Friday, 19 January 2018

Celebrating International Popcorn Day With Popcorn!

Happy International Popcorn Day!

Popcorn is one of my favourite snacks. Not only is it easy to make, but a simple internet search brings up hundreds of recipe ideas. My current favourite is a delicious (and spicy) treat—just add 8-10 drops of hot sauce to the canola oil before you pop the corn. Yummy!

But since today is International Popcorn Day (honest!) I've been thinking about popcorn a little differently. Like, did you know that popcorn is perfect for crafting? Seriously. For example, you can make a simple snack garland for the birds by stringing together day-old popcorn and dried fruit. Scroll through Google for some more great craft ideas.

Or, what about making family movie night a little more creative? Decorate small paper bags with crayons, markers, stickers, or whatever fun stuff your mom has in her craft room. Fill each bag with your favourite popcorn flavor and settle in for the flick. Or, instead of popcorn while watching a movie, how about popcorn as a delicious snack for reading—"pop" open a good book. (Get it? hehe)

I know we'll have popcorn in class today, but in case you're looking for ideas on how to celebrate with your friends at school, here are 10 fresh ideas.

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend...whatever you're snacking on.

~ Chase Superman Duffy 

P.S. – Here’s five really cool popcorn facts! How many did YOU know?

1. When black popcorn is popped, it becomes white.
2. Popcorn was the first food to be microwaved deliberately.
3. If popcorn is salted before the kernels are popped, it becomes tough.
4. If popcorn kernels dry out, they can be freshened by adding 1 or 2 Tbsp (15-30 mL) of water to the jar and shaking it.
5. Archeologists found some popped corn in a bat cave in New Mexico that was 5,600 years old.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Soup's On! Keeping Warm During The Deep Freeze

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but most of the province is back in the deep freeze—yesterday, we dipped down to -37C again, and it’s been three days since I’ve been able to run outside. Training on my treadmill just isn’t the same, and if I don’t do something, I’ll go stir crazy. (I mean, aside from all of the reading I’m doing…)

My weather app says we’re going to snap out of this cold tomorrow (just in time for the weekend), but this is Alberta, and anything could happen. Which is why I’m thankful Mom has been making a lot of soup, stews, and casseroles for dinner. Not only do those hearty (or heavy) meals provide comfort, they can keep you warm!

To keep my energy levels up when I’m running (or just playing outside), Mom says it’s important to eat nutrient-dense, balanced meals of proteins, whole grains and healthy fats.

Like when I stay at Grandma’s this weekend, I know she’ll make me a ham, spinach and lower-fat cheese omelette, or delicious oatmeal sprinkled with raisins, pumpkin seeds, vanilla yogurt, and a little brown sugar. YUM!

Mom never makes that stuff. She says it’s too “tempting” and her portions are always too big—her New Year’s resolution (again) is to lose a few pounds and she’s been eating rabbit-food for days, even when we're eating potato soup. No wonder she’s always cold! Maybe it’s time I gave her a dose of her own medicine and learned how to make some kind of comfort food the won't be able to resist.

Wait! Maybe there’s a recipe in TASTING MY STORY! I’m going to check it out. Don’t have a copy? You can order it from 

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

P.S. If you like to cook, Grandma says there’s great food recipes at The picture of the soup above is from that website. Here's the recipe.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Training (And Farming) With This Mixed-Up Weather

Can you believe this weather?

Last week, it was so cold that outdoor New Year's Eve events were CANCELLED. No skating, no hot chocolate at the Legislator grounds—we didn't even watch the fireworks. (Though, we sure heard them. I can't believe people went outside to WATCH them!)

But this week, I'm back to running outside—the other day in my T-SHIRT! Sure,  I’m dodging ice patches, but many of those are melting too. I just treat the sidewalk or trails like an obstacle course. Coach says it’s great training for track.

But this weather isn't necessarily great for crop farmers, my grandpa says, because in his area, there's been very little snow. And a lack of snow means that winter and perennial crops like alfalfa and winter wheat aren’t insulated.

Snow insulates plants like that “pink stuff” in our houseskeeps us warm. And without snow, cold temperatures (like those last week) or high winds will damage the crops and they won't survive until next spring. With the weather experienced last week, there's a chance the damage has been done.

For the farmer's sake, I'm hoping for snow. Even if it covers the sidewalks and trails, I can go snowshoeing—one of this year's outdoor activity goals. Especially if the temperatures stay reasonable!

Anyway, gotta jet! This weekend I'm running...unless it snows. Then you'll find my strapped to a pair of snow shoes and exploring new trails.

See you next week!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!


It was far too cold where I live to enjoy any outdoor festivities last night, so me and my family stayed INSIDE, with sparkling Gingerale, a wood burning fire, and an enthusiastic game of Whovilleopoly. Dad won—again—but that doesn't matter. The point is, we spent time as a family, and together we rang in a New Year.

Welcome, 2018. I've been waiting for you!

I don't always do great with resolutions (though, if you look back on my posts from 2017, you'll see my resolve to learn more about Canada went well!) But here are a few things that are important to me for 2018:

Write more letters. I have friends across the country (and even some from around the world) and instead of just emailing, I am going to try and write at least one letter a month. It’s the perfect way to start Letter Writing Week!

Read more books. I know, this is always on my list, and I did a bit better in 2017. But in 2018, I pledge to read at least 25 books. I'll try to remember to review them on the blog so you can see what I'm reading—and hold me accountable to my goal.

Start a new hobby. My mom says hobbies are important for personal growth (or something like that)—so I am going to spend the next week or so coming up with a new hobby. Something that won’t take too much time, but something really different. Any ideas?

I have some other resolutions too—like helping mom around the house more, spending more time with my sister, beating my personal running best, and writing at least three short stories.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Gotta jet! Have a great day and a wonderful 2018!

~ Chase Superman Duffy