Wednesday, May 4, 2011

recipe: time to make the bagels

most of you know that i'm born-and-bred new yorker - meaning that i take my bagels quite seriously. one of the hardest things to give up when coming down to texas was the confidence that i could walk into any mom and pop bakery and get a kick ass bagel. after countless duds and our refusal to go to einsteins, we have been lucky enough to find local Wholy Bagel, run by a couple from new jersey who moved down a few years ago, got sick of eating bad bagels, quit their 9-5s and opened up a bagel shop. hands down the best bagels in town, they convinced me to give it my own shot at home.

  • 1 1.2 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp malt syrup (which i couldn't find, so i used molasses instead...ok substitute but i recommend you try to find the real thing)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
kettle water
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp malt syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • and i added a little bit of baking soda - i heard it helps make the outside crunchy while the inside stays chewy
in a large mixing bowl, stir together water, yeast, and sugar. lstand for 5 minutes. with a wooden spoon, stir in oil, malt and one cup of the flour. add salt, then enough of remaining flour to make a stiff dough. on a lightly floured surface, knead for 10 to 12 minutes. cover with a floured dish towel and allow dough to rest on a board for about 15 minutes. divide dough into 8 sections and form each section into 10-inch long strips. roll the ends together to seal and make a ring. place on a lightly floured surface, cover, and let bagels rest 15 to 20 minutes, rising about halfway and becoming slightly puffy.

meanwhile, fill a large cooking pot or dutch oven three quarters full with water. add the malt syrup and salt. bring water to a boil. preheat oven to 450 F. line two large baking sheets with baking parchment and, if desired, sprinkle generously with corn meal. set aside. line two other baking sheets with a kitchen towel, set near your stove. reduce boiling water to a simmer and cook 2 bagels at a time (do not crowd the pot). simmer bagels for about 45 seconds on one side, then turn and cook other side for another 45 seconds and then drain bagels on the towel-lined baking sheet.
carefully place bagels on the parchment-lined baking sheets. bake bagels plain or sprinkle with a topping of your choice. place in the hot oven, immediately reduce heat to 425 F, and bake about 17 to 25 minutes. when almost baked, turn bagels over (a pair of tongs do the job easily).

would i quite my 9-5 and open a bagel shop? definitely not. would i eat these over einsteins? 100%.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

pink parade at zara

zara's store right now is filled with all of the essentials required for a kick-ass colorblocked outfit. i went with two specific pieces in mind (pink shorts and a red blazer) and while i did come out with none of the above, i instead came out with all of the below.

below: loose white blouse, $39.50. will be perfect weekend wear with some jean cutoffs (which are now on my shopping list - a DIY version did not make the cut - pun intended). sorry for the wrinkles.

below: pink blazer, $79.50. love!!!

below: pink and white striped top, $15.50. perhaps paired with a white, green or yellow skirt?

Monday, May 2, 2011

"where do you get your nails done?"

i have never in my life been asked so many times where i get my nails done. all thanks to a little lady named sally hansen. my sister-in-law and two of her besties came to visit last weekend and they were awesome enough to bring me a set of sally's salon effects polish strips. i love them, they seem to be lasting forever, and like i said, have gotten so many compliments on them. i stocked up in tons of colors and designs at walgreens and cvs this past weekend - beware, some of the best designs are hard to find.

on my toes? essie's lovey dovey.