For many people traveling is an integral part of life. Visiting new places we discover many new things as well as we discover many new things in ourselves. And of course, your journey cannot be complete if you do not talk with the local people. I suppose you probably know what you need to start a really sincere and interesting dialogue…Yes, you need some alcohol!
Continue reading “Alcohol Preferences Around the World”
Wow, things have been busy here. I’ve been working full time, I had two tests since I last posted, and I visited my sister in Atlanta. Whew. Luckily, it’s the weekend and I’ve FINALLY had time to make something worthy of posting. Pretzels! Since I’ve been so bad about posting, I also included a recipe for beer cheese dip to use with these delicious honey wheat bagels.
Wow, things have been busy here. I’ve been working full time, I had two tests since I last posted, and I visited my sister in Atlanta. Whew. Luckily, it’s the weekend and I’ve FINALLY had time to make something worthy of posting. Pretzels! Since I’ve been so bad about posting, I also included a recipe for beer cheese dip to use with these delicious honey wheat bagels. My sister and I made a version of this when I was visiting, but we forgot to take pictures. Whoops!
Like this image? Buy a print on Etsy here!
Also, I promise two things. First, I’m going to make a beginner’s guide to yeast breads recipe. It will be simple rolls and it will be the perfect introduction to making your own breads using yeast. Yeast seems to scare some people, but I promise it’s not scary. Second, I’m going to do a giveaway! Not in this post, but one coming up in the near future you will have the opportunity to win something. Get excited, tell your friends.
Back to honey wheat pretzels. Everyone loves soft pretzels from the mall, but they don’t know how much better they are when you make them yourself. Making them is surprisingly simple too (they follow almost the exact same process as bagels). Making these pretzels using half whole wheat flour and honey makes these slightly healthier than the addictive mall pretzels, but they taste even better.
The cheese dip recipe I have to go with the honey wheat pretzels is very customizable. You can use whatever spices you like, any cheese, and any beer. I used cheddar cheese and pale ale. So tasty!
Honey Wheat Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-1/4 tsp yeast
- For the topping:
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- whatever toppings you want (or none if you want to dip the pretzels)
- You can use a bread machine or a mixer with a dough hook. If using a bread machine, place all the ingredients in the bread pan in the order I have listed (except for the topping ingredients) and set to dough. If using a mixer, combine the honey, yeast, water, and oil and mix well. Add the oil first and use the same measuring spoon to measure out the honey. The honey will slide out instead of sticking. In the bowl for the mixer, add the flour and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. For both: add more water if the dough is too dry and won't combine, add more all-purpose flour if the dough is sticky and wet.
- Once done mixing, let rise for about 1 hour in a warm spot. Begin boiling a large pot of water and add 1/4 cup of baking powder. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the dough from the bowl/bread machine pan and divide into 12 equal parts. Roll them out into a long snake and make a U-shape. Fold one end over to the middle and then fold the other end over. You should have something that resembles a pretzel shape now. Do this for all parts.
- Once the water is boiling, place one pretzel in the water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and remove. Do this for all the pretzels. Mix together the egg and water for the topping and brush onto each pretzel. Sprinkle whatever topping you want over top (salt, sesame seeds, cheese, pepperoni, garlic powder, etc) or leave plain. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then enjoy!
Recipe for Beer Cheese Dip!
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1-12 oz beer
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheese
1 tsp mustard powder
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chives
cooked bacon (optional)
(you can add or remove spices as you want)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes 2 cups (16 servings)
Melt the butter with the mustard powder, garlic, paprika, and chives. Once melted, add the flour and mix constantly. Once this forms a clumpy mixture, add the milk and beer and whisk. Continue to whisk until the mixture has no clumps. Add the cheese and mix until it is completely smooth. Sprinkle in the bacon if using. Easy and delicious. Enjoy immediately with pretzels or veggies. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated.
Pretzels Nutrition Facts:
Beer Cheese Dip Nutrition Facts:
I immediately started imagining all the tasty things I would make to go with pretzels, and that really only included on thing. Cheese fondue.
Sometimes I get a little bit too excited over little things. For example, yesterday Pandora started playing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears and I’m ashamed to admit I was so excited, I started texting people about it.
Another thing that gets me feeling overly giddy is anything free. If I see something on the side of the road with a free sign, I’m the kind of person that would take it no matter what it was or if it didn’t even work.
So when my coworker wanted to throw away some frozen pretzels he had no intention of eating, I immediately swooped in to save them. Free frozen pretzels! My month was complete. I immediately started imagining all the tasty things I would make to go with pretzels, and that really only included on thing. Cheese fondue.
The first time I made my own cheese fondue, I was visiting my sister in Atlanta. She recently discovered the secret to a good homemade fondue and we needed to try it out. It was delicious. We ate so much that all we could do was watch 30 Rock and moan in misery afterwards. You can never go wrong with cheese, bacon, and beer.
- 16 oz shredded cheese (I used Gruyere, Cheddar, and a little Pepperjack because I ran out of cheddar. Feel free to use whatever cheese you want though. Common cheeses are Guyere, Swiss, Cheddar, Jarlsberg, or Emmenthaler)
- 22 oz good beer (pick and amber or something with good flavors)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 pieces of cooked bacon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- Chives (optional)
- Add the beer to a pot and set on medium to high heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the cheese and the cornstarch and mix until the cheese is coated in the cornstarch. Add in the spices and mix again.
- Once the beer is simmering, slowly add the cheese. Mix until blended before adding more cheese. Once all the cheese is added, feel free to add more cheese or more cornstarch to reach your desired thickness. If it is too thick for your tastes, feel free to add more beer.
- Once this mixture is melty and ooey gooey good, tear the bacon into small pieces and add.Garnish with chives and serve with pretzels, bread, apples, carrots, and anything else that needs more cheese.
- Enjoy your cheese fondue!
Now it’s your turn!
- What is something you get a little too excited about? In my case 90s pop songs and free frozen pretzels.
- What is your favorite cheese to use in fondue? Cheddar for me!
- What is the best thing to dip in cheese fondue? Pretzels will win every time.