Monday, June 12, 2017

Delight Donuts

We are now three days into our Utah trip (we're actually in Utah now) and have sampled five different doughnut places. Today, I will be posting about the second one we visited: Delight Donuts. Delight Donuts is in Kearney, Nebraska. My dad described it as a "Chinese doughnut shop"; there was a Buddha statue in the corner, which I unfortunately do not have a picture of. I do have a couple pictures of the outside, though:

The sign outside the shop. Plus a convertible.


Our official overall scores for Delight Donuts are:
Average Doughnut Score: 14.4/15
Average Restaurant Score: 27/30

It scored very highly on everything. My parents especially were big fans.

Now the doughnuts! No pictures, sorry. (My parents and Amelia are all taking pictures, but Amelia's aren't sending to me, for some reason.) We only bought two types (standard glaze and chocolate glaze), but that was plenty because they were huge. I guess the winner was the chocolate glazed, at 14.5/15, but the other one scored a 14.3/15, so it wasn't a huge margin of victory.


Sandra's Take: "I like it."
Mom's/Amy's Take: I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. I would go there again. "We all got out and used their bathrooms, spent seven minutes discussing our order in front of their counter and then only ordered three doughnuts and they were still nice to us!"
Molly's Take (do I put this in quotes? I'm technically not quoting myself, but I'm also not paraphrasing myself): "I am not as big a fan of Delight Donuts as the rest of my family. Their doughnuts were good, but they were very standard doughnuts, which aren't my favorite. Although they did have a bunch of exciting frosting colors, none of which we bought."

Standard glaze:
Mom's/Amy's Take: "Ideal. . . .The size on those ones is nice."
Molly's Take: "I thought they were doughnut holes for nine hours until Mom finally corrected me."

Chocolate glaze:
Mom's/Amy's Take: "The glaze isn't quite there."

And a bonus story! We also visited the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte, Nebraska.

None of us are touching the bridge's railing because it was super hot and we didn't want to get burned.

Sandra's expression is that of an authentic Wild West cowgirl.

Smith's expression is also very authentic. If you're not looking carefully, you could mistake him for Buffalo Bill riding Old Buckskin.

Mom's/Amy's Take: "We decided we needed to tie this into our doughnut theme, so we made up a story about how Annie Oakley would shoot the middles out of biscuits during her sharpshooting act to make doughnuts. This story loses something in writing it down--it was quite entertaining in person."
Sandra's Take: "North Platte? That's in Oregon Trail!"

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Olsen's Bake Shop

Readers, I have not been totally honest with you. I told you that Skouson Skitchen was becoming a foodie blog, but what I didn't tell you was that it is also becoming a travel blog. Sort of. A foodie travel blog. Kind of like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but with more children. Or at least I assume so. I've never actually watched Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

...Anyway! Today was the first day of our trip to Utah. We stopped at three different doughnut places, which I will report on in three separate posts. Number one on the list is Olsen's Bake Shop in Omaha, Nebraska, which we visited approximately five minutes after it opened. We could smell the baking all the way down the street. The shop has been owned by the same family since 1942; one of the women who works there is over 80 years old.

I should briefly explain the rating system. Sandra created it so that we rate the doughnuts on their flavor, texture, freshness, and appearance and the restaurants on their aura/general feeling, aesthetic, service, cleanliness, and overall doughnut quality. She made a fancy chart that we fill out (although we've been using it slightly differently than she intended. But it's basically the same):

Sandra spells "donut" the short way. I sometimes do too, but I'm trying to stay consistent for the sake of the blog, so doughnut it is.

Now for our official overall scores for Olsen's Bake Shop:
Average Doughnut Score: 11.8/15
Average Restaurant Score: 21.4/30

Aaaand pictures!

This is our whole family standing outside the shop. You can see people in the doorway. They are not going through the door. They are the end of the line. This is evidently a very popular donut place.

This picture makes wonderful use of foreground, middle ground and background. It's too bad we all look really strange.

Sandra looks really excited about these doughnuts. Amelia looks like her nose itches.

Mmm. Those are some beautiful doughnuts.

We bought seven doughnuts from Olsen's: a cruller, a chocolate-covered cream-filled doughnut, a kolach (which I thought was spelled "colache" until just now), a blueberry cake doughnut, and three Danishes (lemon, cherry, and apricot). The highest-scoring one was the cream-filled, at 12.5/15; the lowest-scoring was the cake doughnut, at 10.3/15.

Comments that are either really insightful or really funny or both because you can't make an insightful comment about a doughnut without being funny (also, I'm paraphrasing unless I use quotation marks):

Mom's/Amy's Take: It has kind of an eggy aftertaste. But maybe doughnuts aren't supposed to have an aftertaste because as soon as you finish one, you move on to another one.

Sandra's Take: The chocolate glaze wasn't glossy enough.
Mom's/Amy's Take: "Tastes a little metallic."

Apricot Danish:
Mom's/Amy's Take: "Scrummy." She is apparently quoting the Great British Baking Show.
Amelia's Take: "Squishy."

Amelia's Take: "I think this is pie filling. That doesn't mean it doesn't taste good, though. . . .It looked kind of like it was filled with blood instead of cherries."

Cherry Danish:
Lucy's Take: "Delicious, yummy, and six."
Mom's/Amy's Take: I didn't really like the frosting flavor.

Lemon Danish:
Amelia's Take:"It looks like a doughnut, it looks like it tastes good, but it still looks like a hot dog."
Dad's Take: "It tasted like Snack Pack."
Everyone Else's Take: It really did look like a hot dog.

Smith has not commented much. I will have to make sure to get his opinion from now on.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer of the Doughnut

Hello! This is not Amy. This is her daughter Molly, now 18 years old! I'm going to be taking over the blog this summer because it is the... drumroll, please...


If you hadn't guessed from the title of this post.

What this means is that this summer, our family will be visiting as many doughnut places as possible, rating both the restaurants and the doughnuts, and posting about it on Skouson Skitchen! I'm blogging (and webmastering and all that jazz), Sandra developed the rating system and is going to keep score, and Amelia is our official photographer!

What this actually means is that Skouson Skitchen is no longer a cooking blog. It is now a foodie blog. Hold onto your hats, readers. It's going to be a wild ride.

Mom's/Amy's Take (which I totally stole from her post on Facebook): So I may have had the worst idea ever. We've driven between Iowa and Utah umpteen times now. We've stopped at every easy pit stop numerous times. The truth of it is that Nebraska and Wyoming just don't have that much to offer along I-80. Last Sunday I was trying to come up with a new gimmick and hit on the idea of doing a doughnut testing contest at various locations along our route. My kids REALLY liked the idea. Sandra came up with a rating system, Molly reworked our old Skouson Skitchen blog for the summer of doughnuts and Amelia signed on as photographer. This may be epic. The odd thing is that I don't even really like doughnuts. I blame Fast Sunday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lasagna--Sandra age 11

Starting the layers. 

It looks ucky, but it is yummy. 

Final Product!
Sandra's Take:  It wasn't a lot of work.  You just had to pour a lot of stuff into the pan.  I made a salad without lettuce because the lettuce was rotten and gross.  It had cucumbers, lots of green onions and tomatoes.  I thought the lasagna was yummy.  I like lasagna more cheesy,  so I put a lot of cheese on top.  Look at my eyes.  I look weird.  We still have leftovers.  I'll make  more lasagna someday when we run out. 

Amy's Take:  I remember the first time I ever made lasagna--I was probably around Sandra's age, or a bit older.  The list of ingredients was daunting, and making three layers about did me in.  There was a huge stack of dirty dishes by the time I finished.  And my mom always made us clean up after ourselves when we cooked.  I've very seldom made lasagna, in large part because of those memories.  I thought I'd simplify things for Sandra.  We didn't use a recipe.  Here is how we did it in three easy steps--I think it did keep Sandra from being overwhelmed:

Ground beef--1 pound
Can of Hunt's spaghetti sauce
Ricotta cheese--one pound tub
Parmesan cheese--1/2 cup
Italian seasoning--1 tbsp
No-Boil Lasagna noodles--1 box
Shredded mozzarella cheese--about a pound

1.   Chop onion.  Saute onions for a few minutes and add chunks of ground beef.  Cook until brown.  Add spaghetti sauce.  Layer one is done.
2.     Mix a tub of ricotta cheese, however much cheese there is in the parmesan cheese can (there was about 1/2 cup there), one egg and some Italian seasoning. 
3.  Spread one cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 inch  pan.  Layer no-boil lasagna noodles on top, one thick.  Spread one cup of the cheese mixture on this, another cup of tomato sauce and then a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on that.  Repeat making layers until you use up all of your ingredients (although you will have a few noodles leftover).  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melty and slightly browned and the whole thing is bubbly. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken Nuggets, French Fries and Strawberry Fool--Smith age 4

All floured up and ready to bake.

Lots of potatoes

This is really hard work. 

Finished Product--Best dessert EVER!! 

Smith's Take:  I saw chicken nuggets and french fries in a book.  It was hard work.  I liked the chicken nuggets.  I LOVED my dessert.  That's all. 

Amy's Take:  Smith has a rather limited attention span and he has a line that he uses over and over to try and get out of unwanted tasks.  "I can't make my bed!  I AM TOO HUNGRY!"  "I can't pick up my toys!  I AM TOO HUNGRY!"  This week it was "I can't make dinner!  I AM TOO HUNGRY!"  Sometimes the world just doesn't work the way we'd like it to. 

Last year Smith stuck mostly with arranging fish sticks on a cookie sheet.  For his first dinner this year he picked chicken nuggets and french fries out of the cookbook.  And strawberry fool.  Strawberry fool is divine.  The recipe we used called for four cups of pureed strawberries, 3/4 cup of sour cream (we used light), whipped cream,  and 2 TABLESPOONS of sugar.  I gave Smith a taste, he shuddered, and we added more sugar, lots more.  This recipe has a better balance of sweetness.  It was a perfect summertime dessert.

And in case you wanted to know...this is how I make chicken nuggets:
I cut up chicken breasts in to chunks--maybe 5-8 chunks per breast.  I put flour into a paper or ziploc bag and add five or six chunks of chicken.  Then I shake them up until they are thoroughly coated in flour.  I put some oil in the bottom of a pan--maybe an 1/8 inch thick.  Then I roll the floured chicken pieces in the oil so that both the top and bottom have been dampened by the oil.  Repeat until I've used up all of the chicken chunks.  Then I sprinkle Lawry's Seasoning Salt over the chicken.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  I like them a little crispy so I let them bake a little longer.  If you are Smith and like them less crispy you should take them out at 20.  This was kind of a messy process with Smith--we washed hands at least 14 times--and you can see in above pictures that he had to change his shirt before we ate dinner.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hot Dogs and Smoothies--Amelia age 8

Ready to blend.

The hardest part--poking the hotdogs with the fork. 

Microwaving.  Don't you wish you had this for dinner? 

Finished Product!!

Amelia's Take:  I do not want to write the blog.  Making dinner was enough.  

Amy's Take: School got done yesterday.  I pretty much can't stand kids with too much free time.  Why is it that they start fighting with each other as soon as they are supposed to RELAX??  So, I started summer vacation with a bang this morning--a list for each kid with enough stuff to keep them busy all day.  They cleaned house, rode bikes, jumped rope, started learning Spanish (At least Molly started learning Spanish--Sandra went to the website she was supposed to use and decided to learn Pirate instead), we went to the library, practiced piano and french horn and so forth.  It was really a nice, peaceful day. 

We checked out a pile of cook books from the library and out of all the amazing culinary wonders there--Amelia chose to make hot dogs for dinner.  And strawberry-peach-banana-spinach smoothies.  Do these two things cancel each other out?  Making dinner was so easy that she took most of her own pictures for the blog--hot dog in one hand, camera in the other. 

Other Views:  Sandra:  There were almost no dishes--very easy. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cranberry Muffins--Lucy age 2

Grating the Orange

Amy's Take:   I always start the school year raring to go.  Each  morning in late August and September my kids can choose between three different types of muffins that I have in the freezer, four different types of oatmeal and a pantry full of cold cereal--all of their favorites.  I make pancakes or waffles at least a few times a week.  By this time of year I've run our of oomph.  Last Friday my kids could choose between stale toastie-o's and a peanut butter taco (a flour tortilla spread with crunchy peanut butter) and whatever they chose, they were definitely going to have to get it themselves.
Today is the first morning of spring break, no one was in a hurry, so I made cranberry muffins.  I always buy lots of fresh cranberries after Christmas when they are cheap and put them in the freezer.  Lucy toddled in a few minutes later in her pirate pajamas and said the four scariest words currently in her vocabulary "I was to help you!"  So we made muffins.  She got to grate the oranges.