Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

These easy to make donuts are baked rather than fried, and there is no yeast, nor rest time to deal with. My husband was kind of taken aback when he tried these donuts because they don’t taste like your typical donuts - overly sweet and heavy. Rather, these donuts are merely muffins in donut form, because, well, most things are more fun in donut form!

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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts with a Brown Butter Glaze

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts with a Brown Butter Glaze

My all time favorite type of donut is the old fashioned donut. I love how they have a bit more crunch on the outside than other donuts, while still maintaining a soft, moist dough on the inside. The increased surface area, thanks to the ridges and indentations on old fashioned donuts, that allow for more glaze isn’t a bad thing either! ;) Since old fashioned donuts are a subset of cake donuts, you don’t need to mess with yeast and rising times in order to make these. However, we will need to deep fry these donuts, which I know can intimidate lots of home bakers. Ever since I developed my take on cronuts I have become more comfortable with deep frying. The biggest things to help with your success is…

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Nutty Fruit Chocolate Bites

Nutty Fruit Chocolate Bites

This recipe LITERALLY only has 4 ingredients - chocolate, hazelnuts, pistachios, and dried cranberries. It is the perfect post holiday treat when you want something sweet, but not heavy like most holiday desserts. These chocolate bars are gluten free, and you can even change the type of chocolate that you use in order to also make them vegan/dairy free. And the best part is that they are incredibly easy to make! Not a hazelnut and/or pistachio fan? Feel free to change out the type of nuts that you use (keeping to the same overall quantity, of course). The versatility, yet simplicity  of this recipe are my favorite things about it!

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Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

These donuts are made with reduced apple cider to give them their distinct taste. Unlike most donuts, they are not fried, but rather they are baked (read: healthier than regular donuts). Once baked these donuts are coated with melted butter and cinnamon sugar. They are very easy to make, and are PERFECT for these upcoming crisp days.

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Homemade Cronuts with Lemon Glaze

Homemade Cronuts with Lemon Glaze

Like croissants, these cronuts consist of buttery, flakey layers. (I enjoyed eating these cronuts layer by layer!) Deep fried, these cronuts have a crisp exterior, while the inside remains soft and delicate. The donuts are rolled in sugar and topped with a lemon glaze. Each donut is rather tall as you can visibly see from the exterior the endless number of layers within. And of course, don’t forget about the donut holes! In reality they look nothing like traditional donut holes because the numerous layers expand as they cook, creating a caterpillar like shape. But they are just as delicious as the cronut.

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Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

The truffles are rich (seriously, you only need one to feel satisfied), truly so easy to make, and only have a handful of ingredients. You start by making a ganache (which is just a fancy way of saying melted chocolate and cream). Once the ganache has solidified after refrigeration you will scoop out the truffles. Next, coat the truffles with your desired coating, whether that be cocoa powder or chopped nuts. And that's it! The truffles can become soft at room air, so I like to store them in the freezer to help keep their shape…

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Roasted Strawberry Honey Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Honey Ice Cream

26. How do I feel about turning 26? To be honest, I’m not sure because most of the year I didn’t know how old I was…lol. I wonder at what point we stop keeping close track of our age. When I was little I ALWAYS knew my age, even down to the number of months I was. Maybe it’s once we are older than any law-restricting age? 16 for your driver’s license, 18 for voting, 21 for buying alcohol, 25 for renting cars without an “adult”. The word “adult” still baffles me. Technically I am considered an adult, but…

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Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

What were some of your favorite holiday traditions when you were growing up? One of mine would have to be holiday baking with my mom. We would spend the whole day in the kitchen, rocking out to our favorite Christmas music CD's. She always did most of the work, but I was the designated cookie decorator and taste tester ;). Each year we would make a dozen different items - such as various breads, Mexican wedding cookies, sugar cookies, ginger molasses cookies, and caramel corn. Carefully we would...

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Simple Truffles

Simple Truffles

It is officially the holiday season! No longer do I need to listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies in secret - because my husband refuses to have anything to do with Christmas before his favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has had its turn to shine. This past weekend, we both had a 4 day weekend, which having the same days off is a special rarity in itself! We enjoyed our large Thanksgiving meal, and spent the rest of the weekend eating leftovers for lunch and dinner. But don't worry...

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Blueberry Honey Ice Cream

Well it’s Monday once again, and like most Mondays, it leaves us a slight longing for reliving the weekend that just passed. Lately I have been picking up extra shifts at the hospital to help save up for our big trip at the end of summer, which leaves little time off to rest. But this past weekend I had 3 whole days off in a row! Woohoo! I finished rereading the Harry Potter series, and now I really want to watch the movies again – but my husband says that the HP series is good just being watched once a year. Someone please talk some sense into him. I went to a Mary Kay launch party – and while I felt like an old adult, because my mom and her friends always went to Mary Kay parties, I did greatly enjoy the free facial and winning some prizes. But wow...

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Nutella & Orange White Chocolate Cups

This past weekend was the perfect sneak peak into summer. The majority of my time was spent outside in our hammock, reading Harry Potter numero 5 while enjoying the warm breeze. We went to one of our favorite Thai restaurants (though I still have yet to find a Thai restaurant that even comes close to my favorite Thai food truck in Portland), and walked to the local Asian market for some authentic curry paste to use later in the week. We endured the overcrowded Lake Calhoun and kayaked around the Chain of Lakes. While on the water a mosquito landed on me and I was the most dramatic about it. If there are two things I hate about Midwest summers it is...

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Lemon Lavender White Chocolate Cups

When life hands you lemons, you make yummy treats. That's how the saying goes right? ;) So this spring thing has continued to amaze and rejuvenate me. The warmer days have brought reading in the courtyard, running in shorts and a tank top (see ya later wool socks!), BBQ meals (bring me all da grilled veggies), open windows letting in the breezy air, small buds growing from the tree branches, and endless tulips in the stores. This past weekend, we celebrated Easter - suburban Minnesota style, and it was truly wonderful. My gracious coworker invited Alex and me to her home to celebrate Easter with her family. I single-handedly almost finished off the supply of Robin Eggs in their giant Easter candy basket, because somehow no one in their family likes that candy. But hey, I wasn't complaining! We played four-square in the backyard - yes, the game from elementary school you would play in the schoolyard. And we were introduced to some Minnesotan classic holiday dishes - my favorite being cheesy potatoes with baked corn flakes. When surrounded by folks who grew up in Minnesota, I can't help but think of Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. Someone on the writing staff must have grown up in Minnesota - because some of the things are just too accurate! 

I wanted to reflect this sense of rejuvenation and freshness in a recipe - and the best way I know how is with lemons. I paired the refreshing citrus tang and the bright yellow coloration with a hint of lavender, all coated in white chocolate. Because everything is better with chocolate, right? This recipe is easy to make and the perfect little treat. After making these in standard muffin pans, I HIGHLY recommend making yours in mini muffin pans. These larger ones got a little messy, so if you want a simple treat you can pop in your mouth, go with the mini muffin pans. 


LEMON LAVENDER WHITE CHOCOLATE CUPS

Prep time: 25 minutes
Wait time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 5-10 minutes

1.  Infuse together for 20 minutes:
               1 teaspoon lavender
               1/3 cup hot water

2.  Pour through a mesh strainer to remove the lavender.

3.  Transfer the lavender infused water to a medium saucepan and mix in:
               3/4 cup granulated sugar
               1/4 cup lemon juice
               1 Tablespoon cornstarch
               1 lemon, zest
               2 egg yolks
               Dash of salt

4.  Over medium heat, whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer and thickens. Cook for 30 more seconds, then remove from heat.

5.  Pour through a mesh strainer into a small bowl. (This will remove any cooked egg if present). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down so the plastic wrap is directly touching the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for at least an hour to continue thickening.

Assembly:

6.  Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners.

7.  Melt:
               15 oz white chocolate

8.  Spread 1 Tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the bottom of the paper liners, bringing the chocolate up the sides as well. Smack the muffin pan on the counter to smooth out the chocolate. Freeze for a couple minutes to harden the chocolate.

9.  Place a dollop of lemon lavender curd in the cups, and smooth over the chocolate. Cover the curd with the melted chocolate, spreading evenly. Freeze for 5 minutes to set, then store in the refrigerator. (There are no binding agents in the chocolate, so storing at room temperature will lead to melting). 

 

Peanut Butter Reese's Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Reese's Ice Cream

This past Christmas was quieter than usual as my husband and I celebrated with just the two of us here in our tiny apartment. Not only was it the first time that we weren’t with family for the holidays, but also it was our first married Christmas (eeep!) and our first white Christmas. Well technically it was a white Christmas as there was snow on the ground outside, but the rainstorm that came through that day tried hard to melt all of the snow! We cuddled together with...

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Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream

Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream

I don’t know about you but I love eating ice cream, no matter the time of year, and I live in Minne-snow-ta, so that should tell you something about my deep affinity towards the cold dessert. However it wasn’t until my years in Portland and my first experience with Salt & Straw ice cream that I realized that ice cream was no longer reserved for the classic flavors, but rather was an avenue for creativity and imagination. It was with that spirit that I purchased our first Cuisinart ice cream maker. Thankfully my...

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