Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

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Jared has been searching for the perfect soft pretzel recipe for at least two years, and after combining a couple of recipes, he finally found it. Yes, my husband likes to do things like make us homemade soft pretzel bites on the weekend. He's kind of awesome. Anyway, these little puppies are perfect for a party, sports get together, or random Sunday. And I love them. Here's the recipe...

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups flour , mixed with
  • 1 tablespoon salt , more flour if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse salt

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, stir yeast, sugar and warm water.
  2. Let rest til yeast is dissolved and is a little foamy.
  3. Stir in 1 cup flour. Then rest of flour mixed with the 1 Tbl salt.
  4. Knead on lightly floured surface til smooth.
  5. Place in oiled bowl, rolling around til all oiled. Cover and let rise till doubled in size.
  6. Divide dough into eight balls. Roll each into a 20-in. rope; cut into 1 inch pieces.
  7. In a saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, two at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  8. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.

I prefer them with honey mustard, while Jared is more of a French's Yellow kind of guy. Either way, they're excellent plain, but even better with any kind of mustard. Enjoy!!

{made for dinner} homemade french fries

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Well, homemade fries AND burgers, but who cares about burgers when there are FRENCH FRIES?!? Not me, and hopefully not you. I was inspired to make these after the Pioneer Woman posted her version a couple of weeks ago. We try not to bust out the deep fryer very often, but I just couldn't help myself when I saw that crispy golden goodness (I may have drooled a little). We cross referenced PW's approach with our main man Alton Brown's recipe and here's what we came up with...

Ingredients:

  • 1 Russet potato (plenty of fries for 2 people)
  • Lots of vegetable oil (any cooking oil will do, but safflower oil is supposedly the best)

Directions:

Cut the potato into fries (we aimed for 1/2 in. thickness). Soak the fries in cold water for at least an hour - the longer the better. (Do not skip the soaking part!) Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water.

When oil reaches 320 degrees, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 3 to 5 minutes until they are pale and floppy. Remove from oil, drain, and cool to room temperature.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees. Re-immerse fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on roasting rack. Season with kosher salt while hot and hold in a 200 degree oven until ready to eat.

Enjoy!