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Homemade Soft Pretzels

How to make Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are an incredible treat. They can be dipped in cheese sauce, ranch dressing, marinara, crab dip and even sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Most of the time a soft pretzel will come from a roller rink, ball game or the movie theater. A pre cooked, then frozen, then re-thawed and then semi baked, big pile of gross. But how could you get a perfectly toasty, chewy, crusty soft pretzel in your own home? Well, the answer is right before your eyes.

We start this recipe out by purchasing pre made pizza dough from the store, at the outrageous price of $1.99. Then you simply roll and twist anyway you like. Next you will boil the dough in a pot of water and baking soda. The baking soda will give you that dark and chewy crust only found in pretzels. After that you salt em' and pop them in a super hot oven for 15 minutes to finish cooking the dough inside while browning the outside.

Soft Pretzel Bites

  • 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
  • 1/3 C Baking Soda
  • 2 tbsp. Coarse Kosher Salt
  • Pre heat the oven to 450 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, carefully stir in the baking soda and keep the water at a simmer. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly flour your hands and rolling surface. Roll each piece of dough in your hands until it is 1/3 – ½ inch thick. Lightly flour your knife and cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Carefully place the dough into the water and boil for 30 seconds. Remove the dough from the water; drain well and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and bake in the middle rack for 15 minutes, rotating the pan half way through cooking. Remove the pretzels from the baking sheet and enjoy while still warm

    How to Make Fried Rice

    How to Make Fried Rice

  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 Eggs, whisked
  • 1 C Onion, small dice
  • 2 C Fresh, Canned or Frozen Mixed Veggies
  • 2 C Chicken, cooked, cooled and chopped (Optional) or 1/3 C cooked Bacon, chopped
  • 4 C Rice, cooked and cooled - from 1 C uncooked rice
  • 1/4 C Soy Sauce, low salt version
  • Bring a very large skillet up to medium heat, add 1/3 of the oil to the pan and let it heat up for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and eggs then scramble until cooked through, about 30 seconds, then remove from pan. Add another third of the oil cook the onions over high heat for 2-3 minutes, add the rest of the veggies and cook until browned then remove. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and cook the chicken until browned. Add the rice, egg and veggies to the pans and toss over medium high heat with the soy sauce.

    Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, green onions or bean sprouts. Feel free to sub the chicken with chopped steak, pork, shrimp, tofu or seitan. You can also add any kind of veggies you like to this dish and it will taste awesome!

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    Menu: Blueberry and Cornmeal Pancakes with Peaches, Garden Vegetable Quiche, Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

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  • Asparagus, Bacon and White Bean Soup

    Asparagus, Bacon and White Bean Soup

  • 4 slices Bacon* or Smoked Turkey, chopped
  • 1 C Leaks or Onions, sliced or diced
  • 1 Carrot, small dice
  • 1 Celery, small dice
  • 1 C White Wine (Optional)
  • 1 qt. Chicken or Vegetable Stock or Water, low or no salt variety
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 lb. Asparagus, small dice
  • 1 can White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • ½ Lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan, brown the bacon and then remove. Add the leeks or onions, celery and carrot to the pot and sweat over low heat. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the stock, beans and bay leaf then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust the flavor by stirring in the sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh herbs and crispy bacon.

    *Feel free to not add bacon for a vegetarian option.

    Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes

    Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes

  • 4 Bacon, strips
  • 1/4 Onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, smashed
  • 2 C Tomato, chopped
  • 1 C Red Wine, White Wine or Chicken and Veggie Stock
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 8 oz. Pasta
  • 1/2 C Pasta Water
  • 1/4 C Fresh Basil, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
  • Heat a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the onions, cook until soft then add the garlic and and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes, wine or stock and sugar to the pan. Cover the sauce and simmer on low heat until the tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Place the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes less the the instructions read. Add the pasta and 1/2 C of the pasta water to the tomato sauce. Simmer the pasta for 3 minutes or until the sauce soaks into the pasta then stir in the basil.

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    Sunday April 4th 2014, 10:00a -12:00p

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    Sunday April 20th, 7:50 and 9:50 am

    11th Annual Baltimore Greenweek presents, Chef Egg at Stratford University
    Monday April 21st, 10:00 -11:30a at Stratford University

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    Chef Egg Live: Spring Forward! at Blue Moon Café
    Thursday April 24th, 7:15p - 9:15p.

    Menu: Boneless Leg of Lamb with Horseradish Dressing, Asparagus, White Bean and Bacon Soup, Lemon and Almond Macaroons

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    Teen Cooking: Breakfast Bonanza at Whole Foods Market Rockville
    Tuesday April 29th, 6:30 - 8:00p

    Menu: Mexican Chilaquiles with Fresh Guacamole and Pico de Gallo, Strawberry and Banana Stuffed French Toast.

    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 lb. Ground Chicken
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • ¼ C Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 8 Lettuce Leaves
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil smokes, place the chicken in the pan and brown well. While that is cooking mix the next 4 ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the sauce to the chicken and cook until thick. Add the basil to the chicken and toss to combine.

    Quick Pickled Cabbage

  • 2 C Cabbage, shredded thin
  • 3 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss to combine. Place the cabbage in the fridge, toss every 5 minutes for 30 minutes and serve chilled.

    Baked Squash with Feta Cheese

    Yellow Squash Recipe With Cheese, Zucchini & Onion -- powered by ehow

    Baked Squash with Feta Cheese

  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow Squash, diced
  • 2 Zucchini, diced
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • ½ tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dried Herbs
  • 1/3 C Feta Cheese
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil to the pan. When the oil starts to smoke add the squash, zucchini and onions to the pan. Add the herbs and toss the vegetables, cook for 2 minutes, toss again and repeat. Top the squash with the feta cheese and broil until golden brown. Remove the pan from the under the broiler, garnish with herbs and serve.

    Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

    Apple and cinnamon oatmeal was a childhood favorite of mine. But as I grew up, so did my taste for really good food. Instead of powdered oatmeal dregs and little dehydrated apples, this recipe calls for hearty oats and whole sautéed apples. If you want to get hard core you can add flax seeds, wheat berries and farrow. You can also with up the fruits to sautéed peaches or mangoes; dried fruits like raisons, crayons, apricots and figs, or throw in fresh berries and bananas.

    Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

  • 2 servings Hearty Oatmeal, cooked
  • 2 Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Honey, Brown Sugar or Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C Chopped Nuts or Seeds
  • Place a small skillet over medium/low heat, add the butter and apples to the pan and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the honey and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute until you can smell the cinnamon. Place a serving of the cooked oatmeal in a bowl, top with apples and garnish with some chopped nuts or seeds.

    Pecan Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

    Pecan-Crusted Chicken With a Mustard Cream Sauce -- powered by ehow

    Pecan Crusted Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

  • 3-5 Chicken Thighs, boneless and skinless
  • ½ tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • ½ C Flour
  • 2 Egg
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Ground
  • 1 C Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • ¼ C White Wine
  • ¼ C Chicken Stock
  • 1 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • ¼ C Cream
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and season the chicken in the salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs and pecans together. Lightly dredge the chicken in flour, egg then press into the pecan mixture. Place the butter in the skillet and when the foam subsides place the chicken into the pan. Cook the chicken on one side, until golden brown, about 4 minutes then turn and repeat. When the chicken is cooked through, remove form the pan. De-glaze the pan with the wine and chicken stock and reduce by half. Stir in the mustard and cream then season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken on a platter, drizzle with sauce and garnish with herbs.

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