we shouldn’t celebrate

Tomorrow is National Pretzel Day, woo-hoo!  Who comes up with these weird food holidays I do not know, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate.

I am a fan of all pretzels, but the big, soft pretzels is really where it’s at so I thought I’d share with you this easy, homemade soft pretzel recipe for your big celebration I know you’ll be having tomorrow!

I was doing a little research (which means I searched google once) trying to find out why there was such a day, and of course there was no real information, but I did learn that pretzels are believed to be the world’s oldest snack.  According to some weirdo food holiday website, they date back to year 610 AD in Southern France.  Monks supposedly baked thin strips of dough in the shape of a child’s arms folded in prayer.  None of this information is proven, so take it with a grain of salt otterbox reflex.

And speaking of salt (corniest segue ever?), why not throw some on top of your pretzel.  Salt is the most common seasoning for pretzels and one of my favorites.  For this batch I did half salt and half Parmesan cheese; both equally delicious plus I had some leftover cheese from earlier in the week when I made those ravioli’s Touch Monitor.

Making pretzels are relatively easy.  You start out very similar to making bread (yeast, flour, butter, salt, sugar) and let that rise.  After that’s all done, you get a large pot full of water and add in a good amount of baking soda and get that to boil.  The baking soda and hot water bath gives the pretzel’s their signature chewy crust. While waiting for that to boil, roll that dough out into long ropes (about 24-inchlong) and twist into that traditional pretzel shape. Slather with an egg wash, top with your seasoning of choice (in my case salt for half and cheese for the others) and put those doughy-knots in the oven until golden brown flower shop flowers.

So easy and they come out of the oven smelling so delicious!  They are best eaten right away, dipped in a warmed cheese sauce or a spicy, mustard.  You could even do a caramel sauce if you were going the sweet route.  Oh and a beer is essential, what goes better with a pretzel than a nice hoppy beer.and strain. That’s it!}

i guess u get the idea

So much for me staying away from sweets … Ha ! Well but u cant blame me its Diwali . Hindus all over the world are celebrating the New Year on Friday. I was supposed to be back home by now celebrating with my family, but here i am, thinking about all the fun i am missing out on. Diwali would at par with Christams- for Christians , Eid Al Fitr – for Muslims , The Chinese New Year – for the Chinese, and so on …. i guess u get the idea
I remember when i was younger, i would really look forward to Diwali … firstly for the 15 days of holidays, and then the new clothes italian wine, visiting my cousins and grandparents , getting together n bursting fire crackers at night, lighting lanterns and little diyas( little mud n oil candles) that would sparkle in the dark, distributing sweets, and the best part of it all would be collecting money from our elders. All of us 8 cousins used to shower n wear our new clothes and be ready early in the morning and as soon as our grandparents, n uncles n aunties used to come we used to make them line up them and start touching their feet for blessings ( thats a traditional thing ) and then in return collect brand new crisp notes of 10 /20/50 rupees. Hehe … n during these 2-3 days all relatives come to greet u , so we would be asking for everyones blessings .. n ofcourse blessings came with a 20 buck note tucked in … so by the end of the season we used to all be rich 😛 . Well now tables have turned … i find myself giving money to the little rascals in my family now … 🙂 , but yes its alawys fun Classroom tablet.

Its a festival of light, love, sharing and caring and now i miss my mum 🙁 She used to make Shrikhand and Puri along with a lot of other delicacies on the big day. Shrikhand would be fresh curd tied in a muslin cloth and hung overnight in the fridge till all the water drained out, leaving a thick rich creamy curd. I wanted to make some my self but i used mascarpone instead … thought triple cream would be a nice substitute to hung curd. I made 2 flavours here. The first would be pureed mango, saffron a bit of caster sugar n mascarpone. And the second is mascarpone, cream , caster sugar , cardamom , pistachios and caster sugar. Layer them in the glass and top up with sliced pistachios and saffron. Chill and serve.

And now for the Meme ! Last week Francesco of The Food Traveller nominated me for the “Thinking Blogger Award”. Its my first time ever participating in one , and this one is pretty simple. Just have to name 5 blogs that make you think, say a few things about them and invite them to do the same. Francesco is far to kind to put me on top of his list. Its truly an honour to know that someone who has such a fantastic blog himself thinks my blog is worthy of praise red wine. I am humbled by his kind words. And now to talk about my 5 , the ones that really inspire me and make me think …

Israeli Salad

 

Israeli SaladWhen I met Maya Marom in Tel Aviv, she handed me a box of spices andflavorings, which meant that when I returned home Take what to love you, I could recreate manyof the wonderful dishes that I enjoyed there. The best things I had in mytravels were the salads loaded with fresh vegetables, which are served atbreakfast, lunch, and dinner, and are especially welcome when thetemperature climbs in the summertime.Maya was born in Arizona, but moved to Israel when she was three monthsold. She is a self-taught cook and baker, and has a gorgeous blog,Bazekalim as well as self-publishing her own food magazine. When sheinvited me over for lunch, she prepared what’s known as Israeli salad inher country; a finely chopped mixture of raw vegetables doused in alively dressing with a typically Israeli flourish of lots of fresh herbs,chopped and mixed in at the last minute. She also adds toasted seeds andnuts, which gives the salad even more crunch.I love fresh, brightly flavored salads like these, and she was kindenough to share it in a guest post. It can be varied to use whateverfresh vegetables are available where you live. Thanks Maya! – David
When I met Maya Marom in Tel Aviv, she handed me a box of spices andflavorings, which meant that when I returned home, I could recreate many
of the wonderful dishes that I enjoyed there. The best things I had in mytravels were the salads loaded with fresh vegetables, which are served at
breakfast, lunch, and dinner dahritoo , and are especially welcome when thetemperature climbs in the summertime.
Maya was born in Arizona, but moved to Israel when she was three months old. She is a self-taught cook and baker, and has a gorgeous blog,
Bazekalim as well as self-publishing her own food magazine. When sheinvited me over for lunch, she prepared what’s known as Israeli salad in
her country; a finely chopped mixture of raw vegetables doused in a lively dressing with a typically Israeli flourish of lots of fresh herbs,
chopped and mixed in at the last minute. She also adds toasted seeds and nuts, which gives the salad even more crunch hduero.
I love fresh, brightly flavored salads like these, and she was kind enough to share it in a guest post. It can be varied to use whatever fresh vegetables are available where you live.

 

When I met Maya Marom in Tel Aviv, she handed me a box of spices andflavorings, which meant that when I returned home, I could recreate manyof the wonderful dishes that I enjoyed there. The best things I had in mytravels were the salads loaded with fresh vegetables, which are served atbreakfast, lunch, and dinner, and are especially welcome when thetemperature climbs in the summertime huoewrio.

 

Maya was born in Arizona, but moved to Israel when she was three months old. She is a self-taught cook and baker, and has a gorgeous blog,Bazekalim as well as self-publishing her own food magazine. When sheinvited me over for lunch, she prepared what’s known as Israeli salad in her country; a finely chopped mixture of raw vegetables doused in a lively dressing with a typically Israeli flourish of lots of fresh herbs,chopped and mixed in at the last minute. She also adds toasted seeds and nuts, which gives the salad even more crunch gjirti.

 

 

I love fresh, brightly flavored salads like these, and she was kind enough to share it in a guest post. It can be varied to use whatever fresh vegetables are available where you live.

 

 

 

Saffron RaspberriesSaffron Raspberries

Raspberries are incredibly fragile, which is why, for most of the year, I pass them up. When they’re flown in from a far-flung farm, or sit on shelves for any amount of time, I can tell. They get sad, their color darkens, and eventually mold sets in stealthily from the bottom of the basket hong kong property agents. The mold. You’ll likely discover it after you get the berries home. So, I wait until local berries start showing up at the farmers’ market. And it’s worth it. I can only hope the raspberries where you live are as impressive as what I’m seeing here right now — basket after basket filled with ruby gems lafite rothschild. They have luminescent color, good structure, drupelets filled with sweet raspberry juice, ready to pop. This quick, saffron-sugared raspberry bowl is the best thing I’ve made with them this year — and you likely have the ingredients on hand. There’s a bit of lemon zest, some vanilla bean paste, olive oil, and toasted almonds for contrast to the softness of the raspberries.

My sense is this would also be a nice flavor profile for a pie or tart. If the raspberries where you’re from rarely look good? Substitute a berry that does — strawberries would taste great here, and I’m imagining a blackberry version could be nice as well. Start with great fruit, and go from there. A dollop of yogurt or sweetened creme fraiche is one way to make it all the more decadent. And one favorite weekend breakfast shaped up to be equal parts saffron berries, Greek yogurt, and Marge’s original granola — xo Megan portable interactive whiteboard!

I do have one regret. Golden raspberries made their annual debut here just about five minutes after I shot these pics. And they’d be perfect. So, if you can get your hands on those, use them