Monday, July 29, 2013

Diets to Go? Really?

Being a foodie makes keeping weight off hard.  I workout most days of the week so that I can eat whatever I like (within reason).  But what about those weeks when I'm not feeling well, or days when my kids are home and have too many places to go for me to fit in my workout?   I'm wondering if anyone has tried diet meal plan sites that provide full diet meals (like DietToGo).  It seems like a convenient way to have meals in the freezer for those days when you just can't make it work.

Or am I better off just making up freezer meals with leftovers?  That is something I will have to remember to DO though.  LOL!  Those sites seem like a good idea for people who don't really cook or live on their own and need no other groceries, but do they work for a person with a family?  What do you feed everyone else?  If you've tried them, please let me know how they worked for you and if they are worth the added $$$$.

While looking around Amazon to find some related links for the end of my post (as I always do), I found these books about freezer meals! They might be interesting reads. Of course, I have seen websites for this kind of thing as well. Like this one: Pioneer Woman and Thriving Home.

It is good to know that I have so many choices, but if you have done any of the above, please let me know how it worked out for you.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Recipe Card Kit and Freebie!

Look at this kit!  I WON it on a Sweet Shoppe Designs giveaway!  It is by designer Libby Pritchett.  I am so excited to make some fun recipe cards for my Grandmother's recipes which {ahem!} I have been doing for quite a while now.  I get bored with this project, so this kit is the perfect thing to get me back on track to get this job done. 

There are so many things you can make with just one kit!  Here's an example of a simple recipe card I made.  Now I can print as many as I need and so can you thanks to Libby for allowing me to share these cards made with her kit!  So fun.  Right click to save and print.
Here is a larger layout for you.  The others a pretty small.
This one is single and the next one will print two per page.

Off to get those recipes typed up!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Hot, Whole-Wheat Soft Pretzels

Seriously, can't you just smell them? 

Sliced horizontally, they make great hamburger buns.  If you do them as straight sticks, you can cut them and make them hot dog buns. Yum!

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt or French grey sea salt
1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flours and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl,  cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for 5 minutes- 10 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat. Set aside.

3. Heat 3 cups of water to very warm  in an 8-quart saucepan and add the baking soda. Turn off the heat.

4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8-16 pieces depending how large you'd like your pretzels to be.  Dip the rope into the soda water holding onto the ends of the rope as handles. (It doesn't matter if the tips of the ends don't get submersed).  Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

5.  Coat with egg yolk and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes or until deep brown.

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