Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade pretzels

Pretzels must be a hot food trend right now, because I've been seeing them everywhere -- in cooking magazines, on fast-food menus, at the grocery store bakery.  I took a few days off of work earlier this fall and decided to try a pretzel recipe I found in the latest issue of Hy-Vee's Seasons magazine.

I was surprised by how easy this recipe is. I mixed and kneaded the dough in my Kitchenaid mixer.  (Thanks again to my parents & sister for giving me the mixer for my birthday!)  The dough rose beautifully.  The hardest part was rolling out the pretzels. I don't have enough counter space to roll out the dough in long ropes.  So my pretzels puffed up quite a bit in the oven and ended up looking more like pretzel rolls than knots.

My hubby got the bright idea to turn the pretzels into hamburger buns. He made blue-cheese mushroom burgers (with Maytag blue cheese).  So good!

You can find the Hy-Vee Seasons pretzel recipe here:

Have you ever made homemade pretzels?  Do you have any tips for shaping the pretzels?  I'm definitely going to try this again, now that I know how easy it really is.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Crumb topped apple pie

A few weeks back, my mom and I rode on the annual Boland, Iowa, bike ride and we were treated to pie at the finish. I picked the crumb topped apple pie and loved it so much I wanted to make it at home.

Pie after our Boland bike ride

I clipped a recipe for crumb topped apple pie from Taste of Home a couple years ago. I loved the back story behind the pie: The 80 year old pie baker from West Des Moines makes dozens of apple pies each fall for her son's business clients. Sounds like her recipe is a keeper!

My apple pie didn't turn out as pretty as the recipe photo, but it tastes terrific. I used MacIntosh apples from Center Grove Orchard near Cambridge, Iowa.

Click here for a link to the recipe, if you want to give it a try:
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