Twisted.

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The inspiration behind baking pretzels was while I was eating pretzel crisps.  Ken offered a bag and as I was snacking on them, I thought - let's make pretzels and that's how we fell into this rabbit hole. 

When it comes to baking bread, I always worry that the dough isn't going to rise - but the dough rose!  Rolling out the dough into a pretzel shape proved to be the most difficult for me, but no obstacle for Ken.  My dough dried out and became all wrinkly, while his pretzels were moist and shapely.  The usual, Ken can make anything.  I didn't realize that pretzels had to be boiled with baking soda prior to baking it in the oven and the reason is to puff the dough out.  

Baking these were a real treat to accompany our evening of watching season two of Westworld.  The big mistake? Adding too much salt thanks to me being way too generous.  Other than that, it's a fun to-do and it's quick. 

Bon apetit!

- Robyn

Have Yourself a Pepperminty Christmas!

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Christmas is the best time for family gatherings, feasts, snow, presents and baked goods.  It's quite timely that a couple of weeks ago, I bought a 10 lb bag of flour for the reason that we occasionally use flour for our blog.  So, now with the holiday season approaching, baking with flour is top of mind.  

To start off the holiday season, we made iamafoodblog's Peppermint Bark Cookies.  Crushed candy canes, peppermint extract and cocoa powder - everything from the smell to the sight reminds me of the festive season.  Not only does it taste great, but it looks amazing.  Sprinkling the crushed candy cane on top of the peppermint chocolate icing created this Christmas scene.  Oh, so good.  The dough needed to be extra cold, which was also tough when the mixture was being rolled out.  But since I'm not much of a cookie person, this recipe made a delicious crispy, chocolatey cookie and inspires me to continue baking for the rest of December. 

- Robyn

KFC: Karage Faux Chicken

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Half my Facebook feed is infiltrated by 30 second recipes and I am addicted. When Robyn introduced me to Tastemade Japan, I was in heaven, salivating except I had no idea what was going on because I don't understand Japanese.

We talked about this recipe for a while and doing it as a challenge to see how well we understood the recipe purely from the visuals and our familiarity with the use of some Chinese words that the Japanese language use. Robyn suggested using a dictionary and I apparently yelled at her.  In the end, we got a bit of help from our friend Google. 

The end result was a beautifully crispy "fake chicken". The recipe required us to use Konnyaku, a Japanese yam cake that has a crunchy rubbery texture. We froze it and defrosted it to transform the yam into a spongy texture, similar to frozen tofu. The coating was very easy to make, just a mixture of egg, soy sauce, flour, and chicken bouillon. It turned out way better than we both imagined.

Luckily, this recipe was simple enough and we succeeded! Otherwise, it might have ended up like a Pinterest Fail, or rather, Tastemade fail. Honestly, so much can go wrong from such a short 30 second video, disguised to make everything look easy. 

Link to the Tastemade video is below.

- Ken