Apricot Crisp

This blog is pretty much the only thing keeping me sane. If you know me, that’s a lot to ask of a blog (some may even argue it’s not working). For those of you that don’t know, my life has been on pause for about a year. Since I made the decision to save up some money and attempt to pay off a large chunk of debt before finishing my degree. As a result I feel like a robot. I’m literally doing the same thing every single day, besides when i’m baking in the kitchen or making in the studio. It’s getting me through the brunt of it, but the worst part of a stagnant life is social media. My news feed is filled with friends who are starting their careers, traveling the world, and the hardest bit: having really cute babies.

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy seeing people excel in their life. It’s just not being able to grow with them is difficult. I have found myself sinking into an unhealthy place. A dark and scary void that was created by comparing myself to the lives around me.

I know one day I will be able to hit the unpause button and start living the way I want to. It’s just getting a bit more difficult to see the light at the end of this financial decision. In the meantime I will continue to use the healing powers of carbs to help pull me out of that dangerous dark place.

{ insert apricot crisp here} 

This thing is like a soul band-aid. It's crunchy and tart with just the right amount of sweetness. A perfect way to take the mind off of any any stress that was acquired throughout the day. And if you top it off with a scoop of ice cream like I did, you can slip into a food coma, and treat yourself to a nap.

 

However the happy feeling carbs give don't last forever so to help me stay more positive about my current situation. I'm trying to go on more hikes throughout the week, and have been thinking about attending some yoga classes before work. Most importantly though I have been adamant about planning a vacation, so everyone cross your fingers for that one. 

Also this recipe is so simple and versatile don't feel obligated to use apricots. Experiment with different fruits or even nuts (a toasted almond sounds awesome with a cherry filling) there are so many possibilities. 

This recipe is from Epicurious.

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Pretzels

I am running so behind this month, the super bowl is already over and Valentine’s day is next week! This is probably embarrassing to admit, but this was the only Superbowl we have watched in over four years. We’re just not really football watching people, and we’re really cheap so we haven’t had cable for even longer. This year though we downloaded some Superbowl watching app on our X-Box, and voila we're part of society again.

It was so much fun, we even chose sides to root for. I didn’t think I would get so caught up in the game, and actually planned to make pretzels and queso to snack on. However I was too busy gloating about the Falcons at the beginning of the game that we ended up just ordering some pizza. When it was over all I had to show for it was a cold, half-eaten Hyalite Pizza from Columbos in my fridge, and an empty handmade chip and dip bowl sitting on my counter. So of course it was only fitting to opt for a personal win, and make some warm, buttery, salty pretzels for Wednesday’s dinner instead.

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The recipe is from the talented Amanda Fredrikson I have always used a recipe that involves boiling the pretzels in baking soda, and I found it so messy.  This recipe was such a nice alternative.


Soft Pretzels

Serving Size: Makes 8 small pretzels or 4 large pretzels.


Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • I yeast packet
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Water bath

  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons baking soda

Topping

  • Egg wash (mixture of egg yolk and a tbsp water)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Coarse sea salt


 

Directions:

 

Combine 1 cup warm water, honey and yeast in small bowl. Let sit for around 5-10 minutes or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine both flours and salt. Add the yeast mixture, and beat on low speed until dough comes together. This should take around 5 minutes, and the dough should look smooth and slack.

Remove from bowl of stand mixer and place in a medium sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 - 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then spray the parchment with non-stick spray.

Bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir until baking soda is dissolved. Pour mixture into a shallow pan that is big enough to hold the pretzels without too much crowding.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, and roll out the dough into thin ropes and form a pretzel shape.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes. When the pretzels are formed and have rested, place them in the baking soda water mixture for 2 minutes, making sure to coat them in  water with a spoon if they aren’t fully submerged.

Remove the dough from the baking soda mixture and allow to rest for 10 minutes on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with a egg wash, and top with sea salt.

Bake pretzels until they are golden brown, around 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Then serve warm in a fabulous handmade bowl with your favorite topping.