nourishing & unapologetic
I've always loved to read. Most Saturday mornings of my childhood you could find me lugging a bag full of books into our local library. Then college happened. And my free time and zest for reading for pleasure was kinda squelched. Now days, my book reading habit comes and goes in spurts. That said, I spend a lot of time reading random articles, pinterest pins, and recipes. There's not a day goes by that I don't read a recipe or two (or ten). Some of them I know I'll likely never make and then there are those that have me racing to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients.
Today, I'm sharing with you one of those recipes. The kind that had my stomach growling at first sight.
Baker by Nature totally shaped my Saturday morning with her compelling perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter in donut form. Yep. Uh huh. I can see that drool you're wiping from the corner of your mouth. You're already intrigued by this flavor combo sent from the Heavens.
I'm recounting this recipe in pictures because my words won't do them justice. (And it's rare I'm short on words...) So, rather than me retell you her recipe that I followed to a "T", I want to send you directly to the source. Visit her site for all the specifics on how to get these gloriously good babes in your hands (and belly).
Oh, and yes, I almost forgot to tell you: you do need a donut pan (or two) for this recipe. While I'm a staunchly against having too many single-use kitchen items take up the always cramped cabinet space, this one is a must. Well, if you like donuts, that is. If not, why are you still reading this? (Just kidding. kind of...)
Seriously though, the Wilton donut pans don't take up much room and they're totally worth having so you can satisfy your own donut hankering when it strikes. (Plus baked donuts made at home have to be healthier than those from the local shop. Right? Feel free to use that justification when you eat your second one of these suckers.)
May your schedule be clear enough for you to whip these up. And if it's not, they're pretty dang quick, so carve out the time. Then plan donut Saturday for the foreseeable future. [And get out your running shoes so you won't feel as guilty. Trade-offs, people. :)]
Until next time--
This is a story. A story of love and carbs, and change.
I do carbs well (like A+ skill). I love love and do it pretty well. And change, that one, whew, not so much... but life it is a funny thing.
We moved to Wichita a little over two years ago for Nick's job. Starting our life here meant I left a job that I really liked. Looking back, I actually loved it. But, we made this move together. I agreed to our move without hesitation and excitement because I love Nick and I love us. And, because he got the offer many others in his field covet.
So, I got a new job in Wichita. We actually started our new jobs the same day. My experience at my new job in Wichita allowed me some great experiences planning big events, helping craft concentrated marketing efforts, connecting with some impressive people, and develop some good relationships. I had a good run in that position. But I started this blog because I wanted to share stories and honest reflections (and great food!). Accordingly, I have to be transparent. In this position, I struggled with my authenticity, the value I provided, my work-life balance, and, frankly, my happiness. Thus, I reached a tipping point and had to make a change. YES, I inserted change, BIG CHANGE, into my own life.
Switching jobs is scary. Leaving one that is stable, poised for possible growth, and reasonably compensated for one that is for lesser pay well that's enough to send a lifelong risk-manager into a tailspin. This is where the love comes in. Throughout my entire job search and interview process, Nick was the paramount cheerleader. He was my champion. He provided me the permission I thought I needed to walk away from something fine for something that could bring me new challenge and more peace. He did give me some tough love and a quasi-mandate to make a decision and not look back, either way no matter what I chose.
It came down to taking the risk. Or facing regret. I would have only stayed in my former position out of fear of the unknown. So I had some lengthy consultation with those I love the most and did some soul-searching. Then I went to sleep. Yes, I slept on it. Then I woke up and charged ahead on decision day resolved to take the leap. I found this quote that describes the feeling I had, "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings."
In this journey, perhaps amplified by ever nearing end of my twenties, I've come to realize giving my energy and time to something that fulfills you is critical. Adding value to your life and the lives of others is awesome and necessary. Moreover, happiness is important. Happiness with self, work, and life. If something is standing in the way of happiness you have to move it or move you. New beginnings only happen if we make them happen.
I am happy to report that I think I'm going to love my new job. I get the opportunity to tell the stories of our community's school district. I get to showcase what's good about public education and the success of students and teachers. I also get to help foster opportunities for support. Other bonuses about this new job: Practically no more extra hours. Nick and I have about the same schedule. And it frees me up to take another leap, errrr, well perhaps tip toe into the world of real estate (more on this when there's more to report.) It's true that the newness hasn't worn off, but it's safe to say I made the right choice.
All this change makes me hungry. Carbs, shall we? Let's talk donuts. Better yet, pumpkin donuts.
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Original Donut Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Makes 18 donuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients with hand or stand mixer until well blended.
3. Stir in flour until smooth.
4. Spoon batter into non-stick sprayed standard donut pan. Fill wells about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 2-3 minutes then move donuts out onto cooling rack.
While cooling, make icing, if desired.
1. Beat 5 tablespoons cream cheese, 3/4 cup powered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar with hand mixer. Adjust powdered sugar and use about 2-4 tablespoons of milk to create desired consistency. We like it a little more cream cheesy, a little less sweet, and a teeny bit thick but that's the beauty of it all, customize to your liking.
Note: I made the donuts the day before icing them. They were a bit sticky the next day. So I popped the donuts back into the oven at 350 for about 2-3 minutes and then dipped these babies into icing.
This treat. These are incredibly easy. And the pumpkin spice is like whoa. Enjoy them this fall (more than once if you can handle it.)
Before I sign off, I have to give a shout out to by husband and those who took this leap with me. THANK YOU for helping me pursue my own path and loving me through my crazy antics, my over analyzation, and my dreams.
If you're headed towards a crossroads or faced with any difficult decisions, trust your tribe, trust yourself, and take the risk. Read the quotes below as they were pulled from my Instagram feed and GO FOR IT!
Until next time.
Breakfast for many is eggs, bacon, biscuits...and while I totally like those items, I tend to crave something sweet to start my day. A tender fruity or chocolately muffin fits that bill. When I was in college, I figured out the secret ingredient to making the best, most tender muffins...BUTTERMILK! I know it is a rather old school ingredient to have in a college refrigerator but I am a kind of an old person at heart who adores Southern food, so buttermilk in my fridge makes total sense.
Muffins aren't my everyday fuel; generally pastries for breakfast are reserved for weekends or traveling days. Though, when there's buttermilk on hand and it's a weekend or holiday, I'll probably break out the muffin tins. In preparation for the 4th of July, I made a batch of blueberry muffins to take for our visit with the I Family in Lee's Summit. Nick is always a skeptic when there's something sweet for breakfast. But, he definitely ate two muffins when they came out of the oven (quality control work, I'm sure).
Make these before summer escapes us. The bright blueberry flavor is a burst of the season, for sure.
Summer Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
(Makes 12-16 regular size muffins)
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or less if preferred)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon (orange is great too!)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups of blueberries (fresh preferred)
These are very quick and easy but don't let that fool you, they're quality. Wishing you muffin merriment soon! Talk to you soon.