Friday, 24 May 2013

Beginning Again

Well it's been a long time since I've last written in this blog, and almost just as long since I've last looked at it. Instead of starting a brand new blog, I'm going to somewhat change direction a bit...well not completely. I still might post some recipes, but what I really want to do is focus on life and travel. Summer is almost here and there is so much to look forward to in this big city. As well as having future travel plans, I've also recently returned from an overseas trip that was both humbling and inspiring to say the least. I look forward to writing more and hopefully having more people read my blog. See you soon!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Recipe: Soft Pretzels

This recipe is easy and simple, but for some reason it took me forever to make these pretzels, could have been because it was my first time making them. When I was a teenager, way back when, I use to work at a movie theater and one of our kiosks sold these kind of pretzels. The whole time I was making them I was thinking "oh this brings back memories". I was really hoping the taste would be similar, it wasn't - it was the same! I am so happy I found this recipe, I use to eat these all the time on lunch break, not very healthy I know, but ooooh so tasty. This pretzel tastes slightly sweet without any toppings or dip, so if you want to add savoury toppings or a salty dip to your pretzel I would cut out some of the sugar.

This is what the pretzels look like naked, I brushed melted butter on them and added cinnamon and sugar with cream cheese icing drizzled over top.

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with whatever you like.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Recipe: Broccoli Baked Mac and Cheese

1 cup of macaroni
1 cup broccoli (chopped up)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter (melted)
2/3 cup bread crumbs

Cook macaroni in salted boiling water until soft. Drain well.
Grease a large shallow casserole dish and set aside.
In a bowl mix together cooked and drained macaroni, broccoli, 3/4 cup of cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Place mixture in the casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese. 
Mix melted butter with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of macaroni.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Organizing My Husband's Workspace

My husband is away travelling right now, and as much as I miss him, this has been the perfect opportunity to purge and organize his work space. It's hard to believe looking at the picture below that he actually was able to work here and knew where everything was. I've been told all tech workers are like this, but it still seemed a little too much to me. 

The picture above is from about a month ago, a few things were organized by my husband before he left, so I shouldn't take all the credit, but it still took me three days to get it from close to that to this:

I love my husband very much, but if his desk gets messy again I think I may have to kill him. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Leftovers Recipe: Creamy Spinach Dip Baked Pasta

In my last post I made some creamy spinach dip, well I realised I made just too much for the amount of people in our home right now and it was getting a little repetitive. I only had about half the amount of spinach dip left when I used it in this recipe, so keep in mind, what I made here is a relatively small amount and you may need to double up this recipe to satisfy everyone's stomach. 

Creamy spinach dip (click here for the recipe)
1 1/2 cups of bow tie pasta (or 1 cup of macaroni)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp butter

Cook pasta according to directions on the box until soft. Drain well.
Using the butter grease a shallow casserole dish and set aside.
Take the cooked pasta and stir in the spinach dip and half the mozzarella cheese. Place in the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Recipe: Creamy Spinach Dip

I love snack foods. I sometimes replace lunch with various types of snack foods, which, (hanging my head in shame) is really bad. Nonetheless, I thought I'd share a current favourite snack food of mine, a creamy and delicious spinach dip. 

1/2 cup onion
1 1/4 cups washed and thoroughly drained spinach 
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic salt

Chop up the onion and spinach and set aside. 
In a small mixing bowl, bring together all other ingredients using an electric mixer. 
Spoon in chopped spinach and onions, stir in well until combined. 
Let the dip sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

DYI: Glass Cleaner

There are many reasons to start making your own household cleaning products, be it environmental reasons, financial reasons....really any reason. Although, no matter what the reason may be, we all still want products that work well. I think I have it, this might possibly be the best homemade glass cleaner ever. This recipe comes straight from Crunchy Betty, all I did was alter the measurements a teeny bit to fit in my spray bottle. Try it, it works great!

1/5 cup vinegar
1/5 cup rubbing alcohol
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups warm water 

Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well. Voila, homemade glass cleaner.