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 food...it'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 can...at 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 mean...no 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 trying...it's indescribable...you think I'm crazy...you think I'm wrong...you think "Why is she writing an entire blog post about doughnuts?" 

They are worth it...that's why...so, 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 love....it'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 for...it'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 doughnuts....it'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 yeast...it's miraculous what it does

It's a beautiful thing! 

Good night doughnut ball of love...you make it the night before...so 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, well...here 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 tough...today, 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 moving...it 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 in...to 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...do 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 change...to become better, blah blah blah....Tonight I was overcome in a different way...

I mean I really couldn't get away from it...it had simply
overtaken me...my 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 cheese...so, 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 preheating...me 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 everything...is 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!!