So I know I’ve been AWOL for quite some time. I guess I lost my inspiration for a little while. I also no longer get my CSA food box, as my work schedule has changed and I’m not able to make it on time to pick my box up. This means I have no pressing need to cook things that may go bad in the fridge, and also means I no longer get mystery foods I need to find recipes for. There goes half my inspiration…
Anyways, my latest experimentation has been sourdough-all things sourdough lol. I got some sourdough starter from a local who was willing to give it to me for free, and things just took off from there. So far, I have made two different sourdough loaves, sourdough cookies, waffles, popovers, and cinnamon rolls.
Today, I decided to try my hand at making sourdough pretzels, using the recipe found here. If you have never made pretzels before, this is definitely one of the easier recipes. I looked at many other pretzel recipes that require you to drop the unbaked pretzels in boiling water and baking soda, but I chose this one because it did not include that step. I also used regular milk instead of almond milk and replaced the glaze mix for a simple egg yolk and water glaze.
Now I have to share my brilliant hack for helping dough rise in a cold house- I use a heating pad under the bowl lol! My house is never warm-there are ZERO warm spots anywhere in it to allow dough to rise. I just put the heating pad on a low setting and it works great!
This is what the pretzels looked like before they went in the oven. The recipe said to make 12, but I thought they were going to be pretty small, so I made 8 instead. I brushed them with my egg yolk wash and then sprinkled coarse salt ontop. They went into the oven for the suggested 27 minutes but weren’t quite browned ontop, so I left them in for probably another five minutes.
Look at these babies!! I’m practically drooling just looking at the pictures. I bet you can imagine how amazing the house smelled once they came out of the oven! I googled pretzel dip recipes and whipped up something loosely based on this recipe and my pretzels were ready to eat. I’ll definitely be making these again!
Homemade granola! Wow! Who knew it was so easy and required so few ingredients to make homemade granola? I had no idea. I love it when I can make things at home instead of buying processed foods that are full of sugar and mystery ingredients. I buy Kashi cereal sometimes and eat it on top of yogurt, but the other week, I discovered this recipe online for Blueberry Flax Granola and I knew I had to try it. The best part? I already had all of the ingredients on hand! I had a package of dried blueberries in the cupboard that had come in my CSA box a few weeks ago, so I was pretty excited to finally have a use for them.
Making it was quick-it took just a few minutes to mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, then I just added maple syrup until it looked like it was all coated. The only maple syrup I had on hand was ED Smith Sugar Free Syrup, so I was a little concerned with how this would work out in the recipe, but I figured it was worth a shot. I also decided to make a half batch instead of a full batch, just in case it was a complete failure. Spread the granola mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, bake, voila-granola! I tasted it a few minutes after it came out of the oven and it was amazing. The blueberries actually got crunchy, which I really liked! I’ll definitely be making this again. I’ve already been thinking of a few other things I’d like to add to it-maybe some shredded coconut, almonds, any other dried fruit I have on hand, maybe even a few chocolate chips once it’s cooled!
So this happened Thursday…spiced butternut squash cookies!! I got a butternut squash in my CSA box this week and had no idea what I was going to do with it. I was getting a little behind on cooking veggies for suppers already so I decided to search for a recipe for something I could bake with the squash instead. When I came across this recipe for spiced butternut squash cookies in my google search, I decided it was worth a try. The recipe called for cooked mashed butternut squash…another recipe I was looking at said to peel and cube the squash and then boil for 20 minutes, so I had already done that part earlier in the week and froze it in one cup portions. (Side note: if you microwave the squash for a few minutes and then let it cool, it’s way easier to peel!) On Thursday evening, I mixed up the “dough” for the cookies. I was a little worried they wouldn’t turn out, as the dough was more like a thick muffin batter, but they turned out great! They’re kind of like muffin tops, actually. The dough spread out on the cookie sheet to double it’s size, which I was not expecting. Thankfully, I used three cookie sheets to make them, for a total of two dozen cookies. Half went in the freezer, which will hopefully still be as good later. The other half I am trying not to eat all in one sitting! I will definitely be saving this recipe to make again 🙂