I’m In Love With Juan.

Valdez, that is.

There isn’t a morning I don’t wake up and relish in the thought and sip of my morning cup of coffee. It is a smooth, warm, comfortable hug that pushes me into the day’s good graces. In the pre-dawn hours, when the Peanut has just woken me up, I need that coffee like I need oxygen and almost as much as Lindsay Lohan needs her attorney’s number on speed dial.

I have read several studies stating that coffee drinkers are healthier, happier, sometimes thinner, less demented in their old age, and prone to fewer strokes and heart attacks than non-coffee drinkers. I understand the science behind the antioxidant rich, mahogany elixir of the gods, but the thing of it for me is pure and simple; routine. I love routine. I love waking up, scooping my coffee into my French press and pumping the near boiling water into it from my electric water boiler. The deep, earthy smell immediately fills my small kitchen, enveloping me in an aura of placidity. I am as relaxed as John Boehner in a kleenex factory. It is the calm before the hurricane of the day.

The rest of the day I am swept up in the chaos of two kids, writing, acting, cleaning, cooking, working out, avoiding the naked gazes from the women in the locker room, (how can you just chat with me?? I can tell how much you spend on WAXING?!?!?) changing diapers, grinding my teeth, and biting my lip from stress. Another cup of coffee to help me deal with it? Yes.Please. I fear if I didn’t have that coffee, I’d turn to darker means to alleviate my stress, like┬ámercenary work or taxidermy.

Thanks be to the JavaLord that it also serves to rev my metabolism. Coffee, along with green tea and some other teas/spices, help your motor run. They sizzle your schmaltz. This is good because I’d more than likely have to eat something I’d taxidermied, as to assuage my guilt. (if I get one ever loving email asking me if I’m serious, I’ll stuff a care bear; the one with the cloud goes first.)

Trying to shed a few pounds (interesting note of fact, I’ve been chatting with a girlfriend all day from the UK, and I almost wrote “quid” for pounds, even though they’re not the same meaning or usage, due to hearing it 293759348 times in one day.) Ok, so even though I want to drop a few, I still love a snack. My snacks have to be calculated and serve many purposes. They need to fill me up, and they need to slim me down. You follow? In comes air-popped popcorn. Yes, plain old popcorn is about as interesting as gym socks, but spiced up a bit? With something unexpected? That IS a treat.

Some of the biggest metabolic boosters are (the aforementioned) coffee, garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, and olive oil. This recipe has all of those. It may not be a golden ticket, but it can be a match to light the torch. All of the popcorn’s fiber keeps you clean and full, and all the antioxidants keep things light.

If you don’t have an air-popper, just stick about 1/4 cup of kernels in a paper bag with the tiniest drizzle of olive oil, give it a shake, fold it a few times at the top to seal it, and microwave it on the popcorn setting.

When you have your cups of air-popped kernels, use an oil mister and gently mist the popcorn with olive oil and sprinkle the magic perfect popcorn spice mix on the popcorn and toss.

Perfect Popcorn Spice Mix

Perfect Popcorn Spice Mix

by Cat Tan

Keywords: appetizer condiment side snack vegan



  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder, extra fine
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper
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9 thoughts on “I’m In Love With Juan.

  1. I eat air-popped popcorn almost every day (yeah to the routine thing). I never thought of putting espresso powder on it. Woo Hoo this looks yummy. Will make the spices tomorrow.

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