Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Easy to Make New York City Bagels at Home

I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta.  To me, Aunt Jemima was syrup (not fake maple syrup), there was nothing weird about mashed potatoes from a box, and salad dressing came in packet.  Oh, and I thought Lender's Bagels were bagels. 

When I moved to New York in 1996, my eyes were opened to real bagels.  Over the years, my taste for what goes in my bagels has evolved.  I used to get an everything bagel with cream cheese, then I got into bacon and egg bagel sandwiches, then scooped out and buttered whole wheat bagels, and nowadays I enjoy bagels with cream cheese, tomato, salt and pepper.  The one thing that hasn't changed is my love of bagels!

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this post about making bagels at home on Serious Eats, one of my favorite food websites.  I read the headline a couple of times with my head tilted like a confused puppy...homemade bagels?  What do you mean?  I thought you needed fancy equipment and unusual ingredients.  If you could make them at home, why wouldn't I have heard about it before?

Well, I tried the recipe about six weeks ago ago and I've been making and freezing a big batch of bagels ever since.   I highly recommend this recipe because it's easy and foolproof.  It also produces delicious and chewy bagels for pennies each.  The only thing that takes some figuring out is getting the bagel shape after you roll out the "rope" of dough.  The first couple of times I made the bagels, I couldn't get the connecting dough not to taper, but it just takes practice.

Check out our video where I talk about the bagel-making process below.  Photos and detailed instructions are after the jump, so click on "read more."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

DIY Halloween Costume Idea for Babies and Toddlers: Taco Truck

It was a few days before our baby's first Halloween and we didn't have any costume ideas.  We knew we wanted to make something ourselves because that's our style, but that's as far as we got.  As an aside, it's sort of silly that parents care so much about the "first" holidays when babies aren't even old enough to know what's going on, but it's fun to get into the spirit of things as a family.  Like, my husband and I have never gotten a Christmas tree before, but now that we have a baby, it makes the holidays more fun. 

Anyway!  So my husband, Rob, mentioned that someone in his office dressed up their baby as a sushi roll.  We laughed about how cute an idea that was.  Then we joked that we should dress Greyson up as a taco since that's our favorite thing to eat.  The joking continued and we said that we should turn our Baby Jogger City Mini stroller into a taco truck, and that's how the final costume came about.

The taco truck costume was definitely a big hit during our neighborhood Halloween parade.  For whatever reason, taco trucks make people giddy in New York.  They make people squeal with delight.  If you have some bad news to deliver, do it in a taco truck!  People will forget their sorrows.

Here's a video where I show the final costume and describe how it was made with a few simple materials that you probably have around the house.

If you watch the video and decide you want to give the costume a try yourself, here's how to make it after the jump...