July 17th, 2019

Bagels from Sugarlaws

I actually put of making these for a long time.  Like, six months or a year, during which I really *wanted* to make homemade bagels, but somehow I couldn’t do it.

Why?  Because I thought they were hard to make!  In fact, I thought they would take all day, be easy to screw up, and generally be a finicky bread recipe.

But, come on.  These are bagels.  There is nothing finicky or annoying about them — they are just easy, totally simple, and immensely satisfying.  Smeared with a pat of butter or jam, you have an easy, simple, and completely delicious.  Plus, I froze about two thirds of this batch, and they’re easy to defrost in a toaster oven and make a perfect on-the-way-to-work snack.  As an extra tip, I like to cut them in half before freezing them — instant portion control for those days you’re just not that hungry in the morning.

So, I think you should make these.  I know I end a very significant percentage of my posts this way, but it’s because I genuinely love these recipes, and nothing makes me happier than hearing from you guys when you make them and email me about them!  Sincerely, nothing makes me happier than those moments.  So, well, go make these.  Please.  If only to make my day!

Bagels from Sugarlaws


2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water

Proof the yeast in 1/4 cup of water until frothy.  Mix the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, salt, sugar, and both flours and knead for 5-10 minutes.  Allow the to rise in a greased bowl, covered with saran wrap, for about an hour.  Punch the dough down, and let it rest on a lightly floured surface.

Meanwhile, in a large pot bring a pot of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Cut dough into 9 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a small ball. Poke a hole in the middle of each, and pull the dough gently to enlarge the hole.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or silipat and preheat your oven to 375 degrees,

Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water, and boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through.  Drain briefly after taking each bagel out of the water, and place it on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle them with your choice of toppings (sea salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, etc).  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Bagels from Sugarlaws

→ 21 CommentsTags: breads · Breakfast and Brunch · food

recipe: mom’s apple pie

July 12th, 2019

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are sneaking up on us in just a few weeks!  This summer flew by, and fall is passing just as quickly.  Usually November and December are a great time to think back on the past year, on everything that’s changed and everything you want to accomplish in the future.  I’ve felt like life has been moving in fast forward lately, so one of my pre-New-Year’s resolutions is to try to take stock, in a more focused way, of everything that’s happened in 2010. 

And while I’m taking stock, I plan to eat some pie. 

What I’ve learned in the 3 (!) years of keeping this blog, is that it’s better to hold off on posting holiday pictures for the next year — better, in this case, to be eleven months late than just a few weeks late.  So this is the pie that my family made for Thanksgiving last year, and it’s been sitting in my To-Post folder since November 2009.  That is some serious patience on my part, guys.

Because ZOMG, was this good.  My mom is a big apple-pie/apple-crisp-er, but what really put this over the top were my sister’s gorgeous decorated leaves.  I only wish I could take credit for them — she’s been doing them every holiday for as long as I can remember, and she hasn’t shared her technique with me yet.  Aren’t they lovely though?  I’m sure some of you artistically-inclined bakers out there can recreate them.

Apple Pie


4 pounds Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 premade pie crusts (or use my recipe here)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut each apple into small slices and combine in a bowl with the lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Press one pie crust into a pie pan (gently), and let the edges extend over the sides of the pan slightly. 

Fill the crust with the apple mixture.  Top with the second pie crust and crimp the edges together with a fork — trim any excess as desired (and use them to decorate the pie!).  Brush the top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits. 

Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is slightly browned.

→ 10 CommentsTags: desserts · food

strawberry tomato salad

July 10th, 2019

A long time ago, I read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, where he said there were three things that made all the difference between restaurant kitchens and home kitchens.  Those things, if you can’t guess, are fresh herbs, squeeze bottles, and pastry rings.

Those three items, at least to me, were a bit of a revelation.  Fortunately, I live fairly close to a kitchen supply store, so within a few weeks, I’d picked up squeeze bottles and pastry rings.  The squeeze bottles led to lovely dishes like this and this, and fresh herbs had always been a staple of my kitchen.  But those pastry rings — for some reason, I remained a little terrified of them. 

I mean, I used them for desserts fairly regularly.  But here, where I wanted to take a simple summer salad and make it into something special-looking, I had a feeling it was time to get over my fears. 

And wow, they sure did.  Anthony Bourdain knows his stuff!  This was so pretty and elegant, I only wished we had company to serve it to!  So if you’re looking for something to add a little ‘wow’ factor to an everyday dinner (and a really healthy one, at that!), all you need is this little restaurant trick.  Get them on Amazon here, or at your local cooking supply store!

strawberry tomato salad recipe


1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced into very small cubes (about 1/4″ per side)
1 cup small strawberries, trimmed and diced into very small strips (about 1/4″ per side)
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled


In small mixing bowl, toss together tomatoes, strawberries, oil, vinegar, and salt. Let marinate at room temperature 10 minutes.

To serve, place the mixture into a 3″ diameter pastry ring on individual plates, pressed to pack lightly.  Remove the rings delicately, top each salad with goat cheese, and serve.

Serves four.

→ 29 CommentsTags: appetizers · food