I want you to imagine for a minute an 8-month pregnant me bending over on all fours to clean up an ant infestation while I’m already late for work.  Fast forward to today; the ants are back!  Luckily for me (not so much for the ants) it is easier for me to bend over.  We had such trouble with them last year, particularly in the yard.  I thought it was for sure due to the heat and lack of rain.  This year we’ve had quite the opposite weather and I thought, “Oh good.  No ants.”  Oh, my naivete.

Partners in Crime | Jersey Up!
Partners in crime.

Now with a 10 month old who would rather throw her food onto the floor than eat it, the ant problem has resurfaced.  (Perhaps I shouldn’t leave breakfast clean up for the elves while on a run?)  I spent most of today killing and vacuuming ants.  That was certainly not on my agenda.  And it made me hungry.

Since I’m still (still…still) on a diet, I can’t really pig out like I used to.  Which is unimaginably hard when you’re home all day with a fridge full of food.  Insert: popcorn.  It’s almost calorie free (until you add butter) and easy to make.  My favorite way to make popcorn is on the stove in the stock pot.  Not the pre-packaged kind (although pre-packaged foods certainly do have their place in the world) and not the air popper kind.  Total old school on the stove style – the way my dad used to make it (well, he probably still does).  It’s really easy.

Stovetop Popcorn

Fill your stockpot with just enough oil to cover the whole bottom.  A little more is fine.  It happens.  Add a cup of plain kernels and some salt if you’d like.

Stovetop Popcorn | Jersey Up!

Now turn your burner on high and get an arm workout.  I mean, shake the pot like crazy to evenly distribute the heat.  You don’t want unevenly heated kernels – that’s how you’ll get some burnt ones and some unpopped ones.  Don’t you hate unpopped kernels?  They just don’t taste the same.

Stovetop Popcorn | Jersey Up!
Explain to me again why this was a good idea when it was 80 degrees?

It’ll be about 5 minutes before the kernels start to pop.  Unlike me, put the lid on right away so you don’t get kernels all over your kitchen.  (Have I mentioned I have an ant issue?)

Stovetop Popcorn | Jersey Up!

Just like your microwave bag popcorn, once all the kernels slow down their popping, you’re done.  Turn off the heat, and remove the pot.  Now for the fun part…additives!  Do you want butter, salt and pepper?  (My personal fav!)  Or cayenne pepper and sriracha for a kick?  How about a little parmesan cheese?  I mean, the options are endless.

One cup of unpopped kernels makes about thiiiiis much popped:

Stovetop Popcorn | Jersey Up!

Yep, it’s an exact science.  Now, you certainly can eat the whole thing.  But should you?

Since it was another gorgeous day today, I enjoyed my popcorn outside while my daughter played in the grass.  It definitely helped stave off my hunger until dinner, but I didn’t go too crazy eating a second lunch.  Which, by the way, is what I wanted to do.  Willpower, people!