Sugar Topped Memories ~ Outside the Margins with Brigham Vaughn

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Most families have treasured family recipes. Some are secret. Not always intentionally.  My great aunt made an amazing coconut cake.  Unfortunately by the time my mom remembered to ask her for her recipe, she was in her nineties and struggling to remember it.  Apparently she never wrote it down either, so we’ve been forced to recreate it with varying degrees of success.

Some of the recipes in the family are homey, comforting dinners, like apricot chicken, Polynesian chicken, and potato ritos (which are an invented recipe based off a dinner my parents had while on vacation that are essentially a baked potato stuffed with sloppy Joe filling, and taco toppings like lettuce, cheese, and sour cream).

There are fancier recipes, like the mango turkey spinach salad that’s perfect for parties and apricot fruitcake soaked in apricot brandy that they make for Christmas.  I may or may not have filched sips of that brandy occasionally in high school, counting on the fact that they wouldn’t notice how much was gone when the holiday baking season began months later. ahem

But youthful indiscretions with baking ingredients aside, there are a lot of memories associated with cooking and baking.  One of my favorite memories was helping my grandma make homemade doughnuts.  Of course, she was the one dropping the dough into the scorching hot oil, but she still made me and my cousins feel like we were a part of it by letting us shake the doughnuts in a brown paper lunch bag to coat them in sugar.  My grandpa had it made, lounging comfortably in his recliner in the living room, watching the weather and having still-hot homemade doughnuts delivered to him by his grandkids.  But I wouldn’t have given up those moments in the kitchen that smelled of hot oil and sugar, surrounded by my grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

My grandma’s been gone for eight years, my grandpa even longer.  The family has shrunk in one direction and grown in the other.  Now there are a bunch of boys under the age of fifteen running around and sprinkling sugar on the floor. Because despite the changes to the family, the doughnut party lives on.  These days, it’s at my parents’ house.


My dad makes the dough the night before, giving it plenty of time to rise.


We always make grandma’s traditional raised doughnuts, but sometimes we experiment with another kind.


The past few years it was a baked spice doughnut with an apple cider glaze.  This year, we tried out my favorite—sour cream doughnuts—although they weren’t nearly as good as the ones from Quality Dairy that I occasionally let myself splurge on.  It’s rare that I’d say store bought anything is better than homemade, but our recipe could use some tweaking.

There’s other food at the doughnut party too—white chicken chili and squash and kale lasagna this year—but let’s be honest: we’re all really there for the doughnuts. The other food is just to keep us from stuffing ourselves with doughnuts until we have a stomach ache.

What are your favorite family memories when it comes to food? What family recipe can you never seem to resist?

~Brigham Vaughn


Title: Connection
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 10/16/2015
Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay, M/M Romance


After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, shy, sheltered Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and kicked out of his home. Friends in Atlanta give him a place to stay while he gets on his feet, but despite his eagerness to explore the city, it isn’t exactly what he expected.

Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become.

Loneliness draws them to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough to overcome their pasts. In order to be together, Evan must discover his own worth and Jeremy must trust someone to see past his scars.

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About Brigham Vaughn

Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her three cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.

Contact Brigham:
Twitter: @AuthorBVaughn

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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4 thoughts on “Sugar Topped Memories ~ Outside the Margins with Brigham Vaughn

  1. I love the idea of your doughnut parties!

    I have so many recipes that are family traditions from oxtail soup to cheese kolaches although I have refined them throughout the years so they may be more my recipes at this point.

    *wants oxtail soup* 😀

    • The doughnut parties are fun. 🙂 And sometimes I think it’s more important to keep the spirit of the recipe alive than to have it be the exact one. It’s just a good way to remember people who were important to you.

      I’ve never actually HAD oxtail soup or cheese kolaches, although they sound delicious.

      • Not many people seem to know what they are (or at least not *cheese* kolaches ). If you ever visit I’ll make them for you. 🙂

  2. The family recipe that we love so much is my grandma’s bibingka. We always look forward to any occasion because she always cook it and I remember always asking about it everytime we come in her home. She has passed this family recipe to my aunt and together they cook it when they have time. I haven’t been coming to her home a lot these days and the last time I went there, she was really sick and they didn’t cook it. I really miss eating her cooking. Too bad my mom isn’t the cooking type, so we never know the family recipe since we live far from my grandma.

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