Dine with Diana Fridays – Fast and Easy Jelly Donuts for Hanukkah

sufganiyot

I’m trying to figure out a fun way to teach my kids about all kinds of traditions at this time of year and of course, that includes the traditions surrounding Hanukkah. Although our family will be celebrating Christmas as always, I think it’s important that they get to learn about and experience the traditions of their friends as well.

I started researching Hanukkah and fun foods I could make with the kids while explaining to them the tradition of celebrating olive oil for eight nights. After searching many latke recipes, I just didn’t see myself grating that many potatoes. But, I must admit, they do sound delicious!

So, I settled on something I thought would appeal to my kids as much as to me. And that, my friends, is sufganiyot! Or in laymen’s terms, jelly donuts. I’m not sure I knew that these delicious fried jelly donuts were a part of the Hanukkah tradition before this week, but I’m certainly glad I know now.

By now, you all know I’m not one for going to much trouble in the kitchen. In fact, I’m often down right lazy in the kitchen.  So I was over joyed when I remembered how my friend taught me out to make faux beignets when I was growing up. Beignets are those famous fried French donuts we eat down south. I figured sufganiyot couldn’t be far removed from beignets.

Since my friend and I were in junior high at the time, and certainly not allowed to deep fry anything, we used to take canned biscuits, the kind straight from the refrigerator section at the local A&P, cut each biscuit into quarters and then put them in skillet with a small amount of oil and fry them until they puffed up. Since we were making faux beignets, we sprinkled with powdered sugar.

But, the light bulb when off in my head. Why couldn’t I do this same trick with my kids this year, but add some jelly in the middle before frying to turn them into sufganiyot! By George, I think I’m on to something.

If you’re looking for the easiest possible way to celebrate Hanukkah this year, try this recipe for faux jelly donuts and experience the Hanukkah tradition of sufganiyot without ever having to make dough or dig out the deep fryer.

Happy Hanukkah!

Xo,

Diana

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Fast and Easy Jelly Donuts for Hanukkah or Faux Sufganiyot

Ingredients:

  • 1 can refrigerate biscuits
  • Your favorite jam or jelly

Directions:

  1. Add about an inch of oil to a skillet and turn to medium high heat.
  2. Take a sharp knife and cut through the dough of each biscuit in half horizontally just to the middle
  3. Place a small spoon full of jam in the middle of the biscuit dough and press it down around the edges so the dough is sealed back where you cut it
  4. Don’t add too much jam as it will just run out and won’t be a good proportion to the dough. Kids love helping add the jam
  5. Fry your mini-jelly doughnuts to golden brown perfection
  6. Drain on paper towels and enjoy
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Stories from Women and Moms Like You…

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Sandra Harris is a photographer and freelance writer in Vancouver, Canada. She blogs at Raincoast Cottage inspiring makers to create art and live a creative life. Like many women, Sandra was scared to become a mom. Her career was thriving, she was able to live in Africa for two years and she was unsure where a child would fit in her life equation. However, once her beautiful daughter was born things changed; and she knew that she could have the best of both worlds.

Comment below with your insights and feedback.

How to Keep Warm with These Winter Cocktails

When the weather gets cold outside, sometimes all we want to do is cuddle up with a flannel blanket, thick fuzzy socks and a hot drink.  Warm up this winter (we heard it’s going to be a bad one!) with these easy to make cocktails that will heat you up in no time!

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Goodnight Tip – nothing says relaxation like a nice cup of chamomile tea.  Add a little honey and Cointreau for a twist! Cointreau is orange flavored liqueur.

  • 7 oz. chamomile tea, freshly brewed
  • ½ oz. Cointreau
  • ½ oz. honey
  • Slice of lemon – optional

Pour the tea, Cointreau and honey into a coffee mug. Stir well to combine and garnish with lemon slice.

Mulled Wine – We are lovers of wine here! So we had to add this belly-warming recipe to the list!

  •  1 bottle of red wine (like merlot)
  • 1 peeled, sliced orange – keep peel to add to pot for a zest
  • ¼ cup of brandy
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/3 cup of honey or sugar – can be cut in half if you’re not huge on drinks that are too sweet
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker.  Warm ingredients on medium heat – avoid boiling. Do this for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure all sugar is dissolved.  When wine is steaming, ladle into mugs.

Hot Cider Toddy – one of our faves for the chilly season!  It sweet, tart and warms your insides wonderfully.

  • 2 oz. whiskey or apple brandy
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Hot apple cider
  • Garnishes: cinnamon stick, lemon wedge, 2-3 whole cloves – optional

Coat the bottom of a mug with honey.  Add the whiskey (or apple brandy). Fill to the top with hot cider. Stir well. Garnish with lemon, cloves and cinnamon stick.

Tell us, what is your favorite warm cocktail?  Share with us your recipes and stay warm!

A Totsy Scavenger Hunt Worth $1,000!

Totsy brings you our first-ever Twitter Scavenger Hunt!  It’s a journey that will take you to a prize valued at $1,000!  There will only be one winner so be sure to follow all the rules! Good luck!

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RULES:

  1. Must be a member of Totsy. Sign up here:  http://go.totsy.com/RX3B0J
  2. Must follow Totsy on Twitter: @mytotsy
  3. Check Totsy’s Twitter feed daily at 11:00 AM EST, we will tweet clues for the scavenger hunt. Missed the clue? Use hashtag #12DaysOfTotsy to search.
  4. Jot down your answers and keep them somewhere safe.
  5. When the final clue is tweeted on December 22nd*, go to The 12 Days of Totsy and fill out all the fields. You have until December 30th to submit your answers. Good luck!

*Remember, you have to submit all of your answers at once! So, keep track of what you find and get it to us between December 22-30.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Goodbye Movember, Hello December

As we move further into the month of December (we can’t believe it either), we are wrapping up a successful month of Movember. We were able to hear our dad bloggers talk about Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords and how if detected early, a life can be saved.

One of our very own, Nathan, participated in Movember as well; he grew out his ‘stache and shared his experiences (and photo journey) with us. As we wrap up, we got the opportunity to ask Nate a few questions about his experience.  He was also very excited to share the progress of his mustache.  Read more below:

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Interview with Totsy’s very own, Nathan Feder.

  1. How does it feel to have that beard? For one thing, THIS is no beard, it’s a mustache… but it feels really itchy! But I have had lots of people come up to me and ask why I decided to grow a mustache, which gave me a great opportunity to tell them about Movember and try to spread awareness. So itchy as it was, it felt good to be doing something for a good cause. 
  2. Did you reach your fundraising goal? I didn’t actually have a fundraising goal.  I was just trying to raise as much as I could and do my part. 
  3. What are some lessons you learned? Make sure that no relatives get married mid-November. I was at a wedding where there were lots of pictures taken, I did not look good in them….
  4. Any plans to participate in Movember next year?  What would you do differently?  I will probably do it again next year. The main thing that I would do differently is try to get more friends involved with it as well. That way we can set up a team and make it a more immersive experience for the month, (also we can add a degree of competitiveness to it just to make it fun!)

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Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and cancer in general is no joke. Which is why Totsy has decided to match Nathan’s donations, totaling $620 raised for his Movember participation.

Tell us, do you know anyone who has participated in Movember?  Please share in the comments below!

Battle of the Alphabet: BB Cream vs. CC Cream

In one corner we have BB cream, in the other CC cream, both sweeping cosmetic counters across the country. Are they gimmicks? Fads? Worth the money? Better yet, what are they?! No worries, the Totsy team is here to solve the mystery behind these two creams!

Blemish Balms, Beauty Balms, or just BB cream for short, are a type of tinted skin treatment that became a phenomenon in Korea and quickly spread across Asia and made its way into the U.S. BB creams are similar to tinted moisturizers— if your tinted moisturizer had taken a bunch of performance-enhancing drugs, became super rich, and was living the life of a celebrity…yeah it’s pumped up. Sena Kang, general manager of North America for Dr. Jart+. says “BB creams are the next generation of product because they contain high-performance treatments like anti-agers, antioxidants, brighteners, and botanical actives combined with high-level sunscreen, coverage, and moisture.”

Soon after BB creams infiltrated the market, next up in the alphabet, CC creams began to make their appearance. Color correcting, or CC creams are tinted, antioxidant-packed skin-care/makeup hybrids that originated in Asia (Singapore-based Rachel K’s white tea and deep-sea-water CC Cream has been prized by Hong Kong’s top makeup artists since it debuted last year.) Last month, Olay was the first in the U.S. to launch their CC cream, with other cosmetic companies such as Chanel (who already launched their CC cream in Asia) and Clinique following suit. Though very similar to BB creams, there are some differences. Unlike their predecessor, CC creams are hailed lighter-weight, with higher broad-spectrum SPFs (up to SPF 35 PA++), working to brighten complexions and diminish pigment issues, too.

Being that CC creams are relatively new, but seem to be better than BB creams with the extra bells and whistles, the ultimate test is trying out ones that best fit your skin and needs.

Here are a few recommendations:

BB Creams
For Oily Skin: Estée Lauder Daywear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme SPF 35 $38
For Dry Skin: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream SPF 15 $12.99
For Sensitive Skin: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm with SPF 25 $42

CC Creams
The Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer  $22
WEI To Go First Impression kit $30
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream $39

Tell us, have you tried either the BB or the CC cream?  Which do you prefer and why?  Leave your comments below!

How to Make the Easiest Mozzarella Snack Ever

This idea came to us when our fridge was nearly empty and all that was left in the fridge was some carrots, yogurt and a huge block of mozzarella cheese.  With cravings for something salty and savory, this genius idea of cubed mozzarella and spices from our pantry became the product of our cravings.  It takes less time to put together than deciding what to wear in the mornings.  You can even get fancy and add toothpicks to each cubed cheese to serve as appetizers for your next wine and cheese get-together with the girls ;-).

Cubed Mozzarella & Spices

You’ll Need:

  • Block of Mozzarella cheese – found in your dairy aisle. We like Sorrento.
  • Dried spices: garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano (this is up to you; we even like a little red pepper chili flakes on ours for added heat but we didn’t have any on hand that day)
  • Grounded black pepper
  • Toothpicks – optional

Step-by-Step:

  1. Carefully cut the block of mozzarella into cubes.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just bite-sized.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the mozzarella in and sprinkle in the dried spices.  Toss thoroughly with a wooden spoon and make sure all sides of the cubed mozzarella is covered in spices.
  3. Serve with toothpicks if you’re feeling fancy. Wine is mandatory.

Enjoy!

Have you ever made a snack on a whim with using just the ingredients you found in your kitchen? Share them with us below!