Tag Archives: pretzels

Life lately

I usually don’t post on Saturday nights, but we are just relaxing at home and I was in the mood to blog. We’ve been enjoying our weekend so far and I hope you have too!

Earlier this week, I shot this photo while walking to the bus stop. I had just finished an interview on the radio (taped, not live, luckily) and I was so relieved to be done and heading into work. The leaves under my fantastic and comfortable Tsubo boots were just too pretty not to capture.

fall leaves and boots

I go through phases where I become obsessed with cottage cheese. This week, I put it on everything and also ate it plain. I really enjoyed it on toast as an after work snack and in my lentil soup.

cottage cheese on bread

Last night, we walked around the mall after enjoying a dinner out. I almost always take stairs vs. the escalator when I can, so I loved how Aurora Healthcare encouraged people to be well and take the mere 30 steps to the top with their “30 steps to a healthier you” slogan.

IMG_2660

This morning, we woke up and packed our gym bags for a trip out to Mukwonago. We met my parents at the beautiful new YMCA and enjoyed working out by doing cardio and weights and then hitting the pool. I am not much of a swimmer, but I did love their walking pool, the water slide, chilling in the whirlpool and swimming with the kick board. We had a lot of fun with my parents and I hope it’s something we can do more often.

Mukwonago YMCA

Once we got home, I wanted to chill on the couch and read My Berlin Kitchen. I am only 55 pages in so far, but I like Luisa’s story and recipes. There is a recipe that really sounds delicious and uses quark–it’s called quarkauflauf. I had actually just read about it in Alysha’s article on quark that was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Entree section on Sunday. I hadn’t read Luisa’s blog, The Wednesday Chef, before picking up this book, but I am following her site now because I like the way she writes and I love Berlin.

My Berlin Kitchen

I think reading about Germany made me crave pretzels. Luckily, I had picked up this Deutsche Kuche pretzel dough at Aldi a couple of weeks ago.

Deutsche Kuche Pretzel

This is the pretzel I was most proud of, although I realized after that the ends didn’t need to extend down so far.

Pretzel in dough shape

The verdict? They turned out pretty good. They didn’t taste like the “bretzeln” we adored in Germany and reminded us more of bread.

Pretzel

Well, I am off to listen to Spotify, drink some wine and keep doing laundry. Night!

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Practicing my Thanksgiving dish

Hooray! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that means I have a four day weekend! Can’t wait for Pumpkin Pie, Green Bean casserole and Sweet Potato casserole tomorrow. Oh and a few glasses of wine. 😉

Breakfast today was Total Blueberry and Pomegranate cereal with some POM arils on top.

Lunch was the rest of my Subway sandwich, baby carrots, red peppers, Newman’s Own Organic pretzels and Newman’s Own Organic chocolate chocolate chip cookies.

This was my first time trying the pretzels. I asked Newman’s Own Organics if I could review some of their food and they sent me a huge package of various items. I’ll be reviewing them over the next week/weeks. The pretzels were hot as they say on the package, but they weren’t overwhelmingly hot. The heat reminded me of jalapenos or Frank’s Red Hot sauce.

I was tired after work and took a little nap. Then, I got to work in the kitchen. I wanted to try out the recipe I am making for Thanksgiving tomorrow to make sure it was ok. I am making Oh She Glow’s recipe Mandarin and Maple Spiced Quinoa.

The recipe calls for toasted almonds and pecans. Until about a year ago, I wasn’t really much of a cook or baker. Reading food blogs has helped me with my confidence in the kitchen and I guess writing my own blog also has done the same. I confess that I hadn’t toasted nuts in my life until tonight. My co-worker scared me a bit today, saying that it was hard to do. I just tried it anyway and set the oven for 350 degrees, coated the pan with cooking spray and then coated the sliced almonds and pecans too. They were in the oven for about 10 minutes and I flipped them over a couple of times. They turned out perfect! I am going to toast nuts for recipes more often. It’s so easy. I put the heated oven to good use and baked some brownies too.

I measured out the ingredients, followed Oh She Glows’ recipe on my iPod touch and it was really easy to make!

I think (hope) it will be a hit tomorrow. Except for my mom and Craig, all of the guests attending Thanksgiving lunch have never tried Quinoa before.

It’s a great dish for fall. I had commented to Craig that it would be good for breakfast and then I reread Oh She Glows’ post and she said the same thing.

Mandarin & Maple Spiced Quinoa with Cranberries, Apricots and Almonds

Chewy, crunchy, and subtly sweet, this dish captures Autumn all in one delicious spot.

Adapted from ED&BV.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 & 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp mandarin juice
  • 1/2 cup mandarin slices, from can or fresh
  • 1-2 tbsp pecans, chopped & toasted
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • Cinnamon + maple syrup + sea salt, to garnish before serving

Directions: Add your quinoa, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and mandarin juice. Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for about 12-13 minutes. Now stir in your chopped dried apricots and cranberries. Cook on low, covered, for another 5 minutes. Stir in your oil, almonds, and maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in the mandarin oranges very gently. Pour into a bowl and garnish with chopped pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt. Makes about 2.5-3 cups.

What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Have a great holiday!