Wednesday, February 18, 2015

French Quarter Beignets

If you have been reading this blog for any length you know I have a soft spot for Cajun food. Beignets are a special kind of delicious. Make them for Mardi Gras or whenever the heck you feel like it! Recipe adapted from here.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners' sugar
Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

15 Things You Learn When You Move to Maine

It is winter. I have bronchitis. Getting out of bed is an issue right now let alone going to anywhere exciting. Instead I have decided to give you 15 things you learn when you move to Maine. I think my fellow transplants will appreciate this.

1. If you were not born in Maine you are from "away". You could live in Maine for decades, but if you do not have a Maine birth certificate you are from "away".

2. "Ayuh!" is a real word.

3. Allan's Coffee Brandy and Moxie are staples in many Maine households.

4. Lobster is super affordable and the only real lobster roll is from Maine. Preferably from a run-down shack right on the water.

5. It is incredibly rude not to smile and at least murmur "Good morning" to passer-bys.

6. You will hear and see ads for winter sports like snow-shoeing, dog-sledding, and ice-fishing all the time.

7. The weather forecasters will let you know if it is safe to go snow-mobiling.

8. The best blueberries are Maine blueberries, especially if you had to climb through a thicket of brush to find them.

9. L.L. Bean, Remy's and Marden's. If you haven't been to these stores at least once, you are not doing it right.

10. Camp is not a place parents send their kids to during the summer to get a break. Camp is a way of life.

11. You want forests? Maine has that. You want the ocean? You've come to the right state. You want lakes, streams, and rivers? Maine has that. You want hills and mountains? Maine has that too. You want to live in the most beautiful place in America? Just come to Maine.

12. Most states have deer-crossing traffic signs. Maine has moose-crossing traffic signs. 

13. The state bird is black fly. Spend one summer in Maine and you will know exactly why.

14. Mainers take a lot of pride in their maple syrup. They even have a whole day to celebrate it.

15. Mainers can be a bit crusty, but they are genuinely the kindest, most honest and most generous people you will ever meet.