Matcha Popcorn


I took a mental health day on Friday. Do you ever take those? I feel like it should be a lot more socially acceptable to tell your coworkers "Hey, guys. I need to just not talk to anyone today about ADA signage or mechanical coordination and spend the day in soft pants doing things that make my soul feel alive." I should have put that in incredibly tiny text at the end of my "Home Sick" email. To be honest, my office is pretty great and I imagine would be totally understanding of me taking a day for myself. But it still feels weird, you know?

I feel like I am constantly juggling a million things. I have a full time job. But there is always a side project to be done. A recipe to be tested. An event that I should probably go to. A person I need to meet or catch up with. A mountain of dishes to wash. Gosh. So. Many. Dishes. Oh, maybe go to the gym a few times to balance all the food! But in an odd way, I love being a busy bee. I get so much satisfaction from checking everything off my to-do list and operating at maximum productivity. It takes a lot of work and an incredibly detailed google calendar. Most of the time, I feel like I maintain a pretty good balance. But that balance has been slowly slipping away the last 2-3 weeks.

As each hectic day passed I could feel myself slowly unraveling. You know how you get that lump in your chest that just gets a little heavier and heavier? Like a lot of people, I suffer from anxiety. Granted, my anxiety is not as severe as a lot of other people's anxiety. But it is definitely something I have had to learn to manage. It thankfully was not an issue when I was kid, but it definitely started to develop when I went to college and more so now that I'm like a sort of independent woman trying to make my dreams come true.  My anxiety stems from a fear of not achieving enough and not pleasing everyone. So it is sort of a blessing and a curse. It gives me a push and drive to do all things I want to do. But it also leaves me feeling incredibly upset and restless if I feel like I just wasted an entire day doing nothing except watching Queer Eye all day. Or if I have to say no to a friend, it tears me upside. So I've been trying to remind myself that it is okay to slow down, to say no, and to just take time for myself and do nothing. Otherwise I would go insane.

On a day to day basis I try to make time in the morning before work to make myself a nice breakfast and matcha latte and enjoy a moment of calm before heading out to work. It's my time. Then I do the same during dinner, chopping lots of vegetables is my form of mediation. But lately, I've been just skipping breakfast and calling an uber pool to take me to work because I'm already running 45 minutes late for work. It creates a really frantic start to my day and then it gets mixed up with work stress and side project stress... it's not awesome.

So on Friday I decided I was going to take the day off to focus on myself. This was my day:

7:30am- Wake up, scroll through instagram, kiss Reub goodbye for the day.
8:00am - Watch some morning tv and drink a matcha latte.
8:30am - Walk down clement street to do some grocery shopping.
9:30am - Make and photograph a savory dutch baby for the blog.
10:30am - Eat a small slice of dutch baby, text Reuben how incredible it is. Save the rest for dinner.
11:00am - Prepare a bowl of veggie heavy instant ramen for late breakfast/early lunch. 
11:30am - Veg out on the couch and watch Netflix.
1:00pm - Get a craving for chocolate. Put on pants and walk to Arsicault Bakery to buy 3 different croissants.
2:00pm - Stop by the plant nursery and buy 2 new plant babies.
2:30pm - Veg out some more on the couch while watching a Fixer Upper marathon and eat a chocolate croissant.
4:30 pm - Call my Momma!
5:30 pm - Start a terrible that is too embarassing to share.
6:30 pm - Reuben comes home, tell each other how our days went, and get ready to go out for a friend's birthday.

That was my day and it was freaking awesome! I was so happy, I couldn't stop smiling! My mental health day really did a lot to help me reset and put me back into balance. I came back to work on Monday feeling so refreshed : ) and so far it has been a pretty good week (it's only Tuesday 😜 ).

You know what else helps put you back into balance? Making Matcha Popcorn with one of your very best friends! I mentioned in my last post how I got to spend the day with my dear friend, Kate! She gave me the idea for this matcha popcorn a few months ago, when she moved to LA and picked up this sweet popcorn treat at Sweet Fin Poke. The popcorn is coated in a matcha white chocolate and then perfectly sprinkled with salt and black sesame seeds. I'm down for anything white chocolate! And with matcha, flakey salt, and black sesame! Seriously, all my favorite ingredients. It sounded like the most amazing treat so I had to make it for myself. It is insanely easy to make. The salt helps balance out the sweetness of the white chocolate and black sesame seeds are a nice flavor surprise to contrast the matcha. So good. But also really dangerous. I kept a big bowl of it out while I was preparing our Chinese New Year dinner and I had to physically remove it from the room I was in so that there would still be some left for our guests. Popcorn on the stove top was also a new experience for me. It was so much fun! And hilarious to see someone (Reuben) jump a little when the popcorn is still popping the bowl hehehehe

I hope you all have a calm and refreshing weekend coming up! Maybe make some Matcha Popcorn with your best friend! 

Matcha Popcorn

2 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tbsp for coating
6 tbsp popcorn kernels
8oz white chocolate
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
flakey sea salt
black sesame seeds

1. Melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add in one kernel of corn into the pot and cover until it pots. Once the kernel pops add in 3 tbsp of popcorn kernels. Cover and heat for 60 to 90 seconds until all the kernels pop. Immediately place popcorn in a large pot. Repeat steps with other half of kernels.

2. Set up a double boiler to melt your white chocolate. Add enough water in a small pot so that you have 2" of water. Bring water to a slight slimmer. Place a heat proof bowl on top of the pot of water. 

3. Add white chocolate and 1 tbsp of coconut oil to the bowl. Whisk the chocolate as it starts to melt. Add matcha powder and continue to whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

4. Drizzle matcha white chocolate mixture over the popcorn and gently toss the popcorn to coat. To make things easier, you can coat the popcorn in two batches.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the coated popcorn on the baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle flakey sea salt and black sesame seeds over the popcorn. Place in the fridge and allow to chill for at 2 hours, until the chocolate has hardened.

6. Break into smaller pieces and enjoy!