Adventures in Japanese donuts

1. mochi donuts — they have tofu?!?

Recipe: https://eatwithjean.com/mochi-donut/?amp=1

Reflections:

  • The dough was too sticky to roll into balls. I added more flour but they were still too sticky. So I coated my hands in cornstarch. That worked but it was hard to regulate ball size.
  • Cooking time varied.
  • If they sit overnight they become quite chewy.
  • I would increase the jelly in the frosting to increase flavor.

Rating: 7/10 would try again with modifications. Would eat again. Very pretty to look at.

2. Mochi donut holes – milk, butter, & vanilla

Recipe: https://keepingitrelle.com/mochi-donuts-recipe/

Reflection:

  • Flavor is quite bland.
  • Texture was tough outside and doughy inside
  • I made the individual balls too big and the temperature of the oil was 350f but cooked the outside too fast and the inside didn’t get finished.
  • I would make the balls smaller & turn down the oil temp to evenly cook the dough.
  • I would also consider adding additional flavoring to the dough. The only flavor that stood out was the sugar (to which I added ginger and cinnamon)

Rating: 5/10 am skeptical but would still try again for curiosity’s sake.

3. Ube donuts – buttermilk & ube flavoring

Recipe: https://thesweetandsourbaker.com/home/2018/2/9/ube-donuts-with-coconut-glaze

Refections:

  • Easiest recipe
  • Josh’s favorite
  • He says it NEEDS some kind of texture. Besides the frosting (thus all the coconut, nuts, etc we tried)
  • Frosting carries a lot of coconut flavor
  • I would consider adding shredded ube into the batter
  • Most cake like of the three
  • Easiest to mass produce
  • Perhaps go super extra by adding a mochi in the middle?
  • Could sweet soy sauce work with this?

Rating: 8/10 planning to experiment more with decorations but best texture and flavor.

UPDATE: additional recipe attempt

I attempted a modification to recipe 1.

Modifications:

  • Added matcha & green food coloring to batter
  • Added more all purpose flour and glutinous rice flour and sugar.
  • Rolled the dough into ‘snakes’ and shaped like a donut
  • Fried at lower temp for same period of time
  • Coated the donut in matcha sugar

Results: not pretty but tasty. ‘snake’ method didn’t work for a donut shape. Still really chewy (think fried donut from a fair)

Silly cooking survey

Who can really cook? No boxed Mac N Cheese or Stouffer’s lasagna. I know there are several of you that can really cook.
I look forward to seeing your surveys.
Who can cook real food, not stuff prepackaged or in a box?

HAVE YOU EVER?
1. Made biscuits from scratch? 🤔🤔I do t think so
2. Fried fresh okra? No
3. Made sourdough bread? I’ve made Amish friendship bread, which is a fermented bread.
4. Fried chicken? No, but I’ve fried tofu
5. Made spaghetti sauce from scratch? No
6. Made any kind of yeast bread? Yes
7. Baked a cake from scratch? Yes
8. Made icing from scratch? Yes
9. Cooked a pot roast with all the veggies? No
10. Made chili from scratch? Yes
11. Made a meatloaf? No
12. Made scalloped potatoes? No
13. Made mac/cheese from scratch? Yes
14. Made a jello salad? Yes
15. Made peanut brittle? No but I’ve made toffee
16. Made fudge? Bo
17. Made cookies from scratch? Yes
18. Cooked a pot of beans from dried beans? No
19. Cooked a pot of greens? No
20. Made cornbread from scratch? Yes
21. Make a pie dough from scratch? Yes
22. Cooked a whole turkey? Yes
23. Snapped green beans and cooked them? Yes
24. Made mashed potatoes from scratch? Yes
25. What’s the most people you have prepared a whole meal for? I’ve helped prep a meal for 60+
26. Poached an egg? No
27. Made pancakes from scratch? Yes
28. Roasted vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them? Yes
29. Made fresh pasta? Yes
30. Made croissants from scratch? No
31. Made tuna salad? Yes
32. Fried fish? No
33. Made baked beans? No
34. Made ice cream from scratch? Yes
35. Made jam or jelly? No
36. Zested an orange or lemon? Yes (and have scars to prove it)
37. Made grits from scratch? No
38. Made an omelet? Yes
39. Lived in a house without a dishwasher? Yes, now
40. Eaten a bowl of cereal for supper? Yes

I would love to see your answers.

Reflection: honestly, a lot of my “no’s” are because I don’t prefer that thing, so I’ve never tried. We also eat more ethnic food than classic American soul food.

I can cook a lot of items that are not on this list. Mexican, japanese, chinese, italian, or french are my go to flavors. Very rarely do I leave the recipe as is, typically I take a recipe and modify it for our preferences.

This list is also quite skimpy on other things that are my skills. A baking list would be much better for me. Donuts, japanese taiyaki, japanese mochi, truffles (including keto fat bombs), shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownie cookies, cake mix cookies, brownies from scratch (and terrible diet brownies), hard candies, home made caramels, caramel sauce, and more.

Also I’ve tried making recipes for special diets. I’ve adapted tons recipes for keto, weight watchers, and vegetarian. I’ve used instapots, air fryers, crock pots, deep friers, george foreman grills, cast iron and more.

Thanks, now I’m hungry. 🥩🥦🍕🍤🍠🍩🍪🍳

Sewing afternoon

We relaxed after lunch this afternoon and then Josh played some video games and I sat down to a Star Wars prequel marathon and some sewing.

Humorously enough, I had Star Wars fabric… multiple in fact… Yet I didn’t think to use that.

I needed to make something that wasn’t a mask for a minute.

Not pictured is a pikachu bag and the beginning stages of my first potholder.

Also not pictured is about 100 masks cut out and ready to be sewed.

Thanksgiving & a Sewing Afternoon

I have three styles I make:

Originally I used ribbons for ties but I now have elastic and adjustable beads.

For interested parties I also add fog filters and nose support.

UPDATE: here’s what I’ve made in the past few hours

Headboard day 2

We put another afternoon into our headboard. We’ve continued to adapt our plans as we’ve seen progress.

We adjusted some of the cuts as the tight fit moved things around a little.

We realized we needed some supplies so we made a quick trip to Lowe’s for some Boiled Linseed Oil, sponges, and french cleats. As of right now, we’re considering using the french cleats as our mount to the wall.

We will let this try and then possibly add some pyrography of stars and a moon to the sky. First I’m going to do some test designs on a piece of scrap wood.

When the oil dries completely, we plan to add stains to sky and peaks. Then when that dries we will add the finishes.

As we assembled this project we realized the amount of weight was going to be more than we anticipated. We plan to add a brace to the back and use french cleats for mounting as they distribute the weight of an object evenly across a wall.

I am really excited to see the finished product and get it on our wall. Our current headboard is not comfortable for sitting up, leaning, & reading in bed.

One step closer!

Starting a Mountain Headboard

On a whim during lunch Josh and I decided to make a headboard. I have hated our current headboard since day one. It’s metal bars are not great for a lazy afternoon read and my pillows frequently slip through the bars. Yes, I realize #firstworldproblems.

So as we sat at Olive Garden for some delicious carbs, we plotted out our dream headboard.

Conveniently enough, Lowe’s is right next to Olive Garden. We left the restaurant, bellies full, and went shopping for wood!

Here is an example of our inspiration.

The plans became real as we walked out of Lowe’s with a truck bed of wood.

Got wood from Lowe’s
Prepping border (in retrospect, I regret staining this now….we later sanded the whole project, including the border)

Sewing projects

I’ll keep this post updated with different sewing projects I try.

Bags

Monsters

Rocking chair upgrade & “The Green Room”plans

So we bought a rocking chair at The Original Treasure Mart in Kokomo, In. It was on their discount floor for about $50. The structure of the chair was amazing. The ONLY downfall was the weird orange cushions.

We decided to bring it home and research how to reupholster it.

I cannot tell you that this will be a DIY instructional because I am not certain i want you to copy my method. I kind of made things up as I went with the knowledge of some blogs and YouTube videos in the back of my head.

I ordered fabric through JoAnn’s. Real talk: This chair & this room is for a some-day baby. Nope, we aren’t pregnant right now… but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan and set up this room now. Right? So when I say I ordered fabric. I ORDERED A TON! Yep I got 10 yards of this fabric. This room is going to be full of this stuff!!!

Ignore my super dark & thick eyebrows…. I was experimenting with filling them in during COVID-19….
Side note: Did you know that some of their fabrics can be customized? I found a pattern that I loved but did not love the colors. I was able to customize the colors and choose the type of material. Then it was mailed to my home.

If you’ve read my About or paid any attention to my posts you may notice that we have a Great Dane named Freyja. Well… long story short she partially ripped up a king size mattress pad. Yeah, like a $200+ one. *Grumbles* the good news? I was able to cut that and use it as additional support of the nasty orange cushions.

Here’s a basic break down of what I did: (If you actually want instructions then check out this woman. She does this way prettier than me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2bxjaND1uE) Josh cut some plywood for me. I cut the foam. I stained the plywood. I laid out the roll of fabric, set the foam on it and made a plan for how much extra would be used to wrap the fabric around the cushion. I cut the fabric. I cut batting. I used spray adhesive to attach the batting to the fabric and then the batting to the foam. I stacked the orange cushion and plywood on top. I folded in the raw edges of fabric and stapled around the wood. Whooooo! It’s done.

Yes, this chair has imperfections. But DAMN! I love this rocking chair even more now that it has more cushion and better fabric. I can’t wait to make curtains to match. I may make a contrasting throw pillow to go with it.

Want to know more about this room? We are obviously making it into a nursery. The theme? Storybook/Whimsical forest. Think Hundred Acre wood meets Narnia meets Fangorn Forest. (Shout out to Tree Beard!)

This green room will slowly become a beautiful forest.

Here’s a silly video I took right after the room was painted. This is what we started with. Yes, I’m coy about my plans in the video. I wasn’t ready to blatantly say “We’re trying!”

Honestly, I didn’t want a nursery that was clearly “boy” or “girl.” I wanted it to have enough flexibility that our hopeful kiddos could make this space their own. Do they like fairies and flowers? Do they like nights and dragons? Do they like sweet woodland creatures? So much can happen in the imagination when you start with a forest.

We gathered things that we had already on hand that would prepare our little one for an adventure. Swords, a wizards staff, etc. Then I planned out some art I wanted to make which would incorporate some of my favorite quotes from books.

We bought some art at ComicCon last year that are some prints from David Wenzel, who did some art for The Hobbit. One is of Smaug sleeping on his pile of gold with Bilbo blending into the background and the other is of the shire.

Most recent walk through.
Cool mirror we found at The Original Treasure Mart.

The room is continuing to develop and I can’t wait to show you more progress. But here’s where we are for now.