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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I’m on fire!!!

Oh wait, that’s just the triple pepper fermented hot sauce I’m making lol. Although I found a recipe online for it here, I think I shall name my version Triple Threat Hot Sauce. I might actually die when I try it. I breathed in some steam when I was washing the knife after cutting the peppers and I swear I inhaled fire. For my version, I used jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, and Serrano peppers. I didn’t want to play it safe!

I love experimenting with different fermented foods, so when I realized I could make fermented hot sauce, I had to give it a try. Today I cut up the peppers(heck yeah I wore gloves!!), made the brine, and put everything in a jar. Now I have to wait a few days before I can blend it and taste it.

This is what it looked like in the jar once I added everything. I’ll try to remember to take pics before and after it’s blended and post them too.

365 days of cabbage

Ok, maybe not that many days of cabbage, but I’m beginning to feel like I might never see the end of it.  I received a cabbage in my weekly CSA at least five times already since January…and I still have two cabbages in my fridge!  I can’t keep up with all the cabbage!  I don’t care much for cooked cabbage by itself, so my options are to make cabbage roll casserole, soup, or sauerkraut.  Yesterday, I chose to make a new sauerkraut to accompany the other three jars of kraut in my fridge.  If you think sauerkraut is only good on sausage, think again! I put that #@*% on everything!  So far, I have made a regular sauerkraut, a brussels spout and cabbage kraut, and Fire Kraut.

Yesterday, I made Ginger Beet Kraut.  I had a small purple cabbage in the fridge and half of a green one, so that’s what went into today’s kraut.  I also had a few beets left from my CSA box a few weeks ago, so I got to use one of those as well.  For anyone that’s never made sauerkraut, it’s SO easy!  Cut up your ingredients, add some salt, mix it in with your hands, let it sit half an hour, put it in a jar, wait a few weeks and PRESTO-you have sauerkraut!  The hardest part is waiting a few weeks to taste test it.  Hopefully this batch tastes as good as the Fire Kraut!