SUPER Simple Truffle Popcorn (Or A Party-Planning Life Hack)

OK, this has to be a quick post because I’m in the middle of a three-day meditative fast during which I am attacking my screenplay revisions without any comforting distractions. It’s a meditative/writing/prayer thingy-do that I may end up blogging about here if I have enough time or emotional bandwidth available after diving into the dark places of my script I’ve been too scared to examine truthfully, and without distraction.

So here it goes…

A long time ago I wrote a post about truffle popcorn that involved measuring oil and popping your own popcorn on the stove. (You can find it here.) This pilgrim-era method is fine I guess, but I would often find myself annoyed with unevenly popped kernels, burnt pots, and the other irritations that come along with doing everything the hard way.

I recently came up with a solution to the problem… and it happened by accident.

I was running late to my friend’s low-key Oscar gathering and didn’t have anything to bring. I had some Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Popcorn sitting around, which I adored for its evenly popped, perfect fluffiness… but not so much for its taste.

Chewy and the dinos may  have been into it… but I wasn't.

Chewy and the dinos may have been clamoring for it… but I wasn’t.

Then it hit me!

Melt butter, dump it all over the dry-ish popcorn, sprinkle it with black truffle salt, and Ta Da!  Now you have perfectly-popped popcorn covered in the greatest things on earth: black truffle bits and butter!

Everyone loved it.

This bowl was full five minutes before the photo was taken.

This bowl was full two minutes before the photo was taken.

So there you have it: a simple party planning life hack. And my new favorite thing.

Now I’m off to do the thing that scares me….

Somebody say a prayer for me.

XOXO

This Yankee Likes Bourbon (Or How to Make Spiked Old Fashioned Shakes)

Spiked shakes are amazing. Also bourbon belongs in ice cream. Trust me on this one.

There’s this fabulous pub in my neighborhood that makes spiked milkshakes. They are divine. I mean, what’s not to love about bourbon in your ice cream? I’ll tell you. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless you consider the calories, but shhh, let’s not speak of such things.

As my good friend once put it, “Counting calories is as damaging as counting the number of guys you’ve slept with.”

Amen, sister.

Some things just don’t need to be tallied.

(This also applies to counting the months and sometimes years of my accidental celibacy, but again, let’s not speak of these things.)

Back to bourbon, ice cream, and happiness.

The pub also serves a pretzel with a beer fondue sauce that will change your life. I need figure out how to make that as well, but I digress. Tonight I’m having a girlfriend over for a movie night, and I’m going to make some of those fabulous spiked shakes.

See, I promised Jerry, the sweet old guy up the street, that I would watch Gone With the Wind, and I have been putting it off. For weeks. Every time I stop to chat with him, he opens with, “Have you watched the movie yet?”

Each time I must hang my head in shame and admit that I have not.

I mean, the movie is FOUR HOURS LONG! Four. Hours. Long.

Just so you know, the last time I did anything for four hours uninterrupted, it was called sleeping. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the movie won Oscars and is all famous and shit, but I have about a 90-minute attention span, max. Sure, I have two film degrees, which means I have endured more long, obtuse “art” films than anyone should ever be exposed to unless they’re being tortured by a rogue terrorist cell, but there’s a reason I work in TV and not features now.

So anyway, I need to bribe myself to sit still tonight, and I need my friend Kim, and my friend bourbon, to force me to do it. This is why I’m making truffle popcorn and Spiked Old Fashioned shakes to accompany Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece.

If you have a movie night coming up and want to mix it up a bit, the shake recipe is below and the popcorn recipe is here. You may not need bourbon and butterfat to sit still like I do, but it’ll make it more fun. I promise.

Spiked Old Fashioned Shake

2 C vanilla ice cream
4 oz bourbon whiskey
2 oz orange juice
¼ tsp Angostura bitters
3 maraschino cherries, plus one additional cherry for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish, optional

Scoop the ice cream into the blender. Add the next four ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour the shake into a glass and garnish with whipped cream and a cherry.

Consume. Smile. Go into a creamy bourbon-induced coma while watching Scarlett O’Hara shout about Yankees in Tara for four hours.

OK, anyway, this Yankee is going to down some Kentucky Bourbon now.

Later, ya’ll.