It's been so long since I posted a blog entry some kind souls reached out to see if I'm okay. Thanks so much for noticing! I am doing as well as can be expected. If you follow my social media you will see I am working on a complete re-branding and overhaul of my business. I've been working on it for months and now, right when I was finishing up, our daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis. For those keeping score, this means now every one of our children has a pre-existing condition, right when the GOP is trying to strip them of their health coverage. It's been an incredibly stressful few months.
I am dealing with it by trying to make sure we all stay as healthy as possible so we can avoid any additional costly medical intervention. My husband's company announced, despite the pandemic, all their employee insurance plans will be increasing in price due to hikes by the insurance companies. It's hard to stay positive when we live in a world with so much evil and greed.
Therefore... doughnuts and cookies to the rescue! Specifically beignets and Norwegian Fattigmann. It's difficult to be sad when you're eating fried dough! And these are Keto recipes, sugar and grain-free. The beignets even fit within Dr. Atkins' allergy elimination protocol diet! I adapted this from Ketochix's French Fry recipe on Instagram (@ketochix on Instagram). The French Fries are great, but these are even better.
Makes 8-10 beignets
1/2 cup almond flour
6 tsp Xanthan Gum
6 TBSP hot water
Pinch powdered monk fruit sweetener, sifted, and some for dusting (I prefer Lakanto)
Coconut oil, tallow, or lard for frying
Start heating the oil in your deep fryer, following manufacturer's instructions for the amount of oil to use. Mix the almond flour and xanthan gum with a pinch of the powdered sweetener. Add the hot water one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough forms a ball. It is very sticky dough, so that's normal. Chill for 15 minutes. Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment paper or silicone mats until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Deep fry on high for 5 minutes, turning over halfway through, until the beignets are puffy and golden. Shake off excess oil and dust with the sifted powdered monkfruit. Serve hot.
The thinner you roll the dough, the crispier and drier the beignets. Thicker dough produces beignets with a crispy shell and a gooey center. To adapt the recipe for Fattigmann, add a pinch of cardamom to the dough. Substitute 1TBSP brandy for one of the tablespoons of hot water. Roll the dough on the thinner side. Fold over one edge of each rectangle after you cut the dough, so it looks like you're making a little sack, as shown in the photo below.
Of course, real Fattigmann are actually twisted in a sort of knot, but this dough is too sticky for that. Fattigmann were my Norwegian grandfather's favorite cookies, he once told me. He didn't like sweets and they aren't very sweet cookies. Fattigmann means "poor man" in Norwegian and these are called "poor man's cookies". There is some argument as to why. Some say the expensive cardamom and brandy made the baker poor and others say these were the only treats poor people were able to afford to make. My grandfather's family was certainly poor, so that would make sense! These are a traditional Christmas treat in certain areas of Norway, or in my grandfather's case, Norwegian-America, and the original recipe is terribly labor-intensive. You roll out the dough and cut it into diamond shapes. Then you cut a slit in the center of each one and pull one end through the slit, like you're tying a bow. Then you fry them. They take forever! A couple times I made these for my grandfather and carted them from NC to Ohio but they aren't very good unless they're fresh and I gave up on it. I wish I had this recipe when he was alive! If you want to make these to travel I recommend only frying them about halfway. Then freeze them and finish frying them just before you serve them. You could probably make them in an air fryer, too. I would brush them with oil and fry them in 5 minute increments, checking them and turning them over every couple minutes until they're done.
I'm feeling better after treating myself to a plate of beignets. It was like I was at Cafe Du Monde! I wish I had some of their coffee! Outside of our kids' health issues, things are going well. I completely transitioned my women's and kids' fashion to ThredUP. I did this for two reasons: my daughter has been assigned to have her physical therapy at home and I need the room I was using for inventory for a home gym. Also, we have been finishing the tiny cabin shell we ordered all by ourselves, including even some electrical work. We spend most weekends up there now, so I am looking for more passive income sources that require less hands-on work from me.
In that vein, I finally wrote my book! It's called Doll University and it contains every doll repair tutorial I've ever made as well as instructions on how to turn those skills into a home business. I just finished correcting my author's proof and I hope to offer pre-launch copies at a discount later this week. I will update you as soon as I finish that. I'm just so thrilled, and now I have several more book ideas in the works. I've inspired my kids as well; my two youngest have their own books about halfway written and plan to publish them!
I am having my best year of my business so far. Before the pandemic I was on track to quadruple my earnings but now, with that and the extra time out of the shop required by my daughter's diagnosis, I am looking at just doubling it. That's still good, however, and I am proud of myself. As of October I also saved up my daughter's entire four- year college tuition, if she attends the same university as my son! That takes a huge load off my mind. I was able to buy a composting toilet for our tiny cabin, too. That will probably not sound as exciting to you as it was for us, unless you've been using an outhouse! Those suckers are expensive but it was worth every penny. I'm grateful every night I don't have to climb down the 60 foot cliff in the dark to use the outhouse. It's the little things!
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.