Taste Test: Molten Churro Bombs

This week’s #TasteTest recipe is molten churro bombs which is code for fried drops of heaven filled with chocolate. Apparently, once you click on one recipe by Tasty you will be FLOODED with recipes on your timeline. The name alone would make anyone stop the scroll…

Do you think it’ll make the cut? Scroll to find out!

But first, a quick reminder I’m not a food blogger. There will be no flour-dusted cutting board photos in-between hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives. The word foodie sends an awful noise of nails on a chalkboard down my spine.

I only want to share the recipe and what I learned when baking or cooking it for the first time. The act of making food for others is how I show love, and it’s my fun time. Trying to make something for the first time is always exciting for me because you either nail it or you don’t.

Here we go:

THE RECIPE:

    • 1 cup water
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 stick
    • ½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 18 milk chocolate truffles
    • oil, for frying
  • CINNAMON SUGAR COATING

    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
    • 1 piping bag, with a small closed star tip
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough comes together to form a ball, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes before proceeding to avoid accidentally cooking the eggs.
  4. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Then add the vanilla.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip.
  7. Pipe 18 1½-inch (3 cm) spiral rounds onto the baking sheet. Top each with a milk chocolate truffle. Pipe the dough in a spiral to cover the truffles, being careful to completely seal the chocolate. Immediately transfer the tray to the freezer and freeze for 1 hour, until solid.
  8. Heat the oil in a deep pot until it reaches 350˚F (180˚C).
  9. Fry in batches of 4 until nicely browned, about 3 minutes, turning so they fry evenly. Drain on a cooling rack, or paper towel-lined plate and dab off any excess oil.
  10. Combine the remaining ½ cup sugar (100 G) and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the warm churro bombs in the mixture to coat.

MY FINDINGS:

  1. No piping bag, per usual. A good ‘ol Ziploc freezer bag with the end cut worked just as well.
  2. When you mix the eggs in one by one it takes a while for them to mix in with the dough, don’t panic, just keep stirring. *in my Dory voice
  3. The recipe mentions 3 minutes at 350, but mine took closer to 4 minutes to get a golden brown look. A good tell was when they began to float, mine would float a little past 3 minutes and then I’d leave them in its oil bath for 30 more seconds.
  4. Also, don’t wait until they’re completely cool to dunk them in cinnamon sugar, the coating won’t stick as well if they don’t have a little hot oil still on them.

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

 

The Hubs didn’t feel the same way….here’s his review.

Yes! The melty chocolate makes for a good dipping sauce. Who wouldn’t like to dip fried cinnamon sugar bread into gooey chocolate? Hellooooo. I also feel obligated to say Hubs did not appreciate the chocolate, he’s a purist who believes the original recipe shouldn’t be messed with…but that if the chocolate was solid he might get on board. You can’t see me but my eyes are rolling, again because they rolled when he said it, too. Haha.

Have you tried this recipe, too? What did you think about it? Tell in the comments, belowwwwwwww.

ps: The original recipe can be found here.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.-16

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The Happiness Project: Your Next Read

Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? If you have, what did you think? For those who haven’t read the book, don’t fear, I’m going to give you the book’s best bits.

Real quick for those who need and/or want context, the book is about one woman’s year dedicated to being a happier person. Each chapter provides action items to complete the month’s happiness theme. For example, chapter one (January) focused on boosting energy: her action items were going to sleep earlier, exercising better, de-cluttering, tackling a nagging task and act more energetic when she felt herself feeling exhausted.

And JIC you’ll never pick up this book, here are some takeaways, my best bits, and one personal truth you might need to hear, too.

<< keep scrolling >>

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  1. Examine your true rules. Identify the ones that are conflicting and/or unhelpful. Pay attention to the ones that are beneficial. Your true rules are mental rules of thumb or quick commonsense principles you apply to solve a problem. Example: nothing good happens after 2 AM or always greet people with a smile. What if “always in a hurry” and “enjoy the moment” are part of your true rules, it’s conflicting–work on getting rid of “always in a hurry.”
  2. When your mind starts to go negative, flip the script and think of something funny that’ll make you laugh.
  3. Acknowledge what makes you happy and not what you wished made you happy and do what makes you happy.
  4. Look for happiness.
  5. Quit waiting for ‘something special’ to use the good china or dress up nice.
  6. “When one loves, one does not calculate.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
  7. Play. Make more time for doing the ridiculous. Not every moment of the day needs to be efficient and productive. Lighten up.

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Tips for getting your sweetheart to do chores–without nagging:

  • No carping from the sidelines: if your sweetheart made the travel arrangements, don’t criticize the flight time.
  • Suggest tasks without words: leave a note, put an empty container on the counter.
  • Limit yourself to one word: Instead of barking out, “I’ve told you a dozen times, stop off at the grocery store, we need milk!” Say, “Milk!”
  • Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule.
  • Have clear assignments. My Hubs gets the car washed, I water the lawn.
  • Every once in a while, do your hunny’s chore.

Tips for getting a boost of energy in the next 10 minutes:

  • Go outside into the sunlight.
  • Go for a brisk walk.
  • Act with energy.
  • Listen to your favorite upbeat song.
  • Tackle an item on your to-do list.
  • Clean up!
  • Drink some coffee – it gets a bad rap depending on what article you read, but remember everything in moderation.

Hey, hi, and hello! (20)

  1. We’re more like other people, and less like other people than we suppose.
  2. Things often get harder before they get easier.
  3. It’s easier to keep up than catch up.
  4. The things that go wrong often make the best memories.
  5. We can’t make people change, but when we change others change and a relationship can change.
  6. Most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  7. Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.
  8. Every room should include something purple.
  9. Nothing stays in Vegas.
  10. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
  11. Don’t expect to be motivated by motivation.
  12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.
  13. Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time.
  14. It’s easier to change your surroundings than yourself.
  15. Starting again is harder than starting.
  16. Go slow to go fast.
  17. The days are long but the years are short.

How many of these feel true to you? Number one has always felt true to me and number four is both hilariously and painstakingly true, but don’t even get me started on number seven…

I work myself silly in all different directions in order to be too exhausted to chip away at my ‘write a book’ goal. This book idea (a couple if I’m being honest…) has been in my head for the last five years, FIVE. When will I push past my own self-doubt and fear to tackle this dream?

Do you have a dream you distract yourself from doing?

I think step one (for me) needs to be to schedule it into my weekly routine and then stick to it so I make it a habit. Other times I think I just need a secluded environment for three days to knock it out. Oh yeah, and accountability. Maybe I need to pay my Hubs $20 every time I flake on myself, that’s motivational…hahaha.

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Cheesy French Onion Chicken

This week’s taste test recipe is a cheesy French onion chicken recipe I found on Tasty. This recipe has minimal steps AND ingredients, it can all be done in one SINGLE  pan. If I could insert an Oprah gif (the one where she’s telling everyone they get a car) I would put it right here because one pan clean ups are my FAVORITE kinds of recipes…but will it make the cut?

In the honor of full disclosure I will tell you I’ve never been a fan of French onion soup…but my Hubs loves French onion so I made it knowing if I hated it he’d probably love it and would devour the leftovers.

But first, a quick reminder I’m not a food blogger. There will be no flour-dusted cutting board photos in-between hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives. The word foodie sends an awful noise of nails on a chalkboard down my spine.

I only want to share the recipe and what I learned when baking or cooking it for the first time. The act of making food for others is how I show love, and it’s my fun time. Trying to make something for the first time is always exciting for me because you either nail it or you don’t.

Here we go:

THE RECIPE:

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon butter

6 large onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 cup beef stock

2 cups gruyère cheese, shredded

bread, sliced and toasted, to serve
  1. In a bowl, add the chicken thighs, salt, pepper, garlic, dried parsley, and olive oil, and toss until evenly coated.
  2. Add the chicken to a skillet on medium-high heat. Sear until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side of the chicken, 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to broil.
  4. Add the butter, sliced onions, salt, and pepper to the same pan, stirring occasionally until softened. Reduce heat to low and cook until they are deeply caramelized, about 1 hour.
  5. Add thyme and beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Add the chicken on top of the onions, and sprinkle with Gruyère cheese.
  7. Broil for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  8. Serve over bread.

MY FINDINGS:

  1. I didn’t have the time frame to reduce the onions down for an hour, it ended up being 30-ish minutes instead which was still flipping awesome.
  2. No parsley or thyme in my cabinet like I thought (wasn’t going back to the grocery store, again) so I found a spice blend floating around the pantry called “Pasta Sprinkle” and used it instead. It contained Mediterranean oregano, California basil, and minced garlic.
  3. If you’re curious about how much cheese I used, it was the e.n.t.i.r.e. block for good measure 🙂 My Hubs says you can never use enough cheese, haha.

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

 

HELL TO THE YES, IT WAS BOMB-DIGGITY! It is easy to make and packed full of flavor. It’s going in my rotation for dinners, for sure. Fun Fact: if you ditch the bread it’s Keto and/or low carb.

Have you tried this recipe, too? What did you think about it? Tell in the comments, belowwwwwwww.

ps: The original recipe can be found here.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.-14

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month and I wanted to dedicate this week’s post to remind everyone how important it is to keep the conversation about mental health-relevant.

Did you know:

  • 1 in 5 young people in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental health disorder before age 18.
  • Half of the adults who struggle with a lifetime mental illness had symptoms before age 14, but most received no help.
  • Only about 1.3 of kids with mental health problems today receive any treatment.
  • Every dollar invested in children’s mental health saves $7 in future public costs.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24.
  • Stigma, denial, and lack of access to care are barriers to healing.
  • The earlier a child receives high-quality, evidence-based care, while the brain is rapidly developing, the greater the possibility of a positive outcome.

I’ve started to align myself with brands and people who are invested in self-care and mental health. The T-shirt company Self Care Is For Everyone does both and I am IN LOVE WITH THEM.

Its mission is to normalize the conversation around mental health and provide gentle reminders to our community of their inherent self-worth by emphasizing the importance of self-care in hopes of creating a future in which suicide and self-harm become things of the past. Also, 10% from the sales on our site go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States.

This is also their definition of self-care that I love to read every once in a while for a healthy reminder it’s okay to put myself first.

To be able to take care of others, you must first learn to take care of yourself. Self-care is often used as a vague term but put simply, self-care is anything you do to be good to yourself. Self-care is consciously choosing to be kind to yourself in whatever capacity you need. This includes being compassionate in the way you speak to yourself. Self-care is needed for the well being of your mental health & your physical health.

Ironically enough, when struggling with a mental illness, basic self-care becomes the least of your worries. However, your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health are all connected and caring for all three can be a crucial part of the recovery process. While self-care means something different to each person you meet, we all need it to survive. Self-care is understanding how you recharge, or what you need in order to feel the strength to take care of everything else going on in your life. Having a self-care practice forces you to get to know yourself on a deeper level, to better understand what you might need in a given moment. Do you need to lay down and listen to music for a bit? Do you need to go for a walk? Or do you need to make time to catch up with an old friend?

I plan on buying a size small in every shirt possible, basically. I have the “Grow Through What You Go Through” and “You Are Enough” t-shirts, they’re the perfect reminder for me.

Click here if you’re curious to see if they’ve got a shirt perfect for you too!

What will you do for yourself this month?

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Halibut Poached in Duck Fat

Do you like mild fish? Then this recipe is right up your alley. It is packed with flavor thanks to its duck friend and SUPER simple to make, albeit a little pricy.

But first, a quick reminder I’m not a food blogger. There will be no flour-dusted cutting board photos in-between hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives. The word foodie sends an awful noise of nails on a chalkboard down my spine.

I only want to share the recipe and what I learned when baking or cooking it for the first time. The act of making food for others is how I show love, and it’s my fun time. Trying to make something for the first time is always exciting for me because you either nail it or you don’t.

Today’s Taste Test recipe is from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites cookbook. Here we go!

THE RECIPE:

1 lemon

1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

Seeds from 2 cardamom pods

1 bay leaf

4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

2 halibut fillets (about 12 ounces each; ask your fishmonger to remove the white belly skin but to leave the dark dorsal skin attached)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 quart rendered duck fat (available at various
gourmet retailers and some butcher shops)

Serve with mashed potatoes

  1. ⁣Using the microplane grater, finely grate the lemon zest into a small mixing bowl and add the oil, fennel and cardamom seeds, bay leaf, and garlic, mixing well. Rub the fish on all sides with the mixture and refrigerate in a casserole or zip-sealed plastic bag for at least 2 hours and up to 24. 
  2. Remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you’re ready to poach it. Brush off the excess garlic and seeds. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat the duck fat over medium heat until it reaches 150°F, monitoring the temperature with the instant-read thermometer. Slip the fish into the pot and ladle the fat over so it is submerged. Let cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fish has an internal temperature of 150°F. 
  4. Carefully remove the fish from the pot with a slotted
    spoon or fish spatula, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve with mashed potatoes.
  5. Serves 4

MY FINDINGS:

  1. The temperature of the duck fat is VERY important. Pay attention and monitor it.
  2. It took a little longer for me to poach the fish because the halibut wasn’t submerged completely in the fat, if I were to make it next time I would make sure it’s better covered.
  3. Tons of flavor. The best tasting halibut I’ve ever tasted.

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

No. I love Bourdain but there are plenty of other fish in the sea I’d rather eat. I’d say making it once to impress and check it off your list. Unless you don’t like strong tasting fish than this might be the next best thing since sliced bread!

If you make them this weekend, share your pictures in the comments or tag me in your post if you share on Instagram @sjrandol.

Anthony Bourdain quote for halibut poached in duck fat

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Your Next Read: The Hate U Give

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and I have to be honest, chapter two knocked me on my ass and I really appreciated it.

Its title is a nod to THUG LIFE—The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody—an acronym coined by rapper Tupac that encapsulates the cyclical nature of crime, poverty, and hate as a result of racism.

The second chapter is where Starr’s (main character) friend Khalil is shot and killed by an officer. He is unarmed.

And I don’t know who needs to hear this but…

When a cop pulls me over, I get sweaty. When a cop is driving behind me, my heart races. When I see cops in my neighborhood, I get nervous and feel myself go on alert.

I get sweaty because I know I’m not getting out of this ticket he’s about to write me (I’ve never managed to get out of one). My heart races because I’m hoping he’s not about to pull me over. I get nervous because the presence of a cop never means anything good is happening.

Never do I ever get sweaty, nervous, or whatever, because I am in fear of being killed. And that’s the difference. 

 

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Graham Cracker Rolls

Who loves graham crackers? I do! Who loves bake fails? I do! The last couple of months I’ve been sharing recipes with successful bakes, so I thought it was about time to share a huge fail recipe. My bread never rose, I persevered to see how they’d come out regardless and I made rocks.

My awful rock rolls are pictured below, they’re pretty terrible. It’s laughable. I’m sharing the process anyway.

But first, a quick reminder I’m not a food blogger. There will be no flour-dusted cutting board photos in-between hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives. The word foodie sends an awful noise of nails on a chalkboard down my spine.

I only want to share the recipe and what I learned when baking or cooking it for the first time. The act of making food for others is how I show love, and it’s my fun time. Trying to make something for the first time is always exciting for me because you either nail it or you don’t.

Today’s Taste Test recipe is from Southern Living. Here we go!

THE RECIPE:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, divided
  • Parchment paper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Combine first 2 ingredients and 1 tsp. sugar; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Beat egg, shortening, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add boiling water; stir until shortening melts. Stir in yeast mixture. Stir flour and 1/2 cup crumbs into egg mixture.
  3. Place dough in a lightly greased (with shortening) bowl; cover, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  4. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times. Roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough into rounds with a 1 1/2- to 2-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps twice. Place rolls 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and brush with melted butter.
  5. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup cracker crumbs and 1 1/2 tsp. sugar. Sprinkle mixture over rolls. Cover and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 18 minutes or until golden.

MY FINDINGS:

  1. It’s really important to care about the temperature of the water to dissolve the yeast.
  2. Do not over knead the dough and cover it properly (tight) so the air doesn’t get to it. I think too much air got to my dough and it wasn’t able to rise. I had the wannabe plastic wrap that didn’t stick to the bowl and hardly covered the top of the bowl.
  3. After the chilling process if your dough hasn’t risen, don’t bother continuing steps four through six, unless you want to be twins…

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

Yes. I didn’t get to taste them because who wants to eat rocks? And I love graham cracker anything.

If you make them this weekend, share your pictures in the comments or tag me in your post if you share on Instagram @sjrandol.

graham cracker roll taste test recipe

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Reoccurring​​ Nightmare​s

Get to the coastline before sunrise to save your sister. My heart is beating out of my chest and my legs can’t run any faster, sweat is pouring from every orifice and it feels like I’m not getting any closer to the coast. I’m starting to panic. What’s going to happen if I can’t save her? I can’t even think it, there’s no question; I must save her.

Dangerous obstacles slow my pace, a few moments ago I had to outrun a gang of dudes and it sent me in the wrong direction. I fear I’m going to be late. An orange hue has started to paint the sky, time is running out. “Must run faster,” is on repeat in my head. I can’t breathe but I don’t care. Where is my sister?!

Yellow has begun to mix with the orange, at any moment the sun will crack the horizon; I lay eyes on my sister. She’s in a deep pit and our fingers brush at the tips. She’s just out of my reach. I’m as far over the ledge as possible, any further and I’d fall in with her. “Jump! Jump!” I scream. She’s drained, eyes sunken in, she gave up hope long ago. “Please!” I beg, “Jump, I’m here, I’ve got you!”

She makes a runner’s lunge and throws herself up. My feet are dug deep into the earth, my stance wide and strong. I grab for her hands, prepared to lock on tight. We catch each other’s eyes just as the sun hits her face. “I’ve got her, I can catch her. She’s going to be safe,” I say to myself.

As the sun rises higher, the bottom of the pit slowly crumbles and shows the sky. How did this happen? We’re high up, too high up. Just as our fingertips are about to lock the sun shifts and momentarily blinds her which makes us miss hands. One of us screams, everything slows down, and I watch her fall.


My recurring nightmare has the same theme. I’m in a desperate situation frantically trying to rescue someone (it’s been my dogs sometimes, too) and miss saving them by a fingertip every time. No one else is ever with me in these dreams, it’s only me.

I never really read much into it. Chalked it up to an active imagination. Then I read this book written by a psychologist who shares one of her patient’s reoccurring nightmares that sounds an awful lot like mine and shares this explanation:

“*Natalie’s dream captures what it feels like to be emotionally alone. She has to deal with everything by herself and doesn’t consider asking anyone for help. This is how children of emotionally immature parents feel. Their parents may technically be present, but they offer little help, protection, or comfort.

Children like Natalie often grow up like little adults, helping their parents, giving them no trouble, and appearing to need practically nothing. These capable kids may seem like they can parent themselves, but they can’t. No child can. They just learn to cling to whatever emotional scraps they get because any connection is better than none at all.

Natalie is a successful adult and has created a rewarding life both personally and professionally, so who would guess the powerful woman walking into business meetings with a great marriage, successful children, and close friendships because she knows how to relate to people from every walk of life is carrying this deep sense of loneliness with her in every aspect of her life? Her dreams pull back the curtain to reveal that loneliness.”

She goes on to ask Natalie if she ever wondered why she was always alone in her dreams. Before my eyes finished reading the sentence my heart had lurched to my throat. I’m alone every single time, too, and I couldn’t stop those tears no matter how hard I tried to look up.

And her explanation felt really familiar. I never considered the amount of emotional loneliness I carry around or what that feeling I’ve always felt had a name. Therapy is helping. I’m unwinding the patterns and being aware is lightening my load. I haven’t had this nightmare in a few months, so maybe I’m getting somewhere quicker than it feels.

reoccurring nightmares quotes about moving forward

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The Best Cafe Du Monde Beignet Copycat Recipe

When I say I found the best Cafe Du Monde Beignet copycat recipe, I am not just saying it to get clicks. I have been looking for good beignets ever since I went to Mardi Gras back in 2015 with a girlfriend.

I used to get really excited when I’d see a restaurant with beignets on its dessert menu, but after a number of flat donut disappointments, I became extremely jaded. “Yeah, let’s see what their definition of a beignet is…”

Nothing will ever compare to the experience I had in New Orleans, but the days of dismay are OVER. I’m going to ruin the ending and tell you, these are flipping worth it!

But first, let’s recap in case you don’t know my rules…

I’m not a food blogger. I share recipes I’ve tried and if I’d make them again. I hate the word foodie and hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe, and photographs that have dusted flour and cutting boards.

You can expect the recipe I used, helpful tricks or what not to do and a couple (probably one) real shots of what it looked like when my bake came out of the oven.

THE RECIPE:

  • 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 18 ounces (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
  • Cottonseed oil for frying
Dust with
  • Powdered sugar

 

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes and it will become foamy.
  2. Whisk in the milk, egg, and salt. Then mix in half of the flour with a large spoon. If using a mixer, use a paddle attachment on low to medium speed.
  3. Mix in the shortening.
  4. Add the remaining flour and mix with the spoon until you can use your hands, then turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead just until smooth. Don’t over-knead or the dough will get too tough. If using a mixer, swap out the paddle for your dough hook and knead just until the dough is smooth.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap or a towel in a warm spot to rise for 2 hours. The dough will double in size.
  6. Preheat 3 to 4 inches of cottonseed oil in a pan or deep fryer to 370 degrees F.
  7. On a heavily floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza slicer or knife to cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch square pieces and fry 3 to 4 pieces at a time in the oil. Immediately after dropping the dough into the oil use a large spoon to gently splash hot oil over the top of each piece. after 30 to 45 seconds, flip all of the beignets over and continue to baste with the oil. After another minute or so, flip the beignets again, and continue to cook until the beignets are a deep golden brown. Continue flipping the beignets over to brown them evenly on both sides. After about 3 minutes, they should be done. Let them drain on a cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate for a minute until you can handle them.
  8. Serve three beignets on a plate with a very heavy dusting of powdered sugar on top.

MY FINDINGS:

  1. It’s important to care about the temp of your warm water. I microwaved warm water from the tap for 15-seconds, and it was almost spot on.
  2. I couldn’t find Cottonseed oil, so I used Peanut oil because Google told me it was the closest to cottonseed…
  3. The next time I make these I’m doubling the size in the name of authenticity.

WOULD I MAKE IT AGAIN?

Hell yes. I served with a raspberry sauce because SCREW THOSE WHO SERVE IT WITH COFFEE FLAVORED WHIPPED CREAM! I put one container of raspberries, half a lemon’s juice and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan and boiled it down on low heat for 15(ish) minutes. I then put it through a sieve to rid the seeds and this little extra step is WORTH IT.

Have you ever had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde?

New Orleans quote

Huge shoutout to The Food Hacker for this pot of gold. You can find it, here.
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The App That Helped Me Get Back In The Fitness Game

Can I just say, there are SO many health and fitness coaches on Instagram it’s kinda insane. I follow a couple chicks I respect but…other than that, lawd. have. mercy.

A few years ago my health and fitness routine spiraled into an unhealthy obsession. Living in Orange County, California, does come with an unsaid pressure to be fit, healthy, and young, but my addictive personality definitely added fuel to the awaiting fire.

Two strict diets, working out twice a day, not focusing on nutrition and feeling like I was running for dessert eventually tipped me over. After nearly two years on the hamster wheel, I finally fell off. And when I look back it’s easy to see it was only a matter of time.

I dropped to working out once a day, and then every other day, and then twice a week, and then oops skipped a week. All the while my caloric intake stayed the same and never adjusted to my new limited cardio. Twelve pounds (I stopped weighing myself after I gained twelve) and eight months later, I finally got myself back on the wagon and started practicing a balance between food and exercise.

Changing my mindset was priority number one, fixing my relationship with food was number two and finding a fitness routine I enjoyed was number three. And two apps helped me get number three situated.

7M for Women and ClassPass.

7M for Women is a FREE app with a variety of timed workouts. At the end of each session the same voice narrating your workout also tells you, “congratulations, work out complete,” and I was here for it. I needed that kind of affirmation in my life because it didn’t matter how long the workout was, I still got a congratulation.

ps: 7M stands for 7 minutes, as in a 7-minute workout, you still get a congratulations because showing up counts for something. 

ClassPass isn’t free, but the cheapest plan I was on helped me figure out what kind of classes I would want to invest my money in monthly, which led me to aerial fitness classes.

Never would I ever imagine I’d be putting my thing down, flipping it, and reversing it up on the silks and hoop, but here I am six months later and loving it. I live for my Wednesday night classes because once a week I prove to myself I can do the previously imagined, impossible.

But here’s the thing, I made a promise with myself I wasn’t going to over do it, meaning I wasn’t going to get competitive and only believe the workout counted if I was the best in the class and could outperform. Instead, my mindset was singularly focused on me, reminding myself I was doing it for me and for fun.

Day one is better than one day.

exercise quotes

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