Monday, March 28, 2011

Homemade Donuts

After Jim's suggestion that we make homemade French fries, he suggested, since we already had the oil in the pan, that we make donuts.

Now, neither of us have ever made homemade donuts before, but we thought, what the heck, let's give it a try!

I knew I'd seen a donut recipe on one of the food blogs I follow not too long ago, so off I went looking and I found it on Our Life in the Kitchen, one of my favorite foodie blogs.

Here is the link to Karen of Our Life in the Kitchen's Donut Recipe (her pics are much better than mine-- she's a photographer too!).  

2 packs Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup water
5 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
Vegetable Oil

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
4-6 tbsp hot water

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.  Add lukewarm milk, salt, eggs, shortening and two cups of the flour.  Beat on low until it's blended.  Scrape down the sides and continue mixing on medium for another couple of minutes.

Add the remaining flour.

Beat until smooth and well blended.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm spot.  Let it rise for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out the donuts.  Gently re-roll the scraps so no dough is wasted.  Set the donuts back in the warm spot, cover, and let rise for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, mix up the glaze.

Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.

Gently drop in two or three donuts at a time and let them cook until they float, only about a minute.  Flip over and cook for another minute.

Dunk them in the glaze.  Set on a rack to cool.

Best eaten while WARM!!!

I would encourage you give making donuts a try.  They're not as hard as they seem and they are delicious while they're still warm!

'til next time, find your joy~

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Homemade French Fries

We enjoy good homemade French fries every once in a while.  Today when Jim suggested we make them, I went online to find the secret to making them crispier.  I found a few different recipes, and settled on one from Emeril Lagasse.

His recipe was different in two ways.  First, he suggests soaking the potatoes in ice water for a minimum of 30 minutes and second, you double fry them.

Let's get started!

·       4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1/4-inch thick batons
·       2 quarts peanut oil
·       Sea salt and pepper


Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Completely cover with water and ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.  Because we were hungry, we opted for the 30 minutes.   

Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry.

In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, (or in an electric deep fryer), heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.  Again, we were hungry so we opted for closer to 10 minutes.

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serve immediately.

What can I say, they were yummy!  I will definitely soak them and do the double deep fry going forward.  Thanks Emeril!

'til next time, find your joy~

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Randomness

I've been a bit lax at posting lately, not so much for lack of time, but more so for lack of organization. Throughout the day, most everyday, things will pop into my head and I'll think, I really should do a post about that.  But, I don't write it down and then when it comes time to actually sit at my keyboard and type I have all of these random thoughts bouncing around in my brain and I don't know where to begin.

So, today, in honor of those random thoughts bouncing around in my brain,  I give you Randomness Thursday, or loosely translated, Tidbits I Was Able To Put Together In Somewhat Coherent Sentences.

Let us begin...

It's a beautifully sunny day today, with much less haze hovering from the wildfires up Indian Gulch (west of Golden, CO near Lookout Mountain).  It's extremely dry here and we've had gale winds on and off for the last few days.  High winds are forecast again today.  They're hoping to have the fire 50% contained by tonight.  Luckily, no homes have been damaged, and it appears they are out of imminent danger.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Update:  Another fire reported in Franktown, which is west of Parker, CO.  911 reverse calls go out.  Oy vey.

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My lack of organization (which is NOT my normal modus operandi) is spilling over into everyday I forgot my cell phone on the counter and I headed to work in my flip flops (had intended to change my footwear before I left for work). While they (said flip flops) don't necessarily match my outfit (which is pretty darn casual today), it could be worse.  At least it's supposed to be near 60 degrees today so I won't freeze my toes off.

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Twitter is a social media phenomenon.  And I love it!  I currently follow 164 other Twitter-ers (which is a pittance compared to most others!) that run the gamut from news to marketing/business gurus to inspirational speakers to writers to food bloggers to probloggers.  I follow a few celebs like George Stephanopoulos, Arianna Huffington and Martha Stewart, but I draw the line at crazy Charlie Sheen.  What I'm trying to say, is there is no rhyme or reason to who I follow.  I don't twitter to promote/gain business, I do it mainly to gleam knowledge from others.

I've tweeted 805 times in a year and a half, which in the big picture is not very much.  I am sporadic, at best, in the frequency of my tweets, although I do retweet the interesting things I come across.  I don't have to check it on a regular basis, just when I want to or have time.

It keeps me in the know, ya know?  Do you Twitter?

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'til next time, find your joy!