Today's Cooking Adventures

Soft Pretzels, recipe courtesy Bobby Flay and his Throwdown. Every time I watch this show, I get a craving for whatever he's cooking and feel that I MUST cook it myself, like the sticky buns of a few months ago. Pretzels are a big thing in my family; my grandfather and I always made pretzels when I was a kid, so I have a lot of happy memories associated with them. There was the time we couldn't find the recipe and he and I tried to recreate it from memory. And the way I always wanted to make letter-shaped pretzels for every member of the family, and he was such a good sport about trying to keep the letters in the right shape from the water bath onto the pan and into the oven. When they were here a few weeks ago, he remarked to Kent that soon he'd be old enough to make pretzels, too. I thought I had the recipe we used to use, but I couldn't find it, so I had to settle for Bobby Flay's.

We had Nikki and John over to help us bake and eat them, since the batch is too big for Jack and me to finish while they're still fresh. We could try, but I thought it would be more fun to share the activity and the goodies with friends. Fun, delicious, and well worth the effort.

I also made my first real recipe from First Meals for Kent today. I've followed a lot of the author's suggestions for mixing fruit and veggie purees, but I don't really consider those recipes, just ideas. Today, though, I made Fish with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce; I cooked the fish in milk and herbs, defrosted a couple of chunks of broccoli puree, then whipped up a quick cheese sauce and pureed the whole thing. Kent hasn't tried it yet, but I have, and I really like it! It's underseasoned to an adult palate, of course, but still very tasty. I used tilapia, a fish I love, and it's not overpoweringly fishy, just smooth with a great flavor from the cheddar cheese. I hope he likes it, but if not, I'll make all the little cubes into a soup that I will enjoy heartily. When I was reading reviews of the cookbook, several people remarked that they'd used Karmel's recipes for meals for the rest of the family, simply not pureeing them and adding some more seasoning, and I totally get why.

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