Well, fall is coming. I always feel the need to start baking when the weather gets cool. This morning I tried my hand at soft pretzels. I thought I would share my recipe. They turned out really good.
1 1/2 cups warm water – don’t use the microwave to heat the water because it gets too hot
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour – all purpose
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to foam. Add the butter and flour mix until combined. I use the hook attachment on low speed and then switch to medium speed. Continue to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This takes a few minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm place for an hour. It should double in size.
Grease two baking sheets and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425.
Bring baking soda and 10 cups of water to a bowl in a large dutch oven.
Place the dough onto an oiled surface slightly flatten with your hand and cut in to 9 pieces.
Roll each piece in to a long rope 18 – 24 inches. Fold in to a pretzel shape and set aside. Place the pretzels one by one in to the boiling water. This is foam. Remove from the water after 20 seconds and place on the baking sheet. Brush the pretzel with beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until brown in color. Baking should take approximately 12 – 15 minutes.
The corn crop in Indiana has been really nice this year. It’s an awesome sight to drive down the country roads lined with corn on both sides. Although Indiana is known for many crops, corn is the main one.
I know I posted how I prepare corn for the freezer last year, but thought I would post it again because of the questions I’ve received recently.
Freezing corn is a pretty simple process.
Shuck all the corn making sure to remove as much silk as possible
Place corn in boiling water for 3-5 minutes
Remove the corn carefully and place in a cold water pan for approximately 10 minutes
Remove from the cold water pan and place the corn on a towel to dry for a few minutes
Place the corn ears in to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible
Or, if you wish cut the corn carefully from the cob and place in freezer bags.
Corn will keep in the freezer for around one year
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost August already. This year seems to be flying by. I guess that’s not unusual as they all seem to fly. I’m not sure if we are all running faster or perhaps slower and always in the catch-up mode.
I’m learning to just enjoy every day, be happy with my current situation and continue to strive for my next step forward to be positive. Always try to accomplish one new thing every day but realize all tasks not accomplished can be put on tomorrows list.
Our time on earth is short, love life and one another.
These are sooo cute and easy to do. Great for an adult or child’s Halloween Party.
String Cheese – as many packages as you need – each stick will make two brooms
Chives or Dill – must be fresh
Cut the cheese sticks in half. Now carefully cut one end of the cheese in half leaving the top half of the stick uncut. Continue cutting strips leaving the top half uncut until it resembles a broom end. Wrap a piece of dill or chives around the cheese just above the cuts and place a pretzel in the top uncut half.
One large sweet potato cooked to done but not mushy – Either microwaved or baked
- Three tablespoons olive oil
- One cup of fresh kale or spinach, rinsed and chopped
- One half cup feta cheese
- Pasta – use whole grain linguine, spaghetti even fettuccine
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped finely
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prep all the veggies and set aside. Heat the water to boiling and drop in the pasta. Heat olive oil in the skillet while the water is heating and put the kale in the skillet. If you are using spinach it will go in later but if you are using kale do this first because kale takes longer to cook. Add the garlic, onion and cook until the onion is opaque. Add the sweet potatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the sweet potatoes are getting a little brown. The pasta should be done by now so go ahead and drain the pasta and place it in the skillet. Stir, add the feta and stir again. Cook over low heat for a few minutes allowing the feta to melt and combine with the kale and pasta. Top with the parm cheese and serve warm.
These little bites are incredible. I used onions but you could substitute grated carrots if you don’t care for onions. Easy and quick. These would be great for football gatherings too.
1 large zucchini grated
1 large egg
1/3 cup diced onion – this is where you could substitute the carrot
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
dash of salt
pepper to taste
red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper
cooking spray – I used olive oil
Heat the oven to 400. Spray mini muffin tin with the olive oil spray.
Finely grate the zucchini and drain. I placed the zucchini between paper towels and squeezed until the most of the liquid was out. Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can add any other spices you would like. Chives and carrots have been a tasty alternative i’ve tried. Spoon in to the sprayed muffin tin and bake for about fifteen minutes or until done. They should be browned on top and mildly firm. If they aren’t cooked enough they will stick to the muffin pan. That’s it. Now don’t eat them all on the way to the table.