The Feastie Blog

Feastie Friday: 13 Reasons to Own a Donut Pan - Fun Baked Donut Recipes

So weigh in on the age old question: Is it "doughnuts" or "donuts"? However you spell it, donuts are amazing, they're delicious, they're sweet and sugary and everything else that is right with the world. Making traditional homemade fried donuts isn't impossible - but it can be messy, and it's definitely not as easy as picking up a bag of crullers from the coffee shop. But - what if you could make your own donuts at home - no frying required? You need a donut pan. You can make baked donuts that are just as good as the fried variety - and *usually* far healthier. We've rounded up 13 reasons why you need to own a donut pan - 13 recipes for easy, no-mess, homemade baked donuts that you can enjoy without the deep frying. So the next time you're craving a donut for your morning coffee, pull out your handy donut pan and whip up a batch of homemade baked donuts! 

1. Samoa Baked Donuts from Top with Cinnamon
Samoa Baked Donuts from Top with Cinnamon
Photo from Top with Cinnamon

 

Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Sour Cream Frosting

Every year for his birthday, The Mr. requests the same cake - chocolate with chocolate frosting. And every year I offer up other suggestions - you know, just to mix it up a bit - and every year he says the same thing: CHOCOLATE. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate cake - I do love chocolate, but this is a chocolate explosion, like mass quantities of chocolate all at once. In other words - if you do like chocolate cake or chocolate desserts, this will make you pass out from happiness. I did have a slice at the party we brought this cake to, and it was good - very rich, not too sweet - but very, very chocolatey. The cake recipe is a classic - Hershey's "perfectly chocolate" chocolate cake - and it's a classic for a reason. This chocolate cake is perfection. It really is - it's the perfect combination of flavors and textures and just the right around of moistness and not crumbly or dry - Hershey's knows what's up. And I topped it with Martha Stewart's chocolate-sour cream frosting, which was unbelievable. I usually don't love buttercreams as they're tooth-achingly sweet, and I LOVE cream cheese and sour cream frostings, so this was a great choice for this cake. As far as my fancy shmancy cake decorating - let's just say I got ambitious and luckily things worked out okay! I used an awesome tutorial from The Hungry Housewife, and I will admit that this technique was way easier than I thought it would be! Not too shabby for my first try! 

Feastie Friday: 21 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Start to 2014!

Happy New Year!! We hope that your 2013 was wonderful - and that 2014 will be even better. One way to ensure that 2014 starts out well is to kick-off the year with a healthy approach to eating and food - and we've rounded up 21 healthy recipes to get you inspired. You already know that eating healthy doesn't have to mean eating bland food, or eating boring food - this is good stuff. Healthy versions of your favorites (breakfast burritos, pancakes) and salads full of fresh veggies and tangy homemade dressings are just the tip of the iceberg - chili, pasta, smoothies, desserts - there are so many delicious ways to enjoy healthy versions of your favorite foods. Get cooking - and have a healthful, delicious, and propserous new year!   

1. Healthy Breakfast Burritos from Top with Cinnamon
Healthy Breakfast Burritos (make-ahead, with home made high protein/low carb/gf tortillas) from Top with Cinnamon
Photo from Top with Cinnamon

 

Curried Olive Cheddar Melts on English Muffins

I may have mentioned in the past that I have some major food weaknesses. Like kryptonite-style stuff - I can't have it in the house. I'm going to disclose these food vices right now - please don't judge me. I like to think that the majority of the time, I eat pretty well - mostly vegetarian, some fish and poultry now and then, lots of fruits and veggies - but everyone has their little vices, and mine just so happen to be major junk food. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and Cheetos. Neither one of these things are allowed in my house. Every once in a while (like once a year) I think to myself, "It's just one box of cereal. How bad can it be? I'll control myself." And so I bring home a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Fast forward 4 hours to me, sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in cinnamon sugar, holding an empty box, despairing both at the fact that a) I've eaten an entire box of cereal and b) there's no more cereal left. GAH!! So these curried olive cheese melts - I'll add these to the list. KRYPTONITE. I can't stress this enough - these little bites are ADDICTIVE and EVIL (in the best possible way) and I make them ONCE a year, usually Christmas or New Year's. Well this year I got carried away and made them for Christmas eve dinner, a Chrismukkah dinner, and now I'm making them again for New Year's Eve. My waistline is NOT happy. But they are SO GOOD I can't even handle it. The recipe was given to me by a friend, and she said she'd been making it for years, it was a recipe that her mother had given her a long time ago, and she didn't know the origins of it. I've seen many versions of this online, and I'm sure they're all good, but I'd like to think that this one is the best. Because imagining one better than this kind of blows my mind, so I'm not even going to go there. These bites are cheesy, melty, salty, savory, crunchy, soft, and every other good adjective you can think of - all at once. They're PERFECTION with drinks and cocktails, they're awesome as passed party hors d'oeuvres or appetizers, and I'll be honest yet again and admit that they're perfect at midnight - a whole muffin, just to myself, while watching The Tudors on Netflix, because hey, why not?! Make them. Share them. Enjoy them. I promise you'll love them. If not, call me and I'll come finish the ones you've already made. Promise. 

Feastie Friday: 23 Brilliant Boozy Drinks to Ring In the New Year

The holiday season is almost at a close - we hope your holidays have been wonderful and delicious! Before you make your New Year's resolutions and get geared up for 2014, you've got one more fantastic excuse to gather with friends and family and celebrate - New Year's Eve! We've rounded up 23 brilliant boozy drinks to help you ring in the new year - everything from margaritas and eggnog to boozy hot chocolate and moonshine. Of course make sure you have lots of tasty appetizers and hors d'oeuvres to soak up the alcohol - we can help you with that, too. So happy holidays and Happy New Year from Team Feastie - thank you so much for joining us!  

Butternut Gruyere Quinoa Gratin

I need to write a sonnet to this recipe. Not even the recipe in its entirety - which is wonderful - but the cheese sauce. OMG THE CHEESE SAUCE!!! *yes I'm screaming this* I may (or may not - there's no proof) have licked the pot after I scraped the sauce into the mixing bowl. Gross, yes, but hey, I used a spatula! This cheese sauce is happening again - SOON - and next time I'm just going full-blown CARBTASTIC and folding it into some cooked pasta. I can't even handle it. But the recipe itself - which is what I'm going to share with you - is fantastic. I came across this recipe for butternut barley cheddar gratin from Veggie & The Beast, and thought it looked like something I needed in my life. But I wanted to use up the mass quantities of quinoa in my pantry, so I used quinoa instead of barley - and everyone knows that gruyere is always a good thing - in other words, this recipe was a great jumping-off point, and I think my final creation is a keeper. Yes, yes - another squash recipe - I'm so sorry. I can't help it. Until we moved to the east coast in 2006 I never really had a need to eat seasonally - in Santa Barbara, everything was pretty much in season all of the time. Farmers markets had tomatoes and watermelons most of the year - strawberries, blueberries - I really wasn't prepared for the whole "season" thing when we moved out here. But now after 7 years on the east coast (eeep I can't believe it's been that long!) I've fully embraced eating seasonally. So it's cold - it's snowy - I'm eating squash. Deal with it. Embrace it. Love it. It's really the ideal dinner for the current weather we're experiencing - when there's a few inches of snow on the ground and it's in the teens at night (okay I'm still not used to the cold weather), I just want something warm and comforting and cheesy and gooey - this gratin fits the bill. It's not a total nutritional nightmare, either - it's high in protein from the quinoa, and high in fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals and other goodies hiding in that bright orange squash. Serve this with a green veggie side (we had sauteed spinach one night, Brussels sprouts the next) and you've got a satisfying and filling vegetarian main course that everyone at the table will enjoy.

Feastie Friday: 17 Festive Appetizers for Your Holiday Gathering

When you're planning your holiday celebration, don't forget the appetizers! Especially if you will be serving alcoholic drinks, make sure your guests have something to munch on while they socialize before dinner. But hey - it's Christmas - keep it festive! Setting out a tray of chips and dip is boring - why not serve some festive, Christmas-y appetizers and hors d'oeuvres? We've rounded up 17 festive appetizers for your holiday gathering - everything from baked brie to stuffed mushrooms. Your guests will thank you - these fun little bites are a special treat. Happy Holidays from Team Feastie! We hope you have a wonderful and delicious holiday.  

Cranberry Pecan Bread with Orange Glaze

Quick breads are wonderful. Usually there's no mixer required (less dishes - woohoo!), the ingredients are relatively basic, and anyone can make a delicious loaf or two with minimal effort. I was searching for an alternative to pumpkin bread, something to use up some leftover cranberries - and came across this orange glazed cranberry bread from Sally's Baking Addiction. This is the holidays in edible form. The tart cranberries pair perfectly with the pecans and orange glaze, and the result is an amazingly addictive quick bread that screams "holidays". The cinnamon streusel is wonderful - I seriously want to eat the entire top of the bread in one go. I've restrained myself - I've been enjoying thick slices, warm, with my tea in the evening. Delicious. Make a few of these to share with friends - this is a fantastic holiday gift. Who wouldn't be ecstatic to unwrap a loaf of deliciousness this holiday season?!  

Feastie Friday: 17 Salty Sweet Treats for Chocolate Lovers

One of the hottest trends right now is the salty sweet treat - simultaneously salty and sweet, these little bites satisfy all of your cravings in one go. And adding chocolate to the mix - that takes it to a whole new level. We've rounded up 17 salty sweet treats for chocolate lovers - these are the ultimate in decadence and satisfaction. If you're looking for a fun, personalized, and inexpensive gift for family and friends, wrap up some of these treats in festive paper and you're guaranteed to please everyone on your holiday gift list. In other words, you really can't go wrong with salty, sweet, and chocolate - we highly recommend that you start your weekend off right by trying one (or more!) of these recipes!

Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Garlic

Yes, I am on a squash kick, why do you ask? I can't get enough of it (exhibit A, B, and C) . If I keep up my squash-mania at this pace I'll be all squashed-out by the time spring rolls around, which is just fine, as I'll be ready for asparagus! This maple-roasted butternut squash from Barefoot Contessa is a recipe that I tried for the first time 3 years ago, at a friend's house. We were making a vegetarian feast, and although the original recipe calls for pancetta, we decided to just go ahead and omit it, and see if the recipe held up without it. It did hold up - and then some. This is the ideal side dish for any fall or winter meal - it's great alongside meat or chicken. It's also fantastic all on its own, served with a crusty baguette, if you're looking for a light vegetarian dinner. The creamy, mellow garlic and the sweet squash with the sage and maple syrup - it's just so many amazing flavors packed into one simple, easy, straight-forward dish. 

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Will blog for food.
The Founder of Feastie.