With this simple recipe from NPR, you can make your own pretzels.

— 4 teaspoons active dry yeast

— 3/4 cup sugar

— 5 cups flour

— 1½ teaspoons salt

— 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

— ½ cup baking soda

— ¼ cup kosher salt

Stir yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add oil and yeast mixture and knead into a dough. Cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease two baking sheets. Dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water in a large bowl. Divide dough into 12 pieces, roll each into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake until browned.


How to make a tater tot hotdish

In most parts of the country, people refer to a large, deep dish of various foods tossed together as a casserole. In the Upper Midwest, however, particularly in Minnesota, a casserole is more commonly called a hotdish, according to the Star Tribune. The most famous hotdish is known as tater tot hotdish. Here’s the recipe:

— 1 pound ground beef

— 1 bag tater tots

— 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

— 1 can green beans, drained

— 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef, drain and mix it with the soup, green beans, salt and pepper. Add mixture to deep-dish pan. Place tater tots on the mixture, top with cheddar cheese. Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes.


3 power snacks kids will love

Whether your kids are adjusting to the new school year or you just want them to eat a healthier diet, it can be hard to plan out nutritious snacks and lunches for your kids. To help, here are three power foods you can prepare in separate bags ahead of time so your kids can eat better.

Baby carrots and snap peas. High in vitamin C, snap peas are a perfect complement to carrots, says Healthy Eating.

Almonds. Avoid trail mix-filled pieces of candy. Almonds are highly nutritious and keep you full for longer.

Cheese. Because it’s high in protein, cheese is great at staving off hunger and makes for a perfect after-school snack. Plus, kids love cheese.


5 ways to make ramen amazing

Ramen has become something of an infamous food. Cheap, loaded with sodium and minimally nutritious, it’s something that is usually associated with college students or bachelors who haven’t figured out how to cook, says National Geographic. But with a few simple ingredients you probably have lying around the house, you can turn a tired bowl of ramen into a delicious meal. Here are five ideas:

— Crack an egg into the boiling water for a soft-boiled addition

— Instead of using the flavor packet, use miso soup base

— Add a smear of peanut butter

— Add beef, chicken, bacon or any variety of protein

— Add some frozen vegetables, peas, corn, carrots, or a mixed variety for added nutrition

— Brandpoint