Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happiness Is...

I think it's important for us to remember what makes us happy.  Little things, big things.  Here's a little sampling of things that bring a bit of joy to my life.

The frog and the toad.  The little guy on top sticks to the window by our door every night.  The toad sits on our back porch every night.  He just hangs out and looks in our window.  Daisy will sniff at him sometimes, but he doesn't move.  I think it's kind of cute how they come to the same spot every night.

So Delicious has changed my life.  I've had their coconut milk, creamer, and ice cream at one time or another.  The coconut milk doesn't have a strong coconut taste to it, and it works just fine in my morning coffee.  Coconut products are good for me because I'm lactose intolerant, which is proof God has a sense of humor.  It's annoying to take a pill every time I want some dairy, and even though I use lactose-free milk for other things, I like the creaminess the coconut milk brings to the party.  It's comparable to 2% milk but with less calories.  So...a win.

I've been fiending after chocolate lately.  Fiending is word now.  So I remade those chocolate cookie bars, but I replaced the white chocolate with toasted coconut.  Just as good as the last ones but with a hint of coconut.  That's also the last glass of wine I had since I started my muscle relaxer.  Oh yeah, I intended to do this post yesterday, but I didn't realize the medicine I'm taking for my back would knock me out flat.  Oopsies.

New Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit.  I was last there in August 2010 with Will while we visited his brother, Andy, and Andy's buddy, Hans.  We had an absolute blast, and one thing you kind of just have to do while you're there is take a trip to Cafe du Monde in Jackson Square.  Beignets, baby.  And a cafe au lait.  You simply must.  Or you can make them at home.

Ta-da!  Yes, they make a beignet mix so you can get your fix at home.  Little square French doughnuts with a mound of powdered sugar on top.  It just brings back a host of good memories.  And it's a doughnut.  So...yeah.

I didn't need 24 beignets staring me in the face, so I did half the recipe on the box.  A cup of the mix into a bowl.

And 3.5 ounces of water.  It might be too easy for me to make these.  I might go on a beignet binge.

A little stir with a spoon and the dough comes together.

Flour the surface and sprinkle a little on the top of the dough.  The package says not to be afraid of flour.

I rolled it out to about 1/8" thick.  As you can see, it's not really a square shape.  No worries.  It's not anything a sharp knife can't fix.

I admit, my beignets are a little more rectangular than square.  It's not about being perfect, it's about evoking a memory.

Heat an inch or so of oil to 370º.

And pop in a couple of beignets.  They'll puff up really quickly, so just turn them a few times to get them golden brown.

Powdered sugar.  It's part of what makes these great.

Drain the beignets on paper towels and sift powdered sugar over the top.  I mean it, don't be afraid to just pile it on there.

I fried the scraps leftover from cutting the dough into squares.  No sense in wasting good dough after all!

A little more sugar probably wouldn't hurt.  Part of the fun is getting covered in the stuff as you eat them.  Mine are little smaller than the ones served at Cafe du Monde, but that just means you can eat more of them.

You need to have some chicory coffee with beignets.  They just go together.

The milk should be warmed up.

Fill half the cup with coffee.

And pour in some of the warm milk.  You can add a bit of sugar too if you want a little more sweetness.

Eat. Sip. Repeat.  Do your soul a favor and make something that reminds you of a happy memory.

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