Sunday, June 24, 2007

Recipe Swap/And Win a Free Book

I'm an amateur gourmet cook. I love playing with food and trying out new recipes. My favorite place to visit is the whole food store. I get so excited over fresh produce. Well, this weekend, my husband had a craving for soft pretzels. Rather than take a twenty mile drive to the closest mall for Auntie M's soft pretzels. I decided to make my own. While I love to cook, I'm not really much of a baker. Baking is so exact and doesn't allow for much deviation from the recipe, so I was a bit nervous since I usually measure ingredients with my palm inside of a measuring cup.

To my delight, the soft pretzels turned out delicious and dare I say, even better than Auntie M's. Okay, so maybe they're not the most handsome pretzels every twisted, but boy they tasted good.

Here's the recipe courtesy of Alton Brown and the food network.

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (I used course sea salt crystals)

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe swap! Drag out your favorite recipe and post it in the comment section. What? You say you're not a cook? Well, you can play anyway, by voting on the recipe you find most appealing. Whichever recipe gets the most votes wins a copy of Candy Halliday's DINNER FIRST, ME LATER. And for those of you who vote, you'll be entered in a second drawing to win a copy of an autographed book from my back list, your choice. So potentially, you could win two books.

Contest runs until Friday June 29th. So get out those recipes!


catslady said...

Cheesy Potatoes
> 1 2 pound package frozen hash brown potatoes
> 1/2 cup chopped onions
> 1/2 cup green pepper (optional)
> 1 10 3/4 ounce can Cream of Mushroom soup (or any cream soup)
> 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
> 1 pint sour cream, (16 oz.)
> 1 cup potato chips (or corn flakes etc.)
> 1/4 cup margarine
> Mix together the first 7 ingredients, and put in a 9x13 buttered
> pan. combine topping with remaining butter (melted),(can refrigerate
> overnight) Bake at 350° for 1 hour (or golden brown). Serves 6-8
> people.

Darla said...

8 cups OLD FASHIONED oats, dry
2/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
1 cup honey
1 TB canola or olive oil
1 TB vanilla
1 cup raisins, optional

Preparation Instructions:
Pour oats and wheat germ in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Heat honey and oil in microwave for 1 minute. Add vanilla. Stir ground flax seed into oat mixture and pour in honey mixture, stir well. Return to oven for 7 minutes. Stir well. Return to oven for additional 5 to 8 minutes. Product should be light brown, avoiding a crispy product. Remove from oven and stir completely. Let cool. Add raisins after cooled. Store in sealed container. Yield: 9 to 10 cups.

Make sure you use Old Fashioned Oats, the flakes are bigger.

I eat 1/4 cup of this every morning with a sm handfull of walnuts, 2 Tbsp of ground flax, 6 oz of yogert and a banana. Very filling and good for you.

Darla said...

My recipe name is Granola Cereal!

Shari Anton said...

Grand idea, Lori!!!

Sugar & Chip Bars
Cream thoroughly:
1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

2 C flour
1 C chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans (optional)

Mix. Dough will be crumbly. Press into a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Cut while still warm. Watch them disappear :).


Lori Wilde said...

Oh my gosh, I'm gaining weight just reading these. I've gotta try them all.


Anonymous said...

I don't make alot of homemade stuff. But gotta say I'm going to make Shari's sugar & chip bars. Sounds really yummy.

Stacy S

Pat L. said...

"Stuffed Mushrooms"

1 10 oz pkg mushrooms
1 cup Ital Flav Breadcrumbs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Locatelli Romano cheese grated or your fav parmesan cheese
dash salt, garlic powder, oregano (about 1/4 tsp each)
1/4 tsp paprika

Clean mushrooms.

Remove stems and chop into small pieces.

Mix the remaining ingredients and stuff into the mushroom caps. Top with a little bit if extra paprika.

Baked uncovered 30 mins or til nice and brown at 350 degrees in pan that is sprayed with Pam or similar product.

Pat L. said...

I couldnt resist mentioning this rich dessert.

If you want a decadent yummy different dessert, try this:

Chocolate Fruitcake from Deb Macomber's book, There is Something About Christmas - about a woman doing a piece on award winning fruitcakes.

This is not your typical fruitcake and I have made it the past 2 Christmases.

It has a lot of ingredients including pineapple, dates, cream de cocoa, cocoa, pecans, walnuts, maraschino cherries, coconut ( I left out the coconut ). If anyone is really interested, lmk and I will post it; like I said it has a lot of ingredients and makes several cakes.

Pat L. said...

Back again - I am voting for the Sugar and Chip Bars. Sounds great.

kim h said...

shari sounds good.

Anonymous said...

They all sound wonderful and I know I'll try them all. I vote for Pat L.'s "Stuffed Mushrooms".

Theresa N.

Darla said...

I will vote for Sugar and Chip Bars...will be trying them for our Christmas Open House for work this year.

Shari Anton said...

LOL!! I'm glad you're all drooling over the Sugar & Chip bars. They're favorites because they're so easy! However, I'm disqualifying myself from winning the books. Sorry about that, Lori. Should have said that the first time around.
Shari, voting for the Pat'sstuffed mushrooms

ellie said...

Key Lime Bars

2 Cups Gingersnap Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Sugar
7 Tablespoons Melted Butter

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and press into a 9x13 baking dish lined with foil. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove.

Lime Filling
1 Large Egg
4 Large Yokes
2 - 15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. bottled key lime juice

Beat all ingredients together with a mixer. Pour over prepared crust. Bake 20 minutes in 325 oven. Cool Mixture. refrigerate 2 hours. Cut into bars.

pearl said...

Blueberry Crumble

3 pints blueberries
3/4 c. sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. light brown sugar
8 Tablespoons butter

1. Preheat Oven to 375
2. Combine berries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and zest. Toss gently. Spoon fruit mexiture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
3. Combine flour and Light brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit.
4. Bake until top is golden brown for 45 minutes.

ChristyJan said...

I want to vote for both the Key Lime Bars and the Blueberry Crumble.
I can't wait to try both recipes!

sharon said...

Lemonade Pie

4 c. Vanilla or Lemon Ice Cream Softened
6 oz. can Frozen lemonade concentrate thawed
1 9" graham cracker crust

In a medium bowl mix ice cream and lemonade concentrate until blended. Spoon onto graham cracker crust. Freeze for 4 hours until firm.

Minna said...

Cinnamon buns
Rising time: 11/2 + 11/2 hours
Baking time: about 10-15 minutes/batch.
Oven temperature: 400°F (200°C)
Suitable for freezing

2 eggs
3/4 cup (2 dl) sugar
2 cups (1/21) milk
2 oz (50g) yeast or 2 pkgs dry yeast
3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon crushed cardamom
1/2 lb. (250 g) butter or margarine or 3/4 cup (2 dl) cooking oil
about 2 1/4 lb. (1 kg) white flour
1/3 cup (1 dl) raisins
egg yolk for glazing almonds for decorating cinnamon

1. Put the ingredients for the dough ready in the kitchen the previous evening. If they are cold the dough will take too long to rise.
2. Heat the milk to hand temperature so as to enhance the action of the yeast.
3. Beat up the eggs and sugar, add the milk, yeast, salt and cardamom. If oil is to be used, add it at this stage.
4. Add enough flour to get a thick, elastic mixture. Beat it vigorously to put air into the dough. This will enhance the glutination of the flour and make the dough rise well.
5. Mix in the rest of the flour and finally the butter or margarine. Knead the dough until it separates completely from your hands and the sides of the bowl.
6. If you make the dough with an electric dough mixer, follow closely the instructions for preparing dough.
7. Cover the dough with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in bulk, place it on a lightly floured surface and knead well. Add the raisins.
8. Roll the dough into a sheet about 1 cm thick.
9. Spread the dough with a thick layer of melted or very soft butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. If you like, you can add a layer of chopped or ground almonds or other nuts.
10. Roll and cut into slices c. 3 cm thick.
11. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Let rise.
12. With a finger or the handle of a knife, make a vertical depression down each bun so that the spirallike filling bulges out on both sides.
13. Let the buns rise. Brush with beaten egg and bake.

diane said...

Summer Squash and Zucchini Casserole

1 Lg. Zucchini
2-3 Lg. Summer Squash
1 1/2 -2 c. Italian Bread Crumbs
1 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 medium can stewed tomatoes

Peel and slice squash. Place in ungreased 9x12" pan. Arrange one layer of zucchini, sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese, then one layer of summer squash, sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese. Continue to layer until squash is gone. Top with remaining crumbs and cheese. Pour tomatoes on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

catslady said...

If I could add onions to the squash and zucchini casserole - it has my vote :)

Darla said...

Okay, undo my vote...darn it! They all sound so good that I wish we could have a taste test!

I vote for Diane's Summer Squash & Zucchini Casserole. That also sounds like it would make an excellent lasagna too!

KimW said...

Staci's Strata (easy breakfast casserole you make the night before serving)

1/2 (1 pound) loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 ounces kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (I use Brown & Serve sausages)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
10 eggs
4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer bread, kielbasa, onions, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in pan. In bowl combine eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well and pour over mixture in the pan, making sure to coat all pieces of bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Combine half and half with nutmeg; pour evenly over the casserole.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until golden and puffed. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.

KimW said...

So tough to vote...

I think Minna's Cinnamon Buns sound so good. Unfortunately, I don't cook and I don't think my husband would want to make those. Maybe my mother-in-law can. lol

I love blueberries so it's hard to resist Pearl's recipe.

I can't choose just one...I think they all sound good.