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Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce

15 May



Ummm. What the?

This recipe is bananas. I created this monster recipe, and even I think it is ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome, that is.

Samuel Adams approached me a while back and asked if I would like to create a recipe using one of their beers (that are now available in Canada by the way.) So of course I jumped on board right away. There are three types of beer available in Canada at this point in time, which are Samuel Adams Winter Brew,  Latitude 48 IPA and The Boston Lager. I decided to go with the Boston Lager which is widely available, I’ve seen it in almost every liquor store I’ve been to recently, but I picked mine up at the one of the BC Liquor Stores.



I really wanted to make something that you could taste the beer in, and really complemented the flavor of the rest of the dish. I went back and forth on a few ideas and then finally I had the great idea of making these pretzels. Not only is there a beer cheddar dipping sauce, but there is beer baked right into the pretzels! I told you, bananas.

Also, this recipe is fairly straight forward but because I know some of you shy away from baking breads, I did a step by step with photos, to help you along the way. There’s 49 pictures, so lets get going…

Start by pouring one bottle of Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager, into a small pot over medium high heat.




It feels VERY wrong to heat up beer, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Heat it until steaming but not yet simmering. Remove from the heat for a minute or two, then add one package of active dry yeast.




Set aside to let the yeast work it’s magic.

Now in a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar and salt.




Now back to the beer/yeast mixture. It’s looking all frothy and weird, which in this case is just what we want!




Now add the beer/yeast mixture to the bowl with the butter/sugar/salt mixture.



And stir!

Now add about 3 cups of flour.



Mix it up with a spoon until it comes together into a sticky and stringy dough. It should look something like this:




Now pour the dough out onto a floured work surface, such as this:




It should look like this: (I’m really babying you guys here)




Now knead the dough for a good 8-10 minutes, until it forms a smooth and elastic dough (flour crop circles optional.)




Now set the dough ball into a greased bowl, flipping over so the whole surface of the dough is coated in a light layer of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, until doubled in size, about an hour or so.

You can use this time to clean your kitchen or watch an episode of  ‘The Real  Housewives of ____________’ (pick your poison.)




Whoa, this got big.




Now if you ended up watching TV, you should probably have a little leftover flour on your work surface from before. If you cleaned up like a crazy person, you’re gonna need to lightly flour your surface before turning it the dough out of the bowl.




The dough should be super airy and fluffy. Punch down the dough and then cut into 8 equal pieces.




Roll each piece into a ball.




Then roll the ball into a super long rope shape. Think making playdough snakes.




It really helps if the dough isn’t too floury here, it makes the rolling much easier.




Now take each roll and twist it into a half circle.




Then bring the ends up and around to make a pretzel shape!




FUN! Repeat with the remaining 7 dough ropes.




Now get a big pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a bunch of baking soda, this helps to get that pretty brown crust on the pretzels when you bake them. Without the baking soda, you’re just going to have a bunch of pretzel shaped bagels.




Drop one or two pretzels in the water at a time. Just cook for about 30 seconds before pulling them out.




Once they are done, remove them and place them on some paper towels to dry for a sec.




Repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Once they are all done the boiling process, place them on an oiled baking sheet. Crack one egg into a bowl.




And beat it!




Grab some coarse salt.




Now grab your pretzels, I only put 4 pretzels on one baking sheet to allow enough room for them to bake up.




Brush each with the egg wash.




Then sprinkle generously with the coarse salt.




All done!




Just kidding, we need to bake them first.

Stick them in a preheated oven (425 degrees)




And bake them for about 12-15 minutes. Until they look like THIS:








There is seriously nothing more satisfying than baking something that turns out perfectly, like these little babies.

Now leave them on a wire rack to cool while you make the beer cheese.


Heat half a bottle of beer in small pot over medium high heat. Drink the other half, obviously.




Again with the heating of the beer. Makes me feel bad inside.

Add some sharp cheddar cheese.



Cream cheese.




Dijon mustard.








And pepper!




Whisk all together till it’s melted, smooth and creamy…




Now chop up some parsley for color and freshness…




And add it right into the cheese sauce.




Holy moly this is wicked stuff. I don’t trust myself around things like this.

Now serve up a warm pretzel with a side of this delish beer cheese.




My goodness, these are good.




They are really not that difficult to make, just set aside a chunk of time and try them out! You will feel like a domestic goddess when they turn out perfectly.

You can really taste the beer in the dip and you get s slight hint of beer in the pretzel too.

Enjoy, Folks!


**This post was sponsored by Branding and Buzzing however all recipes and opinions are my own!**


Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce:

Makes 8 Large Pretzels

Total Time:

Total time where you’re actually doing things:


What you need:

For the pretzels

1 bottle (355 ml) Samuel Adams Boston Lager

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

3 cups flour (plus extra for rolling and such)

2/3 cup baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup coarse salt


For the Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dip

1/2 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager

2 cups grated or chopped sharp cheddar cheese

1 block cream cheese (250 g)

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


What to do:

For the pretzels

In a small pot over medium high heat, add one bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and heat until just steaming (not simmering or boiling.) Remove from the heat for a moment and once it reaches around 110 degrees, add the packet of yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.

In a large mixing bowl add the melted butter, sugar and salt. Add the beer/yeast mixture and stir gently to combine. Add the 3 cups flour and mix with a spoon until it comes together into a sticky stringy dough. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can add more flour as you need. Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Flip the dough over so the whole surface of the dough ball is coated thinly in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, loosely so it has room to rise, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Once the dough has risen. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down and then cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll into long rope shapes, about 15 inches long. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grease two baking sheets.

Bring a large pot of water (about 8-10 cups) to a boil over high heat, then add the baking soda. Boil 1 or 2 pretzels at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove to a stack of paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Set 4 pretzels on each greased baking sheet. Brush each with some beaten egg and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden! Remove to a wire rack to cool.


For the Beer and Sharp Cheddar Dipping Sauce

In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the beer, cheddar and cream cheese. Heat until smooth , whisking constantly. Add the dijon, honey and pepper and remove from the heat. Add the chopped parsley. Serve hot with the yummy Soft Beer Pretzels!

Enjoy, Ya’ll!

Simple Spinach & Garlic Rotini with Crispy Sausage

2 May

Good Morning Ya’ll!

I hope you guys are all having a wonderful Friday so far. I’m hoping I get a bit of a chance to relax this weekend, the last few weeks have been insane for me. I just really want to curl up with a book (ideally outside but the weather doesn’t seem like it’s going to hold up) and maybe have a Netflix marathon.

What do you guys have planned for the weekend?

Onto more delicious things, I made this pasta for you! I saw a similar recipe from Jamie Oliver a while back and it just stuck in my head. Finally when I went to look at the recipe I noticed it called for using the greens from garlic, which I had no idea where to get. So I decided to switch it up with just spinach and a bunch of garlic. I also decided to sauté the spinach rather than boiling it, to reserve some of the healthy nutrients!


The color of this pasta is amazing, if you didn’t know any better you would assume it was pesto. The flavor is much more mild than pesto but with a kick of garlic.


This recipe is super simple and comes together in less than 30 minutes so it makes for a perfect weeknight meal.


Enjoy, Folks!


Miss Delish asks:

Do you have a recipe that you’ve seen that you currently can’t get out of your head?

What are you up to this weekend?


Spinach & Garlic Rotini with Crispy Sausage:

Serves 4-5

Total time: 25 minutes

Total time where you’re actually doing things: 20 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus 1/4 cup (divided use)
  • 1 bag washed baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 box rotini pasta, cooked as per package directions and drained
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (removed from casings)
  • 1/2 cup grated grana padano cheese (or parmesan if you prefer)

Heat a large, deep, sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp. of the olive oil until hot. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until softened. Add the spinach and continue tossing until the spinach is soft and wilted. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach and garlic to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. While blending, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil until combined, set aside.

In a mortar and pestle, add the fennel seed and chili flakes, bash them up a bit to get the oils out. You can also use a rolling pin on a cutting board if you don’t have a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

In the same skillet as you cooked the spinach (if you’re lazy like me) set over medium high heat, add the sausage meat, and sauté until cooked through. Add the spices you bashed up, and stir to combine. Now continue cooking, stirring often to break into small pieces, until the sausage is super crunchy. This will take about 7-8 minutes.

When the sausage is cooked, remove it to a bowl, and add the pasta and sauce to the pan, toss and stir to coat completely. Add about half of the grated grana padano, and stir again to coat. Transfer to a serving dish or individual bowls. Top with the sausage and another sprinkling of cheese.


Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno Lime Crema

30 Apr

hi hi hi!

It’s me, I’m back with more food to fill your bellies.

First, though, I think we should have a bit of a chit chat. We haven’t really talked about life recently, have we? I’m going to list 5 things that I have been doing lately and you guys should do the same in the comments below!

1. We’re pretty much all moved in and organized in our new place, I am going to do a whole post about some fun things I’ve been doing to decorate and organize. So definitely watch out for that next week-ish. But for now, let me just say I am dead tired. Cleaning, packing and organizing every night after a full day of work, gets mighty exhausting around the 12th straight day. Luckily for me, I am pretty much done now and I am happy with how things look at this point. We still want to buy a new sectional for the living room. Any ideas?

2. Along those same lines, I just ordered a custom dining table from this awesome local company called Rainfall Designs

I met with Desiree who makes up half of the Rainfall Designs team, and we were so impressed with their tables that we had to order one on the spot. They are all custom made and so you can choose the size, color and finish of your table. It takes them about 5-6 weeks to make your beautiful table. They also make benches, side tables, coffee tables, desks ect. Ours is going to be similar to this one.

Now I just have to find chairs. Again, any suggestions?

3. We have been really into binge watching series on Netflix. We just finished Orange is the New Black which I am SO excited to come back in June. We also got thoroughly obsessed with Suits. Which reminds me that Gabriel Macht needs to be mine, now. As well as Luther which is an awesome show! I was not really expecting to like it but its so dark and creepy, love it. We are looking forward to watching True Detective which everyone has been freaking out over. In case you were wondering, yes our whole lives do revolve around television.

4. I bought a Pilates reformer to use at home and I’m loving it. For anyone who has done Pilates at a studio, you know how expensive that can get. I was really sad when I had to stop going, but I knew it had to be done. I browsed online for reformers and they were still pretty expensive, between $700-$1000 or more. Lucky for me, someone had one for sale locally on Craigslist and I nabbed it for just under $200. It has the jump board and everything! Wee. I didn’t get to use it much since I got it right after we moved in, but I did a little training session for the last couple nights and I am really loving it.

5. I have been cooking A LOT. I am really focusing on making the most of the ingredients I already have, rather than buying new stuff all the time. It is forcing allowing me to get really creative with recipes which has actually been really fun and challenging. Tonight I am going to possibly make some muffins for the week and then scrounge up something for dinner.

Now tell me what you guys have been up to! I wanna know.


Okay, onto the good stuff. I made these tacos one of the first nights after we moved and I did so for two reasons:

1. I had a hankering for tacos

2. We had no protein in the house other than shrimp

After we did our big first grocery shop, we came home with an elevator load of stuff and once we finished putting it away, Mr. Delish proclaimed that we had nothing to eat.



It was all the basics but nothing to really make any complete meals.

Luckily I did buy a gigantor bag of prawns from Costco so I decided to batter some of those babies up and shove ’em in a taco and then shove those in my face.



These are super easy guys, they come together in about 20 minutes and you will love the flavors!

Miss Delish asks:

What have you been up to lately?

Do you ever try to challenge yourself to make a meal with only what you already have in the house? Do you have any tips for me?


Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno Lime Crema:

 Serves 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Total time where you’re actually doing things: 20 minutes

What you need:

  •  1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 jalapeno, minced finely
  • 2 tbsps minced cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus 3 tbsps
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of your favorite beer, I used Alexander Keith’s IPA because it’s not really an IPA and I have a thing for it.
  • 1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Small flour tortillas, warmed
  • Avocado, cilantro and lime wedges for serving
  • Oil for frying

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup of the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt and cayenne pepper and use a whisk to mix until totally combined. Now slowly sip pour in the beer, whisking as you go, until you get a smooth batter.

Now set a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add about 2 inches of oil into the pot. Heat until a drop of the batter bubbles up and fries without falling to the bottom. While it is heating, toss the shrimp in the remaining flour and then drop them into the batter.

Once the oil is ready, add the battered prawns, one by one, making sure to let the excess batter drip off before adding to the oil. Fry in batches, until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Grab a flour tortilla, add 3 or four prawns, some avocado, cilantro and then drizzle with the Jalapeno Lime Crema you made earlier. Serve with lime wedges for spritzing.


Healthy Thai Turkey & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

23 Apr

Hello strangers!

Ugh. It feels so good to be back. I am having blog withdrawals and I am missing all you guys like crazy. I am so sorry that I haven’t posted in forever but I am going to get on a good schedule of writing, something reasonable that I can stick to.


What you may not know about me, is I can be slightly obsessive compulsive, Mr. Delish would probably say it’s a lot more than “slightly,” but whatever.

Obsessive compulsiveness can be great when it comes to keeping the house clean or keeping your paperwork organized at work. On the other hand, it can get in the way of getting things done. Did you know that a lot of people that are considered “hoarders” are actually OCD? You might think, that makes no sense, wouldn’t they be super clean and organized if that was the case? Not always. For people with severe OCD, in their mind, everything has to be perfect, so if something gets out of hand, it is almost mentally impossible for them to know where to fix it. They would rather have a huge mess then get halfway between a mess and organization. Sounds crazy, but it’s true! This is the psych student in me coming out.

Despite what it is starting to sound like, this is not my round about way of telling you I’m a hoarder. What I am leading up to is explaining my craziness when it comes to blogging. Ultimately, I would love to post every weekday. Unfortunately, it would be incredibly unreasonable to expect myself to blog every day, considering I work full time, have housework and cooking to do and have a family and friends to keep up with, just like every other human being on this planet. However, what happens, is because I desire to post more often than I really have time to, I just end up not posting at all. It’s almost an all or nothing mindset, which is, quite obviously, very silly.

I need to just accept that 1 or 2 posts a week on this blog, and one post on Hello Giggles  is a reasonable expectation of myself. Then just stick to that. If I manage to get an extra post done, then great, that would be a bonus.

Whew. With that long winded explanation out of the way (I apologize) I am going to get on with the straight goods of this post. Turkey lettuce wraps. NOM.


I am a huge fan of lettuce wraps, I tend to order them immediately if I see them on a menu. For any of you BC’ers out there, my favorite are the ones from Cactus Club, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, the chicken in those ones is deep fried, which is not the greatest if you think you are ordering something healthy.


I did, however, order chicken lettuce wraps from a Thai restaurant recently and OHMYGOD they were good. They were very basic, but full of flavor and after eating them I just had to recreate them at home. I added quinoa for some added protein and fiber as well as to make these a little more substantial.


Thanks for sticking with me while I have been MIA, I promise I will post regularly from now on. The recipe for these yummy lettuce wraps is posted below as always!



Healthy Turkey & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps:

Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are!)

Total time: 15 minutes

Total time where you’re actually doing things: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Half of each red, orange and yellow pepper (or you can just use whatever color you have on hand, I just wanted to make it colorful) diced
  • 1 lb. ground white meat turkey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. chili garlic sauce (from your Asian grocer or Sriracha)
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Lettuce leaves of your choice (I used butter lettuce)
  • Toppings such as: Avocado, tomatoes, thinly sliced carrot/radish/cucumber etc, nuts, chow mien noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, chives, green onion. Plus whatever you think would taste good!

What to do:

In a large pan, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat, add the minced onion and cook for a minute to get it started, then add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the diced peppers and continue to cook for 3 minutes or so. Remove to a bowl and set aside for a moment. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same pan, and then add the turkey meat. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.

Once cooked, add the sautéed veggies back to the pan and stir to combine. Add the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, hoisin and Thai sweet chili sauce and stir again to thoroughly coat with the sauce. Bring to a simmer to let the flavor absorb into the meat, and then you’re all done.

Serve with the quinoa, lettuce leaves and other toppings.


Crock Pot Beef Stew over Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

22 Jan

Yo, yo, yo!!

So I asked you all on Facebook last week, what kind of recipes you would like to see on Miss Delish over the next few weeks. The vast majority of the responses were “crock pot recipes!” or “slow cooker meals!” Being that those are the same thing, sounds like almost all of you are on the crock pot bandwagon right now.

Preparing meals in a crock pot is an amazing time saver and especially at this time of year, slow cooked meals like chilis, stews and soups, are just what you want at the end of a long day. It’s even better when those slow cooked meals all ready for you when you get home.

I had a whole bunch of ideas floating around in this head of mine, but I wanted to do a stew first and foremost. I had originally planned to make stew along with some buns for dipping, but then I was watching an episode of the chew and Michael Symon made a stew over brown butter mashed potatoes.

Um, what the what?

My life was complete at that moment. Michael Symon, you complete me.

I decided that I absolutely had to serve my stew over brown butter mashed potatoes, so that’s what I did. Cause life is too short to NOT eat brown butter mashed potatoes.

2014-01-21 01.08.17 1_resized

My, oh my. Let me tell you, this is the most rich and comforting dish you will ever eat. If you look up comfort food in the dictionary, there is a picture of stew over brown butter mashed potatoes. Just kidding, there isn’t. They’ve been ignoring my requests to add it. But it darn well should be! Either way, you need to make this, get it all ready the morning  of and turn the crock pot on, come home and prepare to be amazed. Or you can even get everything into the crock pot dish the night before, stick it in the fridge and then pull it out and turn it on in the morning. Easy peasy, especially for those that are not so morningly inclined.

2014-01-21 01.12.40 1_resized

Whatever way you decide to do it, just make this ASAP because the longer you wait, the more you will regret not having this in your life.

2014-01-21 01.14.05 1_resized


**Although I did use Michael Symon’s idea for the mashed potatoes, I didn’t actually use his recipe for the potatoes or the stew**


Crock Pot Beef Stew:

Serves 6

3 cups stew meat, chopped into 1 inch cubes

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup butter

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

4 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Brown butter mashed potatoes (recipe below)


Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and in a large bowl or ziplock bag, toss the beef with the flour and set aside. In a large pan (cast iron if you have it) heat about 1/3 of the olive oil and a tbsp of butter over medium high heat until melted and bubbly. Add about 1/3 of the meat to the pan and brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and add to the crock pot dish. Repeat with the other two batches of meat, adding another splash of oil and butter until all the meat is browned. Leave the pan over the heat and add the remaining butter and the excess flour you have leftover, stir with a spatula to scrape up any brown bits. Pour this mixture into the crock pot as well.

Now add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, bay leaf and tomato paste to the pot. Give it a good stir and then set it to 8 hours on low.

Once the cooking is done, check the seasonings and adjust if needed then add the peas and half the parsley to the stew and give it a good mix. The flour should have helped to thicken it to the perfect consistency but if not you can always add a roux (flour and water) and then cook it a little longer.

Serve over brown butter mashed potatoes (recipe below) and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley, enjoy!

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes:

Serves 6

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes

3/4 cup salted butter

1/2 cup hot milk

salt to taste

In a large pot, add the diced potatoes and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and continue boiling for 18-20 minutes until fork tender. While you are cooking the potatoes, set a small pot over medium heat, add the butter and heat until melted and bubbly, at this point you will want to watch it as it goes quickly. Once the butter turns a light golden brown color, and little brown bits begin forming on the bottom of the pot, remove from the heat and begin whisking. Whisk until the butter is cooled slightly, about 2-3 minutes. It should now be a deep golden color. Set aside. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and add back to the pot to steam.

Begin mashing the potatoes until smooth, then add about half of the butter, mash again, half of the milk, mash again and then repeat with the rest of the butter and milk. Mash until very smooth. Season to taste with salt.



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