Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese

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It is officially football season. I know it has been for a while but I am always a little late to the game (ha!). Anyway, as much as I love Buffalo Sauce and mozzarella sticks, sometimes they can be overdone. Football food doesn’t always have to be from the freezer or from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

beer cheese

Although homemade pretzels are time consuming, a lot of the time is rising time. They really are not difficult to make and can be quite fun for the kids too! I tested this batch a few way and found that the Pretzels can be made a head of time and frozen. I boiled, baked, and froze one batch. Just boiled the second batch and simply rolled, shaped, and froze the third batch. After reheating or baking, the results were all the same-fresh, warm delicious homemade pretzels!!! So if you are planning on making these for an upcoming party, go ahead and make them in advance! I also made a ton and froze them for quick after school treats!

beer cheese 2

Now let’s move onto the beer cheese. I was recently introduced to beer cheese by my friend Clare and now I am obsessed! She was able to get the recipe from the restaurant, but after testing it it was no where near what we had tried. So I took it upon myself and tested beer cheese recipes for about a week (I have a rough job). I think I finally came up with a winner!

cheese

I used Kerry Gold’s Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey, but any sharp cheddar will work. I also used Lagunitas IPA, but again any good quality IPA beer will work. I wouldn’t suggest using Coor’s or Budlight in this recipe as you will not get the same flavors.

homemade pretzels

Although amazing with warm homemade pretzels, if you do not have time to make them make this cheese! It is soooo delicious and would be incredible on bread or crackers. You will not be disappointed!

gourmet football food

Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese

Yield: Makes about 8 large pretzels or 16 small pretzels.

Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese

Ingredients

  • Pretzels:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Beer Cheese
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups IPA Beer
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green onions, plus more for garnish

Instructions

    Pretzels
  1. In a large bowl combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. In a separate bowl stir together flour and kosher salt.
  3. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Add honey to butter and stir to combine.
  4. Slowly add butter and honey to yeast, while mixing on low.
  5. If using your mixer, attach the dough hook. If kneading by hand begin by adding flour with wooden spoon and switch to hand kneading once it gets too difficult to stir.
  6. Gradually add flour to wet mixture. Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and dough ball is smooth.
  7. Remove dough from bowl, clean bowl, then oil it well with vegetable oil. Once again add dough to bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth and place in a dark corner in your kitchen to rise. Allow dough to double in size, about 1 hour.
  8. Once dough has doubled in size, punch dough down and divide into 8 or 16 portions. On a lightly greased surface, roll each piece into an 18-in. rope and twist into a pretzel shape.
  9. Bring water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add pretzels (one at a time) and boil for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a lined baking sheet.
  10. Brush pretzels with egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  11. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  12. Bake pretzels for 12-14 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  13. Beer Cheese
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  15. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir to combine.
  16. Pour mixture into an oven safe 8x8 dish.
  17. Bake until top begins to golden and is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/10/21/homemade-pretzels-beer-cheese/

Broccoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Whether you are cooking for Monday night football or just need a quick healthy meal, these Broccoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes are great.  Serve as an appetizer or with a side salad for a wonderful vegetarian meal. Also perfect for “Meatless Mondays!”

twice baked

What I love about twice baked potatoes is that most of the prep time is spent in the oven. Wash, oil and salt these babies, then throw them in the oven for 30 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, dig out the center, mash, mix the put it back in, top and bake again. Then voila….perfect twice baked potatoes!

baked potatoes

Quiche and Twice Baked Potatoes are always my go to meals when I don’t have much left in the fridge (and I am trying to avoid the store) or I have a ton of veggies, cheese, and milk that needs to be used up. They are always a hit. Use this recipe for a delicious cheesy tater, or change it up by adding other ingredients. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a Twice Baked Potato!

Broccoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, scrubbed
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrub potatoes and rub olive oil around them.
  3. Pierce each potato with a fork in a few spots.
  4. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and all to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  8. Hold the potato with an oven-mit or towel, and cut the center tops off of the potatoes.
  9. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Make sure to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together.
  10. Mash the potato with a fork and add melted butter and seasoning. Mix to combine.
  11. Slowly add milk while mixing until potato mixture becomes smooth.
  12. Stir in 1/2 shredded cheese and broccoli. Mix to combine.
  13. Carefully as not to break the skin, spoon filling into the skins.
  14. Top with remaining shredded cheese and bake until melted, about 15 minutes.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/10/13/broccoli-cheddar-twice-baked-potatoes/

Red Velvet Halloween Cake

halloween cake

It is finally October therefore I can finally post Halloween themed desserts without feeling too bad, right!? I could have started Halloween in August (when I start my Christmas music) but I thought I would spare you all!

Cut cake

This Red Velvet Halloween Cake was not only gorgeous, but it was delicious too. We are not big red velvet fans over here, but it was gobbled up pretty quickly! It is perfect for Halloween too! The blood red center combined with the decadent black frosting make for a pretty spooky cake!

black rosettes

I like my cakes high, so I opted to make smaller rounds rather than doubling the batch. It still served quite a few people because I was able to make smaller slices do to the height.

cut cake

I have tried many different brands of food coloring, but always end up using McCormick food colors when I want a vibrant color. I love using their black during Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Mixed with a chocolate frosting, you can really get a rich dark color. No, this post is not sponsored, I am just telling you what I use in my kitchen and why ;) The recipe provided below was made for making the rosettes. So do be alarmed by the amount, you need lots of frosting! If you don’t plan on making the rosettes, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half. For a great tutorial on how to make the rosettes, go here.

If  you have a party coming up, make this cake! It will not disappoint! Happy haunting!

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Red Velvet Halloween Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • Frosting
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 7½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon black food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 4 6in baking rounds.
  2. In a bowl, combine cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix together.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time.
  5. In a small bowl combine sour cream, food coloring, vinegar and extract.
  6. Alternatively, gradually add flour and sour cream mixture and mix on low until just combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Evenly distribute batter into 4 pans. Bake pans for about 20 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before applying crumb coat.
  9. For the frosting, combine all the ingredients and beat on low for 1 minute.
  10. Increase mixing speed to medium high and beat for 3 minutes or until smooth.
  11. Apply crumb coat to cake and place the rest of the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  12. Place cake and frosting bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  13. Once cold, apply rosettes and refrigerate to set.

Notes

Recipe very slightly adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Velvet-Cake-with-Raspberries-and-Blueberries-108256

http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/10/09/red-velvet-halloween-cake/

30 Minute Yellow Chicken Curry

Yellow Chicken Curry

I mentioned in my last post that I was able to get away on Saturday and have some me time away from the kids. I was lucky enough to have been invited to a Mini Taste of Downtown that day. Along with a few other bloggers and a few gals from McFarlane Productions, we hit 8 restaurants downtown. We tasted many delicious things including Sirloin Sliders from Bub’s at the Ballpark, amazing Greek Fusion from Mezé and an incredible meal at Royal India where each time we thought we were done, they would bring out another dish.

Taste of Downtown

For me, Taste of Downtown is a great way to try a lot of restaurants in a little time for cheap! It is a way to really narrow down your choices for your next date night. We got a small sampling of restaurants, however there will be over 40 restaurants participating. If you are interested in attending, the event is tonight, October 2nd, 2014 in Downtown San Diego. Tickets are $35 each. Check it out and bring your inner foodie to life.

quick curry

While eating Indian food I realized I have never shared “my” 30 Minute Yellow Chicken Curry with you guys. This meal seriously is on the menu at least once a week. Now this is not a traditional slow cooked curry (after all this girl is Italian), but hey it is healthy quick and delicious! What more could you ask for on a busy weeknight?!?!

chicken curry

I’ve had friends that have also been making this meal for quite some time. One friend has adapted it to be a bit of a sweeter curry by adding a can of fruit salad. It is good but a bit too sweet for us. We serve this over rice. However, since I can not for the life of me make rice without a rice cooker, I am not going to include directions. I hope you enjoy one of my family’s favorite meals!

plated chicken curry

30 Minute Yellow Chicken Curry

Yield: serves 4

30 Minute Yellow Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, diced into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Indian Curry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons regular Curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 and 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Basmati Rice- cooked according to directions on package

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pan on high heat.
  2. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Add spices and stir to combine.
  4. Add edamame and vegetable and stir to combine; cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Ladle over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/10/02/30-minute-yellow-chicken-curry/

 

Black Forest Cupcakes

 

blackforest234

Last week was a nightmare. I can officially say that the Plague of 2014 hit our family and hit us hard. After a few weeks of someone being so sick that they required multiple visits to the doctors, I was at my wits end.

new blackforest cupcake

 

Thankfully, my husband kindly took over sick parent duties and allowed me a day out this past Saturday doing what I do best….eating. Between two blogger events, we hit 9 restaurants and literally had to be rolled home. I will go more into specifics tomorrow.

black forest 5

If there was any a time to give me a break, that was it. I was so thankful that I decided to make him his favorite cake (in cupcake form) on Sunday. These Black Forest Cupcakes came out so cute and delicious that I knew I had to share them with you!

black forest 1

Black Forest Cupcakes

Yield: makes 24 cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Kirsch
  • Morello Cherries in syrup or real cherries
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  3. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake cups 2/3 of the way full.
  6. Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until knife is inserted and when remove is clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled baste cupcakes with kirsch or for a nonalcoholic version baste with syrup from Morello cherries.
  9. In a clean bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form.
  10. Pipe onto cupcakes or frost with a knife.
  11. Top with Morello cherrie or real cherry.
  12. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from http://foodess.com/1982-moist-chocolate-cake.html

http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/09/30/black-forest-cupcakes/

San Diego Fun!

KIDS fEST

So, we will be adding a few new tabs here to The Seaside Baker, including one about the joys of parenting and our awesome offspring and one tab on decorating. Oddly enough, the decorating tab will be started by my husband! He wants to document all of the projects we have going on in the new house.

There are a ton of fun things coming up in San Diego this month for kids! First we will be celebrating early Halloween at Boomont Park, followed by an exciting day at the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair.

Kidsfest 2

All throughout the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair are things to do like a 200’ long Zip Line and a Euro Bungee where 4 kids can jump on trampolines. Kids can climb the coconut tree and play laser tag. Face painting, remote control cars, and 2 electric trains have the kids busy doing fun interactive activities all weekend.

From live music to dance, karate, cheerleading, modeling and gymnastics performances all by students, The San Diego Kids Expo & Fair has music and entertainment for all ages.

Kidsfest 1

Parents aren’t forgotten in this event either, the Expo will also showcase nearly 200 exhibit booths, featuring toys and games, sports and fitness, learning devices, safety products, health and nutrition, horticulture and natural products, activity equipment, camps and more, for every age and child, making it an incredible weekend outing for families.

The Expo will begin 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., both Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. Tickets, available at the door, are $8 for adults and children 12 and under get in for free!

For more information on the event, visit the website www.sandiegokidsexpo.com or call (619) 269- 9441.

Would you like to win tickets to the San Diego Kids Expo and Fair? Comment below with your favorite family activity and you will be entered to win for either October 18th or October 19th, 2014. Giveaway will be open until Monday, October 6th, 2014. Good luck!

 

Candy Corn Surprise Cookies and a Giveaway

candy corn surprise cookies

So this post was supposed to go live on Friday, but a head cold and a sick toddler  got the best of me. So let’s pretend that it is Friday because Friday is Fun-day right. And to celebrate Friday Fun-day we kick off Halloween!!! Let’s be honest it is never to early to celebrate Halloween! It is the one of the few holidays that everyone loves and we are not obligated to spend countless hours and money shopping for gifts!

candy corn stuffed cookies

These Candy Corn Surprise Cookies scream halloween! What makes them so fun is that not only are they studded with bits of candy corn and white chocolate, they are also stuffed with a Halloween Oreo!!! How fun!

oreo stuffed cookies

We have been in Halloween mode for a couple of weeks now. Baby Ben has been running around as Spiderman EVERYWHERE we go and Anna’s Elsa costume is in full swing! We are so excited to start the frightening festivities! One of our first ghostly outings will be to San Diego’s BOOmont Park.

ben spiderman

The creators of San Diego’s most iconic haunts, “The Haunted Hotel,” “The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park” and “The Scream Zone,” have teamed up with Belmont Park to create a family-friendly Haunt Boomont Park. For the second year, Belmont Park transforms into a Halloween themed beachfront amusement park featuring activities for all ages. Admission and Parking are FREE.

 

Why celebrate Halloween once when you can celebrate all weekend, all October long? Boomont Park is fun for all ages; Activities run every Friday from 5pm to close and Saturday and Sunday all day plus November 1st.

candy corn white chocolate cookies

Boomont Park’s frighteningly-fun weekends include FREE trick-or-treating every Friday 6:30-7:30pm and Saturdays/Sundays 1:30-2:30pm & 6:30-7:30pm. Attractions include: Boomont Manor, a family-friendly haunted house sure to ignite the thrills and chills of the season, Zombie Laser Tag where creatures will join you in this three floor adventure, a pumpkin patch and painting, superhero Zip Line & Rock Wall and the Giant Dipper that will be transformed into a Spooky Coaster.

cookies halloween

Visit boomontpark.com for a FREE Boomont Manor haunted house coupon with the purchase of an Unlimited Ride or Unlimited Attraction Wristband.

Do you live in San Diego and want to visit BOOmont Park? Leave a comment below before October 5th, 2014, telling me what your and or your kids costumes will be and you will be entered to win a family 4 pack of tickets for either Saturday October 11 or Sunday October 12! 

Candy Corn Surprise Cookies

Yield: Makes 12 HUGE cookies

Candy Corn Surprise Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Plugrá unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 12 Halloween Oreos

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, add vanilla and combine.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing throughly in between.
  4. Stop your mixer and add flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch. Mix on low until combined.
  5. Add candy corn and whitechocolate chips and stir to combine.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp size balls.
  7. Top with Oreo and sandwich with another cookie dough scoop.
  8. Roll to enclose Oreo.
  9. Freeze balls for 30 minutes before baking.
  10. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2014/09/21/candy-corn-surprise-cookies-giveaway/

I was given tickets to this event in exchange for this post however all opinions are my own.