Sunday, June 20, 2010

June's Fab Five

Welcome to our new segment (which will be featured completely randomly - as often as my fancies change) detailing the things I simply ADORE at the moment!

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Yes, the novel. I have heard some fans of Miss Austen's work are less than in love with this particular book, but I disagree. It's charming, clever, and romantic! Austen's subtle humor made giggly inside while reading. I had seen two different film adaptations of the book but, as much respect as I have for Emma Thompson and as much as I adore the new BBC version, neither really do justice to the complex characters and intricate story lines of the book. I absolutely recommend it as a summer read....on a cloudy day...with some tea and scones perhaps? And then go watch the movies if you haven't already.......Alan Rickman makes a wonderful Colonel Brandon....

2. Long Cardigans!
I lucked out and found a couple on sale at Old Navy, and have been living in them ever since (I'm actually wearing my black one right this second!) They're cozy, stylish, sophisticated, and just light enough for the air conditioned spaces of summer. Do I really need to convince you further?

3. Vitamin Water

I got hooked on these a couple months ago after my bout with food poisoning. These babies contain water, a ton of vitamins and nutrients your body needs with an emphasis on some key element, plus electrolytes, all for about half the calories of typical sports drinks. LOVE IT! My favorite at the moment is "Power-C" but they're all fantastic. Feeling droopy or in need of refreshment? Grab an "Energy"'ll thank me later

4. Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Supplies

It's aromatherapy cleaning supplies. AROMATHERAPY CLEANING SUPPLIES! I'm really not sure why someone didn't think of his sooner, but it's deserving of a noble prize of some sort. I don't know about you, but just with Bama Man and myself in the house I spend about 85% of my day washing dishes. And all it takes is a little lavender dish soap for all my worries to wash right down the drain with all that icky stuff that was left on the dished last night. Can you say Domestic Diva?
You can order from the website (and pay a hefty shipping price) or strike it lucky at a local store (like Fresh Market!)

I'm not sure we've discussed this before, but I have this thing for doughnuts. Just thinking
about it make me feel like there's a hole in my mouth, just waiting for some airy, sugary thing to fill it. So I thought I'd try my hand at making some myself. I used Giada's recipe for Zeppoles (Italian Doughnuts) and they turned out really nicely. Now I'm going to pass it onto you. A couple things to know: There's not yeast so they're not as light as a traditional doughnut, that being said they are best fresh. I recommend tossing them in powdered sugar but granulated sugar and/or cinnamon would probably be fantastic as well. Enjoy!
Zeopploe (Italian Doughnuts)
1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
vegetable oil for frying
*Vanilla or almond extract would probably be Delicious add-ins*

1. In medium saucepan mix butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for ten seconds.

2. Remove from heat and add flour. Use a wooden spoon to quickly stir the mixture until flour is fully incorporated. The dough will be thick. Return the pan over heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Place mixture in a bowl (or kitchen aid if you've got it) and add eggs and yolk, one at a time until mixed well. Beat the mixture or 4 to 5 minutes (with wooden spoon or paddle attachment if using a mixer). Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill almost a third of the way up. Heat over medium. (An easy way to test when it's ready is that a cube of bread will brown in about a minute) Use two spoons to carefully drop dough into the oil, about a tablespoon at a time. Turn when one side gets golden brown and starts to puff. It should be fairly obvious when they are finished.

5. Drop carefully in a paper lunch sack, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and shake!

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