Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mulled Apple Cider

It snowed! Hurrah! Everyone went out and played, and got cold. So, we had some cider to warm us all up. Very tasty! And it looks lovely cooked in my Lodge cast iron Apple.


2 quarts apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1 cardamom pod
1 orange, thinly sliced

Combine ingredients in a pot over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Serve hot.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Brezeln (Pretzels)

If you like soft pretzels, you MUST try this recipe! I found this recipe for German Brezeln, which calls for the traditional lye bath that creates a pretzel's distinct flavor. However, like most home cooks, I don't want to mess with lye. Researching the best alternative to a lye bath resulted in this experiment, indicating that a cold bath in sodium monocarbonate gives the best result. The pretzels are then rinsed in water before baking. I tried not rinsing before baking on the lower right pretzel in the photo below. It baked darker and somewhat more crisp, but had an unpleasantly harsh taste. Rinsing is worth the effort. We couldn't believe how delicious they were!