Today is a sweatpants and sweatshirt day. And a sportsbra. And running shoes. And ponytale. And no makeup. Yesterday was a sweatpants and sweatshirt day. And a sportsbra. And running shoes. And ponytale. And no makeup. Friday was a sweatpants and sweatshirt day. And a sportsbra. And running shoes. And ponytale. And no makeup.

Are you seeing a trend? The thing I like about sweatpants is the anonymity they give me. And the anonymity they give my ass. There is something comforting about not giving a flip how I look. And comfy/not form fitting makes me feel better about the beer weight from A’dam that won’t.go.away. The black sweats I’m wearing today are kind of dancer-esce, so I feel somewhat stylish, despite the grunge. (I see you laughing at me. Silence….Mortal) and these pants are warm, a comfort given the fact that we got three feet of snow yesterday.

But why is she wearing sweatpants? you ask. This is Chantalle, the girl who has successfully survived 7.5 semesters of university with only 1 – I repeat – ONE sweatshirt-to-class day in the entirety of said schooling. Chantalle doesn’t wear sweats. Say, screw makeup? Yeah, she does that. Often. But she does. not. wear. sweats.

You would think there would be a good explanation – having the sniffles, no clean clothes, woke up late, massive hangover – but no, I’m tired of being alive-ish. Not in an “I want to curl up and die” sense, heavens no no no. More like, I’m tired of getting up early, tired of running at the gym, tired of doing my homework, tired of eyeliner, tired of counting calories.

Talk about a productivity cramp, right? The logical thing would be to go on a vacation, snap out of it. But who am I to be logical? That’s just crazy talk. I make crackerjack popcorn instead, overdose on the caramel part, and then take a four hour nap to escape the sugar-induced nausea. At least, that was my approach on Friday. And Saturday. Today, there are two pieces of caramel choco popcorn in the tin and I’m feeling a tad bit guilty. My recourse? I’ll leave them there and blame my dad for eating all of the popcorn.

Crackerjack Popcorn

Medium sauce pan
cookie sheet, lined with wax paper (butter/grease this)
double boiler
candy thermometer or a bowl of cool water

A couple words of note:

  • This recipe is great for parties, Christmas presents, or general snacking needs.
  • If you like peanuts, crush some up and add it to the caramel before pouring it over the popcorn.
  • Be sure to grease the waxed paper, unless you like a little extra roughage with your crackerjacks.
  • Read the Science of Cooking: Candy-making Stages before you start. It’s a great reference for this and other candies and will help clear up any potential temp and candy-stage issues.

1/2 C popcorn kernels
1 T walnut/canola/avocado/coconut oil
1 T butter
1 tsp salt

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a pan until bubbling.
  2. Pour in popcorn, cover with lid, and move pan briskly over burner (you will hear the kernels start to pop after a few minutes) until popcorn has stopped popping.
  3. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt. Spread popcorn over waxed paper.
  4. Wash your sauce pan out for….

1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C milk or cream
5 Tbs. butter
3(ish) Tbs. agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Pour sugar, milk, and agave into sauce pan and heat on medium until just boiling.
  2. Add butter and whisk briskly.
  3. Use the candy thermometer to monitor how hot the caramel gets (you are aiming for 245-250 F, this is somewhere between firm- and hard-ball stage). This part is crucial – DO NOT touch the caramel because it is EXTREMELY hot and will do more than just burn you.
  4. If you are not using a candy thermometer, use your spoon to drop a bit of caramel into the cool water. Fish it out and check its consistency – you are looking for the caramel to be hard but malleable.
  5. Once the right temperature is reached, remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  6. Spoon the caramel over the popcorn. You will most likely end up with clumps of caramel popcorn (you could try mixing it all in a greased bowl, but personally, I like the clumps).

1/4 C. milk chocolate pieces

  1. Heat the chocolate in the double boiler until liquid.
  2. Spoon over the caramel and popcorn.
  3. Let the whole thing cool.