Stove Top Popcorn

Did you know that home-made stove top popcorn is just as convenient if not more than the microwave bagged popcorn??  In an attempt to reduce the crap and unknown ingredients in our food, I decided to try the old fashioned way of making pop corn several months ago and we’ve not gone back!  The kids love it and say it tastes way better than microwave plus you get to control the ingredients!

To make stove top popcorn, just put a little bit of oil in the bottom of a pot.  You need just enough to cover the bottom.  Get 1/3 to 1/4 cup of kernels ready depending on how much you want to make.  Put a few popcorn kernels in the pan and turn the heat on to medium.  Wait until one of the kernels pop and you then know the oil is hot and ready.  Pour the popcorn kernels in and put a lid on!

Gently shake the pan occasionally as the kernels pop.  You know it’s done when the popping stops to about once every 2 seconds.  That’s it!  Just top with what ever toppings you like.  A tad bit of salt and some melted butter is our kid’s favorites!  Total time to make is about 4 minutes!

HomeMade Hash-browns – Naturally Gluten Free

On weekends, and sometimes on week nights, I like to whip up a batch of home-made hash-browns.  It’s actually pretty simple and the kids love it!


  • 3-4 small potatoes diced up (the smaller the faster it will cook)
  • 1/2-1 small onion diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Green pepper (optional)
  • 2-3 tbs. Olive Oil (sometimes I use bacon grease or sausage grease if I just made those)

Sauté onion in oil until translucent preferably in a cast iron skillet for extra flavor.  Add green pepper next until a little softened.  Add remaining ingredients.  Stir every 5 minutes, often enough to let the potatoes start to brown but not burn.  Continue for about 15 minutes depending on the size of the potato dices and until they are done.  Taste test and add a bit of salt an pepper if needed.

Black Beans and Rice – Naturally Gluten Free

This is a great side dish that’s naturally gluten free!  It’s simple and the hubby loves this one!


  • 1 can Black Beans undrained
  • 1 can tomatoes (I like petite diced)
  • 1 cup or so rice
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Sweat onions and garlic in a sauce pan with the olive oil on low to medium low.  Once translucent, add the black beans, tomatoes  and oregano. Cook for 7-10 minutes to get everything hot and the flavors extracted.  If you are using instant rice add this in the last few minutes for the time allotted on the instructions for it.  I prefer to use freshly made rice in a rice cooker or leftover rice I have in the fridge.  I just add it at the last minute to warm up and soak up some of the sauce.  Add salt to taste at the end and you’re done!

TIP: Add in cooked chicken at the last minute to make a complete meal or your meat of choice!

How to make a Mocha with K-Cups

So I got a Keurig for Christmas.  Total nice surprise from the in-laws.  I’ve been trying to find the perfect Mocha from it, since that’s my favorite coffee type drink.  I don’t like the Cafe Escapes because of the artificial sweetener.  So I experimented today to make my own mocha at home.  Here’s what I used:

  • Dark Roast or Espresso Roast K- Cup
  • About 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk
  • Chocolate Syrup to taste – about 1-2 tablespoons

I warmed the milk up in the microwave for about 1 minute, then I put the Keurig on the medium sized setting.  I stirred the chocolate syrup in and added the milk to taste.

For my first trial of this, I used the Obsidian coffee by Caribou, but I think it could be even better with the proper espresso roast.  Enjoy!

Update! I tried this method with Emeril’s Big Easy Bold K-cups and it was great!  I liked it a tad better than the Obsidian because of the undertones that one has.

Update – May, 2013 I tried this with Gevalia Dark Royal Roast K-cups and it’s my favorite of the 3 dark roasts for making a mocha.  Nice and smooth and no weird extra flavor in these!