Posts made in January, 2017

Sunday Quote is in paradise

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is in paradise

“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”
~ Frank Warren

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Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

These soft pretzel bites are bready perfection that fits in the palm of your hand.

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

I first featured this recipe on my old LiveJournal back in 2012. It’s one I’ve continued to make a couple times a year in the years since. The recipe is reliable and delicious!

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

If you’re intimidated by yeast dough, this is a good starter recipe. The dough comes together quite easily and it’s not persnickety to work with. I include directions for making it in a stand mixer and bread machine, but you can certainly make it by hand–it just takes some wrist work.

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

You don’t need fancy ingredients for this, either. It doesn’t even call for bread flour. Mind you, if you do plan to make pretzels often, I highly recommend grabbing pretzel salt. Unlike kosher salt, it doesn’t absorb into the baked dough, but maintains its crystalline texture and great taste. (I’ve been working on a tub of this stuff for almost four years! It doesn’t go bad, so hey.)

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

These pretzel bites taste best within a day of being made, but the fabulous thing is that these keep very well in the freezer. Just freeze them in a single layer on waxed paper, drop them in a gallon freezer bag, and ta-da! Pull out the whole bag or a few here and there when you need a pretzel bite fix over the next few weeks.

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

Because trust me, these things are addictive.

Modified from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

These Soft Pretzel Bites are tender and delicious. They taste best if eaten within a day of baking, but they also keep well frozen for a few weeks.

  • Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (90 to 100-degrees)
  • 2 Tb brown sugar
  • 1 Tb instant yeast
  • 6 Tb butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2-5 cups flour
  • Water bath:
  • 12 cups water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten until frothy
  • Pretzel salt or Kosher Salt

If making with a stand mixer

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into your mixer; use the standard paddle attachment. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon instant yeast. Mix on low for 30 seconds or so. (If using active yeast, let it sit for about five minutes to get frothy.)

Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 cups of the flour; put dough hook on mixer. Turn mixer to low and add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time as the mixer runs. The flour is adequate when the dough pulls itself away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn mixer to medium speed and let it knead for 5 minutes.

Remove bowl from stand and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

If making with a bread machine

Place ingredients in machine in specified order. In many, that means liquids first. Add in brown sugar, melted butter, salt, 4 1/2 cups flour, and yeast.

Set machine on a basic dough cycle. Monitor as it starts mixing and add more dough as needed to produce a soft, non-tacky dough; this will likely be 1/4 to 1/2 cup more. Let machine complete dough cycle and rise.

Now, regardless of how you start the dough

Rub counter space with butter or apply cooking spray, and likewise prepare two rimmed cookie sheets. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough into eight equal portions. Let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

While the dough is resting, pour 12 cups of water into a large pot; bring to a boil. Pour in 3/4 cup baking soda; it will get very frothy. Turn down the heat if necessary, keeping the water to a low boil.

Preheat oven at 425-degrees.

Return to the dough and roll each piece into a long rope. Cut each rope into little chunks about 2 inches wide.

Carefully drop the chunks into the boiling water. Let them boil for 1 minute. Do a dozen or so at a time.

Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove dough pieces from the boiling water. Place pieces on the prepped cookie sheets. Continue until all the bites have had their bath.

Brush the beaten egg over the top of each dough piece and then sprinkle a bit of salt over the tops.

Bake the bites for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. They cook fast, so keep an eye on them.

Let pans cool at least 10 minutes before you begin to indulge. Pretzels bites taste best eaten within a day, but can also be kept frozen for a few weeks and they thaw quickly. Eat at room temperature or slightly warmed.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

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Sunday Quote is about to explode in excitement

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote is about to explode in excitement

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
~Gustave Flaubert

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Late January News & Publications

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in anthology:poem, anthology:story, awards, Blog | Comments Off on Late January News & Publications

This has been the January of Let’s Get a Million Things Done as I get ready to go on a big trip and to write my next book. Weird fact: I have a novel outline that’s 11,300 words in length. I have never had an outline that comprehensive, and I find it both intimidating and comforting.

Here are some new links to end the month!

Nice mentions:
– Rocket Stack Rank included my Galactic Games story “Minor Hockey Gods of Barstow Station” on their Hugo consideration list!
– Also on the subject of awards, Jason Sanford gave Breath of Earth a nod over in his recommendations.
– Fiction Unbound delighted me by mentioning Breath of Earth as a way to fight pre-inauguration blues. (It will also prove effective post-inauguration.)

New short story:
“Left Hand Awakens” at Perihelion SF

New poetry:
– “The Flesh is Weak” in Eye to the Telescope: Robots
– “Being Human” in Star*line 40.1
– “A Net to Snare a Unicorn” and “Preventative Measures” in Mythic Delirium 3.3

Oh yeah, and remember that collection I have coming out in November? You can preorder directly from the publisher for a nice discount right now! It’ll be available to order on Amazon and other sites later this year.

Red Dust and Dancing Horses

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chicken, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, maple | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

You know I love maple-flavored sweets. Maple works in a savory way, too–and creates meaty magic in this recipe for Maple Chicken Thighs.

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

This is some seriously good chicken. It marinates for up to a day in the fridge, resulting in tender, lightly-sweetened chicken. It does not create a heavy glaze and it’s not like teriyaki. It is… just plain delicious.

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

Honestly, I think the leftovers are even better. This chicken is phenomenal cut up in a salad or used with a touch of dressing in a wrap.

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

This is yet another recipe inspired from the cookbook Maple by Katie Webster. (Seriously, if you love maple, get this book.) The original version of this recipe included shallots (which I never buy) and apples and pears (which I knew my husband wouldn’t want with his supper).

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

Give this chicken recipe a try, and discover a new way to love maple!

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

These chicken thighs need to marinate for at least 12 hours, so plan ahead! The sweet-savory marinade penetrates the chicken, creating wonderful flavor and tenderness. The leftovers are phenomenal! Modified from the cookbook Maple by Katie Webster.

  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 green onions; white parts only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, each thigh cut into thirds

The day or night before serving

In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider/juice, maple syrup, vinegar, white portions of green onions, ginger, thyme, salt, and pepper. In a gallon-size re-sealable bag, place the cut-up chicken. Pour in the marinade and seal the bag.

Refrigerate the bag for 12-24 hours, turning the bag every so often.

To cook

Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Place the chicken in a 13x9 baking dish with all or some of the marinade; the chicken shouldn't be fully covered.

Bake for about 40 minutes, turning chicken once at the halfway point.

Chicken is fabulous fresh and as leftovers! Cooked chicken can also be portioned and frozen.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs

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