Monday, April 29, 2013

Playoff Snacks - The Perfect Pretzel

It's playoff time! Now not everyone is a fan of hockey, and not everyone wants to sit around watching the playoffs all spring. Whether in front of the game or for movie night in with the girls, everyone is going to love these pretzels!

This recipe isn't a Savour Sister original, it is actually Alton Brown's recipe from his show Good Eats. It is so perfect that we just had to share it with everyone. 

It may seem complicated, but in fact it is really easy to do. it just takes a little time and patience.  These pretzels also freeze brilliantly, just throw them in a cold oven, then turn on the heat to 350 degrees. When the preheat cycle is over, the pretzels will be hot and crispy!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for pan
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (or I also use cinnamon and sugar)

1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl, or stand mixer bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. 
2. Add the flour,butter and salt to the bowl. Mix until well combined, then knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. 
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. 
4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 
6. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
7. Bring the 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
8. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces.
9. Roll out each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. 
10. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. 
11. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. 
12. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pasta Perfection - Greek Orzo Salad

This salad is cool, refreshing, and delicious! Inspired by traditional greek salad ingredients with a light and zesty dressing. Perfect for a BBQ, potluck, or family function! And it tastes just as good the next day so feel free to make ahead of time!

Serves 10.

Ingredients for the salad:

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 1/2 cups crumbled seasoned feta cheese
2 cups of chopped cucumber
1 pack cherry tomatoes (1 pint)
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
4 green onions, chopped

Ingredients for the dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Cook orzo in large pot of salted, boiling water. Ensure orzo is cooked al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes
2. Drain orzo in colander, rinse with cold water to stop the orzo from continuing to cook.
3. Add feta, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and green onions
4. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and olive oil in small bowl.
5.  Add dressing into the orzo salad and mix well.
6. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving for flavours to meld.

NOTE: Artichoke hearts, capers or pine nuts are awesome additions as well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Classic Homemade English Toffee

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but there is something about Traditional English Toffee that I just can not refuse. There is something about the combination of crisp toffee, dark chocolate and pecans that I just adore. The problem is that it is very expensive to buy and not that easy to find. Making candy is a little tricky, but doable if you prepare everything before beginning, have a good digital thermometer, and be cautious of the hot sugar.  Trust me this recipe is totally worth it.


1 cup butter 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely broken pecans

1. Toast the pecans by baking on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 7" x 11" cake pan, You can use a standard 9" x 14" but the result will be a thinner candy.
2. In a heavy saucepan, add the butter, sugar, water and salt.
3. Cook on high heat, stirring constantly and being extremely careful until mixture reaches hard crack stage. (300 degrees F). The mixture will be a rich caramel colour.

Note: You can also do this without a candy thermometer by filling a bowl with ice water, then drop a little of the molten syrup in cold water and it will form hard ball that won't flatten between your fingers. Be extremely careful to avoid burning yourself.

4. Once ready, pour the mixture quickly into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Note: the pan will get very warm.
5. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate over the toffee.
6. Let it sit for a few more minutes letting the heat melt the chocolate, then using an offset spreader or spatula, spread the soft chocolate over the toffee. Then sprinkle the pecans over the whole thing.
7. Once the toffee has cooled completely, it can be turned out of the pan, broken into pieces and stored, in an airtight container, or frozen.