Monthly Archives: February 2015

Homemade Doughnuts (3 ways- glazed, powdered or cinnamon-sugar)

20141224_094457Homemade Doughnuts are something extra-special. We don’t make them too often, but it always seems like a kind of holiday when donuts are on the menu for an evening.

At first glance, this might look like a long process, but these are really not very hard to make. A little time, and advanced preparation, and you’ll be enjoying hot, soft, delicious donuts that YOU made. I’ve tried to include as many specific details as possible.

In our family, we have a tradition of making donuts several times throughout the Christmas Season, or when we get a good snow. (which isn’t too often where we live!)

One of our family’s favorite nights of the Christmas season is when we make the donut collagefirst batch of donuts of the season and watch White Christmas together. It’s one of the nights we look the most forward to each year.

The actual cutting, frying, and coating of the donuts is a family-affair, too. I cut them out, daddy fries them, the kids help to coat them.

We’ve been doing the Christmas-donut tradition for years- my husband grew up with this tradition and we carried it over to our own family. But, we used to use canned biscuits for the dough. I have to say, they tasted great, and they were quicker to prepare, but as I replaced our packaged and processed, chemical-laden food choices with more homemade foods made from real ingredients, I knew that our beloved donuts needed to change, too. (see canned biscuit ingredients here)

Well, at first this was not a popular decision- especially with the man of our house. You see, he’s the biggest canned-biscuit-donut-lover in the family- not to mention a big time traditionalist at Christmastime. But, I was determined to find a good replacement that we loved just as much.

Well, it has taken me several recipes and a couple Christmas seasons to find the “right’ recipe. This one is it. We all love it! I really think the mashed potatoes are the key ingredient for the perfect texture. it helps them to be lighter, and not so dense and cakey. Lard is the best frying option. The donuts don’t become oily or greasy inside- but fry up beautifully on the outside. (and though you might think frying in lard is taking your life into your hands- consider that lard is high in monounsaturated fats- like an avocado or olive oil-and rich in vitamin D. READ HERE.- it’s a GREAT article )

Which coating to choose? Well, we do love them all. Most of the time- we do some of all 3 coating options. If we could choose just one, the preparation would be simpler, I must say! 🙂 But, the general consensus with all of us is that the glazed is the winner for the best coating. It just melts in your mouth.  Oh, yum! (tastes awesome the next day, too!) I think the powdered sugar coating is #2.

Now- a few disclaimers, just to get them out in the open….

1. Yes, the process is a little messy and little bit of work.  When the donuts really get frying and there are several bowls full of coating, and plates for holding the donuts, and several children wanting to ‘help’- yeah it gets a little busy and messy in the kitchen. But you know what- messes can be cleaned up. It’s worth it. Memories are made of these things.

2. I know these aren’t exactly diet food. But, you don’t make donuts because they are good for you. They’re sugary, made with all white flour, fried, etc. Like I said- we don’t make these every other week. Donuts are a special treat for once-in-a-while. And that’s another reason why they are so special.

Here’s how to make them:

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

20150216_112858The weather around here has been cold and windy recently. It can chill you down to the bone!  In these conditions, not much can satisfy like a hot steaming soup to warm up body and soul.

Though this broccoli cheese soup is made completely from scratch, using only real foods -it comes together very quickly, uses simple ingredients, and contains tender carrots and broccoli with a luxurious, thick and creamy, cheesy broth.

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Yeast Biscuits (Best Biscuits Ever)

20150204_181051Light, fluffy, flaky, golden, buttery…These are absolutely wonderful! If you want to make something really special out of something pretty simple- this will do it. Some people call these “Angel biscuits” because of their light and airy texture. Basically it’s the perfect- and might I say it- ‘heavenly’ combination of half biscuit/half yeast roll.

Baked in a cast iron skillet, the bottoms turn just slightly brown and beautiful to match the golden tops.

I like to serve these along with eggs and bacon or hot soup, or all by themselves at breakfast, slathered with butter and honey.

One of the nicest parts of this recipe, is that you can make the dough ahead, then let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or even a few days. One whole recipe will yield approximately 30 biscuits- but you can take out as much or as little dough as you want and use, and then put the rest of the dough back in the refrigerator to use on a different day.

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