Spring BAKE

So like many American’s recently, I have become OBSESSED with The Great British Bake Off. If you don’t know what that is you are seriously missing out! But don’t worry, 3 seasons of it are on Netflix and I highly suggest you go binge watch it right now.

Because I have this strange obsession with British people and baking I have been inspired to channel my best Mary Berry impression and bake during my spring break. The first baked good I decided to conquer, that the bakers on the show made look super easy, is doughnuts.

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These are lemon poppy seed doughnuts with a lemon vanilla glaze. I chose to do these doughnuts because my boyfriend Bradley, who also loves the GBBO even if he won’t admit it, LOVES lemon poppy seed.

For the doughnuts you will need:

  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (warmed slightly)
  • 1 Tbs. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. lemon zest
  • 6 Tbs. butter (melted and cooled)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 quarts oil (for frying)

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cups heavy cream or whole milk (I prefer cream)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice

There are 2 different ways you can go about preparing the dough.

First, if you have a stand mixer pour the warm milk in the bowl of the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar on top of the milk and stir lightly. Let the yeast/milk mixture set for about 5 minutes until frothy. If you don’t have a stand mixer like myself, use this same method but in a large mixing bowl.

Next, add the remaining sugar eggs, butter, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice & zest, and 2 cups of flour. If using a stand mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute or until combined. If you’re doing this by hand combine those same ingredients until just combined. Add the remain flour and beat on medium-high speed, or break out those muscles and work by hand, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should thick yet soft and slightly sticky.

Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes then place into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise. Rise for about an hour and a half or until the dough has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down one more time. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out doughnuts using a circular cutter or you can purchase a doughnut cutter from Bed, Bath & Beyond or any other store  like that that sells baking supplies.

Next, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and cover with a kitchen towel to allow to rest for about 15 minutes. While waiting, prepare the oil.

Pour oil into a deep pot or dutch oven over medium heat (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Add 1 or 2 doughnuts and cook for 1 minute on each side. Carefully remove the doughnuts with a metal spatula or spoon and place on a cooling rack, repeat with remaining doughnuts.

To make the glaze: whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Dip each warm doughnut into the glaze. Place back onto the cooling rack to allow the excess glaze to drip down. You can dip them for a second time if you’d like or leave them with one coat (I did a second coat on mine).

These are best the same day but will keep to the next day as long as you keep them at room temperature.

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Serve with coffee or milk and enjoy!

Let’s dig in!

 

 

My Grandpa

My grandpa is one of my biggest cooking inspirations and has been since I was a little girl. One of my earliest memories is baking and decorating Christmas cookies with him and my sister, Jordan on Christmas Eve. I cherish that memory dearly and we have continued that tradition to this day.

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This first thing you should know about my grandpa is that he loves his grandchildren and great grandchildren fiercely. When my sister and I were little it’s safe to say we were his world. Both he and my grandmother would spoil us so much and spend countless days with us. We loved having them around all the time and loved going on McDonald’s and “Duck Park” trip with them. Now that we’re grown, I get to see him spoil and love on my cousin’s four children as well. The two youngest boys love their ‘Papa’ and he loves them just as much.  Grandpa poured so much love on Jordan and myself and it’s so heartwarming seeing him pour that some love one his young great grandchildren as well. Continue reading “My Grandpa”

Deeda

Ya’ll I am SO excited for this week’s blog because it is about one of my favorite people featuring one of my favorite foods.

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My Deeda is a remarkable woman. The first thing I’m sure you’re thinking is “what the heck is a Deeda?!” Well, she is my paternal grandmother and even though she SWORE she would only be called ‘grandmother’ by her grandchildren, everyone calls her Deeda (pronounced like dee-dah).

My Deeda married my grandfather and they had 3 children together; my late Uncle Alex, my Aunt Joanna and my father, Eddie. While they were growing up, my Deeda worked a full-time job but still found a way to have dinner on the table. She would make a calendar for the month and although the kids always tried to change the menu so they wouldn’t have to eat beets, my grandmother was always prepared for dinners; and that is still the case today.

She loves having the entire family for a meal, whether it be to celebrate a birthday, holidays, any special occasion. She just loves to host and have people over.

My Aunt and my dad both have found memories of the summers when they were home from school and although my Deeda was working, she would make homemade ice cream sandwiches. They loved those things!

My Deeda is motherly, kind, classy and such a fantastic cook. She is hard-working, involved with her church, and has love to give to every one she meets. She has taught me so much over the years and I’m so excited to learn and practice even more of her delicious recipes. Continue reading “Deeda”

Great Mama

My fondest memory about my Great Mama is centered around food. The earliest memories I have of my mom’s grandma, who we called Great Mama, were from our family reunions in Sacramento, California were my mom’s extended family lives.

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The first time I remember traveling to California for the family reunion is a little fuzzy since I was still a kid, maybe 7 or 8? But I can remember the first time I met my Great Mama. I remember thinking “my grandpa looks just like her” and that she had the most beautiful rose bushes in her yard. Then I tried her homemade, from scratch tortillas. HOLY GUACAMOLE! These tortillas are still a taste memory for me today (I can taste them as I type this). So naturally I was super excited to feature her and learn one of her favorite recipes. Continue reading “Great Mama”

Grandma Eva

Oh how I have heard SO many wonderful stories about my great Grandma Eva. She is my dad’s grandma and based on the picture to the left, my grandmother is a spitting image of her.

Eva Taylor was what I imagine the epitome of a “mother”. She had a house full of children whom she cooked for every single day. She loved baking just as much as she did cooking; she was famous for her chocolate cake and apple stack cake. Not only did she enjoy cooking but she also loved teaching her daughters how to cook. My grandmother and my great aunt both learned most of their cooking skills from her.

In addition for cooking, Grandma Eva also enjoyed canning. She would can fruits and vegetables from the garden and keep them all winter long.

Grandma Eva was motherly and resourceful. I sure do wish I had met her. But I can ‘t wait to try her recipes; cakes are one of my favorite things to make and it seems like they were hers too.

The recipe I’m doing for Grandma Eva is her famous chocolate cake with “topping”.

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For the cake, you will need: Continue reading “Grandma Eva”

My Momma

My momma is one of my biggest mentors when it comes to cooking. Nearly every single thing I know about cooking and baking I have learned from her and I can’t think of a better person to teach me even more. As you can tell, I’m definitely her mini-me.

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GiGi Bradford was born in California but her parents very quickly moved to England when my grandfather was stationed there. After living in England until she was 3, her parents moved to Brandon, Florida to start a family. She comes from a big Mexican-American family; all of whom are very close still today. We always joke that her side of the family is pretty much the family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only Mexican instead of Greek, HA!

According to my dad, she was not much of chef when they first got married (he may get in trouble for that…) but she has really become such an amazing cook today. She learned to cook from her own father and from her mother-in-law, Brenda. Her favorite thing to make is her DELICIOUS pot roast (her secret is red wine… shhh!) . However, she is also famous for her chocolate mocha chiffon cake in our house. What makes my mom such a great cook is that she loves taking recipes and then changing and adapting them to what she thinks taste best or will elevate the flavors in the dish. She is not a traditional cook by any means but that’s what makes her meals so tasty. Continue reading “My Momma”

Grandma Cecile

Grandma Cecile. Where this journey begins.

The wooden recipe box I received for Christmas (which is also the inspiration behind “Bless the Food”) belonged to her. I never met her but I have heard SO many wonderful stories about her.


Grandma Cecile is my dad’s grandmother, my great grandmother. She was all of 5 feet but had the temperament as if she were 10 feet tall and bulletproof. She loved to cook, bake and host company any time she could and always served tea or lemonade on her porch. She was the epitome of a “Southern Lady”.

Although she was a very proper classy lady, she also was not afraid to get her hands dirty by working in the massive garden her husband and she owned. She would drive the tractor, plant different vegetables, and mow right alongside my great grandfather and would do it happily. Everyone talks about what a green thumb she had (something I definitely admire because I kill every plant I have). According to family members, Grandma Cecile was a very traditional southern cook who loved to cook for her family. She always wanted to take care of anybody that came to her  home.

Grandma Cecile was poised, hardworking, hospitable, and feisty; everything I aspire to be. I never knew I had so much in common with her.

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Continue reading “Grandma Cecile”