I GOT A DONUT PAN FOR MY BIRTHDAY! LET THE DONUT BAKING BEGIN!

As I get older, it’s more about the quality and thoughtfulness of the gifts I receive, not the quantity or trendiness of it. As I just turned 32 two weeks ago (I know, I know, these old bones here), a few friends and family got me appreciated and lovely gifts. My parents got me a food garnishing tool kit. One of my aunts bought me some new work pants from Loft. Dione and Caitlin bought me, respectively, potent alcohol and luscious mac & cheese at The Milton on my birthday night. Adam, however, bought me a donut pan. I literally screamed and punched him in the arm when I saw it, I was so freakin’ happy!

golden milk baked donuts

I’ve wanted to jump into donut-making for a long time; the Internet is rife with amazing recipes. I’m the first to admit that, right now, I’m not about developing any original donut recipes, as I need to run through my personal list of donut recipes I’ve found around my favorite food blogs! One such recipe I’ve been dying to make are Giselle’s Vegan Baked Golden Milk Donuts from Diary of an ExSloth! I love turmeric. I really love making myself a hot cup of turmeric tea a few times a week in the colder months. As I woke up yesterday morning, the 80°F degree temperatures that enveloped Manhattan on Tuesday and Wednesday turned into a rain-soaked 48°F. (C’monnnn! Too stark, too fast, Mother Nature! Give us some time to adjust!) A chilly Saturday, indeed! I glanced at the donut pan on my counter, and I suddenly knew what my first batch of donuts would be.

golden milk baked donuts

I worked with what I had and followed her recipe as closely to a T as the items in my pantry would allow. Ha! While her donut recipe is completely vegan, I am without flaxseed, so I used a plain ol’ egg. Also, I used all-purpose flour instead of spelt flour. I have a feeling these changes were fine, because I pulled some delicious, moist, springy baked donuts from my oven. Oh my! I had to restrain myself from not eating all six at once! I really wish I had the coconut cream to make the luscious frosting from her recipe (next time!), but you can’t go wrong with a simple glaze, conversely. Turmeric is a fairly polarizing flavor, and most people are used to it in savory dishes, not in a pastry or a dessert. In my opinion, it’s worth the exploration. The flavor of this donut is warm with the slightest bit of a citrus kick, thanks to the fresh-squeezed orange juice. I might even add some orange zest to my batter the next time I make these! Hmmmmmm…

golden milk baked donuts

Thanks for creating such an awesome donut recipe, Giselle! I’m currently bowing down to you, my mouth full of donuts.

golden milk baked donuts

Golden Milk Baked Donuts

(Adapted from Diary of an ExSloth’s recipe for Vegan Baked Golden Milk Donuts)
(Makes 6 Donuts)

Ingredients:

Donuts:

– 1 egg
– 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– 1 tablespoon orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
– 1 cup flour, sifted
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened (not liquified)
– 1/3 cup agave nectar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

– 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
– 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Before We Get Started…

– For a fully vegan-friendly recipe, use 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water to make a “flax egg”, per the original recipe (link below recipe title).

– If you do not have almond milk or another plant-based milk, dairy milk can be used in both the batter and the glaze.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and orange juice. Set aside; it is okay if it takes on a slightly curdled appearance!

3.) Sift flour into a large bowl. Whisk baking powder, salt, turmeric, and cinnamon into the flour until thoroughly combined.

4.) In another large bowl, whisk together egg and softened coconut oil. Slowly add in  agave while continuing to whisk. Pour in vanilla extract and whisk in until combined.

5.) Whisk in the milk mixture into the egg mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated The dough should take on a very light springy texture. Do not overmix!

6.) Carefully spoon dough into a medium or large zip-top plastic bag or a pastry bag; if using a zip-top bag, carefully cut out one corner for piping out the dough. Carefully pipe the dough into the donut pan’s cavities, filling up to just below the top.

7.) Bake donuts for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove donuts from pan and continue to cool on wire until room temperature.

8.) In a shallow bowl, mix together confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract to create the glaze. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet or other easily washable surface; dipping donuts into glaze will cause a considerable amount of glaze runoff! Gently dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, carefully turn over, and placed the unglazed side on the wire rack. Repeat until all donuts are glazed. Allow glaze to dry before eating…but if you’re really hungry, I will not judge you for eating one (or two) early! 😉

My first introduction to kohlrabi was roughly three years ago in the kitchen of my oldest friend’s childhood home. Growing up on a well-known dairy farm in Northwestern Connecticut, I always knew I’d eat well when hanging out with the Freunds. This visit was no exception. While hanging out with my friend Amanda, her younger sister Rachel prepped vegetables and fruits to pass through their new juicer. On the other side of the juicer, other plant-based appitizers were prepped. Of course, with Freund’s Farm being a proud “Farm Family” associated with Cabot, you can guess what kind of cheese we had on the table. I saw Amanda and Rachel eating slices of cheddar with slices of kohlrabi, akin to cheese and crackers. I was certainly curious, so I gave it a shot. I fell in love! The juicy crunch and relatively bland flavor of the kolhrabi paired perfectly with the sharp cheddar.

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Yes, this following photo is from three years ago, when Seek Satiation was merely a Twitter feed (which still exists, of course). I used to post occasional food porn on there when I felt I was spamming my friends’ Facebook feeds with too much deliciousness. Please note the artsy use of a jar top and the lack of focus on the actual cheese and kohlrabi:

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Admittedly, I kind of forgot about kolhrabi until this summer, and I now can’t seem to escape it! One, it’s always at my local greenmarket in Inwood. Two, I am in love with the way that Ali from Insprialized has turned another vegetable into yet another type of pasta. Her recipe for Creamy Corn Kohlrabi Pasta, which is delicious by the way, was definitely the inspiration for how to cook these noodles; admittedly, her version is much healthier than what I’m about to offer. 😉

kohlrabi pasta cheese sauce

I still remember how well the cheddar melded with the vegetable, so I thought that making a “mac and cheese”, of sorts, would really work well.

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Lo and behold, it definitely did! (Well, if I can offer my own humble opinion, that is…)

Kohlrabi Pasta with Creamy Cheese Sauce

(Inspired by Inspiralized’s Recipe for Creamy Corn Kohlrabi Pasta)
(Makes 2 – 3 servings)

Ingredients:

– 2 medium kolhrabi or 1 large kohlrabi, peeled
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1/3 cup milk
– 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese or 3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese with 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
– Salt & pepper, to taste
– A few generous shakes of garlic powder (optional)
– A few sprigs of parsley, washed and minced (optional, for garnish)

Before We Get Started…

– A spiralizer is required for this recipe to create the kohlrabi pasta.

– Though so many meals make good leftovers, this is a dish best consumed immediately. It doesn’t save well once the cheese sauce is added. Conversely, if you have leftover kohlrabi noodles, those save well in a plastic bag for about 3 – 4 days.

– It is fine if you use a more mild cheddar for this recipe, but the sharp cheddar really makes the flavor pop against the more cruciferous taste of the kohlrabi.

Directions:

1.) Set your spiralizer up with Blade C, or the blade with the thinnest output (for your average sprializer, this blade has smallest triangular openings). Spiralize kolhrabi(s). Trim / cut noodles.

2.) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi and cook for approximately 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until preferred doneness. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

3.) Place saucepan over medium heat; add butter and slowly melt. Once melted, add flour. Whisk for approximately 2 – 3 minutes to create a roux; once flour and butter are combined, add milk and whisk. Bring mixture to a slow boil. Once bubbles begin to break the surface, add cheese and stir quickly to incorporate. Remove cheese sauce from heat. Add garlic powder, if desired.

4.) Pour cheese sauce over kohlrabi and toss until coated. Top with parsley, if desired. Divide and serve immediately.

If you are a food lover searching Google and Pinterest for pasta recipes, you’ll see that we live in a world full of zoodles. The nutritional benefits that come from replacing pasta with zucchini are quite clear: lower calories, lower carbs, and more vitamins and minerals. They are light, they are refreshing, and they can replace pasta in most every instance. I’m a huge fan and I make them at least once a week!

But I’ll be damned if I sit here and state that I don’t still love a big freakin’ bowl of pasta every now and then.

Spinach Parmesan Pasta

If I could down bowls of mac & cheese or spaghetti with pesto without gaining a pound, my pantry would have every kind of pasta imaginable. I’d also have a season pass at Eataly. (Oh, goodness, imagine if that existed…)

Spinach Parmesan Pasta

If there is something better than a big bowl of pasta, it’s a big bowl of pasta that can be thrown together in about 15 minutes flat. I found this recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod, and fell in love with its simplicity, its lightness, and yet its ability to leave me feeling perfectly full without being overstuffed.

Truth: I ate this for dinner one night. Then I made it for lunch the next day. Then I ate it again for dinner that same night.

Spinach Parmesan Pasta

The zoodles can wait. Give me some damn carbs.

Spinach Parmesan Pasta

(Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod’s recipe for 5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

– 8 ounces thin spaghetti, uncooked
– 5 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated, separated into two 1/4 cup parts
– Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add thin spaghetti and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and set aside.

2.) In the same saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add olive oil. Add garlic and cook for two to three minutes or until soft and slightly golden brown. Turn off heat and return pasta to pan. Toss with garlic. Add spinach and toss well until spinach is wilted; slowly add pasta water, if needed, if pasta starts to dry out or spinach is slow to wilt. Toss with one part parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.) Serve with additional part of parmesan cheese for garnish.

Spinach Parmesan Pasta

I love some good alliteration, don’t you?

Shakshuka is something that I’ve grown a love for, especially as my hatred of runny yolks has cooled significantly over the past few years. About two years ago, for a quick post-work dinner, I impulsively decided to spoon some marinara sauce over some sliced hard boiled eggs, and I found it to be a odd yet satisfying choice. My former roommate Emily (whom I miss every single damn day) had an enthusiasm for Shakshuka, telling me about her love for it and how she’s had it in Israel many a time.

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Oh hey there, typical tiny Manhattan Kitchen…

I now regret not attempting to make a full-size of this recipe when you were around, Em! What a fool I was!

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I promise, if and when I get myself down to Raleigh-Durham to visit you, I’ll make you a skillet. You don’t have to share it with anyone!

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In the meantime, I’ll just craft a recipe for all of us single eaters.

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Shakshuka

Shakshuka [Single Serving] (As Featured on Buzzfeed’s Tasty)

(Serves One…if you were unable to deduce that)

Ingredients:

– 1 to 2 eggs
– 1 cup crushed tomatoes or 1 cup marinara sauce
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1/4 small yellow or white onion, diced
– 1/2 bell pepper, diced (pick your favorite color!)
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
– Feta, for garnish (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– It is entirely possible that you don’t have tomato paste. Goodness knows that I normally don’t have any on reserve. You can skip adding it, but I think it adds an extra depth of flavor. If you would like to create your own, there are many articles available via search engines regarding substitutions and creating your own tomato paste. However, for this individual-sized serving, I’d suggest going out and getting that small can of tomato paste. I got mine for 79 cents. Haaa.

– This recipe is best baked in an 8″ – 9″ oven-safe skillet or a ramekin with a 2 cup capacity.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Pour oil into a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pepper and sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 4 – 5 minutes; if garlic starts to brown too fast, lower heat. Add tomatoes (or sauce), tomato paste, and cumin. Stir to combine. Simmer for 4 – 5 minutes. Transfer tomato mixture to ramekin or oven-safe skillet. (See Before We Get Started…; though it is an extra skillet to wash, it’s much easier to cook the tomato mixture in a larger skillet than a smaller oven-safe skillet.) 

3.) With the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the tomato mixture. Crack egg(s) into indentation, being sure not to break the yolk(s).

4.) Place skillet or ramekin in oven and cook for 18 – 20 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are thick but runny. If preferred, at the ten minute mark, baste egg whites lightly with the tomato mixture, taking care not to disturb the yolk; return to oven to cook for the remaining time.

5.) Remove from oven. Top with cilantro and feta, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, preferably with thick toasted bread.