Vet appointments, two yoga workshops, and shuttling cars in for maintenance have kept us hopping this past week or so. Pups had their yearly check-up where it was confirmed they have plumped out a little this winter. I'm not overly worried as come spring/summer Andy will run it all off. But, we will cut back food a bit and try and be more consistent with exercise. I had a couple of yoga workshops over the weekend that I lead - teaching people how to go upside down safely. And the Husbands car needed a bit of maintenance so that requires a bit of coordination.
The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftover risotto (S) Brats, homemade pretzel buns, pot. salad
Mon (yoga) leftover brats
Tues - Harvest Butternut and Pork Stew
Wed (AM Yoga/Vet/PM Yoga) - leftovers
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Sat - (2 yoga workshops)
Lunches - Slow Cooked Butter Chicken as reviewed here.
Soft Pretzels (Mpls Star Tribune, Jan 14, 2015)
We made these for Super Bowl Sunday, with one notable change - instead of making 12 pretzels, we made three brat buns and 6 pretzels. Why buns? Because we didn't need 12 pretzels, and we needed some buns. Easy enough - and interesting! - to modify.
Despite lengthy directions, these were incredibly easy to do. One of the fastest yeast breads I've done. Water bath was simpler than I thought it would be, they baked up beautifully, and tasted just like a soft pretzel should. Even the buns - lovely crust, soft center.
The one complaint we had was the pretzels did have a "greasy" feel and we're not entirely certain why. This may warrant further research. Otherwise, I strongly suspect we will be making these again.
|photo from Scifi With Paprika blog|
Newspaper Note: These are best eaten on the same day, but the dough may be mixed the night before and refrigerated. Remove dough from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before shaping pretzels. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart.
• 1/3 c. baking soda
• 3 c. flour
• 2 1/4 tsp. or 1 pkg. instant yeast
• 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 2 tbsp. room temperature butter, cut in 8 pieces
• 1 c. warm water
• 8 c. water (2 quarts)
• 1 tbsp. barley malt syrup or brown sugar
• 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
• Coarse salt for sprinkling
Directions (Makes 12)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread baking soda on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in butter, then make a well in the center and add the water. Mix until the dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Using your hands, gather dough together and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for several minutes until it is no longer sticky. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Turn dough out onto your work surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch rope and set aside. If the dough seems sticky, flour your hands (not the counter) and roll. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets and generously spray or oil well.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and place racks on bottom and upper third of oven.
With each rope of dough, form a U shape and make a twist about 3 inches from the ends. Fold the twisted portion backwards along center of U to form a pretzel shape, then gently press ends onto the dough to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet. After all are shaped, cover each pan with a clean towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
While the pretzels are resting, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, then add barley malt syrup or brown sugar, and the baking soda. Mixture will froth. Stir to dissolve, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Carefully place three pretzels at a time, top side down, into the water. After 30 seconds, turn pretzels over. After another 30 seconds, lift with a slotted spoon or spatula, tapping to shed excess water, and return to oiled parchment paper. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
Brush each pretzel with egg yolk mixture, trying to drip as little as possible onto the parchment, then sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 7 minutes, then switch pans’ position on racks and bake for another 7 minutes.
Transfer pretzels to wire racks. Serve immediately, or keep uncovered at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven, if desired.
|photo from Scifi With Paprika blog|
Harvest Butternut and Pork Stew (Taste of Home)
Fairly quick assembly...in which we forgot to add the peas at the end of cooking. We did pre-cook and add some of the dried beans from our garden. I did 1 cup dried in about 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and walk away for 2-3 hours. Drain and add to slow cooker.
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp AP flour, divided
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2lbs boneless pork shoulder butt roast, cut into 1" cubes
(I used leftover boneless pork ribs)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 3/4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (I used 2 lbs)
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 1/3 cup flour, paprika, salt and coriander. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
- In a large skillet, brown pork in oil in batches; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the squash, tomatoes, corn, onion, vinegar and bay leaf. In a small bowl, combine broth and remaining flour until smooth; stir into slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until pork and vegetables are tender. Stir in edamame; cover and cook 30 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf. Yield: 6 servings (2 quarts).
Originally published as Harvest Butternut and Pork Stew in Simple and Delicious October/November 2011, p22