Like many people, I cannot get enough of the pretzel trend. I enjoy many different versions of the soft-baked pretzel, whenever possible. In fact, my meal selection is easily swayed by a pretzel bun. Oh that sandwich comes on a pretzel bun? Sold. But of course, my favorite is making my own pretzel buns at home.
Now Fleischmann’s Yeast is making it even easier to make your own pretzel creations at home. Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mixes is introducing Pretzel Creations, which makes fresh-baked pretzels in less than an hour. The package contains pretzel mix, yeast, baking soda and pretzel salt – all you need is water and oil.
In a large bowl, I combined the pretzel mix, yeast, water, and oil. According to the directions all that was left was to mix it together and then let it rise, covered, for only 25 minutes! But I decided to knead my dough a little bit to get a smooth dough which I am more accustomed to.
After the dough was done rising, I decided to divide the dough in half and make two different things. With one half I made regular pretzels and they came out perfect. I served them with a bacon cheddar ranch dipping sauce.
With the other half, I decided to stuff the dough with apples tossed in cinnamon-sugar. After boiling, I sprinkled them with more cinnamon-sugar. Don’t they look like little apple pies?
They even tasted like apple pie, but with a pretzel crust. Originally I had contemplated stuffing them with apple pie filling, but worried that would be messy and more difficult to seal. Using fresh apple slices and cinnamon-sugar sounded good enough to me and they turned out to be delicious. Eat alone or serve with a cinnamon-sugar cream cheese dip.
For those of you familiar with Stephanie Manely of CopyKat.com, you know that she specializes in recreating dishes from your favorite restaurants at home. She also put together a cookbook called the “Dining Out at Home Cookbook” to further pursue restaurant favorites in the home for less. Today I am sharing a review for the sequel called “Dining Out at Home Cookbook 2″.
In her second cookbook, she hares copycat recipes for Starbucks’ frappuccinos, Logan’s Roadhouse Loaded Potato Skins, Olive Garden’s baked pasta romana, Coldstone Creamery’s cake-batter ice cream, and many more.
I interrupt today’s regularly scheduled Single Serving Sunday post with a celebration of the release of Nicole Morrissey’s cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking (Skyhorse Publishing). Complete with a giveaway of the cookbook to one lucky reader!
Nicole Morrissey is the blogger behind Prevention RD and is a registered dietician offering smart, sustainable solutions to healthy weight loss since she started her blog in 2009. She firmly believes that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this motto is evident in her recipes. From healthier versions of mozzarella sticks and chicken tortilla soup, to creative recipes such as creamy chicken pesto enchiladas and carrot cake pancakes you’ll be satisfied while also being proactive about your health. There are even chapters dedicated to carb and dessert lovers
I’m pretty sure most people don’t eat enough greens in their diet and typically make it a goal to fix that. I’m not a crazy health nut, but still find myself frequently saying such things to myself in order to balance out all those cookies.
Instead of green side dishes, how about making those leafy greens the star of your meal? Introducing “The Leafy Greens Cookbook,” a new cookbook featuring 100 easy-to-make recipes that unlock the of kale, chard, spinach, bok choy, collard, etc. Enjoy recipes such as Pomegranate-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans, Arugula and Tomato Pizza, Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Beef, and Chicken-Kale Enchiladas.
The cookbook starts out with an introduction on getting to know your greens. There are descriptions of each green used just in case you have never seen, heard of, or tried it before. Then there are 5 more chapters covering salads and soups, appetizers snacks and sides, vegetarian entrees, poultry fish and meat entrees, and juices and smoothies.
A few of you have asked me about my Rent the Runway experiences after I have shared a bit about it on Twitter, so I decided to dedicate an entire post to it!
RTR has a revolving roster of over 200 top designers of the season’s best dresses and accessories. Upon visiting their website, you can search for your perfect dress based on many criteria: designer, price, length, style, rental date, occasion, or just check out what’s new. There’s also a section called “Our Runway” which filters dress reviews based on women who are similar in age and size. You can save dresses you like by clicking the little heart icon. My favorite part of the website is the reviews. Reading others’ experiences along with their body type, size, size worn and photo really helps with deciding on what dress and size to book.
Once you have found a dress you want to rent, they recommend scheduling it for 1–2 days before your event. You can book it for a 4-day or 8-day rental period and you can even add on a backup size for free! That way if you normally wear one size but reviews suggest going up a size, you can do so at no extra cost. There are also stylists ready to chat with you for any size or style questions you may have. But if none of the dresses end up fitting, contact them immediately and you will be refunded. In reviews I sometimes read about people who run into this problem but RTR overnights them other options! Thankfully I have not run into this problem yet, but it’s great to know in case I do.
You can even add on accessories to complete your look or essential extras like Fashion Tape. Need multiple dresses for an event-packed weekend? You can add on another dress of equal or lesser value for only $25. Your order will arrive by 8pm on your delivery date via UPS (or by courier in NYC). I have always scheduled mine for the day before I need to wear it and it has always arrived on time.
The dress(es) arrive on hangers inside of a garment bag that you get to keep. Any accessories are packaged in their own boxes, usually inside at the bottom of the garment bag. Included with every order I have received was a little goodie bag. Sometimes it had travel sized Q-tips, Dove body wash and a Magnum ice cream coupon. Other times it has been a sample of Neutrogena’s shine control powder, make up remover and a coupon for a can of spray tan. Apparently it has been a feature for all summer rentals.
After you enjoy the night, just send everything back in the easy pre-paid envelope provided by noon on your return date – they take care of the dry cleaning. If your return date lands on a postal holiday or Sunday, be sure to get it in the mail the following day.
A few of the items I have rented were hard to return. Not because of physically difficulty, but I wanted to keep them! But every now and then their styles will go on sale for purchase. Right now they have a clearance event going on with up to 90% off the retail price. As a bonus, you get rental credit for the things you buy from the sale. Unfortunately nothing I really wanted is available for purchase, but I will be watching out for the next time a sale comes around.
So what have I rented so far? The first thing I rented was the Parisian Cabaret Dress by Sachin & Babi for my cousin’s bachelorette party. I booked my usual size 4 and also the size 6 because the stylist and reviews recommended going up a size for backup. I was even able to ship it to the beach house where we were going to be staying that weekend – one less thing to pack! Upon arrival on Friday, I tried both on and the 4 fit perfectly and I instantly fell in love with the dress (one which I will buy if given the chance). The lace at the bottom was my favorite detail. Saturday we danced the night away, and then I had until Monday at noon to drop it off at UPS using the prepaid padded envelope. Couldn’t have been easier.
This month had been full of fun food holidays and today happens to be another – National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! But not only am I sharing an ice cream sandwich recipe today, it come from a cookbook dedicated to ice cream sandwiches, I Scream Sandwich! by Jennie Schacht.
The book begins with a brief history on ice cream sandwiches and progresses into the secrets of making them (such as assembly and storage) and the essential tools/ingredients/basic recipes needed. The sandwich recipes then begin with chapter 3 on Classics such as ‘Pure Nostalgia” (vanilla ice cream on soft chocolate cookie bars) and “Cookie Monster” (chocolate chip ice cream on cookie dough). The next chapter called Farm Fresh uses ingredients such as rhubarb, apricots, and goat’s milk. Chapter 5 takes on the World View with recipes inspired by the many continents of the world. Chapter 6 ventures out from the traditional cookie sandwiches with ice creams served on butter toast and croissants. There’s also an entire chapter full of seasonal ice cream sandwich ideas to prove that they can be enjoyed throughout the year. And the final chapter covers all the mix-ins and coatings.
In case the list of recipes included in this cookbook isn’t enough, she offers a “sandwich it your way” chart for creating your own combinations. And each recipe also comes with suggestions in order to “take it easy” and make a similar version with store-bought ingredients, or “dress it up” and take it a step further by adding mix-ins or toppings. Take the recipe I made for example, I could havepicked up almond cookies and toasted almond ice cream at the store to assemble at home or I could have rolled the edges in almond brittle, chocolate covered almonds, or even painted the cookies with some chocolate shell before sandwiching. I chose to try them out the regular way first.
The recipe noted that for a creamier ice cream the ground up almonds could be strained off right before churning, but I thought it would be a shame to waste all those tasty nuts so I left them in. Besides, I am a girl who likes her nuts (take a moment to snicker at that). The ice cream ended up being really creamy even with the bits of ground up almond. And paired with the crispy almond wafers these ice cream sandwiches were a nut-lover’s dream. They were a little messy since the wafers cracked while eating but it was worth licking off my hands. Oh and don’t judge me, but I totally ate one for breakfast. It was glorious and every day should begin with ice cream.
One year ago: Cinnamon Candied Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
You know how I’ve been basking in the glory that is a not to hot or humid summer in the south for once? Yea well the end of July is here and that means August and it’s sure-fire disgustingness is right around the corner. The temperatures here haven’t gone over 100 much yet but the humidity is creeping up on us and I know it’s only a matter of time before cooking and baking becomes painful due to the inability of my central air to combat the outside and inside temperature assailants.
But here to the rescue is “The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook,” a full-color cookbook that will keep stress levels and kitchen temperatures low during summer’s hottest months, without necessitating the take out menu. This cookbook features 101 fun oven-free and healthy meals (including over 80 photos) for easy breakfasts, appetizers/sides, entrees and desserts. The recipe list includes thing such as Breakfast Prosciutto Pear Sandwiches, Salmon Mango Ceviche, Tex-Mex Chipotle Beans, Very Berry Parfait Pudding, and Raspberry Mint Frozen Yogurt.
Mason jars have become the creative way to prepare and serve desserts in single-serving portions. They make great gifts, stay fresh and travel well, so they’re also the perfect make-ahead option.
In 150 Best Desserts in a Jar, Andrea Jourdan has developed an array of recipes that are fun to make and allow for beautiful layers to be displayed. From puddings and cobblers to pies and cakes. The “From the Fridge” section includes fruit, chocolate, Jell-O and creams. And the “Warm and Comforting” section offers custards, cakes and bread puddings. This cookbook also provides useful information on choosing the right type of jar, along with helpful baking tips and techniques, and two dozen color photographs to provide inspiration.
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Have you heard of Bestowed yet? It is a monthly subscription delivering 5+ healthy foods right to your door, hand-picked by celebrity nutritionist and author Heather Bauer. The brand language emphasizes the joy in discovery, the energy of healthy living, and the freshness of tastes delivered. Since I enjoy trying out new healthy products from time to time, I agreed to have a box shipped to me to try out. After seeing what they sent me, discover more healthy and tasty foods for yourself at bestowed.com.
Upon opening, I was already impressed by how many things sounded good on first sight. Provided in my box:
- TeeChia Super Seed Cereal
- Good Eating Salads by Parragon Books
- Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups by Sun Cups
- Navitas Coconut Water Powder
- Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips
- LÄRABAR über in Apple Turnover
- Everyday California EVOO by California Olive Ranch