By Helen Bismark, Kitchen Store Specialist

Have you ever thought about making bagels at home rather than buying them at a grocery store? Well, Bella and I decided to try it for the first time ever because a new silicone bagel mold had just arrived from Lekue. We were super excited to try it out.

We started by picking a recipe, and because they are experts, we decided to go with a recipe from King Arthur Flour for water bagels.

First we had to put the dough together. Next, we proofed the dough for an hour and a half. After the proofing period, we had to split the dough into either 8 or 12 pieces. If you want jumbo bagels, I suggest doing 8, for regular sized bagels, do 12.

The molds come in sets of six, so we formed half of the bagels on the molds and half normally on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Once they’ve been shaped, they go for a second proof for about another 30 minutes.

Then we boiled them in the ‘sugar’ water for 2 minutes. Because they are made of silicone, the molds are safe to boil and the cone shaped tip made it easy to move in and out of the water bath. Lastly, we baked them for 20-25 minutes.

We were excited by how they turned out! The texture inside was dense but soft and the outside had a nice crust.

Another great bagel tool we love is the wood bagel miter because the handle is easy to hold and it keeps the bagel from wobbling while you cut it evenly down the middle. We served our fresh bagels sliced with melted butter.

Tips we learned:

We’d recommend doing the jumbo portioning for use with the bagel molds because they keep the hole in the center at a uniform size during cooking, so the more dough, the better proportioned the hole will be. Bake jumbo bagels until 5 minutes before they are done, then take them off the mold and bake some more on a cookie sheet to finish so that the inside ring gets a nice crust too. Enjoy!

3 eggs

1 C sugar

½ C brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ C butter, melted

3 C milk or cream

½ C raisins

5 C cubed bread loaf

Prepare Egg for indirect cooking with the Conveggtor. Preheat to 350.

Cube bread and set in large bowl. Sprinkle raisins over bread cubes. Whisk eggs, sugars, cinnamon, and milk until combined. Add melted butter and whisk. Pour liquid over bread and toss to coat. Pour into a greased baking pan and spread to distribute evenly.

Bake 50 mins, covering with foil if bread gets too browned on top layer.

For sauce:

½ C whipping cream

½ C butter

½ C sugar

½ C brown sugar

1 tbs vanilla

Combine all ingredients but the vanilla in a sauce pan and slowly bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugars. Once you’ve reached a boil, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon over pudding portions to serve.

 

4 lg artichokes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp melted butter

½ small white onion, chopped

1 bunch spinach, washed, stemmed and chopped

1 8 oz package cream cheese

½ C heavy cream

1 C mozzarella, grated

¼ C Parmesan, grated fine

½ tsp Smoked Paprika

fresh ground pepper & salt to taste

Start the Traeger on smoke with lid open 4-5 minutes. Set grill to HIGH and preheat with lid closed for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare artichokes by cutting in half lengthwise. In a small dish, combine garlic and oil, brush over artichoke halves and drizzle with lemon juice and a dash of salt.

Put artichokes directly on the grill grate, flat side down for 40-60 minutes.

Once artichokes are soft, remove and lower temp to 350. Set artichokes aside and allow to cool.

Remove artichoke leaves and scoop out fuzzy core with a spoon. Cut remaining artichoke hearts into small pieces.

Heat butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Saute onions until soft, add spinach and cook to wilted. Add cream cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until melted. Stir in artichoke hearts until combined and heated through, about 5 mins, remove from heat. Fold in cheeses and stir to combine. Place mixture in oven safe dishes (like our favorite Lodge cast iron individual rounds).

Place baking dishes on grill and warm, lid closed until all cheese has melted. Stir once and top with additional sprinkling of Parmesan & Paprika. Continue cooking another 30 minutes or until top is golden. Serve hot with crackers, chips or flat bread triangles.

Adapted from www.traegergrills.com/recipes

1 dozen medium mushroom caps

1 8 oz block cream cheese

1/2 tsp Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub

Fresh Ground Pepper

1 C cheddar cheese, shredded

2 Tbs green onion, diced fine

1 package thick cut bacon

toothpicks

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10-15 minutes.

Clean the mushrooms and remove the stem, set aside caps. Allow the cream cheese to soften. Mix cream cheese with rub and cracked pepper, to taste. Once incorporated, stir in shredded cheese and onions. Wrap bacon around the mushroom and secure with a toothpick. Fill the cap with the cream cheese mixture. Bake the mushrooms (uncovered) until the filling is bubbling and just beginning to brown, about 30-45 minutes. Remove mushrooms from the grill and allow to cool slightly before serving.

 

Adapted from www.traegergrills.com/recipes

Grab a handful and you’ll be back for more of this smoky snack with a satisfying crunch.

2 C toasted oat cereal

2 C Life cereal

2 C Rice Chex Cereal

3 C cheese square crackers

2 C pretzel sticks

1 C shelled roasted salted peanuts

1/4 C Peanut Oil

1/4 C butter, melted

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine peanut oil, melted butter, garlic and onion powders, salt and sauce in a bowl and stir to incorporate. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle liquid over the dry ingredients and toss to coat, mixing with gloved hand to make sure all bits are covered. Pour into aluminum baking pan.

To cook, start the Traeger on smoke with the lid open 4-5 minutes, then set temp to 250 and preheat with lid closed for 10- 15 additional minutes. Grill mix for 2-3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

Adapted from www.traegergrills.com/recipes

Dry rubs are a great - not to mention quick - way to switch up your game when doing a large batch of wings for the crew. We did them 3 ways: Garlic Parmesan with Herbs, Jerk Chicken and BGE Dry Rub.

Prepare the wings by rinsing in water and patting dry with paper toweling. Arrange wings on a cooling rack inside a cookie sheet and cover lightly with a sheet of tin foil. Allow to dry in the refrigerator about an hour. In a large bowl, drizzle the wings with a few tbsp. of oil of your choice and using gloved hands, toss to coat. Sprinkle oiled wings with rub of your choice and once again, toss with gloved hands, this time rubbing spices into meat. For deeper flavors, seal wings in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for half-2 hours. When ready to cook, set Egg for indirect cooking with Conveggtor and heat to 450. Cook directly on the grill with lid closed for 15 mins each side, flipping after first 15.

Bonus Recipe:   Sweet Chili Wings

Prepare 5 lbs wings by rinsing and patting dry. Combine one tsp sesame oil with 3tbs sweet chili sauce and drizzle over wings in a bowl. Toss to coat. Seal wings in a Ziploc bag and allow to marinate for half to 2 hours. Just prior to cooking, toss 1-2 tbs arrowroot powder in bag and shake to coat.

When ready to cook, set Egg for indirect cooking with Conveggtor and heat to 350. Cook directly on the grill with lid closed for 30 mins each side, flipping after first 30.

Serve with Teriyaki dipping sauce:

In a sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil

½ C brown sugar

1/2 C Rice Vinegar

1 Tbs soy, tamari or liquid aminos

1 tsp siracha or sweet chili sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp grated ginger

Pour over cooked wings or serve as dipping sauce

1 dozen medium jalapeño peppers

1 C Shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 C Shredded Pepper Jack cheese

3/4 C of mayo

4 oz cream cheese

1⁄4 tsp garlic powder

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 400°F.

With glove hands, half jalapenos lengthwise and remove stems, seeds and veins. Mix all ingredients from above and spoon into peppers. Crack pepper over stuffing. Place directly on grill and cook for 7-10 minutes until pepper softens and cheese begins to bubble and brown.

Adapted from https://biggreenegg.com/recipes

It can be difficult, getting all 7 recommended servings of fruit and veg a day, and whether you've resolved to eat cleaner or just more nutritiously, juicing can be one way to literally 'squeeze' in all those vitamins, nutrients and minerals your body is craving without having to work past the fiber.

But where to start? If you've done any shopping for a juicer you may have come across several options, styles, and designs which can make selecting the right one for you a challenge. One frequently asked question in this process is "What's the difference between a centrifugal or masticating juicer?"

The first and major difference is the method of creating the juice. A Centrifuge juicer has a blade with sharp 'teeth' that essentially grind the fruits and vegetables and, with the force of the spinning basket, the juicer flings the pulp against the screen which in turn only allows the juice to flow out, into your glass.

There are also some minute differences across brands for this style of juicer. Speed is one. For example, the Breville Elite Juice Fountain rotates at speeds up to 13,000 RPMs to maximize juice production. Additionally, there are variations in the size of the chute, which can mean more or less prep time, and whether the pulp is extracted or left in the basket, effecting both cleaning and batch size. Most centrifuge juicers simply have the one function, but the Novis Vita Juicer has additional attachments that allow 3 other functions like a citrus juice press, citrus juice with no pulp and a puree function that creates a smoothie like texture with soft fruits so you can add texture and flavor from bananas or strawberries without employing a second small appliance, like a blender.

The second style of juicer is a masticating, or chewing, juicer. This style uses an auger and screen to first slice the fruit or veg, and then press the juice out by forcing the pieces against a screen with great pressure.

These are known as 'slow' juicers and rotate at only 80 RPMs, reducing oxidation. This process preserves the nutrient content of the juice longer, up to 72 hours in the fridge. These juicers can be either lie down, or horizontal style, depending on the design of the unit. The the Nutrition System juicer by Omega is a lie down dual masticating juicer and again, with its many attachments and screens, can do more than just juicing including pressing nut butters, sorbets, extruding pasta and even grinding coffee beans. This style is also effective in juicing leafy greens or wheat grass.

Each choice has its own appeal, depending on how you intend to use your juicer. Other things to think about and compare as your making your selection include motor size, warranty, and certainly cleanability. One of our favorite tips, no matter which  juicer you choose, is to do the clean up right after you juice. There are quite a few parts and pieces to clean and the sooner you get the juice and pulp off, the less sticky, dried on bits you'll have to scrub. Also- use a sink drain strainer when rinsing pulp from your machine parts, because though it seems like fine mooshed particles, that's concentrated fiber folks and can clump and clog faster than you think. Trust us.

By Shaelyn VanAusdal, Kitchen Store Specialist

Kitchenaid’s Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment is soon to be your new favorite toy in the kitchen. Cutting zucchini, cucumber, sweet potatoes and more for much healthier meals, has never been easier, not to mention more fun!

To try it out I made zucchini wraps. To do this I cut the zucchini to size and placed it on the attachment, putting the metal skewer tool through the center.
I placed the “thick” blade on and unlocked the arm so the blade was right on the zucchini.

I then turned it on to the lowest power and out came my sheets of zucchini! I cut my sheet into 6-8inch sections and was ready to get started.

With a paper towel, I dabbed the front and back of each sheet to get rid of some moisture so I could coat the middle of the sheets with a thin layer of cream cheese without it sliding off.
On the front half of my sheets I placed strips of carrots, avocado, cucumber, and a couple chunks of Italian seasoned meatballs. I rolled and sealed them on the end with Man Dip, which is a cream cheese dip with jalapeño chunks, to give it a little bit of a kick.

It's super fun, easy to use, and it cleaned up pretty well. It'll be very fun to try out recipes and reinvent old ones with this healthy twist!

By Helen Bismark, Kitchen Store Specialist

I recently grabbed a Kyocera Ceramic Knife to chop up some cooked bacon slices for my usual breakfast omelet. I was surprised by how the knife sliced easily through even the tougher parts of the bacon, making my prep job easier, which meant less time before I could enjoy my delicious breakfast! Knowing how sharp a Kyocera knife can be, even after regular use, I gathered more information on Kyocera ceramic products, and their benefits, to share with you for today’s ToolBox Tuesday Feature!

  • Ceramic cutting edges are sharper than metal
  • They won’t rust
  • You don’t have to sharpen or hone regularly
  • Stay sharp 10 times longer than a metal edge
  • Won’t absorb color or flavors
  • Don’t cause oxidation on foods
  • Comfortable grip
  • The blade can break and chip, so you should take care not to cut frozen food, any cutting that involves twisting, or boning
  • The manufacturer can sharpen dull or chipped blades
  • Made with Zirconium which assists in ‘Heavy Duty’ ceramic blade as well as enough metal to set off alarms
  • Kyocera is the leading manufacturer for ceramic blades which are traditionally sharpened by Japanese Masters

 

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