Tag Archives: pretzels

Vacation’s Over

Today was my first day back in work in a week. I had a wonderful and relaxing staycation, but I had to get back to reality at some point. The day didn’t start out on the right note however. I didn’t sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and I had weird dreams. Because of my lack of sleep last night, I overslept a little this morning. Not enough to be late work, but enough so that I didn’t have time for a morning workout.

But I made up for the late start by having some leftover pancakes that Corey made me the other day. I had a couple of blueberry pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

Yummy! A delicious way to start the day and it turned my morning away. How could I be in a bad mood after a breakfast like that? 🙂

I prepped my lunch for work last night so it would save a little time this morning. I expected today to be a bit busy (which it actually wasn’t), so I needed a nutritious lunch and nutritious snacks to keep me full and satisfied. I get so cranky when I get hungry.

For lunch, I made some Egg Salad and had that on multigrain bread. I also cooked some bacon and added it to the Egg Salad.

I don’t know why I didn’t do that before. The addition of bacon makes the Egg Salad so much more delicious! But since when does bacon do anything else?

My snacks included: some green grapes . . .

and some homemade pretzel bites with mustard.

I think I have learned my lesson when it comes to pictures. I used to take all my pictures of foods I took to work at work. However, the lighting is just awful. It’s all fluorescent so the pictures have a greenish tint to them. Now I take most of my pictures at home. The pictures come out so much better.

I will show you an example of what I mean. The above picture of my pretzel bites and mustard were taken at my home.

Here is an example of a picture of them taken at work.

See what I mean? And the picture doesn’t even look that bad on my camera. The camera fools me. Then I upload it and it looks neon.

I’m glad I took a break from work over the last week. I was beginning to feel burnt out. But I went back to work today energized and refreshed. I felt ready to tackle the day.

Luckily, I got off work at a decent hour. Because I missed my morning workout, I found myself craving a good workout after work. I was excited for it. I did Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical. That Jillian Michaels workout is no joke. This is the second time this week I have done it and it was just as intense as the first time. My shoulders are killing me, as are my glutes. My triceps will probably be sore tomorrow.

After my workout, Corey and I had a dinner of whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken and organic pasta sauce. I also had some roasted broccoli on the side.

Now I need to relax a little and try to ease the soreness from my muscles. Poor Callie hasn’t been feeling well all day. She has had a bit of an upset stomach all day and part of the reason I didn’t sleep well is because she was tossing and turning all night. I think she’s feeling a little better now. She seems to be catching up on her sleep and I am looking forward to following suit! Good night everyone.

 

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. 🙂

Trader Joe’s convert

I should never be allowed to enter Trader Joe’s on my own. Today I went there because I needed one thing; I came out with eight. 🙂

I said once that I wasn’t sure what the appeal was to Trader Joe’s. I think I finally get it. I could browse that store for hours. I originally went there because I needed tuna fish. Believe it or not, the tuna fish at Trader Joe’s is more natural than any other store, even Whole Foods. If I eat regular canned tuna, there are often certain fillers that can make me sick. Trader Joe’s canned tuna doesn’t have that.

But when I arrived at the store, that kind of flew out the window. There are so many cool things there! Did you know they have peanut butter cream cheese?? How crazy is that? I will be trying that.

Check out that haul!

So I ended up buying a roasted seaweed snack (total impulse buy), strawberry cream cheese, pomegranate seeds, hummus with horseradish (yummy!), peanut butter filled pretzels, some hot and sweet mustard, and a container of Fage 2% yogurt with honey. If you look in the back, under the mustard, you will see the tuna . .  . the only thing I actually went there to buy. 😉

I cracked open the bag of peanut butter filled pretzels on the way home. They were delicious! I was torn between the hummus with horseradish and the guacamole hummus. The horseradish thing kind of got to me. Has anyone tried the guacamole hummus? I think I will try that one next time . . . along with the peanut butter cream cheese.

I have no idea why I picked up the roasted seaweed. Maybe it was because it was just 99 cents. Maybe I just wanted to try something new. I cracked open the roasted seaweed this evening.

Fail.

The taste wasn’t too bad at first. But then there was an aftertaste. Yech, not good.

At least I tried something new, right? Does that count as one of my new veggies that I wanted to try? Guess that might be kind of stretch. 😉

What is your favorite Trader Joe’s item? I am always looking for new ideas.