Celebrate Eats

America’s Best Donut Shop

Image-1 (17)

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.

Image-1 (12)

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.

Image-1 (13)

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.

Image-1 (14)

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

Image-1 (16)

Sweet Picks

Summer Sweet Picks

Summer Sweet PIcks

Albion Clementine Peplum Tankini: I have a love hate relationship with swimsuit season. I love the idea of soaking up the sun poolside, but hate the idea of doing it in a skintight, barely there swimsuit. That’s why I fell in love with Albion Fit’s swim line and this peplum tankini in particular. The fabric is awesome, holds you in all the right places and the peplum bottom disguises those troublesome tummy spots! Perfection!
Image Source: Albion

Round Beach Towel: This cute patterned round beach towel is a summer must have! Not only is it cute, but it’s multifunctional as a beach towel, picnic blanket, regular blanket, or a mat for your tent while camping. It’s a microfiber towel which is awesome because it is super absorbent and dries quickly compared to normal beach towels that don’t seem to get you dry and stays wet all day after you towel off after your first swim. So grab one of these towels and your friends and head to the beach! And if a friend forgets to bring their towel, this one is big enough for the both of you!
Image Source: Amazon

Starbucks Cold Cup: Beat the summer heat in style with this magenta cold cup from Starbucks. I don’t know about you, but if I have a cute tumbler to carry around, I tend to drink a lot more water. This is also perfect for cold brew iced coffee or iced tea, whatever your summertime drink may be! It’s easy to clean, BPA free and only $16. 
Image Source: Starbucks

Create

Easy Summer Project: DIY Doormats!

DIY Doormat

I’m the kind of person that thinks in seasons. On Pinterest I literally have my food boards split into seasons (summer food, fall food, etc). Eating a watermelon basil salad in November just feels wrong, almost as weird as eating cozy chicken pot pie in May. Am I right?? This seasonal framework carries over into my decor, especially on my porch! You guys know what I mean…you have the winter wreath, the spring wreath, the summer wreath,etc. Now I’m kind of obsessed with having seasonal doormats as well. I’m in the process of helping my mom do a “porch makeover” (stay tuned for the big reveal next week) and we needed some fun, summery doormats! My fellow blogger and Target partner-in-crime, Ashley, found some good options, but my parent’s house is tricky and it has three front doors (yeah, three?!?) and we couldn’t find three of the same mat! But sitting next to the picked-over piles of cute mats, was a pile of plain, natural doormats and that’s when the idea struck! Let’s just paint our own! So we did some googling and figured out what we needed, thought about some designs, and went at it. We decided to do a fun watermelon theme on one set and a patriotic theme on the other set (perfect for the upcoming 4th of July holiday).

Some projects we get ourselves into seem super easy, but end up being more complicated and time consuming than we ever thought possible. This project was the opposite! It was super simple and worked out just as easy as had hoped it would. It would even be a fun project to do with kids. It also makes a great gift idea for a new home-owner or anyone that appreciates a little pizazz on their porch! Check out all the details below.

Image-1 (1)

Supplies:

  • Plain, natural doormat (you can buy them for $10 at Target, Home Depot, or Ikea)
  • Large all purpose sponge (with curved edge)
  • Painter’s tape (you know, the green or blue stuff)
  • Outdoor acrylic craft paint (2 oz bottle of each color)
  • Waterproof clearcoat/sealer (for extra protection)
  • Large all-purpose scissors (for cutting sponge)
  • Small sponge paint brush (for touch ups)
  • Fine bristle paint brush (for accents/details)
  • Paper plate (for paint)
  • Sharpie marker (to make sponge stencil)
  • Tarp or sheet (to protect floor from paint)

 

Directions for Watermelon Doormat:

  1. Lay down the tarp to cover your floor.
  2. Shake or wipe off doormat with a towel to get any dirt or dust off.
  3. Using a stencil or freehand, take the curved end of the sponge and draw a triangle coming to a point in the middle of the sponge, making the shape of a watermelon slice. Then draw the curved line about ½ inch to ¾ inch from the curved edge to make the watermelon rind.
  4. Cut out the watermelon shape using scissors. Our sponge was really thick, so we also cut the shape in half so it was easier to work with. You should have one piece cut for the watermelon slice and one piece for the rind.
  5. Pour entire 2 oz bottle of pink paint onto paper plate (don’t pour the green paint yet–it will dry out) and dip watermelon slice into the paint. Make sure there is a thick coating of paint on the sponge.
  6. Stamp the watermelon slice onto the mat and press firmly around the entire shape to ensure the paint transfers from the sponge to the mat. Repeat this process until the mat is covered with a random pattern of watermelon slices.
  7. Allow pink slices to dry about 15 to 20 minutes before stamping the green rind.
  8. Once the slices are dry, pour green paint onto a new paper plate and begin stamping the rinds on each watermelon slice. Allow to dry.
  9. Next, taking the fine bristle paintbrush and black paint, begin painting small oval-shaped seeds on each slice of watermelon. Allow to dry.
  10. Finally, spray the mat with two coats of craft clear coat/sealer (waiting 15 minutes between coats). If you use outdoor paint this isn’t necessary, but will help protect the mat even more. 

IMG_8286
IMG_8287

 

 

Directions for Patriotic Design:

  1. Shake or wipe off doormat with a towel to get any dirt or dust off.
  2. Find center of the doormat by folding in half and marking subtly with Sharpie.
  3. Starting in the center, take the painter’s tape and make a line from the center of the mat to the bottom left-hand corner. Repeat and make a similar line from the center to the right-hand corner.
  4. Press the tape firmly into the mat (I rubbed the closed paint bottle over and over the tape until it was fully adhered). This is key to ensure that you have crisp lines and your paint won’t bleed through!
  5. Continue applying the tape in the same fashion to complete the pattern shown.
  6. Gather the paint, you will need a full 2 ounce bottle for each of the three colors, red, blue, silver.
  7. Determine which sections will be which color, I did an alternating pattern of red, blue, silver, blue, red, silver.
  8. Starting with the red, pour paint onto paper plate and paint ALL the red sections. Next, pour the blue paint onto a new paper plate and paint ALL the blue sections. Lastly, pour the silver paint onto a new paper plate and paint ALL the silver sections.
  9. Allow the paint to dry for 15 to 20 min (faster if you put it in the sun) before removing the tape! It’s worth the wait…you’ll mess up your crisp lines if you don’t wait.
  10. Finally, spray the mat with two coats of craft clear coat/sealer (waiting 15 minutes between coats). If you use outdoor paint this isn’t necessary, but will help protect the mat even more.


IMG_8292

Tip: we tried it using both the sponge paint brush and a cut square of the large sponge used for the watermelon and FYI the piece of the big sponge worked way better and had better pain coverage than the sponge paintbrush.

Image-1 (10)

IMG_1036

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
Write a review
Print
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

IMG_0797

Grab yourself a cake mix and once it’s done and cooled down, grab your wooden spoon and start poking those holes!
IMG_0786

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.

IMG_0788

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

IMG_0790

Then, top the cake with cool whip.

IMG_0792

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!

IMG_0800

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Write a review
Print
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!