Ever since I found out that soft pretzel dough stores well in the freezer, I’ve had some on hand in my freezer to take out whenever I’m in the mood for soft pretzels. Lately I’ve been using the frozen dough to make whatever soft pretzel variation I can come up with. This weekend I decided to try soft pretzel dogs, a snack I’ve always loved.

I wanted to make small ones, perfect finger food. I originally was going to use mini sausages, but I forgot to buy them. Instead, I used full sized sausages, but cut them up into thirds to make mini pretzel dogs (I guess technically they aren’t dogs since I used sausages).

These came out great. Since I already had the soft pretzel dough premade, it was easy to defrost the dough, wrap them around the dogs and then cook them. These were gone in a flash. I’ll have to make them again since I didn’t have any leftovers.

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting.

Recipe: Pretzel Dogs

(adapted from Alton Brown)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 full sized hot dogs/ sausages

Instructions

  1. Combine the warm water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place the dough in a glass bowl oiled with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12 inch rope.
  3. If you are making mini dogs, cut hot dogs to desired length.  Then take rope of dough and begin wrapping around the length of the hot dog/sausage. One dough rope can be used for a full sized hot dog. If you are making minis, wrap until you reach the top, then break off the dough for the rest of the mini hot dogs/sausages.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Using a large sauce pan, fill with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda.
  6. Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  7. Beat one large egg. Brush the top of each pretzel dog with the beaten egg. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 6-8 minutes.

The other night, we went to 168 Restaurant for dinner. I haven’t visited 168 for dinner in a long time. Usually if I’m there, it’s just to get a quick lunch bite. Located inside Ranch 99 market,168 is a small Taiwanese restaurant.

168 has an extensive menu, most of which I have not yet explored. You can see the full menu on my previous post here. We had seven people in our group and everyone chose one dish.

We ordered the pan fried seafood noodles.

I was a little worried about this dish. Normally I love it, but I’ve had so many bad versions in San Diego, that I’ve stopped ordering it. I thought the version here was pretty good. The noodles came out pretty and were crispy. The sauce was thick and smooth to my relief. Many ones I have ordered have had thick cornstarch sauces with uneven chunks of cornstarch inside the sauce. Yuck.

We also ordered the yang chow fried rice, which is BF’s favorite.

I enjoy the fried rice here. It reminds me a lot of the one I make at home.

Dry sauteed green beans with ground pork.

The beans looked a little brown/green like they had been cooked too long. They still tasted pretty good, though I wish there were a little more of them.

Kung Pao Beef with assorted goodies.

There was beef, peanuts, and shrimp in this dish. The sauce was slightly spicy.

Fried Stinky Tofu

The version here is decent. It’s not as pungent and flavorful as the ones in LA, but I still order it whenever I come here.

Spicy tripe

This was my first time having this and I actually thought it was a pretty good cold dish.

Sizzling assorted goodies

Beef, chicken, peppers, shrimp and broccoli.

Near the end of our meal, we were given another dish, complements of the owner. It was a spicy fried chicken dish, similar to the spicy chicken that is served at tapioca tea cafes. I was surprised and happy with the gesture. We’ve always gotten good service here, but this was the first time we got a free dish. I think it was because we had such a large party.

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten here and I had a pleasant experience. I always feel a sense of comfort when I eat here. With the staff speaking Taiwanese amongst themselves, the tv satellite tuned to chinese news, and the Taiwanese style of cooking, it makes me feel like I’m in Taiwan.

168 Restaurant
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, #102
San Diego, CA
(858) 268-1168
168 on Urbanspoon

When I was in high school, my mom made sure to always prepare a big breakfast before I had a test. She always emphasized how important it was to eat well.

This weekend is finals week at UCSD. My brothers have been busy studying away. On Saturday morning, I was awake early so I decided to make them these bacon egg toast cups which I had bookmarked. I love this idea of putting all the traditional breakfast items into one. You don’t even need a knife or fork to eat this with.

These are really easy to make too. It took me only a few minutes to make. Baby Bro and the BF really liked this. I’ll have to make them again soon.

Recipe: Bacon Egg Toast Cups

(adapted from Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon 2 slices of bread 4 eggs salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Using the top of a round glass that has an opening slightly bigger than a muffin mold, about 3.5 inches, cut circles from bread. You should be able to cut two circles per slice of bread.
  2. Grease four muffin molds. Place the bread on the bottom of each muffin mold. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  3. Cook bacon slices in a pan about 3 minutes or until halfway cooked. Place bacon slices around the edges of the muffin tin. To help them stay, you might want to tuck the ends underneath the slices of bread.
  4. Crack an egg and put in the middle of each muffin mold. You may want to leave out some of the egg white so that the yolk doesn’t overcook while waiting for the egg white to cook.
  5. Place muffin molds in the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking and bacon is crisp. I like to leave the egg yolk a little runny.
  6. Use a knife around the edges to help lift cups from the muffin mold. Season with salt and pepper and serve while hot.