Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone. I just wanted to share some pics of our totally awesome costumes this year. My dad came to visit so we did a star wars theme.

Captain was Han Solo. My dad was Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I was Princess Leia.
Can you guess what Harvey went as?

Thanks right !! He was Yoda. Have you ever seen such a cute ball hogging Yoda?

Here is a shot of my boys all together, and the last time you'll see Harvey with his green ears.

Here are my two Jedi Knights together.

We went to our ward trunk-or-treat, and I was in charge of the doughnut bobbing activity. The kids (and adults) really got a kick out of it.

I also made some awesome vampire bite and mummy cupcakes for dessert after dinner.

And here we all are at the very end. You can tell Harvey enjoyed his all you can eat chocolate binge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Doughnuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Yeast Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)


  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
They turned out beautifully. I made a half batch cause cold doughnuts aint no good.

We glazed some, filled some with lemon curd, and covered some in cinnamon and sugar.

Lemon Filling
makes about 2 cups

1 0.25 ounce packet unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the warm water and let it sit for a few minutes to soften. Beat the egg yolks in another small bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in the water and gelatin. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and boils. Boil for about a minute, then remove from heat and pour a little into the egg yolks. Beat together then gradually add back into the gelatin mixture. Return to the heat and simmer for about a minute. Remove from the heat and beat in butter and lemon juice until smooth.

This will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moments with Harvey

So today, I ran into the grocery store to get two things. That was it. A quick in and out trip. Harvey was with me, and I had put him in one of those car carts. He loves them, they have a steering wheel and make noises. So again I was in a hurry and as we went past the deli Harvey LEANS out the car and starts pointing frantically. He wanted a cookie. Our grocery store give out free cookies to kids who ask nicely. But I mean Harvey isn't even 2 and he's only had a cookie once before when our friend (who happens to work there) got one for him. SO HOW IN THE WORLD DID DID THIS KID REMEMBER ABOUT THE COOKIE?

But anyways Harvey very nicely said "Cookie" to the lady behind the counter, and when I prompted him to say please, he yells out "DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE" Everyone in the entire store was able to hear that boy's need for cookies. Needless to say he got his cookie, I got my yogurt and we got out of there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cooking with Peaches

I picked up some peaches from the farmers market, so our desserts recently have been peach themed.

First up we have the Honey Peach upside down cake by hotpolkadot.

It was delicious. (And I'm saying that when I don't typically like fruit) My only concern is that my beautiful cake sunk when i took it out of the oven. Maybe I over mixed/ under cooked it?

Next up we have some Peach cupcakes. I made this recipe myself mostly because I'm tired of makeing 12 -24 cupcakes when There are only 2 of us eating them.

Peach-Almond Cupcakes
Makes 6

1 1/2 tbl butter
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbl brown sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 peaches, skinned & pureed (3 tbl reserve excess for glaze)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tbl plain yogurt or whole milk
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Cream sugars and butter till combined.
Add yogurt, 3 tbl pureed peaches, egg, & almond extract
Combine Flour, baking powder & baking soda
Sift flour into butter mixture.

Bake 18-22 minutes.

Comments on this cupcake are, Next time i'm going to try and leave out the milk and add more peaches. It just didn't taste enough like peach. Also I'd like it to be more moist. This tasted more like a muffin than a cupcake to me, So I'm going to cut back on the flour.

Anyways I'm sure both of these recipes could be substitute d for any in season fruit. Play around with them and enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Boots!

My new boots arrived in from DNA footwear on Thursday! Aren't they amazing?! I just love them. Just so you are aware I have been on the hunt for some adorably warm weather boots since February. That's right I have been searching stores, clearance racks, and online boutiques for 8 whole months. I had actually given up and purchased some of those rubber rain boots just to make do when I found these. (Don't worry I was able to return them)

Look even Harvey and Captain are excited for me. They knew how long I had searched and how important it was for my footsies to sty warm. Seriously though Harvey did chase me around for about an hour trying to unzip my zippers. Picture a 30" child desperately trying to push his mama's knees apart to get to those illusive red zippers.

These boots were EXACTLY what I was looking for in a pair of winter boots. For those of you who don't know us money is tight since Captain started school, so I was looking for a pair of boots that not only looked super amazingly adorable with my church dresses, would also keep my feet warm and dry and not slip when we have ice storms. I know it was a tall order. I wanted them to have a low wedge heel, but not be flat. ( side note Flat boots are one of the most uncomfortable things in my opinion, mostly because there is no shape so the foot just flops around inside) I wanted them to have narrow calves, and not make my ankles look gigantic. I wanted 100% leather exterior so that I can waterproof these suckers. We have lots of rain in the fall, and lots of Snow followed by weirdly warm weather that turns the snow into puddles. And lastly they had to be cute enough to wear to church because I'm not buying 2 pairs of boots.

The fact that I found these in red just made my day. Mostly because I find most black shoes to be boring, (seriously shoe manufactures, people like a little variety in their black shoes.) but most of my clothes are black, and none of them are brown. So red is an excellent compromise.

For the record, after trying these on I get why people wear leggings now. My loose kneed jeans kept bunching up above the boot. It was kinda uncomfortable. Luckily I found a pair of snug jeans at Kohls yesterday so I am ready for the fall weather.

So what are you on the hunt for for you fall wardrobe?!

I'm still looking for a Yellow Cardigan, and material to make me some plaid pants and a camel trench coat.