Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

You guys, it’s National Doughnut Day!  Who ever decided that this was actually a thing is my new favorite person. Not that I need an excuse to make and eat doughnuts, but an actual legit day on the calendar dedicated to it basically means I’m required to, right?

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Now you for sure could go on down to your local Duncan Donuts, or if you are lucky enough to have one, your local Krispy Kreme and grab a treat (or 12).  Or, and this is clearly the option I am in favor of, you could make these crazy, out of control, delicious Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts.

I’ll warn you in advance, this recipe only makes six donuts. I promise you that you need to double the recipe. My husband and I blew through the first batch of six in about 20 minutes flat, and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. They are just that good.

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Bakes Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

makes 6

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a baker’s spray to coat the doughnut pan.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Fill the wells of the doughnut pans a bit more than three-quarters full with the batter. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the wall of a doughnut comes out clean and the doughnuts are puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool (in the pan) for 5 minutes, then gently invert the doughnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet.

While the doughnuts are cooling, make the topping.

Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Brush the warm doughnuts with the melted butter, then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one or both sides. Serve warm.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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This completes my reading of all three of Gillian Flynn’s novels.

When I was done reading Sharp Objects, I was left feeling almost exactly the same as I felt when I finished Flynn’s other stories; that there is something very, very unhealthy about this book. Her characters, these stories, they’re just so…wrong, in the best way possible.  They’re complex, real, and majorly f’ed up to the point where I wasn’t even sure I liked them…but I couldn’t stop reading. It was kind of like seeing an accident; you don’t want to look, but you can’t turn away.

This story’s main character, Camille, has a complex and disturbing background and an even more complex family. This book has a grizzly plot line where Camille travels back to her hometown to report on a string of murders of young girls. There are emotional demons to wrestle. There are skeletons in the closet brought to light, and there is an ending that is so mean and nasty that I felt a little unclean when it was all said and done. In other words, this book has everything a dark, psychological thriller should.

I also found it interesting how well Flynn writes terrible women. Again, she has turned the stereotypes on their heads. In this novel, women are the bad guys, the villains, the perpetrators. Men are the bystanders, and at most their pawns. It certainly makes for an interesting and emotionally challenging read.

I’m sure this book will displease a lot of readers. But the point of a psychological thriller isn’t to make the reader comfortable. While reading this one you’ll want to squirm, and you’ll cringe a little. You’ll thank your lucky stars your life isn’t as messed up as Camille’s.

And, if you’re like me, you’ll also feel a little uncomfortable knowing that you liked reading it.

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Title: Sharp Objects  Author: Gillian Flynn

Pages: 254 (in paperback)

Read: mostly at home, in bed.

First Line: “My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly.”

Yosemite

About a month ago Tim and I spent a few days exploring Yosemite. And, though I tried to capture the grandure of it all, I still don’t think the pictures completely do this place justice.

This is the view on the drive in. It was at about this point that we started to really get excited.

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El Capitan

El Capitan is the first really identifiable thing you see as you enter the park (the north side of Yosemite Valley). It is absolutely ginormous, and is probably my favorite of all the rock formations in the park. Made of granite, it is 3,000 feet tall from base to summit. It is, not surprisingly, a favorite destination for rock climbers and BASE Jumpers, though I can’t imagine doing either.
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Half Dome

Half Dome is agruably the most recognizable rock formation inside Yosemite (it was even depicted on the California state quarter). You need to obtain a permit to hike the cable rout up to the summit. I feel light headed just looking at the picture, so I don’t think I’ll be doing that any time soon.
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Yosemite Falls

At 2,425 feet from the top of the upper falls, to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the highest measured falls in North America. I fully suggest going in mid to late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

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Tim taking a picture of Yosemite Falls.

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Camp Curry

We stayed at Camp Curry, one of the many lodging options inside Yosemite. We didn’t want to stay in a hotel, but it was still a bit too cold at night to stay in a tent (at least in my opinion), even though we would have preffered tent camping. These canvas tent cabins were the perfect compromise. They even have cabins you can rent that include heating units.

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Mirror Lake

Mirror lake is seriously rediculous. It’s one of the prettiest lakes I’ve ever been to. On a smaler scale, it actually reminded me a lot of Trillium Lake back home in Oregon, but that may just be because of the comparison between Mt. Hood reflecting in Trillium Lake, and Half Dome reflecting in Mirror Lake. It’s a must see/must photograph spot for sure.
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I loved how this tree on the shore of Mirror Lake managed to grow around that giant boulder. IMG_4500psHere’s the thing about the deer in Yosemite. They aren’t all that afraid of people. I guess that makes sense seeing as how many people are visiting the park at any given time. I have mixed feelings about this fact. On one hand I think it’s pretty sad that these wild animals have no real fear of people. On the other hand it was pretty cool getting so close to them. Now, I should clarify, I am in no way advocating getting “too” close to them, as they are still wild animals, and I certainly don’t recommend trying to pet them, etc. Let’s be smart people. But, there were a few occasions where my proximity was closer then I’ve been before to deer, and afforded some pretty cool experiences.

Walking back to camp from Mirror lake we found ourselves in a small deer stampede. Seriously. We were walking up the trail, saw one deer up on the side of the hill. Stopped to see if she would make another appearance so I could grab a pic. Then that one deer turned into five up on the hill, and suddenly the male of the pack was herding them our dirrection…at a full on run. We jumped out of the way, onto the opposite side of the trail, as all five deer darted within a foot or two from us. It was pretty awesome.

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Here are some other random pics from our adventures in Yosemite.

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Birchbox May 2014

I subscribe to a few subscription boxes, and I figured I’d start reviewing them here for those of you who may be interested. Sometimes I mix it up, subscribing to one type of box for a month or two, and then trying out something different. Birchbox, however is one that I have been subscribing to pretty consistantly for almost a year now, and I love it!  I’ve found some really great products that I now use everyday, which I probably never would have found without sampling them first.

Birchbox was kind of the pioneer when it comes to the subscription box trend. It is only $10 a month and they send you 5-8 (usually sample size) products to try out. If you end up loving the sample, you can purchase the full size version in their shop. They also have a crazy good points system so you can rack up credit for significant discounts. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you can pay month to month for, or pay for a full year at once (for a discount). You can also cancel any time.

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Here’s what I got in my May 2014 box:

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This was one of the boxes where I loved almost everything in it.

Harvey Prince Hello – This scent smells great, isn’t overpowering at all, and is perfect for Spring.  I like fragerence samples, because I’m super picky when it comes to what scents I wear. Plus perfume is super expensive, and there’s no way I’m spending $70 on a bottle before I’ve tried it out a few times.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle – I fell in love with the scent of this product. It smells crazy good! But, the product itself just doesn’t do much for my super curly hair. I could see how this would be a great product for people with straighter or even waivy hair, but there are better products out there for curly girls. I wish I loved it though.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner – This is a super creamy, easy to apply, eyeliner pencil. It’s smudge proof, and lasts all day. Win win in my book. Plus, its vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.

Perlier Body Cream – As mentioned before, I’m particular about scents. Having said that, I love everything almond, and this almond scent is great!  Its a great every day, hydrating, non greasy, and quick absorbing lotion.

Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology – People seem to love Supergoop!  Honestly, I didn’t see anything about this product that wowed me. It’s just sunscreen. I get that it’s super important. But, there are better and more affordable products on the market.  I’ll probably just throw this sample in my purse for times where I need just a little more on the go.

 

I believe that there is a code out right now to get your first box for only $5 (which is 50% off!). Use SUMMERSUB when you sign up, though I’m not sure how long the code will be good for.

 

 

 

Muir Woods

My husband and I are collecting National Parks. We want to see and experience as many of them as possible. Most recently we spent a few days enjoying Yosemite, but prior to that we spent a quitet Tuesday afternoon hiking through Muir Woods again.  And though it’s technically a National Monument, rather than a “Park”, it is still a favorite of ours, and best yet it’s basically in our backyard (or at least within a quick drive of it). You’ll hear all about Yosemite soon enough, but first lets go on a walk through the giant redwoods.

IMG_4328_FotorIMG_4331_FotorIMG_4333_FotorIMG_4334_FotorIMG_4335_FotorIMG_4340_Fotor 2IMG_4343_FotorIMG_4344_FotorIMG_4345_FotorIMG_4351_FotorIMG_4353_FotorIMG_4354_FotorIMG_4362_FotorYou can read all about our first trip to Muir Woods here.