Thursday, November 3, 2011

Impish Strategy of a Baby

Or what to do when caught in current favorite past-time
Give cute, cheesy smile when discovered 
Make innocent expression with soft brown eyes 
 play peek-a-boo with Pop-Pop to melt hearts
Explain the situation in sweet baby talk
 Give purpose to the misbehavior
Illustrate the fun of playing in water
do this dozens of times each day
Cambrie ~ age 22 months

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baked Donuts

Each trip to the craft store found me looking at an interesting pan designed for making perfectly shaped baked doughnuts.  Not wanting to purchase a pan that I  might not use very often, I usually slid it back onto the shelf.
Finally, I could resist no longer, so with my 40% off coupon we headed home to try a couple of recipes.
~*~
This recipe makes 12 doughnuts. The pan has 6 cavities so after baking the first batch, I cooled, washed and resprayed before baking the second batch.

Baked Cake Doughnuts  
recipe found on Wilton Doughnut Pan package 
makes 12 regular-sized doughnuts                                                                  
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Preparation:
1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Spray the 6-cavity donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and butter and beat until just combined.  Fill each donut cup until about 2/3 full.
3.  Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.  Cool in pan for about 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.  Complete donuts with either a dusting of powdered sugar, glaze, or cinnamon-sugar topping.  Best served fresh on the same day.
Cinnamon Sugar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter, melted

In a shallow bowl or plate, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.  Dip the baked doughnut in melted butter (I used a pastry brush to apply the butter so I could get a lighter coverage) and roll in the mixture to coat.

Chocolate Glaze (John's Favorite)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbs. melted butter
1 Tbs. corn syrup
1 tsp, hot water

In medium bowl, microwave chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup on 50% power for 1 minute, stirring frequently until completely melted.  Stir in1 tsp. hot water, until the glaze is thick and smooth.  Add another tsp. hot water if the glaze is too thick.  Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.

Confectioners' Sugar Doughnuts
Put 2/3 cup of confectioners' Sugar in a resealable plastic bag.  Add a doughnut, close the bag, and shake to coat.  Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

My personal favorite way to eat doughnuts...
Slice plain, cinnamon or confectioners sugar doughnut in half.  Lightly butter and toast until golden brown.  Top with cinnamon sugar. I especially love the slightly crispy edges!
~*~
You may also be interested in my Baked Cider Doughnuts.
NOTES:  Baked doughnuts are not like traditional doughnuts that you would get from your favorite bakery.  These are not like the light, cruller kind made with yeast.  I prefer a cake-like doughnut and these are similar to that type.  We really liked the Wilton recipe and though I don't know the calories, I think they must be a little less unhealthy than fried doughnuts. 

Sharing this recipe @Blue Cricket Designs

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Having Fun

Cambrie Noelle
Keri Caleb Silas and Noah
Jamie and Cambrie
Raider wearing his mean face even at Jamies
Noah and Mom-Mom trying to be serious until Mom-Mom's mustache kept falling off
 
And, the sweetest of all!
Keri and Annika
Remember my birthday friend from my last post...
She is Anni's Grammy!
Three generations of friends.
I'd say that is pretty special.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday Lunch with Dear Friends


 Getting together with the dearest of friends is always
a blessing and a delight.
Celebrating birthdays with these precious ladies makes each
added year much easier to accept.
Part of the autumn themed menu included this Ina Garten recipe using butternut squash tossed with a warmed cider/mustard vinaigrette.  
We also enjoyed an artisan bread dipped in olive oil that one friend brought back from a recent trip to Italy.
Served with French Onion Soup (recipe to follow soon), Grilled Chicken and Ina's Easy Parmesan Risotto then a fabulous Pecan Pie that our sweet Sandy made.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Ina Garten recipe
Ingredients

1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry (or greens or your choice)
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

I couldn't ask for a more loving and thoughtful group of friends, including the Birthday Girl (top left). 
And always present in our conversations and hearts is our precious friend in TX!
She is never further than a warm thought away!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Unwelcoming Welcome

Raider
Our Resident Sentry
who
Aggravates Aliens
Balks at Bats
Cringes at Costumes
Decries devils
Flinches at Frankensteins
Guards against Ghouls
Hater of Hobgoblins
Intolerable of Icabods
Jittered by Jack O'Lanterns
Keeps out Kooks
Leers at Lanterns
Meanie to Mummies
Nabber of Ninjas
Obstruct-er of  Ogres
 Protector from Pranksters
Quieter of Quacks
Repulsed by Rats
Securer from spooks
Terrorizer to Trolls
Unnerving toward Uglies
Vex-er to Vampires
Watcher of Werewolves
eXterminator of X-Men
Yipper at Yedi
Zapper of Zombies
Did you guess that Raider does NOT enjoy Halloween?
He would much rather be perched on a comfy chair undisturbed.
~*~
Also, remembering my dad who loved Halloween
mostly because it was his birthday.
Daddy with our old dog, Scotty, a ninety-pound sweetheart.
~*~
These two cuties had just had a Birthday Party.
Brenna was 7 yesterday and Shaela will be 5 next week.
~*~
Oh, yes... as did many of you, we had snow all day Saturday.
Here are a few photos as it covered the colorful autumn leaves still on the trees.
 Most unusual to get snow in October in these parts.

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