Better Than Krispy Kreme Doughnuts


I’ve mourned the loss of our local Krispy Kreme for years. The husbear jokes that I probably kept them afloat for an extra few months with my frequent trips in. Now I get my fix when I visit states that are so lucky as to have Krispy Kremes. But I may have a fix. Actually, I think I have something even better.


These Wanna be Famous Doughnuts from From Cupboard to Cupboard are phenomenal. They are airy and tender, and seem to melt in your mouth. They disappear in an instant.


This recipe yields quite a few doughnuts, and works just fine with powdered milk, which is all I seem to ever carry in my pantry. The best part is the glaze. It really is just like Krispy Kreme. That soft, yet hardened shell. And a buttery sweetness encasing the delicate fried dough. I wound up doubling the glaze, as mine were really coated in it.

Much poof.
Much poof.

Bring these to a party. You’ll make some friends.

DIY Coconut Oil Cleansing Pads


So, I know I’m supposed to wash  my face before bed at night. But sometimes I just don’t want to. But guess what? Laziness wins out! I’ve made these DIY coconut oil skin cleansing pads and they are WONDERFUL for cleaning your face before you go to bed, and great at removing make up. I’ve got oily skin, and these leave my skin moisturized and clean without clogging my pores. It’s so easy – all you need are cotton pads, coconut oil, and a mason jar and you’re ready to go!


I know what you’re thinking – “Oil to clean your oily skin? This sounds like a bad idea!”. I thought the same thing. At first I was looking for a good makeup remover, and figured if I just used this on my eyes it’ll be fine. FYI – this is a great eye makeup remover if nothing else, but so much more. I’ve tried oil skin cleansing methods before, and my skin was never happy with it.


The difference here is that we’re only using a bit of oil – 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil for an 8 oz mason jar. It’s enough to clean and moisturize without being a skin-clogging oil slick. Look at that. It’s not much at all. Especially when you realize this will be dispersed between lots of cotton pads.


So we take the tablespoon of coconut oil, add some hot water (hot water from the tap is fine, too. Just need to get the coconut oil to melt if it’s not already in a liquid state).


Add in any other oils you want. Rose hip seed oil is supposed to be a good oil for skin repair. I’ve just noticed it’s light and easily absorbed into my skin without any issue. I add 1/4 teaspoon at most. Or a very unscientific few bloops from the bottle. Lavender essential oil has some antibacterial and antiseptic properties as well, and hey, when I’m tossing stuff on my face, why not add a little of that to the mix? Just a few drops now, it’s strong stuff.
Also double check your oils before adding them since the jars look alike. I once mistakenly grabbed a bottle of jasmine essential oil and slathered it all over my face thinking it was rose hip seed oil. That was a painful mistake, haha! My face turned bright red, but it smelled great.


You’ll want to mix the oil and water combination. Swirl it up so it mixes up as best as it can. Have your cotton face pads at the ready on the side, and when your oils look fairly evenly dispersed in the water (i.e. not just sitting on top of the water), gently add in the cotton pads.


Slowly add in the pads until there’s very little liquid left. You’ll probably add pads to your jar at least twice. I like to add pads that are about the height of the jar first, and then once those have absorbed the liquid, add in a few smaller segments of cotton pads. Push down on them so they absorb all of the liquid. You don’t want to have a lot of liquid left. You want to have each pad absorb just enough to be moist, but not soaking wet because then the pad will absorb a bit too much and may deteriorate a bit. You’ll figure it out, don’t worry. They’re still good, they just might be a little difficult to get out. If this happens, make a mental note to add a few more pads next time.


Once you’re happy with all of the pads you’ve added, seal the jar. I like to flip it upside down sometimes to make sure the top portion of pads gets as much liquid as the bottom portion of pads.

These are so great and best of all, cheap! Let’s do a list of ingredients per batch:

$0.18 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil  (I got this 14 oz jar of coconut oil at Aldi for $4.99)
$0.20 1/4 Teaspoon Rose Hip Seed Oil 
$0.02 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil  (this is such a minor amount of Lavender essential oil, I’m estimating on the high side).
$0.45 Cotton Pads (Big Lots sells sleeves of these for $1.00, Target for about $1.50. You’ll use less than half a sleeve per jar)

Wow! A grand total of $0.85 per batch of super awesome better-than-the-store skin cleansing makeup removing coconut oil pads! Let me know if you try this – I’m curious what changes you make to make this your own!

Soul Cafe Albany

Check it out, Soul Cafe is expanding from Troy to Albany. Their first shinding is next Monday, June 30th! I went to the planning potluck, and this is sure to be an awesome time (plus there’s parking!).


Soul Café Albany
Cuban Night with Chris Faraci (Carmen’s Café, Troy)
Monday, June 30, 6-8 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Albany, NY
$3 suggested donation
The first Soul Café Albany community meal will take place on Monday, June 30 from 6-8 PM at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on 262 State Street (parking lot entrance at 85 Chestnut Street) in Albany. There is a suggested base donation of $3 for this volunteer-run dinner (no one will be turned away). Denison Farm, the Honest Weight Food Co-op, Placid Baker, and other businesses donate culled produce for the cooks to prepare.
This month’s theme is Cuban Night, with a menu created by Chris Faraci of Carmen’s Café in Troy.
We are looking forward to working together to break bread in the community.
For more information, contact
More information can also be found on Facebook:
Carmen’s Café:
Honest Weight Food Co-op:

Fin for Lunch


My BFF & sister-in-law Maka was up for a girls’ weekend while Albany John and his brother CVS went to Dippikill for a guys’ weekend. I took her to Vent Guilderland (aka the best Vent at the moment) for a spa day of sauna and massage table. Afterwards we went to Fin, which is right next door to Vent, for lunch. I grabbed a salmon cake on a croissant for like $8. I’m not sure where they’re getting their croissants from (they had a bunch of bread for sale from Bread & Honey in Albany), though it was a nice option for a bun without an additional upcharge. The croissant itself was tough and not very flaky.

The salmon cake itself was great. They had sold out of most of the salads for the day, but the sandwich came dressed with plenty of green, so it was almost like a salad with a croissant on the side. It also came with some garlic aioli, and while I usually detest mayo, it was so good I just pretended it was some magically delicious sauce that didn’t contain mayo.

Maka got shrimp cake salad, which she thought was great. I also snagged a bite and really liked it. So good.There are some long communal tables at the front of their store, and we ate right there.

We both were incredibly pleased with the value of the lunches, too. We both had satisfying lunches with sustainably sourced seafood for under $9 per person! Who says sustainable has to be expensive?

Afghan Kebab Express


Afghan Kebab Express is tucked away in the Chinese-character-ed shopping plaza at 305 Central Ave. One of my friends really likes it, and arranged a casual group dinner.


Their menu is on the smaller side, which is good. There are some random funny dishes. Not the lamb shank in the background (which is a steal at $12.99, and so deliciously lamby and tender), but the chicken qorma in the center. It’s just on the menu as a side dish for $3.99, so obviously curiosity won out and we had to order it. It was interesting. More tomato based than creamy, and the veggies seemed like they came out of a frozen mixed Birdseye veggie bag, though at least they weren’t mushy. The chicken seems to be leftover kebab chicken since it had a nice char to it. Definitely an interesting riff on quorma/korma and a good way to repurpose leftovers on the cheap.

Bolani – $2.99 per order. Okay, but not something I’d *have* to get again. Veggie filled fried thing.

Lamb gyro (thanks for the love in the background, darling!) $5.99.

Blurry gyro over rice ($6.99) platter.

Beef kabab ($8.99) which you should really avoid ordering as it’s filet mignon, which is done no favors by cooking over a skewer and drying out by the time the exterior gets a char. They were pretty adamant that “that’s how it’s supposed to be”, but sawdust isn’t a flavor profile that our table was crazy about. After a bit of prodding they took it off the receipt and fired up a second order of …

Koobideh kabab platter ($8.99). Hello delicious! Now this really shines as a kebab/kabab. Fatty ground lamb and beef charred to perfection over an incredibly large portion of rice. You know I’m not a huge rice fan, but this was delicious. I almost ate all of the rice, which is saying something.

All of the platters come with a side salad (some lettuce, raw carrots, cucumber, tomato).

There are also hot sauces in jars on the table to spice up your dishes at your discretion. Weeknight dinner was pretty dead, and not too many take out orders. Hopefully their business will pick up, but I wonder if the location is a problem. Service was ambivalent and efficient. Go for the fattier cuts and you’ll be very happy you came.

Dry Aged Australian Ribeye


Adventure in Food had a rockin’ special in April for a full Australian grassfed ribeye roast for $5.99/lb. Yes. So yes. We grilled it up for Albany John’s birthday in May. It was an awesome and affordable way to go all out for any occasion.

Here’s what the full roast looked like unfrozen and out of the vac bag. Yep, that’s one whole ribeye roast alright. This was a hefty guy, something close to 15 lbs, if I recall.


Underside. I wanted to try dry aging this in our fridge. Salted the outside liberally, and tucked it in the fridge as pictured on cooling racks, turning every few days.

Mr. Beefers after a few days in the fridge shortly before go-time. It took up about half of a row in my fridge, and after a few days I started talking to it and calling it Mr. Beefers. “Good morning, Mr. Beefers,” and “My, you’re looking well today, Mr. Beefers!”

At this point I wasn’t sure how well the experiment would turn out. Would Mr. Beefers acquire an off flavor from the fridge? Would it make any difference?


A few hours over indirect heat on the grill (and covered on occasion). I didn’t carve anything off before slapping it on the grill. Once it hit rare, it came off the grill. And as you can see from the first image, I didn’t screw it up and cook it well done!

And then we play the waiting game.

It was an intensely beefy flavor, to be sure, although I’m not sure how much was from the dry aging or the grilling. However, I did slice off two large hunks so Mr. Beefers would fit on the grill, so I’ll give you a heads up if I notice something spiritual going on when it’s not kissed with smoky goodness. Overall, it was an awesome way to feed a crowd of 15+ people (with leftovers for seemingly EVER) for under $100. Definitely check out Adventure in Food’s specials page for deals like this when they come up.

Parivar Chat


Ah, Parivar. One of my favorite casual spots for a quick dinner. No need for reservations, and you can pick up ingredients from the grocery store part of the store on your way out. Pista Falooda ($4.49) is a great way to have dessert with dinner.

Samosa chat ($4.99) on the left, Idili Sambar ($3.99) and Dahi Vada (4.99) on the right. The Samosa were fine samosas, which came with a big bowl of chickpea masala.

The Idili are delicately steamed rice cakes, and the dahi vada are fried lentil-based doughnuts. Yet despite being fried, they taste deceptively light. Coconut chutney rounds them both out.


Some DIY Pani Puri ($4.99) on the left, and a bowl of tokri chat ($5.99) on the right.

Paneer Dosa ($8.99!) I love the gigantic dosas here. But make sure you bring a bunch of friends to share like I do! I loved the texture and flavor of the paneer in the dosa. So good.

Full meal ($7.99) two of the prepared dishes from the bar in front (okra and.. some other veggie dish I forget now) with a hefty side of basmati rice, dal, two parathas, one dessert, and spicy pickle and yogurt sauce on the side. The only clunker here was the dessert. A little overly soft, and the flavor is a little oily. Desserts seem to be Parivar’s weakness. Their savory dishes are a treat, but I’ve never really enjoyed their desserts.

One of the Indian Chinese dishes. These tend to be really salty, and that’s coming from a salt lover. It is fun to have a little bit of, but so overwhelmingly salty that I would probably not order this as a single item to eat solo.

Bread pakodas ($1.50 each) stuffed slices of bread and deep fried.
Gobi Indian Chinese on the left, another delicious dosa!

Taiwan Noodle – Updated Menu


The Fuj mentioned some new dishes on Taiwan Noodle‘s menu over the winter, and after the third or so mention, I asked him and Elise to meet Albany John and me there for a meal recently, and they kindly obliged.

First up: Spicy Shredded pork stomach ($3.95) on the left, 5-Spice Beef Shank on the right ($5.95). Hefty portion of beef in that dish. Served cold like deli meat, still very meaty. The pork stomach is served over a bed of peanuts. It’s can taste a touch gamey, but if you order the fried pig intestines it tastes mild by comparison.

The onslaught of shareable plates. Wood ear in the fore front, adding in the fried pig intestine (the red stuff top left) and scallion pancakes. Woah, the pig intestine was some stuff yo’ A-ma or Yeh-Yeh would be eating. That stuff was intense. Albany John is an old man at heart and he loved them (thank god, because the rest of us were not into them).

Squid rings! These had a nice breading and chew on the squid. I could eat a plate of these on my own. They had a side of seasoned salt, which was already in the batter. They said it wasn’t really necessary, and it wasn’t, but I guess they’ve had enough people ask that they now just bring some out.

Wonton soup on the left, and a dish from a new part of the menu – baked rice. This baked rice was seafood. It was a gravy type dish over rice. Kind of like baked fried rice, but with gravy. I’m not a huge rice fan, but I was really into this dish.
Pretty sure I ate close to half of this on my own.

Oh wait, did we also get Xiao Long Bao? I think we did, but I must have been too busy gobbling them down! Haha.



Marshmallows! I’ve been making marshmallows lately using Butter’s basic marshmallow recipe.

They’re great with a little cocoa, especially if you put in peppermint oil. Daniel B. loaned me his kitchenaid mixer before he hightailed it off to New Jersey. Instead of languishing in storage, it had been languishing on my shelf. So at least I know I don’t need a big ole Kitchenaid taking up space in my kitchen. But I figured that I should TRY to use the mixer while I have it. And what likes a big stand mixer more than marshmallows?


Here’s what I started out with – sugar, gelatin, corn syrup, peppermint essential oil, and powdered sugar. I had Knox gelatine sitting in my pantry, but have since purchased Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin from Amazon. It’s cheaper per lb than the Knox packets, and unlike Knox, there is no SMELL. OMG, Knox smells like a freaking barn once you hydrate the powdered gelatin. So it’s better and cheaper than Knox. Sign me up. But if you’re not sure you’re going to do much with gelatin the Knox will be fine as an intro. The flavor thankfully doesn’t linger into the final product. But then again I made mine aggressively peppermint-y.


Corn syrup, granulated sugar, water. Boil for a minute, then add it to your soaked gelatin in the kitchenaid mixer.


Whirl around for about 10 minutes, add in peppermint oil (I used about 10 drops for a VERY aggressively pepperminty marshmallow), then whip for 2 more minutes.


Parchment paper in a pan – plop in your marshmallow and even it out. You can put powdered sugar on top and press with more parchment paper for a more even look, but I wasn’t terribly concerned about that with my first batch.

Let it sit for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Then sprinkle more powdered sugar on a piece of parchment paper (parchment paper is your friend, here).

Gently pull off the parchment paper.

Almost there…

Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top. The sieve really helps reduce the amount of sugar you’d use than if you tried this by hand.

Use your handy dandy bench scraper or sharp knife and start cutting away!

Once you have some squares or shapes, roll them in more powdered sugar to keep them from sticking.


Surprise your husbear with hot cocoa and fresh marshmallows in the morning when your project is complete!

Sea Fish Market and Grill


Albany John picked me up a hard shell lobster meal from Sea Fish Market and Grill in Newton Plaza in Latham. It was $9.99 for a steamed lobster with two sides  – he went with waffle fries and grilled veggies. The waffle fries had some kind of extra coating on them to make them very crunchy. Love. So much love for the waffle fry. They traveled very well, too. Although everything in Latham is just 10 minutes away, max.

Lobster was great – it was a female and had some eggs inside. I love female lobsters and their egg sacs. Sea even sexed the lobster for Albany John. He’s a sweetie like that and will ask people at the fish counter for a female lobster because he know how much I like the roe. A lot of people will look at him funny, but he tells me Sea was very accommodating.

Albany John says everything was very clean inside. I’ll have to check it out myself in the near future. It’s nice to have a seafood place so close to home. Fin in Guilderland and Saratoga are awesome places, but for some reason I just don’t make it over to either location when they’re open. It takes me a bunch of schedule planning to get out there. Has anyone else been to Sea in Latham?