November 11, 2009

My New Favorite May Soon Be Yours, Too!

(photo by Elena Elisseeva,
Today I have off from work because of an appointment.  Since I didn't have the usual breathless rush to get to work on time, I decided to try a new recipe for breakfast, Cranberry Doughnuts.

I like cranberries anyway, but I am sure you will like this recipe even if you aren't a cranberry person.  I made a few mistakes that have nothing to do with the recipe.  For instance, I burned my finger by getting it too close to the hot fat (I do know better!).  And the first few doughnuts weren't done in the center because I was impatient and took them out too soon.  But other than that, my breakfast was a big hit, and this recipe is definitely a keeper!

I got it out of the October/November/95 Country magazine. It was submitted by Roberta Archer, Passadumkeag, Maine.  Thanks, Roberta, for sharing!  I can see why it was a winner.  It's easy, too.

Cranberry Doughnuts
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Oil for deep-fat frying
Additional sugar

Directions:  In a bowl, beat egg; add sugar and butter.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk.  Stir in cranberries.

Heat oil in an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer to 375 degrees.  Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into oil.  Fry doughnuts a few at a time, turning with a slotted spoon until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Drain on paper towels; roll in sugar while still warm. (I rolled some in granulated sugar, and some in confectioner sugar).  Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.  These won't last long, better make two batches!

November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pizazz

If you are looking for a new pumpkin dessert, don't overlook this recipe!  I've had it for a long time and have made it again and again.  I don't remember where I got it, so I'm sorry I cannot give credit to the person with such good taste who gave it to me!   (photo by  Galyna Andrushko,

Pumpkin Pizazz

2-1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

3 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 cups whipped topping

Combine gingersnap crumbs and butter and press into ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and milk until fluffy.  Spread over the crust.  In another mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix for 1 minute.  Add pumpkin and pie spice; beat until well blended.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Cut into squares.  Garnish with additional whipped topping.

November 6, 2009

My Vote Goes To Jack Frost!

Have you heard the story about Jack Frost and how he is responsible for the gorgeous changing of leaves in the fall?  He  pinches the leaves with his icy fingers and some leaves  turn red. Then he goes from tree to tree with his paintbrush and adds yellow and gold colors. Of course, this only happens on frosty nights.

But if you don't like that story, here's another one.  The Native Americans told a legend to explain why leaves change color in the fall.  They respected the bear.  One day celestial hunters killed the Great Bear.  The Bear's blood rained on the forests, coloring some of the leaves red.  And then when the hunters were cooking and the fat splashed out of the cooking kettle, the other leaves turned yellow.

Or maybe you will like the legend told by the Cherokee Native Americans.  When only plants and animals were on earth, the Great Spirit told the plants and animals that if they could stay awake for seven days and nights, they would receive great power. But only a few could do that.   They were granted eternal color and power of night.  Thus, pine and cedar trees were allowed to stay green and live all year long.  But the other trees had to get rid of their leaves and sleep during the winter.

For a long time, I didn't know how the leaves changed colors in the fall.  Maybe I was absent from school the day the teacher taught the scientific facts about leaves changing color.  Or, maybe I  just wasn't listening! 

What really happens is that the colors in the leaves are always there.  It's just that the chlorophyll  (gives leaves their green color) covers the reds and yellows.  But then shorter days and cooler temperatures tell the plant to prepare for winter. The amount of chlorophyll fades, and the colored pigments in the leaves show through.

Yellow pigments are in hickory, birch, ash, poplar, and sycamore trees.  Red pigments are in maples, sumac, and oaks.

When the days are shorter and colder, I want to go home from work and stay at home! I don't want to go out again.  Just let me curl up with something hot to drink.