Saturday, September 17, 2016

Making Lavender Doughnuts

My Dad used to make doughnuts. I remember he made so many that they covered not only the kitchen counter but the dining room table as well! Our job was to sprinkle confectioners' sugar on them. I'm pretty sure with 9 people in the house they didn't last long. I wanted to try my hand at it but I didn't want to take the time to make yeast doughnuts like Dad always did. I found an easy recipe from Gourmet Magazine that I could change up to become my own.  So here is how I made this recipe which includes doTERRA Lavender essential oil. But of course!

Photo Credit: CK Worley

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 1/4 cups all - purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla plus 4 drops of Lavender essential oil
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
Vanilla Glaze:
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla plus 6 drops of Lavender essential oil.
2 cups confectioners' sugar


In a large bowl with an electric mixture beat large eggs, with cup sugar until the mixture is thick and light. Add sour cream, butter, vanilla, Lavender oil and combine the mixture well.
Photo Credit: CK Worley

In a bowl sift together flour, double-acting baking powder, salt and add the mixture to the sour-cream mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the dough is just combined. With a wooden spoon stir in more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. (The dough will be sticky.)

Turn the dough out onto a surface sprinkled generously with flour, dust it with more flour, and roll or pat it out 1/3 - inch thick. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Photo Credit: CK Worley

With a 2 1/2- inch cutter dipped in flour cut out rounds.  With a 1-inch cutter dipped in flour cut out the centers from the rounds, reserving them, and cut 1-inch rounds, reserving them, from the scraps. (The doughnuts will be tough if the dough is rolled again.) I used a wine glass and a shot glass which worked out pretty well.

Photo Credit: CK Worley
In a large deep fryer heat 3 inches vegetable shortening or vegetable oil to 365 degrees and in it fry the doughnuts, 4 at a time, for 1 minute on each side, or until they are golden brown, transferring them with a skimmer as they are fried to paper towels on racks to drain. Fry the doughnut holes, 8 at a time, for 45 seconds on each side, or until they are golden brown, transferring them with the skimmer as they are fried to paper towels to drain.

Vanilla Glaze:

In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water combine milk, butter, vanilla, Lavender oil and heat the mixture until the butter is melted. Add gradually sugar, beating, and beat the glaze until it is smooth.
 Remember to look for "Essential Oil Supplement" on your essential oil bottle. If this does not appear than do not take it internally. It's been adulterated in some way or is lavender FRAGRANCE not a REAL essential oil. I used 6 drops but if you are not used to Lavender use 3 instead.
Photo Credit: CK Worley

I took the donuts off the cooling racks and switched the paper towels from the top to the bottom. That way, the towel caught the glaze drippings making clean up easier.

(Notes: I tried to use food coloring to make the doughnuts have a lavender color but because of the egg yolk the dough ended up looking kind of grey. Won't do that again. Also, I won't make these again until I have a thermometer that works. The oil was too hot so the donuts got dark too fast. Some of the thicker pieces didn't get cooked in the middle because of it. Going to Bed Bath and Beyond for a replacement soon!)

My husband said it best. He bit into a doughnut and said "These taste marvelous"! And that made all the effort worth it!

UGA defeated Nicholls State 26-24 Tailgate

Photo Credit:
The tailgate for the University of Georgia’s second football game this season turned out to be a healthy affair! Aside from the fried chicken bought from the local grocery store, I made three salads that seemed to hit the spot. Two were recipes found in Southern Living and the third from Garden and Gun magazine. I changed it up just a tiny bit to make things more flavorful.

Photo Credit: Southern Living Magazine

First the Sour Cream Potato Salad


3 pounds small russet potatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
8 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped


1. Place potato slices in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Place potatoes in a large bowl; gently stir in bacon.
Whisk together remaining 10 ingredients in a small bowl. Add sour cream mixture to potato mixture, and stir gently to incorporate.

(Note: To tell you the truth, I doubled the sour cream recipe. The dressing soaked up into the potato overnight and made it look dry so I made the recipe again and added it to the salad. Turned out great!)

Photo Credit: CK Worley
Next the Colorful Collard Slaw (This was by far the biggest hit)


1/2 cup white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch collard greens (about 1 3/4 lb.)
2 cups matchstick carrots (I used yellow, orange and purple carrots)
2 sweet apple (not a tart one like Grannie Smith), diced


1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients and 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt in a small bowl until sugar is completely dissolved; slowly whisk in olive oil until completely incorporated.
2. Trim and discard tough stems from collard greens; thinly slice leaves, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and gently massage into greens 1 to 2 minutes. (This helps tenderize them and remove any bitterness.) Pour off any liquid.
3. Add carrots, apple, and 2 tablespoons of the dressing to collards; stir gently to combine, and let stand 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing to slaw, and toss. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

(Note: The recipe says to serve the rest of the dressing on the side but I put it all in - then let it sit in the fridge over night. Tossed it and then packed it for the tailgate. Made the collards all the more tender!)

Photo Credit: CK Worley
 Lastly the French Style Succotash (I made a cold salad out of it and everyone loved it).


2 cups butter beans, fresh or frozen (I used field peas)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup (about 5 or 6 strips) thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch lardons
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, chipped into ¼-inch dice
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper


Bring 1 quart of well-salted water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add butter beans. If they’re fresh, cook for about 4 minutes. Frozen beans will need to cook for about 8 minutes. Test for tenderness and then remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 7 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, and bell pepper, stirring to coat with butter and bacon fat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the corn, garlic, and scallions and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently fold in the butter beans, then add cream, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until succotash is heated through and the cream has started to thicken.
Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with additional tarragon before serving.

(Note: This is wonderful served warm or cold. This was served cold at the tailgate.)

Here’s to a wonderful football season. GO DAWGS!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Red Top Mountain

Photo Credit: Red Top Mountain State Park

I went hiking on Red Top Mountain in Cartersville with my friend Katie. It’s located on Lake Allatoona and is easily driveable from the Atlanta area. This is a hiker's dream with over 15 miles of trails.  It's free to visit although there is a $5 parking fee (or you can purchase a yearly parking pass for $50).

The Mountain got its name from the high iron ore content in the soil which made the ground look red. The Creek Indians used the red soil for dying clothing and to decorating pottery. Mining became very important there and you can still visit the mining sites via a Ranger led tour.

Katie and I explored the reconstructed 1860's Vaughn homestead. It was locked but we were able to look into the windows and see the furnishings and kitchen. The porch is used for the summer in the park music series.
Photo Credit:  Red Top Mountain State Park

You can camp outside in tents, RV’s or rent a cottage. This State Park also has swimming as well as picnic areas. You can also mountain bike or go boating in the 12,000 acre lake. Don't own a boat? You can rent one at the privately owned full service marina. So if you love the great outdoors this may be worth a visit.
Photo Credit: Red Top Mountain State Park

For More Information:
Red Top Mountain State Park
, 50 Lodge Rd SE
, Cartersville, GA 30121
Reservations (800) 864-7275
Lodge Reservations (800) 573-9658 
Visitor Center (770) 975-4226