Friday, October 14, 2016

Homemade Soft Pretzels

If you follow my personal instagram or facebook then you know I made some of these last week.   Well, I just did again today.  I love homemade pretzels, or really most soft pretzels.  And this recipe from bhg is awesome!  I am still needing to buy actual pretzel salt but my trusty Kosher Salt has been working well in the meantime.

These are fairly easy to make, really the hardest part is making them look like actual pretzels, and if you don't what they look like then you could do twists or even kind of bun like things.  Oh and the boiling part is kind of challenging because of the whole boiling water part..for those of us who are clutzy at least.  Just be careful and enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

I have several tex-mex soups on this blog (here, here, ..etc) but this one may just be a new fave.  I have a little secret fall ingredient in there that gives it a little more substance, flavor and almost creaminess without a lot of calories! :)  Wanna guess what it is??  Pumpkin!  And did I mention this soup is easy?!?!?!

What you'll need:

1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes
2 (4oz) cans of diced green chiles (I used one mild and one medium)
1 (15oz) can of Navy Beans (or pinto/black/great northern)
2 (32 oz) tetra packs (or 8 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 t. Paprika
1 T. Taco Seasoning (of your choice)
salt and pepper to taste

Place everything in the slow cooker and stir together.  Set on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

I highly recommend some corn salsa, sour cream (or plain yogurt) and flour tortillas in strips or wedges for toppings.  Serve and enjoy!  Also goes very well with cheese (or chicken) quesadillas!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bibimbap Dolsot

 My husband visited South Korea a couple of years ago for a conference.  When he came back going on about how great the food, especially Bibimbap Dolsot, we searched Central North Carolina to find something local.  We tried a few places but our favorite was definitely Mixed in Chapel Hill.  Their food is great, and it's setup kind of like Chipotle/Moe's/Qdoba so it's a familiar set up where you can choose what rice, veggies and protein goes in your dish.  Anyway, it made me also fall in love with Korean food--especially Bibimbap Dolsot.

We have only found one place where we are in CO that even serves Bibimbap and it's pretty good but there aren't any choices (just comes with what is in season or whatev) and it's pretty pricey.  So, that leads me to trying my hand at it at home.  I hadn't tried before because I didn't have stone bowls, but then I remembered I have these great stoneware bowls from ByBee (Sp?) pottery in Berea, KY.

Bibimbap means mixed rice.  And dolsot means hot stone.  So this dish is fairly easy to make with rice, veggies, optional meat and optional egg with optional sauces to top it off.  Then if you desire it to be really hot, you warm it in the oven in the stone bowl and when it's done you mix it together (carefully) and viola!  Mixed (delicious) rice! :)

What you'll need:

  • Cooked Rice (I used 1 cup Jasmine and 1 cup Quinoa)
  • Cooked Chicken optional (Can either be seasoned or not, sliced thinly)
  • Veggies of your choice (I used bean sprouts, broccoli, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms)
  • Sauce optional (Black Sesame Sauce Recipe below)
  • Fried/Poached Eggs optional

Black Sesame Sauce:  
  • Grind 1/2 c. black sesame seeds
  • Mix with 2 T. Soy Sauce, 1 T. Sugar and 1/3 c. chicken (or veg.) broth.  
  • You could mix in blender for smoother consistency!  
  • You could also add more broth to make it thinner too, and sugar to taste.

Instructions for Bibimbap Dolsot:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Cut up veggies into almost bit sized pieces and saute each separately. (This is the most time consuming part, so if you want to do it earlier in the day you can.  Just refrigerate until you assemble the bibimbaps at dinner time.)

3.  Make an assembly line for either yourself to put together the bowls or let your family/guests do it themselves.

4.  In thick stoneware bowls (or something similar and ovenproof) place rice (about 1/2-3/4 cup) in the bottom.

5.  Then place chicken (or other meat or no meat) in the middle and veggies around the sides like shown below and you can top with the optional egg.

6.  Place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until as hot as you'd like.  We have been pretty happy with 15 but 20 gets it to stay hot the entire meal, which is nice and hot!  

7.  Carefully remove from oven and place on hot pad with each person being warned of how hot they are.  I heated our son's up in the oven for half the time and then spread it out on a plate to let it cool before giving to him.  Be careful!

Our "mixed rice" before it was mixed.  We added salt, pepper and sesame seeds to the top before the oven and then I added Black Sesame Sauce right before we mixed them.  So yummy and so customizable!  Enjoy!!  Let me know if you have questions or if I missed anything!
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