Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

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Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

Why are soft, salty homemade soft pretzels so dang good? Picture a golden chewy pretzel dotted with coarse grains of salt and…wait for it…stuffed with melty cheese! Bam!

Pretzels are going to take over the world. Or my blog. Probably both. We love our soft pretzels with cheese sauce, but I started thinking what if I put cheese on the inside? Nailed it! So good! For our sweet tooth people, we have our cinnamon roll pretzel bites that are heavenly and I just can’t stop thinking about variations of soft pretzels!

a photo of a golden baked soft pretzel topped with sprinkled course salt with cheese oozing out of the sides sitting on white parchment paper.

 

These cheese stuffed pretzels blow Annie’s in the mall out of the park. Dude, do not tell me you don’t secretly love those hot, salty, bready pieces of deliciousness dipped in oh, so very fake cheese. Gosh, I can taste it sitting here!!! Sometimes you just need one of those to get you through the shopping!

But these homemade pretzels are so much better! The outside is all chewy and salty and wonderful, and the inside is like pure squishy, soft flipping perfection, but then, oh my gosh, then you hit the cheese. It’s blasted wonderful! It’s so melty! And, and, it’s not fake cheese! It’s the real deal!!!! And when you tear a piece off, it like stretches with the bread like an awesome piece of pizza. HECK YES!

a photo of several golden baked soft pretzels that are stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with salt.Read more

The Little Things Newsletter #348 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We had a crazy storm here this week and one of our biggest trees came down. Fortunately, no one and nothing else was harmed, just a brief power loss. Super fun times over here. So, my guys have spent today starting to break it down for firewood. The boys are learning all kinds of nifty new things this week.

ON THE BLOG this week: This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry is a skillet full of sautéed shrimp tossed in a spicy barbecue sauce with sweet chunks of pineapple and red peppers. This quick and easy meal earns two thumbs up from my whole family every time I make it.

Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.

Would you believe that cauliflower can be air fried to crispy perfection with a simple package of frozen cauliflower? I’m here to tell you that this garlic paprika air fryer frozen cauliflower is absolutely delicious. All it takes is ten minutes and a few simple seasonings.

Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I’ve ever tasted.

Cheesy, saucy, pizza quesadillas are as flavorful as you imagine they might be. They’re a messy, super fun, lightning-fast way to satisfy your next pizza craving.

Carrot Cake Pancakes topped with Maple Cream Cheese Syrup, just the name is enough to make me grin. This was a real breakfast treat.

Juicy fresh pears are topped with a generous cinnamon sugar crust to make this cinnamon spice pear cobbler. This unforgettable cobbler manages to be both buttery and flaky while never becoming soggy, even after a day or two in the refrigerator.

What I’m CRAVING: Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake is what chocolate lover’s dreams are made of, my friends. My friend Sue shared the recipe and it’s been in my thoughts all week. It’s definitely time for me to do some baking.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this tiny keychain jewelry holder. It’s very small, and clips to your keychain, bag, or water bottle for the gym. It easily holds a few rings and I love how secure i

Seasonal friendships: how to find closure when companionship comes to an end

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Is it OK for BFFs to not actually last forever?

Seasonal friendships: how to find closure when companionship comes to an end

There’s a saying about friendships that goes something like this: ‘We have three types of friends: friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime.’ Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about these sorts of things, but clearly, the sentiment resonates. So let’s talk about it. Specifically, let’s talk about perhaps the trickiest one: friends for a season. The idea behind this is that some friends are right for a period of our life. Maybe it’s for months, maybe years, but there’s a beginning and an end to the relationship.

And, apparently, it’s not an uncommon experience. According to a UK poll by Disney, the average friendship lasts for 17 years. Another study from researchers from Aalto University in Finland, and the University of Oxford, took a look at the ways that friendships evolve throughout our lives. In order to do so, they reviewed data from three million phone users to identify the frequency and patterns of who they were contacting, and when, as well as overall activity within their networks. What they found was that men and women tended to make more friends – being ‘socially promiscuous’ – up until the age of 25. After that, the researchers saw a drop in the number of friends people had.

Many of us will go through life entering different eras – school, work, university, moving away, starting a family, changing jobs, picking up new interests – we evolve with time, and sometimes the friendships that were so valuable to us are not, or cannot be, fulfilling. Sometimes they end with a confrontation, sometimes they just quietly fade away. Either way, the end of a friendship isn’t something we’re overly accustomed to, making them difficult to deal with. But we have some advice to help you navigate these times.

Is there a right way to end a friendship?

Yes, and also no. If a friendship just fizzles out over time, with no ill-wishes, perhaps simply because you’ve become different people with different priorities, and there are no burning questions or unfulfilled needs from either party, then there’s not necessarily anything wrong with just letting it be.

But when it comes to ending a friendship that has turned sour – perhaps because they overstep your new boundaries, or a change in priorities or lifestyle has caused disagreements – you may need to take a more direct approach.

The same rules for confrontation that apply to romantic relationships work here. Try to approach the person when you are not at the height of your emotions, so you can remain calm. Use ‘I’ statements to express how you feel – for example, ‘I feel like my boundaries are not being respected,’ rather than ‘You always cross the line.’ You can go into detail if you need to, and be willing to answer questions if you can. But if the conversation turns hostile or aggressive, know that you’re under no obligation to remain in it. And then, like with a romantic relationship, make it clear what you want to do next, for example: ‘I think it would be best if we didn’t see each other anymore.’

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Friday Faves

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Hello hello! Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? It’s a frozen tundra here in Tucson – 30 degrees. My Arizona soul is suffering – and I’m thinking of living in my sauna blanket at least once a day. Other than that, P has a soccer game, we have a dinner party with friends on Sat (my fave), and I’m looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday.  I hope you have a fun and wonderful weekend ahead!

Something I wanted to include from last week: a class at DEFINE in San Diego! My friend Carina started DEFINE and is an incredible instructor – we used to teach barre together when I lived in San Diego and I always loved taking her classes.

If you haven’t take a Lagree class, you’re in for a treat 😉 It’s SO challenging and totally different than traditional reformer Pilates. I used to take Lagree classes in San Diego but we don’t have a local studio… I wish we did! It was so amazing to see her, check out the gorgeous studio, and take her class. If you’re in the SD area, definitely check it out!

(with Betsy and Carina!)

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

LOVED this Sakara podcast episode with one of my favorite IG follows, Dr. Connealy.

Can’t wait to see A Man Called Otto (and read the book years ago). Has anyone seen it??

This was heart wrenching yet beautiful to read.

Health, fitness, and good eats:

EquiLife detox starts on Monday, and I’m spending some time this weekend brainstorming recipes and prepping for days 3-7. You can still follow along at your own pace if you want to try it out. My link and the code FITNESSISTA20 get you 20% off your first one. I’m definitely looking forward to amazing sleep and a nutritional reset. If you decide to join in, we’re going to be sharing our experiences over on my Facebook wellness page! Join here if you’d like another spot to connect. I plan to post many more videos and hot topics in 2023.

 Love your booty workout

Ways to boost your metabolism after 40

Another reason to potentially add yoga into your routine!

Fashion + beauty:

Be

6 sleep sounds to listen to tonight

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From white noise to music and meditations, we’re rounding up six sleep tracks to help you drift off tonight

6 sleep sounds to listen to tonight

The idea of playing some kind of sound to help you fall asleep may feel very 2023. But, when you think about it, drifting off to soothing sounds isn’t entirely new. Humans have been singing lullabies for millennia, and there’s something about repetitive, gentle sounds that really help us to switch off.

For some people, playing sounds as they fall asleep helps them to focus on something other than anxious thoughts, or worries about what the next day might bring them. For others, the sounds can help combat the distractions that come with living in built-up areas. But, whatever the reason behind it might be, the genre is booming right now.

Interested in trying something new tonight? We’ve brought together six sleep sounds to help you find your perfect bedmate.

White noise

White noise is a sound that contains all the frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound. It sounds a bit like the static you might hear on an untuned TV or radio. There have been several studies into what makes this seemingly uninspiring sound so soothing for some people. The results have been mixed – it works for some, and not for others – but when it does work, it has been found to be very effective, with one study from The National Center for Biotechnology finding that adults fell asleep 38% faster while listening to white noise.


Classical music

Studies have shown that music that has 60 beats per minute, about that of a resting heart rate, is shown to have a soothing effect on our minds. Now, technically that opens the door to music across the genres, but the thing about classical music is that it doesn’t contain distracting lyrics, and depends much more on movement and melody – elements that enhance relaxation.


Guided sleep meditation

Meditation is a fantastic tool for relaxation and wellbeing, and it’s a growing area of content, which means that you can find plenty of guided meditations designed specifically to help you fall into a deep and restful sleep. This example, from Jason Stephenson, will help you to slow down your breathing, let go of stress, and find a sense of serenity. Plus, the addition of the rainforest sounds adds another dimension to the relaxing soundscape.


Sound baths

Sound, or gong, baths have been used for healing since ancient times, with some records suggesting they go back as far as 16,000 B.C. One study, from 2017, found evidence to sugges

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