How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

If you’ve been on social media in the last year, you’ve probably encountered enticing, single-serving, microwave recipes for brownies, cakes and other desserts. They usually look amazing and always promise to be fast and easy.  I went to baking school, but I still became temporarily obsessed with the idea of making my favorite desserts in minutes in the microwave.  I tried several of the recipes and they we’re mostly satisfactory, if not stellar.

Throughout this quick-fix phase, I pondered how I could make a satisfying donut in the microwave.  I tweaked and tested recipes until I came up with a microwave cake that tasted similar to a chocolate cake donut.  Coming up with the recipe was the easy part.  Making a donut out of it was another matter.

I played with thicker batters piped in the shape of donuts.  That didn’t work.  The batter fused together in what was supposed to be the hole.  Plus, the cake was too dry from having to add extra flour.  I knew I had to find a way to stick to the recipe I liked, yet still create a donut shape.

Having no luck, I decided to drink my troubles away.  I was pouring bourbon into a shot glass to make a Manhattan.  The answer was in my hand.  I took the shot glass and rested it in a glass cereal bowl.   There it was… a donut mold.

I whipped up another batch of the cake batter, greased my makeshift mold and gave it a try.  It worked!  I realized on subsequent attempts that works best if the shot glass is right-side-up in the bowl with the smallest part of the glass touching the bowl.

Holding A Microwave Donut

In a reality, these donuts are just cakes in funny shapes.  But isn’t that what donuts are?  They need icing to make them really feel like donuts.  Without icing, they look kind of like sad, little, porous Bundt cakes.  But once you add icing, you get the donut experience.  At least, you get the best donut experience you can get in a couple of minutes from your microwave.

They’re not quite as good as a real donut.  But I would suggest that nothing is quite as good as real donut… except maybe bacon.  But for a quick fix, these are terrific.

Everything you need to know is on the recipe card above, but I’ll go into detail below in case you want further explanation on those purposefully simplistic instructions.

Making Microwave Donuts

Continue reading

Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal?

Bacon Cheddar Steel-Cut Oatmeal With Fried Egg

The idea of savory oatmeal might sound weird to people used to sweetened packets of oatmeal or simple Old Fashioned oats with brown sugar, etc.  If done wrong, savory oatmeal is weird.  If you use the right oats and treat them like rice or other grains associated with savory dishes, the result is pretty cool.

This post started when I tested a recipe submitted to the site called Billbo’s Cheddar Oatmeal.  It received a handful of positive comments and I wanted to try it for myself.

Ingredients For Cheddar Oatmeal

The ingredients were super simple: Old Fashioned oats, milk, cheese and sugar.   It’s a microwave recipe that takes only 2 minutes.

Cheddar Oatmeal

The recipe worked and I understood why some people liked it.  Unfortunately, I personally didn’t like it that much.  My mental association of Old Fashioned oats with sweet ingredients is very strong and it took a few spoonfuls to accept that I was eating something savory.

As I was trying it, my overriding thought was that it would be better with steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats have a firmer, rice-like texture. That kind of texture makes more sense in a savoy dish than the mushy texture you get from Old Fashioned or quick cooking oats.

From experience, I know that steel-cut oatmeal always benefits from the savory flavors of butter and salt. It seemed totally feasibly that they would get along with cheese.

I also thought… as I always do… that the dish would be better with bacon… which everything always is.

So I set out to experiment with steel-cut oats, hoping to achieve something that would transcend oatmeal as we commonly know it.

Ingredients For Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal

Continue reading

Bailey’s Irish Coffee Donuts

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

This donut was a huge success last St. Patrick’s Day.  All year whenever I told friends I was thinking of making donuts, they’d say, “You should make the ones you made for St. Patrick’s Day again.”

This recipe uses my proven, kitchen-tested, yeast-raised donut base (which you can use for a multitude of different donuts).  The topping is a chocolatey, coffee-infused mocha icing and the filling is a vanilla buttercream that’s been transformed into a taste of the Emerald Isle by a shot of Irish coffee liqueur.

Irish Cofee Donuts

There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “Hunger is a tasty topping.”  That may be true, but I think you’ll prefer this mocha icing.

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

To Make The Yeast-Raised Donuts:

Continue reading

A Week Of Oatmeal And Smoothies

A big part of my job as Mr Breakfast is testing recipes that people have submitted to the site over the years.  I love it, but I often find my diet confined to 4 major food groups: eggs, cheese, pancakes and bacon.

Every now and then, I need to hit the reset button on my nutritional intake.  As a rule, I try to squeeze a healthy breakfast of whole grains and fruit between each indulgent breakfast.  But sometimes you’ll read a post here about donuts. That usually means I had a few consecutive mornings of overindulgence.  Such was the case recently.

To get back on track, I spent last week having a different kind of oatmeal and smoothie every morning.  I chose 14 recipes from the site that I’d hadn’t tested yet.  I tried to create a menu with a wide range of flavors so the week would be exciting and fun (words not always associated with oatmeal).

A Week Of Oatmeal And Smoothies

It was a great week. I was reminded that oatmeal doesn’t need to be boring or routine.   My beliefs about smoothies being amazing… totally reaffirmed.  Who doesn’t love a recipe whose only instructions are to throw everything in a blender.  I feel energized, a little leaner and ready to take on the deliciously difficult task of having to eat omelets and pancakes this week.

Take a look at my menu.  Hopefully, you’ll find a recipe or two you might like to try.

 

Monday

Key Lime Pie Oatmeal

Key Lime Pie Oatmeal – This steel-cut oatmeal dish tastes a lot like key lime pie because it contains many of the same ingredients including fresh lime juice and crumbled graham cracker.

Honey Banana Breakfast Shake

Honey Banana Breakfast Shake – This is a very basic fruit smoothie featuring bananas, strawberries and noticeable notes of honey.

 

Tuesday

Brian's Banana Oatmeal

Banana Honey Flax Oatmeal – This recipe uses Old Fashioned oats and gets its flavor from bananas and honey with a nutrition boost from ground flax seeds.

Choco-Peanut Banana Shake

Choco-Peanut Banana Shake – Three great tastes that taste great together!  This smoothie contains peanut butter and cocoa powder. The flavor might remind you of a shake you’d have for dessert.  Wheat germ adds extra nutrition.

 

Wednesday

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal – A couple of tablespoons of Nutella adds chocolate flavor to these Old Fashioned oats.  A few chocolate chips add even more!

Cinnamon Smoothie

Cinnamon Smoothie – This smoothie has a little of everything: banana, raspberries, blueberries, orange juice, vanilla, etc.  A pinch of cinnamon gives this one an almost candy-like essence.

Continue reading

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood grocery store!  In episode #1529 of PBS’s Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,  Mr. Rogers takes a trip to the supermarket.  We get a glimpse of what a cereal aisle looked like in 1984. Fans of cereal might appreciate seeing some long-gone, discontinued friends of the breakfast table from 30 years ago.

See if you can identify the cereals that Fred passes by.  After the screen shots, I’ll help you identify the discontinued and hard to find cereals you may not recognize or remember.

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

I’ll bet you identified most of the cereals that have remained big sellers since the mid-80s (like Life, Total, Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, Golden Grahams and Fruit Loops).  Here’s 10 of the cereals that may have been less familiar:

Continue reading

Strawberry Valentine’s Day Donuts

Strawberry Valentine's Day Donuts

This year’s featured Valentine’s Day recipe is for heart-shaped, yeast-raised donuts with strawberry buttercream filling and vanilla icing.  The secret ingredient is… as usual… love.  I decorated some with sprinkles and others with a decorative pink icing that I made by simply combining the leftover filling with the leftover icing.

I won’t sugar coat it.  Raised donuts take time.  All together, you’re into it for at least 3 hours, probably 4.  Much of that is just waiting for dough to rise, but you can’t really hurry the process.  Don’t be fooled by TV shows like “Donut Showdown” where gourmet filled donuts are made in under an hour.

If you have the time, these donuts are actually fun to make – especially during the decorating phase.  If you have someone special to make them with, all the better.  For as great as they are to make, they’re 1,000 times more fun to eat.  Let’s get to work…

Strawberry Buttercream Donut

Continue reading

Lemon Curd: The Best Food With The Worst Name

Two Kinds Of Homemade Lemon Curd

It’s lemony, sweet and delicious.  It’s easy to make and goes with just about anything.  But what’s up with that name… Lemon Curd.  I like the “lemon” part, but a “curd” is something I expect to find in cottage cheese.  I don’t even like when “curd” is used to describe pieces of a scrambled egg.   Maybe it’s because it rhymes with “turd” or that the letters so easily rearrange to spell “crud”.  It’s definitely not a great word to describe the lemony, smooth, flavorful, custard-like spread that’s so easy to love.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with lemon curd lately.  I’ve made a couple of homemade versions, including one that’s prepared in the microwave.  In all cases, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs and butter are combined and gently cooked until you suddenly have a beautifully thick substance.

In recent days, I’ve had lemon curd on pancakes, in pancakes, on toast, on English muffins, as part of a fruit parfait, as a filling for pastries and that’s just for starters.  Anything you might use jam for, you can use lemon curd instead.

Expensive Lemon Curd From A Store

In grocery and specially stores, jars of lemon curd often cost more than five dollars.  By my estimate, it costs about 80 cents to make it at home.  It was even cheaper for me because of where I live.  A lot of my neighbors have lemon trees and it’s not uncommon to see a basket of lemons on someone’s sidewalk with a sign that says, “Free Lemons.”  I grabbed about a dozen free lemons last week and, as you’ll see from the variety of recipes that follow, I went a little lemon-loco.

As they say, a rose by any other name smells just as sweet.  So it is that lemon curd by any other name tastes just as sweet, although a new name would probably be more descriptive.  Here’s a selection of recipes for lemon curd and recipes that use lemon curd… or as I’m calling it now… Lemon Delight, or Lemon Magic… how about Lemon Ecstasy.  On second thought, those all sound names you’d find at the medical marijuana store.  Anyway, here’s some Lemon Curd recipes I hope you’ll like.

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

Homemade Lemon Curd

I swear by this recipe.  I’d put a jar of this against the store-bought stuff any day.  It requires only 4 ingredients (if you count lemon zest and lemon juice as one) and takes only 15 or 20 minutes to make.

Microwave Lemon Curd Recipe

Microwave Lemon Curd

Do yourself a favor and make the recipe right before this one.  This is a weird case where a microwave version of a recipe actually takes longer than the stove top version.  It was rewarding to know I could make lemon curd this way, but it wasn’t as rewarding for my mouth when compared to the traditional preparation method.

Lemon Pancake With Lemon Curd

Lemon Pancakes Topped With Whipped Cream & Lemon Curd

If you want pancakes with big lemon flavor, put lemon zest and lemon juice in the batter and then top them with some lemon curd.  Of coarse, you could top any kind of pancakes with the good stuff, but why not go crazy.  As the saying goes… when life give you lemons, make lemon curd and lemon pancakes.

Continue reading

Celebrating The Birth Of Elvis… With Grits

Sweet Breakfast Grits

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!  Born in 1935, this year he would have been 79 years old.  Every January 8th, I like to make one of Elvis’ favorite foods to celebrate.  Last year, I made his famous fried breakfast sandwich with peanut butter, bacon and banana.  To celebrate this year, I decided to make Sweet Breakfast Grits.

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!

I found a really fun book in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble called Are You Hungry Tonight? compiled by Brenda Arlene Butler. It’s an eclectic mix of Elvis’ favorite foods – everything from Sausage Spoon Bread to Chicken ala King.  There’s only 7 breakfast recipes in the book, but it’s a great read for Elvis fans who love to cook.

Are You Hungry Tonight?

The book claims that Elvis’ mother used to make him grits and speculates that grits were probably included in his earliest memories of solid food.  Another book, The Life And Cuisine Of Elvis Presley by David Adler, reveals that Elvis enjoyed grits for breakfast in his later years along with 6-egg omelets and burnt bacon by the pound.  Today, we’ll just concentrate on the grits.

Continue reading