Awesome in March

Awesome in March

Awesome in March

Work nonsense aside, March turned out to be pretty damn awesome. We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary with brunch at The Bungo, and I managed to fit into my wedding dress with no trouble. I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to happen.

We followed up that act with a stroll along the Clyde Walkway and a visit to Bothwell Castle. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to hopping in that time machine.

I made doughnuts, celebrated what would have been my mom’s 56th birthday, and cuddled a cat, but all this was a just a prelude to the real excitement.

Emily was here for a week this month. We went to London and visited the Marx Memorial Library and checked out the dinosaurs and more at The Natural History Museum. But right smack in the middle of all that was a visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was so amazing, I could barely contain my excitement. I’m sure I was much more giddy than any of the kids who were visiting that day. It was worth every penny we spent, even if we were there two weeks before they opened the Forbidden Forest exhibit.

The internet was so so tasty this month. This Layered Irish Cream Pretzel Pie is dreamy. 

I’ll have the Crispy Baked Basil Chicken Cordon Bleu with a side of roasted garlic mashed potatoes, please. 

Why yes, I would like some Homemade Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts. How did you know?

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf, and Transformer Chicken. I’m coming to your house for dinner.

But that’s all just stuff compared to getting to spend time with my baby. It’s my absolute favorite thing. There aren’t enough words to tell you how she fills my heart. I am so very proud of her. She’s a million times more amazing than I’ll ever be. We’ve already bought her tickets for coming to visit this summer. I’m holding my breath until then.

 

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I try to avoid writing blog posts when I’m in a bad mood because of instead of helping you achieve peak awesomeness, I just complain about somebody stole my lunch and my favorite pen, and now I’m starving and want to cry.

I’d like to pass on a little advice to any young ladies who might be reading. You’ll know you’ve found the right partner if they let you whine like a four year and then order you a cheeseburger and a milkshake because you’re too hungry to even make a decision about what you want to eat. Then they bring you a cup of tea and just tell you they love you without making you feel like a crazy person. That’s true love.

You know that meme with the skinny girl who says, “Don’t reward yourself with food. You’re not a dog.” Remember her? Yeah, she sucks. I had a crap day and I deserve a doughnut. To my delight and astonishment, I recently learned that it’s surprisingly easy to make your own doughnuts from scratch.

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This is not a quick process. You definitely have to have some patience, but they are relatively easy, and the results are out of this world. I highly recommend you eat at least one of these within five minutes of cooking. There’s absolutely nothing quite as heavenly as a freshly fried doughnut. 

The first time I made these, I added just the right amount of flour and they came out looking beautiful. Of course, this time, the dough was a bit too sticky, so these particular doughnuts are a spiky mess. Honestly, though, the crunchy spikes added great texture, so don’t panic if this happens to you.

Still nervous about deep frying? Remember to use a thermometer, long tongs, and a heavy pan with high sides. Just keep a close eye on the temperature. Everything will be fine.

Is it easier to just go buy doughnuts from the Greg’s directly below your house? Well, yes, but I promise, these will be a hundred times better. And with this simple, basic recipe, you can adapt, glaze, and sprinkle to your heart’s content.

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Please, please, please make your own Plainly Awesome Doughnuts. You won’t be sorry.

Plainly Awesome Doughnuts
Yields 8
Plainly Awesome Doughnuts are heavenly. You'll be dancing with joy.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons warm water
  2. 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  6. 3 egg yolks
  7. 2 tablespoons sugar, plus some for topping if you like
  8. 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  9. Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast and let it sit for about five minutes. It should be foamy. If it's not, go buy some fresh yeast and start again.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add your yeast mixture, 3-1/2 cups flour, and all remaining ingredients, and combine using an electric mixer with a dough hook. Beat at a low speed until a soft dough forms, then turn the speed on your mixer up to medium high, and beat for another three minutes. If your dough is still very sticky, slowly add up to another 1/2 cup of flour until it's just dry enough to handle.
  3. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl to bring everything together, then sprinkle a light layer of flour over the top of your dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for the dough to rise until doubled for about 2 hours.
  4. Flour a clean counter or dough mat and dump your dough onto it. Roll the dough out gently until it's about 1/2 an inch thick. Use a 2-1/2 or 3 inch cutter to cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Get your circles close together as you won't really be able to reroll this dough without it getting tough. If you want to be really thrifty, you could cut the remaining dough into "doughnut holes."
  5. Place your cut doughnuts on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover them with a clean kitchen towel, and leave this to rise again for about 30 minutes.
  6. Attach a candy thermometer to your high-sided, heavy bottom pot and pour in about 2-1/2 inches of oil. Heat your oil up to 350F. Keep a close eye on the temperature as you go, and do your best to keep steady. Fry your doughtnuts for about two minutes per side or until golden brown and puffy. I could fit two at a time in my pan.
  7. If you want to have sugar-coated doughnuts, have a plate or bowl with a shallow layer of fine sugar ready to go as you remove each doughnut from the oil. Press the side of the doughnut that's just been in the oil into your sugar, then flip it over to cool on a wire rack. If you're feeling frisky, go ahead and sugar both sides.
  8. Allow your doughnuts to cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your face off. The best experience will be to eat the doughnuts within ten minutes. They'll still taste good the next day, but the magic happens when they're fresh.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

Not gonna lie, kids. One of the reasons I wanted to move to this neighborhood was so that I could be closer to Dennistoun Bar-B-Que. Who wouldn’t want to live on the same street as burgers the size of your face, and some of the best fries I’ve had in Glasgow.

Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

Their burgers are made fresh with high quality ingredients. Because their so huge, I opt for a simple cheeseburger, and it’s awesome. Their menu is creative, and you can get your burger loaded sky high with all sorts of toppings. I could never finish it in a million years, though, so I go pure and top my burger with some of their smoky barbecue sauce. 

Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

As the name suggests, Dennistoun Bar-B-Que also has a smoke pit, and you can get some stellar pulled pork here as well, which is what Geoff opted for. As you can see, they serve their burgers and sandwiches in a bowl. That’s how ridiculous they are. You should probably consider fasting for most of the day before you come here.

Burgerology: Dennistoun Bar-B-Que

Most people know I don’t really care about french fries. I’ll eat a few out of boredom, but normally I don’t even bother to order them. The seasoned fries were absolutely perfect. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and perfectly seasoned, I couldn’t stop eating them. That almost never happens to me.

One other little thing I love about this place is that you can order a can of root beer. It’s hard to come by in Scotland, so I always indulge when I can. It tastes like home.

You get a lot of burger goodness for your money here, and the staff are friendly. There’s a bit of a wait for you food, but you know it’s super fresh that way. The restaurant is small, and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual. It’s perfect for an afternoon of stuffing your face with the best burgers around.

Raspberry Cooler | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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