ohhhh, it seems like forever since i’ve posted a dinner recipe. haven’t been making a ton of homemade dinners either since having poppy. unless quesadillas, pumpkin pancakes and meat, cheese and apple platters count? mostly i just want to avoid washing dishes. but the fam is getting sick of the above meals and i’ve exhausted all of my go-to-cheap-ish-healthy-ish takeout restaurants, so it’s time to get back into my apron. these recipes (soft pretzels and chili) are just the thing to get me inspired! they also make a perfect wintery meal and can easily feed a crowd on game day (or any day).
SOFT PRETZELS – makes about 10
(instructions are for twisty pretzels but would work well as little bites and take a little less time)
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 1 packet active instant yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4-1/4 cups AP flour (1/2 AP and 1/2 whole wheat works but won’t bake as soft)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- coarse salt
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- preheat oven to 425 and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.
- dissolve yeast in warm water in a ceramic bowl. stir until mostly mixed (about a minute). add salt and sugar and stir. one cup at a time, add 3 cups of flour and mix until dough is thick. continue to add small amounts of flour until the dough is no longer sticky – if the dough bounces back after you poke it then it’s ready to knead!
- knead dough on floured surface for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. divide dough into about 1/3 cup chunks and roll into an even rope about 18-inches long. next pinch the ends together (to make a circle) then twist, bring towards yourself and press down to make a pretzel shape.
- beat egg and pour into a pie dish or shallow bowl. (this next step with water and baking soda is optional… it’s a little messy and takes extra time, but also adds to the flavor and appearance.) boil 9 cups water with 2/3 cup baking soda. dunk pretzels one by one into the mixture for 30 seconds. then dunk into egg wash (both sides), place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
- bake for 10 minutes then turn oven to broil and bake for additional 5 minutes until browned.
- let cool and serve! extras can be stored for a few days or kept in the freezer.
TASTY (and healthy) TURKEY CHILI – serves 8
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or 5 cloves, minced)
- 2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1, 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2, 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- in a large pot, heat oil over medium. add onion, garlic and bell peppers and sauté until fragrant and veggies have softened (about 5 minutes). add ground turkey and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until cooked through.
- add chili powder and cayenne, stir to coat and cook until fragrant (about a minute or 2)
- add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes to an hour. season to taste with salt and pepper. serve with desired toppings – sour cream, cheese, chips, onions,…- and enjoy!
what have you been eating for dinner lately?
xo . rae