Monday, April 6, 2009


I took this donut recipe from my aunt Denise's blog. I made them for the first time on Saturday and they were much easier than I expected. They were delicious and a new Conference weekend tradition was born for us!

  • 2/3 c. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. hot mashed potatoes (we use instant mashed potatoes)

Combine first three ingredients together and add:

  • 1 c. warm milk (we use water and powdered milk; we like our homemade breads best when we use powdered milk)

Let cool to lukewarm and add:

  • 1 T. yeast that has been dissolved in 1 c. water with 1 t. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. salt

Beat well. Add 2 c. flour and mix well. Add an additional 5-7 c. flour and knead thoroughly (we use dough hooks in the mixer). Dough should not be too sticky. Place dough in large Tupperware bowl, spray top with Pam, cover, and refrigerate overnight (we have been known to make dough first thing in the morning for use later that day--the dough is easiest to work with, however, when thoroughly chilled). For a large crowd we have been known to make 1 1/2 batches of dough.

Roll out dough about 3/8"-1/2" thick and cut circles and holes with round cutters. You may have to experiment with sizes. We have a large set of circle cutters and use one of the larger ones. Transfer cut donuts to waxed paper-lined trays that have been generously scattered with flour. The secret to beautiful donuts is being able to get them off of the cookie sheet and into the fryer without collapsing the dough, hence adequate flour is helpful.

We originally tried frying the donuts in hot oil in a skillet, but found it difficult to control the temperature of the oil; the donuts would often get too brown on the outside and still be doughy on the inside. We have since invested in a "Fry Daddy" and it has been worth every penny! We also read up on donut making and discovered that it is recommended to use solid shortening (a.k.a. Crisco) rather than vegetable oil. Fry donuts until golden, turning as needed. Drain on paper towels/newspapers.

Make a watery glaze of powdered sugar, water, vanilla, and a few grains of salt. I am the fryer and my mom is the glazer, and when I asked her for the Secret Recipe for the glaze she laughed. She just starts with some powdered sugar in a bowl and adds 2-3 times as much water, adjusting thickness/thinness as necessary. (for the record, I had to add WAY more powdered sugar to get the proper ratio.)

After the doughnuts have drained for a minute or two (not too long) use a fork to dip in glaze and transfer to wire rack. Donuts are also good dipped in granulated sugar instead of glaze. (We double-dipped in the glaze. Yum! Next time, I'm going to try a chocolate glaze...)

Good luck in your homemade donut endeavors!

Rosemary Artisan Bread

My aunt Linda posted this recipe on Facebook and I was intrigued. Grandma and I made it when I was visiting and it was incredible! She said she has made it without the rosemary and lemon zest and it was still wonderful. Just as good as what you'd buy in a French bakery.

This bread is almost effortless to make because it requires no kneading. Instead, the dough is allowed to slowly rise over a long period of time. Then it is baked in a preheated covered cast-iron pot, which helps produce a crispy, bakery-style crust on the finished loaf.

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
• 1 3/4 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
• 2 tsp. chopped lemon zest
• Cornmeal as needed

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, rosemary and zest. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; the dough will be shaggy and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at warm room temperature (about 70°F) until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and fold the dough over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel, preferably a flour sack towel (not terry cloth), with cornmeal. Put the dough, seam side down, on the towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise until the dough is more than double in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.

At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, put a 2 3/4-quart cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over, seam side up, into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the loaf is browned, 15 to 30 minutes more.

Transfer the pot to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, turn the pot on its side and gently turn the bread; it will release easily. Makes one 1 1/2-lb. loaf.

Adapted from Sullivan Street Bakery (New York City) and Mark Bittman, "The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work," The New York Times, Nov. 8, 2006.

(It was almost better the second day!)

Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Primavera

1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears
1 c. matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes
8 oz. uncooked penne
2 c. sliced rotisserie chicken breast
3/4 c. whipping cream
2/3 c. shaved fresh Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus and cut into 2" pieces. Combine asparagus, carrots, onion and garlic in jelly roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss gently to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown; stir vegetables. Add tomatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes.

While vegetables roast, cook pasta. Drain well, reserving 1/3 c. pasta water. Keep past and reserved water warm.

Combine chicken, vegetables, pasta, reserved pasta water, and whipping cream; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size 1 1/4 c.)

*Note: I used Costco grated parmesan with great results. This dish tastes too rich to be a WW recipe (7 points)!

Triple Caramel Cake

Grandma gave me this recipe when I was visiting. It's a new discovery and a delicious addition to our family cake repertoire. I can't wait to make it!

3 c. heavy cream
2 1/2 c. sugar
6 oz. butter, softened
4 large eggs
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder (3/4 t. at high altitude)

Pour 2 c. cream into a medium saucepan over medium heat and slowly bring to a boil. Lower heat and keep at a bare simmer.

Put 1 c. sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Leave undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt and darken. Gently shake the pan to distribute the sugar and keep from burning. When all the sugar is melted and very dark amber, remove from heat.

Carefully add hot cream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Don't worry if caramel hardens; it will melt as sauce boils. Return pan to heat and keep at a gentle boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Set aside for at least 30 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is cool. Reserve 1 c. sauce for cake batter and refrigerate the rest.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Cream butter and 1 1/2 c. sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gently but thoroughly fold in dry ingredients alternately with 1 c. of the caramel, beginning and ending with the dry.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until skewer comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Set on rack for 10 minutes, then unmold and cool completely. Bring rest of sauce to room temperature. When cake is cool, drizzle 1/2 of the sauce on top.

Whip remaining 1 c. cream to firm peaks and gently fold in remaining caramel, leaving streaks visible. Serve with cake.

Okay, so it's kind of a lot of work, but doesn't it just sound heavenly??


(oops! forgot to take a photo of the finished product!)

My cousin Charlotte got this recipe from a roommate who took a food preparation class at BYU. These are fast, easy, and a big hit with the fam.

1 1/4 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3 - 3 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. melted butter
garlic salt/parmesan cheese

Proof the yeast. Mix sugar, salt, and 2 1/2 c. flour. Add yeast mixture and stir to form dough. Add more flour if needed -- it's better to be on the stickier side. Let dough rest 10 minutes.

Put half of melted butter in a jelly roll pan. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape and then press into pan. Brush with remaining butter. Cut dough into strips with a pizza cutter and sprinkle with parmesan and garlic salt. Let rest another 10 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

**Notes: I happened to check on mine at 15 minutes and they were totally done. Also, I got a grinder in the spice section at Target that has sea salt and garlic -- delicious.