Tag Archives: pretzel

Where Have I Been?

Seriously where have I been? Nursing school took over and I haven’t been anywhere near this blog but my food conquest have continued. Exploring Philadelphia has been my latest adventure and I wanted share with you guys some of my favorite spots for quick eats when I’m on the go.

1. Federal Donuts When’s the last time you had a hot fresh donut prepared in front of you with good coffee to match. That’s what you can find at this local eatery in Center City. Starting at 7 am the folks over at Federal Donuts are serving up flavors like Vanilla Spice, Turkish Mocha and Maple Bacon just a name to few. They feature a cozy atmosphere and mouth-watering menu. They also serve fried chicken!

2. ShakeShack-  What do you get when you mix concrete ice cream with Philly favorites such as soft pretzels and Termini Bros. Cannolli Shells?….you get the Shack Shake. This place is infamous in NYC and now Philly has its own. I fell in love with a blueberry pie concrete blend that rocked my world. They also serve up burgers and fries. This place comes highly suggested and the warm atmosphere makes it a favorite of mine.

3. Cafe Lift- After a long week of exams, I found myself here with a few of my classmates. The portions are huge and the price is even better. Cafe Lift is a great brunch spot or even better for lunch. I tried their chicken tacos and they were delish! There isn’t a lot of seating so get there early if you’re interested in trying their peanut butter pancakes.

4. Reading Terminal Market- I don’t know a food blog around that doesn’t mention this Philadelphia eatery and so will I. This place is home to some of the city’s best food vendors and specialty shops. The Amish Bakery will make you drool. Come with an empty stomach. Some of my favorites include the caramel kettle popcorn from the Amish Bakery and Bassets Ice Cream.

5. Varga Bar- Late nights in Philadelphia aren’t complete without stopping by this corner bar to taste their crab fries. Definitely a meal to be shared. If you enjoy seafood and fries, you will definitely enjoy Varga. And if you are a beer lover make sure try out some of their unique ales such as Lost Abbey 10 Commandments and Victory Golden Monkey.

So that’s where I’ve been. A few great meals and lots of homework.

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Pretzel Time

You haven’t had a pretzel until you’ve had a warm sourdough Philly pretzel fresh from the oven with mustard on the side. DELISH.  Find a Pretzel Factory near you soon!

A close second… are the pretzels at the Stoltzfus Bakery located in the Farmers Market in Williamstown, NJ- please stop by this place and bring your wallet because there is money to spent. The fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade and Cajun crab dip are also highly recommended.

Last but not least is Auntie Annes at the mall. Which I don’t get to often because I’m an internet shopper, I hate the crowds.  My favs are the original, cinnamon sugar and the hot dog pretzel isn’t bad either.

So in a quest to avoid long lines, save money and reduce the amount of artificial colors/flavors/preservatives and everything else we can find in our food. I present to you “Soft Pretzel Day”. (please note that this is not a real day and you will not receive paid time off from work for celebrating this day with me)

I was browsing King Arthur’s Website and under their favorite recipes I found one for soft pretzels and I figured, why not.

So lets do this.

Add all the ingredients to the mixer and watch as it shapes into a ball like this. Dough should be warm and soft to touch. I love my mixer, it makes my life so easy.

Lightly flour the ball and seal in a plastic bag for 30 minutes.

While the dough is “resting”, (which I don’t know why the dough needs to rest it hasn’t done any work today…corny joke. I cant help myself sometimes), Mix up the baking soda and water solution.

Divide the dough into equal parts. I didn’t measure them out like the recipe “suggested”.

Now I’ve watched the folks at Auntie Anne’s roll out pretzels and I tried to mimic their techniques.

Roll one ball of dough out using both hands and form a cylinder shape , the longer the dough the  bigger the pretzel. Once you reach your desired length pull both ends of the dough together  to form a U.

Cross them over each other and press into the bottom of the U.  Here’s what mine looked like. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Let them take another rest and then give them a dip in the baking soda bath

Sprinkle with pretzel salt. I used sea salt and I covered some of them with Asiago Cheese…..Mmmmmm Me Love Cheese (in my cookie monster voice).

After some time in the oven. Boom, Bam these things look delicious. Auntie Anne would be impressed.

Brush with melted Butta! Something this good deserves melted butta not butter. No margarine here. No ma’am.

Let cool and then devour. I dipped them in mustard but I’m sure some melted aged cheese like the stuff used for nachos at the fair would taste good with these.

FYI: I also froze some. I cooked them for 6 minutes, added the butta, let them cool and popped them in a freezer bag. I’ll re-heat them in the oven when I’m ready. Also I thought it would be cool to make pretzel bites too.

Here’s the link to the recipe. Let me know how yours turn out.

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