Please note: This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions, images and content are my own.
This month’s progress on my “be a better baker challenge” in collaboration with my friends at Chase Freedom Unlimited is starting to take an autumnal spin! I shared in my last post in this series that one of my biggest takeaways on this goal journey is finding the motivation and inspiration to just bake. I tried to be more purposeful this month about seeking inspiration in new places to get that motivational charge. Instead of pouring over blogs and Pinterest to look for my next baking challenge, I decided to hit the streets and do some browsing in person. My first stop was the specialty kitchenware stores I love to browse; taking in some of the gorgeous baking molds, fresh silpat mats, and shiny new whisks and spatulas. I always feel inspired at the bookstore and after flipping through a few cookbooks, my eye caught some really beautiful seasonal baking magazines. I scooped a few up with my Chase Freedom Unlimited card (which allows me to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, so I’m always earning!), and flipped through them looking for baking ideas. One of the magazines was fall-focused and had tons of ideas for apple and pumpkin-themed desserts, as well as a baked treat that I always love: soft pretzels. A light bulb went off — I must have dozens of soft pretzel recipes saved on my Pinterest page that I always dream about eating but never jumped on making. It was the perfect inspiration for my next bake!I used a Half Baked Harvest recipe for a soft pretzel made with beer, and it came out really well. The recipe was easy to follow, and I felt far more confident in using yeast and letting the dough rise after my previous bread baking experiments. The hardest part was shaping the pretzels, but even the ones that came out a little wonky still tasted delicious (especially dipped in pub cheese — I have a great recipe for homemade pub cheese in my cookbook!).To finish the pretzels off, I used some delicious coarse pretzel salt that I ordered online with my Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I’m always earning with my cash back credit card, which helps me get the right tools now for this baking challenge, but long term just might help me with something that will bring even more inspiration to my baking goals. I’m saving up all of my credit card rewards for some travel plans in the spring — I know that I always find my best inspiration for new recipes and blog content after a fresh perspective, and nothing provides that like travel!