Wednesday, April 25, 2012


One of the things I miss about home is the wonderful street corner pretzels, if you enjoy pretzels as much as I do or if you just want to try them, here is a fun and easy recipe so you can have them right in your neck of the woods. 

New York Pretzel ( serves 8 large pretzels)

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pretzel salt*

  • Parchment paper

Brown mustard - optional 

Stir together sugar, yeast, and  water - lukewarm  (105 to 110°F) in a glass measuring cup, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon table salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon flour, then turn out dough and knead, gradually dusting with just enough additional flour to make a smooth sticky dough, about 8 minutes. (Dough needs to be somewhat sticky to facilitate rolling and forming into pretzels).
Return dough to bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Using your palms, roll 1 piece back and forth on a clean dry work surface into a rope about 24 inches long. If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust them with flour. Twist dough into a pretzel shape. (Dough will retract as you form the pretzel.)
Transfer pretzel with your hands to an oiled baking sheet and form 7 more pretzels in same manner with remaining dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.
Let pretzels stand, uncovered, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a wide 6-quart pot of water to a boil.
Using both hands, carefully add 3 pretzels, 1 at a time, to boiling water and cook, turning over once with tongs, until pretzels are puffed and shape is set, about 3 minutes. Transfer parboiled pretzels to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 5 pretzels in 2 batches.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and oil paper, then arrange pretzels on sheet. Brush pretzels lightly with some of egg and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown and lightly crusted, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve warm.

*Available at King Arthur Flour (800-827-6836).  If not available you can substitute with kosher salt.
Chef's notes: ~ Dough can be mixed and kneaded in a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook.
 ~ Pretzels are best the day they are made. (When they are kept overnight, salt may dissolve and may get harder  than desired)

Grab your favorite refreshments and enjoy the amazing taste of a warm salty New York Pretzel!!

Above all, make sure you have fun with it, 
you can make it in any shape you'd like. Remember, 
they don't necessarily need to look pretty, they HAVE TO BE TASTY!!


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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This arrangement took my breath away and I had to share it with you and some great tips described for it!!

Spiral-Stemmed Posy
A posy is a classic English hand-tied bouquet. Use long-stemmed flowers such as snapdragons, roses, tulips, and lisianthus and then add eucalyptus and viburnum for various shades of green.
Combining fresh roses, peonies, and hyacinths in exciting new ways allows us to enjoy their beauty each day. Fashion this delightful bouquet as a centerpiece whenever company's coming or any time you're ready for a wonderful treat.

Tips for Arrangements

Use a plentiful amount of blossoms and greenery, and combine plant materials with different colors, textures, and shapes. Use fern fronds, ivy, moss, and eucalyptus to frame the flowers and to fill out arrangements.

Look for blooms with unbruised leaves and buds that are just starting to open. Re-cut all stems, and stand them in a mixture of cool water and flower preservative until it’s time to arrange them.

Balance the lushness of your arrangements with simple containers such as baskets, clay pots, glass vases, and iron urns.

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Monday, April 2, 2012


Crab Stuffed Endives (makes 4 stuffed leaves)

½ Lb fresh lump real crab ready to serve (can 
substitute for packaged if not available)
2tbsp Cilantro (finely chopped)
1tbsp Mayonnaise
¼ tsp Chipotle Sauce (Tabasco brand)
Juice of ½ lime
Fresh black pepper
Romaine lettuce
4 leaves Fresh endive

In a bowl combine crab, corn, cilantro, mayonnaise, chipotle sauce, lime juice and salt & pepper to taste. Detach and clean four leaves of endive. Chop 6 leaves of romaine lettuce and set aside. Now you are ready to make the pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo (makes 2cups)

1 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper

In a bowl combine all ingredients, set aside.

On a medium to large dish place the chopped romaine, place the crab mixture onto individual endives end place them on top of the lettuce, serve the pico the gallo next to endives….dip and delight in the fusion.

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