pumpkin spice donuts

pumpkin spice donuts

pumpkin spice donuts

pumpkin spice donuts

Fall is officially here. The temperature has dropped accompanied by cozy rain and pumpkins are in abundance at all of the local stores (sorta). Buzzfeed recently highlighted 25 Things All Basic White Girls Do During the Fall, which is hysterical and embarrassingly spot on. I would like to add a #26: drive over 20 miles and go to three markets just to find mini pumpkins. I figured since pumpkins are locally available, I have permission to channel my inner “basic white girl” and make some pumpkin donuts.

After the boy encountered my donut pan and exclaimed “we have a donut pan,” I knew that I had to dust it off and make some Sunday donuts for him to enjoy for the week. Unfortunately I have had a strong aversion to donuts since I was young but I just cant get over how cute a homemade donut is. The boy gets a semi-healthy sweet morning treat and I get some smashing photos! And leave it to the Huffington Post to educate you on the health benefits of pumpkin.

So I sought out to make the most simple and healthy donuts I could fabricate in order to enjoy a few other (“basic white girl”) fall activities!

ingredients

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together bag of cake mix and pumpkin. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Mix well.
  4. Grease donut pan well.
  5. Divide batter into donut molds ~2/3 full.
  6. Bake ~12-15 minutes until slightly browned.
  7. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  8. When cool enough to flip, flip donuts onto a wire rack and immediate dunk or dust with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Enjoy!
ingredients + festive fall decorations (basic white girl approved)

ingredients + festive fall decorations (basic white girl approved)

the most genius invention - it holds the batter to squeeze into the pan (perfect for cupcakes too)

the most genius invention – it holds the batter to squeeze into the pan (perfect for cupcakes too)

filled donut molds pre-baking

filled donut molds pre-baking

dusting sugar & cinnamon

dusting sugar & cinnamon

IMG_6316

IMG_6318

pumpkin donuts + a mini orange pumpkin

pumpkin donuts + a mini orange pumpkin

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what is better than one donut? a stack of donuts!

donut stack

warm out of the oven to enjoy!

warm out of the oven to enjoy!

When the boy returned home, he walked through the door exclaiming “DONUTS!” and immediately stuffed two in his mouth. He clearly isn’t difficult to please but they earned his approval and came together with remarkably ease leaving oodles of time for all other “basic white girl” fall approved activities.

taylor brass

brass blossom

weekend love it — quarter century life happenings

This past weekend, I turned the big ole 25. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to go to an amazing school that had an incredible outdoor program. The not so incredible part as an 17 year year old, or incredible part now looking back on it, is that I was generally tromping through the woods in somewhere, USA on my birthday as every year we had a fall trip. Looking back now, I cannot complain that I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday surrounded by friends and the great outdoors.

This year the celebrations were plentiful, although simple, which is just what I wanted. Needless to say, the past couple of weeks have been full of love, well wishes and more fall-inspired fare and decorations, all of which I adore. Below are just a few things that I have been loving lately!

1. Quarter Century Birthday. My birthday was everything that I could have asked for. The celebrations were mellow, which is just what I wanted. So thank you for all of the beautiful birthday wishes and cheers to an even better next quarter century!

Leading up to my birthday this year I knew I just wanted to keep it simple. We had a small “family” gathering on the night of my birthday with amazing food and company and then to top my birthday week off, Krista and our dear friend Rachel threw me a little girls birthday bash. The theme was appropriately a fall inspired, vegetarian harvest feast. Both celebrations were wonderful and pointed my next quarter century in a wonderful direction!

birthday treasures: just a few of the wonderful cards i received with loving birthday wishes, garden picked sunflowers and a decorative white pumpking

birthday treasures: just a few of the wonderful cards i received with loving birthday wishes, garden picked sunflowers and a decorative white pumpkin

end of the night girl's birthday celebration

end of the night girl’s birthday celebration

incredible new workout "pants" from the boy + birthday wishes from maude

incredible new workout “pants” (from vie activewear) from the boy + birthday wishes from maude!

2. Thought Catalog — Early 20’s versus Late 20’s. After our girl’s birthday celebration ended when the kitchen was cleaned and all the candles were blown out, Krista and I happened along the topic of feeling older. By no means do I feel like an old maid, even though I have always been more of a home body, but I have recently felt that I am teetering (slash 10-steps ahead of) the line towards Late 20’s. So cheers to a clean kitchen, farmer’s markets, sleeping and kale!

This ‘Thought Catalog’ by Jamie Varon had me laughing out loud and fairly accurately sums up how I’m feeling about Early 20’s versus Late 20’s. A must read for a chuckle.

You’ve aged like a fine wine that you hopefully paid more than $3 for…

You’ve aged like a fine wine that you hopefully paid more than $3 for…

3. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. During the past year, Sandberg’s book Lean In has come into many conversations. The book has been in the back of my mind as a must read when I get around to it. But after my friend, Rachel, asked me if I have read Sandberg’s book I felt like the universe was not so casually telling me that it was finally time to get around to it.

In an attempt to be practical (now that I am 25) I put the book on hold at the library and completely forgot that I had done so. So when it finally arrived back and I received the e-mail it was available I immediately dug into the book. Ironically I had already bookmarked Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business to include in my next “Weekend Love It,” which Sheryl Sandberg is featured as #10.

I’m not finished quite yet but recommend this book to anyone, male of female, business oriented or not.

Lean In - by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In – by Sheryl Sandberg

Another side note: Apparently Lean In Org is an Instagram, which I now follow and recommend that all of you do to receive some daily inspiration!

4. Powerful Women. I wasn’t intending to highlight a theme of powerful women but after reading Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business last week I knew that I needed to share it. I was particularly captured by the trend that these powerful women are pushing boundaries into heavy industries (i.e. tech, energy, defense, and autos) and not solely focused in creative industries. In college I received a few Federal Grants for simply being a “woman in science,” which I gratefully accepted. The trend and actual happenings of supporting women in more “heavy fields” is something I firmly believe in.

Side note: One of the authors is the one and only Caroline Fairchild, who I fortunate enough to grow up with. Make sure to follow this lady as she is going places.

Most Powerful Women of 2014

Most Powerful Women of 2014

On a tangent, Business Insider’s recent article on How Your Name Affects Your Success highlighted the trend that “if you are a woman with a sexually ambiguous name, you are more likely to succeed.” As a woman with a sexually ambiguous name, I found this portion of the article fascinating. Although, I think that it takes far more than just a name to succeed the trends are fascinating.

5. Pumpkin Spice Donuts. On a note slightly less related to life growth and powerful women in business, let’s talk donuts. This spring I made heavenly (if I do say so myself) Buttermilk Lemon Poppyseed Donuts. Yesterday I cleaned out under my oven to organize the plethora of oddly shaped bakeware that I have and washed everything. After coming along the donut pan, the boy exclaimed “we have a donut pan?” I felt slightly hurt that he had already forgotten my previous donut adventures but vowed to make him some donuts due to his excitement over the donut pan. I’m a strong believer that women can be powerful CEO’s and still make a mean donut.

To add to the enjoyment of this Sunday, I made perhaps the most simple, gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Donuts that left my house smelling of fall. Recipe coming soon!

pumpkin spice donuts

pumpkin spice donuts

taylor brass

brass blossom