Sometimes there’s nothing like hot, cheesy asiago pretzels and a lazy night at home. Or to serve up warm for a holiday or game day party appetizer.
When I was in high school there was this awesome breakfast spot that we loved to grab a bite at for lunch. One of my favorites was a cheese log, a bagel stuffed with cheese. For a short amount of time there was one with a little asiago on top instead of in the middle and I instantly fell in love with asiago cheese. When our soft pretzels went crazy last year I decided I just had to make asiago pretzels, and boy were they awesome!
Why You Should Ditch Valentines Day
Before we get to that, and feel free to skip all of this if you aren’t interested, but Cade and I are coming out with the truth, we don’t like Valentine’s Day. In fact we hate it and want to tell you why you should ditch Valentine’s Day too.
Before I was married I felt like Valentine’s day was either a ton of pressure or singles awareness day and no matter which I was experiencing it was not a fun loving holiday. And then the rest of the year gets to go back to normal and no expectations for kindness or expressing love? That my friends, that is ridiculous. So when Cade and I started dating and the subject of the big love day came up we were both kind of relieved to discover that we both felt like we should spend all year expressing love to EVERYONE around us, especially our loved ones instead of just one day of pressure.
Will You Accept Our Challenge? We Dare You!
So here’s your challenge!! Will you accept it? For the next 30 days will you take a moment every day to express love to those around you? You can be a little more kind at the grocery store, turn off the tv and play a game with your kids, leave a kind note, etc. Nothing extravagant is needed, “moments are the molecules that make up eternity” as Neal A. Maxwell says.
So do we totally ditch Valentine’s Day? Of course not, because it’s another opportunity to express love.
Today was one of those days that I totally could have used cheesy carbs too. Or at least soft pretzels dipped in this killer cheese sauce. The kids were so busy playing, which was awesome, except that I was trying to get the house picked up and as soon as I finished upstairs I headed downstairs to attack the kitchen. Things were going pretty good, I was getting the dishes put away (I am pretty sure I do a gazillion loads of dishes a day) when I heard a loud bang.
I quickly discovered that the littles had pulled every blanket we own into their room where they were playing with ALLLLLL of their barbies and accessories in their “fort”. And there’s a lot of barbie junk, I promise you that. UUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHH. I know that one day I’ll be older and the quiet, clean house will make me sad and miss their little voices but for now, can’t I just have a clean house for one whole minute? The good news, they are wonderful to help clean up, the bad news, it took an extra hour to get it all put away. Oh the joys of motherhood.
Cheesy Asiago Pretzels
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 6 Cups Water
- ⅔ Cup Baking Soda
- 1 Egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water
- Sea Salt For Topping
- 1 cup asiago cheese, grated
- Combine the water and sugar in a standing mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. allow to sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam and grow. add the butter and stir to combine.
- add the flour and salt together and whisk to combine. pour in the liquid and use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are combined. increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- remove the dough from the mixer and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
- preheat the oven to 450 degrees. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and drizzle with a little oil.
- fill a large pot with water and the baking soda. bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- meanwhile, place the dough on a slightly oiled counter and divide into 8 equal pieces. roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope, lay it on the counter, then holding each end in a hand make a u-shape with the rope, cross them over each other, bring it down, twist, and press onto the bottom of the u in order to form a pretzel. place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- drop the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time for about 30 seconds, constantly spooning the hot water over the dough. remove them from the water using a large, flat spatula and place right on the oiled baking sheet. brush the top of each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- bake about 10 minutes, pull the pan out and sprinkle with asiago cheese, then bake an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.