blueberry sugar doughnuts

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Hi friends! It has been a while. 

I'm here to share a delicious breakfast treat just in time for Mother's Day - fluffy, sugared, blueberry-filled doughnuts. If you've never made yeasted doughnuts, have no fear. They take some patience, but in fact are quite simple. And, is there really a better present for mom than a quiet morning in bed with coffee and a basket of warm, homemade doughnuts? I think not.

These are filled with Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves - which captures the deliciousness of ripened sweet blueberries and provides the perfect filling for a pillowy, soft dough. A vanilla-specked whipped mascarpone serves as a decadent dipping sauce, but is by no means essential, as the doughnuts are delicious without.

In addition to their delicious preserves, Bonne Maman is hosting a sweepstakes that I'm thrilled to share with you. There are some great prizes, including a 12-piece Le Creuset cookware set (I take back a basket of doughnuts being the best gift for mom - I think a Le Creuset cookware set would be pretty high on her list too). Better yet, there will be over 1,000 winners, so your chances are pretty great. 

I hope all of you mamas out there have an extra special day. Sending love to all of mine - my mama, my stepmom, and my mom-in-law.

blueberry sugar doughnuts

These sweet pillows of goodness are light as air and ever so slightly crisp on the outside. Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves serves as the perfect filling, and pairs beautifully with the bright lemon zest that dots the dough. Serve these doughnuts for your next weekend breakfast, or special occasion, alongside a vanilla mascarpone dipping sauce, and you'll have some happy eaters on your hands.

makes about 6 to 8 doughnuts

 

for the dough:

⅔ cup whole milk, warmed to 105 to 115°F

1 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar

½ teaspoon salt

zest of 1 lemon

2 ¼ cups (270 g) bread flour, plus more for dusting

vegetable oil, for frying

 

for finishing the doughnuts:

½ cup bonne maman wild blueberry preserves

½ cup granulated sugar

 

for the vanilla mascarpone sauce:

½ cup mascarpone cheese

5 tablespoons whole milk

1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

seeds from ½ vanilla bean

 

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the milk and the yeast. Stir gently to combine and allow to sit until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Add to the foamy yeast and milk mixture and stir to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour until incorporated. Once the mixture forms a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and beat until the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky, about 5 - 7 minutes. (If you find your dough to be too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until incorporated).

Lightly oil a large bowl with some of the vegetable oil and add the ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 

Once risen, gently punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll into an approximate 10 to 12-inch circle, so that the dough is about ½-inch-thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or upside-down glass), cut 6 to 8 circles from the dough, discarding any scraps. Place the circles on a lightly-floured, large baking sheet, spaced at least 2-inches apart and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until slightly puffed. 

Meanwhile, spoon the bonne maman preserves into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip and pour the sugar onto a plate or shallow bowl. Set both aside. 

In a dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer, add about 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat to 350°F. Working in batches of 2 to 3 at a time, gently add the doughnuts to the oil and cook, flipping once halfway through, for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through. Transfer the doughnuts to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. 

Once the doughnuts have cooled slightly, roll them in the sugar, one at a time, until completely coated. Using the tip of your pastry bag, poke a hole into the side of each doughnut and gently squeeze in about a tablespoon of the preserves. This process takes a bit of patience -- if you find yourself having trouble, you can use a knife to help create a pocket before filling, or simply cut the doughnuts in half and spread the preserves onto one cut half and sandwich them back together.

To make the vanilla mascarpone sauce, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. If you find the sauce to be too thick, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Serve the doughnuts warm with vanilla mascarpone sauce on the side for dipping. 

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This post was sponsored by Bonne Maman, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

blueberry bourbon sour

Blueberries make me think of summer — hot, sticky days spent at my Grandparents’ house in Cape Cod, picking plump berries from the blueberry bushes that lined their walkway. Finding the bluest, sweetest ones before the birds was always a challenge, but the effort was worth it. Even the slightly underripe berries, with the tinge of green that lingered by their stem, were a welcomed, tart treat.

Though blueberries are not in season in the Northeast over the winter months, I find them to be such a festive berry to use over the holidays -- and thankfully they are easy to find in the freezer and fresh from South America all winter long. Their seasonal versatility ensures that they always have a spot at the table — whether in a sauce for a roasted pork loin or folded into buttery pastry dough and baked into a galette. 

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In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, I’m sharing a recipe for a blueberry cocktail — one that’s festive enough to be worthy of a spot at your next party, but also simple enough to enjoy over a cozy night in. It has all the tartness of a traditional sour, with a subtle sweetness from blueberries and warming notes of bourbon and dark brown sugar. I really encourage you to give it a try, even if you aren’t the biggest bourbon fan. 

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, but as always, all opinions are my own. You can find my recipe on their website, here. Enjoy!

 

And for another blueberry-inspired cocktail, give this blueberry bellini a try!

summer grain bowl

 
 
 

 

summer grain bowl

I often wonder why comfort food is reserved only for winter. This dish combines all of the comforts of summer -- hearty grains, flavorful vegetables, and fresh herbs -- in one unassuming, yet delicious bowl. The recipe makes enough for 2 and can be enjoyed as a healthful and energizing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Any leftover vegetables are also delicious the next day. 

 

serves 2

for the walnut pesto:

¼ cup whole walnuts, toasted in a dry pan

2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves

½ small clove garlic

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil (or olive oil)

juice of ¼ lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil 

 

for the bowls:

6 ounces green beans, ends trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more if needed

1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into 8 spears

8 cherry tomatoes

2 eggs

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

fresh mint for garnish

flaky sea salt + freshly ground black pepper

 

 

In a mortar and pestle, grind together the walnuts, mint, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt until coarsely ground and fragrant. Add the walnut oil and lemon juice and stir to combine. Set aside. 

Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, remove the beans from the ice water and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Once hot, add the zucchini spears in one layer and cook, undisturbed, until browned on one side, about 2 - 3 minutes. Flip and cook the spears for another 2 - 3 minutes, until tender. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour half of the walnut pesto over the warm zucchini and toss to coat. Set aside. 

Add the blanched green beans to the hot skillet, adding more olive oil if necessary, and sauté until just starting char in spots, about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet, transfer to a bowl, and pour the remaining walnut pesto over and toss to combine. Set aside. 

Add the tomatoes to the hot skillet and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until just blistered and warmed through, about 3 - 4 minutes.  Remove from the skillet and set aside. Remove the skillet from the heat. 

To poach the eggs, fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and heat until bubbles start to form at the bottom of the pan, but don't break the surface. Carefully crack 1 egg into the water and swirl the water gently with a spoon to ensure the egg does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Crack the second egg into the water, gently swirling again. Cook the eggs in the warm water, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the water just below a simmer, for about 4 - 5 minutes, or until the yolks are cooked to your liking. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs, tapping them on a paper towel to remove any excess water before setting them aside. 

To assemble the bowls, divide the quinoa between 2 serving dishes. Arrange the zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes alongside. Top each with a poached egg. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh mint and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to finish.

 
 

cod poached in tomato broth

I've always been in favor of simplicity. To me, cozy nights in, snuggled on the couch with a favorite movie far outweigh a fancy night out on the town.  I will always choose a crinkled linen top and jeans over the latest designer trend. I wrap presents with brown paper and kitchen twine, not because it's the "cool" thing to do, but because I find that the gift on the inside is more important than the part that will be ripped to shreds. Such is my philosophy with food: simple cooking is better cooking. 

To me, an ingredient's integrity lies in its natural form. A carrot is best as a carrot. The less we fuss with that carrot, and the more we allow it to shine as itself, the more we will enjoy it. 

I didn't always feel this way. There was a time when I thought the more complex the recipe, the better it would taste. In an attempt to impress, I would often overcomplicate a dish with redundant ingredients, adding a little of this and a little of that, until the individual components of the dish were lost in a labyrinth of flavor. It wasn't until I starting really exploring my cooking style in culinary school -- the ingredients and cuisines that inspired me -- that I began to realize that the way I approach most of my life is also how I should approach food. That realization marked a turning point in how I cook. 

I'm here today to share a simple, yet flavorful take on poached fish -- buttery cod fillets gently cooked in a light tomato broth, flavored with herbs, shishito peppers, garlic, spring onion, capers, and red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. It's beautiful, summery, and deliciously uncomplicated. 


cod poached in tomato broth

This dish is deliciously comforting, but also light and summery. The tomato broth is flavored by fruity olive oil, herbs, and salty capers and serves as the poaching liquid for the cod, which is gently cooked until buttery soft. Everything is served together in one bowl, along with some oil-cured olives for a briny pop of flavor and some crusty bread to soak up all of the delicious broth. 

serves 4

 

ingredients

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

3 spring onions, white parts only thinly sliced into rings

8 shishito peppers

2 garlic cloves, crushed + peeled

2 teaspoons salt-packed capers, rinsed

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs fresh parsley, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 (14.5 ounce) can high quality whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 (6-ounce) skinless cod fillets

freshly squeezed lemon juice, for serving

oil-cured olives, pitted, for serving

crusty bread, for serving

 

In a medium-sized dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, whole peppers, and garlic cloves and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and starting to brown and the peppers are slightly blistered, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the capers, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and parsley sprigs and sauté for 1 - 2 minutes more. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, and their juice and 2 ½ cups of water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the broth is slightly reduced and flavorful. Season generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. 

Reduce the heat to low and add the cod fillets in one even layer in the pan. The broth should just cover each fillet. If it doesn't, cover the pan with a lid. Poach the cod, at a very slow simmer until opaque and cooked through, about 6 - 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Make sure to watch the pot very carefully during this stage -- bubbles should be barely breaking the surface. If the liquid gets too hot, the fish will turn rubbery and tough, rather than buttery and soft. Once cooked, remove the fillets and place each in its own shallow serving bowl. Divide the peppers between the bowls and pour over the broth, discarding the bay leaf and parsley. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter the pitted olives and fresh parsley over top. Serve immediately with crusty bread for soaking up the delicious broth.