Legoland Review

Castle in Legoland HotelRecently, we went on vacation to Florida, and for the first time in years, did not go to Disney World. But, we couldn’t just skip parks all together, so we decided to try Legoland.

Legoland is certainly a better park to go to than Dollywood. On a scale of one to ten, where Disney World is a 10, I’d say Dollywood is a 3 and Legoland a solid 6.

Legoland is ideal for kids ages 4-8 years old. So if you are like many people with multiple kids, you may have one or two kids it’s great for, and then another kid who is bored.

The Boy driving a firetruck on a track for 3 to 4 year olds onlyIt does have good things for that age group. They even have some rides that only kids ages 3 to 4 can ride while older kids have to go someplace else. I liked this because it meant no older kids ruining things for my kid.
Other parents didn’t like it because it meant mom and dad having to split kids up into two lines at two different areas. Kudos to the employees who insisted on brothers and sisters splitting up too, even in the face of a couple of rude families who had obviously read the signs but felt they didn’t apply to them (or apparently the rules for kids to not climb on the rails, or not cutting in line). For those of us with one child, it was an advantage not having ill-behaved 7-year-olds running over my child in a car while he tried to steer.

The Boy riding as a Knight on a Lego horseYou can certainly tell that Legoland used to be a local amusement park. Just as you can still see the bones of Silver Dollar City in Dollywood, you can still see a lot of Cypress Gardens in Legoland. Some of the rides have obviously just been face-lifted to have Lego themes. Some newer rides, like in the World of Chima area, are much better made. But the employees are obviously proud of the history of the park and it made it feel more interesting.

We weren’t able to get to the water park section and I’ve heard that is a great area to visit. We’ll probably do that next time. Since we got to ride the water ride in World of Chima over and over (there were times where the employees just asked if we wanted to stay on) we ended up soaking wet as it was.

We liked Legoland.

We liked that we were able to find discounts on annual passes. We got The Boy the Awesome Pass and Mike and I got the special they ran on Cinco De Mayo of buy-one-Awesomer Pass and get-one free. That saved us $150.

The shopping, which seems to be a great deal of the park, doesn’t have anything that you can’t find online or a big Lego store. We did buy some Lego sets since the Awesomer Pass did get us a discount. One of the nice employees did spend quite a bit of time for me feeling all the minifig packs until she found me a Buzz Lightyear, Captain Hook and Peter Pan. So that’s something you don’t get in most Lego stores.

That brings me to the employees. They were not on par with Disney cast members, but they were running a pretty close second. Everyone was helpful. Everyone had a pretty good attitude. The young employees at the World of Chima water ride were the best. Taunting the riders to try to soak them with water from the guns as they pulled up from the ride. Laughing if they accidentally got hit as riders started the water guns up as they were leaving.

Legoland is not Disney. Where Disney would cover up the mechanics of how things work, Legoland was missing many of those touches. In the Miniland area, all the little tracks that boats, cars, etc. ran on were not covered up. Water in the Miniland area was stale looking. Miniature buildings looked like they needed a good scrubbing. It was neat to look at, but a little disappointing too knowing they could have taken that small extra step to make things, well, more magical. It was really these small touches that made it not feel on par with Disney. That being said, The Boy loved pushing the buttons in this area to get cars to move, pirate boats to squirt us with water, and smoke to come out of Star Wars fire-fights.

The family and the knight in the Legoland hotelThe Legoland hotel was a well themed hotel. We didn’t stay overnight, but we spent a few hours there letting The Boy play in the Lego pit, at the castle, and then had lunch in the bar area. We met the Knight; they also had a court jester to play Lego with the kids. The lunch we had there was pretty good, much better value and quality than the food we had in the park. I don’t think I’d stay at that hotel since the rooms were $300+/night. But it was nice to see and I’d definitely leave the park to eat in the bar area of the hotel. They even have non-alcoholic fancy drinks you can buy for your kids.

Legoland may not have all the magic of Disney, but, it also was a LOT cheaper than going to three days at Disney would have been. I think if we’d not been able to get a buy-one, get-one on our passes, I’d have been a bit disappointed. But we spent in total $270 on passes for three people for tickets we can use for a year. We get food discounts, we get free parking, we get discounts on merchandise. That’s not bad at all. As a comparison, a 3-day ticket for two adults and one child to Disney World is $852 and parking at Disney would be extra unless staying on property. Disney tickets get cheaper/per day the longer you go, but a Disney vacation is still a lot more than going to Legoland.

But, something to remember:  Disney World is the destination for your vacation. Legoland is the fun place you go to while you’re on vacation. I think we’ll be going back.

An Update to the Catio

Catio with curtain and tarp for floorThis is just a quick update to how the catio has been doing. To see the original post, go here.

I’ve come across a couple of issues that I needed to fix.

Problem #1. The main one, was rain pooling on the wood. The wood I had bought was rated as indoor or outdoor use. However, it was not pressure treated. As the rain water would pool on the edges that were not covered by the catio, it would soak into the wood. This would then make it damp inside the catio and I ended up getting a bit of mold growing on the wood.

Solution: My husband and I carried the catio off the wood and I cleaned it thoroughly with vinegar. Then, I laid a heavy duty tarp on top of the floor that was large enough to completely cover the wood. We then moved the catio back and everything has been much better since.

Problem#2: Rain coming in because of all the openings

Solution: The main issue was that rain would blow in from the front on very stormy, windy days. I think if I did the catio again, I would have only open screen on the side that is facing the house. Between the fan and the open screen on the side facing the house, the cats would get plenty of moving air. Right now, I’ve propped up the panel that would have gone where the screen is with wood. That keeps most of the rain from blowing in. When I have more time, I will probably just remove the roof, slide that screen out and replace the panel. But that may be something I do for cooler weather. Once we’re done with the rainy season, that won’t be as big of an issue.

Original Problem: This was actually addressed in the original post. But I wanted to talk about it again. Greenhouses are designed to keep heat in. If you put a cat in them, they need shade.

Solution: I built this underneath a deck that is mostly in shade all day. I also hung a curtain on the side where the sun does hit in the afternoon. This is extremely important if you are thinking about using a greenhouse for a catio.

Result after some time to think about: Other than these two new problems, the catio has been working great. I’m sure I’ll keep tinkering with it, but on the whole, I’ve been very pleased with it. And most importantly, the cats love being outside now.

Easy-ish Way to Make a Catio

insidesmall
Catio with the door open

What on earth is a catio, you ask? A catio is a safe place for indoor cats to go outside, usually built on a patio. And yes, you call it a catio because a cat house has a whole ‘nother meaning. That means, it needs to have screened windows for ventilation, and be safe to keep the cats in and other animals out.

We needed to build a catio because we want to sell our house, which meant getting the cats outside.

My first thought was to scour the internet for easy plans on making one. So I figured if I could find really good plans that weren’t too difficult, I’d be happy to build something. I needed something that would be light enough that when we move I could have a couple guys lift it into the back of a friend’s pick up truck and take with us. But all the plans on the internet either cost a lot or were really complicated. I tried writing my own plans, but then popped something in my elbow and the idea of doing a lot of manual labor myself went out the window. We tried three different handymen and all three turned us down. I’m not counting the 4th who didn’t even respond. Sigh.

I needed an alternative. I looked at modifying chicken coops (some of these could have possibly worked, so if this catio idea doesn’t work for you, consider chicken coops from someplace like wayfair.com). I looked at modifying dog houses, sheds (ridiculously expensive), and even children’s play houses. Nothing really worked for what I wanted – something that was big enough for me to easily get inside to clean and that would hold a good-sized cat tree, was light enough to move, but also didn’t cost more than about $500.

Finally, I started looking at greenhouses. The problem with a greenhouse, though, is that they’re designed to keep heat in during cold weather and allow lots and lots of sunlight in. Great for plants, not so great when you want it for cats in Tennessee heat.

What I found was a Palram Greenhouse. It’s available at several stores, but I ordered from Amazon. To be specific, it’s a Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse – 6 x 4 x 7 Silver. Aside from the fact that the instructions are TERRIBLE, I’ve been pretty happy with this. It’s surprisingly sturdy and well-made and light. It weighs less than 70lbs. So it’s awkward, but easy for two adults to lift. It was also fairly easy to modify to create a catio.

Make sure you give the catio a good floor. Ideally, you’ll have a floor wider than the catio. Then be sure you attach the catio to the floor. Make sure the floor is raised so that water won’t pool under it. I used two sheets of 4×4 sanded plywood on top of patio pavers. I couldn’t fit anything bigger in the back of my car. Right now, it’s held down by bungees. If this were going to be stand-alone away from the house, I’d bolt it down. But since this is protected by the deck above, it doesn’t get a a ton of wind.

Two problems to solve when modifying a greenhouse to a catio:

Problem #1 – too much sun. I solved this by the fact that I built it underneath our deck. It will be in shade most of the time. However, I added a curtain on the inside that I can use to block even more sun. They do sell netting for these, so if you don’t have a deck above it, check that out. The cats are enjoying the curtain, though, because it just makes one more place for privacy. They tend to each stay on opposite sides of it.

Problem #2 – no ventilation. This was the most difficult problem to solve.

  • Buy 1/4″ metal rods (2 per panel, total of 6)  – Note, I tried bamboo first and it broke.
  • Buy heavy gauge thread for outdoor use
  • Buy a roll of pet safe window screen, 48″ wide, 96″ long

Step 1: During the building step where you insert the wall panels, don’t install three of the wall panels. Just a hint, make sure you leave two solid walls on opposite sides and make sure the panels you remove have the metal angle brace. That makes it much sturdier than if you remove too many panels or remove ones that the original walls are the primary support. I did one open panel on the front next to the door and two panels on the rear wall. Keep the side panels as-is since those do not have metal bracers to help with keeping it sturdy.sewsmall

Step 2: Using a sewing machine, make pockets for the rods on the 3 panels that you measure to fit, then insert the rods. You don’t have to worry about tops and bottoms of the screens.

Step 3: Insert the screen into the metal upright pieces where the wall panels would go. Use the included tool for your greenhouse to bend down the extra few inches of rod you don’t need.rod pocketsmall (If I had a way to cut the rod, that would have been better, but I wasn’t willing to buy a tool for that).

Step 4: Continue building the greenhouse following regular directions. Make sure when putting the upper cross braces in, that you tighten it through the top of the screen to hold it.2 catssmall

Step 5: After the greenhouse is built, use thin metal wire to thread through the bottom of the screen and attach the bottom to the greenhouse. Note: I left a couple gaps where I could put outdoor extension cords through so the cats could have their water fountain and, where in the summer, I could put a fan inside, if needed. Warning, I’m not very happy with the amount of wire this exposes to the cats. So I’ve used blankets and other items to cover the wire up so the cats don’t play with it. I may try to come up with a better solution for this in the future. It’s possible using the thread could work, but I felt like the wire held it more sturdily.

After this, I moved in their cat tree, litter, water, food and some blankets. The cats love it.

Final thoughts:

What I’d do differently if I could: I’d get a larger greenhouse. 4×6 sounds pretty large, but it really isn’t. I’d love to have gone with the 8×8 version. However, that would not have fit in the space I had or been easy to move. On the whole, I’m very happy with how this turned out.

What about rain? After these pictures were taken, I used two of the spare panels with some wood to create an overhang next to the wall of the catio on each side where the plywood extends. This will help prevent rain from pooling on that wood and getting inside. In the event of a big storm, I plan on using the panels almost as storm shutters and propping them up from the inside. And, of course, I will bring the cats inside.

Talk to your vet. We did talk to our vet before doing this. Our cats are now on flea/tick medicine because, even though this is screened, mosquitoes and other bugs can still get to them.

 

 

A Quick Review of Deadpool

Deadpool

Deadpool is not one of the characters I’d want to read about in Comic books. But for Valentine’s Day, Mike and I went to see it. Yes, we are so romantic.

Here are my VERY quick thoughts on the movie.

Surprisingly Awesome. I can’t believe that I really liked this movie. This was the perfect role for Ryan Reynolds and I think everyone making this movie realized that.

Definitely NOT a Kids movie. You would have to be insane to bring a child – and by that, I mean anyone under the age of 18 to this movie. This was an adult movie. Do not bring a child to this movie. Do not let your young teen go to this movie. I am seriously surprised this movie did not get an NC-17 rating. Don’t bring a kid to this movie! Too much torture, violence and sex for young eyes. Not to mention, kids won’t get the 80s and 90s pop culture jokes.

That being said, when The Boy is old enough, Mike has said he’d enjoy watching it with him. But again, not until he’s 18 and with the understanding he’d have to explain the jokes.

So weird seeing Morena Baccarin like this. Granted, she’s technically playing a sex worker just like she did in Firefly, but Inara was nothing like this. She does tough very well and I would like to see how they grow her character in the sequel.

Humor. Any movie that does not one but TWO Sinéad O’Connor jokes that are not mean-spirited and has so many jokes referencing 80s and 90s pop is just a winner in my book. I loved the humor in this. It’s what made the film for me.

Worth full-price and a re-see on matinee.

Star Wars The Force Awakens, it was actually good!

We got to see the new Star Wars movie the other day and it was amazing the relief I felt after seeing it. This was the Star Wars movie I’d hoped for with the prequels and was constantly disappointed. Was it a perfect movie? Definitely not. But it was a great Star Wars movie and even those, like Mike, who aren’t huge fans can go thinking it’s a pretty good movie. 

Spoilers follow. Big ones. Don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie. Seriously.

What I liked:

The humor! Finally, it’s back. Star Wars began taking itself way too seriously in the last few movies. They were boring and complicated. Though the politics of this movie were still overly complicated (Republic, Resistance, First Order, Senate, who cares) it wasn’t filled with interminable scenes of people we don’t care about debating. Here, we get humor not just from Han Solo and Chewie, but the next generation doesn’t seem as stupid and afraid to crack a smile as the grandparents of the prequels. 

The newbies. Finn and Rey have a good chemistry. They are both obviously special in some mysterious way that I actually care about finding out. I’m assuming Rey ends up being related the main folks in some way, but I’m looking forward to finding out more on the janitor turned hero. 

Han’s death. It was telegraphed like a neon sign as soon as you saw his son walk onto that walkway over a needless abyss. You’d think every major character would learn to fear those. Yeah, Obi Wan dies on one, Luke loses a hand, the emperor gets tossed off one, and here comes Han. He had to die. Harrison Ford could not continue as Han because he’d completely steal the movies from the next generation. They could give him one line in the movie and he’d still be what everyone talked about. All that being said, it was the best death Han Solo could ask for, on an important mission to save millions of people and trying to save one person he loved. 

What I wish had been better:

How did Poe end up back with the fleet all of a sudden, why did he not care about finding BB8, and why is he acting like he found a lost brother in someone he knew for all of twenty minutes before crash landing? It felt like a whole section of the movie had been cut and it was jarring. 

What is up with Captain Phasma? Please tell me she ends up being the one who somehow turned off Finn’s conditioning and she’s really a good guy. Otherwise, I’m going to be really disappointed in how she rolled over and completely gave up the codes that are responsible for keeping practically her entire army safe. And how she obviously didn’t follow through on making sure Finn was reconditioned or at least re-assigned back to garbage duty rather than continuing to walk freely around. Here’s the first female Storm Trooper we see and she’s…incompetent and willing to give up her codes at some minimally harsh words? And yet, we’re expected to see her as some great Storm Trooper leader? Maybe it’s because they have incompetents as leaders that they have such poor accuracy with their shots. Maybe they should spend more time drilling and less time standing in formation listening to a too-young general gloat about how big and bad his weapon is and how it’s better than the other two Death Stars because it’s bigger. How old is that kid anyway? He looks like a 12-year-old in his Dad’s uniform.  And he’s a general?

Finally, there’s Snoke.  I’m not complaining about his ridiculous size where he’s obviously over compensating for a lack of confidence, or ability, or something like not existing prior to this movie and coming out of nowhere. No, I’m complaining about his name. Really, the guy’s name is Snoke. Let’s think of what it sounds like, smoke- yes as in smoke and mirrors. Snope? For sure, obviously he’s told Ben Solo a pack of lies. Snookered him, if you will. Ah, there we have it. Snoke is a combination of Snopes and Snookered. Come on, pick a better name for the bad guy. This was just awful. 

But these are just nit picks. It really was a good movie and a great Star Wars film. I had pretty much decided to pretend that episodes 1-3 didn’t exist when it comes time to show The Boy the films. But at least I can include this movie in the rotation and be happy doing so. 

My thoughts, it’s worth full admission once. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with 3D, but I don’t like 3D anyway. We went to the RPX matinee and that’s the way I’d prefer it. 

The Santa Problem

Even before we had a child, Mike and I talked about how to handle The Santa Problem. Mike will tell you he was (and still is) traumatized by discovering his parents had flat out lied to him for YEARS about this. My family came at Santa more from the idea of whoever gave out the presents on Christmas morning was Santa and it was fun to pretend he existed. We always joked that it was Mrs. Claus who filled our stockings since it was our mom who did the work.

We decided when The Boy came along to go at Santa more from the perspective my family had. We didn’t want him to be That Kid who ruined it for everyone else, but we also didn’t want to take part in a lie that society seems to think is perfectly acceptable to do right at the age where we’re teaching kids that lying is wrong.

But here’s where the problem comes. The Boy talks to his friends at pre-school. These kids are indoctrinated by desperate parents who have told them to behave or they’ll end up on Santa’s Naughty List. (And believe me, there have been times I’ve wished to be able to use that.) But now, the kids have a go-to threat with each other. You make me angry; I’ll tell you you’re on The List.

We have been very careful to tell The Boy that we like to pretend about Santa; that it’s a fun thing to do. We’re not quite sure if he believes or not. He’ll make comments about pretending there’s a Santa or noticing that the Zoo Santa we saw this year was the same Santa as last year. But then, he’ll make comments about how all his presents come from Santa. We both shot that one down fairly quickly since we want him to understand that those come from family who need to be thanked when they give him a gift.

I’ve told him how much we liked pretending that my mom was Mrs. Claus and how I’m looking forward to being Mrs. Claus to fill his stocking. I’ve told him about the man, St. Nicholas and how that name eventually turned into Santa Claus. We’ll see how he does as he gets older. I don’t remember ever being surprised about Santa as a child. I’m hoping we’ll be able to walk the fine line between fun and truth a few more yzoosanta2015ears.

In the mean time, we’ll enjoy the fact that The Knoxville Zoo has an awesome program for meeting Santa. It’s a wonderful place to go where one parent can stand in line to meet Santa while the other watches as The Boy plays on the slide in the jungle cave or looks for dinosaur bones in the dig pit. And getting to see animals afterward around the zoo is just one more amazing benefit.

A quick review of “The Martian”

I am one of those annoying people who always read the book before seeing a movie. I usually end up comparing the movie to the book and finding the movie rather lacking. Sometimes, I’ll think the movie is a good movie on its own, even when it’s nothing like the book. In this case, I can definitely say that “The Martian” is a great movie on it’s own, as well as a pretty faithful adaptation of Andy Weir’s book.

This review has spoilers. It’s a quick review and the movie has been out a few weeks, so I don’t want to have to figure out what might spoil it for folks. If you haven’t seen it, you should. We saw the movie at a matinee and I would happily re-see it in the theaters again. It is almost unheard of for me to say this because I’m a cheapskate.

So here we go… Spoilers below….

Continue reading

The Beaches of Charleston, SC

We got to take a last minute vacation recently and decided to visit Charleston, SC. I’ll probably write a couple posts on it, but today, I wanted to give a quick review of a couple of the beaches.

We visited Sullivan’s beach and the Isle of Palms.

Sullivan’s IslandSullivansBeachsmaller

Sullivan’s Island’s and Folly beaches are the most well-known of the beaches in Charleston. They are certainly large and Sullivan’s Island is a protected barrier island that has lovely sand, not many seashells and fairly tame waves compared to other beaches I’ve been to. Parking was fairly convenient and free. But you have to find it on the many side streets and hope to get within an easy walking distance of the beach. There were no restrooms that I could find. But after only going to this beach, I was seriously thinking it was one of the nicer beaches I’d ever visited. The only trash I found was a small piece that might have come from a cigarette filter, very little kelp washed up, the sand was smooth and easy to walk on. Just a lovely, restful place to spend a day. Sullivan’s also had more and possibly better restaurants than we saw at Isle of Palms. I can definitely recommend this beach. That being said, we tried Isle of Palms at the suggestion of a co-worker and again at another suggestion from the lovely lady serving us at Hello Deli in North Charleston (a deli so good, we ate there three times during our 5 days in Charleston) and that one became my favorite.

IsleofPalmssmallerIsle of Palms

Isle of Palms is smaller than Sullivan’s. But it is gorgeous. The beach was quiet– granted, we visited here on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, so I’m sure it was packed the day before. The waves here seemed slightly more intense than at Sullivan’s, perhaps just because of the day we came, but I got the feeling Sullivan’s always has comparatively tame waves. There were still very few shells on the very clean beach, but more than at Sullivan’s. On the beach was a beautiful pier that many people used for shade from the sun but also acted as a great little science show for The Boy on where seashells come from. The nicest thing about Isle of Palms, though, was the amenities. There is street parking for $1 an hour close to the beach, but because this is also a park, there was a public parking lot for $7/day extremely close to the entrance to the beach. Plus, the entrance to the beach included a large bathroom facility with separate changing rooms and an outdoor shower where people could at least rinse off the majority of the sand, and a lovely playground area for kids. To top it all off, the sand at Isle of Palms even made a much better sandcastle than Sullivan’s. This was a beautiful beach and we will definitely be back.

Truly, if you’ve got time to spend at the beach, either Sullivan’s Island or Isle of Palms would be great choices.

Cooking adventures with The Boy

apronOur son is 3.5 years old. He’s at the age where he wants to learn and do things “all by myself!” but still needs help. There’s one thing I love to have him help with and that’s cooking dinner. I want him to know that boys can cook. I want him to know how to make food for himself and be independent, and I want him to know what it takes to get his food prepared. He’s been helping me a lot lately and I realized something early on that makes me really encourage him to help me cook. He loves to eat the food he’s made himself. He’s willing to try new things. He loves going out with me to the container garden and picking a tomato and then (if it lasts that long and isn’t eaten first) seeing that tomato end up on the table in a dinner he’s helped to make.

One of our favorite things to make together is pancakes. He does everything once and then “lets” me take over. We talk about how much Bisquick mix we need. He gets to stir, pour it out on the pan and flip the pancakes when done. If we’re in the mood, he sprinkles chocolate chips on some of them.  I even let him flip the bacon the first time (before it starts to really sizzle and pop).

Yesterday, he got his first “burn.” We’d been talking about not touching hot pans. I’d just turned the pan on and it was beginning to warm up. I warned him several times to not touch. But, I also decided to step back a bit and see what he’d do. As I suspected, he reached out and lightly brushed the end of the pan with his finger. He jumped back to show me his “burn” and we dealt with it. The pan was just barely warm and the “burn” was not even a red spot. (By the time we turned around to the sink to run cool water over it and get the medicinal Mama kiss, neither of us could remember which finger was actually “burned.” We finally settled on the right since that had been closest to the pan). I hope it was enough for him to understand not to touch, though. He could tell that the pans continued to heat up. Considering they are talking about the five senses this week in daycare, I’m wondering if he’ll mention this incident for “touch.”

Yes, having my helper makes it harder to get dinner on the table. But it is so much fun. We are learning about hand-washing before food prep and washing after touching raw meat and eggs. We’re learning what food looks like cooked and un-cooked. He’s learning that there are ways to measure things and how to be careful so we don’t make too big of a mess – though some mess is required and the cooks definitely get to sample the chocolate chips. But he’s also learning that he’s part of the family and has responsibilities to help. All this and the memories are priceless.

Easy Homemade Donuts

chocolate covered donut
Chocolate frosted

My mother used to make us donuts at home. They were delicious. She’d mix the dough and spend the time to deep fry them. Then, we’d all choose our toppings from an array that she’d mix up from a base powdered sugar mixture. It’s one of my favorite memories from childhood. I decided this would be one of the memories The Boy would have of his childhood. But I don’t have the time or inclination to mix up donut dough from scratch. Thankfully, cans of Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Biscuits exist.

To make easy homemade (and delicious) donuts at home, you’ll need

  • The biscuit dough
  • Frying oil (I usually use the leftover peanut oil after I’ve made eggrolls)
  • Flavorings (like: maple, almond, vanilla)
  • Other toppings (like: cake frosting, cocoa powder, crushed nuts, sprinkles, etc.)
  • Milk (if you don’t have milk, you can use water, but the glaze tastes like it’s missing a little something)
  • Powdered Sugar

Making the Donuts

maple frosted donut
Maple frosted
  1. Open the can of Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits
  2. Use a cap from a bottle, or a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pop a hole out of the center
  3. In a pan of hot oil, drop the donuts and donut holes a few at a time. Flip after they are golden brown on the bottom.
  4. After frying on both sides, remove from the oil and drain.
  5. While the donuts are still warm, dip them in your favorite toppings.

Making the Donut Toppings

array of donut toppings
From top to bottom: maple, powdered sugar, plain glaze, melted chocolate frosting

 

  1. Get a large bag of powdered sugar
  2. Split off a small bowl for just plain powdered sugar
  3. Mix the rest of the powdered sugar with milk to make a plain glaze. (This is what your Krispy Kreme donut is covered in)
  4. Split the plain glaze into several bowls,  depending on what flavors you like.
  5. Here is what we usually do:
  • Leave one bowl plane
  • On the second bowl, add a small amount of maple flavoring (or syrup if that’s all you have)
  • On the third, add cocoa powder (if you’re out of cocoa powder, a chocolate can of cake frosting microwaved for a few seconds until it’s melted makes an AMAZING chocolate frosting for donuts. That is what the chocolate donut above is covered in).
  • Line the bowls up into an assembly line and let everyone choose their own toppings.