As much as I love my kitchen, let’s be honest, it’s kind of boring in there. And standing in front of the counter peeling, dicing, chopping and what not tends to feel a lot like work. Sure the sharing and eating part is fun, but the prep can be tedious if you’re not in the mood. And the dreaded clean up! Ugh. Sometimes I don’t make an item not because it’s time consuming, not because I have to stand there and chop, but simply because I don’t want to clean up the mess I’m about to make. I hate the clean up part!
Cooking and baking is a lot of fun, but I often find I need a little help to make it…more fun.
Multitasking. It’s what I do.
There’s music, of course. I always have my laptop nearby so putting my entire iTunes library on shuffle is always an option. Sometimes a Christmas song plays in it’s entirety in the heat of summer because I’ve got raw chicken goop all over my hands and can’t switch it. It happens. What can ya do? Sometimes I wrinkled up my nose and think, why the heck is that on here? I don’t even like that song! I’ve got two thousand tracks, a stinker or two is bound to sneak in there. Sometimes I skip the iTunes all together and go for one of my highly embarrassing Pandora stations. (Ahem. Glee Cast. Cough, cough. NKOTB. Throat clear.) Two things: 1. The music from Rent will never go out of style. 2. I still know every single word to The Right Stuff. You do too.
When my awful, off-key singing gets so bad even I can’t stand it anymore, listening to other people talk is a nice distraction. Nothing makes a mundane kitchen task (dishes, anyone?) go faster than an episode or two of This American Life. Joy and Tracy keep me company once a week. Even audiobooks have found their way into the kitchen! I’ve only recently discovered books on CD, because, apparently, I was absent from real-life for the majority of the 1990s. My library has a great selection, likely because no one listens to books on CDs anymore.
The right entertainment can get me totally psyched up to be in the kitchen even when I normally wouldn’t feel like it. I have great admiration for those who get up on a weekend morning and head straight into the kitchen to whip up a delicious breakfast. I am not one of those people. Weekend mornings are for eating cereal and lounging. I like to putz around on the interwebs for hours in my pajamas. Eric sits and watches guys on ESPN yell about football. Very little, if anything, gets done before 11:00 a.m. Then we grumble our way through our chores until well into the afternoon, cursing ourselves for not getting a move on a little quicker in the morning. It’s kind of a ritual.
I had an audiobook on loan from the library that I really wanted to finish before it was due back, so I decided to finish it up this morning while I whipped up some fresh baked donuts. What a great start to the day. There was nothing but relaxation, chuckles (it wasn’t a very serious book*) and good eats, everything a Sunday morning should be and more. Maybe this making breakfast thing isn’t so bad after all.
*It was Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. Judy Blume, I will love you always and forever. I don’t care if it has been exactly 17 years since I was 12. That is all.
These little treats were like a burst of fresh, fruity sunshine on a winter’s morning. (Although…what winter, right? Heh. I’m not complaining! Also don’t want to jinx it so I best just shut up about it.) I just adore winter citrus and when paired with frozen berries, you can almost feel the sand between your toes. I’ve had my eye on these Blueberry Donuts with Orange Glaze ever since Nicole posted them (please, please check her out! Her blog is seriously OUTSTANDING! She posts such a great variety healthified dishes, I find myself bookmarking something from her blog at least once a week. She rocks!) and I’m kicking myself for not getting around to making them sooner. I thought the little chocolate donuts were king, but these may bump those from the top spot. They are soft, delicately orange flavored and bursting with berry goodness. The glaze is a great sweet contrast to the tart berries, everything works together in perfect harmony. I scarfed two in about 3.7 seconds. Then later I had another. Say goodbye to the daily kitchen doldrums and make these quick!
BAKED BLUEBERRY DONUTS WITH ORANGE GLAZE (Recipe Source: As seen at Prevention RD)
For the donuts:
- 2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce (I used canola oil – the applesauce I had in the fridge had gone fuzzy. Ewwww!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (no need to thaw!)
For the orange glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp whole milk
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice + more to thin out, if desired
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the orange zest and mix it in.
- Add the buttermilk, eggs, applesauce or oil and vanilla extract. Gently mix until just combined, do not over-mix. Fold in blueberries
- Lightly grease a donut pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the batter into each cup, filling about half way. Bake 8-9 minutes or until the donuts spring back when lightly touched.
- To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, orange juice and vanilla in a bowl. Add additional orange juice or milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 4 minutes. Then remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely
- Dip one side of each doughnut in the glaze. Place on the wire rack and let the excess drip away. Allow the glaze to dry and serve immediately. Yield: about 21 doughnuts.