Thursday, December 1, 2011

Destiny & Homemade Egg Noodles

Do you ever find yourself thinking about all the things you'd like to do better and then realizing you just wasted a good hour and a half on thinking about it...instead of just doing it?  Ever wish you were a better person or you were in a different life season? too. 

Psalm 139:14-16 Reminds us we are right where we should be...and we are who we should be:  

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them the days that were formed for me; when as yet there was none of them.

I am a little crazy when it comes to cooking...that's no lie.  And I think that has been in me, in my DNA since I was being woven together.  After Thanksgiving, mom and I made some rockin Turkey Noodle Soup.
These homemade noodles will make you cry.  They are that good.  AND...the secret ingredient: generations of love...that's right...these are from my Great Grandmother Grace. 

Homemade Egg Noodles

3 eggs- Beaten
3 Tablespoons Milk or Cream
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Cups Flour

Beat the eggs, add milk and salt.  
Add flour gradually, stirring after each 1/2 cup.  (You don't want too much flour...or you won't be able to roll them thin.) When you have enough flour, sprinkle flour on your rolling surface, and roll out like you would a pie crust.  
Roll up like a Jelly Roll and cut into 1/4 inch strips.  unroll each strip and shake off excess flour.  Put into your prepared chicken (or turkey...or whatever) broth and boil for about 20 minutes.  

I have recently been incredibly excited about making homemade stock out of EVERYTHING!  It's so good...and is much healthier than canned broth/stock, mainly because of sodium content.  So, this works out  nicely if you make a chicken for a meal, pick the excess meat off, use that for a salad or a pot pie, then boil the chicken carcass (I hate that word)...and walla, you have a delicious stock! (AND you've just made THREE meals out of one chicken) The longer you Simmer it, the more flavor you get (last time I did a chicken for 8 hours)...for even more flavor, add veggies, the depth of flavor will make your toes tingle!!  
*I usually save veggie scraps and freeze them until I'm ready to make the ends of celery, carrots, etc. The stuff you normally throw away...*

I think making noodles from scratch can  will help us all become better people!  
So...stop thinking about it...and make them....don't forget the LOVE 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies

You wouldn't believe the post I've been "post"poning because of a weird funk I've been in...and you don't get to know about that for a bit longer...because I've decided to get over my issue, then discuss it later, with much laughter.  To stop putting things off, just because they are not perfect. 

That's all....even though some things are not perfect, including most of my life, which feels a bit out of control these days...these cookies...are perfection. 

This recipe is from a church cookbook and my Great Aunt Evelyn submitted the Great Grandmother Grace most likely made these cookies for all 13 of her children...wonder how long a batch lasted...I could seriously just sit down and eat three of these babies and not look back. 

It's a shocker that I love this recipe...because I NEVER use shortening....but, it's key old school secret for great molasses cookies :) There are just some things you don't your great grandmothers molasses cookie recipe...that's sacred.

My favorite part is the cracks....they are just such beautiful cookies...then my other favorite part is that they are SO soft.  Seriously delicious!  They taste like Fall....Fall perfection.  If all attempts at perfection have failed you: try these really, you should! 

Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies
1 1/2 cups Shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup dark molasses (I used black strap for the first time's good)
4 cups flour
4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

Cream shortening, add sugar and continue creaming.  Add eggs and molasses; beat well.  In a separate bowl, whisk flour, soda, salt, and spices together, add to shortening mixture, mix well.  
Shape into balls about 1 1/2 inch diameter (I actually make mine bigger...I use the big cookie scoop) Roll in sugar. Place 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet (I make 9 per pan) Bake at 350 for 10 minutes...or if you make bigger cookies, 13 minutes.  Until they crack on the top. 

Eat one of these while they are still warm!  Drink a glass of milk, if you're into that...make it Whole milk if you are naughty like me!  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Never to be the Same...

On July 1st my life was drastically changed.  Never to be the same.  At 4:30 am my father had a massive heart attack.  After being worked on for quite some time at home by paramedics, he was taken to Do Co hospital, then airlifted to St Cloud.  After 56 hours of intense waiting, testing, sitting in the hospital, it was pronounced that my father had brain death....absolutely no activity.   

That was it.  Just like that my world changed.  The last time I talked to him was Thursday night at dinner.  I tried to remember what I said...I can't.  It was nothing of importance, because when you don't know someone is going to die, you don't go out of your way to tell them anything important. 

Because of my personality, I went into survive mode...protector mode, strong mode...mostly for my mother.  It hurts so bad to see her hurt.  The next week is so intense.  You just sign papers and say yes or no....and Thank you to lots of people who care for you.  Then you go back to "normal".  Work, eat, sleep.  People ask you how you are and you say "good", forgetting that you are not at all well.  For some days, I would forget it happened and then go through the shock all over again. 

It hurts the worst right now.  This very minute.  I haven't cried too much the last few weeks and now it seems like I can't stop.  I miss him bad.  I miss cooking for him.  Dinner was a big deal in our house...I hated missing it...and Dad didn't like me to miss it either, since I cooked most of the time.  Every night after dinner, he would push his plate away from him and say "That was very good, thank you."  Just like that.  He would even say that when it wasn't good at all. 

He was a the biggest supporter of my baking business.  Every time I would it for a birthday party, wedding, or the farmer's market, he would come in the kitchen and say "which one of these is mine?"  Sometimes when I would cook, he would sit at the island in the kitchen on the bar stool and just watch me.  At the time, it was funny to me...that he would want to watch me...but now, I miss it. 

The truth is, I've read plenty of books about grieving and I have a degree in Counseling...but you don't actually know until you are there.  I also have been comforted by scripture, but it still hurts.  And....even though 800,000 people have told me that they are here for me, I still feel completely alone.  No one can miss him like I do. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello, Cupcake.

A part of me wishes I could be a dainty southern belle.  I actually enjoy when southern ladies call people "sweetie, sugar, or darlin."  I would preferably call my significant other (once one of those exists in my life) something to do with food and just as cute as those sweet southern Peaches....or sugar...or about cupcake? 

I understand that as I type these words, I'm decreasing the chances of actually finding someone....but really what hard working man doesn't want to come home and be called peaches by the love of his life...

Alrighty, moving on.  I LOVE to cook.  I LOVE baking cupcakes.  A lot.  I have a special friend...her and I are always on the lookout for a good cake recipe.  So, when she and her love decided to get married, the cake was a major decision.  We had always joked that we would have to make each others wedding cupcakes, because ours are the best, knowing that would be difficult to achieve since we would also be in each others weddings, she and her love went in search of a cupcake good enough to put in the masterpiece of a display that he was about to make...

Fortunately for me, the cupcake tasting just didn't meet up to her was honored to have my cupcakes appear on the big day.  This wedding, every aspect of it, was out of this world...I mean divinely put to be a part at all was a blessing to me!

Oh the choices of what cupcakes to have at your wedding...well, this was a unique wedding, as it was a brunch reception.  So, the flavors that Nicole picked were so yummy...just the thing you'd want to finish off a delicious brunch!

Chocolate cakes with Chocolate Sour Cream frosting
Chocolate Cakes with Espresso Frosting (my favorite)
Vanilla Cakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Vanilla Cakes with Strawberry Frosting

300+ cupcakes.  9.5 glorious hours in my kitchen.  (seriously my favorite place to be)

I actually really enjoy the entire process of making large quantities of things.  I never enjoyed math like algebra and geometry...but I like figuring out measurements for food (and balancing my checkbook) I always said that I liked real life math...maybe that's why I got a degree in Finance!  So, I figured out the amount of ingredients I would need for this undertaking...I must say, I love living in a small town and I enjoy seeing people I know every time I go to the grocery, but I must admit, I felt like they needed an explanation as to why there was 10 lbs of butter, flour, and sugar in my cart...and that I was standing there waiting for the lady to come back from the backroom where she was retrieving 12 lb of coffee for me.  Since grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to was a good time!

It's important to start off as well, with a good cup of is my butter and my coffee...a glimpse into my joyful day of baking (starting at 6:00 am, unheard of for me):

There is one Chocolate cake recipe that I can always count on...I've made it for years...and anyone can make's on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box.  I thought it was fool proof, but I've heard that some folks have not had such luck with it...I actually made it and entered it into a contest...winning blue ribbon!!

Chocolate Cake (blue ribbon Chocolate Cake)
2 c sugar
1 3/4 c Flour
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
1 Tsp Salt
2 eggs
1 Cup milk
1/2 c oil
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 C boiling water
Here is a secret...I do this cake differently than I would any other cake.  Because I did it this way before I knew how to make cake, really.  I put everything, except for the water in my mixer and mix it...I mix it for 2 minutes, while my water is getting to boil in the microwave.  After two minutes, I take the water out and fold it in.  That's it.  No kidding. Bake cupcakes @ 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes. 

White cake is a whole other story...hard to find a good that is moist and tasty.  I feel like I have found it indeed.  In a book called Organic and Chic.  This recipe is altered a bit..simply because I'm not very organic.  Honestly.  

Blanca Cake 
Inspired by Organic and Chic (Sarah Magid)

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup while milk
7 egg whites

Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  
In your mixer, beat butter and 2 cups sugar on medium speed until fluffy 
In a small bowl (I use my glass liquid measuring cup) combine vanilla and milk.  
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture.  
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 c sugar (I use my hand mixer for this, since I'm not cool enough to have a second mixer bowl for my kitchenaid) You beat these until they are shiny with some peaking, but you don't want to overbeat.  
Then, you fold these into your cake batter, after you have taken a spoonful of the cake batter to's so buttery yummy...and at this point, it doesn't have raw eggs in it.  Be careful, you need to have some left for the cupcakes.  You only fold these in until incorporated....never over fold...that would be crazy.  
Bake at 350 Degrees for 20-24 minutes.  
Careful not to fill your cupcakes too full, these babies rise quite a bit.  

So first you bake all the cupcakes...and realize how much easier this process would be if you had more than one oven...and if any of your ovens were convection ovens...and then you keep baking...24 cupcakes at a smile...and drink more coffee!  

Once all of your cupcakes are cooling, you look to frosting action!  My favorite part...My favorite frosting is one that is not too sweet (thankfully that's the kind Nicole likes I was so excited to make it) it is a whipped vanilla buttercream as the base for 3 of four of my frostings.

Whipped  Vanilla Buttercream 
(Inspired once again by Organic and Chic)

2 sticks butter 
 1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
First I make the flour part, because for this recipe it has to cool.  (I have since the wedding actually started cooling it in the mixer, instead of waiting it out in the fridge)
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, flour, and vanilla. Wisk it constantly (using a small wisk works best so stuff doesn't get stuck in the pan) on medium heat until it boils, reduce the heat and let it cook (still wisking) just until it has thickened. *Just do your best on getting it to burns easily* the important part is getting it thick.  Cool this mixture to room temp.  
In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high for 5-7 minutes.  
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat it to death...seriously, watch the amazingness of the texture it creates.  Then grab a spoon...try it out.. very yummy.  

For the Espresso frosting:
Add a lot of finely ground espresso and mix
  YES, real espresso.  

For the Strawberry Frosting:
Add homemade strawberry sauce or strawberry jam...taste to make sure the level of strawberriness is what you want, be careful not to alter the texture of your frosting too much, you don't want it runny.  

For Vanilla Bean: 
Add Vanilla Bean Paste

I would recommend having one base for Multiple frosting's when doing big batches....makes it so much more simple. 

Chocolate Frosting 
(called Dark Chocolate Secret Frosting in Organic and Chic)
Cute that she calls it secret because her husband doesn't like sour cream...but since he doesn't know there is sour cream in it, he loved makes it SO yummy)
8 ounces unsweet chocolate
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla 
pinch of salt
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 c sour cream
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler...or however you want.  Set aside to cool
In your mixer, combine the chocolate mixture with vanilla and salt on low speed.  
Slowly add the powder sugar, mix on low until combined.  
Add the sour cream, increase the speed to medium and beat until thick.  
You should put this on immediately and then if you put it in the fridge for a few minutes (15) it will set up nicely. ..Or if you live in Minnesota, you can put it outside in it's box for a November wedding!!

With the help of my mother in the boxing up process (she used to box up baked goods for a living), I was done in just enough time to shower (was covered in flour, chocolate, frosting, and who knows what else) and make it to the rehearsal dinner that evening. 

The results: SWEET success.  They were so great!  And they looked so pretty.  And people were talking about them all day!  I sound obnoxious...but seriously, making something that someone loves for such a sweet memorable day, I have never felt so accomplished in my whole life.  It meant so much to me to be involved!

Yep...those are cupcakes got to hang in a tree...beautiful!

This final pic basically sums up the entire post...the greatness of cupcakes.
I saw one child take a cupcake, lick the frosting, then decide he doesn't like chocolate and put it back in it's leaf.  However, this precious girl, I'm sure ate all of the cupcakes she took...I believe it was 5.

The last three pictures (and the one below) were taken by an extremely talented photographer, Stacy at Radiant Design who happens to be this beautiful little girls can find her work here.  Serious amazingness and super duper fun.

A beautiful day...a beautiful couple... an extraordinary friendship.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It is Well With My Soul

On Thursday March 3rd, I went to a celebration.  A celebration of a man's life.  A dear man, whom I've known all my life.  He was my Great Uncle.  Don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy funerals, but this was so overwhelmingly beautiful....every person in the room knew that he was in Heaven....with Jesus.  Knowing this truth about someone you love is so reassuring, so's all the more reason to celebrate his life, with a pain in our hearts for our loss, but a joy overtaking that pain, because of a life lived for the Love of God. 

An exerpt from his obituary:
"He loved Farming, farming, farming, and fishing when he wasn't farming.  Herman touched many lives by his faithful walk with God, despite many trials.  He had a great love for his family, a wonderful sense of humor and what fun he had playing games.  His greatest joy was knowing that his family lived for the Lord." 

I do recall Hermie wanting to help with the harvest well into his elderly years....that drive to grow things and harvest them, it was in his blood.  My fondest memory of Hermie was during a church service when he had told the pastor that he wanted to sing a song for special music.  He didn't get up on stage, they brought him the microphone and he belted out (literally) the most beautiful (scruffy) version of Amazing Grace I'd ever heard....despite not hitting one note, it was evident that he was singing about a Grace that was indeed AMAZING.  As I sat in the row behind him, alligator tears graced my cheeks.  God's grace was never more clearly presented to me than in that song that day.   

During his funeral, all of his grandchildren (my cousins) sang Amazing Grace in memory of him...every verse.  When they got to the verse that sang "When we've been there ten thousand years, we've no less days to sing God's Praise than when we've fist begun."  It hit that he was there...he was just beginning his eternal singing...Praising the Lord who gave him life, gave him breath, and the ability to farm, fish, and have a family, a family that lives on the legacy of a follower of Christ.  It was a bit more quiet while that verse was sung, tears being shed, but great hope that someday we'll join uncle Hermie singing the joyous choruses of the Holiness of God, the greatness of His grace. 

There is something about Hymns.  Many people are revolting against them....but I LOVE them and can appreciate them so much more than most songs that have recently been written.  The lyrics are pure, simple, and continually pointing people to Christ.  Not speaking of how we feel, or what we need or what we want....

Read carefully the words to one of the hymns we sang at Uncle Hermies funeral:

It Is Well With my soul
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

We read that through our eyes as often we do with so many things and not knowing the true history behind it...the man who wrote this, Horatio Gates Spafford, had lost so much.  His life was seemingly, from an outside view, in turmoil. I could tell you my thoughts on this, but you should really just go read the history behind this great will take on new meaning.  He's not saying "I'm so happy, I'm so happy"  That's not at all what he means when he says "It is well with my soul"  It's a depth of knowledge of The God who nailed MY sin to the cross, not in part, but the whole of my sinfulness, with His Son, on the cross. And the promise of a day when He will come again...
Go here  to read the story about this song and the man who wrote it.  
I'm praying that I can more appreciate the "simple" things in life that are not simple at all...but deal with the complexity of a GREAT and HOLY God. 
One of the verses underlined in Hermies Bible, which was as worn as his old body lay, was Jeremiah 17:7-8:
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence.  He is like a tree planted along a riverbank, with it's roots reaching deep into the water- a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought.  It's leaves stay green and it goes right on producing all it's luscious fruit."   

May your life and mine continue to produce luscious fruit...and might we say, not because of faulty hapiness, but because of GOD: It is well with my soul

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bad day...Good steak

What is the worst thing that could happen in the morning?


** I do not think it to be a coincidence that we ladies at the office got a devotional today called "Good Morning Lord" **

It's positively terrible.  Mostly if it's really a tremendous amount of time that you've overslept.  Well, that started out my bad day today...oversleeping.  I should arrive at work at is about a 16 minute drive for me...I awoke at 8:18am. the panick sank in...I was rushing...deciding what normal hygiene rituals I would simply have to skip for today....(most of them fell into the skip category, which was unfortunate for those around me) I made it to work at the math...that's pretty good, I must say!

I literally threw on some clothes, put some of the creme to powder foundation on, which I only use when I don't have time for the real good coverage stuff, said a quick prayer of thankfulness that I left my hair up the night before...and walked out of my room....

Only to find my father, lackadaisically sitting on the couch watching fox news...

Now, I am clearly old enough to know that this oversleeping is no one's fault but my own.  In fact as I write this, I realize I should be in bed.  I have lived on my own for years, with no one to wake me up, but for some reason, the fact that I was in bed when I should have left for work 10 minutes prior, and dad was sitting on the couch like it was a normal morning, just seemed to rub me wrong.

This was our conversation Me "how come you didn't wake me up?"  Dad "Was I supposed to?"  Me "Well, I am usually gone by now."  The end.  Yeah...nothing..

Therefore, some of you know better than others that waking up late affects your entire day.
1.  I felt really nasty and ugly...girls will feel this worse than guys, I think.
2.  There was no coffee made (another thing I didn't understand with dad being on the couch for an hour and a half prior) and I HAVE TO have coffee...
3.  I didn't have time to make my lunch, so I had to eat at Subway.  I don't really like subway.
4.  My brain was scattered and I felt like I was sleeping most of the day.

You see, something so simple proceeds to much mess ...
How do you fix such a disaster, you ask...well, I have just the thing: STEAK!

Steak has always been tricky in my cooking experience.  I mean there are definitely techniques that if you don't follow through, the steak is edible, but not good...not that melt in your mouth beefy goodness...with the juices flowing and such.  So, I've been wanting to try a technique by Anne Burrell from her show "secrets of a restaurant chef", because well, they seem to know how to do it most of the time.

So, one of the secrets is to rub it down with your rub (recipe below) two-three days before you cook it...seriously makes all the difference in the world...amazing.

I used a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, this month they had a butcher in (Kari Underly) and she had some secrets herself:

1 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt

That's combine this and rub the them on a plate covered with saran wrap and refrigerate.  Then a few days later as you are preping for dinner, take them out about 1/2 an hour before you want to cook them; the steaks enjoy coming to a room temp (that's what I hear from the chef's.)  Depending on what kind of steaks you have (thickness, cut, and how you like em done being taken into consideration) your steaks will only take like 4-7 minutes per side!

Being that it's winter and it was seriously like -30 degrees today, it's obvious this won't be taking place on a gas or charcoal grill...I used my Cast Iron Griddle...which is a thing for experts....I need more practice...

I believe since Iron holds heat so well, you need to get it really hot (because that's best for cooking the steaks) and then turn it down, because it takes a long time to cool, it will stay considerably HOT throughout your cooking.  I did not think about that till after the meal tonight...which my family and I ate in a cloud of smoke that was created from my mad cooking skills...anywho...

They were so yummy...juicy, tender, tasty...the kind of tasty where I picked up the bone and made sure all the meat was "taken care of" The meat next to the bone was out of this world sweet and tender...whew...

And I like a medium/medium rare some pink is very GOOD!!!

I'm terrible at taking pictures of food, but for all of you visual folks out there, I know it helps to see.

The moral of the story...even if you oversleep on a Wednesday morning, as long as you rubbed some steaks on Monday, in the end, everything will be okay. 

I made these potatoes to go with my steak from Faithfulness Farm.  They were yummy..also a little use of my cast irons...yeah...

So, tomorrow when things don't seem to be the cheeriest (although I hope it's better than today) just think ahead to dinner, which is the most fun part of the day...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dirty Dog Doughnuts...

Ok... so my whole life, doughnuts have been my favorite food.  Pretty sure they haunt my dreams...They are so, so perfectly soft and yeasty and just all together divine! 

I've come a long way over the years in my love for good's not just the food, it's the love for the process that is taken to make the food.  Seriously, growing up, I thoroughly enjoyed eating a chili dog drenched in cheese that was pumped out of a the Circle K down the road...followed by a can of dew and a candy bar...I honestly don't know if I could down that now. So, I believe that as I tasted good food, God enriched my taste buds to have ultimate food experience!  

So, the road to finding a good doughnut recipe has been a journey...I mean, you see a doughnut and then the look entices you to purchase...and then like most things these days, disappointment encroaches upon your life.  Some people enjoy a gas station doughnut, I'm not judging, but I simply can't see the reasoning to partake in the caloric consumption when you could have the best. 

So, let me tell you about THE BEST doughnuts (in the world) no lie.  A little joint called World's Best Doughnuts in Grand Marais, MN.  I'll try not to try too hard to explain these, because I think they are beyond words.  Grand Marais is a quiet, quaint little town on the tip of the North Shore in Northern MN.  The scenery alone is worth a six hour car trip...just make sure that the doughnut shop is not in it's off season.  They are only open from middle of May though October.  I made two trips to Grand Marais in one year...and BOTH times the doughnut shop was closed...within days of opening/closing....SICK!

Anywho...there has never..EVER been another doughnut like them...I matter what style you order, it's gonna be the best doughnut you've ever had. 

These are my lovely parents enjoying their first World's Best Doughnut....I think this picture explains a lot!!

It's like...ok, I'll stop's think I'm think I'm think "Why is she writing an entire blog post about doughnuts?" 

They are worth it...that's, I'll get to it..I found a good doughnut recipe!  From The Pioneer Woman
I enjoy her as it is...but then I found her doughnut recipe on a different blog and tried it out now I'm in's simple admiration!  The problem is, I need more practice...I made some mistakes...BUT, really how often can you practice making doughnuts and stick to any sort of diet regimen? 

I try to make Saturday's my day to try such things...So here it goes...
1st mistake: I rolled them too thin
2nd mistake: The tool I used was not a doughnut cutter...and I don't actually know what it's's some antique thing that my grandfather bought in a box full of "goodies" at an auction sale, which usually means a box of nothing good...but I was intrigued...and can't think of what else to use them for.
The combination of these two things made me have skinny's not what you think...not like diet doughnuts....just too little, which made them cook really fast...and not have quite the right texture...

LOVE's miraculous what it does

It's a beautiful thing! 

Good night doughnut ball of make it the night handy!

Now, you'll see what I mean by skinny doughnuts...and too thin of cutting....

However, the rising method from Sugar Plum was genius!  I put them in the oven, with a pan of water that had been boiled, sitting on the bottom shelf...made it nice and warm for all the yeasties to work their magic....

My skinny doughnuts!!

No worries, I will be getting the proper gear, now that I know they can taste oh so yummy at home!! 

So, stay tuned to see what comes next...really, you never know what you'll find here...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Humbled by a snowbank

Well, well, in the Northland it's a bit cold.  Okay...very cold, like dangerously cold.  I try not to talk about it constantly or make my facebook status reflect it, it's kinda the stuff Minnesotans are made of...this is what makes us tough.  So, speaking of, I was leaving work to have lunch with my grandparents and somehow, while I was driving out of the driveway at work I drove straight into the snowbank...yeah, the one right OFF the beaten path...clearly off of the spot normal people drive.  I realized I was in the snowbank when my car stopped is clear my mind was elsewhere. 

So, with much shame, I walk into the office and announce to the two coworkers that were there that I was stuck.  Despite the -39 degree temps outside, they put their boots on, grabbed a shovel, and some cardboard and through much work...and runny noses, and numb legs and rosy cheeks (on both accounts, I'm sure) they pushed me out.

I was so embarrassed that I had driven directly into the snowbank in the first place, but to have people show such grace, never saying a sarcastic comment, was so freeing. (I was the one making sarcastic comments, imagine that)  It reminded me of a book that we are reading as staff... The Grace of God by Andy Stanley.  He says this about grace: "When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But, when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything."   So true...I expect it to be given, but when I am placed in a position to give, I don't always freely give GRACE. 

So, not only was I embarrassed by my teenagerlike driving skills...I was convicted by the goodness of others, which displayed the Grace of God.  In the end, it was good...and God needed me to see these things...and sometimes it takes a big white snow bank for things to be clear in my mind. 

On a very Happy note, There is doughnut dough in the refrigerator, when I wake up I just have to roll it out, cut, raise, and then FRY!     Now, the last time I tried to make doghnuts, they turned out terrible...I am determined to find a perfect recipe and do it well...something to look forward to tomorrow...maybe.

Keep tuned God...and if you want to see the doughnuts, to this blog!

Watch out for jumping snowbanks.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good Intentions

Well, here I am...awake. I should be all curled up in my bed with my down comforter comforting me...keeping me warm, but I sit and ponder. Here is what I wonder: Can a "non morning" person ever overcome? I've wondered this for my whole life, practically...and I thought, "Maybe it comes with age", but here I am getting older and still hating mornings.

You'd think that good intentions of waking up, and continually setting your alarm for 6am would count for something, but I still can't bring myself to just get out of bed, until the very last minute, when I HAVE to (an hour and a half later). So, this poses a question in my mind...How much do good intentions really play into what happens in my everyday life? And when good intentions fail me, what's to fall back on?

The problem with good intentions (it is far to late to open up this can 'o worms...) is that I am leaning on my own strength and "excitement" to get something accomplished. It's no doubt that we have to work at things, however, if I try to do them on my own, I continually fail. So, can I trust in the supernatural for the simple things in life, like strength to wake up in the morning, wisdom to make good decisions, and passion for a better life?

The answer...I think you know, but just in case, I'll tell you need a hint?

Okay, okay.....It is ...get ready::YES

How do I know? Paul struggled...and this is how it worked out:

"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

The problem: Good Intentions
The Solution: Grace


ps. The butter cake mentioned yesterday tastes even more delightful the next morning!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


That's right...Back to the blogging world! I just got internet hooked up in my house...yes, it's been six months since I've had unlimited access.

And I can't wait to start blogging again!!

Now, it's the beginning, well kinda still the beginning of the new year...(January is going so fast) And I am overcome...Overcome with my heart fluttering in far too many directions. I desire to be a better person in so many aspects. I'd like to read more, exercise more, love more, cry more, but mostly I'd like to bake more.

As much as I love my job, I can't think of a better life than being paid to be in the kitchen all day...or at least have the freedom and time to do so.

So, as much as my mind is racing and being overcome with so many things to think about and things to become better, blah blah blah....Tonight I was overcome in a different way...

I mean I really couldn't get away from had simply
overtaken desires were strong and I gave in...and in about 20 minutes I'll know if it was worth it...

It was like a magnet, pulling me in...I had to make it.
I got all excited, only to find that I was missing one ingredient...cream, despite the temperature at -6 and feeling like -21 with the wind chill, I made the two block trek to the store (in my car, of course). Missing ingredient: Found!

Setting: My kitchen, dirty dinner dishes still all over from deep fried shrimp and vegetable stir fry (so, yeah, it smelled like a greasy Chinese restaurant...which some folks would enjoy, I'm not judging), continuous country music from the 90's on the tv music channel (love those), and the oven dancing to the music of each new ingredient, literally falling in love with this cake, even before it's complete (maybe becase the first layer could have been eaten raw and life would've been swell)

An hour later, my house smells like ooey gooey delicious butter...and the dishes are in the dish washer...and the cake is on the countertop cooling...waiting for me to dive in.

So, if anyone reads this, since my six month absense, I need a little direction...I'm torn...does my blog need to be more focused? I love writing about things that I'm learning and those things that I have strong opinions about, theology, world topics, and love and life and (yes, I know there are so many) BUT I really enjoy writing about food too...Can one have a blah blah blog about that enjoyable for readers, or should I pick one thing and love it up?!?

Leave me a comment and let me know...and for now, I know what I'm gonna LOVE up...

Oh...goodness... good night world.
ps. In St Louis, where this cake is from, they eat it for breakfast.... talk about a Good Morning!!