It’s January 3rd and I’m still working on my goals and resolutions. But, today, I slept in and lounged in bed for a while. It was really nice. I used to love getting up early and getting a head start on my weekend days. It feels like you’re getting away with something when you’re up and out before most everyone else in the city. But, lately I’ve been feeling the opposite. I’m really tired in the mornings even when I’ve slept a lot and it feels really good to cozy up in bed and just doing nothing. I think it’s because 2015 was a pretty tough year, if I’m being honest.
My mom was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer (she’s now cancer free – yay!), I struggled with a job I really disliked and was really draining for almost half the year, Xan spent all his free time for most of the year studying for his licensure exams, my grandfather passed away, I dealt with a not-super-serious but very exhausting health condition, and we spent most of the year in a tiny studio apartment that made living day-to-day very tough (not for it’s size, but for other reasons). It was hard year and honestly, I don’t think I realized it or acknowledged it until now. It’s like when you’re really really sick. You don’t always realize how crummy you felt until you start to feel better. It’s the same thing with this. Now that we’re (fingers crossed) coming out on the other side I can look with a perspective over the year. And the perspective is, it was a hard one. But it feels good admitting that. We all spend so much time trying to make our lives look and feel perfect and sometime it just isn't and coming to terms with that is kind of freeing.
I have high hopes for 2016. I’m settled in at a new job that I really enjoy with people who lift me up, Xan’s now a licensed architect and has so much more free time, we’ve moved into a one bedroom apartment that has made day-to-day living SO MUCH BETTER, and right now everyone is in good health. I feel more stable in every way: mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. The silver lining of 2015 is that having been through something so tough I feel like I can appreciate the years to come even more. I really connect to the idea that the good times are so much sweeter after experiencing some of the bad. I can now truly understand when I have happiness and joy right in front of me and just how good it is.
When I sat down to write this I didn’t actually haven intentions of it turning into this reflection of 2015. But, I’m glad it did. However, I intended to write about the donuts that I made leisurely out of bed this morning. So, to lighten the mood a little, here they are in all their caramel-y glory.
Sour cream buttermilk donuts (recipe slightly adapted from A Baking Moment)
· 1 cup all purpose flour
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
· ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
· ¼ cup vegetable oil
· ¼ cup full-fat sour cream
· ¼ cup buttermilk
· ⅓ cup granulated sugar
· 1 large egg
· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 tablespoons of melted butter
· Sprinkle of sea salt
· Caramel sauce from Averie Bakes. I didn’t change a thing; it’s perfect and delicious. We’ve been putting on everything from brownies to donuts to subbing it for sugar in our coffee.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a donut pan with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk together oil, sour cream, buttermilk, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well-combined.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and stir just until combined. Over mixing will result in tough donuts. Batter should be lumpy.
5. Spoon the batter equally into the wells of the donut pan filling just to the top of the center circle in each well. Bake for 14 minutes or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges.
6. Brush with melted butter. Generously spoon caramel sauce over each donut. I did this on a wire rack with a piece of wax paper underneath. Then I actually set each donut in the caramel on the wax paper to get the bottom nice caramel-y.
7. Sprinkle a generous bit of sea salt on each donut.
My gracious taste-tester ;).
After we scarfed them down. Later Xan had one as an afternoon snack and said: "babe, these are so good!" It's official: they're Xander approved.