Recipe: Homemade Doughnuts

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Prep time: 8 mins

Cook time: 5 minutes per doughnut

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of pancake mix
  • 1 ½ tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp self-rising flour
  • Optional 1 handful of frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, or frozen fruit (finely chopped) 

Optional Toppings:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Golden Brown Sugar
  • Icing Glaze (premade) and Sprinkles
  • Be creative

Instructions:

Mix one serving of pancake mix, then add cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Once even, add 1 ½ tbsp of cooking oil, followed by 2 tbsp of self-rising flour. Let stand for 1-2 min. Meanwhile, on the stovetop, prepare a pan with ½ inch deep cooking oil and heat at medium-high. As the oil is heating, gently fold in variations of your choice, for example blueberries, if you choose and then pour the doughnut mixture into a sealable plastic sandwich bag. Seal and cut a single bottom corner off of the sealable plastic sandwich bag. When oil ready, squeeze out the doughnut mix into the pan to form a circular doughnut shape. When the bottom of the doughnut appears golden brown, flip and fry the alternate side until golden brown. Remove doughnut when both sides are evenly cooked. 

Once the doughnuts are removed and still warm, immediately decorate with optional toppings.

Let cool for 10 mins and serve.

Review: Online Summer Camp S’mores Bars

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Because of COVID-19, my parent’s company started virtual summer camps for kids. My mom had signed me up for a cooking class, where we made S’mores Bars. The whole class was done by Zoom, and originally, I thought it would be hard to cook on a Zoom call. But it actually wasn’t as difficult or confusing as I thought. And best of all, the food came out GREAT!

Ingredients:

  • one 11 x 9 aluminum disposable tray
  • graham crackers crushed to crumbs
  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 6 cups of mini marshmallows
  • chocolate chips of any kind (milk, dark, white, etc.)

First, mix together the butter and the crushed graham crackers. Don’t mix in all the graham crackers – save some for the end! Then, put your graham cracker and butter mix into the tray, and smooth it along the bottom. Lastly, bake it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 to 10 minutes. After it’s done, take it out of the oven, and put a layer of marshmallows on top of the crust. Make sure the marshmallows cover the whole crust surface. Put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes at the same temperature. Once your marshmallows have completely melted , take them out of the oven, and put a layer of chocolate chips on top of the melted marshmallows and then top if off with those crushed graham crackers you saved. Then, stick it back in the oven for another 5 minutes at the 325 degrees. When you take it out, let it sit for 3 minutes, and then you can eat it hot and fresh out of the oven, or you could stick it in the fridge for a while, and eat it cold. I prefer it cold, but I think that eating it hot would also taste good.

Review: TeaDrops

AKT Review: 5 WOWS!!!

My dad, unlike me, doesn’t really like tea. And in my attempts to get him to like it, I bought him TeaDrops as a Fathers Day gift, and I, of course, had to try them. So, I got the boiled water, and put in the matcha flavoring. It came in a teeny tiny little package, and when you opened it, you saw tea leaves bunched together in a cute little shape. It was also super easy to use since you really just dropped the TeaDrops into the mug.

So, my personal favorite so far is the matcha one, since I’m completely obsessed with it. Just the plain TeaDrop is kind of bland, so I add a teaspoon of sugar. Honestly, for me, a teaspoon is actually very little, so I think that you don’t need to much sugar to make it taste good, but just enough so it doesn’t taste too bland. Overall, I would highly recommend these as a gift, or even just for yourself.

Takeout During Corona?

During COVID-19, there has been the ongoing question: is it okay to eat out?

Well today, my family and I decided to just go for it. We haven’t eaten out in around 3 months, and we figured that we probably weren’t going to get a chance to eat out again. So, we decided to order some Cheesecake Factory. We got the Chicken Bellagio, the Orange Chicken, the Chicken Pot Stickers, and a kids pizza with bacon on top.

When the food arrived, my parents decided to stick it all in the oven to try and kill all of the possible germs on it. This made the food taste a little different than usual, but it had the same overall taste.

So, my answer to this ongoing question, would be to pace yourself. If you want to eat out once a month, go for it. But I wouldn’t do it excessively so that you can prevent getting sick.

Recipe: Edible Cookie Dough

AKT Rating: 4 WOWS!

Today, during quarantine, I was extremely bored. So, I decided to make some edible cookie dough:

  • 3/4 cups of butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of baked flour
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

First mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Then, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips. Once complete, pour into a pyrex dish, and refrigerate overnight.

But since my family wants to conserve our food supply, I used half of what all the ingredients asked for. After mixing, I put it in the fridge for a day or so, and it turned out really really crumbly. Though this wasn’t totally the ideal outcome of the cookie dough, I think I know the reason behind it. I should’ve added more milk and butter. Usually, the wet ingredients stick the dry ones together, and since it came out super crumbly, I can infer that the dry ingredients needed to stick together more. The milk and butter might’ve made it a bit smoother and it would’ve stuck it together more. But, overlooking the fact that it was super crumbly, and was basically falling apart, it tasted great. I would definitely use this recipe again, except with more milk or butter.

This is a picture of the cookie dough, along with most of the ingredients

Review: Chick-Fil-A

AKT Rating: 3 WOWS!!!

Yesterday, while on the road with my family, my Dad insisted that we try Chick-Fil-A for the first time. Now, I knew that Chick-Fil-A had been getting a lot of hype in the past year, but I had never tried it. So, I figured that this was my opportunity to figure out what the hype was all about.

So, after we ordered takeout, and we began to eat, I realized that Chick-Fil-A really isn’t all that. Though the chicken strips there aren’t actually that bad, the foods that incorporate the chicken with other ingredients, for example the spicy chicken sandwich, could’ve been executed a little better, and could’ve tasted a little better too. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of their waffle fries, or their mac’n cheese. I thought the whole things was average or below average in terms of taste and presentation. Overall, I thought there were also WAY too many pickles! In every sandwich there were pickles. And for a non-pickle-lover like me, it’s not the most convenient. In conclusion, I probably wouldn’t eat there again, unless it was a dire emergency.

Mulberry Tea House

Mulberry Tea House

Address: 415 Westfield Ave, Westfield NJ 07090

AKT Rating: 4 WOWS!

  • Tea Selection: 5 WOWS!
  • Scones: 5 WOWS!
  • Finger Sandwiches: 4 WOWS!
  • Pastries: 4 WOWS!
  • Fine China: 4 WOWS!
  • Menu Variety: 4 WOWS!
  • Ambiance: 4 WOWS!
  • Price: PRICED FAIRLY!

Last weekend, my family and I went to the Mulberry Tea House for afternoon tea. Though walking in it looks a bit not like you would’ve expected, the food there is delicious. There was a wide variety of exotic teas to choose from. For example, I picked out the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake tea, and it tasted almost EXACTLY like cheesecake. I was really impressed. The scones that they had to choose from were also very unique. They had chocolate chip scones that were literally so good, and tasted like a cookie. They had many finger sandwiches to choose from, and though most of them were very classic, there were a few that stood out, like the Hoi-Sin Pork Tenderloin & Cucumber sandwich, that was absolutely delicious. The pastries were also quite interesting, but were overall a great finish to the meal. The teacups and teapots weren’t as fancy as a normal afternoon tea tea set, but they were actually very pleasant to drink out of, and easy to pour tea out of as well. The room was nicely lit, and was very bright. But, the flow of the tables was kind of cramped, and there weren’t that many tables. My family and I made up a group of four, and I really thought that we got the best bang for our buck.

Review: Applebees

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

A few weeks ago, my family and I ate at Applebees. We aren’t the type of family that will usually take up a place like this to eat, but I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

My family didn’t order any appetizers. Instead, we just got right to the entree. For my meal, I got the Neighborhood Nachos with the carne asada, and as a drink I got a sweetened peach iced tea. The crunchy nachos with the perfectly melted cheese, along with the queso blanco, meat, and pico de gallo. These are highly reccommended. In addition to tasting great, the portion was right too! I can usually finish at MOST 2/3 of the pan, but this time, I was able to eat pretty much the whole thing, and get that satisfying feeling that you wasted basically no food.

My sister ordered from the kids’ menu of course. She got the Kids Cheesy Pizza with bacon on top. Though I didn’t try it, it looked like the perfect size for her.

Another factor that I thought was really awesome about this meal, was the fact that it looked so similar to the picture. After doing some research, I discovered that some people’s meal looked nothing like what they were promised. I, thankfully, didn’t run into that situation.

Though this restaurant reminded me a lot of T.G.I. Fridays, I definitely enjoyed their food, and would come back for sure.

https://www.applebees.com/en

Review: TGI Fridays

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Last weekend, my family and I paid a trip to TGI Fridays. This was our first time, so naturally we took a crazy long time to order. Once we finished deciding we had started with a couple of appetizers.

First, we tried the new (and delicious) Tostado Nachos! They were tortilla chips with melted cheese and seasoned ground beef. We had the sour cream, jalapenos, and guacamole on the side. Those were 100% a winner for the whole family. We all loved them. My mom and dad shared the Traditional Wings. We ordered 1/2 spicy 1/2 regular. My parents loved them, and were all over them.

As an entree, I ordered the (this one’s a doozy) Sizzling Friday’s Signature Whiskey- Glazed Flat Iron Steak. And not only was this meal amazing and really really yummy, but there was a surprise that I’m pretty sure no one expected: IT ACTUALLY SIZZLED! Though the steak was a little hard, and the onion rings got soggy from the sauce, I would totally get this meal again.

For dessert, we ordered the Donut Cheesecake. Since my mom is allergic to strawberry, we asked for the strawberry sauce on the side. This cheesecake was truly a yummy cheesecake. The munchkins skewered into the cheesecake were delicious, the cheesecake being donut-flavored was delicious, and the sauce was delicious. Everything about this entire meal was absolutely delicious. I recommend TGI Fridays.