Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Java and bagels

I went to the doctor yesterday for a physical.  First, I just want to say, for anyone that sees the same doctor as I do....their scale is off by 7 pounds.  No worries, I have already notified maintenance that it needs to be re-calibrated.  I wish you luck in trying to convince your nurse to adjust your recorded weight, based on the fact that you know what your weight actually is.  Now, for this appointment I had to fast.  My appointment was at 10:30 am, and at 8:30 am, I showed up at the doctor's office and told them I needed my blood drawn at that time, and I would return in two hours for my scheduled appoinment.  If you think I'm kidding, I'm not.  It wasn't so much the hunger, as it was my pounding head from lack of coffee.  I was shocked by this because I am not a big coffee drinker.  Sure, I start my morning off by heading straight to the coffee pot, but I only drink a cup.  So, imagine my surprise when I found myself rendered non-functioning because I couldn't drink my coffee.  And even though one of my life goals is to drink my coffee black, I'm not there yet (hey, I'm still young!).

As I was yearning for my coffee, I sadly remembered something else I had been yearning for these past two months.  You seee, before I made this resolution, I had this teeny tiny guilty pleasure.

I used to start my day with a cup of peppermint mocha creamer with some coffee in it.  And this was BY FAR the most difficult thing for me to give up.  But, I had to do it.  

Dude.  There is no milk in creamer.  But, there is soybean and corn.  I can't even claim ignoranance because I knew this years ago when I first looked at the label.  And the last few years I have had the attitude of "if peppermint mocha creamer is wrong, then I don't want to be right."  And then, sonofabiscuit, something happened on January 1, and I decided I wanted to be right.  But, I really have been missing my creamer.  So, imagine my utter thrill when I stumbled upon this recipe. 

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cacoa
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1.  Whisk together milk, cream, syrup, and cacoa over medium heat.
2.  When mixture starts to steam, remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract.
3.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve (or cheesecloth).
4.  Store in refridgerator. 

Now, before you puff up your chest and start writing me a "Heids McGhee, that coffee creamer is certainly not a healthy recipe" email.....I know!  I'm going to put a tablespoon (or two, let's be honest) in my coffee each morning and at least now I know what the ingredients are.  There's no hydrogenated artificial mono caseinate gum in it.  And the best part, this creamer isn't I will be drinking my coffee black from now on.  Another life goal accomplished!

Since I was making coffee creamer, I felt inspired to make bagels as well.  My minis love bagels and really miss them.  So imagine my thrill when I saw this recipe on  Now, if you had told me a year ago I would be on a website called heavenly homemakers, I probably would have sucker-punched you.  But, here is the deal, these heavenly homemakers know what is up in the kitchen, so I follow their blog.  And part of being a heavenly homemaker is making your own bagels, and here's how you do it.....

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 bagels)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground flour from hard white wheat)
  • 1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (if you put your finger in and it hurts, it’s too hot and will kill your yeast)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey + 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
1.  Stir together 2 cups of the flour, salt and the yeast. Add in the warm water and 3 Tablespoons honey. Gradually add in the remaining flour.
2.  Dump it out and knead the flour in until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
3.  Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.  (I halved the recipe and only made 6 bagels)

4.  Set a timer for 20 minutes. Begin shaping each piece of dough into a nice ball. Stick your finger in the middle of the ball and pull it apart to create about a 2 inch hole.  
5.  Lay it onto a buttered cookie sheet or baking stone.  Continue until all the bagels are formed. Let them sit until your timer goes off.

6.  After your 20 minute timer goes off, turn the broiler on in your oven. Broil your bagels for 2 minutes on each side.  Meanwhile, bring a big pot of water to a boil. Stir in the remaining 1 T. honey.

7.  Put 4-6 bagels into the water, turn down the heat and simmer for seven minutes, turning the bagels over once during that time.

8.  Continue to boil your bagels until they are all done. Let them drain on a towel for 1-2 minutes.  (At this point, I had an "oh crap, I forgot we have swim practice, kids grab your goggles" moment.  I left the boiled bagels on the cookie sheet for about two hours before moving onto the next step.)

9.  Bake at 375 ° for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

This recipe is very easy, but I've got to tell you....when I ate these I started yelling, "BAM!  Mama made bagels!"  Seriously, these are very good and I can't wait to try adding blueberries, cranberries, raisins, cinnamon....the possiblities are endless!

COMING BACK TO EDIT:  We made a batch where after step #3, we added raisins & cinnamon, dried cherries, and pumpkin puree & pumpkin pie spice to the balls of dough.  They all turned out delicious!