Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes With Butterscotch

One of the best memories of my childhood was when my mom would make my brother and I fried donut holes. It was so simple, but made such an impression on my brother and I. The whole house would smell of cinnamon sugar. My mom would make them and let my brother and I shake the donut holes in a brown paper bag containing the cinnamon sugar. Sometimes this would result in a throwdown between the two of us, but hey...only one could win;) These pumpkin butterscotch donut holes sprinkled with heath is my twist on my childhood memory. They are delicious and,  in a few easy steps, you can wow at your next gathering.

There are few combos I love more than butterscotch and heath, if you read my blog enough that wouldn't exactly be shocking!  The addition of pumpkin spice completes this delicious treat without competing with the other flavors. You can make this rather quickly and it is sure to be a hit. I used butterscotch ice cream sauce but you could always make your own, I like to do that sometimes, and I like to add bourbon. Of course. 


1 tube biscuits

1/3 cup butterscotch sauce

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup heath bar bits

Cut each biscuit into four pieces and roll into a ball. Set aside on a plate.  Dump the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and sugar into a large ziplock bag. Place the biscuit pieces into the bag and seal. Shake vigorously until all pieces are coated. Set aside again. 

(pumpkin spice already has some cinnamon in it, so this is optional, if you forgo the cinnamon, use an extra 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice) 

In 12-inch skillet, heat 2 inches oil over medium-high heat to about 350ºF. Carefully fry biscuits about 30 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on paper towel lined plate to cool.

Heat the butterscotch sauce for about 20 to 30 seconds in a microwave safe bowl.  Set up a station where you have plate of donuts, the butterscotch sauce, an empty tray, and finally, the heath bar bits.  Using a toothpick, dip the donut holes in the butterscotch sauce and set down on the tray. Once they are covered, sprinkle the bits all over the top of the donut holes.  I let the butterscotch sauce harden a bit before I serve, this usually takes about half an hour. 

Serve and enjoy. Please do me a favor and steal one for yourself while waiting for the rest to harden. Don't let me be the only one. I mean, it's only fair. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Autumn Palmer

This drink came about as I was playing around one afternoon trying to come up with a cocktail for a get together. Being in the south, Arnold Palmers are all the rage. I suppose I should admit I am not part of that bandwagon. I like my tea just as it is, I don't even want lemons in it. I, however, realize that I am usually in the minority with this, but it got me to thinking. I did have lemonade and sweet tea vodka on hand and as I was glancing through my fridge and spied apple cider, this simple fall version was born.  

Suddenly I was in love. 

Instead of the half and half split of tea and lemonade, I used lemonade and apple cider and decided to half the sweet tea vodka pull the two together. It was good, but still missing something. It didn't take long for me to decide that bourbon was what this cocktail was lacking. I mean, I think we all know my mantra is bourbon makes everything better. This time it was almost perfect, I have played around with it quite a few times and it is a drink that you can play to your taste. I have added bitters and I have added simple syrup. It's more of a preference. 

The one piece of advice I would it with a dry champagne. Bubbles are a close second to bourbon in the making everything better department. 

Make it two pieces of advice...use real apple cider, it needs the apple bits in the bottom or you just will not get the same taste!!! Go for the jug!

Autumn Palmer. 

2 oz lemonade
2 oz apple cider
1 oz sweet tea vodka
1/2 oz bourbon
dash apple bitter (optional)
champagne floater
lemons/apples for garnish

in a shaker filled with ice, add in the lemonade, apple cider, bourbon, vodka and bitters. Shake vigorously and pour in a glass filled with ice. Add in lemon/apple slices and enjoy. 

This would also be good served straight up in a chilled martini glass. This is also great for a large group. Just use equal parts lemonade and cider and use the bourbon and vodka to taste. maybe 1/4 cup to every cup or so, 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Zeppoles

Zeppoles. Fried Dough. Beignets. Basically the same, and yet, not the same at all. I just know that I love each and every one, no matter what you call them. I grew up with my mom making us "homemade" donuts that she would fry up from the biscuit cans on weekends. My older brother and I always considered it a treat. Then, when I married my husband, his family makes fried dough frequently. If you have never had savory ones with sea salt, you're missing out. However, for today, these Pumpkin Spice Zeppoles are the perfect fall treat, especially when paired with the butterscotch sauce!

My husband's family makes them a lot and depending on who you talk to, they will call it fried dough or zeppole. Just for kicks, we are going with zeppole today but you can just call it delicious. I've made zeppole from scratch using this recipe before, but for this particular recipe I used can biscuits as I was in a hurry. You can most definitely use the scratch recipe and then just catch up on the last step back here. 

Usually, when you go to a fair or order these at an Italian restaurant they will come served in a brown paper bag. The hot bites of fried dough tossed in the bag with powdered sugar. I wanted to play around with the traditional for the fall season and do a typical cinnamon sugar base with a little pumpkin spice added in. So no, there's no actual pumpkin in this particular recipe but they don't call it autumn spice, they call it pumpkin 


2 biscuit tubes
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/3 cup butterscotch sauce

In a frying pan, place 2 inches of oil and get to 350 degrees. Cut each biscuit in half and kind of flatten with your fingers. Drop in the oil and cook on each side until golden brown.  Place on a plate covered with paper towels to drain for just a second. In a brown bag (or if they have cooled a bit, a large ziplock bag) place the sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Drop the zeppoles in the bag and shake vigorously for about 1 minute or until all pieces are coated, You can do a few at a time. 

Serve with warm butterscotch sauce or even ice cream. I used butterscotch ice cream sauce and it was the perfect topping. 

* Notes. the sugar/spice ratio can be adjusted to your taste based on if you want more or less spice flavor. I have also done a mix of powdered sugar and the pumpkin spice and that was really good as well. 

I hope you enjoy!

linking up with Freedom Fridays

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Maddie 'Do List

I think that one of the universal searches we go on in life is for the perfect hair stylist. or dresser. I just thought about this, growing up I think I called them hair dressers and now I usually say stylist. I wonder if this is more generational or specific areas, like the south. No matter what you call them, once you find a good one, it's a relationship you want to last. I mean, they are kind of like a therapist too. 

I struggled through a few lame duck stylist and then on a rainy day in 2008, I sat in a chair and found my person.  Our relationship began bc the salon was having a half price hair cut special and I nervously went for it in the hopes the price wouldn't reflect the years later I am always grateful hers is the chair they put me in. We discovered rather quickly that we were both from Virginia and a few more minutes in and the world grew even smaller, we were from the same town and half of our friends intersected. 

These are my top 5 looks over the past seven years.

In the years since I first became her client, our relationship has extended to that of very good friends. We have taken beach trips, we have had many late night movie binges while one of the two of us poured our hearts out to each other. 

So, today I wanted to give her a shout out and have a little flashback over all of my styles the past 8 years. This was only half. I never realized just how many styles and colors we have gone through over the years but I love looking back on them. 

If you are in the Raleigh Durham area I implore you to make a trek to Wake Forest and see Elizabeth, you won't be sorry! You can check her facebook out here and her website here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Getting Lost In Vermont

Being in the Green Mountains of Vermont is always akin to being in an enchanted forest for me. Every time I prepare to visit, I refuse to believe I can love this magical place more than my previous visits and each time, I seem to be proven wrong. The moment I arrive in Vermont, my whole body seems to let out one big contented sigh.  Not to mention the best grilled cheese and macaroni you will ever eat. 

I actually love all of Vermont and Queechee Gorge and Woodstock,  both are located a  little more towards the center of the state, are two of my favorite spots, but, if made to choose, I think the Stowe area and Lake Champlain captured the largest piece of my heart. 

These are a few shots I took from our latest trip this past month. Most are from around Smugglers Notch and Stowe, but a few are from a few places along the way. Including the ferry across Lake Champlain to New York and Calvin Cooledge's homestead. Both were lovely. 

This go round we stayed at Smugglers Notch resort and our condo was fantastic with great views of the mountains. There were multiple pools and restaurants and quite a few game rooms. We were very close to Mt. Mansfield, which is the highest peak in Vermont. We were able to head to the top on one of the gondolas and the views are just breathtaking. 

If you ever have the chance to go to Vermont, I cannot implore you to do so enough. I just love this place and my only regret is that I have yet to make it in the fall to take in the foliage, definitely on my bucket list!