Monthly Archives: March 2013

Baked Doughnuts

Baked DoughnutsThe snow was blowing.

The temperature was dropping.

The entire family was home safe.

The only thing that would make the day even more perfect was fresh doughnuts!

And since none of us really needed the extra calories from frying them in hot oil – we baked them.

A quick brush of melted butter on the hot doughnuts and a dip in a cinnamon-sugar bath and you never miss the fryer!

Don’t let the yeast scare you – they are very easy to make! These do take some time to raise – so plan ahead.

They’re perfect for a special mid-afternoon treat!

Baked Doughnuts

2 packages active dry yeast (or 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1-1/2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour
1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add milk and shortening; stir  for 1 minute. Add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, nutmeg, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (do not knead).

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a doughnut cutter and place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the doughnuts are baking, combine the cinnamon and remaining 1 cup of sugar.

Remove the doughnuts and brush with butter. Roll the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Trust me – you won’t have to call the kids twice!

Makes about 2 dozen.

Enjoy!

…And it is Finished – Finally

quilt

The quilt is finished.

Finally.

It was the first solo quilt project I started after a beginners quilting class over 20 years ago.

Each piece was hand cut and hand stitched.

I spent hours of my first pregnancy stitching my way through morning sickness, doctor’s visits, back pain, and heartburn.

I finished the piecing, struggled with the sashing, and started hand-quilting it together.

It was at this point I got tired and frustrated.¬† I had measured a little wrong – okay a lot wrong – and it wasn’t laying right.

I gave up, tucked the unfinished quilt in a box and promised myself I would finish it after the baby was born.

Fast forward 20 years, 5 kids, and 2 moves later. I found the quilt in that same box – with the quilting needle in the middle of a stitch, exactly where I left it.

As I picked the quilt up and smoothed it out – I knew I had to finish it. I found my quilt frame and picked up where I left off, finally putting the final stitches in the binding this week.

It’s not perfect – not by a long shot. Those imperfections didn’t magically disappear as it sat in storage.

No – the quilt didn’t change – but I did. I was finally ready to look past the mistakes and see the beauty.

I was ready to accept it for what it was and appreciate the lessons it taught me.

That sometimes we have to work with what we have.

That if we focus on the negative we often lose sight of the positive.

That if you just take a step back, and get the bigger picture, the little things don’t seem as important.

This first quilt will never win any prizes – but in my heart it will always be a work of art – a visual reminder of the life lessons it’s taken me 20 years to learn.