Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween Doughnuts

pumpkin cream cheese doughssaint

Monica: from West Town Bakery. I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest craze called cronuts. This was the bakery’s version but they call theirs doughssaints. This one had the crunchy crispy shell like a croissant and the cake-like inside of a doughnut. Inside was gooey pumpkin cream cheese filling.

I thought that this would be the last pumpkin pastry in my not official taste test but a coworker was kind enough to pick up one last doughnut for me from a shop that doesn’t open until after I’m already at work.

pumpkin from the doughnut vault

from the Doughnut Vault. This was a nice small size which was good for me and it wasn’t too sweet. I hope you have enjoyed my blog postings about these doughnuts. I wish I could have offered a taste of each one through the blog.

Weekend Doughnuts

Monica: This weekend I decided I shouldn’t limit my doughnut search to the city but I should visit the local doughnut shops near my home. On Saturday I did my usual routine, woke up and made breakfast, my sister and I took Zoey on our usual 2-mile walk and on the way home we stopped at one of the doughnut shops.

cider doughnut
We got a cider doughnut.
Pumpkin donut
and a pumpkin doughnut. (Note the Corelle plate from the 1970’s. It is indestructible!)

These were really good and were inexpensive. I almost regret only getting 2 doughnuts. After we devoured the dougnuts I went to the gym. I have to do that in order to eat all of these doughnuts.

On Sunday I went to another bakery on my way home from yoga class.

apple pumpkin doughnut

I got an apple pumpkin dougnut

iced pumpkin donut

and an iced pumpkin doughnut.

Both very good but I liked the ones from Saturday better because they weren’t too sweet.


Inspiration…where does it come from?

I’m observant, creative, and I love to spend my free time on pretty much anything other than housekeeping.  I accumulate supplies, sometimes in mass quantities.  I have always been someone that sees, then mimics, tweaking as I create.  Sure I often follow knitting patterns to the letter but knitting isn’t the only way I create.  There’s cooking…and there’s crafting.  Lately it’s been jewelry making.

I’ve discovered O-rings at the hardware store and I love them.  I’ve made a number of O-ring bracelets as gifts and the recipients always love them.  There’s a lot to like about them.  Basically you can’t destroy them.  They are virtually indestructible as they are meant to get wet, be wet and stay wet.  I continue to explore their possibilities.

2013-05-21 15.53.38My most current inspiration comes from the mail carrier.  It’s catalog season and my mailbox brings many treasures every day.  I peruse the catalogs as eagerly as I do a new magazine.  I love the Sundance catalog.  Their merchandise buyers and stylists really have me hooked.   When I opened the catalog this afternoon I found clothes that I would love to wear, hats that I would love to knit, and jewelry I would love to create.  I am not sure where to start but I am thinking I would like a new hat.  Basically there are just a few weeks of prime crafting time ahead of me before the Christmas holiday so I need to quick it into high gear and get my gifts made.

I should have posted about my California yarn shop excursions or my trip to Meg Swansen’s knitting workshop earlier this month but I was just so excited by Monica’s seasonal pumpkin donut postings that I had to jump in today and post about what is occupying my mind.  I’ll get to the knitting next time….Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago is next weekend so I’ll do a big post after that…I promise.   That is right after I score some donuts since somehow I am completely Jonesin’ for a pumpkin or apple cider donut.

The Quest Continues

Pumpkin Donut
Monica: Yesterday I went to Dunkin Donuts and got their pumpkin doughnut. It was okay and tasted about what you’d expect for a basic 98 cent doughnut. I find their other doughnuts to be too sweet so this might be the only doughnut I’d get from them.

Today I went to Firecakes Doughnuts to see if they had a version of a pumpkin doughnut and they didn’t disappoint.

Pumpkin Pie Donut

That is a pumpkin pie doughnut. It was very moist and the icing was perfect. I also loved the glazed pecans on top.

So far I would rate this one as my favorite with the one from Do-Rite being a close second.

Pumpkin Season

Monica: Last year when my mom was sick my sister who lives in Florida visited frequently. We would always stop at Starbucks or some other coffee place and we would always get a baked item. During my fifth or sixth piece of pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffin my sister said “you really like pumpkin.” And I thought about it and said, “yes I guess I do.” Last week I was at Dunkin Donuts getting coffee and I noticed they had pumpkin doughnuts so I had to get one. It was okay but I wanted more pumpkin in it. Then I had a brilliant idea. In Chicago we have seen a lot of fancy doughnut shops open recently and unfortunately all very close to my work location. I’ve done a very good job of avoiding them for the most part but occasionally I succumb to the call of a pistachio doughnut or a chocolate doughnut made with Valrhona chocolate. So my brilliant idea involves an unofficial taste test of pumpkin doughnuts at the fancy doughnut shops. On Monday I tried out this one:

Pumpkin Chocolate donut

That is a pumpkin chocolate chip doughnut from Glazed and Infused. It was good but too sweet for me. But I liked the taste of the chocolate with the pumpkin.

Today I got this one:
Pumpkin with Cream Cheese frosting donut

It’s a Pumpkin doughnut with cream cheese frosting from Do-Rite Donuts. I love the pumpkin seeds on top. This one is sweet too but not as sweet as the other one.

So now that I’ve committed to this unofficial taste test I will have to try out a few more different places that I can find. But I will have to space it out as it’s not good for me to eat all that sugar.

It’s that time of year

Monica: I started knitting my Christmas gifts in August but it seemed that the minute I thought I would only need to make 2 gifts I immediately thought of more gifts and I ended up with a list. I started with these 2 sweaters for the same kids I knit sweaters for every year. At first I wasn’t sure I should even knit them sweaters this year as they are getting older and they probably could use more useful gifts. But I decided this would be the last year.

I did my usual Ravelry search and found an awesome pattern for a boy’s sweater.
Sweater for Will
Pattern: s23-28 Jonathan – Jumper with textured pattern and shawl collar in Nepal by DROPS design
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Tweed in gray and random acrylic yarn in black

I love the waffle stitch and trim. I’m pretty sure the 9-year-old boy will not care about those things at all.

Shawl collar
The shawl collar is supposed to have a button on it but I don’t think it needs it. I’m sure the 9-year-old boy won’t care about that either. For his sister I made a sweater/shrug.

Mi Avril sweater
Pattern: Mi Avril by Meije & August
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Sky

The top of the sweater has a subtle seed stitch which made it interesting to knit. Then I got to the stockinette stitch bottom which I thought would take forever as I had to knit so much of it. But I pushed through and got it done.

On weekend mornings we take Zoey on a long walk at an office complex across the street from us. It’s about 2 miles and there are ponds with lots of water fowl. Today I was lucky enough to get a picture of this swan family.

Swan family

If you squint and look to the left of the picture you can see a heart formed by the 2 swans at the end. Squint really hard.