Pretzels, anyone?

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!

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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.

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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!

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What is this deliciousness??

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!

Butternut squash…cookies??

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 🙂