I bought this chubby little pencil on a whim because it was on sale and I have been nothing short of delighted.  It goes on so smoothly and with a little blending doubles as an eyeshadow too.  Also, it has impressive staying power.  I’ve personally used the gunmetal and brown colors and loved them both.  If I’m in a crazy hurry I’ll skip this but honestly, it’s so easy to apply, and so forgiving, that I use it regularly.  Bonus: Tarte products are really quite clean, formulated without a lot of the icky parabens and chemicals that most makeup contains.  You’ll notice from my list that I’m not a total purist when it comes to this stuff but I DO like to choose cleaner products when and where I can.  This brand is quickly becoming a favorite because of both their cleaner formulations and amazing quality.

 

s862417-main-heroTarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara: This is the BEST.  It’s made of 10% black stuff and 90% FM.  What’s FM?  Fucking MAGIC.  I am a mascara junkie.  I am always looking for the perfect mascara and in my opinion, this is it.  For me, mascara is the one product that I will not leave home without.  I may look like the most shot-out 29 year old (no I will NOT show you my ID…) on the planet but damn it, my lashes will be luscious.  You may wonder if I’ve even bathed recently but your next thought should be something like, “Dear god!  What marvelous lashes!”  I love this stuff.  Seriously.  Fucking.  Magic.

 

 

s1328889-main-hero

Bonus Product!  Tarte Neutral Eyes Palette – Volume II: I don’t put on full eye makeup all the time but I couldn’t write a post about makeup and not include this classy, little number.  If you happen to be in the market for some new eyeshadow, I cannot recommend this palette enough.  The colors are so pretty.  Neutral enough that you can wear them any day, any time and interesting enough to make you feel like you’re being fancy.  This palette also comes with instructions for creating three different looks which is super handy if you’re not so great at application or maybe just looking for a little inspiration.

 

 

You may have noticed that I didn’t include any lip color in this list.  That’s because 98% of the time I don’t wear any lip color.  Which you would find totally unbelievable if you saw the obscene amount of lip gloss I own.  All the same, it’s true.  I rarely wear lip color because I like kissing my kids and their poor little faces would be covered in the most bizarre yet trendy little spots if I wore lipstick.  So I just stick to lip balm.  I’m not really loyal to any one brand though I do tend to end up with a lot of cocoa butter based items.  They just smell so good!

In closing, I would like to say that I don’t, by any means, think makeup = beauty.  I just happen to enjoy wearing makeup.  I like how it makes me feel a little bit girly and a little more put-together when I wear it.  I find that I feel more like “ME” and just a smidgen less like “MOM” when I take a few minutes to do something that makes me feel good.  Also, I like to think that people don’t notice that huge drool stain on my shirt because they’re too busy noticing my killer eyelashes.  I’m telling you people…Fucking. Magic.