Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pretzel Bread Just a Dizzy Dad Style

So, last week Mama Bear ordered strongly encouraged me to try and bake some Pretzel Bread, so, after some searching around, I found a lackluster recipe. 

So, I decided to come up with my own that is based off a bagel recipe I stole from somebody a few years ago and a pretzel recipe I had laying around.  

Here it is.

Pretzel Bread the Just a Dizzy Dad Way

Here's what you'll need:

1 large pan to boil water in
1 rubber spatula or wooden spoon or whatever to stir with
1 basting brush
1 mixing bowl
1 electric mixer
1 baking sheet
1 can of cooking spray 
1 slotted spatula or spoon
1 knife (sharp)
1 bowl to make egg wash in
1 cloth large enough to drape over the mixing bowl
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 cup of re-hydrated dry milk (also can just use 1 1/2 cups of whole milk but I like to over complicate things)
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
3 table spoons of brown sugar
1 table spoon of active dry yeast (a little less is fine.)
3 teaspoons of salt
4.5 cups of flour
1 egg
3/4 cup of baking soda
and about 2 hours 

OK.  Now here's what you gotta do:

1. First things first, combine the milk and butter and warm it up in a microwave or something until it's maybe 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.  warm to the touch but not hot.

2. once the milk and butter is warm stir in the brown sugar, and yeast and let it set for a few minutes.  (like 2-3) Then stir in the salt and 2.5 cups of flour.

3. beat the mixture for about 3 minutes.  By the end it should look like pancake batter consistency.

4. Stir in extra 2 cups of flour into the batter one cup at a time until it is too cumbersome to stir anymore, and by then you lightly flour a work surface and knead the rest of the flour into the dough.  Should take only 10 minutes or so.

5. once dough is soft and smooth and a little stretchy spray some cooking spray into the mixing bowl toss the dough in and cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for an hour or so, and then punch it down.

6. after you punch the dough down bring a little more than a gallon (maybe 5 quarts, I don't know how much water my pressure cooker holds, which is what I used) of water to a boil and stir in the baking soda.

(pre-heat your oven to 400)

7. once water and baking soda is boiling reduce the heat to medium and cut the dough into equal portions.  Could be in half, quartered what ever you want, and then roll the dough segments into nice smooth balls.

8. Drop the dough balls into the boiling water for 2 minutes, flipping them over at one minute then remove them and place them on a greased baking sheet using your slotted spoon.

9. while the dough balls are cooling slightly mix 1 egg and a little bit of water (um...maybe a teaspoon or two) in a small bowl then brush the egg solution onto the dough. 

10.  Score the dough balls and then toss them in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for another twelve minutes.  

11. take them out, let them cool on a rack or something and your done!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Badass Battle Baby

Well, I was going to tell you all about how sick I am, but that's boring.  By this time we are all aware that I have a genetic disease. Who cares? Right?

What is much more interesting is that this morning there has been a very real power struggle within our little kingdom, which is not totally unsurprising.  In fact, I have been waiting for this as it has been quite awhile since the last war for power.

Naturally, I've been waiting for the two brats to unite and make a play for ultimate control of the kingdom, and I have been preparing for an attack for awhile now.  I've sent out scouts who have all returned saying that the air smelled of trouble and tension weeks ago, so I fortified the rampart surrounding the castle and placed extra watchmen in the towers on the look out for the inevitable attack.

So, we waited...and waited...and waited.

The attack never came!  What the hell?!

So, this morning I gathered my scouts and was about to send them out to see what was going on when I received word that a fierce battle commenced between the same two upstarts I feared were going to unite and come after me.

What happened?

Of course, they were fighting over property.  

It seems that Sir Pizzmeister had stolen a vital object (a crappy toy car) from Sir Two-zy, causing Two-zy to retaliate in kind.  

In short, a full scale war broke out.

From the onset it looked as if poor Two-zy had no chance of winning this war, but I underestimated him.  Turns out Two-zy is a formidable and clever opponent.

Instead of attacking the Pizzmeister in a full frontal assualt, Two-zy drove off the Pizzmeister's fiercest ally, Candice the war puppy. Then, once he was assured that the war puppy was out of the equation, Two-zy sighted in on the Pizzmeister.

Knowing that the Pizzmeister's army was quicker, stronger, and had a longer reach, Two-zy decided to attack the Pizzmeister while he was stuck in a corner where there was no chance for Sir Pizzmeister to escape and outflank him.

Now, it was down to a battle between two tiny sized combatants; one with strength on his side, and one with courage to the point of insanity. 

Insanity quickly got the upper hand, and before any serious damage could be done (within thirty seconds) I stepped in, attempting to bring peace to the land.  After all, my rule is more secure if these two are on equal grounds.

Anyway, after a brief discussion I managed to get both parties to meet in neutral territory to broker for peace.  

While we were all in deep discussion and finalizing the peace treaty I assessed the resulting damage, which there was little.  Two-zy came out of the battle unscathed but a little big for his britches, but the poor Pizzmeister needed medical attention for a swollen eye and bruised ego.

We patched the Pizzmeister up, and I took possession of the property that started this conflict and destroyed it, sending a message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.  I believe the message was received and understood as the two warlords are now playing quite nicely together and sharing equally among themselves.   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Having Kids = Never Feeling Bad for Saying "No"

So, I have been replaying I a conversation in  my mind that I had a few weeks ago when one of my friends asked if there was anything I missed about the days before the brats.

Immediately, I said, "No, what would there be to miss?"

But, since I said that I have been thinking on it.  I wonder if I sounded a bit judgmental as if I were saying "childless people aren't really living." or if it sounded a bit whiny, like my life before the boys was terrible or something.

It wasn't was it? 

Of course not. That's absurd.  I was simply saying that my life before the bratty boys was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it sick or not, but now it is PHENOMENAL despite being sicker than then!

I mean, I have two little wingmen accompanying me everywhere I go, and the Pizzmeister even told me, "I'm down to ride anywhere, Daddy."  So, you see?  He actually likes and wants to go places with me (for now).  You can't ask for more than that from anybody.  

How many people do you know that will happily strap in and go with you ANYWHERE?  It's a good feeling, knowing they're always there right?

Damn straight it feels good!

The other thing that a lot of childless people don't know is that kids are a ready made excuse to get you out of doing stuff you don't want to do, or going/staying places you don't want to be.  

All I have to do is show up, put my hand on one of their little foreheads, say "Oh man!  You're burning up!" and then just turn around and leave, or, better yet, not even show up at all. 

Since the boys were born I have a get out of jail free card.  It's like, Poof! Instantly, I went from being an asshole to a concerned dad. 

Awesome, right?

Yeah, I know.  It's awesome!  

And, I plan on using that trick or variations of it until the boys are in college.

Sure beats doing all the crap I used to have to do before they were born. And, when I think that I used to go to my wife's family reunions or drive an hour and a half one way because some jerk talked me into performing at a party or bar or whatever for less than gas money, I think to myself "Man!  You were such a sucker!" 

Not anymore though.  

Having kids means never having to feel bad for saying "No" again...until they are older I guess, but, hopefully, by then I'll have perfected my "I'm old and I don't give a shiz!"