Tag Archives: bread

Baking Day!

First of all, I have updated my Recipes page! I organized it by category so the recipes are easier to find. I also added several photos to make you nice and hungry. ;) I encourage you to check it out.

I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

About a week or so ago, I mentioned that I have no self-control when it comes to my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. I ate way too much of it. But I was in the mood to bake today. And I wanted a snack to take to work tomorrow. So I made some more of that delicious bread.

This time I left out the walnuts. Why would I do that? Aside from the fact that I am completely out, I am going to take some of this bread to work tomorrow for my coworkers. One of my coworkers is allergic to nuts so I wanted to make sure she would be able to eat it. I learned my lesson last time: eat some and give some away. I can’t be trusted with the whole loaf.

I also made a bit of a salty snack: homemade pretzel bites! I have been on a pretzel kick lately and we are completely out. Rather than making a special trip to the store to buy them, I decided to make some. I searched around for several recipes online and finally just created my own recipe based on the ingredients that I knew they would need. I am so glad these turned out well.

These pretzel bites are delicious! They are golden brown and a little crispy on the outside and they have a wonderfully chewy center. If left alone with these for too long, there is no telling how many I would eat.

And they are so easy! Much easier than I thought they would be. The hardest part is waiting for an hour so the dough can rise. You can always half the recipe if you don’t want quite so many pretzel bites. But why would you want to?

Homemade Pretzel Bites (makes 100+ little pretzel bites)

1 1/5 c. warm water
2 T. brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 c. flour (I used half white and half wheat)
6 c. water
4 tsp. baking soda
salt to taste

In a mixing bowl, add yeast, water and sugar. Let sit for ten minutes. Mix in flour and knead for 8 minutes. Grease bowl and place dough back in bowl. Let rise for one hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

Separate dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll into long ropes about 1/3 inch thick. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place on cookie sheet and let rise for 20 minutes.

the pretzel bites about to go into their "baking soda bath"

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add baking soda and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, about 20 seconds each, turning once. Sprinkle pretzel bites with a little salt (to taste). Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.

Fresh out of the oven . . . check out who is lazing about in the background

You can dip them in mustard .  . .

Or pizza sauce .  . .

Or whatever else your little heart desires.

And now that I have officially ruined my appetite for dinner by eating too many pretzel bites, I am watching a little “Survivor” and “Modern Family” before turning in. Today is our last day of this wonderful staycation, so it’s back to work tomorrow! I guess we had to go back to the real world eventually. :)

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread and Christmas music

What do you do when you have some leftover pumpkin in the fridge and a bag of fresh cranberries begging to be eaten?

Combine them in one fabulous dessert of course!

I have been craving a cranberry pumpkin bread for a while now and I am glad I did. It was super tasty.

I did get rid of the leftover pumpkin in my fridge, but I also opened up another can in which I had leftovers. It seems like for the past couple of months, I always have some leftover pumpkin in the fridge. I guess there are worse problems to have.

The recipe for the bread can be found here. I didn’t really make many changes. I did use fat free milk, egg whites instead of eggs, and I can’t believe it’s not butter. I also omitted the walnuts.

Mixing the ingredients together.

Adding the cranberries

loaf of bread fresh from the oven

This was so tasty. Can you believe that this is the first time I have had fresh cranberries? The only other time I have had cranberries is the cranberry sauce from a can. Does that even count? Maybe those things aren’t even cranberries. The combination of the tart cranberries and sweet bread were very good indeed.

I also spent part of the day burning a CD of Christmas songs. I put a lot of the songs that were in my holiday collection of my Itunes library and burned them on a CD so that I can listen to them whenever I want. And my wonderful husband bought me the Glee Christmas album to add to my collection. Yay!

The following songs are on my Christmas CD:

The entire Glee Christmas album
Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You
Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Burl Ives – A Holly Jolly Christmas
Faith Hill – Where are you Christmas
Michael Buble – The Christmas Song
Michael Buble – Grown-Up Christmas List
Gene Autry – Up on the Housetop
entire Christmas album by Straight No Chaser – these guys are AWESOME! I love their rendition of “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

I love Christmas music (as long as it’s after Thanksgiving). What is your favorite Christmas song?