November Donut o the Month

As one who thrives on the adrenaline rush of working until the very last minute, I prefer the role of hostess in the production of Thanksgiving. This year, however, I feel like more of an understudy to an understudy. I’m not sure which part I’ll be playing, where I’ll be performing or what I’ll be eating. I’ve been in such a frenzy of projects, Thanksgiving had been hiding in the shadows of deadlines and it very quickly snuck up on me. Despite my lack of plans, I couldn’t let the Donut o’ the Month series pass November without a nod to the month’s star holiday.

Cranberry Donuts 01

In brainstorming a November donut, my imagination painted an ideal portrait of me as a Thanksgiving hostess. Imaginary Quelcy had already planned and purchased the groceries, safely avoiding the point when riots erupt over the last bag of rolls. On Thanksgiving Eve, she set the table, fussing over each detail until it was just right. She had dough rising and desserts lining the kitchen table. She stocked the refrigerator with prepped dishes, so everything was ready for the oven on Thanksgiving day.

Cranberry Donuts 05

Come Thanksgiving morning, calm, cool, collected Quelcy would wake up, walk little Julep, and bask in the lingering fall colors. Returning to her fragrant kitchen, she would brew plenty of coffee, eat a donut and have a moment — a delicious, tranquil, Thanksgiving moment.

Cranberry Donuts 02

This ideal Quelcy is a long shot indeed. However, I am aiming to have a few calm mornings with delicious moments — this November donut to the rescue! This recipe draws inspiration from Thanksgiving’s cranberry sauce tradition, fall herb accents, mugs of hot cider, and the shot of whiskey you need when dad digresses into politics at the dinner table.

Happy November!

Whole Wheat Cranberry Cake Donuts with Whiskey Cider Glaze

makes about 12-15 standard sized donuts

  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest (~2 lemons)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (organic/cage-free)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (8 Tbs) organic, unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • Organic Non-GMO Safflower Oil for frying (about 1 quart)

Cider Whiskey Glaze

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, salt, lemon zest and sage, whisking to combine. In another bowl, combine egg, milk and vanilla extract, mixing together. Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, quickly stirring to disperse the butter and form small crumbs. Stir in milk and egg mixture, bring the dough together with a spoon. Before the dough comes completely together, add in cranberries, mashing some as you stir, and bring dough together with your hands. Form dough into a large ball, then roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut donuts using a biscuit cutter. Use a smaller cutter to create the donut hole. Repeat with dough scraps until all the dough is used. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer, bringing it to 375 degrees. Fry donuts 1-2 at a time, frying for about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. After your first donut, check it by cutting into the center and making sure the dough is cooked through. Finish remaining donuts, transferring to a cooling rack as you work. Once all the donuts are made, make the glaze.

For the Glaze
Whisk ingredients together until a smooth glaze forms. If the glaze is too thin, add sugar a few tablespoons at a time, while whisking. if the glaze is too thick, add more water by one very small drop at a time, whisking constantly. Dip donuts in the glaze and set aside for the glaze to harden slightly. Note: You may need to make a second batch depending on the size of your donuts and your glaze preferences.

Serve tranquilly with a mug of coffee and enjoy thoroughly!

photography & recipe by With The Grains for Jojotastic

portrait of a cocktail // Spiced Apple Old Fashioned recipe

The cocktail itself is a very American thing, we invented the tasty libation after all! And what could be more American than cocktails? Apples, of course! Apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider… just to name a few of our favorite apple-laden treats. We decided to jazz up the classic Old Fashioned with the addition of Fall’s bountiful fruit.

Whiskey is gaining popularity in the past few years with both men and women (you go, ladies) and for good reason! No longer is whiskey a thing your dad sipped in the lounge in his smoking jacket. Anyone? Ok, your dad may not have done this, but whiskey has always been something that has been viewed as a “guys” drink. Most only ever experience whiskey ordering a whiskey sour at the bar, no wonder people swear off the brown booze! Luckily women have been catching on to what has been kept a secret for some time now: whiskey is totally versatile and it’s damn tasty. Put down that sickly sweet-n-sour mix and start taking notes!

portrait of a cocktail // Spiced Apple Old Fashioned recipe

Spiced Apple Old Fashioned

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz apple syrup (recipe below)
  • few dashes cinnamon bitters
  • 1 squeeze lemon
  • apple chip


Pour apple syrup in bottom of an Old Fashioned Glass. Add a few dashes of bitters and mix with the syrup. Pour in 2 oz bourbon. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish the glass with an apple chip.

Apple Spiced Syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup fresh apple juice

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

a few dashes of clove


Bring brown sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Take the pan off the heat and add remaining ingredients to the pan. Let the syrup cool. Keep cool in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

portrait of a cocktail // Spiced Apple Old Fashioned recipeThe Old Fashioned as the name hints is, well, old-fashioned. In fact, it’s the oldest drink in the book. The precursor to the fancy cocktail, its recipe is simple: sugar, whiskey, bitters. Done. There are many variations, however, for this traditional drink and is left up to one’s preference. Personally, I like mine with a muddled orange and orange peel rubbed around the edge to release the fragrant oils. No cherry, unless it’s a brandied cherry, then we’re talking!

The Old Fashioned can be made with Bourbon or Rye whiskey. Bourbon is sweeter while Rye has a more intense flavor. We are using Bourbon here to meld with the sweet and tart juices of the crisp apple. Speaking of crisp, switch out a citrus peel with a crunchy apple chip for a garnish. You’ll have a snack after sipping on what is sure to be the perfect Fall drink!

portrait of a cocktail // Spiced Apple Old Fashioned recipeportrait of a cocktail // Spiced Apple Old Fashioned recipeHappy imbibing!

Photography by Ashley Batz


In wintertime, with my busy schedule, I need a hearty “stick to your ribs” breakfast. As a kid, my grandma would make batches and batches of her signature oatmeal every time I visited her. She kept her recipe simple and magical, always with a dusting of cinnamon on the top. To add a twist to this traditional treat, I like to make fancy oatmeal with just a few special toppings.

spiced apple oatmeal recipe - a great 'stick to your ribs' kind of breakfastThere are 3 recipes to check out: spiced apple oatmeal, pumpkin pie oatmeal, and baked berry oatmeal.

Head over to Ziploc to see more!

pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe - a great 'stick to your ribs' kind of breakfastphotography by Nathan Michael

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc. All opinions are my own and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

Marshmallow cereal snacks are one of the simplest, but most delicious, desserts. By combining 3 ingredients (marshmallows, butter, and rice cereal), you suddenly have the perfect base for all kinds of yummy variations. It’s like magic! I usually add a few special ingredients to mine to make them look fancy and taste gourmet.

RECIPE // fancy marshmallow cereal snacks #ziploc #holidaycollectionThere are 3 recipes to check out: sea salt + caramel marshmallow cereal snacks, pumpkin spice + vanilla marshmallow cereal snacks, and peppermint bark marshmallow cereal snacks.

Head over to Ziploc to see more!

RECIPE // fancy marshmallow cereal snacks #ziploc #holidaycollection RECIPE // fancy marshmallow cereal snacks #ziploc #holidaycollectionphotography by Nathan Michael

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc. All opinions are my own and I would never endorse something I didn’t completely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

RECIPE // Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

Hey Guys! I’m Billy from Wit & Vinegar and I’m here with a post for Joanna while she’s getting her Amsterdam on. Feel free to come say hi and talk about housewives and dogs and Lindsay Lohan doughnuts with me.

Today, we get to talk about pumpkin doughnuts. Now, I know it’s fall and there’s a giant wave of pumpkin that’s constantly flooding your eyeballs/pinterest but it’s cool because this bit gets smothered with chocolate ganache. The pumpkin chocolate combo is something that I don’t see enough and it’s a total shame. There’s something about the light pumpkin flavor and the spices that just high fives chocolate so hard.
I love a ganache on a doughnut because it makes me feel so Ina about life and it’s like two seconds of work. Do yourself a favor and make a plate of these then make some friends then pretend to be Ina and roast me a chicken.

RECIPE // Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Bittersweet Chocolate GanacheBaked Pumpkin Doughnuts with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/4 c vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 c light brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache recipe:
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir, just until combined.
Liberally grease a doughnut pan and place batter in a gallon size ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and fill the doughnut portals in the pan. You could alternatively use a spoon and sort of smooth it out, but I’m a converted bag piping doughnut baker. Just promise me you’ll try it once.
Bake doughnuts for 12 min if they’re the babies or 15 if they’re the regular size. Let cool for 5 min in the pan, then carefully remove the doughnuts and cool completely on a cooling rack.
Once cool, make the ganache by combining 2/3 c heavy cream with 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I love me some ghiradelli) in a microwave safe dish, aka a glass measuring cup, and heat on bursts of 30 sec, stirring after each round. It should take two rounds, maybe 3 depending on your microwave.
Dip the tops of the doughnuts (the half that was in contact with the pan) in the ganache, then flip it and set it back on the cooling rack (this is a total chill sesh for me). The doughnuts are best served when they’re the most fresh, so make a batch and just get into it.