Wednesday, February 15, 2012


 Yesterday was Valentine's Day. After being lazy the day before to re-coup from the wedding, I felt energized and made a to-do list that kept me hopping all day. Chores around the house during the day and a wonderful evening dinner out with my hubby at night brought a smile to my face and heart.

In between those things, I decided to pull out a recipe I had been intimidated with for years. It is Nana's recipe for Malasadas. What are Malasadas? They are a Portuguese fried doughnut dipped in a sugar boiled glaze. These are not like anything you have ever tasted or found in a traditional bakery.

Nana used to make them all the time. I remember smelling that sweet yeast scent as I walked down the driveway from school. I also remember the game of trying to imagine what the different shapes were since spoon dropped dough makes no two ever alike.

Nana would triple the batch and freeze  most of it so that we would have doughnuts to eat for weeks on end.  And if that wasn't a temptation all by itself; she would cut them up into thin slices and fry them in butter until toasted and serve them with eggs at breakfast time. Oh so bad and oh so good!

I don't know why the recipe intimidated me all these years. Maybe it was my childhood perception of seeing how hard she worked over a triple batch of dough when a single batch makes about 4 dozen. I found yesterday that it is a pretty easy recipe. I was hoping to take some over to her today to have her stamp of approval. But after sharing some with a friend and then hubby and girls taking for their friends today.....there are only 3 left in the bowl. I guess that is a stamp of approval all by itself.

If you are interested, here is the recipe.

Portuguese Malasadas

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (1 package of yeast) dissolved in a 1/3 cup warm water
8 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup cream
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup melted butter
8 slightly beaten eggs

Mix eggs, butter, warm water and cream together in a large bowl. Add yeast after it has dissolved and activated (It will foam and rise.) Add flour, sugar and salt. Mix together well to become a sticky dough. Cover dough bowl with a towel and set it in a warm dry place to rise and double in size. This takes about 2 hours.

Drop spoons of dough into hot oil to fry until deep dark golden brown. Then remove and let drain on rack or absorbent paper towels.

Malasada Glaze

Malasadas may be served plain, sugared or glazed. For glazing do the following:
Rapid boil 2 cups of water along with 2 cups of sugar until it becomes slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.

Dip each doughnut in and out of the glaze quickly, rolling as necessary to completely cover. Let set on a rack to drain and set.


(After posting this I thought about two things that you may find good to know about this recipe to ensure your doughnuts are cooked all the way through.

#1 Use a SMALL spoon when dropping the dough into the oil for frying. The dough expands as it cooks and if you are not careful you will end up with monster sized doughnuts.
2# Be sure to follow the rule of DARK golden brown.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrations Galore.....

 The last month has gone by with such speed. As the days ticked away, there were several times when I would think, "goodness if I had a piece of paper next to me I would write this down for remembering on my blog." Can I remember those things now? Of course not. Oh well. I can however share the things that are sticking out in my mind at this moment.

Aren't these colors amazing together? Normally I go for the snuggly cozy type of colors. But this bright yellow and bold purple fit perfectly for what I was doing.

This is a baby towel that I made for a dear friend that is about to be blessed. She is due the first week of March and we are all so excited. I really like blessing new babies with this style of towel because it grows with them. As a small infant, it will keep baby Aria much warmer than those thin hooded things they sell in the stores. Then as she gets older and is cruising around in toddler style, it is big enough to double as the best cape in any sort of pretend game after washing all those germs down the drain.

The baby shower was a blast. Parents and baby were both very blessed and loved on with all the necessities needed to begin their new adventure of a lifetime.
I saw something at the baby shower I had never seen before.....a diaper cake. It was the cutest thing ever! This picture is not from the party. I just googled it. I have no idea why it is now sideways. I downloaded it straight and checked it 3 times. But, if you have never seen a diaper cake, it will give you an idea of the cool blessing.


Nana's 86th Birthday

What a joy! We just got to celebrate Nana's 86th birthday!  I love my Nana so much. Even though time occasionally plays tricks with her memory, she is still as spry as ever. I made a real effort to make sure this was a fun birthday for her. I put streamers and balloons everywhere and tried my hand at all kinds of fun foods. It was all worth it to hear her giggle at the celebration of honoring her.
Mom made her that beautiful lei in her favorite color of red. It was so deep in color that it looked like velvet.

Normally Nana will shy away from the camera. After all, it is a girl's prerogative to fuss over wanting her hair and make-up to be 'just so'. But on this day she was full of smiles and I am so grateful.

The picture above is some of our group in a nice shot. From left to right is my brother, Mom, me and Dad. Then Nana, Auntie and Angel-girl.

This shot to the right is Nana with my brother and his little Angel-girl. This makes for a 3 generation picture. What a treasure!
 Here is Nana just after blowing out the candles on her cake. I love her rosy cheeks! Doesn't she look wonderful?!

I made her cake and had so much fun doing it. It is a 3 layer angel-food cake with a strawberry filling in between each layer. The outside is a blend of whip cream and instant cheesecake pudding. while the top is slices of kiwi and strawberries.


The Wedding

If you could only feel the happy sigh of finality and relief over here. The wedding was yesterday and now they are off on their honeymoon. Parties are done, no more alterations at the dress shop to fix fiascoes. It was a beautiful wedding and I think it all came out just the way Icca wanted it which is as it should be. It was a wonderful and memorable day. The professional pictures will take a couple of weeks to get back. Among other shots I want to share, I am hoping in that lot there will be a close up of her dress so I can share the sparkle of it all finished. But for now, here is a great wedding party picture from someone's cell phone. (Hubby and I are just to the groom's left.)

I am so grateful to have been blessed with being a part of it all. It was an odd feeling for me. I don't know if I can adequately explain it but...... When Heather got married, we sent some money to help and that was really all that we did besides being there for her big day. Not that anything is wrong with that. We live hours apart. It just is what it is. And at the time, I was in Texas taking care of Daddy. I had flown to Spokane the day before the wedding and was overwhelmed with the season of emotion I was in. 

I don't regret any of it. Like I said, it just is what it is. I felt so blessed to be in so much of the details of this wedding. Icca's family was there. But because of the dynamics of their past and Icca needing to live with us all this time, I could see that it was a hard and awkward day for them. Maybe because of my own lack of feeling involved with our daughter's wedding, I could appreciate more of how Icca's family must have been feeling.  They had tears and were obviously happy for her. But they hung back in the shadows and looked quietly sad most of the day. I tried to make small talk with them and offer the ease of knowing there is no judgement around here. But it didn't seem to bring any real ease into the day. I do understand. I can only pray and God will handle it.

Mr and Mrs Reis 2~12~2012
My Puddin girl took this shot during the reception. 
Don't they look like a blissfully happy couple?

 Goodness it is late in the night. I better get to bed.
God bless your week in all you do with His joyous abundance of favor and assurance of love.