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

get the look // textural black

When I’m in a hurry, or just feeling uninspired, I tend to pull together my go to look: an all black look, rich with textural fabrics and special details. So as not to look like a somber, gothic blob, I focus on proportions, interesting shapes, and loads of cool texture. Key details like sheer lace, chunky knits, and delicate embroideries make all black ensembles pop, too.

get the look // textural black

When shopping for pieces to add to my all black arsenal, I always look at the details, even when it comes to accessories. Oh, and don’t forget the pretty little underthings (my favorite part).

get the look // textural black

get the look // textural blackshop the post:

top image source: Fashion Gone Rogue

how to pack like a pro

We all know that feeling: you’re rushing to get everything done before you fly home for the holidays, and your suitcase is yet to be packed. It’s really the perfect storm for forgetting something. As an avid traveler, I’ve discovered some helpful tips for getting where I’m going quickly—and in style.

how to pack like a pro // what to wear for a holiday partyThere are 3 outfits to check out: what to wear for Thanksgiving dinner, what to wear to pick out your Christmas tree, and what to wear to a holiday party.

Head over to Ziploc to see more!

how to pack like a pro // what to wear to pick out your christmas treephotography 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.

a kind of honest check in //

I always struggle with the decision of how personal and honest to get in this space. I’m turning 30 next year, and I swear, the past 4 years have born some of the most tumultuous moments of my life. In that span of time, I moved across the country multiple times (Seattle to Philly, Philly to San Francisco), leaving a place that I considered to be home for the first time ever. I fell deeply, overwhelming in love. We’re talking a love that I never knew could be possible… and then that relationship ended. I was alone in a city I despised and totally overwhelmed by the thought of coping. I dealt with crippling depression, something I have alluded to, but not really written about in a detailed way here. For all these reasons, I am so very happy to say this next bit: It’s been a really, really tough few years and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

a kind of honest check in // www.jojotastic.comI’m deciding for myself and only myself. I’m making my own decisions. I’m thinking of the bigger picture and making sure that it includes my vision, not anyone else’s. I’ve successfully made the shift to full-time freelance and it’s been great for me both personally and professionally. I am now solely working on my vision, no one else’s and I truly believe my passion shows more than ever before.

Right now, I am in Seattle for the first time in 2 years. Why? Because I’m contemplating what a move back to this gorgeous city would be like. I adore San Francisco, but I’ve not been able to personally settle down while there. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am even meant to settle down… then I answer that question with an entire debate on what ‘settling down’ even means these days. I’ve still got lots of time left on my lease in SF and I’m still dealing with a few painful memories while I’m here, so this decision remains to be determined. Mostly, I just wanted to be honest about where my head is these days. And for all of you out there coping with depression and uncertainty, please know that you are not alone.

photography by Greg Zulkie at Scribe 

enter to win $100 to shop Rose & Fitzgerald for handcrafted decor pieces and jewelry

Meet Rose & Fitzgerald, one of my most favorite shopping destinations (I also wrote about them on Anthology). Based in Kampala, Uganda and formed by California transplants Courtney and Laren, Rose & Fitzgerald is the place to shop for handcrafted gifts. Two of my favorite pieces are the gold arrow teak tray (it’s currently sold out but being restocked soon — sign up for the waitlist to get first dibs) and the brass half moon bracelet which feel totally perfect for gifts or a must needed treat yourself moment. With a firm emphasis on materials and adventure, their pieces are just plain gorgeous.

enter to win $100 to shop Rose & Fitzgerald for handcrafted decor pieces and jewelryEnter below for up to 8 chances to win. One winner will be chosen at random by Tuesday November 25 at 9 am PST. Open to US + Canada residents only. Winner will receive one shopping code valued at $100. Good luck!

Rose & Fitzgerald giveaway

enter to win $100 to shop Rose & Fitzgerald for handcrafted decor pieces and jewelry enter to win $100 to shop Rose & Fitzgerald for handcrafted decor pieces and jewelryDisclosure: I received product to review for this post. 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.