Saturday, September 21, 2019

Baked Cake Donuts

Vanilla Cake Donuts

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk at room temperature

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Use either a stand mixer or hand mixer and beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed and add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined.  Add flour mixture half at a time, alternating with milk and beat until just combined.

Transfer the batter to a pipping bag or a resealable plastic bag and snip a hole in one corner of the bag.  Fill pan to 3/4 full.

Bake for about 12 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire cooling rack.  Let cool about 10 minutes and then do preferred toppings.  The possibilities are endless.

The donuts I did today were cinnamon sugar and maple glaze.

Maple Glaze:

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

This is just the basic recipe. The options of donut flavor and glaze are endless.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The End of Another Summer

I know Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer but where I am in the Midwest summer is hanging on a little bit longer with the temperature in the 90's all week.  But, all good things must come to an end and I know the end of another summer is near.

I love each season equally and love living my life in sync with the seasons. So I am preparing myself to say good bye to my summer favorites for another year. 

BLT's...I mean is there really anyone that doesn't enjoy a delicious home grown tomato on a bed of fresh lettuce, thick cut local bacon and a smear of mayo between two delicious pieces of perfectly toasted bread?  I'm sure there may be some but they are not my people.

Tomato, basil pizza...My first slice of this amazing pizza was years ago when I lived in Ft. Myers Florida.  Antonio's Pizza. (now closed)  Wood fired amazing dough with thinly sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella cheese.  This is culinary perfection.  Ever since that first slice I have been known to take whatever type of bread I had on hand and top with these three heavenly ingredients.

Corn on the cob...It gets harder each year to find non GMO corn but it is possible and when I do I stock up.  I love it boiled up with just a bit of butter and salt...YUM!

Fried Green Tomatoes...Another summer favorite.  This year one of my favorite places that is farm to table had a special appetizer of fried green tomatoes with a corn salsa. OMG they were the best I have ever had and I have had a lot just this summer alone.

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers...There are dozens of ways to make these but I love big fresh peppers straight from the garden, stuffed with a mixture of  garlic, herbs, and different cheeses with a touch of panko on top and cooked on the grill.  The fresh grilled peppers and hot cheese mixture are a winning combination.

These are just a few of my summer only favorites.  They just do not taste as good if they are not in season and local.

I will miss you all along with the farmers market and going in the back yard and picking veggies or fresh herbs to cook. Good bye summer bounty...until we meet again next year.

Monday, September 9, 2019

My personal thoughts on food...

I believe that local, organic food (produce, meat and dairy) is the best food you can eat. I believe that food is one of the biggest factors in our health and well being.  I believe that processed food is full of chemicals and preservatives that are killing us. I believe that you can prepare a meal at home with good quality ingredients for less money than you would spend at a fast food joint or in the freezer section of your local food store.

I understand that local, organic food is not always easy to find.  I understand that for a number of years here in America the media hype has been preaching fast, easy, time saving and pre packaged.  I understand that life can be busy, stressful and even messy.

I hope that good quality, local and or organic food becomes even more the 'norm' and more easily accessible to all of us.  I hope that it becomes easier to learn about food, cooking and health.  I hope more people start growing food.  I hope the media hype really picks up on the changes that are going on and starts to promote a more conscious and healthy way of living free of pesticides, chemicals and gmo items.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

My love affair with food.

My Grandmother Jean was an amazing woman.  Aside from all of her other attributes, she was a true home maker.  Her cooking, canning, preserving, growing everything, sewing and knitting skills could rival Martha Stewart and even Rhonda over at  As I grew older I was just truly amazed at how much she could not only do, but do so well.

I wish all of those Sunday's, holidays and summers that I stood by her side either in the garden, the kitchen or her sewing room that I would have watched her a little more closely and listened a little harder to the priceless lessons she was trying to instill in me.  I wish I would have taken notes so that I could have a record of the knowledge that she possessed.

I moved away from home at 18.  Not just away, but 1200 miles away.  It didn't take long for me to miss Sunday dinner at Grams and to truly appreciate what an amazing cook she was.  I missed her home cooking.  I missed the roasted chickens and turkeys, the creamy mashed potatoes, the home made dinner rolls, the preserved strawberries in January and so much more.  It was then that it started (I believe the first lesson was deviled eggs). I would call her and tell her I wanted to make this particular dish and she would tell me what I needed and walk me through it over the phone.

Gram taught me the basics and I ran with it, trying everything.  I firmly believe she was and still is with me in spirit each time I try a new recipe or cook an old favorite.

The best thing she taught me was not to be afraid to just try.  Just keep practicing.  If it doesn't work out you'll figure out what went wrong and it will be better next time, she would tell me.

So, I guess my love of cooking actually stems from my love of eating my Grandmothers good food.

Thank you Gram!!

Summer goodness.