Our little play group had a Valentine's party this week, so we got a little taste of what school celebrations will be like in the future. To tell the truth, though, this party set the bar pretty high, as all the moms were really into it and everyone contributed something really special. For our Valentines, Little Omi and I made recycled crayons (recipe here) and sugar cookies. We attached Baby Bro's cards (found here) to the crayons since Omi's were the folding kind. Gramma had just given us this set of cookie cutters, which sort of combines cookie cutters with a letterpress—how cool is that? So we just had to make personalized cookies for all the kids in the play group.
With all the snow and ice coming down lately, we've been spending a lot of time just shuffling around the house. I guess since it's starting to feel like The Long Winter, I have been wanting to bake some bread. I was perusing my copy of America's Test Kitchen's Baking Illustrated and came across a recipe for soft pretzels. I had never made or eaten a fresh pretzel before! The recipe was pretty basic—I had all the ingredients on hand (although bread flour was required for its extra gluten). The best part was rolling out the dough. Little Omi got in on the act and made a series of rings (she said she liked them better than the traditional pretzel shape). Once the pretzels are shaped, you dip them in boiling water hat has a bit of baking soda added to it before baking them. It's the soda that gives the pretzels their characteristic brown color!
I don't have any photos of the finished product. We ate them before I remembered to take a picture!