Tag Archives: Food

Pumpkin Donuts

For a brief moment we had a breathe of fresh, crisp fall air here in San Diego. I got all bundled up on the couch with my kindle, a cup of tea and a cozy blanket. Sure enough the next day it was 80˚F again with not a cloud in the sky. During that momentary teaser of fall weather, I made some homemade cinnamon sugar and glaze covered pumpkin donuts with the help and recommendation of my madre. There is nothing quite like fresh donuts, even in the evening.

This was my first time making donuts so I was pretty skeptical how they would turn out (anything deep fried usually doesn’t go well for me). But no worries, they are not as difficult as they seem. If you plan to venture on and make these delectable treats, make sure you watch the temperature of the oil when you are frying and know that the dough has to sit for at least 3 hours before cooking. With that said, it may be better to make it the night before if you plan on eating these donuts fresh in the morning.  Also, if you don’t have cookie cutters to make the donut shape, you can use a round drinking glass and a shot glass. Those work just fine.

Pumpkin Donuts Recipe – from Epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS:

Spiced sugar

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Doughnuts

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • Canola oil (for deep-frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Whipping cream

PREPARATION:

For spiced sugar:
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

For doughnuts:
Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

For powdered sugar glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.

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Filed under At Home, Cooking

Ponte Winery

One of my favorite “getaways” with out actually having to get away very far is to the Temecula wineries. It has become customary to make our first stop at Ponte Winery, where we line our stomachs with a bit of delectable bites before venturing on to multiple tasting rooms available throughout the county. This is one of my favorite pitstops with a gorgeous restaurant patio and misters for those hot, humid days. They have a great selection of light lunch options like the cheese plate you see above. Tastings in Temecula range from $12 – $20 for 5 to 6 tastings a person. Just remember, get a designated driver. If you cannot find one, there are many services available for hire. No one wants to end a great day on a bad note.

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Filed under California, Day by Day, Events, Food, Travel

Summer Squash Couscous

I have fallen in love with my new cookbook Sprouted Kitchen, a whole foods recipe book  with incredible illustrations and a focus on healthy, seasonal produce. As a last dash to hold on to summer, I made this summer squash couscous with a green herb grilled shrimp. Absolutely scrumptious! It was even better knowing that the herbs used for the sauce came straight out of the garden.

Now if you live in a warm place like Southern California, the produce for this recipe will stay in season a bit longer. Since most people actually experience seasons, the produce has probably already switched over to fall.  But don’t you worry; you can transform this dish simply by substituting zucchini for eggplant. I am not going to post this recipe in hopes that you get this book. I found that Amazon is one of the best and cheapest places to buy it. However if you are not willing to do so, just send me a message under my contact tab and I will be happy to pass it along.

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Grow Your Own Herb Garden

Recently I have switched to a whole foods, no preservatives diet (well, as much as possible). This means  more fresh ingredients, a lot of cooking and a ton of new recipes. To be honest, it is not that difficult of a switch; however I have found a huge contributor to my success has been because of my newly planted herb garden. Since the majority of these recipes need an abundance of herbs, I found it easier to keep various pots right at home rather than running to the market every time I need something. Let me tell you, that extra punch of flavor and beautiful garnish really makes a difference in a meal. In the long run it ends up saving money and gives you a bit of pride as well.

Now if you aren’t a green-thumb type person, don’t completely turn away from this idea. I have found an inexpensive way for you to test out this gardening experience. The Home Depot has a one year guarantee on almost all their plants.* If your plant dies within one year of its purchase, you can go back to the store and they will refund your money. No questions asked. Just make sure you save your receipt. I may or may not have had to do this already (oops!).  So whether you live in a large house with a plot of land or in a small apartment in the city; an herb garden is within your reach.

{Herbs pictured above: onion chives, sweet basil, cilantro, italian parsley, rosemary, greek oregano, and dill}

*(there may be other home improvement stores that do this as well, as their nursery department)

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Quincy Market

Last week I officially moved back to the U.S. But of course, to ease the transition back to California, I took a five day pitstop in Boston to visit some old college friends and wander around my old romping grounds. Being the food-loving human I am (I am obsessed with taking pictures of my food), I couldn’t stop in Boston without going to Quincy Market once or twice. I have to say that I missed a lot of the fatty delicious foods while in Spain. I’ve confirmed that Americans seem to be experts in this topic.

To be honest, these photos don’t even do justice to the amount of food I consumed over those five days. Between the deep fried macaroni and cheese balls, ginormous burgers, crab rangoon, countless bagels with veggie cream cheese and sprouts, hush puppies with sour cream maple syrup sauce and well…more sushi than I should admit, I survived my visit and am still eating my way through various cravings. What I am trying to say between this rant and reminisce of food is that if you are visiting Boston; make a stop a Quincy Market. It will make your taste buds dance and your stomach content: even for the pickiest of eaters. You are bound to find something for everyone in your group.

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Filed under Boston, Food, Travel

Suckling Pig

Suckling pig, known as cochinillo, is a traditional Spanish dish that is robust with simplistic flavors. This is not a typical everyday meal. I was lucky enough to enjoy this delicious delacacy in the company of my friend SK, who was able to capture the moment and snap all these great shots of our dishes. (You can read her blog about her visit in Spain and other interesting posts at viva la sk.) Many cultures prepare similar dishes that incorporate spicy herbs and fruits; however, at Jose Maria, a traditional Segovian restaurant, they follow a recipe that uses basic ingredients such as water and salt. This simple recipe makes the sourcing of their primary resources, in this case the piglet, very important. They use the highest quality meat from local farmers in order to extrapolate the best flavors possible. Whatever their methods may be, I have to say, this meal was incredible. I almost had to take my belt off at the table in order to eat a bit more. The complimentary pacharán digestif was the perfect way to ease the stomach and top off the meal. If you are ever visiting Madrid and would like to take a day trip out to Segovia, I would highly recommend this restaurant. Just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time. You won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Food, Spain

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are filling your houses with drool-causing smells and are about to embark on an epic adventure of taste bud fulfillment and dangerously full stomachs. This is my second year celebrating Thanksgiving in Spain (you can read a bit about my first one, here and here). The traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple sauce, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie have been carefully prepared by yours truly with the help/overseeing of my male roommates. Due to conflicting schedules we decided to hold this delicious holiday in my household on Wednesday (hence the premature pictures). But no worries I am lucky enough to be celebrating this twice, both Wednesday and Thursday. So enjoy your company, watch some football, and EAT some incredible food. Cheers!

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