A Homestyle Family Date Night and Soft Pretzel Recipe

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

family date night and pretzel recipe

Homemade pretzels are even better than they sound. Making these at home may sound like a bit of a daunting task, but it’s actually very easy and fun to include the whole family in the preparation. A little help from a stand mixer goes a long way and the rest time for the dough is only about an hour. I usually prep the dough while the littlest kids nap, so when they get up it’s all fun and games from there on out. We love to make pretzel night an occasion for the whole family. Everyone gets involves with rolling and twisting, and we set out a toppings bar and let everyone customize their own before baking. Followed by a movie night, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable family date night at home. Some of our favorite topping variations are cheese or herbs in the dough and on top. For more of a sweet treat, we add a little cinnamon to the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar after brushing on the egg wash. We hope you have fun with your crew making these this weekend or on a rainy vacation day! Share you adventure with us by tagging @anthology_life on instagram.

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe



  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110ºF should feel hot to the side of your finger, not too hot)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 3/4 cups of all purpose flour plus extra
  • 1/2 a stick of butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt


  • 6 tablespoons baking soda


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Flaked sea salt
  • Oil, for the bowl and pan

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe


Combine the 1 1/2 cups warm water and honey in a small bowl, sprinkle yeast on top and light stir with a fork. Set aside for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes foamy.

Add the flour, butter and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Add the yeast mixture and mix until combined. Raise to medium speed, kneading until the dough becomes smooth and begins to pull away from the bowl, around 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky (sticks to the side of the bowl too much) add flour about a tablespoon at a time.

Remove the dough from the mixer and place it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour, the dough should have doubled in size during this time, if not allow to rest for a bit longer.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil. Set aside.

Fill a wide shallow pan or the bottom of a stock pot with about 2 1/2” of water, add baking soda and bring to a boil.


Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

Turn the dough out onto an oiled work surface (large cutting board is great) and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24” rope, one really easy way to do the this is grab the dough with both hands and make a tight jump roping motion, focusing on the thickest parts so as to not break the rope. Make a U with the rope, grab one the end of the rope on one side and cross over diagonally to the other side. Grab the opposite end and repeat. Place on prepared sheet pan. Go through this process with the remaining pieces of dough.

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

Family date night and soft pretzel recipeFamily date night and soft pretzel recipe

Place one pretzel in the boiling water for  and cook for 30 seconds, it will sink at first and then float to the surface. Remove pretzel from the water bath using a spatula, place on sheet pan spaced apart (4 to a sheet) and repeat with remaining pretzels. In a small bowl beat one egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water mixture, brush the surface of each pretzel and sprinkle with flaked salt.

Bake the pretzels until dark golden brown in color, about 15 minutes. Serve with mustard, Enjoy!

Family date night and soft pretzel recipe

Toast with Radishes and Butter



After celebrating the holidays in their full decadent fashion, it’s always nice to return to a bit of simplicity when they’re over, especially when it comes to food. One of my favorite ways to embrace simple eating for our post-holiday detox is by adding one of our most loved breakfasts to the menu, radish and butter toast. The epitome of simplicity, but full on the flavor, it’s a fantastic way to start your day. Plus, it’s a great use of all of those gorgeous winter radishes tempting you from your supermarket shelves. All you need is a good crusty loaf of bread, high quality butter, radishes and, of course, a sprinkle of herbs and coarse salt and you’ve got a perfectly simple and delicious breakfast. Enjoy!



  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, (we used pugliese bread)
  • 1 package of good quality butter (we love Vermont Creamery cultured butter)
  • 1 bunch radishes (we prefer French Breakfast radishes)
  • chopped Italian parsley
  • flaked finishing salt such as Maldon



Slice enough bread for each person you are serving. Carefully toast the bread under the broiler until it has reach desired doneness. Remove toast from broiler and smear a generous amount of butter on each piece, you don’t want the butter to melt too much, let the bread cool a bit if needed.


Wash and dry your radishes, discard the greens. Thinly slice the radishes and cover the entire surface of each piece of toast with radish slices. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt and chopped parsley. Makes a great appetizer, although two pieces makes for the perfect breakfast! Enjoy.


Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

homemade marshmallows

recipe homemade marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows


1/2 tsp salt

5 tbsp unflavored gelatin

3 cups sugar

2 cups light corn syrup

2 tbsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar for dusting

optional • crushed peppermints or candy canes


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine gelatin and 1 cup of cold water, mix with the whisk attachment and allow to sit for 30 min.
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and I cup water in a small heavy saucepan, cook over low heat and stir just until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down the sugar crystals from the side of the pan.
  3. Clip on a candy thermometer and turn the heat to high. Cook the sugar syrup mixture until it reaches 244°F (also known as the firm-ball stage), remove the pan from the heat immediately.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the syrup into the softened gelatin. Carefully increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is bright white, fluffy and has tripled in size (this takes about 15 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
  5. Liberally dust a 9×13 glass baking pan with powdered sugar (this keep the marshmallows form sticking). Pour the mixture into the pan, wet hands and pat until smooth. Dust with powdered sugar and crushed peppermints (optional). Allow the marshmallows to sit overnight uncovered, this will help them dry out a bit. Turn out onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar and cut with a knife, be sure to dust the knife with powdered sugar. Dip the cut marshmallows in a bowl of powdered sugar as they are cut to coat the sticky sides. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!


Home for the Holidays – Winter Squash Rolls Recipe

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

As soon as the holidays roll around, I really get in the mood for baking. Something about the house filled with the smell of freshly baked goods, the warmth of the oven and time spent in the kitchen with loved ones captures the memories and spirit of being home for the holidays. I’ve got to admit, the slower pace and process  of baking with yeast is my absolute favorite – theres something about waiting for the dough to rise that builds anticipation and makes the final product that much more enjoyable. Working with yeast can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with it, but the simple trick is not to rush the yeast and to make sure the yeast you are working with is still alive. Yeast can be easily killed by using water that is too hot, that is why a lot of recipes will specify a temp of about 110ºF. Proofing the yeast (adding it to warm water, mixing a in little sugar and allowing to rest for about 5 minutes) really helps avoid any big failures that come from non-viable yeast.

Baking rolls for the holidays is my favorite and most satisfying thing to make. They add so much to a beautiful spread of food and make for a great snack in the days to follow. These winter squash rolls are sure to please, they have a soft pillowy texture and just enough squash flavor to add a welcomed sweetness and the color is a plus as well. Be sure to make a lot because they will go fast. The recipe below makes 2 dozen, but I have been known to triple the recipe for large gatherings. If you would like really big rolls just cut the dough slightly bigger to about 16 balls and bake a little longer. And, If you are feeling really inspired try making a batch of your favorite cinnamon rolls with this dough, you won’t be sorry. Enjoy!

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology



  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (2 packages)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 110ºF)
  • 3 tablespoons browned butter (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (may need to knead in more)
  • 1/2 cup cooked and pureed winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, kabocha)

Wash for rolls

  • I egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • flaked sea salt (like Maldon)
  • roughly chopped sage leaves (optional)

Browned Butter

  • Add butter to a warm skillet and carefully brown over medium heat until it has a nice caramel color, set aside.


In a small bowl combine yeast with 1 tablespoon of honey and warm water, stir with a fork allow to sit until foamy about 5 minutes. Set aside

In a large bowl add honey, browned butter, salt, and beaten eggs, dump in the yeast mixture, then stir to until blended. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, stir in the squash.

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface. Sprinkle with more flour if needed, knead until smooth. Only add flour to prevent dough from sticking to the surface. Once the dough is nice and smooth, shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, smooth side down and flip to coat the dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size.

Winter Squash Rolls Recipe - Home for the Holidays with Anthology

Punch down the dough and shape into 2 dozen balls. Place them on a baking pan with lined with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment and place 2 inches apart, closer if you like pull apart rolls. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to read until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the rolls the wash and sprinkle with flaked salt and sage leaves.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Homemade Cider Donuts

A new tradition: Homemade Cider Donuts

We love the juxtaposition of the new and old that inevitably surfaces during the holidays. Generations of family converge on one kitchen and then gather around one table. Heirloom recipes, scratched on dated notecards and trendy, pinterest-inspired dishes are on the same menu. The same stories are retold year after year while new ones are inevitably made. We sink into our heritage, the people and the memories that make us uniquely “us” and create new memories, traditions and values that will make them uniquely “them.”

In this spirit, we always find ourselves wanting to try traditional favorites that have been given some fresh life. Donuts have always been a staple at our house Thanksgiving weekend. They are delicious fireside with a cup of french pressed coffee after coming in from the morning hunt or for filling the hands and bellies of our littles while their bed head is still fresh. They are loved by all, so this year we’re trying homemade cider donuts for our crowd.

The gist is you take a gallon of minimally processed apple cider and boil it down to the consistency of maple syrup. The process take about 4 hours and is completely worth it. When you are finished, you have the perfect concoction for  infusing just about anything with holiday perfection. Add it to your baked goods, cocktails and meats for a festive apple flavor. These sticky little donuts will welcome in the morning and the holiday better than just about anything you’ve tried. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Cider Donuts


  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons boiled cider or (thawed frozen apple juice concentrate plus 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup milk


  • 1 gallon good apple cider


  • 3 tablespoons boiled cider or (thawed frozen apple juice concentrate plus 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple or honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Homemade Cider Donuts



  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 2 standard donut pans.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, sugar, salt, and spices. Next beat in the boiled cider, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, and flour.
  • With the mixer on low add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then add 1/3 of the milk into the mixture. Alternate between flour and milk until.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the donuts for 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick into one comes out clean. Remove from the oven an allow to cool for about 5 minutes before turing them out onto a rack to cool.

Homemade Cider Donuts



  • Add all of the glaze ingredients to saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Stir the mixture frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan, and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Uncover the glaze and boil for a few more minutes, until the syrup reaches 240°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly.
  • Carefully dip the top of each donut in warm syrup and place them on a rack. Top immediately with flaked salt.


  • Pour 1 gallon of cider into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat uncovered, reduce to medium heat and allow to boil for about 4 hours.  You may need to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon the last 30 minutes to keep the cider from scorching. When finished it should coat the back of a spoon and have the consistency of maple syrup. You should end up with about 2 cups of boiled cider. Refrigerate cider and use as needed.


S’mores Cake, Y’all.

S'mores Cake

S’mores, no dessert captures the magic of the door closing on summer and swinging open to fall, camping and childhood quite like toasted marshmallows between two graham crackers and melted chocolate. It is the perfect combination of flavors. Enter the s’mores cake. This cake is a favorite at our house, combining all of our old favorites from childhood in a much more grown up package.

The first step is to capture that taste that only a graham cracker has. A simple way to do that is by steeping graham crackers in milk over night and straining it out in the morning. Be sure to make a little extra of this wonderfully flavored graham cracker milk because once you try it, you will have a hard time not pouring yourself a big glass to drink. This “graham cracker” milk is used to make your cake.

S'mores Cake

Next comes the chocolate part, we keep it simple and go wth a dark chocolate ganache, it has just the right texture for that slightly melted chocolate we have grown to love in s’mores. It is important to make it with dark chocolate so the cake doesn’t become too sweet

S'mores Cake

Lastly and possibly the most important part – the marshmallow! We go with a vanilla swiss meringue for this part that is later torched to give it that campfire taste you expect. Swiss meringue is a beautiful glossy topping that torches very beautifully and is easy to work with to get nice peaks or swirls. It is made by simply taking eggs whites and sugar and cooking them in a mixing bowl over boiling water, whisking frequently until the sugar has dissolved and it is warm to the touch. Beat it for about nine minutes until in turns in to a gorgeous bowl of marshmallow-y fluff. I warn you, once you make this meringue it will be your go to. Our banana pudding and pumpkin pies have never been the same.


It’s never a bad time for this cake, but we love it most on crisp fall evenings around the courtyard fireplace at Togadera in Seabrook after we’ve spent a day of hiking in Olympic National Park. We hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do!

Graham Cracker Milk


  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk (this will yield enough milk for one 2 layer cake)
  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers


Break up graham crackers and place in the bottom of a clean jar, pour in milk, cover and allow to steep in the fridge overnight. Taste and see if it tastes like graham crackers, if not steep a little longer. When the ready, strain the milk into a clean jar and keep in the fridge until ready to use. You could drink it all but then you will need to make more.



  • 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temp)
  • 2/1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups of graham cracker milk


First make sure your butter and eggs are room temp. Grease and lightly flour 2 round cake pans (I used 9”). If you really feel like going the extra mile and want ensure your cake completely comes out, cut parchment circles the same size as your pan and place them at the bottom.  Grease and flour those too! Set the prepared pans aside. In a bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375º. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed for about 30 seconds (it should look fluffy). Gradually add the sugar with the mixer still on, be sure to scrap the sides with a spatula occasionally. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes so you really incorporate some air into the mixture. 1 at a time begin to add the eggs, making sure they are properly mixed in before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and graham milk to the butter mixture. I split it into 3 additions of each ending with milk. Beat on low speed until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread it out so the surface is even.

Bake in a 375º oven for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pan. Set aside.



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb good quality dark chocolate finely chopped (you can use chips if they are good enough quality to eat on their own)

S'mores Cake


In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil over medium high heat. Add the chocolate to the cream, be sure it is completely covered by the cream. Allow the chocolate to sit in the cream for about 5 minutes then whisk until smooth. Allow to cool about before using for cake.

S'mores Cake

S'mores Cake



  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


S'mores Cake

In the bowl of your mixer add all of the ingredients except for the vanilla, place over a pot of boiling water and cook while whisking until the egg white mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved. Attach bowl to mixer and whisk on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn to high and whisk for about 7. Use right away.


Place a little ganache on a cake plate or platter, center 1 layer of cake on it. Add cooled ganache (be sure not to let it cool so much that it can’t be spread) If it does cool too much carefully heat it over a pot of boiling water whisking until smooth. Spread and even layer of ganache over the surface of the cake, top with the second layer. Add ganache to the top of the second layer. Carefully spread the meringue over the entire cake, once coated make peaks or swirls. Carefully brûlée the meringue with a propane torch. Enjoy!

S'mores Cake frosting2S'mores Cake


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