Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Baked Soft Pretzels
Homemade Baked Soft Pretzels


Fewer things make a person nostalgically reminisce of their childhood than home cooked food, especially when it’s something that was traditionally made in your home, by the people who cared for you…mom, grandmom, whoever that special person was.

So, it is a glorious moment when we recreate those recipes and find ourselves swimming in happy memories of days gone by.

Take these homemade soft pretzels.

Just opening the yeast packet ALONE floods me with memories of being the pint sized helper in my grandmother’s kitchen. Helping to measure the ingredients, stir them up and prepare things for the hot oven! My grandmother….Lord! Could that woman bake!

This pretzel was an after school favorite and so easy to make! Takes only 30 minuntes to make them. Serve them up with different mustards, cheese dip, marinara sauce, salsa, caramel, honey, melted butter, even….peanut butter and jelly mixed together (like goober grape!)

You AND your kids will love them!


Baked Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 packet yeast
3 cups flour
Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Table salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

(This is a basic recipe, you can experiment with adding things to it, chopped jalapnos, cheese, nuts, spices, pesto, etc…the possibilities are endless!)


Preheat Oven to 425*
In mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups hot water and one standard packet of yeast. Stir and allow to sit for about 10 min. Stir again to mix yeast into the water well.
Add 2 Tbsp Sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt, Stir again well. Stir in flour, one cup at a time stirring/cutting in with a stiff spoon. If your dough if still sticky add a little more flour, up to 1/2 cup more.
Allow dough to sit for approx 5 min. Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead.
Once your dough is well kneaded divide it into equal parts. I generally make about 8 pretzels with this much dough.
Take one part at a time and roll it out into a rope. Then shape your rope into a pretzel shape and place it on a cookie sheet covered with parchment.

Photo Credit: http://www.yestoyum.com

Once you have all of your pretzels formed, beat the egg up in a bowl and dip each pretzel in, then place them back on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle seat salt onto the pretzels. (you could also sprinkle sugar or cinnamon and sugar depending on your taste)
Bake for 10 min at 425, then switch the oven to broil (low broil if you have two settings)
Broil for approx 5 min but watching to make sure they don’t burn. You want them golden brown!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two.
Serve with dipping compotes on the plate!


Crock Pot “FATAL” Mac & Cheese

Joy's "FATAL" Mac & Cheese
Joy’s “FATAL” Mac & Cheese

I’m trying, oh so hard, to watch my carbs, sugar and caloric intakes so I can lose a few pounds in accordance with my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION!


Some days…..

I just want to eat fattening, carb filled, COMFORT FOOD!

Like this recipe that I made up last summer….Fatal Mac and Cheese.

Its a dump and go crock pot recipe, buit its sooooo rich and delicious and….I think it could kill me, hence the name I gave it.

If you like RICH, CREAMY, BUTTERY, CHEESY mac and cheese with a little bit of crunch to it, this recipe is for you.

I just dump all the ingredients into the crock pot before I leave for work in the morning and I come home to a pot of delicious HEAVEN!

EnJOY! :)

2 Cups Elbow Macaroni (uncooked)
4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Can Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 8oz. Brick Cream Cheese
1 Stick of Butter
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1/3 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Pound of Bacon (Do not add to the crockpot)

Just toss everything into the crockpot, set it to low for up to 8 hours.  Try to stir it at least one time during the cooking process, but if you can’t, thats ok, it all stirs up well in the end.

As for the bacon, I cook that up the day before and just crumble it into little bits, which you can top each bowl with.

Blackberry? Blessings? Back?


I’ve truly been blessed by the relationships that Blackberry has brought into my life over the years, and the perks that those friendships bring.

Take this new unlocked Blackberry passport. It arrived on my front porch last week, unannounced. I hadn’t ordered it…but there it was…a beautiful, powerful, sleek device. PERFECT!

This gift had come from my closest BBM friend. Let me talk about BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) for a moment. BBM is so much different than whatsapp or any of those other newer messaging apps, even though they were all based on the platform originated by Blackberry.  For starters, it is THE ORIGINAL. Not an app, but an intregal part of the Blackberry Operating System. Although it is now available as an app on all other operating systems. (hint, hint folks, if you havent already tried it you should!) The friendships I have formed through BBM are real, and wonderful.  I’ve met many of the people that I know through BBM in real life, and I have met and befriended people from all over the world, which has allowed me to be exposed to different cultures as we all share our experiences with each other.

And then there is…well lets call him BOB. BOB is THE guy that I met on BBM two years ago but soon realized that I’d actually met him before, back in 2007 when we both had Blackberry Storms (that phone is a whole other discussion for another time!) Since reconnecting with Bob, I have always told him everything and never hidden a single detail…we have had the longest and best conversations and talked about the craziest stuff! It’s so awesome to have a friend that I don’t have to keep ANYTHING from. I can tell him even the CRAP about myself that I don’t want anyone else to know, and BOB does the same with me. Do you know how fabulous it is to have a person like that in your life? Yet…Bob and I have never met face to face. But that’s okay because it gives me something to look forward to, since Bob, myself and a few other BBM friends are all planning a meet up in Vegas this summer!

Bottom line? I received this phone because Bob just happened to have an extra one. Because BlackBerry users are unique…different. They prefer to pay it forward and offer devices to each other, or share what they are blessed with. They are rarely selfish, they are giving and generous..like “Bob”

So here I am, back on BlackBerry with what I can honestly say is the BEST device I have ever used. Buh-Bye Samsung Galaxy Note IV, you were fun at times, but mostly…you were annoying. Lol!

Hello BlackBerry Passport! And thank you Bob! :)

EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins


EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins
EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins

I’ve seen all kinds of little breakfast muffins online so I decided to try out one today, I didnt follow any recipe, and just used the ingredients that I had on hand in the icebox.  So here’s what I came up with.


Dice up one large potato


Chop 1/2 of a large onion

Continue reading EASY CHEESY Egg Omlette Muffins

Day Seven thru Day 30…ugh.

I suck.

Yup. Totally suck.

I have ASPIRATIONS to accomplish things, but I don’t always meet the challenge.

So, as per my usual, I got totally busy and wrapped up in this thing called “LIFE”, and I completely ignored my poor little blog for 24 days.  But not just a regular 24 days…oh no.  I ignored it for 24 days when I had made a commitment to myself to post something I was thankful for every day.

I am an EPIC FAIL.

Now that I have sufficiently scolded and publicly berated myself, I am going to attempt to right my wrong.

Thus…this combined post.

I won’t waste any more of your time, I’ll just get right to it.

Day 7: Restore Church, my pastor, Jess Bousa and his amazing wife Elizabeth. Not just the church or the pastor, but the church family, the wonderful friendships I have developed through the church, my small group, and especially, the ladies that all support each other and help each other to stay on track, focused and joyful every day.

Continue reading Day Seven thru Day 30…ugh.

Day Seven

They say it calms the savage beast.
Babies in NICU’s are proven to grow stronger when exposed to music than those without.
Relaxing music induces sleep.
Music is used in therapy to aide in cronic pain, depression and high blood pressure.
Music along with physical activity produces better overall results.
Music has been proven to be an aid in preventing violent behavior in prisons.

Ever heard a song you haven’t heard in awhile and feel it put a smile on your face, or well up with tears because it pulls emotions from your inner most hidden places?

Music leaves a permanent indelible mark on our souls and sometimes we don’t even realize it.


I like so much, musically speaking. So many genres capture my attention! Everything from Joni Mitchell to Enimen. I rarely find music that I dislike or can’t tolerate, although “gangster rap” and “screamo” are definitely not on my favorites list.

The thing I like most about music is its ability to completely CHANGE your mood and transport you to an entirely different place than you were just a moment ago.

I wanted to insert a video clip for you all to watch but I’m not that skilled with blogging from my mobile device….so I’m just going to insert a link to one of my favorite musical pieces. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it brings a smile to your face!
Click here to see the video

MUSIC. Number Seven on my list.

Day Six


Today I am thankful for books AND for the public library where I can read as many as I want for FREE!
NOT that I mind buying books, it’s just that every space on every book shelf that I own is full!
I keep looking for ways to incorporate new book shelves into my decor!
“WHY DON’T YOU JUSY START READING DIGITAL BOOKS?” my friends all say. But I just can’t do it! It’s not for lack of trying. I tried! 1. At work, I look at computer screens all day, then I spend another couple hours a day looking at things on my phone or tablet. I don’t want to look at anything else digitally a day! I’m seriously going blind from monitors and devices!
2. I enjoy the feel, weight, and even the smell (yes the smell) of an actual book. The smell of the ink, on top of the smell of the paper, of a brand new book is sooooooo sexy to me! Haha!
3. This is entirely shameful and embarrassing to admit. I don’t use bookmarks. I turn the corner of the page down.  My own books, library books….if you loaned me a book,  you’d get it back with pages that had been turned down and were then straightened out. I LIKE turning down page corners.

Of course I have to mention how thankful I am for the freedom to read books and for the ability to be able to choose the content myself, but that’s really a whole seperate day of thankfulness of its own. (more on that one later this month)

Speaking of content however; what I like to read is practically anything! But I do have a certain penchant for the classics. I also adore fiction. And lately have been delving into the easy to read young adult world (mostly because Hollywood likes to makes movies based on YA material and I like to read the book before I see the film)

Books books books and more books.
This is what I’m thankful for today.

Day Four


16 years ago, God gave me the greatest blessing of my life.
He gifted me with a son.
Every morning when I wake up, for the last 16 years, the first thing I am thankful for is another day with this boy. I still, after all this time, am in absolute awe over this miracle, over the fact that God entrusted me with such an important task, raising a child.
A child? Yes….a child. Just one. Continue reading Day Four

Day Three

I’d like to begin tonight by saying that there is NO PARTICULAR ORDER to my list of things I am grateful for.  They are simply coming to me randomly as I think about the wonderful things that I have in my life and the many, many blessings that have been bestowed upon me.

Tonight, as I sit curled on the sofa with my tablet, typing this, I am being attacked by my Day Three choice, also known as Tiffany.

She was just a baby here, but Tiffany STILL sleeps curled up next to me every night , neither of us would know how to sleep anymore without the other.

Continue reading Day Three