11 February 2016

a donut recipe that's just a little too easy

You know those 30 second recipe videos that pop up on your Facebook feed all the time? Mostly I scroll right past them, but then... donuts. This recipe appeared and it looked really easy, so I decided to give it a try. Why do I do that to myself.

These really were super easy and basically foolproof, so I'm sharing them with you. You know, right as we enter into Lent. I'm nothing if not timely. I'm planning on making these Sunday morning, covered in pink and red sprinkles, for my six valentines. Donuts are their love language, and I am happy to provide.

Here's the recipe, adapted from Tasty. Perfect for you and your favorite someone(s)!

Sour Cream Old Fashioned Donuts
makes about a dozen
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon (we prefer the latter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sour cream 
oil for frying 

3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup hot water

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
Mix butter and sugar on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks and mix until combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and blend. Mix in sour cream. Add in remaining dry ingredients and blend until well combined. Wrap your dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it's about 1/2" thick. Cut into rounds using a glass or a pastry cutter that's about 3" wide. Find a smaller glass to cut center circles (donut holes!). Lightly score each donut three times, like a triangle around the center hole.

Heat your oil to 325 in a small pan, so the oil is deep enough to submerge 2-3 donuts. Carefully place your donuts (I did two at a time), scored side up in the oil using a slotted spoon. Once it floats to the surface, gently flip and fry for 90 seconds. Flip again and fry for about 60, until the donuts are golden brown. (Cut your time in half for donut holes.) Remove from the oil and rest them on paper towels to soak up excess grease. Repeat with remaining donuts.

Mix all of your glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Dip tops of cooled donuts in the glaze, one at a time, and set on a cooling rack to dry. 

Now go brew some coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy. These melt in your mouth goodies just might ruin you for the store bought version. Happy sugar high!

31 January 2016

how i geek

We went out to dinner with all six kids and my parents and grandpa last night. We don't do it very often because that's a lot of wrangling. But it seemed like a good night for burgers, so we all squeezed into a little booth and chatted over fries and color crayons and toddlers. There were two televisions on in the restaurant.: one was showing a basketball game and the other was tuned into HGTV. Whoever is managing that restaurant is a genius.

My eight year old saw that there was a show on about a house remodel, turned to me and asked, "Have you seen this one, mom?" Because he gets me. Especially since having Eloise, my go to channel surfing always lands me on some home makeover story. I love watching them demolish and rebuild, pick out tile, rip up carpet, open up doorways, choose flooring... I am a geek when it comes to all that. 

So when Netflix started streaming Fixer Upper, I promptly binge watched the entire first season and then needed to remodel my entire house. Except, six kids. Not just a typical remodel show, I love the way they feature Chip and Joanna's relationship and family life in such a natural light - it just adds even more enjoyable layers while you watch. Plus, her design style is so lovely, I'm always inspired in some little way after each episode.

A big cup of tea, snuggling my baby, and a good before and after, and I have found my perfect afternoon.

16 January 2016

my little duo

Because I never want to forget the precious, hilarious, silly, sweet conversations between these two. Frances and Ivah, 3 and 2, are quite the pair, and we marvel at them pretty regularly.

Overheard this week:
As Frances hung her freshly colored picture of Elsa on the refrigerator, Ivah said: "Oh no, where is my pitcher of Anna?" 
Frances, distraught: "It at the babysitter, Ivah. I so so sorry."
Ivah, sniffing sadly: "It ok, Fance."

As Ivah leaned over the car seat to kiss Eloise and make sure she had her pacifier, as she does about 38 times a day, Frances came up alongside her and put her arm around her shoulder. She whispered, "You da best sister in the whole wide world," and Ivah whispered back, "I wuv you, Fance." And then a kiss.

As they sit down to breakfast or lunch together, Frances always begins with, "So, Ivah..." with nothing in particular to follow it up.

Watching their love for each other grow, become best friends, look out for each other, wish to share every experience - it's more than I ever expected or dreamed. And I pray it keeps growing closer and closer as time goes on. They have their moments of high pitched squeals and a desperate need for the same toy at the exact same time, and have taken to wrestling on occasion (I credit their three big brothers for that one), but mostly, it's true love. And now that they have a third sister to add to the mix, doting on my little Eloise all day every day, I pray it multiplies all the more. 

04 January 2016

eloise glenda

Our sweet little Eloise arrived on December 9th, just past midnight.
I'd gone into the hospital a few days before after a few hours of what felt like very real labor. Because the hospital has implemented a strict policy not to do anything to help labor progress before 39 weeks, they sent me home, even though I was 4cm with regular contractions. I was 38 weeks and 4 days and so annoyed. Prodromal labor is real, you guys, except apparently not real enough to produce a baby.

My doctor told me to come back in the day before I hit 39 weeks for my regular check and promised she'd get the party started if things didn't happen before then. Like clockwork, labor started every night at midnight, and quit just as abruptly at 3am. It was a little bit like torture, not knowing if the baby was actually coming or not. I kept saying I didn't care if it wasn't time, but I definitely didn't want to have a baby at home, surrounded by five children. I might be laid back, but not that much.

We went in the following Tuesday and my doctor kept her word. She admitted me, I was almost 6cm and still feeling fine, got an epidural, she broke my water, and slowly but surely, things moved along. My parents came and chatted with us for awhile, Nick and I talked and napped and continued to debate what we'd name the baby, boy or girl. I unashamedly pointed out many times that I was carrying yet another baby and laboring for days, so maybe I should get the final say? Thankfully, I'm married to a pretty awesome man who was more than obliging. 

And then at 11:45, in the middle of Jimmy Fallon, my doctor told me it was time. (I love epidurals with all my heart.) Ten minutes of pushing, and our girl was born. Eloise Glenda (for my grandma), and just half an ounce shy of nine pounds. A few nurses remarked that she must have been well fed in the womb (insert side eye emoji) and marveled at her many chins. She was perfect.

36 hours of blissful quiet in the hospital, taking in my new little love. Breathing her in, dozing with her in my arms, in awe of another perfect gift that we'd been given.

Miss Eloise, you are loved. And with this many brothers and sisters, I'm sure you're in for a wild ride. But each of us cherishes you in every way, and we could not be more grateful for the sweet blessing you are in our lives.

30 November 2015

the new mama binge

I am two weeks away from the arrival of baby six, and that means late night feedings and weird hours of wakefulness and, hopefully, daytime naps. "Sleep when the baby sleeps" is a rule my other five will understand, right? 

All those hours of being awake when the rest of the world sleeps means I'm going to need some good binging material. I am open to suggestion - what are your favorite things that are streaming these days? New or old, it doesn't really matter. 

Netflix is my go to, especially with network TV airing all their winter finales (is this a new thing?). I am here to share my very favorites with you - all totally binge worthy, even more than once.

Friday Night Lights. "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." Tim Riggins, Texas forever. Coach Taylor. Tami Taylor's hair. I know most of America has already seen this series, but it is my all time favorite and I am not afraid to watch it again and again. If you haven't watched it yet, waste no time. It's not just about football, but it's enough about football that you can probably wrangle your sports loving husband into watching it with you. 


Call the Midwife. I started this when I had my last baby and it is amazing. Set in 1950's London, it follows a group of young midwives serving low income families, all while living and working with a group of sisters at the local convent. I do NOT recommend watching this while pregnant, which is why I will be pressing play on season four just as soon as this baby is born. It's beautiful and touching and such a gem.

Jane the Virgin. Okay you guys, I am obsessed. I was slightly skeptical at first, but this show won me over almost immediately with it's quirkiness and I find it totally endearing. The lead actress won the Golden Globe last year and she deserved it. It's funny and overly dramatic, and completely worth watching. The only bummer is that the second season just premiered, and you will find yourself wishing for more when you reach the end of season one all too quickly. 

Parenthood. Obviously the best show to have ever hit the small screen and everyone who has seen every episode is still recovering from the series finale. How can you watch this and not love it and also not wish you were a Braverman? You can't. My husband and I just started watching it all over again, and it's just as good the second time around. Maybe it's better. See for yourself.
Okay, now tell me your favorites? What can't I miss while I wade through the throes of the whacky newborn schedule?