Cherry Bomb Donut Holes

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Was this really only a 4 day work week?

I am exhausted.  The second week curse.  When school starts up the first week is sometimes way to ease into our work, and you still feel invigorated at the end. You may even feel really productive and ready to take on lots of work.

Then the dreaded second week comes and you start counting down the weeks until Thanksgiving.  And then you get irritated by the fact that Thanksgiving is occurring later than usual this year.

Things are stressful but good this semester.  I am finally getting in the swing of starting to see clients, and teaching is going better.  At the end of the first week I was ready to stop (prepping is a huge time suck), but this week I was kind of reminded why I love the subject of psychology so much.  I kind of got into a groove of how to give a lecture.  But I still cannot get students to laugh at my jokes- I just look to a sea of blank faces.  Their blank faces in turn make me act goofier, which leads to more blank faces.

Next week I plan to help them make a brain out of playdoh (playdough?), which apparently is an activity students love.  Give a college student playdoh, and they’ll love class.  So many colors of playdoh, so many parts of the brain!  I will let you know how that goes given that my knowledge about the brain construction ain’t super extensive.

But that’s next week.  It is now the weekend- hallelujah! So what should one do when they are feeling a little stressed by work?  Deep fry something.  It all began with my Chorizo Chimichangas and has now proceeded to donut holes.

I made these donut holes last weekend, but I definitely feel like they would be an appropriate way to celebrate surviving the second week of this semester.  They are absolutely amazing.  I was inspired by Gourdough’s, a food truck in Austin whose specialty is donuts.  I ate there a year ago, but those donuts have stayed with me. An important, formative memory in my life.

Donut holes are great because a) they are bite sized, so you can eat more, b) better outside crispiness to inside ratio, c)  you can load them up with lots of topping.  This particular toppings for this recipe are like cherry pie and cake all in one.  You get a sweet Greek yogurt sauce (because we are trying to be healthy right?), cherry filling, and cake batter AKA crack all on top of sweet donut holes. Yummm.

A helpful hint:  If you make them the donut holes a little larger, you get cooked donut outer layer and an inside molten cake batter layer inside.  Heaven is risking salmonella.

This donut holes are worth of a Meg Ryan faked orgasm.  Yes. Yes!  YES!

CHERRY BOMB DONUT HOLES
From Cinnamon Freud
Inspired by Gourdough’s

INGREDIENTS

For the Donut Holes:
1 1/3-1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Toppings:
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup cherries in syrup
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
3-4 tablespoons cake mix

DIRECTIONS

For the Toppings:

Mix together Greek yogurt, sugar, and milk in a small bowl.  Start with 1 tablespoon of milk and add more to adjust your preferred thinness.  Chill until ready to use.

Place cherries (with syrup) in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer and mix in cornstarch mixture.  Cook until thickened, about 1-3 minutes.  Keep warm.

For the Donut Holes:

Fill a pot or pan with approximately 2 inches of oil.  Heat to 375°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.  Beat in egg, milk, and melted butter.  Stir together until just combined.  Take approximately 1-2 heaping tablespoons of dough and roll into a small ball.

Working a few donut holes at a time, fry in oil, about 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Top donut holes with sweet yogurt sauce and cherry syrup.  Sprinkle bake batter mix on top.

Serves 1-2

Shawarma Meatball Wrap with Pickled Cherries

We may have not just saved the world from an alien invasion, but hey, we all deserve some shawarma, right?* This wrap takes wonderful Middle Eastern flavors, puts them in a meatball, and wraps them all up in a pita.
Shawarma is a mass of meat (chicken, beef, pork, goat) that is flavored with warm, Middle Eastern spices and cooked over a fire spit.  It is then shaved into thin slices and devoured with tahini, a yogurt sauce, or hummus.  I was inspired when I saw someone take this dish and turn it into a meatball.  I love a good Italian meatball sub with cheese and tomato sauce, so I figured I would also love a wrap with  meatballs and yogurt sauce.  And I was right. And I am figuring you all will love this too.

I topped my meatball wraps with caramelized onions and some pickled cherries.  I have always wanted to experiment with pickling, and remembering an old episode of The Chew where Michael Symon explained how to pickle, I felt inspired.  I thought some juicy, sweet, and slightly vinegary cherries would compliment the flavor of the shawarma well.  Some pickled peaches or nectarines would also work well in this wrap- it’s a perfect time to take an opportunity to enjoy your summer fruits in a new way if you are new to pickling like me!

(* I consider this vague enough not to be a spoiler, and besides I feel like everyone and their brother have seen this movie already… right?  Or am I a bad person ruining movies when you just wanted to hear about food?)

SHAWARMA MEATBALL WRAP WITH PICKLED CHERRIES
Shawarma Meatballs Adapted from Cara’s Cravings
Pickled Cherries Adapted Slightly from Michael Symon
INGREDIENTS
For the Pickled Cherries:
20 cherries
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cinnamon stickFor the Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt

For the Meatballs:
1 pound ground lamb (beef or turkey)
1/4 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Pinch of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons bread crumbs

For Serving:
3-4 pitas
Caramelized onions
Goat cheese

DIRECTIONS

For the Pickled Cherries:

Prick each cherry several times with a fork and place in a glass jar.

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, orange zest, and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Pour over cherries, until they are completely covered. Cool completely at room temperature. Chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

For the Yogurt Sauce:

In a small bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt, garlic, cumin, and salt. Chill for at least 30 minutes until ready to use.

For the Meatballs:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl combine ground lamb, red onion, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Stir together until just combined. Coat a baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Working with about 1 tablespoon a mixture at a time, form into small meatballs. Place meatballs on baking sheet. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until cooked through.

For Serving:

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Warm pitas,about 1-2 minutes per side. Spread yogurt sauce on pita bread. Stuff with meatballs and top with chopped pickled cherries, caramelized onions, and goat cheese if desired.

Serves 3-4.