Happy National Doughnut Day!

National Doughnut Day? Let’s Celebrate!!

Who knew? ….The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day.

Who Cares! Any day is a good day to eat Doughnuts!

Every food seems to have a holiday for itself these days. National Doughnut Day has an awesome purpose.
Apparently National Doughnut Day was created back in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers in World War I.  The day of recognitions and celebration was actually started by Chicago’s Salvation Army as a fund-raiser to help the needy during the Great Depression. The day has since become a way to recognize the contributions of these women during the war.
So in honor of them, let’s eat doughnuts!!

National Doughnut DayThere are a lot of ways to celebrate today. Several establishments are offering special purchases of and with doughnuts.
Today, I am celebrating National Doughnut Day with a delicious  doughnut from my recently discovered Fractured Prune® Doughnuts

 

 

Their Basic (delicious-on- its-own) Plain doughnut drenched in a strawberry glaze then topped with teeny-mini chocolate chips

National Doughnut Day

 

 

The doughnuts were so warm that the chocolate chips actually started to melt into the strawberry glaze …..oh yum!!

A Fractured Prune

Fractured Prune . . . Whaaaat?

Fractured Prune

While eating a delicious brunch ‘al fresco’ one morning, we had a lively discussion about a nearby shop called the Fractured Prune.  Fractured PruneBefore wandering back to our car we stopped to see what this intriguing shop was all about  Discovering a curiously creative doughnut shop, we HAD to go in – add a dessert on top of brunch!

Similar to the fun of watching my  Krispy Kreme “comfort-food” doughnuts formed, raised, and cooked, the Fractured Prune offers an entertaining view of the doughnuts being made and cooked.Fractured Prune

Fractured PruneBut then – it all goes different!!

Once these light and airy ‘cake’ style doughnuts are cooked (which occurs much faster than the raised Krispy Kreme doughnuts) they are custom frosted and decorated to order. Fractured Prune Fractured Prune
“Nobody else is doing what we’re doing. Where others offer rows of preconceived doughnut flavors, we’re offering infinite choices.  Why? Because we believe in the individual and that there’s no wrong way to make your delicious.”
You may create an exotic taste like the VooDoo doughnuts (bacon-maple or cereal-sprinkles) or remain conservative. Fractured Prune
Initially, I was really conservative and had a plain one – no fancy fixings because … I LIKE plain cake doughnuts!  Oh my goodness …. the freshness and ‘plainness’ brought back fond memories of eating fresh cooked ‘plain’ cake doughnuts at the top of Pikes Peak.  (I hope they are still selling fresh cooked doughnuts up there – it makes the experience at that oxygen-deprived altitude even more fun!)

Fractured PruneFractured PruneThe Fractured Prune® Doughnuts were SO fresh the box was almost too HOT to hold! We had to wait for the doughnuts to cool off enough just to pick one up, let alone eat it. The wait was worth it! Just plain is just Fine!

 

 

And the choices beyond the ‘plain’ seem almost infinite:Fractured Prune

” there are 155,648 different combinations of doughnut awesomeness available at stores offering 19 glazes and 13 toppings – and that doesn’t even include our limited time offer glazes and toppings! Bottom line, Fractured Prune offers some tasty possibilities.”

Fractured Prune

 

Fractured Prune® Doughnuts originated in Ocean City (Maryland) and is named after the spunky Prunella Shriek, known as “Fractured Prunella” for the broken bones she suffered competing in traditionally men’s sports even into her 70s. Fractured Prune® Doughnuts celebrates her legacy with a doughnut as individual as the person ordering it!

Fractured Prune® Doughnuts are expanding their market with franchise stores. Watch for one near you!!

Stumptown Coffee Celebration

STUMPTOWN COFFEE

Portland, Oregon

Celebrating 14 years of serving coffee

 

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Beignets & Coffee

Beignets & Coffee at World Famous Cafe du Monde

Are THE BEST in New Orleans

 

Beignets & Coffee Having Beignets & Coffee at Cafe Du Monde is a MUST when in New Orleans! Beignets & Coffee

 A traditional coffee shop in the French Market of New Orleans, the Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand is World Famous for its Beignets and Cafe’ au Lait…. and in my opinion, they offer the BEST in New Orleans! The Cafe, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — closing only on Christmas Day and  “on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans” —Beignets & Coffee also offers the  opportunity to people watch and is a wonderful spot for the entertainment of the iconic street musicians.

Beignets & Coffee

 Beignets are square French-style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar. The square pieces of dough are fried then dusted with powdered sugar. Coming from the Southwest, they remind me of Mexican Sopapilla’s served with honey or cinnamon/sugar.

As a youngster, I enjoyed ‘Fry Babies’ as a treat on the days my mother made bread.  Saving aside small pieces of dough, she patted and stretched them into circles, then deep-fried them. But ‘Fry Babies’ were more like the Indian Fry Bread of the Southwest than Mexican Sopapillas or the French Beignets. Sapapillas are more of a ‘quick’ bread using a leavening agent like baking powder rather than yeast. Beignets have a unique flavor of their own and the dough itself is a ‘choux pastry’, containing only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent, it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.   

Beignets & CoffeeJust as Sopapillas with honey are sticky eating, the Beignets –buried under a mountain of snowy white powdered sugar– are fun to eat, with the  super fine powder poofing off into the air and getting everywhere!

Beignets and COFFEE

Beignets & Coffee The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand has been serving dark roasted coffee with chicory since 1862.  The rich dark coffee is served ‘black ‘ or ‘au Lait’  (mixed half and half with warm milk).

 Nothing goes better with Beignets than cafe’ au lait! And of course, they both taste BEST when eaten IN New Orleans AT Cafe’ du Monde!

Images: Gail H; Vicki L; Great Food Fun Places

Coffee-Chocolate Decadence!

Let’s Eat Cake!

Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake with

Mocha Mascarpone Frosting

 

Coffee-Chocolate Decadence!

Let’s Eat Cake!

  What could be better?!         Coffee-Chocolate cake with a rich Mocha frosting – Oh My! The recipe shows a picture of a dark – almost black – cake and frosting so I was totally intrigued. After reading through the recipe I became a bit apprehensive  realizing the lengthy process and the number of steps involved: mix, bake, cool, mix, chill, mix more, frost some, chill again, frost more, chill more, un-chill to serve at room temp… whew!

I was also curious just how an almost black cake would result from mixing (white) mascarpone cheese & (white) whipping cream with dark chocolate and dark coffee Coffee-Chocolate Decadence! Coffee-Chocolate Decadence!

… NOT going to happen — and it didn’t!

But it WAS rich … oh – so rich and decadent!

AND… It was EASY!!  I allowed two days of baking and frosting to assure myself  enough time for all the steps and time required for mixing and chilling.

 

This is a delicious chocolate cake with VERY RICH frosting

My pans were a good size and baked almost evenly….one layer seemed to sink just a bit on one side while cooling but didn’t affect the layering (a little more frosting in that section!!) Once cooled, they were individually double-wrapped  (in plastic then in Ziplok bag) and refrigerated until being frosted.

Coffee-Chocolate Decadence! The process of frosting the cake (one of the many ‘steps’) is a good one to remember and probably use for others: brush the crumbs off with a pastry brush; put the layers together with the filling/frosting; spread a thin layer of frosting around the sides and over the top;  then chill another 10 minutes before finishing the frosting. … I figured it was to keep the whipped cream frosting from warming too fast (the chilled cake layers helped too) but I think it is good idea for any layered cake frosting. It also gets any extra crumbs confined.

It was a nice straight up cake to begin with but once I slathered on the second layer of frosting, it kind of ’rounded’ out and looks a little plump! Coffee-Chocolate Decadence! I  could have ‘straightened’ it up again making flat sides (and losing a little frosting), but decided to leave it. I added the chocolate curls to the top and around the bottom to dress it up.

The mascarpone cheese must help hold the whipped cream frosting together (I’m thinking the commercial bakeries that offer whipped cream frosting must use something similar so it holds up and doesn’t begin to weep and sag.  The mascarpone certainly makes it RICH!

The coffee adds a lovely flavor – especially in the frosting. It could almost be a Tiramisu cake if it was a white/yellow cake vs chocolate cake (I might give that a try!)  AND – as I have said a couple times now —  there is NO WAY this recipe is going to look like the picture – At least in color! But since I knew that, I am not disappointed in anyway with the outcome.

The cake looks a little dense but has a lighter texture that it appears. Both the cake batter and frosting have a delicious – almost chocolate toffee – taste. The baked cake has a lighter coffee flavor than the batter and goes well with the frosting.

ALL reports are thumbs up!! After his second piece (with tea the next morning), hubby rates it on par with (his memory of) cakes from our favorite Dimmer’s bakery.  Our granddaughter had a piece with Gpa this morning and could only eat half of her small piece (its very rich!) but had no problem finishing it later and then asking for more. Other family members raved and raved and asked when I was making it again! Our neighbor LOVED it and said it was one the best chocolate-chocolate cakes she’s ever had.

Yaaay!!  Another winner!

 

Aaaahh … COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Drawn to the Pearl District in Portland ….first for lunch, now for COFFEE!

We found Stumptown Coffee in a little ‘annex’ next to a delightful old hotel …. a line out the door (always an indication of good things worth waiting for!)

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

As part of the lobby of the Portland’s Ace Hotel this Stark Street location offers a delightful setting to sit back and enjoy Stumptown coffee.

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

One of Portlands many coffee houses, his location is at 1026 SW Stark Street, Portland Or 97205, which is one of Stumptown’s  five locations in Portland.  Stump town Coffee Roasters offers a rich experience, both in its delicious coffee as well as its many locations which include shops in Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.

Craving a Cookie or TWO?

Craving a Cookie or TWO? Chocolate Chip CookiesHow about TWO chewy,

gooey chocolate chip cookies?

 

This is great! – A recipe for just TWO chocolate chip cookies.

It is usually a grey rainy day that triggers  my craving for  chocolate chip cookies (see Rainy Day Comfort Food). At times, I’ve ventured out to find a cookie to satisfy my craving, but it is more in the baking than the actual eating of it that is most satisfying to me, especially on a rainy day!

To be able to bake just TWO cookies instead of an entire batch is worth a try. I’ve done the freezer thing with the balls of cookie dough ready for a fresh baked cookie or two. Those don’t seem to last very long…that raw cookie dough, even frozen, constantly beckons me. (why bother heating the oven?!)

Shared by theKitchn, “this recipe for just TWO chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookies is totally brilliant” http://thekitc.hn/Q7BoVS

Spring is actually bursting out all over here in the southwest (the sun is shining, birds are singing, Palo Verde trees are blooming into bright yellow clouds of color, and the air is sweet with fragrance) – the days are heavenly  . . . with NO RAIN in the forecast. This is normal for us and probably a good thing or I’d be baking a lot of cookies – which is why this recipe for just TWO chocolate chip cookies is so great!

oh . . . . I love a rainy day,    I love a rainy day,   I love a rainy day. . .

I love to hear the thunder,

watch the lightening when it lights up the sky. . .

Oh, I love a rainy day,  I love . . . to bake cookies. . . . on a rainy day. . .

  You know it makes me feel good. . . .

I just might have to use a sunny-day excuse . . . why wait for a rainy day to make chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookies?!

 

Original ChopShop Co

The Original ChopShop CoOriginal ChopShop Co is a delightful ‘off-campus’ eatery near Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.   Sandwiched between a couple of other little eateries, the Tempe ChopShop takes residence in a cute little bungalow on University Avenue across from the campus. The Original ChopShop Co 

 

Offering a pleasant and peaceful (almost cozy) atmosphere,  this delightful restaurant feels like an escape, a place to relax and enjoy fresh -and delicious! – food anytime of the day.

The Original ChopShop CoDine al’ fresco at tables under the trees or umbrella’s for shade from the warm desert sun.  The Original ChopShop CoSit by the fireplace among the casual collection of cushioned sofas while sipping one of the healthy pressed juices, popular gourmet coffee or teas, or the refreshing lemonades.  The Original ChopShop CoCheer on a fun game of life-sized chess or stay inside and enjoy the bright cheery dining area.

During the week during the school year, the Original ChopShop Co is a busy place with students taking advantage of the proximity to campus and enjoying the healthy choices and relaxing atmosphere.

We were there for an early lunch on a Saturday (few students). With a promise of spring in the air, the late winter sun was warm enough to enjoy sitting outside. The Original ChopShop Co

We chose to share a veggie sandwich with hummus spread on the house bread (low carb whole wheat) and a small side salad of quinoa and asparagus.  It was a wise decision – the portions are generous! The Original ChopShop Co

 Believing that it IS possible to eat fresh, healthy, delicious – and affordable – food in today’s ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle, the ChopShop has a menu that invites you back for more!  

The Original ChopShop Co Starting with breakfast items (yogurt-granola parfaits, eggs with veggies, meat, hash in bowls, wraps or sandwiches) and going into lunch and light dinner meals with salads (in a bowl or wrapped) and sandwiches (also available wrapped or on low carb whole wheat bread), and protein plates and shakes, the menu fills out with small sides, and an extensive beverage selection. The Original ChopShop Co

According to  Original ChopShop Co, the chef selects “the freshest seasonal ingredients for our innovative chop salads, reinterpreted sandwiches, and grilled protein plates.” and pairs “inventive cuisine with familiar dishes unexpectedly twisted into new combinations. ”

Try it – you’ll like it!! (Our granddaughter craves the PB&J!) And you will definitely want to go back to sample more of the menu! 

Lucky us – Original ChopShop has another location, (Old Town Scottsdale)  and plans for a third in Chandler!

 

 

Image Credits:

Great Food Fun Places

Fireplace – Rachael H

Chess Game: Bruce M

 

 

Are You A Coffee Snob?

Here is a fun whimsical view of Coffee and Coffee Drinkers. Are You a Coffee Snob?

Coffee is not merely a beverage on the morning menu, it is a right. Some of us need coffee for our brains to function correctly and some of us really, really love the taste. Others of us enjoy the ritual as much as anything.

Talking to a coffee drinker, their investment in the stuff becomes obvious. Within five minutes, you’ll definitely know whether you’re talking to a casual coffee drinker, or a straight up coffee snob. Below are a few things only a coffee snob would understand. Are YOU a coffee snob?

 Pre-Ground Coffee Is Not An Option

Are You a Coffee Snob?

Who knows how along ago it was ground?

Making Morning Pour-Over Is Actually Kind Of Meditative

Are You a Coffee Snob?

Until you rip through one Chemex filter, and then every time after that is filled with terrible trepidation.

The Crema Is One Of Life’s Greatest Joys

Are You a Coffee Snob?

That’s not steamed milk, man. That’s just what espresso DOES.

How It Feels When Someone Says ‘Expresso’

Are You a Coffee Snob?

Our brains. OUR BRAINS.

You Are Way More Interested In How Recently The Coffee Was Roasted

Than How Dark/Caffeinated It Is

Are You a Coffee Snob?

We know, French Roast people. You love how bitter it is.

“Coffee Creamer” Will Do No Such Thing

Are You a Coffee Snob?

Powder does not belong in coffee.

The Stuff In Here Is A LAST RESORT

Are You a Coffee Snob?

We’re really sorry it’s come to this. Are you at your in-laws’ or something?

This Is One Of The Nicest Things Someone Can Do For You

Are You a Coffee Snob?

And a good morning to you TOO, sir.

This Isn’t Coffee

Are You a Coffee Snob?

 This is dessert.

This Mostly Gets Used For Cold Brew Now

Are You a Coffee Snob?

Hot coffee-making has moved on to greener pastures, like the Aeropress and the Chemex.

You Know What This Is Called And How It Works

Are You A Coffee Snob?

(For the rest of you, this is a siphon system and it works like a magical coffee vacuum.)

Adapted from an animated Huffington Post

Coffee Art? This is Coffee Sculpture!

Wow! Now THIS Coffee Latte Art is the most amazing I have seen yet! I wish I’d had the fun of seeing it in person, but then…I wouldn’t ever be able to actually drink it (and disturb this adorable seen? No!!) But I am excited to share it here!

Latte Art is truly a unique talent…. amazing AND Fun!  I personally believe it changes the flavor of the drink but if that isn’t really true, I know it changes my enjoyment of it! And I am so fascinated, I have to take a picture of each one I have.

But this …. Wow – THIS is the most amazing I have seen yet:Coffee Latte Art Sculpture