Sunday, December 11, 2011

Xmas Wish Blisst 2011

Last year's xmas list was BIG.
Here's what I ended up with:
1. Shampure in the giant pump bottles. Check. Used 1/2 of it in one year. Great gift.
2. White hangers. Great, but by mother's day I decided to switch to the black huggable hangers, which are better because your clothes don't slide off of them.
3. Make-up mirror. Well that was just plain frightening. Back to the store it went.
4. Gift card: Always the right size. Did not find a new coat until a couple of weeks ago at Nordstrom Rack:
But what about this year? Funny that the same items are back on the list, like boots and hangers. I wanted a back rub last year, but it didn't make the list.
Sure, anyone can clip a list to the fridge.
How can I top last year's 5 foot list?
Guess I needed to THINK SMALL.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pretzel Graffiti

Trader Joe's has pretzel rolls, but I thought "that's something that you want to eat fresh out of the oven". I found a recipe from my friends at Cook's Illustrated. Love it when I have EVERYTHING I NEED and don't have to go to the store.
I had Pillsbury BREAD flour in my cupboard. I keep COSTCO's yeast sealed in the fridge. This is a least a year old and still works (or so I thought). A steal at only 3 bucks.
 Measure, mix and knead in the stand mixer. So easy.
  Dough is very dense and heavy. 
That dough ball was just asking for that. BTW, that's Jilly's face.

 First rise took a long time, 2 hours.

  Maybe the yeast is loosing it's luster. Another one hour rise.
Then time to shape. I pulled it into 2 long logs. Directions said to cut into equal pieces.
It was impossible to stretch those little balls into 20 inch long strips so I got out the pizza cutter and went to work.

Create pretzel balls by pulling dough from the top around to the bottom side to create a nice round shape. Twist to secure. 
 The secret to the dark brown crust is boiling briefly in baking soda.
 Drain on paper towels, cut star shapes into the rolls, salt and bake.

Mmmmmmm. Even better brushed with butter. This silicone basting brush is from IKEA.

Homemade pretzels just might replace popovers on xmas eve this year!