Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Revival Donuts.

Sometimes a donut is more than a donut.

Sometimes it is a reminder to your post-baby self that your pre-baby self is still alive deep down in there somewhere, that you still have a little kitchen badass inside who wakes up on Saturday morning (at 7:45am! bless that sweet child of mine) and announces, "I'm making donuts," and then marches into the kitchen and does just that.

Which is not to say that this recipe is at all complicated. Only a delicious and impressive party trick to surprise your family or weekend guests. You can be all, oh, it was nothing, I just made some donuts from scratch.

And then you will feel awesome. Even if later that night, you feed your husband Five Guys for dinner. And by feed, I mean, beg him to go pick-up. In the pouring rain*. But it's okay, because remember when you made donuts this morning?!

French Breakfast Donuts
adapted from Camille Styles
makes 6 donuts

5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinammon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Spray donut pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, beat until completely mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and next four ingredients, through salt. 

Beat flour mixture into butter in two batches, alternating with milk. 

Scoop batter in a gallon-sized ziploc, cut small corner off ziploc, pipe batter into donut pan.

Bake 18 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove from pan immediately.

Mix remaining 1/4 sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Dunk hot donuts in melted butter and then into cinnamon-sugar mixture. 

Eat them up!

Sidenote: These donuts require a donut pan, though I'd venture to guess you could also make them in a muffin tin. On principal, I am opposed to single-function kitchen items (which is to say, instead of owning an apple-corer and an avocado pitter and a garlic-chopper, I own a knife). But, if baked donuts are your jam, you're going to need a donut pan. This is the one we have. Cheap, works great, and doesn't take up a lot of cabinet space.

* Since it was raining when Hugh went to get dinner, he got a raincoat out of the hall closet. He came in to tell me goodbye and I realized he was wearing my raincoat from college. Which has my sorority embroidered on the chest.

Cassie: You know, that is a woman's raincoat.
Hugh: No, I think it's unisex.
C: Um, it has the name of a sorority embroidered on it.
H: Right, but other than that, it's unisex.
C: You know sororities are only for women, right?
Upon return fifteen minutes later.
C: So, did everyone at Five Guys love your lady jacket?
H: Well, the woman in front of me had a plastic bag tied over her hair that was emblazoned with "Big Lots Paper Plates", so I don't think many people were critiquing my fashion choice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What We're Doing. And Eating.

You know those weeks where you are just on your game? Your dinners are delicious and vegetable-laden, your work to do list is completely checked off, your thank you notes are written, your child is napping like a champ, and you aren't sitting around still in your pajamas and with a stain of questionable origin on your shirt at 11:30am. Yep, not one of those weeks around here.

I was trying to remember what we have eaten in the last six days so I could share it with you. Here's what I've got:
  • The rest of our cheese from our date-night-in order from Murray's Cheese Shop.
  • Five Guys. 
  • A truly mediocre baked eggplant pasta dish from a website that had never before disappointed me with its recipe deliciousness. 
  • Honey Nut Cheerios. I mean, really.  At least there was a banana in there.
  • Carbonara. Still in love. The only upside from the fact that Hugh didn't get home until after 11pm was that I got to have my favorite dinner. 
  • Takeout Mexican.
Awesome. You win some, you lose some, I suppose. Next week, I'll aim for a dinner recap that looks more like this. You know, a few meals that are not entirely composed of cheese.

I did manage to clean the house in 40 minutes (!) last night while Hugh was giving Pen a bath and getting her ready for bed. So, there's that. Because even if the rest of my life seems a little bit messy, at least my house is clean.

In other news, we are still over the moon for that baby of ours. One of her parents is more excited than the other about her latest babbling:

I realize that she is just making sounds and not intentionally calling me mama, but I would be a big liar if I didn't admit that it still makes my heart feel like it's going to explode.  I think this is officially the most you can love a person, right?

Check back next week for a homemade donut recipe (alternately named: sometimes I still feel like a kitchen badass), some motherhood musings, and, hopefully, a few dinners that are not going to make you fail a cholesterol check. 

Happy weekend, frinternets!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Everything's New.

Although it's still officially Summer for two more weeks (and it's still hot as blazes in Georgia), there is no denying that fall is right around the corner (especially if you are a Pinterest user, I mean goodness gracious are people on there excited about wreaths and chili and scarves). 

As much as I love the change of seasons and, especially, the arrival of Fall, I am finding it bittersweet this year. I could swear to you that it was just last week that on the most perfect Spring day of all time we were meeting our Penelope. And it couldn't be more than three days ago that my garden was in full bloom and the tomatoes were ripe and she was smiling her first smile. But, somehow, here we are surrounded by Halloween costumes and cinnamon brooms and recipes for pumpkin bread. With a four-month old.

It's just going by so quickly. I told Hugh last week that I am so deeply rooted in and in love with the right-this-minute that I don't do a lot of looking ahead to the future right now*. Not because I'm not excited about it, but because if I try to process how much I love now and how much I'm going to love what's ahead, well, I would explode. And also, the future is going to be here in a quick little blink, so there's no point in rushing it. 

I can so freshly recall when this child was an hours-old newborn that it seems impossible she's four months old:

Oh, Penelope. Tugging my heartstrings every minute of the day. 

But, as this busy little bee reminds me hourly with her rolling, laughing, squealing, trying-to-sit-up antics, she is going to grow up. And I am going to celebrate each minute and milestone and first.

As people love to tell you a hundred times a week when you are pregnant, a baby changes everything. What they don't say is that the change is magic. 

It makes everything brand new. 

*Which would explain why my child's wardrobe virtually stops at the end of summer. I started to unpack her 9 month clothes last weekend and I realized that this mama has some shopping to do, or P will be spending these last months of the year in a diaper and my rockin' baby-sized snowsuit from 1983.