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Back to Barbeque Basics


Tomorrow is Labor Day. The last Barbeque Howrah for most of the country. After which the equipment will be covered, packed away or hung up until next year. Friends will recollect fond memories of the picnics, cookouts, and other outdoor parties and the amazing foods of summer will be talked about as the weather cools to a chill.

Before the official close of summer occurs, here’s a rundown on some food safety. It absolutely never hurts to be reminded that bacteria is not our friend and that it can multiply faster between the temperatures of 40°F and 140°F. As most of the country still enjoys nice warm days using the following cautions might keep someone out of the latrine if not the hospital. Here is a heads up on food safety, one-last-time.

1. Wash hands.

It seems basic, but not everyone does it. Wash hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom and before cooking or eating. If you’re in an outdoor setting with no bathroom, use a water jug, some soap, and paper towels. Consider carrying moist disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands.

2. Keep raw food separate from cooked food.

Don’t use a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for anything else unless the plate has first been washed in hot, soapy water. Keep utensils and surfaces clean.

3. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not out on the counter.

And if you want to use some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a separate portion. Don’t reuse marinade that contained raw meat.

4. Cook food thoroughly.

To kill any harmful bacteria that may be present, use a food thermometer. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160°F. If a thermometer is not available, make sure hamburgers are brown all the way through, not pink. Chicken should be cooked to at least 165°F. If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.

5. Refrigerate and freeze food promptly.

It can be hard to remember while a party is going on, but food should not be left out of the cooler or off the grill for more than two hours. Never leave food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90°F.

6. Keep hot food hot.

Hot food should be kept at or above 140°F. Hot food should be wrapped well and placed in an insulated container. If bringing hot take-out food such as fried chicken or barbecue to an outdoor party, eat it within two hours of purchase. In addition to bringing a grill and fuel for cooking to an outdoor location, remember to pack a food thermometer to check that your meat and poultry reach a safe internal temperature. When re-heating food at the outing, be sure it reaches 165°F.

7. Keep cold food cold.

Cold food should be held at or below 40°F. Foods like chicken salad and desserts that are in individual serving dishes can be placed directly on ice or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.

You can find this and more information at U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.


fig and tequila gelato at Screme in NYC

Official site picture of fig and tequila gelato

I have searched everywhere for a recipe for Fig & Tequila Ice-Cream but came up empty handed. I think the only place you can get a scoop of this interesting combination is in NYC at Screme and then only during the month of December, apparently … Caution: this is not exactly ice-cream as you know it but a gelato (see picture) made with, figs & tequila, ergo the name ~~~ Screme advertized this delight last December as (and I quote here) “You’ve made it halfway through the month! Time to give your liver a break (well, sort of) with a couple hair-of-the-dog scoops“. A good idea? I guess if you are weathering NYC shopping plus NYC weather in the month of December and you need a drink to get you through to the next round of book stores and shops.

I did not know this but each day during December Screme’s Bar delivers up a festive drink. Kind of sounds like fun to me and if I drank like a sailor I’d spend some coins at Screme and taste a few combinations but the fact is I don’t drink hard liquor and rarely enjoy a small glass of good wine. But, if you are interested and in NYC during the holidays I will tell you that the normal small will cost you a fiver ($5), a medium $7 and a large $9.

Anyway, if in NYC during the holidays and you feel the need to imbibe to reduce your swollen tootsies Screme is at 2030 Broadway between 69th and 70th Sts, and at 242 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; you can also visit them at

I have added Screme to my 100 things to do list before I die….it is included with shopping at Strand book store and to ice skate at Rockefeller Center which will be done to my joy or detriment this coming December.

Tomatoes & Eggplant – a real summer treat

This morning I spotted a ripe Black Brandywine heirloom tomato on the vine.  Of course I immediately picked it!  If you have not tried growing heirloom tomatoes I encourage you to try growing some.  They are chocked full of incredible flavor and are quite easy to grow either in your vegetable garden or in a patio container.  The picture to the left is of a cluster of these delightful and colourful Black Brandywine tomatoes.  Naturally, my picking that ripe tomato meant a nice lunch on the patio for me and the preparation was simple and so easy.

Um -- nothing says refreshing like a glass of sun iced-tea.

First: I placed this canning jar outside in the hot sun (yes, it was sealed and had some sugar added too) – after about two hours I brought it in, gave it a quick stir, added ice – and walla – iced sun-tea was ready to enjoy.

Oven-roasted tomatoes & eggplant - this picture is of early girl tomatoes and eggplant. The Brandywine are darker and sweeter and hold up well when roasted.

Second:  I took the heirloom Brandywine tomatoes and sliced them along with a nice globe eggplant I had on hand; placed the tomatoes and eggplant into a roasting pan, sparingly drizzled light olive oil over the top, then sprinkled one (1) tablespoon chopped fresh picked rosemary and one (1) tablespoon chopped fresh picked sweet basil from my herb garden.  Tossed ingredients to coat.  Placed into the oven at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes (my oven is OLD so you might not need twenty minutes in yours) removed, sprinkled with very little salt and some white pepper and served with sliced pita bread and a variety of cheeses I had on hand.  A simple and easy lunch for a summer’s day.  And I topped it off with two (small) scoops of coconut-milk sorbet.   Right now I’m in heaven.

Melted Crayons!

Don’t be wasteful – Recycle!

Below are two fail-safe recipes for melting all those bits and pieces of crayons otherwise tossed into the rubbish. 

I know you are so excited you’re gathering up all those bits and pieces right now, aren’t you!  Your aspiring young artists will love making these multi-coloured “chubbies” and it is so easy and fun to do.  Plus, it is a great way to teach kids the benefits of recycling and being thrifty.

Best recipe for oven melted crayons:

  1. Gather up old crayon pieces, remove any paper.
  2. Place pieces into paper-lined muffin tins.
  3. Place tins  in a 200-degree oven for just a few minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before removing from tins.  Before the “chubbies” are completely cooled they can be deeply scored with a metal knife allowing them to be broken into smaller sized “chubbies” after they are completely cooled, if you like.

My kids always loved to look through the oven glass window to watch them melt.  And they loved making interesting colours we called “chubbies” by mixing all the colors together.  You can also make one solid and vibrant colour if you like.  There are no rules!

Best recipe for Microwave melted crayons:

  1. Gather old crayon pieces, remove any paper.
  2. Place pieces in a throw away microwave-safe plastic container.  (NOTE: the plastic will stain leaving the container unusable for any food product!)
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time; check after each 30 seconds, swirl with plastic spoon or knife until melted.
  4. Remove from microwave, let cool slightly before removing from container.  As with oven melted crayons these can be scored and broken into smaller sized “chubbies”.
  5. Allow to completely cool before using.

The rest of the storyIn 1947 Mamma gave me a box of eight crayons which were immediately broken to bits.  My chubby little fingers apparently the culprit.  I cried over it but Mamma, experienced in a child’s tears knew exactly what to do.  She peeled the paper from the broken bits and put them into a glass dish and placed it out in the direct hot summer sun and told me to wait for my crayons to become something special.  What resulted was a mixture she molded into several rather crocked but sturdy sticks which were not so easy for my chubby fingers to break.  Problem solved!

When I had children of my own I knew exactly what to do with all those multi-coloured bits and pieces of crayons.  And although my children never cried over broken crayons saving all the bits and pieces stretched the crayon budget, taught the concept of “waste not, want not” and recycling before recycling became so fashionable.

Serious Vanilla Ice Cream


  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped



  1. Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat.
  2. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan (see note below)
  3. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate overnight to marry flavors.


Next day:

  1. Place mixture in a ice cream freezer and process according to unit’s directions (the mixture will not freeze hard in the machine).
  2. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and has reached a soft-serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into the lidded container and harden in the freezer at least one (1) hour before serving.


Note: If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer.  As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat.  Do not let it boil!

Ms. Dee’s Pie Crust Recipe is my mother’s and if you ever use it you’ll use none other

In short, Mother Knows Best — at least she does when it comes to a recipe for pie crust.   Her simple trick works so well I have never had a failed pie crust when using her recipe and I have tried many many other pie crust recipes.  Mum grew up on a farm where eggs were plentiful perhaps this is why her passed down recipe has an egg in it.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cup cool or cold water used to measure out Crisco
  • 2/3 cup Crisco shortening (see trick* below)
  • 1 egg (small or medium eggs are fine)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar (but I’ve used apple cider vinegar in a pinch)
  • flour on board for rolling out dough


  1. Measure out flour and salt into a flour sifter
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl; set aside
  3. Place exactly 1-1/3 cups water into a clear glass 2 cup measuring cup with easy to read measurement markings
  4. Trick*–Add spoonfuls of Crisco to the 2 cup measuring cup you filled with 1-1/3 cups water until the water rises to the 2 cup measurement mark — this is Mum’s simple trick to insure she has exactly 2/3 cup of Crisco needed for the crust
  5. After reaching the 2 cup mark discard the water and dump the Crisco into the large bowl of sifted flour and salt
  6. Using a pastry cutter (or use two knifes in a crisscross fashion) cut Crisco into the flour until it looks like tiny balls disbursed throughout
  7. In the 2 cup measuring cup (already dirty!) place the egg, 4 teaspoons water and the 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar and stir until blended together
  8. Make a small well in the center of the flour to accept the liquid ingredients and add one tablespoon of the combined egg & water mixture at a time to the flour mixture
  9. Using your hands (I know, just do it!) mix together by turning and squeezing until a ball begins to form and mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl — You may have some liquid left over or you may need another bit of water just watch the dough for when it pulls away from the side of the bowl into a ball it’s done
  10. Divide dough into three or four balls (depending on size of pie pan you have) and give them a love pat to flatten some and wrap each ball into plastic wrap
  11. Place each plastic wrapped dough ball into the refrigerator for at least one hour before rolling out.  The dough needs to be cold to work  —  The dough can be placed into the freezer for later use at this time, as well, see storage of pie crust below
  12. When ready to roll out dough liberally sprinkle flour on board and using a rolling pin roll out to desired thickness for the pie you are making — usually 1/8-1/4″ thickness — pie shell will pre-bake nicely in a 400 degree oven in about 12 to 15 minutes

Storage of pie crust:  Double-wrap into plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag.  Close and place in deep freezer for up to six (6) months.

Pie Dough Apology

If you are looking for my mother’s pie dough recipe – as promised for today’s post – you have an apology instead of a recipe and a request to wait one more day please.  Life happened 😦

Home Run Hot Dogs

Today is Magic Day! Plus, in 1839 Baseball was invented.  Combine the two — Baseball & Magic — and what do you have?  The Hot Dog of course!  What? !!  Aren’t you with me on this?

When I was a kid back a hundred years ago the hot dog was (1) red & skinny (2) barbequed to death and (3) served with ketchup or mustard – and that was it, folks!

Mamma never asked if I wanted ketchup or mustard she just said the color, hence my ‘dog’ became yellow dog, my brothers was red dog while our parents lived on the edge and had both red and yellow on theirs.  The bun was never toasted and  the dogs were like chewing on a rubber tire.  I was not then nor am I now a fan of the Hot Dog, unless used as a substitute for chicken or pork in a non-sauce one pan dish my family calls ‘hot-dogs, peppers & potatoes’.  Baseball, on the other hand, is another story but last time I checked you can’t boil a baseball, grill a baseball or eat a baseball although, if you could, I’d do it!  I love baseball.

Anyway, today being Magic Day and all, I thought I’d pull a hot dog out of the uncommon culinary hat and serve some up on a platter.  At least virtually, in this blog, by borrowing some mighty good hot dog eats from Lagasse, Flay and Fieri —  Are you ready?

Let’s begin with Emeril Lagasse’s take on the hot dog:

Emeril Lagasse's Ultimate-Hot-Dog-Bar

You can make the sauce and seasoning well ahead of time!


Jalapeno-Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese
  • 3/4 cup (mild or hot) pickled jalapeno slices, drained

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Barbequing the Dog Emeril Style:

Preheat a well-oiled grill to medium-high heat. Place hot dogs on preheated grill and cook with grill lid covered, until nicely marked on all sides and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness. Remove hot dogs from the grill and keep warm until ready to serve.

Buns Emeril Style:

Brush the cut sides of the hot dog buns lightly with the olive oil. Place cut side down on the grill and cook, with the grill lid open, until lightly toasted. Serve buns immediately with grilled hot dogs, Jalapeno-Cheese Sauce, and assorted garnishes.

Credits to:  “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Nest up is Bobby Flay’s take on the hot dog:



  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • Fresh limes
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Tomato-Chipotle Salsa:

  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo puree


  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 8 hot dogs, grilled
  • Grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Tomato-Chipotle Salsa
  • Fried Blue corn tortilla chips
  • Hot sauce
  • Pickled jalapenos, sliced or chopped


 Guacamole: Coarsely smash all of the ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Salsa: Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium.

Assembly: Put the buns on the grill to toast. Put a sheet of aluminum foil onto the grill and add the grilled hot dogs. Sprinkle with cheese and allow it to melt. Add the hot dogs to the grilled buns, then top with guacamole, salsa, blue corn tortillas, hot sauce and pickled jalapenos.

And let’s end with with Guy Fieri’s take on the hot dog:


  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 yellow onions, minced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80/20
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 20 hot dogs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons celery salt


In a medium saute pan over medium heat add, margarine and 1 minced onion. Saute till translucent, but do not brown. Next add chili powder, paprika, allspice, curry, dry mustard and cinnamon. Then add beef, stir thoroughly and cook for 5 minutes, add water and simmer over medium to low heat for 30 minutes.

In a medium sauce pot boil hot dogs with salt and steam buns.

When meat is done simmering, add meat mixture to the hot dog in the bun, top evenly with minced onion, yellow mustard, and a sprinkle celery salt

Disclaimer (of sorts): You can find all these recipes and others at Food Network.  I did!  If this post was left totally up to my ‘on hand’ recipes for hot dogs there would be no post! 

Southern Iced Tea – your ultimate sugar rush!

In the south Iced Tea is made with no less than 1-1/2 to 2 cups white granulated  sugar in one standard sized pitcher full! Can anyone say: SUGAR RUSH?

When I was a kid a pitcher of iced-tea was a daily staple on our dinner and supper table (for you non southerners dinner is the noon hour meal and supper is the evening meal) — and even if other beverages were served, like milk, Kool-Aid or lemonade Mama always had some of Daddy’s favorite beverage, sweet tea, on the table.  Always!

I never saw a cup of hot tea until I went to live with my birth mother Ms. Dee when I was in my mid teens. (I’ve sort of written about Ms. Dee – See bottom section of post Cooking & Baking: substitution charts).   Naturally I put two spoonfuls of white sugar in a cup of hot tea!  Hey, don’t wince over this, for once addicted to sugar it becomes an albatross of a situation. I broke myself of this addiction years ago – now healthier choices reign supreme. Thankfully!

But just in case you are wondering about how to make the standard pitcher of Southern Iced Tea — I’m pleased to tell you:

  1. Into a standard sized pitcher (usually 2 quart) place 1-1/2 to 2 cups of white granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want your tea)
  2. Fill a 4 quart pot with 2/3 up with water and bring to a boil
  3. Add six – eight individual sized tea bags (depending on how dark/strong you want your tea)
  4. Turn off burner but leave pot on-top of burner and cover with its lid and let tea steep for at least twenty minutes
  5. Remove tea bags and pour steeped tea into the pitcher and stir to dissolve sugar
  6. Pour over glasses full of ice (our iced-tea sat out quite a while on the table so by the time the meal was served it was at room temperature and did not totally melt the ice in our glasses)

This is the easiest way but sometimes my aunt would add the sugar to the pot before she added the tea bags to make sure the sugar dissolved.  Why?  Not a clue, folks.  I just remember her doing this but I remember Mama making hers as listed in steps 1 through 5.  

Not rocket science!  Just a plain good sugar rush!

Doughnut Dough (National Donut Day)

THE NATIONAL DONUT DAY was created by the Salvation Army in 1938 as a fund-raiser for the Chicago area Salvation Army in hopes to help the areas needy during the Great Depression. 

THE inspiration came from the “Lassies” of WW I who served donuts to soldiers. To honor these ladies and raise the much needed funds it was decided to have a doughnut sale. Hence, the name.  The idea caught on and continues to this day in the form of a celebratory holiday for the doughnut  (a.k.a “donut”) — an edible, torus-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened.

(note: Chris Parry from the Vancouver Sun noted in a satirical column some Canadians are jealous of the U.S. holiday) I say: Who wouldn’t be jealous!  An entire day devoted to eating donuts — what a nice observance!

#1 – Doughnut Recipe:


  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • fat for deep-frying


  1. In a mixing bowl combine melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. In a deep fryer heat fat to 375 deg. F.
  4. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on floured surface.
  5. Cut out with doughnut cutter.
  6. Drop into hot fat a few at a time.
  7. When light brown turn over.
  8. Place on paper towel to drain and cool.
  9. For sugared doughnuts, place in paper bag with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and shake. Cinnamon can also be added to the bag if desired.

This doughnut recipe makes about 3 dozen.

#2 – Chocolate Doughnuts:


  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • fat for deep-frying


  1. Place cooking oil, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla in mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Mix.
  3. Heat fat to 375 deg. F.
  4. On floured surface roll dough 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Cut with doughnut cutter.
  6. Drop carefully into hot fat a few at a time.
  7. When light brown turn to cook other side.

Stand on edge on paper towels to drain. Glaze if desired.


Mix enough milk with 1 cup icing sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa to make a fairly thick runny icing. Dip top side of doughnuts. Dry on tray.

#3 – Potato Doughnuts:


  • 2 packages yeast (mix according to package directions)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg (optional)
  • 4 cups scalded milk (cooled)
  • 5 well beaten eggs
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • flour


  1. Add soaked yeast to cooled milk.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, margarine, salt, mashed potatoes, and nutmeg.
  3. Stir well, add enough flour to make soft dough.
  4. Let rise until double in size, knead, let rise again.
  5. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. Cut with doughnut cutter.
  7. Let rise 1/2 hour.
  8. Fry in deep fat. flip once.

#4 – Doughnut Recipe:


  • 2 packages yeast soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sweet cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 cups flour, or as much as is needed to make a soft dough


  1. Pour boiling water over oil, sugar, cream and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. Add yeast and egg yolks, well beaten.
  3. Add flour and knead well. Let rise about 2 hours.
  4. Roll and cut out. Then let rise for 1/2 hour and fry in deep fat.

Added Bonus #5 – Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts


  • 2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons hot water or as needed


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low-speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.