Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Milk: It Does a Doughnut Good

Title for this post is courtesy of my husband… and you’ll see the ‘why’ momentarily!

On Saturday, we had a couple of friends (fellow Clemson alums) over to watch the Clemson / Wake Forest game, and in addition to chicken, potato salad, and green salad, I decided there could be no better time to break out my shiny new doughnut pan and my gluten free Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut mix (by Stonewall Kitchen, of course) for a yummy treat.

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While I’m not attempting a gluten free diet, I know plenty of people who are – and I was pretty impressed by the array of gluten free foods offered by Stonewall Kitchen.  Stonewall Kitchen is a Maine-based company with a special story.  Founded by two friends, Jim Stott and Jonathan King, their company ideals reflect the best of Maine – a strong sense of community, wholesomeness, and the unspoiled, natural beauty of the state (per Stonewall Kitchen website).  They got their start at a local farmers’ market in 1991, selling out on their very first day.  This initial indication certainly proved true – today, several expansions and moves later, Stonewall Kitchen serves 6,000 wholesale accounts, has 11 retail Company Stores, a Cooking School, and is regularly recognized for its outstanding specialty food products.  Check out their website and try something – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Recently, I ordered this doughnut mix and the Carolina Rub for my husband, to bring a bit of Maine to his new passion for smoking.

The recipe is very straightforward – in addition to the mix, you need only milk, one egg, and 2/3 cup of unsalted butter (1/3 cup for the doughnut mix, 1/3 cup for the topping).

Directions: Grease or spray a 12-well doughnut pan (I only had a six-well pan, luckily – as I got halfway through the recipe before realizing I’d… forgotten the milk.  That’s right, I managed to forget one of only three additional ingredients).  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour doughnut mix into a bowl, and add milk, egg (beaten), and 1/3 cup melted butter.

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Beat on medium speed about 30 seconds to combine (I did this by hand – not so fun!)

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Pipe or spoon batter into doughnut pan, filling each cup 1/2 full.  Bake 9-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

You'd think I'd have realized at this point that something was missing...

You’d think I’d have realized at this point that something was missing…

For the topping, pour the topping mix into a small bowl.  Melt the additional 1/3 cup butter in a separate bowl.

MUCH better! Milk... it does a doughnut good.

MUCH better! Milk… it does a doughnut good.

Remove doughnuts from the pan while still warm, and gently brush each with melted butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Serve immediately.

I'd say the difference is pretty clear, eh?

I’d say the difference is pretty clear, eh?

The doughnuts, and even the doughnookies (as we affectionately named my ‘whoops, no milk’ doughnuts) were a hit.  Between the four of us, they were gone by the end of the night, and my friend’s husband said he actually preferred the doughnookies.  Success all around!  Thank you, Stonewall Kitchen.


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Happy Labor Day weekend!

Today is Friday, and not just any Friday – it’s particularly joyful and exciting because it leads into a long weekend.  Many of us think of this as the last weekend of summer (although of course it’s not technically), but it is a time for celebrating, relaxing, and preparing for the fall and winter seasons ahead.

To me personally, this Friday and weekend is filled with anticipation – my Clemson Tigers will face off against the Georgia Bulldogs tomorrow night at 8pm – and the NFL season begins on Thursday, September 5th.  Although I now live in the South, and have for 9 years (gosh, that is hard to believe!), in a culture renowned for its passion for college football, the NFL’s New England Patriots are easily my first and most true football love.  I can barely stand the week+ long wait for our week one game on Sunday, September 8th vs. the Buffalo Bills.

Last week, Nick and I decided to make an investment in our fall weekends, which are (clearly) devoted annually to football.  Our backyard and driveway are our tailgate spots (although if he had his way, we’d own a Winnebago and be hauling down and up the road to Clemson, Chicago, and Foxboro as time and schedules permitted).  The more cost effective solution at this time was to purchase a smoker and elevate our tailgating approach – and so we did.

Tomorrow, we’ll be trying our hands at ribs for the first time, as well as beef brisket, which we had great success with already.  Check it out below:

Looks delicious, right?

Looks delicious, right?

How’d we get there?  In a nod to both my Maine roots and our current home state, I purchased Stonewall Kitchen’s Carolina Rub a couple of weeks ago with football Saturdays and Sundays in mind.

There's the rub!

There’s the rub!

The directions said to apply a generous amount of the rub to the meat, which I interpreted quite literally.

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From there, onto the smoker it went.  Nick used mesquite wood chips for this smoking venture.

Smokin'!

Smokin’!

The smoking portion of our program lasted about 3 and a half hours.  Nick is very good at tasks like this – he has the patience required to wait and simply enjoy the process and mouthwatering scents.  I’m not particularly patient, so this timeframe felt torturous to me.  Perhaps I’ll become better at the waiting game as time goes on.

The brisket ended up tasting every bit as good as it looked and smelled.  It had a good, smoky flavor, which the rub complemented very nicely.  I made Ben’s Peppery Potato Wedges as our side dish, with a yummy Dijon mayo that I whipped up with sour cream, mayo, dried basil, dijon mustard, a teeny bit of horseradish, and salt and pepper.

Time to enjoy!

Time to enjoy!

Do you have any tips for smoking ribs?  Recommendations for sauces or sides?

Have a very Happy Labor Day!