I think that snacking is an integral part of life. Not only does it give you sustenance, it offers a chance to socialize and share those snacks with other people. It's a bonding experience, trust me.
I have a few favorite snacks, but the focus of this particular post is popcorn. Specifically, Hawaiian popcorn.
Let me start from the beginning. My aunt (who lives in Hawaii) sent me a care package, filled with comfort food and local snacks. Let's be real, those are the best kind of care packages. Anyway, in this one she included two packs of Hawaiian popcorn. What is Hawaiian popcorn? It's simply popcorn mixed with rice crackers and bits of seasoned seaweed. Simple enough, right?
Oh, boy, but does it make a difference.
Let's put it this way: as I began making a batch of it (on the stove...because we *gasp* don't have a microwave. Honestly though, popcorn tastes better when you make it on the stove!) my friend ran to a bodega to get a drink. He came back to the rest of us crowded around a bowl of Hawaiian popcorn, standing right in front of the stove. It was so good we didn't even bother moving to sit down and eat.
Making Hawaiian popcorn is pretty simple - just follow the instructions on the bag! Pop the popcorn, pour it into the bag, and mix it together with the rice crackers, seaweed, and buttery seasoning. And snack to your heart's content!
What's your favorite type of popcorn? What's your snack of choice?
Okay, look. I have a problem. They're called coffee shops. I could very easily make my own coffee (what with both my french press and regular Mr. Coffee) but sometimes...it's so much easier to spend my days job searching somewhere that isn't my apartment with coffee that I haven't made myself.
Trust me, coffee shops have gotten me through tough times. The number of essays I've written in various Starbucks throughout college is absurd. They're reliable constants in my life - when I'm in a coffee shop, I always know where I can find food, a place to sit, free wifi, and a bathroom.
So when I moved to East Williamsburg in Brooklyn this past August, one of my first priorities was finding a close and cute cafe to take refuge in. For the most part, I'm pleased to say, I've had my pick of cute cafes. There's Lula Bean, Gimme Coffee, Verb Cafe, and more. But the one coffee shop I've set up camp in almost embarrassingly frequently is Konditori, the Swedish coffee house.
Nestled next to a (delicious) falafel place, Konditori is literally visible right when you get off the Bedford L stop. It's relatively small with a few small tables in front and a larger wooden table in the back. There's a funky looking old refrigerator that may or may not be a decoration, and bar stool seating that looks out the glass windows in the front of the cafe. Plus, reliable wifi! I usually order an ice coffee - a standard $3.00.
But there are two things that I love about Konditori. The first are their cookies and pastries. The Swedish cocoa balls are divine and I always try to get a different type of cookie when I stop by - they're just so good! They're vegan friendly too.
The second, and what really makes this cafe so lovable to me, is that despite its prime location off of Bedford, it's rarely ever filled with a claustrophobic crowd and I've never had an issue finding a seat. The staff are very sweet too, and these two things combined create an atmosphere where I feel comfortable drinking my coffee and manically writing in my journal or checking craigslist.
If you want a cafe to work or talk in over delicious coffee, go to Konditori. It's convenient and cute!
Where are your favorite places to get coffee in Brooklyn?
As a kid, (like most) I hated leafy greens. I still have something of an aversion to them now, but this past year a friend introduced me to kale. I'll be honest, before I had only a vague idea of what it was and mostly wrote it off as a cliche hippie dippy food choice. But when in Brooklyn...eat organic, or something. :)
Typically I use kale when I make my go-to comfort food dinner: tomato basil pasta. It's a simple recipe, easy, and a de-stresser. For me, at least! The recipe's pretty basic, and I usually am not too precise about the measurements - honestly, it's more about taste, balance, and attempting to figure out what meshes well. But once I've made the sauce and the tomatoes are all boiled down, I throw in pieces of kale that I've chopped up. Not only does it add mass and heft, but it also retains its texture and adds a nice splash of green to the sauce.
But you've probably got an idea of what the best way to eat kale is:
I introduced my roommates to kale chips a couple weeks ago and they were hooked. One of them even bought a bunch of kale and stared at me with puppy dog eyes until I made them for her. Kale chips are great snacks for when you've got the munchies. They’re healthy, taste great with seasoning, and are crisp and crunchy.
Be warned, a lot of kale goes a little way; it does the same thing that spinach does when cooked, it shrinks. So the more kale, the better.
To make kale chips, simply:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Tear the kale into small, chip size pieces (you can cut them or use your hands...I usually just tear!)
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the kale on it
Drizzle in olive oil, salt, and whatever else you feel like! A favorite of mine is adding minced garlic and garlic powder. (I may or may not love garlic. You decide)
Place in the oven and bake until leaves are crisp - I usually wait 15 minutes and then check back obsessively
How do you like to eat kale? What kinds of seasoning do you like to use when you make kale chips?