CINCO DE MAYO: CINNAMON CHURRO DONUTS + LIBBY THOUGHTS

I am sure that by this point you mentally prepare yourself for what you’re about to read when you see ‘Libby thoughts’ in the title. As I walked aimlessly around Marsh for last minute avocados, I brainstormed the various updates I could include in my Cinco de Mayo post. I could include ridiculous photos of Winston and me in our sombreros, ramble on about who has the best guac in Indy and portray a life full of donuts and mojitos. However, this is not reality. This past week was especially ROUGH. I am not one to be overly dramatic, but this week involved my cousin passing away in St. Louis after a two-year battle with cancer and a serious accident that has left a man I care very much about in pain and with a long road to recovery ahead.

I can confidently say that 2015 was the worst year of my life, but with that year came tremendous growth. 2016 was supposed to be my year of happiness and new opportunities, yet January began with Denver passing away and suddenly I felt just as lost. The lunar New Year will be your time, my friends said. As life continues to throw massive curveballs my way, I’ve realized you can’t keep looking forward to an arbitrary measure of time. You have to roll with the punches and there’s no time for a pity party. Denver left me with a lifetime of wisdom and her words will stay with me forever.

Both tragic events this week made me realize how important it is to surround yourself with people that make you feel like you’re the only one in the world when you are with them. There’s a famous Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The older I get, the truer this sentiment is. I have fond memories of my cousin at the lake every summer and she was always so genuinely interested in what I was up to and what was important to me. She loved her family and it was apparent in everything she did. The man that had the accident this week was like a second father, someone I greatly respect and admire. He is the best storyteller I’ve ever met and he always made me feel loved. I have not seen him for over a year and their family is no longer part of my life since I moved back to Indy, but I still deeply care and will always treasure the time I had with him.

It’s been a week of praying and reminding myself that I am exactly where I need to be. Old memories have been on repeat in my mind, but I have had a year to realize that this is the life I want to live. I am a better friend to the people I love here in Indy and I try to live everyday to the fullest. I wake up thinking of Denver every morning and have come to peace with the ups and downs.

I have an amazing new person in my life that tells me I am beautiful and makes me laugh non-stop. I had never dated anyone that uttered the word beautiful or who made me feel truly loved. I settled for how I thought I deserved to be treated. I made excuses and was miserable inside because of how trapped I felt. Silly rules as to what I could and couldn’t do, who I could be nice to, what I was allowed to plan for the future…the list goes on. While that uneasy feeling of the past may not go away for a while, I will continue to count my blessings. My favorite Maya Angelou tidbit of wisdom is this one, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” If this blog accomplishes anything, I hope it’s that you’re brave enough to share your story someday.

Now onto the reason you’re here: the cinnamon churro donuts. I did a simple taco bar with all the fixings for my friends and made the mojitos and margs that I featured in my Cinco de Mayo post last year, but I needed something new and festive. After a little googling, I had to make donuts. Did you ever go to a Mexican restaurant as a kid and get the paper bag full of cinnamon sugar donuts that they shook at your table? That was by far my favorite part. Now you can have them at home. I bought my donut pans at Williams-Sonoma, but I have seen them at Target and TJ Maxx too.

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Mint and rum marinating in a ball jar for mojitos!

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fiesta shoes from Boden

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BROWN BUTTER CHURRO DONUTS

Recipe via Honest Cooking

Makes one dozen donuts

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for coating

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Melt three tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Butter will crackle and foam a bit as it browns. Once butter is light brown and smells nutty, remove from heat and immediately transfer to a small bowl. Be careful, it goes from brown butter to black burnt butter quickly.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Measure out two tablespoons of the browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir together until ingredients are well combined.
  6. Spoon batter into a large Ziplock bag and use a scissor to cut about a ½” piece off one corner to create a pastry bag. Fill each well in the doughnut pan approximately ¾ full. You can also use a spoon to fill the donut pan and smooth out batter.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 9-12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into doughnut comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  8. Combine sugar, brown, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt remaining three tablespoons of butter in another bowl. Working one at a time, lightly brush doughnut with butter, and roll around in sugar mixture until evenly coated.
  9. Serve immediately or store at room temperature. Enjoy!

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A little wisdom for your week!

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Bonus: A reminder that you are BEAUTIFUL

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