Saturday, April 30, 2016

Faking Cronuts

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am the self proclaimed Doughnut 👑 Queen. Although technically a purist, (glazed, plain, powdered, sugared), I will have to say I have never met a doughnut I didn't like. 
It has been years since I have made cheater doughnuts. When I did, I usually made them from Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits. 
I've been pinning too many donut recipes on Pinterest lately and that got me thinking about my newer obsession - Cronuts. Since Cronuts are a cross between Croissants and doughnuts - and layers are the key - then how would the flaky layers Pillsbury Grands work? 
It would also figure - just like in the oven - a hot, quick rise would do them best. I used a tiny biscuit cutter to cut the holes, and then plopped the doughnut into the hot oil. 
Drain them on paper towels after you pull them out of the hot oil. Then dip them into a cinnamon and sugar mixture or glaze that you have made from milk and confectioners sugar. 
I glazed the 'Cronuts' and cinnamon sugared the holes. Bob ate two of the Cronuts before I got a chance to snap the picture!

So - how did they fare? Not too bad! They definitely don't match up to a doughnut shop's Cronut, but for an early Saturday morning treat, they were pretty darn good!

Until later, xo, Liz
The Doughnut 👑 Queen

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Garden gets a Makeover

Fifteen years ago two other women and myself created an LLC and started a Gardening Magazine. We knew that we could not do the hard, physical labor of planting gardens late into our lives. We wanted something else that would potentially take us into old age  and we came up with the idea of a high end gardening magazine. The covers would be color, and made of heavy stock, the interior pages would also be of heavier paper stock than many magazines. The articles would be in depth, varied, and include photographs and illustrations.
I was in charge Advertising. It was my job to cold call anyone that I thought would be interested in putting an ad in the magazine. A pretty tough job. How would you like to throw money away at a fledgling magazine? However, I did make it happen. Not only for the first - but managed to get people to re-up for the second issue as well! Somewhere in between the second and third issues, I was told I wasn't 'holding up my end of the bargain' and was 'fired'. I'm still not sure what happened - but this really isn't where I was going with this story...

The above is an article Ginna wrote (with my help) when she was 8. I built this garden for her when she was 6. At that time she wanted to do anything I was doing. I had been obsessed with gardening since the death of my second daughter, Callie in 1996. At the time, gardening somehow connected me with the earth - and kept me from falling off into outer space.

Ginna selected all of the plants for her garden - we arranged them, put them in and watered. Ginna loved the paths, the flowers, and watering her garden, but didn't care so much for the, bugs,  weeding and the upkeep. 
I kept it up for many years, then let it go. Some of the plants were still there - one - the garlic chives, had done a swell job of taking over - including tearing up some of the brick path. 
17 years later - I need a place to seriously grow some lavender. My lavender wands have been selling like crazy at the Corner Store in Waterford, VA - and I need a ready supply of lavender stems! This area seems to be the perfect place to plant herbs. It is sunny all day and well drained. I started the clearing a week or so ago - and then Bob gave me the big push today. When it comes to gardens - we work together like a well oiled machine. It is wondrous. 

Today we rediscovered the path, Bob cleared away much of the garlic chives (the thugs!), I reset the brick edge between the lavender plants and the brick walk. Bob dug the holes for the lavender, I planted them Bob set the large stone at the head of the path, and put the beginnings of the mulch down.  Now I need to go out and buy some more herbs for this newly redone garden! A final photo will follow. The garlic chives tore up so much of the path right in the center of the garden, that we had to tear up the bricks to get at all the roots. I will reset this part of the path tomorrow.

Enjoy all of this lovely weather! xo, Liz
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