Two weekends ago, Mom and I received an exclusive email from the Oakland Athletics, our favorite baseball team. As season ticket holders, we were invited down to the field before the gates opened to watch warm-ups, batting practice, and get an autograph from a player or two. I literally dropped everything—my baking, my writing, my blog photo shoots—and drove down to my parents’ on Saturday night. No way would I skip that opportunity!
Bright and early Sunday morning, we loaded up Mom’s car with our usual water bottles and sunscreen… Plus a million baseballs, caps, and sharpies. Yes, we were those fans… But in our defense, Dad (the biggest baseball fan of us all) couldn’t come because Grandma was being discharged from the local hospital that afternoon, so we needed to get something signed for him too.
Armed with a special checkered wristband and golden badge, we wove our way through the seats and onto the warning track along with the other season ticket holders, pressing ourselves up close to the colorful Oakland A’s tape preventing us from stepping out onto the grass. I started snapping a thousand photos of the players on my humongous camera, and I definitely caught a few confused and bemused expressions on film!
Two pitchers, Drew Pomeranz and Dan Otero, walked down the line of season ticket holders to sign our various memorabilia items and pose for pictures. With both guys well over 6’ tall, they gamely crouched down a bit to fit in the frame with all 5’2” of me. They’re probably used to it by now, with all of the little kids running around and asking for pictures too…
Eventually, we climbed back up the stairs to our seats, just as the family behind us bought kettle corn from a vendor. With its sweet, almost maple-y scent floating towards our heads, waiting for the game to start was pure torture! But I kept my head down, watched the batters, and scribbled down plays in my scorecard, all while dream of making my own popcorn at home.
But for this batch, I went the traditional route and created Skinny Buttered Popcorn instead! Full of rich flavor in every nostalgic handful, it’ll bring back memories of movie theaters and slumber parties… And yes, baseball games too. You just need 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to make your own bowl!
We’ll start with a batch of air-popped popcorn. I made mine in the microwave with just a paper lunch bag and regular popcorn kernels. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to make it—no fancy machine required! In 2 minutes, give or take a few seconds depending on your microwave, you’re done and grabbing fistfuls from the bowl.
While the kernels burst in the microwave, let’s start on the butter. You do need one tiny piece of equipment for this part: a spray bottle. I bought this one for 97¢ at Walmart in their travel-size section. It’s so cheap, but its wide mist perfectly coats the popcorn with that rich butter flavor without completely drenching any particular piece.
Once you’ve melted the butter, add a tiny bit of hot water. Not cold, not warm… Hot. We don’t want to chill and re-solidify the butter we just melted! Add just enough to help it move through the spray bottle, and give it a gentle shake before you mist to help the water and butter combine.
I generally lay the popcorn out across a large sheet of foil. You could also use a cookie sheet, but the foil is much easier to clean up. Just wad it up and toss in the trash! You want to spread out the popcorn in a single layer to ensure every piece gets misted; then grab a handful as soon as you finish and dig in!
This healthier Skinny Buttered Popcorn snack literally disappeared in a matter of minutes… Quick, cheap, and easy, it’s perfect for after-school snacks or movie nights, but I highly recommend that everyone gets their own bowl. You really won’t want to share!