Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fresh Blueberry Bagels!

We have a wonderful blueberry patch in our backyard. It's been the source of so many happy memories for our family and for our grandkids. My son-in-law calls the patch our "Scandinavian Garden" - we not only have blueberries, but also red raspberries, currants, elderberries and sour cherries ( I guess he associates berries with Scandinavia/ IKEA  - LOL!) Though the other berries are nice to have and fun to use, to me it's still "the blueberry patch." Last year we had a bumper crop of berries, as my freezer will still attest to.....and now this year's berries are beginning to ripen! I really prefer to use up the previous year's berries before I put any more in the freezer, so I've been serving A LOT of blueberries up lately. I've also had a passion for making bagels and pretzels lately (similar process to make them both), so it seemed to make perfect sense to make blueberry bagels.

It turned out that it certainly was "perfect sense"! I took these in to work on Wednesday and it did not take long for them to disappear. Delish! I took one home with me and toasted it......even more perfect! I hope you'll enjoy this "taste of summer!"

Fresh Blueberry Bagels!
1 pkg/Tbsp Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 ¼ Cup warm water
3 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 Cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Just a note – the dough will be very purple- That’s part of the charm/beauty of it!  Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled.
*Note 1: I used frozen berries, which made the dough very cold – I did NOT thaw them. To ensure the dough rising, I placed a pan of warm water under the EZ DOH bucket during the rising stage. Worked fine!
*Note 2: This dough was a little stickier than some, due to the berries. You may add flour, little by little, as you “EZ DOH”-it to take away some of the stickiness. When you handle the dough, you’ll want to have your hands covered with a little flour or cooking spray.
*Note 3: I made the dough the night before. I let it rise on the counter (with the pan of water under it) for 20 minutes, then I tucked the covered bucket in the frig. I placed a small bowl of warm water under it, as I was still a little nervous about the effect of the frozen berries. In the morning, it was perfectly risen. I pulled it out of the frig and let it warm up for about ½ hour, then completed the shaping, etc.
Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment and spritzing lightly with cooking spray. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts, forming each one into a ball by cupping your hand over the dough and rolling it on your kitchen surface. Make a hole in the center of each ball and tug on it gently to make a quarter-sized opening. Place the bagels on prepared tray and let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil a few bagels at a time, 1 ½ minutes on each side. Remove from water and drain briefly on a paper towel. Return the bagels to the baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 17-20 minutes. Enjoy!
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Savory Granola!

I'm always looking for something new as far as recipes are concerned......I'm sure many of you are on the lookout, too! I'd been having trouble getting back in the swing of baking/cooking after our little vacation, so I really needed something to inspire me.....
One of the first things I made when I was back in the kitchen was maple granola - I just LOVE that recipe! I'm a muncher - I adore crunchy, salty foods - so just for fun, I decided to google "savory granola" and see if anything came up. Much to my surprise, there were lots of recipes! Where had I been that I didn't know about this new craze? Said to be tasty on salads, in soups and just as a snack, its reputation intrigued me. So tonight I made some up......
My recipe is a combo of a recipe I located, varied according to what I had in my kitchen ....and what I liked (No fennel seeds in my granola...). I've only made it once, but I'm happy with the results. I'd like to try it again with a few changes....maybe sub honey for the agave (for a little more sweetness)....maybe add a touch more cayenne for a little more heat..... My hubby and I have been munching on it as a snack, but I'm anxious to try it on my salad tomorrow for lunch. Love me some crunch! Let me know what YOU think.....Would you make some changes?

Savory Granola
1 ¼ Cups Old-fashioned Oats
¼ Cup shelled pistachios
½ Cup chopped walnuts
½ Cup sunflower seeds (I used salted)
2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
¼ Cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (I used salted)
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
¼ Cup olive oil
1 ½  Tbsp. agave nectar
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (I used just a little more…)
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg white, beaten

 Place all ingredients in the EZ DOH bucket. Turn handle for at least one minute to thoroughly mix ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour ingredients onto parchment and press together with the back of a spoon. Bake at 325 for about 20-30 minutes, turning once about half way through. When browned, remove from oven and cool. Enjoy on a salad or as a munchie!!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Orange Kisses!

Last week, we took some time off to "exhale"......I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about! Life goes at a million miles an get one thing done and there are 15 things behind it, waiting for attention. I kept telling myself, "I'll rest when....", but "when..." never came. My hubby finally made "when" come and, in the spur of the moment, arranged for us to head to the beach for six days. With a couple of small suitcases in hand, along with his phone (but not mine, so I was fairly "unplugged"), off we went. The first day brought electronic withdrawal, but after my tremors ceased, I was finally able to relax. I spent most of the week with my Kindle in hand, laying under a palm tree in the ocean breeze (ahh, I wasn't totally unplugged...). Lovely!! Then last Friday, we returned to reality and all its clamoring. Though we're not sure we're ready for the return, we are grateful for the time we had to relax and "exhale"!

This recipe is a little a taste of the tropics! Fruity, easy and wonderful, you may be able to convince yourself you're in an island paradise when you take a bite.....ENJOY!!!

Orange Kisses
1 and 1 /4 Cup Water
1 Tbsp./ 1 packet Red Star Platinum yeast
3 Cups All-Purpose unbleached flour
2 Tbsp. Dried Milk
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Orange peel (I used fresh- you may use dried)
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Butter
For Topping:
1/2 Cup butter, melted
Combine in a separate bowl:
3 Tbsp. fresh grated orange rind
¾ Cup Sugar
Dissolve yeast in water. Let rest. Add remaining ingredients and EZ DOH-it (or knead in another fashion). Let rise till doubled. Punch down and divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Grease one 9” cake pan (I used 2 -6” pans- Feel free to experiment!). Dip each dough ball in melted butter, then roll in orange sugar mix. Place in prepared pans and let rise till doubled. Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.




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