How to Make Beignets

imageNew Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit. As a kid, my family and I traveled from Texas to New Orleans about 2-3 times a year. My favorite place was always Cafe Du Monde for hot beignets and coffee. Beignets are a french donut, powdered with sugar and served hot. They taste a little like traditional fried dough but better.

I love to make them on the weekends and my kids love eating them. They’re pretty easy to make, especially if you use the box mix that is sold by Cafe du Monde. So here is how to get the yummy taste of New Orleans without having to actually travel there.

imageThis box mixed is sold in most grocery stores. I’ve been able to find it in New York. It is generally sold in the ethnic food section where they have boxed and canned cajun foods. There are other beignet boxed mixes that you can use but this is the best.

It is 7oz of water to every 2 cups of mix. I throw it in my mixer with the dough hook just until lightly sticky. Then I sprinkle the counter with flour and start rolling it out. Sprinkling a little flour on your flattened dough before rolling helps the roller not stick.

imageYou score it with a knife into squares and rectangles.

imageIt does not have to look perfect. Beignets are all perfectly imperfect.

imageHeat your oil until you see it churning in the pot, usually on med-high for 10 minutes before the first batch. Drop them in. They will sink and then rise within 6-10 seconds to the top. Baste them with oil until they bubble up and flip them over. Each batch should only take a couple of minutes until golden color.

imageRemove from oil onto a tray lined with paper towels to soak up any oil and then immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can see a pink polka dot dresses little girl loaming in the background of this photo patiently waiting to eat some! lol

imageServe hot and enjoy!

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Recipe: Italian Naan Bread Pizzas

imageI make homemade pizza once a week and everyone loves it. But it is exhausting making my own dough and standing in front of a 485 degree oven, so these pizzas are my easy fix at something my family will love and I can make in minutes.

You start with a package of Naan bread. I buy mine at Wegmans in the family pack. I lay out a piece of tin foil just to make cleanup easier. So here’s what you’ll need:

Naan Bread

Fresh Buffalo Mozzerella

Fresh Basil

Bruschetta (or you can make your own)

Artichokes

Fresh Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Simply spread your bruschetta topping over the Naan bread. I use a mix that is already made up on the olive bar at my grocery store but you could make your own. It’s just chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Then slice up your fresh buffalo mozzarella and lay it on. Top with fresh garlic and artichoke and scatter your fresh basil. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. When it comes out do a swirl of balsamic vinegar reduction and serve. Enjoy!