Life on Spend-a-Buck Farm

by Michelle on May 22, 2011

This is a very difficult time for me and I’m not sure how to put my feelings into words just yet.

My husband, Joe, suddenly passed away, May 18th at around 12:00 noon. I’ve written about Joe often over the past three years and most will recognize him by his pet name, Mr. Tastebuds. We were married 27 years and even though I’ve always considered myself a very independent person, I did not know just how dependent I was on Joe until yesterday. And it’s not the big things like paying the mortgage! It’s the little things like who brings in the mail and makes the morning coffee.

I’ve cried until I have no more tears but it does not make the hole in my life and heart any smaller. I was not ready to give him up just yet…not ready at all. I have my family and my friends but I don’t think I have ever felt as alone as I do right now. As my yahrtzeit candle burns and finally flickers out at the end of day seven, I doubt my tears will stop.

And of course Joe is everywhere in our home. I’ve found that if I stay in my office, I am somewhat isolated and I can get some things done without breaking down. But as soon as I walk out my office door, I am surrounded with memories. From his jacket hanging on the back of the kitchen chair to the magazine folded open to the last article he read and his glasses carefully placed to the side. Joe is not only in my heart and mind, he is everywhere I turn or glance. And I am not ready to put these tangible memories away. People tell me to take my time and there will come a day when I can let go, but I don’t think I want that day to come. I don’t want to let go of my husband.

You all know that both Joe and I are huge Rottweiler lovers and even the dogs are sensing a loss. Although Eva, our youngest female Rottweiler, is very bonded to me and rarely leaves my side, this morning I found Eva, all alone, curled up in Joe’s bathroom. She has never laid down in Joe’s bathroom before, not ever. It broke my heart.

I’ve made 100s of decisions in the last few days and I am facing 1000s more in the next few months. As to what I will be doing next year or even tomorrow, I don’t have a clue.

At this point I’ve decided to put my blog on hiatus. I’m not sure how long I will be gone or even if I will ever be back food blogging again. But I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to visit my blog. And to our special friends, you all know who you are, please stop every once in a while and think of Joe and I. And I promise I will feel the hug, I always do!

Take care,

Michelle

PS: It was very difficult for me to write this post. It just makes Joe’s death so real. I am having a horrible time just getting my own head around what happened so if I don’t respond to your comments and emails, please understand that I just can’t right now. I just can’t.

{ 110 comments }

Bacon Butterscotch Doughnuts

by Michelle on May 17, 2011

I think I’m going to start a new category on my blog, Disgustingly fattening…but ohhhh so good! And I think I will begin today!

Yep the Bacon Butterscotch Doughnuts are just that and DEeee-licious! Bacon is very popular now and has been for a few years and people are putting bacon is cookies, cupcakes and just about anything sweet.

In 2009, Mr. Tastebuds found an article on fancy schmancy doughnuts in our local paper and one of the photos was of the Bacon Butterscotch Doughnuts and they really did look good. Apparently these particular doughnuts were a hot commodity in the Chicago area. But at the time, bacon or doughnuts was not on my agenda so I put the news article in my ToDo File. Mr. Tastebuds has not been feeling well lately and I thought these doughnuts might perk him up a bit and they did especially the doughnut holes!

Since I’ve not made doughnuts in a while, I decided to make two different doughnut recipes. The Baked Yeast Doughnuts were very good but more like a brioche bagel and I cut them into regular sized doughnuts with my round, graduated cookie cutters and baked them on a baking sheet. And the second recipe, which I’ve made before, is really the texture of a cupcake so the batter is thin and these I baked in my mini doughnut pan. Both recipes were very good but what wouldn’t be good with a delicious butterscotch glaze and a sprinkling of bacon and maple syrup!

Baked Yeast Doughnuts

2 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 packet yeast or 1 oz fresh yeast
1 tsp honey
1 egg
4 TBL butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla
1 tsp oil, to oil the proofing bowl

1. In the bowl of your KA mixer add yeast, 1/4 cup buttermilk and honey. Let yeast thoroughly dissolve.
2. In a prep bowl lightly whip the egg.
3. Melt butter in the microwave. Set aside to cool a little bit.
4. With our KA mixer on medium speed, gradually add the flour alternating with the remainder of the buttermilk and lightly whipped egg until thoroughly mixed.
5. Continue mixing on low and add the sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Dough should form a soft, somewhat sticky ball of dough.
6. Put 1-2 tsp of Oil in the bottom of your largest mixing bowl. Take a paper towel and dip it in the oil and thoroughly oil the sides of the bowl. Put dough ball into bowl and then flip the ball over to make sure that the entire dough ball is covered with oil. Cover the bowl and let rise until at least doubled in size.
7. When dough has doubled, remove dough to a floured pastry cloth and knead until dough forms a soft dough, adding flour as necessary.
8. Roll out dough about 1/2″ thick and cut the doughnut. Remove the doughnut a parchment lined baking sheet and then cut the center hole. DO NOT cut the center hole until the doughnut has been placed on the baking sheet.

9. Continue cutting the doughnuts and placing them on the baking sheet about 2″ a part.
10. Cover and let rise again for about 30-40 minutes.
11. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until doughnut is a light golden brown in color.
12. Remove to a rack and cool thoroughly.

To make the Bacon-Butterscotch Doughnuts:
1. Bake the doughnuts. Make the ButterSCOTCH sauce and Mapled Bacon, recipes below.
2. When the doughnuts have cooled, dip in the ButterSCOTCH sauce. Plate and ladle some sauce over the top, enough to puddle around the doughnut and sprinkle with Mapled Bacon. Serve.

Baked Mini Cake Doughnuts

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla
1 Egg
4 Tbs butter

Makes about 12 Mini Doughnuts

1. Melt the butter in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl slightly beat the egg and add the vanilla and mix in the buttermilk and butter.
3. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and gradually add to the liquids. Batter will be similar to a cake batter.
4. Prepare the mini doughnut pan by greasing each cavity.
5. Using a teaspoon measure, scoop out batter and place, one tsp at a time into each cavity of the mini doughnut pan. Each cavity will hold approximately 5-6 tsp of batter. Fill each cavity until just slightly under the rim.  If you over fill the doughnut will rise to much, fill in the middle hole and instead of a doughnut it will look like a flat cupcake.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Doughnuts will be very light colored, not browned at all. 

8. While the doughnuts are warm, I find it easiest to run a grapefruit knife with a bent tip around the edge of the doughnut to loosen it and then carefully lift the doughnut out.
9. Place doughnuts on a rack until completely cooled.

ButterSCOTCH Sauce

1/4 cup (4 TBL) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBL scotch whiskey (You can add more scotch to taste)

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sugar.
2. Add the sugar and stir until sugar is completely melted.
3. Whisk in the cream and salt until blended thoroughly blended
4. Lower heat to simmer and cook until sauce thickens.
5. Remove from heat and add the scotch and mix.

Mapled Bacon

5 strips of bacon
Maple Syrup, enough to evenly glaze the bacon

1. Fry the bacon until crispy.
2. Remove to paper towels and drain until completely cooled.
3. Break up bacon into small 1/4″ bits.
4. Place bits in a small bowl and add enough maple syrup to completely coat the bacon.

AllRightsReserved@BigBlackDog

{ 9 comments }

Chicken Tacos with Apple and Pecans

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Chicken Tacos with Apple and Pecans

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May 13, 2011
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Cookie Tacos

May 11, 2011
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Russian Braid Cinnamon Swirl Bread

May 9, 2011
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OH my gosh, I think spring is finally here. And if you missed my last post I had four new baby Bluebirds hatch last week which is a sure sign that spring is here. And the babies are almost completely bald and they have not opened their eyes yet but they are so cute! In between [...]

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Baby Bluebirds have hatched!

May 7, 2011
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I know that BBD is a food blog but over the years I have kept you updated on the yearly Bluebird population at Spend-a-Buck Farm. And I am happy to report one nest of babies has hatched! Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the eggs but it was so cold, in fact it snowed [...]

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Fresh Blue Crab Beer Boil

May 6, 2011
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A few weeks ago my husband came home from work with a surprise for me, a plastic bag filled with live Blue Crabs. Oh yea, that’s what I want to see at 5pm after a rather stressful day, a big bag of live sea creatures. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but sometimes I do [...]

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