Girls on Food


Get Your Pretzels In A Twist…Not Your Knickers!


See those luscious pretzels I’m holding? I MADE THEM! That’s right. And you can, too.
I’m all about cooking from scratch – and I don’t mean heating up a jar of Ragu and boiling some packaged pasta. I mean purchasing the ingredients and creating your own, healthy food. Even homemade desserts are better for you than store bought.
Plus, you save money! I’m all about that, too.
Don’t get nervous when you see “yeast” in the ingredients list. Piece of cake! The only thing is you have to allow for rising time. That makes it look like a lot of work, but it’s not. The dough is rising all by itself – while you put your feet up and read a good book (or, do housework – your choice).
SOFT PRETZELS – makes 12
  • 1 cup water
  • 2¼ tsp dry active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • about 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 T butter, soft
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Heat the water to 100º-104º Fahrenheit. Stir in yeast and let proof for 5 minutes.
Put 2 cups of the flour, the butter, salt, and sugar into the work bowl of your food processor.
When yeast is proofed, turn on machine and slowly add the water through the pour spout. Keep adding flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough forms a ball. I use nearly all of the 3 cups of flour. If you don’t own a food processor, you’ll have to do this step by hand, kneading about 10 minutes.
Empty dough onto a floured board. Pick up from the bottom and fold in on itself, so the floured side surrounds the ball. Plop into an oiled bowl, then flip the ball and plop back upside down – now the ball is oiled on both sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough and place it on a floured board. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece to a length of 18″ or more. Dough is very elastic, so I’ve found it best to stretch each piece about 12″, then start again and stretch to 15″ or so, and finally do a final round to get each piece to 18″. As each piece reaches its final length, form it into pretzel shape (See photo below).
pret shape
Cover with towel and let rise 30 minutes.
In a large NON-ALUMINUM skillet, bring the baking soda and 10 cups of water to a full boil. If you don’t own a large skillet, use a smaller one and cut back on the water and baking soda.
Prepare wash by mixing cornstarch with 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir constantly while bringing to boil. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 450º Fahrenheit.
Carefully drop as many pretzels in boiling water as will fit. Boil 1 minute, flipping after 30 seconds. Remove to well oiled cookie sheet.
When they’re all boiled, brush on cornstarch wash. Sprinkle with coarse pretzel or sea salt.
Bake at 450º Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. They’ll brown much earlier than the 12 minutes, but don’t remove from oven – they’re still not done. Transfer to wire rack.
Eat immediately for optimum taste. FYI – these pretzels are only 60 calories each! So live a little – have 2….homemade pretzels are cheap!!!Check out my blog:

Earl Grey Syrup and Secret Garden Sour

Lately I have become infatuated with Earl Grey tea, I began drinking it and it inevitably has ended up in my cocktails. Indeed I have a number of Earl Grey infusions in my fridge at the moment. I wanted to share with you a simple to make Earl Grey syrup and a cocktail recipe to use it in.

Earl Grey Syrup

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon loose leaf or 1 tea bag Earl Grey


Place the  tea in the warm water and leave for an hour to steep. Keep in mind that if you decide to use loose leaf tea you will need a fine mesh strainer. Once steeped, put tea in a sauce pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, lower to a simmer, stir until sugar is dissolved. You can stop here, but if you like a thicker syrup as I do continue to stir it over a low-medium heat until it thickens to the right consistency. Once you are happy with the syrup take it off the heat and let it cool before removing the tea and transferring it into an airtight container. I found these awesome glass bottles at a dollar store and capped it with a bottle spout.


I like to use the syrup in cocktails of course but I also recommend trying it in lemonade or sparkling water for a refreshing treat.

Secret Garden Sour

  • 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Earl Grey Syrup
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 egg white (optional but it gives the drink it’s texture and the beautiful foam top)
  • Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
  • Lavender or other fresh herb for garnish

I love a good sour and this one plays refreshingly with gin’s herbal notes. I encourage you to make it with the egg white, but if you prefer it can be made without. I prepped my glass with ice to chill it, a coupe is lovely but a martini glass works as well. Add your gin, syrup, lemon, and egg to your cocktail shaker without ice. Shaking the ingredients without ice is called a “dry shake” and helps to break up and “beat” the egg white. Dry shake can take a lot of muscle but failing to do it well will give you weird glops of egg white in your cocktail. To help I’ll share a little trick I have, take the spring off of an extra Hawthorn strainer and put it in the shaker with the ingredients. The spring acts as a whisk as you shake. I also recommend wrapping a towel around the seal on your shaker as you dry shake to help catch anything that escapes. The seal does not keep as well when you don’t have ice in the tin.


After you’ve done the dry shake, open your tin, it should have a rich, white, frothy foam as my picture. Remove the spring and add your ice. Shake well, about 8 times, the tin should look frosty on the outside.


Dump the ice from your chilled cocktail glass and use the strainer you did not take apart (or you can quickly reconstruct the first one) and strain it into the glass. Finish with 3 drop of the lavender bitters and a sprig of lavender as garnish. To finish mine with a nice little pattern I dragged a toothpick through my bitters drops in a circular motion.

This cocktail may sound daunting but once you’ve mastered the dry shake it will be easy as pie! Try it out with pisco or vodka instead of gin for a slightly different flavor!

Asian Cabbage Salad – A Happy Surprise!

It’s mid-afternoon and I’m starting to get hungry. At first I thought I hadn’t eaten lunch…but I had. Sigh. So I’m looking around my fridge for something as low-cal as possible – as an actress, I have to keep my weight to what I say it is on my resume – not an easy task past 40.

And there it was: leftover Asian Cabbage Salad from last week! Bonus – it was still good!!! Now I can survive until dinner. It’s super fast to make, yummy, and gets you over that hunger hump.

ASIAN CABBAGE SALAD – makes a little over 4 cups
  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded (any kind of cabbage will do)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 8 oz can pineapple rings, drained & sliced
  • 2 T sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp dried ginger
  • 2½ T sesame oil
  • 2½ T rice vinegar
  • 3-4 T slivered almonds, toasted
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, scallions, pineapple, and sesame seeds.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, salt, ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Pour over cabbage mixture.
Toss in almonds at serving time.

LOW-CAL CHOCOLATE DELIGHTS – Swim Suit Season approved!

Hey, everyone, I’m  Bonnie, the new Girl in town.  I’m here to encourage & teach you how to make food FROM SCRATCH!  “Why bother?” you ask. Because you’ll save a ton of money AND eat healthier.  That’s why.

So Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Note to my kids: it’s THIS Sunday!). We moms love homemade gifts and we love chocolate. Do you see where I’m going?

I have a yummy chocolate cookie recipe that’s low-cal and easy.

Okay – deep breath.  You can do this!

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
Beat egg whites just until they become stiff (when the peak that forms when you lift up the spatula doesn’t collapse). With beaters going, add in sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whites will become glossy.
Scrap the batter clinging to the beaters into the bowl. Pour in the chocolate and vanilla, and gently fold everything together using a large spoon. It’s okay if it’s a little streaky – they look pretty that way.
Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

Spoon batter onto greased or nonstick cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes.Remove from oven and let cookies set 2 minutes on hot sheet before transferring them to a wire rack. Store in airtight container.

Girls on Food Chicken Adobo Tacos

Last weekend I had a Filipino potluck for the Mayweather/Paquiao fight. I was a little nervous about this theme, since I usually cook classic American dishes. I just wanted to make food as good as my Lola made when I was a kid. Dishes served included pork lumpia, ube rolls, lechon kawali (fried pork belly), turon and pancit. I also made Shoyu eggs as a topping for the pancit but had so many leftover I decided to make that an appetizer (recipe coming soon). The biggest hit was the Chicken Adobo Tacos. They came out perfectly moist, tangy and with a spicy kick that wasn’t overwhelming. I’m considering this to be my signature dish from now on but you guys can try it at home too.

Girls on Food Chicken Adobo Tacos
Serves approx. 12- 15


2  chicken legs (with bone)
4 chicken thighs (with bone)
4 chicken breasts (I used skinless/boneless but you can use with skin and bone)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
1 large white onion
1 whole garlic bulb
2 medium red bell peppers
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cup of Marca Pina soy sauce
1 1/2 cup Tropics Spiced vinegar (strained)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
6 – 8 bay leaves

4.5 inch corn tortillas

Topping options: 

Cojita cheese
Chopped onion
Chopped tomato
Black olives
Sliced Avocado
Sliced lime


The best way to cook this is with a 6 qt. Crock-Pot. Start by slicing white onions, bell peppers and mincing the garlic. Brown them with the chicken in a large stovetop pan with the coconut oil. After they are brown, place all items in the Crock-Pot. There will be a lot of flavor left on the pan, so add  1/2 cup of water to it and let it boil to create a bouillon broth. Add broth to Crock-Pot, then add soy sauce, vinegars, tomato paste and bay leaves. Let that cook for 3 hours.

After that cooks, remove the chicken and veggies from the pot with a slotted spoon. Place them in a large bowl. I shredded the chicken piece by piece with tongs into a glass baking pan.

Note: Remove bay leaves before shredding.

Make sure bones and knee joint is disposed. I like to leave the cooked skin in there for flavor. Then take out the veggies (dispose of the bay leaves) and add those to the shredded chicken mix. There is a lot of leftover juice in the Crock-Pot, so add it to taste.

Some guests didn’t need their corn tortillas heated, but it’s good to have a pan on the stove ready to go if they want it. Let the guests top their tacos and enjoy! I know it’s tough to find but if you really want to impress your guests, find bottled San Miguel beer.

RECIPE: Dad’s Cioppino

First, I should admit that I don’t exactly come from a family gifted in the ways of the culinary arts.
They did each have their strengths – grandpa could roast a chicken with the best of them; grandma spun peanut butter, honey and toast into magic; and mom knocked out some killer lunch box sandwiches with the pickles and tomatoes packed separately to keep the bread from getting soggy (genius) – but for the most part they didn’t stray very far from the staples.
So when my friend Liz’s mom served up incredible Salvadoran feasts and my friend Andrea’s table was perpetually filled with Swiss delights there was definitely some dinner envy going on. This all went away one day a year though, December 25th when dad made cioppino.No one really knows where the tradition came from and honestly, the man really has no business being this good at it. He’s not Italian and his culinary skills fall almost exclusively into the grilling category, with some spill over into smoked meats. This did not deter him, little does. He set out to own this glorious seafood stew and year after year he does just that.
So I’m happy to share with you the dish that always outshined the presents under my tree, except for maybe the year I got a BMX bike and the movie “Rad.” That year it was a tie…
DAD’S CHRISTMAS CIOPPINO2 whole crabs, cracked and cleaned
2 pounds salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 pounds mussels
2 pounds scallops
1 package brats or hot sausage, sliced
(3) 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
(2) 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 hot pepper
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup minced garlic
3 medium onions, diced
1 small package baby carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian herbs
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
4 broken bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
Scrub mussels, let soak in cold water until ready to use.
Sauté onions, parsley, carrots, hot pepper and garlic in olive oil over low heat in a 12-quart pot.
Add salmon and tomatoes to the pot. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
Add vermouth, chicken broth and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring often.
Add brats, salt, pepper and remaining spices. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Add mussels, scallops, crab, and shrimp. Stir often and cook approximately 10 more minutes until the seafood is done.

Add the butter and enjoy with crusty sourdough bread.
The recipe is based on one from Corti Brothers but he makes changes to it every year so feel free to improvise!If you have a favorite family recipe you’d like to share please reach out to us on Facebook: We’d love to hear about the best (and worst) dishes your family undoubtedly served up with love!

Facebook Friday: Tabitha Bastien’s Ice Cream Cone Vegan Cupcake & Vegan Frosting Recipe

You ever see pictures of amazing looking food on Facebook but don’t see a recipe? I’m taking it upon myself at Girls on Food to start asking for the actual recipes so we can all recreate them. This week’s  image and recipe comes from Seattle actress/musician Tabitha Bastien. Tabitha and I both appear in the indie horror film “The Anniversary” (which you can read about and watch the trailer here:

Although we shot separate scenes, we became social media pals through promoting the film. In addition to performing, Tabitha is very passionate Vegan and Animal Rights Activist. When I saw these adorable ice cream cone cupcakes on her Facebook page, I had to get the recipe from her. Although I love my meat and dairy, I also love my veggies and trying out different Vegan recipes. I don’t know if I could permanently make the transition right now, but after seeing I could still enjoy a creamy, chocolaty dessert… it could happen.

Ice Cream Cone Vegan Cupcake Recipe:
For my fun Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, I started with the basic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe from the book “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” as the base of the cake and they turned out delicious!
•Ice Cream Cones (box of 12 flat bottom cones)
•1 cup soy milk
•1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
•3/4 cup granulated sugar
•1/3 cup canola oil
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
•3/4 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•Vegan Frosting (See below – Pillsbury has many frostings that happen to be vegan if you don’t want to make from scratch)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with aluminum foil.
2. Poke holes in aluminum foil and place flat-bottom cones in holes to prevent tipping while baking.
3. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
4. Pour into cones, filling 3/4 of the way. They will rise quite a bit. Bake about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. Makes about a dozen.
Basic Buttercream Vegan Frosting Recipe from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine (Earth Balance is a great brand)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.


To learn more about Tabitha, check out her website:

Friendly Friday: Briana Rawleigh’s Cheesy Mushroom Pull Apart Bread

What’s up Foodies,
We love it when readers submit recipes for the site whether it’s from our Facebook page ( or our Twitter ( Today’s comes from Briana Rawleigh who resides in Sacramento, CA.

I wanted to post this one because it’s Friday, and Fridays should be all about fun finger foods you can share with your friends and co-workers. Also, any recipe with lots of butter and mushrooms deserves a serious shout-out. Enjoy!


*For the mushrooms:
12 oz sliced mushrooms or 1 8oz can of mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp thyme
Drain water from the mushroom can, take a towel to dry them, put mushrooms in a bowl and set aside. Heat a medium skillet on medium. Add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Cook 4-5 minutes until they start to sweat. Add the thyme and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.Set mushrooms aside and allow to cool.

*For the bread:
1 unsliced “loaf” or “round” sourdough bread
12 ounces Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
1-2 Tbsp of “crushed” or “minced” garlic (depending on your tolerance)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving. Place loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.Insert cheese slices between cuts. Pour the mushrooms between the cuts and use your fingers to push the mushrooms down into the loaf. Combine butter and onion and drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Unwrap the bread and bake another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

RECIPE: Texas-Style Kolaches

As promised…

I found a recipe that almost matches up to the delicious
kolaches I enjoyed nearly every day I spent in Austin. The dough didn’t turn out as soft
and delicious as I remember but this very well could have been my fault. I’m
more of a cake/cookie/brownie/tart baker than a dough girl. I leave most of that to my bread maker. Still, I count this as a success because they did turn
out very tasty!
Homemade Kolaches:
Ham w/Jarlsberg, Sausage w/Jalapenos & Cheddar
Texas-Style Savory Kolaches 
Recipe (Adapted) from Confections of a Foodie Bride


(Yields 12-15)
for the dough:
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warmed to 110-115F
1 cup milk, warmed to 110-115F
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled to warm
2 large eggs
5/8 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups flour
The best part about these is the filling and the options are endless! I went with two favorites from Austin: ham w/jarlsberg, sausage w/jalapenos and cheese.
1. Pour warm water and yeast into bowl of an electric mixer. Let proof 5 minutes until foamy.
2. With mixer on low add milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar and salt until combined.
3. Add flour, half at a time, mixing until just combined.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature until dough has doubled, 1-2 hours.
5. Punch the dough down, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.
6. Divide dough into 12-15 balls, setting on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and leave out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
7. Flatten each ball, adding filling to the top then fold the dough around the filling. Set back on the parchment seam-side down. Cover, then preheat the oven to 375.
8. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375, until browned. (My two batches were ready between 15 and 20 minutes. This is likely because I stuffed them very full, so much so that the cheese oozed out of a few. Keep an eye on them from the 15 minute mark on.) 
9. Enjoy!


Yuppie Moonshine Diary: Chapter 2 (The Chocolate Experiments)

Three more concoctions were sealed up in jars yesterday. Some girls have a closet full of shoes, some have a closet full of booze…

My first recipe called for a whole coconut. I had never cracked a coconut before. This did not go well. I’m positive this is NOT how it should look when you “tap it with a hammer along the equator and pry it apart with your hands.” (Sounds simple, right?) This is the result of whacking away at it with a hammer (both sides of the hammer!) like a mad woman and then struggling to pry it open further and failing. I don’t even want to admit the amount of time it took me to get this little coconut into pieces in a jar. (Hour and a half, maybe two. Yikes!)


750 mL vodka
1 whole coconut
1 cup cacao nibs

The inspiration for this one is Zico’s Dark Chocolate Coconut Water. I crave that stuff day and night, it’s a little ridiculous.

The plan for this is to let it steep for 8 days. Then, I’ll make a simple syrup with vanilla and add it to taste. Excited for this one!


750 mL vodka
6 tbspn chai tea
1 cup cacao nibs
2 cinnamon sticks

I realized I made a mistake right after I poured the vodka into this jar. Tea isn’t supposed to steep for very long but the cinnamon and cocoa nibs need more time. So, after a day I strained the mixture through a coffee filter and added new cinnamon and nibs.

In a week I’m going to split it up and try a few different creme liqueur versions – testing out heavy cream/milk with simple syrup, sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche to see which works best.


375 mL silver tequila
2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 jalapeno

This one gets a lot of funny faces. It’s admittedly a little strange but I have high hopes for it. I got the idea when I discovered Tanteo’s “Cocoa” tequila. I’ve never tried it but it gave me hope that it could be great! They also have a “Jalapeno” flavor… so I added that too. I may have gone too far with that part. We’ll see. If all goes as planned this will make a legendary Mexican Coffee Cocktail.

With these, I now have five spirits in the holding chamber (my closet). A little more time, some final tweaks and I’ll deliver the (hopefully good) results along with some fantastic food and drink recipes for them!

Yuppie Moonshine Diary: Chapter 1 (Ginger Brandy + Vanilla Fig Bourbon)

My new obsession = Homemade Liqueurs & Alcohol Infusions
This is the result of a recent fascination with Discovery’s
“Moonshiners” + the discovery of some fabulous homemade liqueur recipes on
Pinterest. I’ve made Limoncello a couple times for Christmas gifts with much
success for very little effort so I’m back at it and upping my game.
4 oz. ginger, sliced thin + vanilla bean, split
add to 3 cups water, 2 cups sugar. boil then simmer, 20 min.
zest 2 oranges, add to sealable glass container
once cool, add ginger syrup to zest
add 3 cups brandy (I added 4, we’ll see how that goes), seal and shake.
place in a cool, dark spot.
still to do: 
remove vanilla bean on day 2
strain mixture through a coffee filter on day 3
taste on day 4!
1 pound fresh figs
750mL bottle bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split
figs are out of season so I’m trying dried, stems removed. we’ll see.
pour bourbon over figs and vanilla bean, seal.
place in a cool, dark spot.
still to do: 
check to see if it smells like figs on day 14. if it doesn’t, check again on day 21.
when it smells like figs, strain it through a small sieve and enjoy!
I’ll report back about how these concoctions turn out and share my favorite recipes to use them in. In the meantime, check out our Pinterest page for more liqueur & infusion inspiration!

What’s Better Than Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies stuffed with candy!

Traditionalists may disagree, but these are definitely a fun twist on an already amazing cookie. I got the idea from Pinterest; a blogger posted a fantastic recipe for Giant S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. I decided to experiment with Rolos, Reese’s and my own S’mores version…

Cookie Dough
Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Candy Filled
The Rolo Results


For the cookie dough, I just go with the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips, adding a little more vanilla and chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips for these. My best advice is to use parchment paper instead of just the ungreased baking pan most recipes recommend. Your cookies will look better because they will slide right off the parchment and if you’re a messy baker like me you’ll be happy you don’t have to scrub the pans!
S'mores Cookie Dough
S’mores Cookie Dough
The final product