Pretzels and Smoothies

I feel like I have done nothing but eat for the last three days. I’m not even going to get into the fact that I made red velvet cupcakes yesterday and ate two today. (No. Self. Control. Around. Cake.) When I get done posting this, my husband is going to roll me up the stairs for bed.

On Saturday, after going to the gym and having a revelation, we headed out to Red Lobster to meet my parents for my birthday lunch. (Oh, have I mentioned that it’s my birthday? That will be a theme in this post. I apologize in advance.)  I ❤ Red Lobster, and it didn't disappoint, but I seriously ate so much. I couldn't decide among lobster, shrimp, or crab, so I ordered a meal that had them all. And ate most of it.

When we got home, J-Man and I got to work with one of our big weekend projects… homemade soft pretzels. A couple of months ago, we went for a play date at my friend Cindy’s house, and we all made soft pretzels. It wasn’t too hard, so I was pretty optimistic, except Cindy had made the dough ahead of time, so I wasn’t quite sure what that would entail. J and I followed Alton Brown’s recipe, and really, it didn’t seem too complicated. Except that it called for a stand mixer, which I don’t have. Surely my food processor would work? After all, it has a dough blade.

I put the water, sugar, salt, and yeast in the food processor and let it sit for five minutes until it foamed.

Are all the ingredients going to fit in here? Uh oh, I am beginning to have doubts.

We have foam!

At this point, things started to… er… go wrong. I have no photographic evidence because I was trying not to flood my kitchen, but here’s what happened. I added the flour and butter and everything started leaking out of the food processor. Water was leaking out the bottom of the plastic part. I screamed “Oh expletive! Help! Expletive! Help! Gahhhh!!!!!” (A video of this would be nice, but self-videoing with my iPhone didn’t come to mind at the moment.)

Husband rescued me and helped prevent further flooding. At this point, I wanted to just scrap it, but J was so upset at the thought, so I just poured some more water in and hoped for the best. Now it was time to test the kneading capability of the dough blade. I pushed the “dough” button and “on” and this happened…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svPs8NB0KQw

… which had me in hysterics until the Cuisinart stopped dead in its tracks and my kitchen smelled like burned motor. Instead of 5 minutes, my dough was kneaded (if you can call it that) for about a minute, which would have to do.  So now I had an arbitrary amount of water in my dough, and it wasn’t kneaded long enough. I was really unsure of these pretzels at this point!  Too make a long story short (too late), they worked out okay! They didn’t taste exactly right, but they were not terrible.

J’s pretzels were beautiful, perfectly shaped:

Whereas mine looked like this:

Not as attractive, but just as yummy.

Last night, Husband took me to Vermilion for a romantic dinner. This morning, I needed a smoothie to energize, so I made my current favorite:

Chocolate Banana Strawberry Smoothie (in a bowl)

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP chocolate protein powder
  • a squirt of agave syrup for sweetness
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ~ 7 frozen whole strawberries
  • ~ 5 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients except the ice cubes. When it’s nice and blended, add the ice cubes and blend until they are all mixed in. This thickens up the smoothie. Pour into a bowl and enjoy.


If it is your birthday, top with sprinkles. Oh shucks, do it even if it isn’t your birthday.

Note: Use a shallower bowl than this so you can lick when done.

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14 Responses to Pretzels and Smoothies

  1. Happy Birthday!! Glad you enjoyed your Vermillion meal :). SO GOOD, right!?

  2. I need to put my smoothies in a bowl more. They're just so much more fun to eat that way. Happy Bday again! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday! After all that effort for the pretzels, they sure came out lookin good 🙂

  4. Happy birthday! So glad your pretzels turned out well. They are a weakness for me so I refuse to make them. Unfortunately we sell them where I work. Suckorama.

  5. Meesh says:

    Awe, smoothie in a bowl! I love it! And love th sprinkles. Happy birthday, btw.

  6. hope you had a fabulous birthday doll!!!!!!!!!!! hehe you totally deserved those super fun sprinkled in your smoothie! <3

    I am cracking up at your pretzel shenanigans! omg! I was going to use altons recipe a few weeks ago to make them and totally cried when he said “stand mixer” ahhh whyyy?!?!?! I think i'm still gonna try! haha

    have a fabulous night dahhling! ❤ see you tomorrow for WIAW! ❤

  7. Happy belated b-day!!! What I would give for a homemade pretzel! Looks amazing! Can you say giveaway!?! ; )

  8. Hannah says:

    Wow. Wow wow wow. I'm scared of yeast so the pretzels are awe-inspiring to me, but mostly I want that delicious smoothie! Bananas are $13 a kilo here in Australia right now so I haven't been able to use them in my smoothies for weeks 😦

  9. That's such a cool bowl!!

    Hahaha I'm so sorry about your food processor mess. One time, I was making a smoothie in my vita mix, and I knocked the blender off the stand and it flipped over, and spilled EVERYTHING down the front of me. It was pretty funny, but also a HUGE mess!

  10. katie says:

    Thanks for coming by my blog! I see your from DC, I used to live in Alexandria, VA, I miss that area!

    Loving the smoothie in bowl! Oh and cupcakes, I have no control there either ; )

    Have a great day!!!

    Farina is good, its like a cream of wheat!

  11. Aaaahhh… we sometimes do Bday dinners at Red Lobster, too. It's my mom's favorite. But those cheddar biscuits… oh man they're trouble. Sounds like a good birthday to me! 🙂

  12. Cindy says:

    Hahaha. Laughing so hard. I got your email about the recipe. I used Alton's recipe, and yes, I have a stand mixer, and it dances all over the counter like your late cuisinart. Once it flipped right off the counter. I caught it before it crashed, but I was wearing brownie batter from head to toe.

    Despite what Alton says in his recipe, I knead the dough by hand. I just use the stand mixer until the dough comes together and is not too sticky. But you could do it by entirely hand. Knead until the dough on the counter is really smooth and pliable, not sticky (keep incorporating flour slowly).

    I recently made these and added a little whole wheat flour. It was so-so. I'll keep trying it to get the proportions right and will send you the specs!

  13. Happy birthday! Those pretzels look amazing- Alton Brown is pure genius.

  14. Happy birthday again! 😉 Your kitchen machine video made me laugh so hard! Oh yeah, this reminds me of own kitchen experiements … 😀 Great the pretzels turned out yummy afterall, they look really good!

    I was delighted that you linked to that wonderful Hyperbole in a Half cartoon. It's one of my favorites.

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