Mother’s Day Hot Wing Donuts

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Mother’s Day usually means brunch or better, yet, breakfast in bed. When I wondered what recipe to share with you today I thought I could celebrate my own mom by pulling out one of her old cookbooks for inspiration. She loved this pamphlet from the 60’s and the recipes and brand behind it. I can still hear her voice saying, “Polly-O is the best. Buy the best”. Good advice, mom.

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Flipping through I came across a spattered, well loved page that included ricotta pancakes, cheese blintzes and a peach torte. However, it is the ricotta puffs or fritters that grab my attention and bring me back to an Italian street fair where fried donuts called zeppole were the treat of the day. Crispy fried puffs smothered in cinnamon-sugar and purchased by the dozen still warm in a brown bag. A deliciously good and inspiring memory.

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hands-free frying these donuts flip themselves

But you know me. I can’t just follow a recipe. It’s time to change it up and honor another mom or two I love very much. Like mother like daughter….Caitlin and I like deep frying and donuts on occasion. We also like it spicy.

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Can a mother thank a daughter for becoming a mother? What fun it has been for me to be “Kiki”, aka, Annabelle’s grandmother. Annabelle is such a joy, but more incredible than that joy is watching your own daughter being an amazing mom. My Caitlin loves with her whole heart. Her mothering instincts are spot on. Being a new mom is an exhausting, self-less experience that she is doing with such grace. It makes me feel so proud to be HER mom. Caitlin continues to lift me up and remind me life is good. I’m ever so grateful for her and for that reminder.

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Another mom I love and appreciate is a lady named Suzy. You know her best as the creator of the spectacular  Saucy Mama brand. Suzy not only pours her whole heart into creating amazing sauces, mustards and marinades, but also into investing and empowering women like me. Being a part of Team Saucy Mama is a dream and a privilege. All the women on the team inspire me to be a better cook, a better person and a better mom. I am ever so grateful for their kindness, generosity and friendship.

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Here comes today’s recipe inspired by my mom, Caitlin and Suzy.  I tweaked the original recipe from the Polly-O pamphlet substituting vanilla bean paste for brandy and eliminating dusting the donuts in powdered sugar. Instead the donuts are coated with a mixture of granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt creating a bit of a crispy/crunchy contrast to the soft, almost pudding like ricotta interior. For the perfect spicy heat they are finished with a drizzle of Saucy Mama’s Total Domination Wing Sauce No. 2. The combination of scotch bonnet peppers and blackberry lift this simple donut to another level of goodness. Yes, mom..it’s the best.

Ricotta Puffs or Fritters

  • Servings: 2 to 3 dozen
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10 ounces ricotta cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon fine salt

oil for deep frying

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Saucy Mama Total Domination Wing Sauce No. 2

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, 1-tablespoon of sugar and vanilla bean paste; blend well with a spoon. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and fine salt; pour into ricotta mixture and stir until mixture is moth and well mixed. Let batter stand for 30 minutes to thicken up slightly. Heat oil to 350F. Drop batter by small, round scoopfuls (depends on size you like) and brown on all sides. Don’t crowd the pan as the puffs need room to flip themselves. Drain on paper towels. With a fork mix remaining sugar, cinnamon a salt in a small bowl. While still warm toss donuts in sugar mixture. Serve with hot wing sauce either drizzled on top or as a dip on the side. Makes 2 to 3 dozen puffs.

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Feel free to dip instead of drizzle. And I hope someone serves you breakfast in bed next Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day in advance. I will be taking next Sunday and a few others off from here in the coming weeks as life is getting a bit busier than usual.

Warm & Wild Blueberry Smoothie Latte

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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Baby it’s cold outside! Get out the warm wool sweaters, favorite fleece lined boots and the blender. Blender? Yes, I said blender because we are making smoothies. Believe it or not winter is one of the most popular times of the year for smoothie making because it fits right in with those healthy new year resolutions. Smoothies are the easy way to pack more nutrition into your diet.

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Now let’s talk about wild blueberries.

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Wild blueberries are little purple powerhouses of nutrition. Grown in barrens across Maine and Canada wild blueberries are quite different from those that are planted or cultivated.  Wild blueberries have grown naturally under harsh conditions for 10,000 years, so they have adapted with more than 2x the antioxidants and fiber of cultivated blueberries. Frozen at harvest to lock in the goodness studies show that they may help prevent the onset of cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s and diabetes.  With a well balanced sweet-tart flavor just about everything pairs well with these super fruits in a smoothie.

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Webster’s dictionary defines a smoothie as “a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk, or yogurt.” Much to my delight it doesn’t seem like I am breaking any smoothie rules by going warm instead of cold because did you hear me earlier? It’s freezing outside here in Pennsylvania and I can use all the antioxidants I can get to boost my immune system. Fighting off a cold or the flu? I have a smoothie for you!

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and yes, I really did accidentally spill all that froth all over the counter

Infused with green tea, pomegranate and warm revitalizing cleansing spices this deliciously wild blueberry smoothie will certainly cure your winter blues.

Warm & Wild Blueberry Smoothie Latte

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup frozen wild blueberries

1 ½ tablespoons real maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup water

2 green tea with pomegranate tea bags

1/2 cup milk (or almond milk)

Place blueberries and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in blender. In small bowl, combine cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and allspice; stir to blend spices. In small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and ¼ teaspoon of spice mixture; stir and let steep for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk with remaining ½ tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon of spice mixture just to a simmer, stirring to combine. Stir and strain hot tea mixture into blender with blueberries. Add ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture; blend well. Re-warm mixture in pan on stove to desired temperature. Froth the remaining milk mixture with an immersion blender or tool specially designed for frothing milk. Divide the hot tea mixture among two mugs and top with frothy milk. Sprinkle with additional blueberries and spice mixture, if desired. Serve warm. 


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wish you could see my wild blueberry smoothie latte mustache right now

Frozen wild blueberries are available all year long.Click this link to find a store near you: grocery store. Click here if you would like to try my Easy as A-B-C Wild Blueberry Smoothie

 

Easy as A-B-C Wild Blueberry Smoothie

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By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Keeping a new year resolution to eat healthy has never been easier. Start with one simple idea liking eating real food instead of something processed. Just look around your kitchen. I bet you have a whole assortment of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables ready for a quick smoothie buzz in the blender. What I especially love about smoothies is that they can be completely customized to your own taste. Right now I’m loving experimenting with wild blueberries. Sipped through a straw or eaten out of a bowl with an assortment of toppings wild blueberry smoothies bring us one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.

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Food trend predictions for 2017 will have you adding some rather unusual ingredients to your smoothie. How about charcoal or Peruvian maca powder? Ah-no thanks. Then there is blue-green algae, sorry, but not happening here. Lastly, and this one really blows my skeptic mind is something known as an “adaptogen” (is that a real word?) called ashwagandha….I can’t even. Just give me some real food like wild blueberries!

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And in case you did not know wild blueberries are quite different from cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries are not planted, but occur naturally in fields in Maine and Canada. Smaller in size they have twice the antioxidants of regular blueberries and are more intensely flavored. They have a nice balance of sweet-tart and those flavors and nutrients are locked in at harvest when they are individually quick frozen (IQF). Find them in the frozen food section of the grocery store.

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My friend Marcie reminds me that something homemade is always good for the heart and soul. 

Back to easy! Open your fridge, check your pantry and grab some wild blueberries from the freezer. You will have everything you need to put together a super food delicious and jam-packed naturally nutritious smoothie. Not to mention you will save a ton of money not buying supplements created in some laboratory.  This A-B-C (apple, basil, Cinnamon) wild blueberry smoothie came together in a few minutes with what I had on hand today in my kitchen. Notice the subtle changing layers of flavors as you sip down to the delicious last drop. Your belly says, “thank you”!

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Easy as A-B-C Wild Blueberry Smoothie

¾ cup frozen Maine wild blueberries plus additional for garnish

1 (5.3 oz) container Greek nonfat blueberry yogurt

½ large red apple, quartered (do not peel)

4 large fresh basil leaves plus a sprig for garnish

1 tablespoon honey

1/8-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 small frozen banana

2 tablespoons plain Greek nonfat yogurt

1 (5.3 oz) container Greek nonfat coconut cream yogurt

2 ice cubes

In high-powered blender combine blueberries, blueberry yogurt, apple, basil, honey and cinnamon until smooth. Measure out ½ cup and divide between two serving glasses. Add banana and plain yogurt to remaining mixture in blender; blend until smooth. Top off glasses evenly using just half of the blueberry-banana mixture. Add half of the coconut cream yogurt and the ice cubes to the remaining mixture in the blender; blend until smooth. Divide evenly between glasses. Spoon or pipe remaining coconut cream yogurt on top. Sprinkle with wild blueberries. Garnish with basil sprig. Makes 2 servings.

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