Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cheeseburger Pretzel Bombs

In continuing with our very lazy summer, we've been spending quite a bit of time perusing our library for good reads. I came across the cookbook section recently, and spent forever just standing in that section looking through different recipes, my mouth watering endlessly. I have consistently had 2-3 cookbooks checked out since then. I've always loved looking through cookbooks, but I don't buy them anymore since you can basically find any recipe on the internet. But when you can borrow them to look through, find some inspiration for good recipes, and then return them... that's a good way to waste away summer.

So I found this book (buy it here), and wanted to make almost every recipe in it. I tried three recipes the first week and loved them all.

But when I came across these pretzel bombs, my head almost exploded. I had no idea how easy it was to pretzelize something! It's one of those recipes that you just hope is as easy as it looks. The whole time I was making them, I was thinking, "I hope this works, I hope this works" over and over again. And guess what? It worked! 

I'm not posting the exact recipe, because I didn't follow the exact recipe (I changed the filling, but followed the pretzel part). The possibilities are endless with this one. I'll tell you my ideas for other pretzel bombs once I show you what I did with this one. 

Here's what you need for the pretzel part of this:
Refrigerated pizza dough (in the refrigerator section, by the refrigerated biscuits. I have also tried making these with a pizza dough mix and they did NOT work as well. Stick with the roll out kind.)
Very secret ingredient (baking soda!!!!)
An egg (for brushing over the top before they are baked)
Sea salt (for sprinkling over the top before they are baked)

And then whatever you want to fill it with:
The recipe in the book called for frozen mini meatballs and American cheese

I made my own cheeseburger mixture by cooking a pound of ground turkey with ketchup, mustard, onion powder, diced dill pickle and a little bit of pickle juice. I also used some shredded cheddar. 

So here's what you do. 

Lay out your pizza dough. The recipe says to cut the dough into 14 strips, but for my recipe, those strips ended up being too much dough. I tried some smaller ones, and they worked much better. So try one out by putting a pile of filling on the dough and then wrap the dough around it to see how much it takes to cover it. You want the dough sealed all the way around the mixture. It's not an exact science. Just make sure your filing can't escape.

Now for the pretzel part. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Once the water is boiling, add 1/4 cup baking soda and stir to mix it in. Bring the water back to a boil. 

Add 3-4 of the dough balls to the boiling water at a time. Let them boil for 30 seconds, stirring them gently. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them on a paper towel. Dab them dry a bit and then put the on a baking sheet. 

Before baking, brush each dough ball with a beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt (course salt is best), and then bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The outside should be browned like a pretzel. 

Ta da!

Ideas for variations...

Pizza pretzel bombs - pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni
Spicy cheddar pretzel bombs - cheese sauce and jalapenos
BBQ Chicken pretzel bombs - bbq sauce and diced chicken
Garbage pretzel bombs - whatever you have in your fridge... you get the idea

The possibilities are endless. 

Happy pretzeling! 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Happy Birthday Sweet Eli

And then he was lucky number 7. The years are flying. Eli makes us laugh every single day. Whether he is creating a costume/prop, or just responding with something completely unexpected... He is constantly finding ways to make those around him happy. He is adventurous as ever. He loves riding his bike, playing with Kylo and going on play dates. I am so proud of the way he helps others without being asked, is constantly looking for a project to do, and his "I can do that" attitude. I can't believe he is one year older already. 

Now for a flashback.

Always the adventurer, Eli started his 6th year with a trip to the ocean. Six seemed like the perfect age to ride waves and play in the sand.

He loves, loves, loves animals. Whether they are real or stuffed. He has the biggest heart.

And he is the biggest fan of games. He loves Uno, Quixx, checkers, and chess. Sometimes he and Lex will get up before school and play a game during breakfast.

Climbing, sliding, swinging, and digging. Check, check, check, and check.

Watch out 1st grade. Here comes Eli!

He loves projects with Daddy. Building, cutting, taping, hammering - you name it.

One of his favorite projects is making things out of cardboard. Here he is working on his airplane. 

We all played hooky one day and went to the zoo.

Eli rides his bike just about every day, even in the winter. During the school year, sometimes he would get on his bike before he even stepped foot in the house.

If he's not on his bike, you will probably find him in the backyard. Swinging, jumping, or riding the tire swing. He loves being outside.

He also loves the water! 

He had to dress up like he was 100 for the 100th day of school. He made a pretty cute 100 year old.

He loves looking for ways to make us laugh. One of his favorites is getting in this cupboard and closing the door and then sliding the drawers in and out so it looks like a ghost is in the cupboard. The first time he did that, I almost died laughing.

He is such the adventurer.

But is also hilarious. You never know what he's going to say!

My sweet Eli, I hope that this next year brings you all the adventures you could ask for. Happy 7th, little man.

In keeping with tradition, I asked Eli a series of questions to mark his birthday.

Here's a look back at his year, starting with his annual birthday interview. (Scroll to bottom to see responses from previous years.)

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Eli: Ninja

Me: What's your favorite food?
Eli: Marshmallows

Me: What's your favorite snack?
Eli: Pretzels dippers with cheese

Me: What's your favorite thing we did this summer?
Eli: Cuddle

Me: What's your favorite thing to do outside?
Eli: Play with Kylo

Me: What's your favorite thing to do inside?
Eli: Cuddle with Kylo

Me: What is your favorite color?
Eli: Black

Me: What makes you happy?
Eli: Kylo

Me: Where do you like to go?
Eli: Friend's House

And in case you want to see how his answers have changed, here are the links to Eli's previous birthday interviews. 

Read about Eli's 4th birthday here. 
Read about his 5th birthday here.
Read about Eli's 6th birthday here.