This morning after we returned home from dropping Jacob off at school, Ryan began to cry, "I don't WANT to go home! I HATE home!" We got in the house and he changed his cry to, "I don't WANT to take off my jacket."
"It's ok." I said, "then leave your jacket on."
"I don't WANT to leave my jacket on. This jacket is DUMB! I don't like it!"
Ugh. Not THIS again. I needed to distract him. But I knew if I suggested something, he would instantly protest. So.... I had an idea. I went to the bathroom and ran the bathwater. Ryan followed me and asked what I was doing. "I'm going to take a bath." I answered. "I want to take a bath with you!" he responded. BINGO. I filled up the tub and helped him in. Ryan didn't even notice that I wasn't joining him. Distraction: success!
All this is prelude to telling you about our adventure from yesterday. Yesterday in the late morning, Ryan was being difficult again and I was running out of patience. I desperately needed a way to distract him from his toddlerness. Inspired by that morning's episode of Sesame Street, I found a recipe for cheese-stuffed pretzel bites and had Ryan help me make them.
Ryan is my little chef. He loves playing with any kind of "dough"-- from pizza to tortillas to breadsticks. I always save a small piece for him to play with when I'm making dinner. I knew this cooking adventure was going to be a sure-fire hit. And it was! Not just as a distraction but also because of the end product: cheese-stuffed pretzel bites...mmmm carbs! (Did I ever tell you about the one time my sister talked me into going Paleo? I lasted 3.5 hours. Sorry, I just love wheat).
Not only were these pretzel bites amazing and will be an awesome Super Bowl Sunday snack, they turned out to be the perfect recipe for one young, hands-on chef!
The recipe calls for cheese cubes. But grating cheese is Ryan's favorite so I let him grate some just for fun.
After he helped me mix up the dough, Ryan added cheese cubes and rolled the dough into balls.
Here is an extra step Ryan added himself. Because all true chefs improve and improvise.
After you make dough balls, you have to boil them in water and baking soda. Adding baking soda to the boiling water was the best part - it made the water bubble up! I had no idea baking soda did this in anything except vinegar. Too fun! Ryan was happy watching from afar.
Then we "painted" the dough balls with an egg wash.
They baked for about 8 minutes in a 450 degree oven.
And it's a hit! We know what we are bringing to the Super Bowl party!