House Ramblings

This weekend, we are finally going to decide, once and for all, whether or not to buy the house we've been waffling over.

I think we will buy it.

No, we really shouldn't.

But maybe we should.

It's going to be a loooong weekend! Really, my great fear is that we might lose a bunch of money selling our current house, even though we've completely remodeled it with high-end upgrades. Not that knowing that makes the decision any easier!

Have a great Easter, everyone!

Baked Lemon Ricotta Donuts Recipe

Raise your hand if you've ever found yourself focused on something online, only to get completely sidetracked by some unrelated search result.

My hands are waaaay up in the air. When you drop your Las Vegas getaway research to spontaneously bake, all because you saw Lemon Ricotta Filled Donuts featured on a celebrity chef restaurants in Vegas menu, you have to raise both hands.

Easily distracted, I may not be visiting chef Mario Batali's Las Vegas restaurant, Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, anytime soon. I can at least enjoy his Lemon Ricotta Donuts though!

The best thing about this copycat recipe is that my Lemon Ricotta Filled Donuts are baked, not fried, so you won't end up looking like the chef.

Okay, *technically* these are muffins. Think of them as the most donut-like muffins around. Feel free to deep fry the batter instead of baking it. As for us, Sexy Nerd and I have been hitting up Happy Hour a bit too often for that. I choose fried artichoke hearts, fried duck eggrolls, fried gouda tots, and fried buffalo chicken tenders over donuts, at least today. All my favorite Happy Hour examples sound fattening, but they're served at 1/2 price, so they don't really count.

The craft beer might count a little.

Now, let's cook!

Baked Lemon Ricotta Donuts
Makes 21
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/8C olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/8C applesauce
  • 1/3C vanilla sugar (easy to make and perfect for baking - just blend 4 cups of sugar with 1 whole vanilla pod in your food processor or high-power blender, like a Vitamix)
  • 1/3C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1C milk (I used 2%)

  • 2 1/3C all purpose flour
  • 1/3C wheat germ
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon sugar 
  • 1/4C lemon curd (which you can quickly and easily make yourself)
  • 1/4C ricotta
Preheat oven to 425F. Grease your largest muffin/cupcake/popover pan (I baked 1/2 the recipe in a popover pan and the other 1/2 in a muffin pan. Both tasted the same, but the donuts baked in the popover pan looked nicer).

Mix the first 7 ingredients (butter, oil, applesauce, sugars, eggs, and milk).

Homemade vanilla sugar - a baker's best friend!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, baking powder and soda, and salt).

 

Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter should be thick. Do not overmix.


Fill each muffin/popover cup about 1/2 full. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 8 minutes.


While waiting, fold your lemon curd into your ricotta.


Next, remove your partially cooked (8 minutes in) donuts and poke a hole in the top of each with a butter knife. Spoon your lemon ricotta mixture into each hole, leaving a generous dollop on top of each donut. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Ta da!


These are best served warm (not hot - I have the scalded tongue to prove it!)

Now, to resume my Las Vegas vacation planning. I'll have to include a stop at Carnevino to see how my Lemon Ricotta Donuts compare to the real thing.

Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Happy weekend, everyone!

(FINALLY!!!)

Are allergies bad in the rest of the country? Here in Albuquerque, everyone is in a medication-induced fog. Darn you, juniper.

That's enough complaining though. I'm looking forward to seeing all the great links this weekend! And now...


Adult Bullies

I'm writing this during my lunch break, feeling sad.

When you make a phone call, if you're the type of person who is mean to the stranger on the other end, you're an adult bully. I tried to help you schedule your 3 year old for a filling. I want your children to be our patients and am happy to hear that their current dentist recommended us. I can even get you in this week. Yes, you do need to set up a consultation appointment. No, it is not free, but most insurances do cover it. You can threaten me and say you're going to speak directly to my boss, but if you refuse to give me your insurance information, how am I supposed to get an estimate for you? I understand that you called me while you are driving. I understand that you have triplets. At your insistence, I called your other dentist to find out the details of your insurance. As expected, they would not provide me with your information. I called you back at the number you told me. The recording said your mailbox is full. You called back and threatened again to take your child somewhere else and to complain about me to everyone you know. I don't know how else to help you.

When you have a bill to pay, if you're the type of person who stops by unannounced so that you can yell at and try to intimidate the girl at the front desk, you're an adult bully. I have already told you everything I know. Your insurance did not pay 100%. Many insurance plans do pay 100% for check-ups. Yours does not. I understand that the person you spoke to at the insurance company told you they would pay 100%. I do not work for your insurance company and I do not know why they gave you that incorrect information. The Explanation of Benefits we received from your insurance company, which you should also have received, shows that they paid 80%, not 100%. I don't understand why this is such surprising news to you. Your insurance paid the exact same way, 80% instead of 100%, the last time your child saw us. Most people resolve their balance over the phone or through the mail. Are you going to stop by and try to make me feel terrible after every check-up, when your insurance will surely pay 80% instead of 100% again? People tell me every day that they appreciate my help. I go out of my way to make sure everyone is happy. You don't care though, do you? At least you had the decency to lower your tone and leave when you noticed that I was shaking slightly. I think most women would do the same in my situation, with an angry man twice my size and age towering over me, here at the office alone on the dentist's day off. I wish I had locked the door.

I've been at work a little more than 3 hours. It has been quite the day.

Blog Hop: Link Up with LambAround

Welcome, my bloggy friends, to another Not "Baaad" Sundays Linky Party! After you've linked up, check out Chandler Dances On Things. Has that site been around for a while? How am I just now seeing it??

Not "Baaad" Sundays - How to Play:

1. This Linky is open to all posts that you are proud of. Did you recently post about a great decorating project, craft, or recipe? That's wonderful if you did, but just fine if you didn't. I just want you to link to a post or posts you are proud of.

2. Do you ever find yourself trying not to duplicate posts on blog hops but aren't quite sure what you posted the previous weeks? Problem solved! The Linky from today will return next week, making it easy to see what you posted last time (and giving you a 2nd chance to visit any great posts you may have missed!)

Doesn't this sound like fun? Of couse, I do ask that you link directly to your post and include a photo from that post, not just your blog logo. And if you could post my Not "Baaad" Sundays button or at least a link with your post, I'll love you forever! I know I can count on you to get the word out and help make Not "Baaad" Sundays a success!



See you next Sunday!

My Mini Maniac

Sexy Nerd's dream since before we even met has been to own a Mini Cooper.

Yeah...that was news to me too!

Clearly, jealousy has been eating away at Sexy Nerd ever since I got my 2013 Chevy Volt. Poor guy.

I personally have never understood the Mini Cooper appeal. In fact, I tried to sway Sexy Nerd's choice from a used Mini Cooper S Hardtop to a Scion iQ while we were negotiating a deal at the Toyota dealership. It was brand-new, got much better gas mileage, and cost less than the used car he wanted. It even looked just as goofy! I don't get it.

He sure loves his new (to him, at least) car though.

mini cooper sunroof
"Did the Scion have a sunroof?" smart-alec Sexy Nerd just asked me, knowing full well that it did not.


funny mini cooper story
He loved the Mini Cooper even more after removing the stinky air fresheners hidden inside every vent.

mini cooper photos
At first, Sexy Nerd had his heart set on British Racing Green, but he came around on this color after deciding that it complements his hat.

British Racing Green...we totally ended up with this car because Sexy Nerd is a fan of all things racing, didn't we? 

mini cooper door handle decals
I guess this answers my question.

photos of our new mini cooper s

More Mini Cooper posts:

Learning to Drive at 29

A Mini Nightmare (Sexy Nerd, the mechanical engineer, was able to fix everything. Whew!)

Good Deed Gone Awry

Linky Party! It's time for a Blog Hop


Sexy Nerd has been looking forward to today. He has the day off and his plan was to "walk off into the mountains with Pica". I'm fairly certain he meant he was taking her hiking, not ditching me and Biscuit forever, but either way, the weather today is lousy.

And the allergens! Oh, it's awful here in Albuquerque.

AH-CHOO!

At least Sexy Nerd had the day off. I'm typing this from my computer at work.

It's my lunch break. Really truly!

And now...

Lemon Lime & Bitters Recipe

This was my go-to drink while Sexy Nerd and I were visiting my family in Australia. Interestingly, we were told this drink is often served to children because the alcohol content is fairly low.

I really can't imagine that going over well in the US!

lemon lime and bitters

Why isn't Lemon Lime & Bitters popular here? It's so good!

Same question of Vegemite and Violet Crumble bars, while we're at it.

drink recipes
Me with my mum's cousin - we're like twins!

australian drinks

While I may not be able to recreate my beloved Vegemite (though I've seen a few disastrously messy blog posts where people have tried), making Lemon Lime & Bitters is easy peasy, lemon (lime and bitters) squeezy.

See what I did there? Yeah, I'm pretty impressed with myself.

alcoholic drink recipe

 alcohol and 7-up

Lemon Lime & Bitters
Recipe for 1 drink (8oz)

Add the following ingredients, in order, to a glass:
  • Ice 
  • 6-8 drops of Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 15 mL Sweetened Lime Juice (not really the same thing as simply squeezing fresh lime juice into your drink, but that would work if it's all you have)
  • Sprite or 7-Up to the top of the glass (I've also made this with Ginger Ale. It's good, but not as good.)
recipe with liquor and sprite
 One for you and one for me.

cocktail recipe from australia
 Cheers, mate!

Linky Alert! BLOG HOP with LambAround

No new (old) house yet.

Hmmm...what to do? WHAT TO DO???

On one hand, our current house is perfect, except for the neighborhood.

On the other hand, the prospective house is awful, except for the neighborhood.

(In other words, I would appreciate some advice from my genius blog readers!)


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