Homemade Classic Churros

You ever have one of those weeks where you say “geez, what a week” and then realize it’s only Tuesday?!

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That’s been my week thus far. On Saturday I effectively lost all of my credit/debit cards in between frenzied shopping excursions to get tequila from the liquor store, soil from the garden shop, and toiletries  from Target. “No biggie”, I thought, “I’ll just cancel these and get some new cards delivered. Sh*t happens.”

Sunday, the eye of the storm as it turns out, was spent making churros, drinking 5 margaritas (I can hear my mom sighing from hundreds of miles away), and screaming at my television while I watched the latest Game of Thrones episode.

Monday came around and after a pretty crazy work day I decided to meet a friend for dinner (thank God for Venmo and good friends, y’all!). After dinner I walked back to where I knew I had parked…but my car was nowhere to be found. As my eyes frantically darted around the dark parking lot, they came to rest on the words “permit parking only, all others will be towed” Cool.

So Tuesday morning, here I was. No active bank cards. My car in an impound lot. Little dignity to my name but a LOT of laughs about what a giant hot mess I was being. In the end I handled it pretty seamlessly and all before 10:30 a.m, but there were a couple of hilarious hiccups along the way. First when I realized I couldn’t order an Uber to the impound lot because I had canceled all the credit cards that were linked, so I had to call every immediate family member and see if they could do it for me. The second was when my *ahem* monthly visitor showed up as I was waiting for the Uber.

I can’t make this up. I should have a sitcom, right?

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ANYWAY. Back to these Cinco de Mayo Churros, which you can bet your life I snacked on as a coping mechanism.

They’re good. Really good. In Los Angeles we lived right next door to a place called The Churro Cafe where Mark and I would sometimes order from, so I feel like despite my not being even a little latino, I have some authority on this matter. They’re also pretty easy to make, given you have a dutch oven that you can fry things in.

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Homemade Classic Churros

ingredients:

for the churros:

1 cup water

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1 tbsp white granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup flour

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

oil for frying

for the sugar coating:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tsp cinnamon

optional for serving & garnish: 

espresso

dulce de leche

nutella

directions:

Heat oil in a dutch oven to 375 F. I use a candy thermometer to tell when the oil is at the right temperature and so I can ensure it doesn’t get too hot. Although I will say, the oil got to be about 400 during the actual frying process and the churros came out beautifully browned and the perfect consistency, so you have some wiggle room!

In a large saucepan add the water, butter, sugar, and salt. Mix and heat over medium-high until it starts to boil. Add the flour to the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Mix contents constantly with a rubber spatula so the dough comes together but doesn’t burn or stick. Try and get most all the clumps out at this stage.

Transfer this dough to a mixing bowl (preferably one for an electric mixer) and let it cool for about 5 minutes, more if necessary. It will remain a bit warm and that’s okay. You just don’t want it hot enough to scramble the egg.

Add the egg and vanilla to the dough and immediately turn on the mixer to incorporate it well.

Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (I used a round tip because my star tip was too small, and lived to tell the tale!)

Before you start frying, set up your work station. Make the sugar coating in a shallow bowl or a rimmed dish. Place a few paper towels on another plate. Get a slotted spoon ready to go.

Squeeze the churro dough out directly over the dutch oven and use clean kitchen scissors to cut the pieces off at random lengths. Fry a few churros at a time for about 3-5 minutes or until they’re golden brown on both sides and floating to the top. Use the slotted spoon to remove the churros from the oil, set them on the paper towels to remove any excess oil, and then roll them in the sugar coating. Repeat with all the dough!

Serve warm with dulce de leche or nutella. Also amazing with espresso or coffee!

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Okay, that’s it for now! Have a good week friends, hopefully yours is going a bit smoother than mine. 😉

Valentine Themed Mini Crunch Hearts & Rose Chocolate Truffles

It’s Mark’s birthday! Let’s celebrate by talking about the Valentine’s Day treats I made for him, failed to send him, and then ate all by myself.

I know. I’m a real catch. 😉

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I had every intention of sending them. I really did. But the post office was closed for two days after I made them…and also they tasted so good. I didn’t want them to go bad, you guys!

Anyway, I just had to share them. Even if it’s past Valentine’s Day. Because they’re so so easy (7 total ingredients for both candies!) and too freakin’ cute.

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My best friend often makes fun of me because my favorite chocolate bar ever is a crunch bar. I guess it’s an unpopular opinion. But last year, on Valentine’s Day, Mark showed up with a bunch of roses & a whole bag of mini crunch bars. We ate them in bed while we watched tv and drank lattes, and I’ve never felt more understood.

Since we couldn’t be together this year, I thought it would be cute to send him homemade crunch bars in the shape of hearts. As a little reminder of that sweet memory of ours! Then I decided to add in the truffles, for a little bit of variety and some festive flare.

Valentine's Day Themed Chocolates

ingredients:

17 Oreo cookies

6 oz softened cream cheese

pinch of salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon coconut oil

dried edible rose petals

1/2 cup rice cereal

directions:

for the truffles

line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper

pulse the oreos in a food processor until they are a fine powder. add in the cream cheese and a pinch of salt and mix till combined.

scoop a tablespoon of the oreo-cream-cheese batter into your hand and roll it into a perfectly round ball. place the truffle on the baking sheet. repeat with the rest of the batter.

place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the truffles to harden.

in a microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in 20 second increments. after each 20 second run, pull the bowl from the microwave and give the chocolate a good stir.

once the chocolate is completely melted with no chunks present, pull the truffles out of the fridge. dunk each truffle in the chocolate bowl, coating it entirely. use a fork to remove the truffle from the bowl and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. transfer the truffle back to the parchment paper.

once all the truffles are covered with chocolate, sprinkle the tops of with crumbled oreo cookies and flecks of rose petals. place the baking sheet back in the fridge for 1 more hour, so that the chocolate can fully harden.

for the crunch hearts

coat heart-shaped candy molds or ice trays with a little coconut oil. set aside for now.

use the leftover melted chocolate from the truffles (there’s no way you would have used it all! but if you did, just add more) and add the rice cereal. stir until all of the cereal is coated in chocolate.

carefully transfer the chocolate to the candy molds/ice trays. level off the tops using a knife.

place the chocolate molds in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

once hardened, pop the hearts out of the molds. freezing just makes them harder and easier to do this. you can store them in the fridge from here on out.

enjoy!

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Fall 2018 Bucket List

I’m sharing my 2018 fall bucket list today!

It’s a big one, because I’m pretty determined to make my first fall back in the land of seasons count! My sister comes for a weekend (I’m thinking we can cross off the fair together!), and I’ve already managed to decorate my apartment and make sweet potato soup. I tried to include a balance of things that involved actual planning and getting out of the house with things that required me to slow down and just enjoy simple moments at home. I’ve been really enjoying both during this current season of life. 🙂

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Short and sweet, people. What’s on your autumn bucket list?!