22 December 2010

The Final Recipe: Homemade Glazed Doughnuts!

The last recipe of the FFF Challenge has been made. Wow! These are a keeper:


While time-intensive and slightly overwhelming at times, these Homemade Doughnuts are super-delicious. I learned several things in the process.

One, have more time on hand than you think you might need. While I don't encourage immediate disregard and thoughts of "That will never happen", I do encourage you to set aside about 6 hours total. Looking back, I did not have that much time and I sure could have used it!

Two, buy a doughnut cutter. While my creativeness essentially worked - a round sandwich cutter and a shot glass - it worked less than beautifully. The doughnuts looked like thick onion rings! But, no matter: they tasted delicious :)

Three, I'm going to agree with my sister's sentiment (http://shortcakessweettooth.blogspot.com/2010/12/fff-final-recipe-homemade-glazed.html) and heartily encourage you to employ your husband - or friend, or child, or pet - to help. It's well worth it in the end. ***Thank you, Sweetheart!***

Four, I would change the way I made the glaze. I stuck to just a plain ole powdered sugar glaze; my instinct was to add peppermint extract but knowing I was taking them to church for hospitality the next day, I refrained fearing some would not like that flavor. Next time: I'm doin' it! Maybe it's being used to my Mom's glazes like maple and chocolate but the plain glaze just didn't cut it for me.

Five, the fact that they are FRIED in OIL is a good thing. Yes, you heard me: a good thing. I read in "Food Rules" (by Michael Pollan) a couple months ago that the best way to limit your fried food intake was to make it yourself. It is time-consuming, messy, and intense with the end result being you won't do it very often. It's a natural inhibitor!

He's completely correct.

But: I will make these again. Just not before Christmas ;)

15 December 2010

I love December!

It happens every year.

The calendar turns to December 1st and wah-lah! -- the chaos ensues. Parties for work; parties for church; parties for friends of friends; parties for parties' sake. Not that I'm complaining - I could exist on appetizers for the rest of my life!

Week 13 of our FFF brought along my first Holiday party hosting event of the season. Three of my closest friends from college and I always find a way to share time and space together around the Christmas season; this was our 11th year! I tried out two new recipes for the brunch - Sage Turkey Sausage Patties and Pumpkin Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Butter. The turkey sausage was pretty good; I'm not a huge fan of ground turkey but there were enough spices in the recipe to bring it up to a 'good' level. The bread was also 'good'. The kicker was the Dark Chocolate Butter! -- total yummy goodness! There was a little extra left over after the bread was gone; let's just say I can confirm that it tastes delicious on a slice of fresh pear ...

(Both of those recipes were from magazines; if you're interested in the recipe, just let me know and I'll post them for you!)

For Week 14, my sister chose "Make-Ahead Muffin Melts" from The Pioneer Woman. (Can you tell we love Ree in most every way?!)


I have to admit that just in perusing the recipe, I wasn't super-thrilled or excited.

Boy, was I WRONG.

These little babies are de-lish! I made them ahead of time, just like it not-so-subtly suggests. We had a family day trip planned for last Sunday so it was the perfect time to have a ready-made breakfast on hand. They took about 5 minutes to put on the English Muffins, about 10 minutes to bake, and about 5.7 seconds post-first bite to know that we'll be making these many times over! Adults and children alike agreed that they were a keeper. Go ahead - try them out this weekend and let me know what you think :)

Coming up next: Homemade Glazed Doughnuts. I better put in a good run this weekend!

02 December 2010

Oh. My. Dreamy. Apple. Pie.

Week 11: I'm truly sorry. You were filled with the yummy delicious goodness known as Caramel Apple Rolls. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/08/caramel-apple-sticky-buns/ You were truly amazing and captivating.

But ...

You were quickly followed by the deceptively simple yet devilishly delicious "Dreamy Apple Pie". http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/11/dreamy-apple-pie/

Now you must know; going into this, I was thinking: "Of all things, an apple pie is going to blow my mind?! I mean, really - apple pie?". I've never loved apple pie. Even when my mother made apple pie (and I'll just have you know that everything she makes is heaven on your tongue), I was never lusting for more.

True story: I made two - yes, count them: TWO - of these babies within three days of one another.

I'm pretty sure my husband would snuggle with one of these. And the hard sauce: well, that's most definitely the icing you always wanted. This pie is truly a breeze to make; no crazy ingredients - the only part that takes a little finessing is the pie crust. I encourage you: be brave and try your own. Don't wimp out and grab one from the store. Click the link, make the crust; freeze it like it says and then imagine yourself Van Gogh as you start. The kitchen counter is your canvas; the pie crust, your paint; and the rolling pin, your brush! It will take time and maneuvering and piecing it all together. But you will succeed in developing a work of art filled with the most gorgeous center of apple filling you can imagine.

Key step: bake the pie slow. I baked it for 55 mins at 350*, removed the foil, and baked for 20 more mins. It turned out, as you already know, d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

Dreamy Apple Pie, I will return to you again and again. In fact, you are my one and only. My apple pie recipe for all time. Or at least until Ree comes up with something even more scrumptious.

To baking: filled with the most delicious joy you can dream!