Real Life Cooking Mama: Share Your Cooking Projects


If it is a baking competition, I have zero interest in taking part. If it’s about cooking a meal, I’ll be the first involved.

Forget what it tastes like. If it’s a good meal, we’ll just assume the taste is good. Be honest about that. We should judge inventiveness, technical execution, and presentation. It’s about showing off skills and ideas, not taste.


Idea: you need to create a regional dish and have your friends tell you if it is good or not. The twist, you need to be given said dish from a foriegn region.


I tried making no-churn ice cream. I can’t believe how easy it is! Here is what’s left of my batch. (The flavor is cherry walnut.)

Whisk 16 oz. (2 cups) of whipping cream with an electric mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine 14 oz. of sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons (10mL) vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk that as well.

Fold half the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture, then fold that mixture back into the remaining whipped cream. Feel free to add in whatever flavors you want. Pour into a bread pan and put in the freezer for 5 hours.



I kept shit talking about how I would make bagels. Not only would I make bagels, but i would do an experiment where I make some with New York City tap water and some with bottled water from the grocery store. Obviously all would be made using the correct NY method of boiling with malt syrup and such.

Well, this weekend I’m going to do it for reals. Not the full experiment, just baking some bagels. I have to perfect my bagel making skills first so that I am very consistent between the two batches when I experiment for reals.


The bagels are proofing overnight in the fridge. No shit talk. Tomorrow boil and bake.


Fish and Chips with sous vide french fries. AMAZING


Here is the dough all shaped into bagel shapes.

Here are the completed bagels.

Here is the inside of a bagel.

The bagels had a bit of yeasty smell when I first cut them open, but it doesn’t come through in the flavor. I think this is a result of the red SAF yeast I use for all my bread baking. I wonder if there is a different/better yeast for bagels. Still, they taste like bagels. They don’t taste incredible like the best bagels, but they definitely taste way better than steamed bagels. The boiling works.

Things I learned.

  • Make the holes bigger. They close up real tight if they aren’t big enough to begin with.
  • Bake longer. Some were nice and brown, others kinda pale.
  • To make an onion bagel you need dehydrated onion bits. Rubbing an onion on a cheese grater doesn’t work.
  • Malt syrup is a pain in the ass. I’m actually surprised I made so little mess while dealing with it. It comes in a tub, but it should come in a bottle like maple syrup. I wonder if I can transfer it. Imagine trying to put maple syrup on pancakes, but the syrup comes in a small bucket.
  • Corn meal is the best for the bottoms, but it is hard to evenly distribute it on a sheet pan.
  • Time proofing in the fridge doesn’t matter so much when your fridge is so cold like mine. No need to wake up early.
  • A spiral dough hook is better than a C-shaped dough hook. My mixer isn’t pro enough, so it can’t handle a spiral hook. They don’t make a spiral hook that fits it. The C hook still worked, it was just not the greatest experience. The dough kept crawling up out of the bowl.
  • My 5 quart cast iron is good for boiling in. I might need some sort of skimmer/filter though, since a bunch of bits floated to the top when the syrup water was boiling. They may be leftover bits of bread from previous baking. Might not happen on the next boil.
  • I am researching actually using toppings for the next time. I learned there are both hulled and unhulled sesame seeds. But which ones are the right ones for bagels?
  • I thought I would have to combine stuff to make everything bagels, but they sell pre-mixed everything bagel seasoning.
  • The main problem with the experiment I want to do is that I don’t know if I can fit two trays of bagels in my fridge at once.
  • Apparently the way to get the best bagel is to use lye instead of malt syrup. Fuck that, lye is scary and syrup was just fine. The surface of the bagels was so nice and shiny and bagely.


This is the recipe I use when I make bagels.


There is a problem I see with that recipe already. WTF are they doing with that sugar? Get that shit the fuck out of here. Also, the bagels are too small. 65g is like 2 oz. I made 4 oz bagels.

Also, the method of hand rolling in that video is offensive.

I used the recipe from this book as it was closest to what I see in this other video that is much better.


I’ve made lye soap. Lye is not really scary. If you buy the crystals and mix with water in the proper ratios it’s probably a lot cleaner and clearer than what I did which still produced perfectly fine bars of soap.


This guy didn’t accidentally poison anyone or hurt himself, but that doesn’t guarantee anything for me.

Also, I don’t see those old school Brooklyn bakers using any lye, or even baking soda, so I’m not going to either. I get the feeling that some hipsters have taken the bagel formula a bit away from the true NY style.


Why not just like… ask one of those old school Brooklyn bakers?


Pretty sure they dead.


Is there not a single bakery in Brooklyn that’s got delicious bagels you can’t ask, “do you use lye, malt syrup or something else?” to?

(embedded questions are weird)


They’re not like the one in the video. Not anymore. Also, they aren’t likely to just give away their recipe if they are actually making good bagels.

Also, the recipe for making thousands of bagels a day is not the same recipe you use for making bagels at home. The difference in scale just makes a lot of things infeasible or difficult. I already have trouble since my mixer isn’t big enough and can’t run a spiral hook.


Point taken, though it’s not like you’re asking for the whole recipe, just one piece. The other bit though, yeah scale stuff is different than recipes that produce 8.


If you wanna short-cut the lye step, just use baking soda. This step works for Pretzels and Noodle making, it should work for bagels.


I may experiment with the baking soda, since many others use it. It won’t hurt to try it once just to see what difference it makes. I just don’t think it’s actually necessary. I’m making bagels, not pretzels.


I’m also curious about the malt sugar you’ve used. If it’s anything like Dry Malt Extract or Liquid Malt Extract used in home-brewing, then it’s super sensitive to temperature. Malt Syrup specifically is very viscous and required adding hot water to the container if you really want to get every last drop.