Old Fashioned Chocolate Donuts

 

Chocolate Donuts

These old fashioned chocolate donuts are incredibly delicious and super filled with the chocolate flavors we all know and love.  This post contains affiliate links.
Friends, I found the recipe that I want to make for the rest of my life. Like seriously there’s nothing better than these old fashioned chocolate donuts! And it’s not because I made them and I’m incredibly proud of them, which I am because excuse me homemade donuts made from scratch in my own kitchen, if that’s not impressive then I don’t know what it is. But it’s because the fact that they are so good they taste even better tan the store-bought ones.

Yes, these ones taste way better than the doughnuts you could purchase at an upscale coffee shop and way better than the ones they sell at farmers markets. If homemade donuts that taste better than anything doesn’t convince you to make them then I seriously don’t know what can.

The other great thing is that this recipe is also incredibly easy to make. You don’t need a ton of things or crazy skills to be able to whip them up in your kitchen, which in my opinion, is the best thing ever. Because you know what’s super annoying? Finding a recipe that everyone claims is the best thing ever and realizing you need to be a pro at cooking to be able to actually make it.

But back to these old fashioned chocolate cake donuts. They are moist without being too wet, they are soft without being mushy, and they take so little time to make them that it still amazes me.

My only advice is to make a batch big enough so everyone can have seconds, because while they are super filling, they are so delicious that everyone is going to reach for seconds.

Chocolate Donut Recipe
Ingredients: 

– 3 cups all purposed flour

– ⅔ Cup cocoa powder

– 2 Tsp baking powder

– Dash ground nutmeg

– 1 Tsp salt

– 1 Cup buttermilk

– ½ Cup chocolate milk

– 2 Eggs

– ½ Cup butter

– 1 Tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

– Preheat the oven to 350F.

– In a bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

– In another bowl combine the buttermilk, chocolate milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla.

– Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

– Stir well until the batter thickens.

– Pour the batter into a greased donut pan.

– Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until well done.

– When time is up, remove the pan from the oven.

– Let to cool and gently remove the donuts from the pan using a rubber spatula.

Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate Donut Recipe

5 Sanity Saving Tips for Holiday Travel

This helpful post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by Randall Dodge Chrysler Jeep.  If you’re in the market for a new vehicle visit RandallDodgeChryslerJeep.com

July 2. That was the date when it had seemed like a great idea to travel home to spend the kids Christmas Break with your family. Amidst pictures in your head of jammie wearing cousins snuggling on your mom’s couch on Christmas morning you bought the plane tickets.

Now, 2 days before you travel, you’re watching your two little angels bicker over which movie to watch and you’re panicking. School has only been out for 3 days and you’re already feeling your patience thin.

What if there are weather delays? That happens right? Not just in the movies. What if they fight and spill their juice on the person next to them? What if your 6 year old takes your 4 year olds doll away and she starts crying and everyone on the plane gives you the long suffering totally annoyed stare? What if your baby has a potty accident?…maybe the tickets are refundable…

Or, you could do a little pre-planning and have an amazing and stress free trip. Now that would totally rock! And then you could go ahead and buy those matching cousin jammies for Christmas Eve.

5 Easy Tips for Holiday Travel with Kids

1. The Go Bag
Put together a bag for each child that has new toys/books that they’ve never seen before. If they love coloring buy them a new book with a new set of crayons. The dollar store and the Target $1.00 bins are great places to source these items from.  Amazon is great too when you don’t want to run out and run another errand before your trip!  Mini Play-Doh cartons, individual lego kits, new books, all fairly inexpensive, but totally worth the peace and serenity each will earn.

2. Healthy Snacks
Traveling can be exhausting for everyone, the kiddo’s are no exception. Eating in the airport and on the go is not only expensive, but the unhealthy options will sap energy quickly. We’ve all seen the after math of a sugar crash, and it’s not a pretty sight. Have some non-sugary snacks available to help them keep their energy up throughout the day. The day before, buy some fruit and nuts if they are not allergic. Individual packs of mandarin oranges and peaches are great choices. (These count in the individual allowances for liquid carry-on’s if flying.) Favorite granola bars or a bag of granola is also easy carry.

3. Separate Seats
If you have button tiny button pushers, why not give them a little space? If possible, choose seats across the aisle, have one parent sit with each child. You’re close enough to be able to share resources and chat, but everyone gets a little personal space as well. If you’re a single parent traveling with 2 or more, take the middle seat and alternate the window turns on different flight segments.

4. Check in Early
Online check-in opens for most airlines 24 hours early. The earlier you check in the less likely you are to get “bumped” in the case of an oversold flight. Less time stranded in an airport unwillingly is a win win. It also ensures you have the greatest amount of time to verify your seat assignments and contact customer service as needed if you need to ask to be reasigned. Verify that you are all assigned together, then re-verify within 2 hours of your flight.

Remember, while you are purchasing a flight, the airline is not required to accommodate you seated together. Most will make every effort to do so, but don’t hesitate to ask if needed. Sometimes planes are swapped out for a new plane with a different seating configuration. The automated system might not have seated you together and a live agent can adjust those assignments.

5. Choose Flight Times Wisely
That 6 am flight seems like a great idea when you’re thinking of having the afternoon at your destination. However, when you take into account how early you really are going to have to get up to get ready and get to the airport, allowing sufficient time for longer security lines, is it really worth it? Why not treat the travel as an adventure. Allow extra time in between flights if you have a layover for a relaxed lunch. Explore the airports, most have kid play areas and art on display. Everyone will arrive a few hours later, but relaxed and in a better mood.

These are just a few suggestions to help you plan a great traveling experience with your family. What has worked for you in the past with your kids?

Tis’ The Season to Travel Jolly

This post is sponsored by Patterson Chrysler Dodge.  If you’re in the market for a new car visit PattersonChryslerDodge.com

Kid in the snow

The perfect Christmas scene begins with the scent of hot coffee brewing in the kitchen, lights twinkling brightly around a tree filled with bright baubles, the kids squealing in excitement as they unwrap their gifts, and most importantly, the whole family gathered around to share in the fun. This is the love, kindness, and magic we all hope to have during the season, but traveling to get there, isn’t always a warm and joyful experience. Here are some travel tips for the kids:

-Seasonal Snacks– Tis’ the season to indulge in delicious and festive holiday treats, right? Packing the kids adorable little snacks for the trip will make it fun and memorable while keeping stomachs full. Cookie cut sandwiches into a Christmas tree shape, have some “cold” hot chocolate by adding mini marshmallows to a jug of chocolate milk, put red and green M&M’s into the snack mix, the ideas are endless.

-Surprise Sacks-Pack a few brown paper lunch sacks with small stocking stuffers. On each bag write a certain time, for example the half way mark, once that time is reached allow the kids to open the sacks for a surprise. This will also allow you to get little items then can play with in the car or on a plane.  I completely recommend these Dover Little Sticker Books for less than $2 each,  Melissa & Doug Water Wow book, a rubik’s cube, and a fidget widget.

-Christmas Concert– Remember when we were young and would sing in the car? That never gets old, turn up your favorite holiday CD and belt out the songs as a family. Instruments are optional! (As you’ve heard me mention numerous times, Justin Roberts is THE go-to music for families! Trust me, you’ll love him!)

A sprinkle of creativity, a dash of joy, and a spoonful of love will guarantee a collection of new Christmas memories with your traveling family. Each of these tips is also a chance to teach about how priceless the time spent together truly is.

Happy Kids on Road Trips

This helpful post is sponsored by Hiley Volkswagon of Arlington.

Kids in the Car

There is nothing that spoils a road trip like an unhappy child – cooped up, cranky, bored and the kid’s aren’t too happy either. If you are going over 50 miles with kids under 12 you are going to want to have a game plan and load the car with plenty of kid friendly gear, food bribes, and fun activities. These tips are sure fire tools for success.

  • –  Comfort. At this point in parenthood you probably don’t need to be told to make sure the kids empty their bladder before leaving but just in case you need the reminder this is #1. If they say they don’t need to go, don’t trust them…MAKE THEM GO! After that is out of the way, be sure and dress them comfortably and cut out some of the complaining by putting them in loose, comfy clothes. Avoid tight waist bands, collared and buttoned up shirts, and anything that doesn’t support total comfort.
  • –  Snacks. Next you are going to want to pack snacks – Preferably items that won’t completely destroy your vehicles interior. Nothing sticky, oozing, or hard to clean.  Dried fruit, fruit snacks, pretzels, goldfish, and  juice boxes. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are also must have items. Let them pack some items they want to have along for the ride-grab a small backpack or basket that will fit in the backseat and let them choose items like crayons and paper, their favorite book, doll, or handheld game (don’t forget the headphones). Dollar store cookie sheets make great activity trays for the road, throw on some magnets and you have a busy board that will keep kids from toddlers to tweens busy.
  • –  Music and Movies. Let them have a turn choosing music and the movies if you have portable dvd players in the car.  Keep in mind that it is their trip too and allowing them to have some say so will lead to increased cooperation (just choose movies ahead of time that you can tolerate, if not enjoy).
  • – Play games WITH them.  Punch Buggy, License Plate Bingo, anything to pass time and keep their minds occupied.  Who can spot the most pickups in 20 minutes?  How many yellow cars are in the state of North Carolina? Make them up as you go, be a part of the fun and you might find the trip goes faster for you too.
  • – Sing songs together.  Justin Robert’s music is our all time favorite.  If you have kids and HATE “kid’s music” you have to check this out!  Fun music that will have you reminiscing of your own childhood and singing the songs to yourself when you’re not even around your kids.
  • –  Stop occasionally. Kids are meant to move, it is cruel and unusual to strap them in and expect them to stay within the confines of a seat belt or car seat for 10 hours. Every once in awhile find a rest stop or even a park, let everyone out to stretch their arms and legs, have a run or quick game of catch if possible to get the blood pumping and burn off some energy (be sure to pack a football, a jump rope, or a Frisbee for stops).  This will make the time in the car a little easier to handle.

If you’re a pro traveler with kids I would love to hear what tips and tricks that have worked for you!

Car Maintenance Checklist

This helpful post is sponsored by Hiley Mazda of Arlington.com.

Used Car Tips

How well do you know your car? Perhaps you need reacquainted and to spend some one-on-one time with each other. Setting some “dates” with your car could continue the relationship a bit longer!

Every month you should check your:

  • – Oil level – Add oil if it’s low, and take it in if it’s very low as there may be a leak.
  • – Hoses – Replace them if they’re brittle.
  • – Belts – Replace them if they’re worn or frayed.
  • – Tire pressure – Check the pressure and add air if it’s too low.
  • – Coolant/antifreeze – Add more if it’s low.
  • – Air filter – Replace if it’s dirty.
  • – Tires – Looks for damage or uneven wear.

Every 3 months you should check your:

  • – Oil and oil filter – Change every 3,000 miles or as is recommended by manufacturer.
  • – Windshield washer fluid – Add fluid if it’s low.
  • – Power steering fluid – Add fluid if it’s low.
  • – Transmission fluid – Add fluid if it’s low.
  • – Battery terminals and cables – Clean if corroded.
  • – Lights – Check to make sure all lights and turn signals work. Easy one!

Every 6 months you should check your:

  • – Wiper blades – Replace them if they’re worn out and brittle.
  • – Horn – Beep, beep!
  • – Brakes – Have them inspected for unusual the wear and tear.
  • – Spare tire – Make sure it’s fully inflated and accessible.
  • – Exhaust system – Inspect for damage or loose parts.Shocks – Inspect for wear.

Winter Auto Maintenance

Winter Auto Maintenance

This helpful post is sponsored by Hiley Mazda of Hurst

With winter fast approaching, your first thought might be to go out and buy a new coat and hat. Dig out your gloves and double check the pipes are wrapped on your house. While these are all important, don’t forget your winter auto maintenance.

Cold weather is hard on your car and winter driving can take a toll on your auto. Some basic preventive maintenance will ensure that you have a stress free driving experience and make it safely home each trip rather than frantically checking if you have enough gas to keep the heat on until the tow truck arrives.

1. Get Your Oil Changed
Never underestimate the value of this one simple maintenance task. Don’t procrastinate it and wait for the check engine light to come on. Keeping your engine lubricated with clean oil will help ensure that it fires up every time you jump in. Most professional oil changes come with complimentary fluid checks.

2. Check and Replace Windshield Wipers
Driving in tumultuous weather on dark cold days is challenging enough without trying to see through a 6 inch smear on your windshield. Check and replace your wipers early to allow for the extra precipitation that falls during the cold winter months. If you need new wipers, refer to your owner’s manual as to correct size to ensure a clear driving experience.

3. Check Tires
Have your tires checked to ensure that you have sufficient tread left to grip slippery roads. Replace them as needed. If they are still in good shape, inquire if they are due to be rotated and balanced for optimum performance.

4. Get a Break Check
While they are checking your tires, have them do a break check. Most tire dealerships will check automatically with a rotation and balance, but if not ensure that your breaks are checked and any needed replacements are completed before the weather turns icy.

5. Stock a Blanket and Water in the Trunk
Even if you don’t live in northern parts of the U.S. a break down can often lead to a lengthy cold delay until the tow truck arrives. Ensure that you and your family don’t suffer if you are left waiting for a period. Small children especially are susceptible to the cold.

With a little pre-planning, you can ensure that you and your family arrive safely to all of your winter travel destinations.

Caramel Pumpkin Trifle

Sponsored post by Mirum.

Caramel Pumpkin Trifle

This Caramel Pumpkin Trifle brings delicious fall flavors together in an easy and elegant dessert!  It’s like eating fall in a cup.  This is a great dessert to make in individual servings or in a big trifle dish for the holidays.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner you know!

The weather around here has been crazy.  It’s 76 on the day we get our Christmas pictures and are suffering in our sweaters and the next day it’s in the 50s and the bitter cold wind cuts through us no matter what we put on.  Pumpkin is the perfect dessert for either temperature!  Pumpkin pie can be eaten cold or served warm.  I chose to heat up mine for this dessert and afterwards I realized that I probably should have done it cold for better pictures but it was so good warm! 🙂

This yummy parfait is made with Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie, caramel sauce, graham crackers, and Ready Wip.  My favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is.  My kids helped me make it and they loved making it as much as eating it.

Enjoy!

Caramel Pumpkin Trifle

Ingredients: 

Directions:  Gather your ingredients and add a heaping tablespoon of crushed graham crackers to the dish.  Add a layer of pumpkin pie.  Add a layer of Ready Wip.  Add a layer of crushed graham crackers.  Add a layer of pumpkin pie.  Add a layer of Ready Wip.  Drizzle caramel layer on top of your dessert for a lovely presentation.

Mini Pumpkin Pie

We had some leftover pumpkin pie and made these little pumpkin hearts with cookie cutters.  We added a little Ready Wip on top and sprinkled with cinnamon and they were ready to serve!  These mini pumpkin pies are yummy with hot chocolate.   We add a squirt of Ready Wip and a sprinkle of cinnamon to our Swiss Miss hot chocolate to make it extra special!

I’m not one for making pies, Marie Callender makes all of mine for me.  I figure that make in another stage of life I’ll learn how and make the perfect pies.  For me, stopping by Walmart is a fool-proof way to get a delicious pie and I can spend more of my time with those who mean the most to me.  Easy peasy.

For more delicious inspiration check out these yummy ideas:

Pumpkin Spice Cocoa

Mini Apple Pie

Blueberry Cake Waffles

As it is with most people, Christmas is always a special time in our household.  We have a lot of traditions that are sticking.  Driving to see the Christmas lights, opening one present on Christmas Eve, making homemade Christmas ornaments, baking Christmas cookies to share with loved ones, and a special breakfast on Christmas morning.

Blueberry Cake Waffles

This week my daughter and I (and my son at some points) baked and baked.  We baked (a frozen) pumpkin pie, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (my favorite!), gingerbread men (my husband’s favorite!), and these delicious blueberry cake waffles.  These waffles may just be what we need this coming Christmas morning!!  They are delicious and so very easy to make.

baking ingredients

The picture above is for our gingerbread recipe and not the waffle recipe.  I’m only stating this because I don’t want anyone to add molasses to their waffles.  Although, it might not be too bad! 🙂

By the way, I have to brag on Walmart Grocery!  I am in love with their drive up, pick up service.  Ordering the night before and scheduling a time to pick up is THE. BEST. THING!  It’s so nice.  I was able to stock up on all of my baking goods before our day of baking began and I didn’t even have to step foot in the store.  Even if you don’t have Walmart Grocery pick up in your area yet the Walmart baking isle is still the go-to place for all your baking needs!  It has enough Gold Medal all-purpose flour and Arm & Hammer baking soda to keep your pantry stocked till new years.  These are brands that families have trusted for over 100 years!

Blueberry Waffles

We’ve always been big waffle people since we were given a waffle iron as a wedding gift.  We used to have them regularly every week and while we’re not as consistent in making waffles these days it is still a special treat to be savored!  One trick I learned a few years back about making waffles is to let the batter rest before making.  Letting the batter rest 5 minutes between mixing and spooning it onto the griddle will make the waffles much fluffier.  Plus, what mom doesn’t need that 5 extra minutes to get juice poured, heat up the syrup, make sure you have enough clean forks (wait, is that just our family? lol), and a million other little odds and ends that moms (and dads!) do in the morning.

Blueberry Cake Waffles Recipe

Here’s what you need to make these little beauties!

Ingredients:

  • -2 Cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • -1 Cup butter milk
  • -2 Large eggs
  • -½ Cup melted butter
  • -¼ Cup sugar
  • 1½ Tsp Baking powder
  • -½ Tsp Arm & Hammer baking soda
  • -1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • -1 Cup blueberries

Directions:

  •  -Preheat the waffle maker.
  •  -Sift in a large bowl the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  •  -Add the eggs, melted butter, blueberries, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix the batter for 1 minute.
  •  -Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  •  -Add a layer of melted butter to the waffle maker and pour the batter into it.
  •  -Cook according to the instructions of the waffle maker.
  •  -Serve with the remaining blueberries and enjoy.
  •  -Top with melted buttercream icing if you like. 🙂 That’s how I like it!
  • Blueberry Cake Waffles With Cream Cheese Icing

What are some Christmas traditions you have at your house?

How to Cook Perfect Bacon

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. #VoteWrightBrandBacon #sponsored #ad

Everyone has their go to comfort foods. Mine used to be chocolate chip cookies. I could make them in 20 minutes from start to yummy finish. Ever since I had my son I have some weird issue where I don’t like cookies anymore. It’s sad but I’ve moved on to ice cream and bacon. Not together though! When I want something sweet, it’s ice cream and when I want something salty, it’s bacon. I love bacon, I do. I know it’s cool to like bacon now but man, it’s popular for a reason. It’s so good!

While I don’t eat bacon every day I do enjoy it in a number of different dishes and completely on its own. In fact we even had bacon tonight as a snack. It’s even one of my son’s favorite foods and he doesn’t like much.

Here’s my favorite way to cook bacon!

Baking Bacon

Directions:

  • – Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • – Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • – Arrange bacon on foil and bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Bacon
  • – Remove from oven and immediately place the bacon on a plate of paper towels to cool.
  • – Enjoy!

Bacon

Doesn’t that bacon look perfect? Wright® Bacon is thick sliced and cooked up perfectly. It is Bacon The Wright Way™ ! Plus, it comes in a resealable pouch. This is definitely my favorite bacon and I’ll be picking up some more at Food Lion the next time we’re there! Check out all these yummy flavors:

  • Hickory Smoked
  • Applewood Smoked
  • Smoked Brown Sugar
  • Bourbon Barrel Smoked
  • Oak Barrel Smoked

Bacon Kids

For delicious bacon recipe ideas head over to the Wright Brand Bacon page. They have tons of ideas that are sure to please your family. While you are there you can cast your vote for the top pairings to go with bacon!

Don’t forget to share your favorite recipes with bacon as the main ingredient and use the hashtag #VoteWrightBrandBacon @WrightBacon on social media.

Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters Coffee Cake

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Post Consumer Brands. All opinions are entirely my own.

Cinnamon Toasters Cinnamon

Do your kids eat cereal like it’s going out of style? Or maybe you have a husband that does? I know quite a few men who’ve been known to eat cereal out of larger kitchen bowls than a regular cereal bowl. I don’t know about you but we go through a lot of cereal in our house! It’s a permanent item on our store list just like milk and bread. Every time we go to the store we pick up a box or two. Recently, I was encouraged to branch out of my regular boxed cereal and try bagged cereal. I’ve never had anything against bagged cereal but I didn’t know how it would stay fresh without buying a plastic container to store it in. I sure don’t need another thing to store in my kitchen! However, these awesome bags I tried from Malt-O-Meal® have a small zip pouch built in. I love that about it!

Malt-O-Meal

Not only are Malt-O-Meal bagged cereals larger but they’re also more affordable. The large bags are a better value than similarly boxed cereals. Win-win! Moms who say, “We don’t buy that cereal because you’ll eat it all” can now buy the cereal their kids love because they can buy it in bulk and save money doing so!

Cinnamon Toasters Cereal

Malt-O-Meal bagged cereal comes in a slew of varieties too. They have 34 flavors (some listed below).

  • – Apple Zings
    – Berry Bunch Crunch
    – Berry Colossal Crunch
    – Blueberry Mini Spooners
    – Coco Dyno Bites
    – Coco Roos
    – Corn Burst
    – Corn Flakes
    – Frosted Flakes
    – Fruity Dyno-Bites
    – Honey Buzzers
    – Honey Graham Toasters
    – Peanut Butter Cups
    – Raisin Bran
    – Raisin Bran Clusters
    – Tootie Fruities

They have something that every member of the family will love.

cinnamon-toasters

Cinnamon Toasters is the first Malt-O-Meal bagged cereal that I’ve tried but I loved it and look forward to trying S’Mores and Golden Puffs. I loved how good it was dry! This will be a great little sweet snack for my daughter to take to school in her lunch.

malt-o-meal cinnamon toasters

Right now at Food Lion, when you buy delicious cereal you’ll get coupons to save even more on your next cereal purchase.

In-store Catalina offer at Food Lion (ends 9/30):

  • – Buy 1 MOM Brand Cereal get a $1 off 2 MOM Brand cereals on your next shopping purchase.
    – Buy 2 MOM Brand Cereal get a $1.5 off 3 MOM Brand cereals on your next shopping purchase.
    – Buy 3 MOM Brand Cereal get a $2 off 4 MOM Brand cereals on your next shopping purchase.
    – Buy 4+ MOM Brand Cereal get a $2.5 off 5+ MOM Brand cereals on your next shopping purchase.

The more you buy, the more you save!

Did you know that not only does cereal make a tasty meal but it’s also great to serve as a dry snack for the kids and can be used in recipes. Check out this delicious coffee cake recipe.

Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee Cake Recipe

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • – 3 cups Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters Cereal, slightly crushed
  • – 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • – 1/2 cup pecans
  • – 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • – 1 package yellow cake mix
  • – 1/3 cup sour cream
  • – 3 eggs
  • – 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cereal, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix using water required on package; add sour cream and eggs.
  4. Pour ¼ batter into two greased 8-inch square pans.
  5. Cover batter in each pan with ¾ cup cereal mixture.
  6. Divide remaining batter between cake pans.
  7. Stir butter into remaining cereal mixture and spread over cake batter.
  8. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Enjoy!

Go here to find more Malt-O-Meal recipes.

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