Tuesday, October 5, 2010

LOTS of Fun Feeding Others

Our local homeless shelter provides lunch to approximately 50 people everyday.  Lunch on Tuesdays (LOTS) is a special service program at Ava's school, in which the students are asked to bring in an extra brown-bagged lunch from home to help feed the neighbors at the shelter.

Ava is really happy to participate.  She was very excited to show me the picture she made on the paper bag she was given by her teacher to decorate, and delighted in telling me how she and one of her friends asked the teacher to write the exact same thing on their lunch bags... "I hope you like your lunch." 

In order to support her enthusiasm, I suggested we make a special trip to to the grocery store so she could personally choose the items that would fill the lunch bag she so happily made. She was absolutely delighted with my suggestion, and after much consideration, chose a nectarine from produce, a small bag of mini-pretzels from the chip aisle and two big bulky round rolls to hold the roast beef and Swiss that she selected at the deli counter. 

It was also very important to her that she help prepare the sandwiches this morning, as well as pack them, along with all of the other items in the bag herself.  She even decided to share one of her mini Hershey's chocolate bars.

I could tell that she really enjoyed the whole process, from choosing the lunch she'd give to preparing and packing the lunch herself, and I enjoyed it as well.  My little Kindergartner's enthusiasm was contagious and it filled my heart with joy. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Deceptively Delicious Doughnuts

The kids and I baked Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious doughnuts this morning for breakfast.  They were delicious!  Here is the recipe for you to try too. 

I did a couple of things differently though.  The recipe calls for you to coat the doughnut mold with non-stick cooking spray but in my experience, and from what I've read, you're not supposed to use non-stick spray on non-stick pans because it ruins the properties of the pan.  I've always found that the non-stick spray leaves a really sticky residue on pans that's very difficult to get off and it just doesn't work as well as butter.  You can use light butter though, as I did this morning. 

Also, the recipe calls for you to cook the doughnuts for 20-25 minutes, however, when using mini-doughnut or mini-muffin pans, they take only 10 minutes to bake.

Butter or light butter for greasing pan
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg white
1 Tablespoon trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread (I used Country Crock)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Here's what you do
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat mini-doughnut mold or mini-muffin tins with butter.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, pumpkin and sweet potato purees, milk, egg white, margarine and vanilla. 

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and mix until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into a gallon-sized plastic bag and cut the bottom tip off of one side of the bag.  Use a pastry bag if you have one.  Then, squeeze the batter into the doughnut or mini-muffin mold. 

Bake until the tops are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean when inserted, about 10 minutes.  Turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool. Coat with confectioner's sugar when cool.