dinner tonight: chili + pretzels

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)

you’ll need:

  • 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

here’s how:

  1. preheat oven to 425 and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. bake for 10 minutes  then turn oven to broil and bake for additional 5 minutes until browned.
  6. let cool and serve! extras can be stored for a few days or kept in the freezer.

TASTY (and healthy) TURKEY CHILI – serves 8

you’ll need:

  • 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

here’s how:

  1. 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.
  2. add chili powder and cayenne, stir to coat and cook until fragrant (about a minute or 2)
  3. 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

2 Responses to dinner tonight: chili + pretzels

  1. Lauri Newell December 17, 2014 at #

    It’s funny that you should ask that! A friend and I have been asking each other about dinner nearly every day. It can be so inspiring!

    With Chili Leftovers, my favorite is chili-cheese baked potatoes. Lately, I’ve made: Italian Turkey Soup, White Chili, Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas, Taco Soup (topped with cheese and cilantro, served with chips), Burritos, Spaghetti, Turkey Pot Pie, and Breakfast 4 Dinner on Sunday nights.

    I’m going to have to try making pretzels! Thank you for this post, and your blog!



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