Do you guys love croquembouche too? Traditionally they are made with stacked homemade cream puffs and spun sugar. They are gorgeous. But that seems like it would take way too much work, especially if there are kids involved. They aren’t going to fully appreciate just how much work went in to making that showstopper treat. So I figured out how to make a faux croquembouche with donut holes. Because who wouldn’t want a donut tree?
I usually work on blog stuff in the mornings. Even the weekend. So it was a really nice change of pace when my son found our mini donut baker in the garage and all but demanded we make them immediately. So we did. And they loved them. And it was really fun to make something for breakfast and take a little more time with them instead of being on the computer. I guess sometimes you have to stop and smell the mini donuts.
I die for food magazines. I rarely make anything from them, but I have to read them each month. Over the last year or so I’ve been falling in love with Bon Appetit and their styling. They just get me. It’s all I can do to wait patiently for the new issue to arrive each month. The creative direction is SO GOOD. Like, I want to rip out these pages and decoupage them on my dresser like I did with bands in high school.
This didn’t happen in October but I didn’t download the photo until now so it missed last month’s ‘Things I Love.” My dear friend, Erika, was an extra on Brooklyn 99, one of my fave shows. So of course we had to have a viewing party at her house and experience it together. It was the Halloween episode. She nailed it. I love watching her explore this new path in her life and think she is awesome. See her on Cougar Town here.
You guys. I’ve only been wine tasting twice now but both times I really felt like I needed to wear this vintage grape necklace that my grandma gave me. Do you really need to have a good luck charm for wine tasting? Because I think this is mine. My grandma wasn’t in to wine per se although she always ordered a Chablis when we ate at the pizzeria. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my grandparents was them making fun of pretentious wine tasters and the adjectives they use to describe the wine. I will never forget it. I love this necklace. And this shirt. I will die if anything happens to it. It’s Erin Wasson for RVCA and it is my all time fave. If we’ve hung out in person you have certainly seen me in it. And I love my new necklace from Shop Serene Sky. I won it at a blogger event and it’s totally my style! So glad I didn’t win the free month of exercise.
Dearest fried green bean, how did I not know about you until now? I saw someone post about these on their instagram account and later that day went to try them. I adore green beans. It’s the world’s best vegetable. And fried?! Yum. This was my first time at The Habit, although it is in the same parking lot as my Joann’s so you know I’ve passed it and smelled it like a gazillion times. The burger was also amazing! Can’t wait to go back and try out more things! I also love that they put a gummy hamburger in the kids meals! Nice touch.
You know I love Nerds, right? They are my fave. But if Nerds and green beans got in to a fight, I’m not sure whose earrings I would hold. That’s not true. I would mean mug the green beans and back my Nerds. And then eat the green beans and then the Nerds. So when Geeky Hostess posted this it made my heart sing. Candy against bullying. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Well done Wonka.
YOU GUYS! I’m sorry to shout at you but these pants changed my life. So I’m pretty cheap about my denim. I used to buy pricey pants, and they really did fit and wear well. But it just isn’t the right time for me to spend a lot on good denim. So I’ve been hitting the cheapy stores for my pants. These stores usually go for a younger audience so the pants are all low-rise and terrible whiskering. Well, I finally came across that was high-waisted (but not in a Jessica Simpson high-waisted pants debacle, high waist) jeans and they are awesome! The whiskering and details are still not something I would typically go for, but the fact that my muffin top is fully ensconced in these pants is amazing! I instantly felt pounds lighter. Shirts lay nicer. And I don’t constantly have to hitch them up. Because they sit above my hip bones, they don’t slip down much to create saggy butt. Life changing. So now I wear them every day. I apologize in advance.
This one is also from last month. My husband has a friend who is an artist and he created some custom pieces for a show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. One of the pieces is a sort of team photo from a made up sport and my husband is one of the players. So of course we had to go see my husband hanging on a museum wall. We took the kids and they were so much fun to have there. My oldest dressed like he was going for an art heist (here he is missing the beanie and hood up). And my youngest was super in to the receptions happening outside including dancing like a spaz to the band and sucking down Sprite from the bar. And, of course, we had to get them on the red carpet. The docents only had to talk to the boys a dozen times to remind them not to touch anything.
I have new favorite wines! I fell in love with Trio from Lorimar Winery on my first visit (a red with notes of coconut, yum). But this last visit I was lucky enough to get to taste even more of their wines. Their sparkling wine is my fave sparkling! SO delicious! And the Grenache Blanc is where it’s at. I can’t wait to crack that baby open! Looks like I’ve got my holiday drinking game plan set.
I was invited to attend a Tillamook cheese event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Tillamook partners with chefs from all over the country and has them create sensational dishes using Tillamook product. This event was in conjunction with the Chef’s of Haven Gastro Pub and Provisions Market in Orange. The servers strolled around with platters of beer and cheese beignets and other delightful cheesey dishes. There was a fantastic cheese tasting spread set out complete with beer pairings and then there was this Mac and Cheese. Best. Ever. For this recipe they used the Extra Sharp White Cheddar and added bacon and other yummy goodness. The event was awesome but my favorite part is that they are sharing all the recipes! I want to make everything! Here is the White Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese. I fell in love with the Black Pepper White Cheddar and can’t wait to find that again in a grocery store. Mmmmmm.
It seems like all I have been doing lately is eating. First I went out-of-town and had to try all those new-to-me places (and you know I am going to share ALL of that with you). And then I had a house guest, in full vacation mode, that needs to try new things too. What is great about her visit is that it has allowed me to try a bunch of places, in my area, that I have been wanting to try but hadn’t made time for. Like Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa. It’s all over Instagram and I knew I would end up there at some point. As is our tradition when K stays with my family, we head down to Corona Del Mar for a breakfast picnic. So we grabbed the kids, headed to Sidecar and then ate donuts overlooking the ocean. Not a bad little morning.
It was a chilly morning so the boys wrapped themselves up in a blanket. I just love those faces. And yes, that is a box of store-bought donuts you see. My oldest can’t eat donut store donuts on account of the devil peanuts that are usually around so I got him his own box of waxy chocolate goodness.
And the Monte Cristo donut? FTW! Ham, jam and glazed perfection. I will totally be going back for this again. And they also have a super adorable truck that you can rent for events serving their hot donuts.
Reason 7788 that I love K – she usually orders a glass of milk with her dinner. How cute is that?! But she was a bit cranky with me on this particular morning because I only ordered myself a coffee. And let’s talk for a minute about the coffee. Sidecar serves Stumptown Coffee. I’m not sure if you have heard about but all I knew about it is that is all hipster-y and super cool. I’m not kidding, I think that was the best cup of coffee I have ever had! Which made me feel even worse for not getting one for K. And I’m totally going back to get the Stumptown Cold Brew.
It was not lost on us that there was a woman doing exercises right next to us as we ate a bajillion donuts. We tried the strawberry, huckleberry, vanilla bean, salted chocolate, and maple bacon along with my two favorites that I noted above. The flavors were subtle and not super sweet. So if you are looking for that rich, sweet glazed donut from your local donut shop, you will not find something like that here.
The boys ended their picnic with a little Gangnam Style on a bench. Have you tried Sidecar Doughnuts yet?
Not sponsored but boy do I wish it would have been. I think I’ll take out an ad for the blog: Now accepting donut sponsors!
Chocolate pretzel donut holes. Do it.
While these would work with a box of donut holes that you find at the grocery store, I highly suggest swinging by your local mom and pop donut shop to pick up some fresh ones. Crush some pretzels, melt some chocolate and dip away. Pop in the fridge to set for about 20 minutes.
And then shove them in your face. Next time I might even get more gluttonous and cover the WHOLE thing in chocolate and pretzels.
Bite sized things are just so cute. And did you know when you eat cute things they have less calories? Ok, I totally made that up but it sounds like it should be true.
These are the kinds of treats I like to make for a shower or something. I’m certainly not going to risk life and limb and attempt to fry my own donuts. So I buy them and then jazz them up. Easy. Delicious. Fattening. Perfection.