Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hello my lovely followers! Today I am bringing you another fun recipe that would be perfect for any super bowl party, or just for fun; homemade soft pretzels! These babies are perfect by themselves, smothered in delicious mustard, or dipped into hot queso instead of a boring old chip. The Hubs has been asking me to make these for a while, so I decided to grant his wish this past weekend and I am so glad I did. I adapted this recipe form Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction and they really came out wonderful. I hope you enjoy!

Soft Pretzels


  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, not boiling and not room temperature, somewhere in between)
  • 1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3.5 - 4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, or mix of 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • course sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 425F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. Put the warm (not boiling and not room temperature) water and put it in a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast into the water, stirring for about a minute. Most yeast should dissolve, but there will be a few clusters of yeast that will remain. Add the salt and sugar and stir to combine. Slowly add the flour, about 1/2 a cup at a time, and keep stirring until dough is no longer sticky.  Poke the dough with your finger and if it bounces back, it is ready to knead. Knead the dough on a floured counter top or surface for about five minutes and form into the shape of a ball. If dough is still sticky, add more flour. If dough seems to dry, add a bit more water. Cut the ball of dough in quarters. Cut the first quarter in half and roll dough out into a rope about 20" long for thicker pretzels, and about 24" for thinner pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. See below for photos on each step. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (dunk both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. If your oven broiler gets very hot (like mine), bake pretzels for 15 minutes and then broil for the last minute to get the top nice and browned. If your broiler does not get super hot or your oven racks are not close to the top, bake for 10 minutes and then broil for the last 5 to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning. Allow to cool and enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature. I stored mine in Ziploc bags and re-heated in the microwave for 30 seconds and they were still super yummy even four days after baking.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sweet And Spicy

Alright folks, after all those runway styles and looks for less, I am a little bit fashioned-out, if you can believe it! I decided, with the Super Bowl coming up and all, that I should give you a few recipes to try. I made these both last week (with a little grilling help from the Hubs of course) and they turned out delicious. I have been making the mango salsa for a while, its a recipe that I came up with in college, and the wings are an adaptation of a pinterest find by Kelly from Just A Taste. The wings were really great grilled, but I will leave you the baking instructions just in case it is a bit too cold where you live or you just do not have access to a grill. I hope you enjoy these fun twists on Super Bowl staples and that they make your day a delicious one! Enjoy!

Sweet And Spicy Grilled Wings


  • 2 - 2 1/2 pounds of chicken wings and drummettes, separated and tips removed, skin left on
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese 5-Spice blend
  •  (mine was just marked 5-Spiced blend. the ingredients should be Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and fennel seeds)
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup blackberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to season


Rinse wings and drumettes and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and spice blend until well coated.
If grilling, start up grill and place wings on it once it is heated. Grill wings about 6-10 minutes on each side, or if you have a meat thermometer, the inside temp should be 165 F (we have a charcoal grill, so the grill temperature was about 350 F and it took 6 minutes on each side to fully cook). When you cut into the wing, the juices should run clear and that is the sign they are fully cooked. Remove wings from grill once done and transfer to a large bowl.
If baking, preheat oven to 400ºF. Position wings on baking racks in a single layer ensuring that wings aren't touching. Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove wings from oven and transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk together hoisin, sriracha, and blackberry jam in a small bowl. Drizzle wings with sauce, tossing until well coated. Serve immediately, garnish with cilantro leaves, and enjoy.







Mango And Avocado Salsa


  • 2 large or 3 small avocados
  • 2 large  mangos
  • 1/2 of one large red onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 large or 6 small limes for juicing
  • salt and pepper to taste


Peel off all skin of the mangos, cut out the core and dice the flesh. It is important to remove all the skin because it can cause sores on the lips. Add to a bowl. Put the onion in the freezer five minutes before preparation to help reduce tears when chopping. Remove from freezer and dice 1/2 of the onion finely and add to the bowl. Next, dice the jalapeno, seeds included if you like a bit of spice, if not remove the seeds or omit all together. Add that to the bowl also. Chop the cilantro as well and add to the other ingredients. Cut the avocados in half, remove pit and peel off skin. Dice the flesh and add to the bowl. Quickly cut all limes in half and juice over the bowl, making sure to coat the avocado pieces to keep them from browning. Mix all ingredients together and add salt and pepper to desired taste. Eat with chips, over rice, or as a fun twist on a salad. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spring 2013 Trends Day 7: Black And White

We are on the last day of the seven days of fashion! It is a bit bittersweet, but I am sure you all were wondering about the last trend I have examples of; it's black and white! This year, it is not truly just black and white that is a hot trend, but the hard and soft aspect as well. Hard black lines or leather accents against soft white chiffon, ruffles, or cotton. They are saying that this movement is loosely based off the popular "50 Shades Of Gray" book as well as the artistic works of famed fashion photographer Helmut Newton's iconic black-and-white photography. I hope you enjoy this trend, because it is my personal favorite!

BCBC Max Azria


 Louis Vuitton

Victoria Beckham


 Finally, here are the more affordable options of this trend:

Forever 21

(here, and here)

(here, herehere, herehere, and here)

 Urban Outfitters
(here, and here)