Monday, January 21, 2013


"Humble popcorn is taking over the snack scene for 2013! Move over cupcakes, pie, and the slutty brownie! Popcorn is the SNACK of 2013" 

Or so says just about every culinary trend list this year

This literally makes me laugh out loud. Just about every living American has enjoyed a bag of buttery popcorn at the movies or a box of cracker jacks at the ball park and can vouch for the undying awesomeness of popcorn. We don't need hot trend tips to tell us how enjoyable popcorn is, but the reminder doesn't hurt. 

We hardly ever had microwave popcorn as kids. My mom popped it herself in a large pot on the stove top and on many occasions we shameful snuck her homemade popcorn into the movie theater. By the time I was grown and out of the house, dangers of diacetyl were making headlines and I started to avoid microwave popcorn entirely. Whenever I had a craving for popcorn, I drug out my heavy duty pot and spent 10 minutes or so over the stove popping the kernels and trying not to take one in the eye if I needed to check on it. 

Recently my popcorn consumption has been up, like way, way up* and my motivation to drag out that old pot was going way, way down. I looked at microwave popcorn in the grocery store but I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I mean, that cuss is expensive! Especially when you compare it to a bag of kernels. Then I remembered an old trick from the first cookbook project I worked on. I bought a bunch of lunch bags, pulled out my stapler - and - ta da! DIY microwave popcorn! It is super cheap and ridiculously easy and only requires 5 things, which you probably already have on hand: 


 1. Paper lunch bags - standard size is about 5x10 inches flat
 2. Popcorn kernels - the better the quality the better your pop
 3. Oil - vegetable, canola, or olive oil all work well 
 4. Salt - I like kosher, but use what you've got
 5. Stapler! 

Of course, now you think I've lost it, because "DUH! you don't put metal in the microwave!!" - but, I promise, if you keep your closure to two staples, there isn't enough metal to conduct any electricity and your microwave will not explode. 

DIY Microwave Popcorn
makes about 3 cups of popcorn

Combine 1/4 cup popcorn kernels with 2 teaspoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt inside the lunch bag. Fold down the top of the bag one inch and shake! Fold down the top of the bag once more and put a staple on each end of the fold. Microwave the bag, standing upright for 2-3 minutes or until the popping slows. Let rest for one minute before opening and seasoning with additional salt before devouring.

I suggest starting with 2 minutes on the first run, my microwave only takes about a minute and a half and my first few runs were bad burned. 

I like to enjoy my popcorn right from the bag so I use a pair of scissors to cut down an "H" shape in the top of the bag and keep a napkin underneath, as the bag is oily. 

Most of the time I enjoy my popcorn straight up simple with some more salt, but parmesan cheese, additional salt and black pepper, or nutritional yeast are some of my favorite toppings. 

If you're looking for a few more popcorn ideas, check out:

Heidi's Truffle Bacon Popcorn
Lisa's Chili Lime Popcorn
Adrianna's Spicy Bacon Caramel Popcorn
Mel's Sea Salt + Honey Popcorn 

What are your favorite popcorn toppings? More importantly what are your food trends for 2013?! 

*Popcorn is relatively high in fiber with only 55 calories a cup, which has made it my go-to snack as we work towards a healthier diet. Also pilates + a one year old makes me tired. 


  1. I love popcorn and I am definitely going to try this. Great post!

  2. This looks delicious. I am a popcorn addict, so I'm definitely going to try this! Would love to get rid of store-bought microwave popcorn in my diet :) Thanks!

  3. I've been making popcorn like this for quite a while. I don't put any oil or salt in the bag. I just put in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of popcorn in a lunch sized (there are 2 "lunch" sizes, I use the larger when I can) paper bag. Fold the top so that the bag can still stand up in the microwave. Microwave on full power until you can count 2 seconds between pops. This takes me around a minute and a half or slightly longer. Use the 2 second rule and you won't end up burning it or having a bunch of unpopped kernels. Then I add salt and a little butter or other flavorings.
    Be sure to use the paper lunch bags since they are made to hold food. Other paper bags tend to be treated with chemicals.

    1. Oh, I've been wondering if I could pop without the oil, thanks for the tip!


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