Time to make the donuts!

I officially have a new obsession! For the last few months, I have been making my own donuts for my family and they are amazing! None of us will really eat store bought donuts anymore now! Lol. These are the two recipes I tend to stick with. I will post a separate entry for the glazes I use.

Quick Donuts:
2 Packets Fast Rising Yeast
1 Cup lukewarm water
3 TBLS sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 Cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3-4 cups AP Flour
oil for cooking (I use veggie oil, about an inch in my big pot I use to cook pasta)

In the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attached, add yeast, water and sugar. Allow mixture to sit until bubbles form on top of mixture (about 8 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen).
Add the rest of ingredients and mix with dough hook, knead dough for 1 minute. (Add flour about 1/8cup at a time until dough is no longer sticky, amount needed depends on the humidity of your kitchen, I usually use about 4 cups).
On a floured surface, kneed by hand for an additional minute. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick and cut out donuts. You can use almost anything to cut them out, use either a large biscuit cutter for the outer circle and a smaller one for the hole, or a large glass for outer circle and a shot glass for the hole, anything really. Rekneed the scraps together to cut out more donuts, but no more than three times or the dough becomes too tough and does not rise properly.¬† This recipe will yield about 20 donuts and 26 donut holes (the 6 additional ones will come from the last of the scrap dough).
Place donuts and holes on a lightly floured surface and cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel (with the space this many donuts takes up, you will be tempted to use a single bath towel, do not, it will be too heavy for the donuts to rise properly). Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes. (I usually wait the half hour then set up the oil pot and begin to make the glazes for the last 15 minutes).
Place the donuts in the oil, no more than three at a time. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side then flip. The donuts will be golden brown. Transfer to a large plate covered in paper towels or napkins to drain. Drop in glaze while still warm.
The holes will only take about 30 seconds each.
Any left overs can be frozen before they are glazed for another time. Freeze for up to 6 months, although they never last that long around here.

Bread Machine Donuts:
1/2 cup milk (80*F)
1/4 cup water (room temp)
1/4 cup veggie oil
1 egg, room temp, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your bread maker. Use the dough setting and turn it on. Check after about five minutes, if dough is too sticky, add flour 3 TBLS at a time until it is not sticky. Allow bread machine to do its thing. Rise should take about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes depending on your machine.
When dough cycle is over, turn risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4″ thick. Cut donuts as before, this should yield 2 dozen depending on size.
Place cut dough on a floured surface and cover with a very slightly damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise until dough does not bounce back when pressed slightly, about 45 minutes.
Fry as before.

Fresh Chicken Soup

I have about six or seven different chicken soup recipes, Chicken and egg noodle, chicken and dumplings, chicken corn chowder, cream of chicken, chicken veggie, chicken and rice, to name a few. This afternoon, I was in a mood for chicken soup, so I decided to make my pantry busting soup my Grandmother taught me to make.

It is very simple, chicken broth (whatever you might have in the pantry, if you only have a can or two, use a can of hot water for every can of broth you have or use, you can also use bullion cubes and hot water or any other kind of chicken broth you have) 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salt, black pepper, garlic, onion cut into large chunks, put the chicken in a large pot and cover with broth and water, throw in salt, pepper, garlic, and onion, simmering until the chicken is cooked. The broth will strengthen as the chicken cooks. Once chicken is cooked through, reduce heat and remove large chunks of onion. With a fork and large spoon, break up chicken into large shredded chunks, add any veggies you may have in the freezer (I usually use either mixed veggies or green beans, broccoli doesn’t work as well in this kind of soup, you can also throw in some carrot rounds now if you want them. Simmer for half an hour or until veggies are soft, add a few handfulls of any kind of pasta noodle in the pantry plus any canned veggies you might want to add (tonight I used broken up thin spaghetti, break up longer noodles). Serve piping hot with buttered rye bread or potato rolls and enjoy.

I love this soup, it is quick and easy and uses things already in the pantry.

Coffee lovers!!!

For me, one of the tell tale signs of the impending Holiday season is not when Walmart displays the Christmas lights, oh, no, my friends, its when the special coffee creamers start popping up on the shelves. When you can get Gingerbread Lattes and Pumpkin Pie Creamer.
But, what about people like me, who start getting ready for the holidays now? With so many birthdays between now and the new year, I start my crafting now. So, I mae my own creamer.

Peppermint Mocha Creamer
Hershey’s baking coco (the bitter powdered stuff) about 1/2 cup
Ground up peppermint hard candies (I use a food processor to grind those red and white mints, about 12 at a time, until they are a powder like the coco) about 1/2 cup
Powdered milk about 1/2 cup

Blend all three together and store in an air tight container. Adjust the ratio until you get the strength you are after. I love it! Lol.