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America’s Best Donut Shop

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I love donuts. And I eat a lot of them. I’m always on the hunt for the best donut spot in every city I visit. And given that today is NATIONAL DONUT DAY, I wanted to share one of my ALL-TIME favorite donut spot with you–Holy Donut in Portland, Maine. Also, just so you know, I’m not the only one obsessed with this place. The have only been open since 2012, but have almost 900 reviews on Yelp and manage to maintain a near perfect 4.8/5 rating, Trip Advisor has over 1,200 glowing reviews.

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I found this place on a work trip to Portland as, per usual, I was searching for a great donut spot. Some people go sightseeing to get to know a city—I eat donuts. Lucky for me this place was just around the block from my hotel—SCORE. The first day I went there I restrained myself to two donuts. Little did I know that “moderate” decision would only ignite an obsession for these fantastic donuts. You see, these are not just any old donuts. These made-from-scratch donuts use real Maine potatoes as the (not-so) secret ingredient! Yes, potatoes! Who would have thought?? But I’m convinced this is what makes the donuts magical.

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Their texture is superb. They’re not quite a cake donuts, but not quite a yeast donuts either. It’s a perfect mix of the two. It’s like a loaf of potato bread and a pound cake got together and had a donut baby. It’s soft and moist with a perfect density that is enough to fill you up, but not weigh you down.  I’m a sucker for a maple-bacon donut and these guys hit it out of the park. The sweetness of the dough was not over done and was accented perfectly by a thick maple glaze, studded with small splashes of bacon.  It was wow. The triple berry donut had a bright and flavorful glaze made with real berries that was perfectly sweet, perfectly tart, and equally addicting. But we can’t overlook the simplistic supremacy of the sweet potato donut. Like its fellow donut friends, the sweet potato donut had a perfect moist, dense, but not heavy texture. The simple sweetness of the sweet potato was accented by a subtle cinnamon-spice undertone that made this baby absolutely delicious. Oh yeah, and then they topped it with a sweet glaze–YUM. every bite was filled with culinary satisfaction. And then there’s the dark chocolate sea salt donut…this one was my very favorite. I don’t even think I got a good picture of it because I inhaled it SO FAST. I mean, I don’t have to tell you about the beautiful combination that is dark chocolate and sea salt, but just imagine all of that awesomeness in a donut. The bitterness of the dark chocolate is a perfect balance to the sweetness of the dough and each bite is punched with a hint of sea salt. The salt really ties all the flavors together in medley of sweet and savory. It’s a hands down winner in my book.

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Not only do these donuts taste awesome, but they use fresh, local ingredients in their recipes. In addition to plenty of fresh Maine potatoes, they include the highest quality dark cocoa powder and 60% dark chocolate chips in all chocolate donuts and glazes, and only color their donut glazes with fruit juices or vegetable dyes–no fake colors. And all of the donuts are still hand cut!

Oh these donuts, I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that if you EVER find yourself in Portland MAINE, you’ve GOT to try these donuts. And if you ever see a donut made from potato dough anywhere else, you should probably get three. Potato donuts are LEGIT.

There are two locations in Portland (but do not worry…THIS IS NOT A CHAIN. You people know how I feel about chain restaurants…)

Holy Donut
7 Exchange St
Portland, ME 04101

Holy Donut
194 Park Ave
Portland, ME 04102

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Eats

Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle

Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle

Even though we had a winter day in May here in Utah, it’s starting to feel like summer. And that means BBQ grillin’ time and summer foods! These Caprese salad skewers are perfect bites of freshness and assembly is as easy as 1…2…3!

  1. Basil
  2. Mozzarella ball
  3. Tomato

Made with fresh mini mozzarella balls, skewered with tender basil leaves and juicy tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Tip: You can use a plain balsamic vinegar or try our secret ingredient–pomegranate balsamic vinegar from a local Ogden restaurant called Hearth on 25th! You can also find it online here

This stuff is delicious! This simple appetizer will have people coming back for more and I know they won’t be able to eat just one!

Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle
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Ingredients
  1. Fresh mini mozzarella balls
  2. Cherry or grape tomatoes
  3. Fresh basil leaves, cut if large
  4. Balsamic vinegar or our favorite pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  5. Toothpicks or bamboo skewers
Instructions
  1. Drain mozzarella balls.
  2. Wash and dry tomatoes and basil leaves.
  3. Cut basil leaves if too large.
  4. Assemble skewers--basil, mozzarella ball, and then tomato.
  5. Plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Tip: If you would like to make the balsamic into a glaze here are the instructions.
  2. 1.Over high heat, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Lower heat to medium and simmer for about ten minutes, or until it has slightly thickened.
  3. 2.Remove from heat and let cool.
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/

 

Eats

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

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Grab yourself a cake mix and once it’s done and cooled down, grab your wooden spoon and start poking those holes!
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Next, whip up your banana pudding and pour it all over the cake and spread evenly making sure to get it into all of the holes.

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Then slice your bananas and layer them on top of the pudding in a single layer.

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Then, top the cake with cool whip.

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Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible. It taste so much better the next day! Right before serving sprinkle crushed Nilla Wafers on top. Garnish with banana slices and a whole Nilla Wafer and ENJOY!

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box yellow cake mix
  2. ingredients to make the cake: eggs, oil, water
  3. 2 (3.4 oz) packages of instant banana pudding
  4. 4 cups milk
  5. 1 (8 oz) tub of Cool Whip
  6. 20 Nilla Wafers, crushed
  7. 3-4 bananas
Instructions
  1. Prepare cake mix according to package for 9x13 pan.
  2. Once cake is done and comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Then, with a wooden spoon poke holes in the cake making sure the holes are big enough for the pudding to get down into the cake.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the pudding and the milk until smooth and begins to thicken.
  5. Pour pudding all over the cake and getting it into the holes. Using the back of a spoon or an off set spatula, spread the pudding out and gently pressing pudding into the holes.
  6. Slice bananas and top cake with a single layer of bananas.
  7. Top with cool whip and place in fridge for at least 1-2 hours before serving.
  8. Crush Nilla Wafers and sprinkle on top before serving.
  9. Garnish with banana slices and whole Nilla Wafers.
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/
Do you know a banana lover? Or maybe it’s you? Either way, you or the banana lover in your life are going to go bananas over this banana pudding poke cake! Not only is it yummy, it’s super easy and simple to make, and you can make it ahead of time. And when I say super easy, I mean it. All you need is a box cake, pudding, bananas, Cool Whip, and Nilla Wafers!

Eats

Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes

Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes sweetlemonmade.com

I first fell in love with bacon pancakes when I was living in Dallas. Dallas has some amazing food, especially brunch, and one of my favorite spots, home to the most delicious bacon pancakes ever, was a place called “Breadwinners.”  Everytime we went there someone had to get the bacon pancakes and there may have been a time or two where we couldn’t decide so we ordered  them “for the table.”  Now, if you’re the kind of person that orders an extra entree for the table so that you can be sure to try all the awesomeness on the menu, we should be friends. If you’re confused by that concept then you should probably just skip to the recipe portion of this post because I’m about to go on and on about my deep love for complex flavors and that would probably just bore you. 😉

Back to the pancakes, so years later while perusing the website of one of my favorites, Joy the Baker, I found this recipe for PEANUT BUTTER and BACON pancakes. Hold the phone! Peanut butter and bacon are one of my favorite flavor combinations, and she put them together in a pancake and topped it with maple syrup??! Be still my soul. Heavenly. This is what I’m talking about–complex flavors! The savory saltiness of the bacon is enhanced by the creaminess of the peanut butter and then rounded out by the sweetness of the maple syrup. Oh, it’s amazing. Then I got even crazier and added some bananas. Because who doesn’t love bananas and peanut butter? The bananas added a freshness to the rich combination and really sealed the deal. You’ve gotta try these! They are pretty straightforward, don’t require crazy ingredients, and can be whipped up easily on a Sunday morning. So go get that bacon out of the fridge and get cooking!

peanut butter pancakes sweetlemonmade.com
Bacon Maple Syrup sweetlemonmade.com

Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. PANCAKES
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  4. 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
  5. 1 cup buttermilk
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 5 slices crisp bacon, cooled and cut into small pieces
  13. butter or oil for cooking pancakes
  14. BACON MAPLE SYRUP
  15. 5 pieces of bacon
  16. 1 cup real maple syrup
Instructions
  1. PANCAKES
  2. In a medium bowl beat together eggs, butter, peanut butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in bacon pieces and let batter set for a few minutes.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add a teaspoon of oil or butter to the pan, or spray with cooking spray.
  4. Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.
  5. BACON MAPLE SYRUP
  6. Cook bacon until crisp.Drain on plate with paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings for syrup.
  7. Crumble or chop bacon to small pieces and place in small saucepan. Add maple syrup and bacon drippings.
  8. Bring to a quick boil and then simmer on low for 5-10 minutes so the bacon and maple flavors can meld together. Then you're ready to jazz up your pancakes.
  9. PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE
  10. melt 3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave for 10 second increments until smooth and creamy.
  11. Drizzle on top of pancakes and bacon syrup.
  12. Lastly, if you're feeling crazy, slice a banana and place a few slice atop the pancake.
Notes
  1. Make a note for the buttermilk… “If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for a few minutes and then add to the mix in place of buttermilk.
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/

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Eats

Grasshopper Mint Cookies

Grasshopper Mint Cookies sweetlemonmade.com

These grasshopper mint cookies are chocolatey, minty, soft and chewy, and taste just like a Girl Scout thin mint. Have I caught your attention yet?!? I hear thin mint and I’m sold! 😀 And the other great thing about these cookies are that they are cake cookies which means they are super soft.

It’s Girl Scout season now but, once it ends and you get a craving for those thin mints, you won’t have to wait until the next year! Just whip up a batch of these in the meantime to satisfy your craving.

The one thing that is a bit tedious with this recipe is having to unwrap each mint. If they sold them in bulk without wrappers. It would make things so much easier but it’s worth it for the flavor it adds to the cookies and the presentation. I’m all about presentation!

Thin Mints sweetlemonmade.com

Be sure to pin this recipe to your Pinterest board to have on hand. Your family, friends, and coworkers will love you if you make them a batch when they are craving or can’t get their hands on some Girl Scout cookies!

Grasshopper Mint Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. COOKIES
  2. 1 box Devil's Food Cake
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  7. FROSTING
  8. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  10. 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  11. green food dye
  12. Milk, if needed
  13. CHOCOLATE GLAZE
  14. 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  15. 4 tablespoons butter
  16. Andes Mints, roughly chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. Chill dough for 30 minutes (I prefer to but not a must).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Melt butter and let cool so that you don't cook your eggs when mixing together.
  4. Combine cake mix, eggs, cooled melted butter, vanilla and sugar. *Note: the batter will be stiff, so don't be worried.
  5. Make dough balls a little larger than a tablespoon and place on cookie sheets to bake.
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes and let cool on cooling racks.
  7. While the cookies are baking, unwrap Andes mints and roughly chop them.
  8. TO MAKE THE MINT FROSTING: Beat butter for 2 minutes. Add peppermint extract and slowly add in the powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add 1-2 tablespoons milk if it gets too thick. Add green dye for color (I used about 8-9 drops).
  9. FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir, then microwave in 10 second increments and stir until smooth.
  10. Pipe on frosting, flatten frosting and make a slight indent in the middle with a knife or off set spatula if needed for the chocolate glaze, spoon on your glaze, and top with Andes mints.
Sweet Lemon Made http://sweetlemonmade.com/
Grasshopper Cookies sweetlemonmade.com