Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pretzel Bites

With the Super Bowl coming up, it is no surprise that my thoughts do not go to football, but directly to food.  Dips? Chili? Chicken wings? Pizza? A day where there is an excuse to make food that is acceptable to eat solely for the purpose of a 4 hour game.

The best part about Pretzel Bites is that they are very easy to make, and the ingredients are a staple in any pantry, so no need to grocery shop!

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
4 1/2 - 5 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Quarts Water
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 Egg, beaten plus 1 tablespoon water
Coarse Sea Salt

In a bowl combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water.  Give a quick mix, then let sit for 5 minutes or until slightly puffy.

Add salt and flour to wet mixture. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium.  Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.  Add additional flour until the flour pulls away from the bowl and is no longer sticky. Transfer dough to a clean work area, knead by hand for 3-5 minutes, shaping into a ball.

Grease a medium bowl with oil. Toss dough into bowl, then flip to coat all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm location for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large stockpot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Carefully and quickly add baking soda (this may splatter). 
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Repeat with all the remaining dough.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk one egg together with one tablespoon of water, set aside.
Boil 10-15 pieces of cut dough at a time for 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer to baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough pieces.  If making the entire recipe, you will need 3-4 baking sheets.
Brush egg wash over dough pieces. Immediately sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Serve warm with dipping sauces. We used honey mustard!

This is when Paul and I got a little creative.  We had dough left over, so we decided to experiment and make Pizza Pretzel Bites.
To do this, prepare the dough the same way into a long rope.  Except now, take a rolling pin and flatten it out to about 3 inches wide. Spread pepperoni and mozzarella onto the dough.

Roll the edges of the dough up and pinch very firmly to seal.

Now, repeat same steps as before.  Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces.

Since they are slightly bigger, boil only 6-8 at a time, still for 30-45 seconds.  Removing with slotted spoon and placing onto a lined baking sheet.  
At this point, we realized we may have used a bit too much cheese.  Also, using the shredded cheese got a little messy.  I would recommend using non shredded mozzarella.
Next, still brush the egg wash over the pieces and immediately sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.  It is visible now that the amount of cheese we used was ...a bit too much.  But don't they look delicious???

Serve hot from the oven!

We dipped ours in marinara sauce.  This little experiment was definitely a success and will be made again!


This recipe was originally posted on bakedbyrachel.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Clementines.

Remember the Brie and Apple Tarts that I posted two weeks ago? Well, Michelle is back. With what looks like yet another delicious treat!

6 Clementines, peeled and segmented
1 3.5 ounce Chocolate Bar (looks like Michelle used Hershey's Symphony)
Coarse Sea Salt

Lay clementine slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Melt chocolate in either the microwave or a double boiler.  A common mistake that is made when melting chocolate, is putting the chocolate directly in a hot pan and waiting for it to melt.  Do not do this. It will only burn the chocolate.

Dip half of the clementines in the chocolate, then sprinkle with sea salt. Continue with remaining slices.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.


This recipe was originally posted on howsweeteats.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tortilla Chips

Paul and I were in the mood for nachos while we were watching UofK keep their #1 spot against Georgia last night.  We had no tortilla chips, but we did have corn tortillas.  I never knew how simple they were to make.  I have to say, I doubt I will buy another bag of tortilla chips.

You will need:

Vegetable Oil
Corn Tortillas (amount depends on how many chips you want to make)
Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With a basting brush, brush each side of the tortillas with oil.

 Cut each tortilla into 4 equal pieces.  You can also cut them into 6 pieces if you like your chips a bit smaller.

Spread the tortilla pieces in a single layer onto two to three baking sheets.  Our baking sheets are smaller, so we had to use three.  Next, season the tortillas with salt.  Use as much or as little as you like.

Bake until they are crisp and golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Rotate baking sheets after 7 minutes of baking.

We used our chips to make nachos, but I can't wait to try them with homemade salsa next time!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Banana Cookies With Peanut Butter Filling

Paul decided to play a video game, so I decided to make delicious cookies.  I was nice, I still gave him one.

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter , softened
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the brown sugar,  sugar, and butter in a mixing bowl.  Mix well until creamy.

Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix well until it becomes a soft dough.

Depending on the size of cookie you want, drop a tablespoon of dough onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until the tops become lightly browned.

Meanwhile, beat the peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar until well mixed.

Once the cookies have had time to cool (on a wire rack), spread about one tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture on the bottoms of half the cookies.  Make sure the cookies have had time to cool, or the filling will melt. 

Top with other half of the cookies to form a sandwiches.


This recipe was originally posted by the_cookie_lady on food.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pizza Monkey Bread

What is fun about this recipe, you can use any kind of pizza toppings you like.  For us, we chose only mozzarella and pepperoni.  You will need:

1 Package Pillsbury Pizza Dough
Mozzarella String Cheese
1 Package of pre-sliced Pepperoni
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of garlic powder
Marinara Sauce (of choice) for dipping

If you are wanting to make this when guests are over,  I would plan on doubling this recipe!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spread out the Pillsbury Pizza Dough on the countertop, and cut into squares.  Fill each square with the "toppings" you choose.  Make sure to not overfill so that you will be able to close the edges.  To seal, bring the four corners to the top and pinch them together forming a small pizza ball.

Melt your butter in a small bowl mixing in your garlic powder afterwards.  Next, dip the pizza dough ball into the bowl until coated.

After greasing a baking dish with butter, place in all the coated pizza balls.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. 

Left cool for five minutes.

Flip it onto a serving dish and serve with Marinara.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork

3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder shoulder
2 tbsp McCormick grill masters pork rub
4 cups water
1 tbsp hickory flavored liquid smoke
2 cups barbecue sauce, of choice

Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub pork rub over the pork and place in a slow cooker. 

 Add water and liquid smoke.  You might need to add less or more water depending on the amount of pork, until the pork is mostly covered.

Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours rotating pork every couple hours, until the pork is very tender.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid.  Shred the pork using a couple of forks.

Once all the meat is shredded, place back in slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce (shout out to Louisville with our MARK'S Feed Store BAR-B-Q Sauce!)

Continue to cook for 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again.

Serve on lightly toasted buns.

We enjoyed ours with garlic mashed potatoes!