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Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

If you grew up similar to me, then you grew up on cinnamon sugar toast on Saturday mornings after watching cartoons while your parents slept. Man, I still love it today even in my 40s. This morning, I woke up and decided to make doughnuts! However, I was out of regular all purpose flour AND out of confectionary sugar. Some recipes called for bread flour but then frying the doughnuts. I didn’t want to deal with hot oil today.

Disclaimer: I have never made doughnuts, but I did recently buy a doughnut baking pan on a whim. So that must mean I am qualified.

So hopefully, if you are a doughnut newbie like myself, this post will help you out. I found a great recipe and had to tweak it due to my lack of readiness and my desire to not have a dozen doughnuts to add to my hips! Once you hit 40, it really does happen. So anyways, here is what I came up with. If you make doughnuts soon, please comment and let me know. Or if you have a better recipe, please share it! I am so excited to try more delicious recipes soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bread flour (it was more chewy than I wanted…next time I will use all purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 egg (yeah this was difficult to do halvsies with! haha!)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray doughnut pan with flour/oil mixture or if you are like me and don’t have that handy: spray the pan with Pam then sprinkle flour on it.
  2. Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a big bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together.
  4. Stir the wet with dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the doughnut baking pan. Put just a little more than 3/4 because I didn’t and the doughnuts ended up not as round as I would want. You live and learn.
  6. Bake for 17 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. While cooling get a bowl for the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and another bowl to mix together the cinnamon and sugar topping.
  8. Tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.
  9. Brush melted butter on the doughnuts. Or you can dip the doughnuts in more melted butter for a really buttery/sugary doughnut.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.

You might want to add more cinnamon sugar if you want it really sugary. I didn’t; however then my son refused to finish the doughnut. Yes, you read that right! Crazy world we live in.¬† ūüôā

Kale Salad

I LOVE kale salad. I know, I know, it isn’t for everyone, but once I realized how to make it, I fell in love with it.

  • The trick for me‚Ķ is to wash and pat dry the kale, then (in a big bowl) drizzle olive oil on it (maybe a tablespoon‚Äôs worth or more depending on how big the salad is).
  • I then massage the oil into the kale.
  • Then I do it a little more until the leaves are all oily.
  • Sprinkle some salt on top and let it sit for a few minutes. I usually do all this and then fix the rest of dinner so my kale usually sits out for 15 or so minutes.
  • Then when you are ready, just throw your toppings in and enjoy! I like to cut up some celery, carrots, cucumbers, add feta cheese, and a little bit of Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt dressing which is the bomb!!!!!

Let me know if you fix it; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

10 Ways to Find Motivation

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Last week I went on vacation and my writing slump felt like it was coming to an end. Then I realized that maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention to myself. Maybe I was neglecting what my body and mind needs. Suddenly, the school year was over and I was on a beach without a care in the world, enjoying the breeze, listening to my son’s laughter, my husband next to me, and inspiration hit. Sometimes we just need to take a breather and life becomes manageable yet again.

Continue reading → 10 Ways to Find Motivation

Free Copy!!

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Did you miss your chance to win a free copy of The Girl Who Saw Words?

Never fear… I scored you one! Hurry!

Free Copy

 

Happy Reading!! Please leave a review! I would love to hear your thoughts!!

(If the link doesn’t work anymore, leave me a comment please and I will fix it.)

Welcome 2017! The Year of Writing

 

 

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This new year is a year to feel positive, to be determined, to work intentionally, and to live life to the fullest. Where did all that come from? Well…

The past few months of 2016 have been hard for me.

  1. Towards the end of 2016, I felt like I had lost my way when it comes to writing. I had gotten some negative feedback about some work I had submitted and received more rejections. I have had rejections in the past…many. That is the life many writers have in hopes that one day someone will say “YES!” I am fine with that. I am fine with working to improve myself; in fact, that is how I feel everyone should be no matter what career you are in. As a writer, as a teacher, as a mother, there is always room to grow and learn. It was just too much to take at once with everything else.
  2. I was struggling with my special education caseload this school year. It has taken me half a school year to truly undimages-2erstand my students with autism, to make that connection with them, to understand how best to help them learn because each person with autism is completely different than the last. Finally, though, I am able to laugh with them, make jokes with them, take pride in their work, miss them when they are gone, and they are becoming more and more successful in their school work.
  3. I¬†have also been struggling with TRYING to be positive about my mother’s condition. I don’t ¬†speak of it often actually.¬†I don’t want people to feel sorry for her or us; I don’t need that. I don’t know what I need, but pity is not it. Perhaps just understanding. ¬†It has taken me a long time to even say: My mother has Alzheimer’s. It is a weird condition where if you haven’t experienced it, then you might not quite grasp what happens. Unfortunately, I have been through it as a child helping my mother and trying to keep her happy as she dealt with her father going though Alzheimer’s. So when she was diagnosed, it was hard to admit. It was hard to believe. It was even harder¬†to see.

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I tried to tell myself to be positive, yet over the holidays..she didn’t make her key lime pie. It sounds strange to say. It sounds trivial. However, to me, it was a breaking point. It had been her tradition for decades. She never missed a holiday without making her pie. It sent me the¬†message that I can’t pretend to be positive any longer. She isn’t the same mother who is overly dramatic (in a good, giddy way), who loves shopping and feels every fabric in the whole damn store (it used to irritate me, now I miss it), who laughs so loud that you can hear her from across a large room or even a large restaurant. She is the same loving mother, but she is different. She isn’t as bubbly, can’t recognize who I am in a picture, doesn’t call like she used to, can’t drive by herself, and cannot tell you much of what she has done in the past day or week. ¬†I think I miss her laugh the most though.

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After spending the holidays with my mother, I realized that I can MAKE¬†myself be positive or I can BE positive….about everything:

  • I can miss my mother’s old ways or I can celebrate the mother I had and enjoy the mother she still is. I will not waste our time together feeling sad about something we cannot change…I will not waste our time together.
  • I can raise awareness and help others in any way I can find who have Alzheimers and/or family members of those with Alzheimers.
  • I can be upset about reviews or rejections or I can continue to write for me. I can remember my love for writing and take it from there.
  • I can¬†work as hard as I can as a special education teacher and find ways to help all my students be as successful as they can be.

Somehow, everything feels better so far¬†2017. I CAN do this. I am laughing more, talking to my mother more, and my creativity is coming back. This will be THE year…THE year of positivity, THE year of appreciating what I have (not what I have lost or might lose or what I don’t have), AND THE¬†YEAR OF WRITING!!

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I am taking part in a writing/photo challenge on Instagram and am loving seeing everyone’s feeds! (Please follow along and join me! @inawritingday)

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Are you taking part of a challenge? Comment and let me know!! Or comment and let me know how your 2017 is going! I would love to hear! ūüôā

 

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Book Launch Party

THE BOOK LAUNCH PARTY IS ON!!!!

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I tend to write in different genres. I love writing all things horror, short stories with surprise endings, but I also LOVE¬†writing young adult and children’s books. I wish I could write lovely romantic stories, but it just doesn’t call my name.

My latest book,¬†The Girl Who Saw Words, is about a girl who has Synesthesia. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it simply means when two or more senses are sort of combined. There are many types of Synesthesia and I never knew I was a synesthete until I was thirty years old. No one tells you on a daily basis (or really ever) how they experience the world. I experience Ticker Tape Synesthesia where I “see” the words I say and the words I hear. If too many people are talking at the same time, there are too many words for me to read and I cannot understand what is being said. If I go to a busy restaurant that is too loud, again I cannot hear. I don’t tell people the long story of what synesthesia is..I just simply say I have “old lady ears.” They nod their heads in understanding. No need to explain more. Some people love to hear about the truth; others don’t trust anything that sounds abnormal. However, to me, not seeing words sounds abnormal. How do other people understand the words that people say if you cannot see them?

My point is that I used to NEVER tell anyone. Then I had my son. I realized that if he saw the world I do, I wouldn’t want him to be ashamed. I would want him to be proud of it. My children’s book was born. I needed for him, and for everyone, to feel proud of who they are..no matter how different they may or may not be.

On that note…let me say there are MANY cool things happening this week!!

  1. Book Launch Party with SCBWI! Join me in this book celebration!! I am beyond excited about this!!
  2. An Amazon Giveaway just started!! It won’t last long so enter for your chance to win a copy of The Girl Who Saw Words!
  3. I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo! Want to be my writing buddy as I try (yet again) to write a complete novel during the month of November? Find me on the NaNoWriMo site:  jwtaylor1

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