Enjoy a late afternoon treat with this Parmesan Popcorn recipe. Air-popped popcorn topped with parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Perfect for an afternoon treat!
This is a sponsored post for Diet Dr. Pepper and Jewel-Osco. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to all the readers and companies who support Cravings of a Lunatic.
I'll start this post by saying I have the pleasure of working from home. I know most people dream about having that option. I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to work from home and make my own hours.
Let me just say working for home is NOT all it's cracked up to be. Sure, I show up to work in my jammies. Yes, in theory I make my own hours and my schedule is flexible. I get to hang out with kids and my pets. There are a lot of perks.
However, the reality is very different than the fantasy. It's long hours because there are constant, AND I MEAN CONSTANT, interruptions. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world, but it's not all it's cracked up to be.
It's important to keep a sense of humor when you work from home. You are going to need it. Nothing will go according to plan. Ever. No matter how many lists you make or how well you plan. Things will go off the rails from time to time.
Things that happen day to day:
- Dogs want to go out 387 times a day.
- Cats want to play 537 times a day.
- Doorbell rings 79 times a day.
- Phone rings every 7.36 minutes, all the live long day.
- Texts come in every 3.21 minutes, it's endless alerts.
- You get distracted by laundry.
- You get distracted by dishes.
- You get distracted by dog toys everywhere.
- You get distracted by everything.
Luckily I LOVE my job and consider myself super lucky to get to do what I love for a living. I also consider myself incredibly lucky to do it from home. Even with all the distractions and interruptions. Man, there is a lot of interruptions.
For me, I know to watch my stress level and force myself to take a break every single day. I often work through my lunch because I'm usually photographing it while I eat it. Same goes with breakfast and dinner some days.
So, I am really strict about giving myself time off every day. It's usually in mid-afternoon when everyone else is at work or school. Once all my photos are taken for the day I take an afternoon break. It helps reset my brain.
Since I work from home my breaks consist of Netflix, popcorn, and a cold glass of Diet Dr. Pepper. I pick up my supplies at Jewel-Osco. I can grab everything I need in one place. Diet Dr. Pepper, popcorn, parmesan cheese, and a cozy blanket.
I never feel guilty about taking an hour to myself in the middle of the day. I'll turn on my favourite show, which is usually The Walking Dead on a loop or whatever new show is hot at the time. I always ask my friends on FB what they are watching.
Once I get my show queued up, I turn on the air popper to make a bowl of popcorn. While it's heating up I grab a glass and fill it with ice, then pour myself a sweet treat. Diet Dr. Pepper always hits the spot after a long photo session.
I get comfy on the couch, usually with my favourite pillows and blanket. The pups usually come curl up at my feet and fall asleep. Then I hunker down for an hour to reset my brain and just let the stress fall away for an hour.
For me having popcorn and a Diet Dr. Pepper go back to my childhood. My best friend in grade school was Louise, she lived down the block from me. Every day right after school we would go to her house and play monopoly while noshing popcorn and sipping pop.
I'm not going to lie, her monopoly money was so gross and had to replaced every 3 months. Her parents never complained, they just loved the fact that we were hanging out at their house and not getting into trouble. It was a great way to wind down after school.
As an adult I have kept part of that childhood tradition alive. I work wicked long hours and never get away from the house because of health issues. So it's important to me to take time out so my home is still a home, and not just the place I work.
That separation is important. Plus I'm usually burnt out by midday and need a sweet treat and tasty snack to perk me up. Since I spend so much time developing recipes which requires tasting everything, I like to keep my midday treat from being calorie heavy.
Sweet Yourself with Diet Dr. Pepper and treat yourself with this Parmesan Popcorn. Having a bowl of popcorn and a sweet treat is the perfect afternoon survival break everyone needs in their life. Treat yourself right. Every single day.
Never feel guilty about taking a break from work or the kids or whatever you may need a break from. It's so important to give yourself permission to take some time to yourself every day. You deserve it, you work hard. I deserve it, I work hard.
I'm over allowing myself or anyone else make me feel guilty for taking a little time to myself each day. Whatever you love to do, do more of it. If you love working out then take a quick trip to the gym. If you like to read pull out your favorite book. Do what makes you happy.
That's what life is all about. Work hard, play harder. Enjoy the things you love on your down time. If you're lucky you love your job. If you don't love your job having quality down time is even more important. Treat yourself right. Every single day.
Diet Dr. Pepper and a healthier version of popcorn help me keep the calorie consumption down but I still get to treat myself. I think that's important. How do you Sweet Yourself every day? Do you have a routine to break up a long work day?
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
- Use an air-popper to pop kernels. Allow air popper to heat up, toss in kernels and let it do its thing. Place a large bowl under the spout of the air popper.
- Combine the olive oil and butter in a small microwave safe ramekin. Heat in microwave for about 15 to 30 seconds, depending on your microwave.
- Once popcorn is popped, pour the oil/butter combo over top and toss the popcorn until it coats the popcorn nicely. Another option is to layer the mixture over the popcorn as it's popping. Drizzle with spoon over the popcorn when the bowl is ⅓ full, then ⅔ full, then completely full. Either option is a great way to evenly coat it. You can use more or less depending on your dietary restrictions.
- Toss the Parmesan over top of the popcorn, plus the parsley and salt (if desired). Toss the bowl until the parmesan, parsley and salt coats all the popcorn evenly.
- One trick for even coating is using a bowl that is much larger than you need so it's easy to toss the popcorn repeatedly without spilling any.
- Grab a glass, fill with ice, and pour yourself a Diet Dr. Pepper.
- Serve with a big old sweet and salty loving smile!
YOU DESERVE IT!!
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