Tag Archives: cinnamon

More Recipes for Summer 2021

More Recipes for Summer 2021


NOTE: We may be repeating some of these recipes,
we know most are new, and we aren’t too sorry about duplicates,
because we know they are good ones to use.
Please check out our previous recipe Blog Posts, there are a few.
Use the pages in the sidebar, or search “recipes” in the SEARCH BOX.


1/2 head of Romaine lettuce (trimmed)
slice of tomato
slice of onion (sweet, white, or red)
garbanzo bean
salad dressing of choice

Vegetable Creation:

Rainbow Fruit Plate


Strawberries (or watermelon),
Mango (or orange),
Pineapple (or banana),
Kiwi or (honeydew melon
or green grapes),
Red Grapes,


Gazpacho (cold soup)



Toad-In-A-Hole (Stuffed Puffed Pastry)

Copycat recipe for P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Sliced flank steak and green onions in a sweet and savory sauce 
served with steamed rice and steamed broccoli. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes 3 – 4 servings

1 pound of flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil, for serving and sauteeing
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, not packed
vegetable oil, for frying

2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
cooked rice, for serving
steamed broccoli, for serving


  1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick 1-inch long slices. Add the cornstarch to a wide, shallow bowl and coat the steak with the cornstarch. Set aside and allow the cornstarch to soak into them meat while you make the sauce.

  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-low heat in a wok or large cast-iron or stainless steel frying pan. Add the ginger and garlic, saute until fragrant about 2 minute, stirring often.

  3. Add the soy sauce and water then whisk in the brown sugar. Turn heat up to medium-high, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes (not longer – the mixture will thicken up when you add it to the steak) whisking often. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

  4. Add 1/2 to 3/4-inch oil to the same pan and heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. You can test it by adding a piece of steak – it should sizzle and start cooking immediately.

  5. Add the beef to the oil and cook for about two minutes turning the pieces over so they brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a paper towel lined plate.

  6. Let oil cool down – then drain off.

  7. Heat the same pan over medium heat and add the meat back in along with the sauce and green onions. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring to coat the meat all over with the sauce.

  8. Remove the meat and leave the excess sauce behind. Serve over rice with broccoli, if desired.

cut the sugar to 1/3 c. and increase the ginger to a tsp. I also don’t fry the meat in that much oil. I just use a couple TBSP, like a stir fry. Instead of adding the scallions with it, I cut a medium onion into eight wedges and fry that after the beef, then toss it all together in the sauce. The scallions go on top raw, as garnish.

Cheewits (from the original Renaissance Faire)
cheezewits recipe

Hotel Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 Slices of Bread (butter optional)
2 Slices of Cheese
Optional: add other ingredients like sandwich meat, onions, etc.
Tinfoil – make a cheese sandwich, wrap it in tinfoil
Heat the Hotel iron provided in your room to high heat.
Use the hot hotel iron to “grill” the sandwich.
Do not use uncooked meats! If using butter, use it lightly.
Do not use the ironing board or any flammable surface for “grilling”
CAUTION: Make sure you have ventilation, or are using the bathroom fan,
and avoid burning the sandwich. Do not trigger the SMOKE/FIRE ALARM! 
Be sure to unplug and let the iron cool completely before storing it away.
NOTE: The hot iron will toast the bread and melt the cheese,
but will not be hot enough to cook uncooked meats.
Use extreme caution when using an iron in a Hotel/Motel room!

Tomato Sauce
tomato sauce

Stacie’s Tart Rhubarb Apple Sauce  

2-4 apples (depending on the size of the apples)
Use your favorite type of apple (with sweeter apples, don’t add sugar)  
2-4 ripe pears
4 cups rhubarb
3-4 bananas
Container of strawberries (cleaned, cored, and sliced)
Tablespoon of vanilla extract
Teaspoon of cinnamon (powder)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and cloves
3-4 cups of water

Peel and cut apples and pears. 
Want a smooth sauce? Peel the apples and pears.
Cook about 20 minutes with spices
before adding in the rest of ingredients
Simmer until ready to blend
Blend (or mash by hand for a chunkier texture)
Serve warm, or chilled.


Beef Pies
Beef Pyesbeef pye pastry

Chicken Pyes with Mushroom Gravy
chicken pyesChicken pye pastry mushroom gravy

Hot Potato Pyes
potato pyes



Homemade Pita Bread

4 Tbsp active dry yeast
4 cups (1liter) warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
5 pounds (2.25 kg) flour
2 Tbsp sea salt
2/3 cup (150 ml) neutral tasting oil, such as safflower oil 

In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the warm water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to start activating. Yeast activation should take about 10 minutes; it will be bubbling and foamy.

Set 1 cup (125 g) of flour aside. Sift the remaining flour, and salt into the bowl. With a spatula, combine the ingredients. Once the ingredients come together as dough, it is time to knead. At this point, you can remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the kitchen counter if it’s easier for you, or directly in the bowl.

To knead the dough: Grab the side of the dough furthest away from you and fold it toward yourself. Fold the dough in half and use your body weight to push the dough into itself. If you find that the dough is sticking too much to the surface and preventing you from kneading properly, dust some flour on the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). Grab the other side and fold it in half. Again, with a lot of weight behind it, push the newly folded half into itself. Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is smooth, silky, elastic, and does not stick to the surface.

After the dough is thoroughly prepared, grease the large bowl with a fine layer of oil, turning the dough in the oil several times so that the dough is greased lightly on all sides. 

Cover the bowl with a large plastic garbage bag or kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 40 minutes. 

Knead the dough again for a few more minutes and then divide the dough into 30 balls. Use the remaining flour, for the surface area and hands to prevent sticking. Roll each piece into a 6-inch (15 centimeters) pancake. Cover with kitchen towel and let them rise again in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500°F with a cookie sheet on the oven’s bottom rack.
The hot cookie sheet will facilitate the pita baking process. 

Place approximately six pitas on the hot cookie sheet, separating each pita by 2 inches (5 centimeters). Bake on the bottom rack for 3-4 minutes, flip over and then bake for another 2 minutes. You want the pitas puffed and lightly colored, not browned. Continue this process in batches until all pitas are baked.

If the pita puffs up once out of the oven, gently pierce it with a fork. Wrap the pitas in a towel till they are cool, then store in plastic bags until ready for use. You can store in the freezer for up to 2 months to retain freshness.

Carrot Poppy Seed Bread
carrot poppy seed bread


Cinnamon Buns! (aka Cinnamon Smyles)
cinnamon buns

PIE? – My, oh my, how ’bout these pies?



Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie
(with Crunchy Pecan Topping)

Fudge and Panocha

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes ~24 cookies


1-1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Use an electric mixer.
Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs (one at a time) beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla
Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.

Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop.
Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Coconut Almond Spice Cake
coconut spice cake

Cocoa Brownies 


4 large eggs
7 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces light brown sugar
5 3/4 ounces natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
Trim a piece of parchment paper so that it fits just inside the baking dish
with overhang on two sides and place it inside the pan.
Beat eggs with stand mixer fitted w/paddle attachment at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt.
Drop the mixer speed to low and slowly introduce the sugar mixture.
Follow with the butter and vanilla. Continue mixing until you’ve got a nice, smooth goo.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the brownies for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven for 15 minutes.
Put them back in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brownie, reads 195 degrees F (about 30 minutes).
Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then lift the brownie out using the parchment paper as a sling.
Cut the brownies into 9 pieces using a pizza wheel and move to a rack to cool completely.

Haschich Fudge
from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book published in 1954

Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of cannabis sativa can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.

Obtaining the cannabis may present certain difficulties, but the variety known as cannabis sativa grows as a common weed, often unrecognized, everywhere in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa; besides being cultivated as a crop for the manufacture of rope. In the Americas, while often discouraged, its cousin, called cannabis indica, has been observed even in city window boxes. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.

Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream,
chocolate syrup, and whipped cream:
A slice of chocolate cake
A scoop of vanilla ice cream
Drizzle the chocolate syrup on the ice cream
Top with whipped cream (to taste)
Optional: (get creative!)
add sliced banana, chopped nuts, and a cherry 
or top with sliced strawberries, raspberries. or other fruit  
and/or substitute another flavor drizzle of your choice

John Pemberton’s 1886 Coca-Cola Recipe 

Recipe from a diary owned by Coca-Cola inventor, John Pemberton. 
Revealed just before his death in 1888. – Don’t try this at home.

Ingredients: (US measures)

  • 1 oz (28 g) caffeine citrate
  • 3 oz (85 g) citric acid
  • 1 US fl oz (30 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 US qt (946 ml) lime juice
  • 2.5 oz (71 g) “flavoring,” i.e., “Merchandise 7X”
  • 30 lb (14 kg) sugar
  • 4 US fl oz (118.3 ml) fluid extract of coca leaves (decocainized flavor essence of the coca leaf).
  • 2.5 US gal (9.5 l; 2.1 imp gal) water
  • Caramel sufficient to give color
  • “Mix caffeine acid and lime juice in 1 quart boiling water add vanilla and flavoring when cool.”
  • Flavoring (Merchandise 7X):
  • 1 qrt alcohol
  • 80 oil orange
  • 40 oil cinnamon
  • 120 oil lemon
  • 20 oil coriander
  • 40 oil nutmeg
  • 40 oil neroli
  • “Let stand 24 hours.”


Thanksgiving Desserts 2017



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Updated September 6, 2021: Recipes from a 1956 Chinese Cookbook!
“The Art of Chinese Cooking”







Joy Flavor Summer Brunch at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood

Joy Flavor Summer Brunch

I got invited to a “Tasting Party” at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood!

Thursday, noon, Hollywood, Cahuenga & Franklin, street parking!

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood


They offered hosted valet, which is always great, but I found a spot on Franklin and walked half a block to the restaurant. The party was called for noon, so I arrived at noon.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – pretty flower centerpieces on the tables

They weren’t quite ready at noon, and I discovered it was also a tasting party for Joy Flavor, a flavored vaping oil company. The patio was set for a lot of people and they were setting up the vape table, with hand held vape pens filled with Joy Flavor oils.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – setting up the umbrella on the patio

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Patio dining with a few other “on time” guests.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Patio

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

It was warm and humid on the patio (because the enclosure has no breeze or air flow and the sunroof is transparent), so I went inside and sat at the bar where it was cooler. They gave me 2 drink tickets, which I redeemed for Toast vodka & pineapple juice cocktails made by Tiffany, the beautiful and friendly bartender. I asked her if she wanted to make small talk and she said yes. We talked about where she was from, Arizona, her music, Urban Pop, China, her cute dogs, her tattoos and the two featured drinks they were offering at the brunch while I was waiting for the food.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Tiffany tending the Bar inside

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen – Toast vodka and pineapple juice cocktail

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – the Bar inside

They were offering these featured drinks. Tiffany gave me a taste of the Blue Coup, which was too sweet for me, and then we discussed the pros and cons of lavender in a cocktail. (Tastes like the way my Grandma used to smell…I am not a fan of lavender in my drink)

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – featured drinks for the event

They have an interesting drink menu and a selection of wines by the glass and beer on tap in addition to their full bar. I originally wanted a Bloody Mary to drink, but there wasn’t any mix on Thursday although they have them for brunch on the weekend. I was also disappointed that they don’t have Stolichnaya vodka.


Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Drinks, Wines and Beer menu

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Try the wine.

The interior is an open “L” shaped space with simple decor. the bar runs the length of the long wall and the dining/seating area is furnished with booth seating and movable tables and chairs.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Because this is Los Angeles, when you call an event for noon, most people show up at 1:30 or later. So there was a long time waiting before the food was served and it wasn’t very crowded for the first hour and a half. They served the dishes “family style”, and I shared the food plates with one other person.

On the Menu:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Blueberry pancakes with orange curd, berries and whipped cream fraiche:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Crepes a la Carbonara with applewood smoked bacon, crepe linguini, cream, topped with egg yolk and pecorino:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Endive Salad with arugula, candied pistachios, blood orange, buttermilk and blue cheese

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Cinnamon Donuts on a bed of marscapone and mixed berry sauce:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

The food was good. I enjoyed the pancakes, pasta and donuts very much. I’m not a big fan of arugula or blue cheese, so the salad not so much. But it was a nice salad if you like the ingredients and my new dining friend said that it was good.

When I received the invite, I thought it was a promotional event for the restaurant. Surprise! Turns out it was also a promotional event for JOY FLAVOR! Flavored vaping oils in many different fun flavors!

Now the disclaimer: I don’t vape. I’m fine with you vaping if you want to. I’m fine with you vaping flavored oils with or without tobacco. I hate cigarettes! I hate cigarette smoke! Vaping is “reasonable” alternative to cigarettes, if you think so.

So, Joy Flavor set up a vaping oil tasting table, with vaporizers filled with the different flavors that had removable plastic “nipples” for each taster. However, it appeared to be a communal sharing event with the vape pens being handled and sampled by a lot of people. I decided not to partake in the vaping, but I did take pictures.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor assortment of flavored gaping oils

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy flavor tasting table with vaping pens, “nipples” and promo swag

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

And they were nice and gave everyone a gift bag! There were three little bottles of Joy Flavor flavored vaping oil, 2 promo swag key rings and a promo t-shirt in the promo bag.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor gift bag

It was a nice lunch. A couple free drinks. I met some nice people and was introduced to Madera Kitchen, Joy Flavor and the PR Company that produced the event. I had a good time and it was a pleasant way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

NOTE: I want to go back and try their regular dinner menu.









National Donut Day! And a tribute to Mitch Hedberg!

National Donut Day is Friday June 5th, 2015!

The first Friday of June each year is National Donut Day! Originally created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I, you can get a FREE DONUT most places that serve donuts on Friday!National-Donut-Day

There are three other important doughnut celebrations: International Jelly-Filled Donut Day on June 8 (occasionally on June 9), “National Cream-Filled Donut Day” on September 14 and “Buy A Donut Day” on October 30.

National Donut Day! Time to eat the donuts!

National Donut Day! Time to eat the donuts!

National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! Cinnamon Roll!

A tribute to Mitch Hedberg:

Receipt for the donut...

Receipt for the donuts…

“I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you money and you give me the doughnut. End of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would need to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend? ‘Don’t even act like I didn’t buy a doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here. Oh wait, it’s back home in the file… under ‘D’, for ‘doughnut’…” ― Mitch Hedberg


National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! Chocolate covered custard filled donut!

National Donut Day (previous Blog): http://wp.me/p3dhVM-18v


RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com



What's your favorite kind of donut?

What’s your favorite kind of donut?

More Donuts!

More Donuts!

"Say HELLO to my little friends!" National Donut Day!

“Say HELLO to my little friends!”

Donuts from

Inflatable Donuts from “The Simpsons Take The Hollywood Bowl”

“MMMMMMM….Donuts.” ~ Homer Simpson


UPDATE: Saturday, June 6th, 2015

I SCORED! Two chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and nuts from Yum Yum Donuts and three old fashioned, a plain cake, a glazed and a chocolate covered from Winchell’s. They were warm and fresh and smelled so good…

Warm Fresh Donuts!

Warm Fresh Donuts!

National Donut Day!

National Donut Day! – Yum Yum Donuts

National Donut Day

National Donut Day! – Winchell’s Donut House

National Donut Day

National Donut Day – NO MORE DONUTS! 

The End.



National Donut Day! Yum Yum Donuts!

National Donut Day! (The Other D-Day! Continued from the previous blog)

The first Friday of June each year is also National Donut Day! Originally created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I, you can get a FREE DONUT most places today!

Chocolate Custard Filled Donut (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Chocolate Custard Filled Donut – My favorite! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I just happened to find myself driving past the Yum Yum Donuts in North Hollywood today, which has been at this location since the 80’s, and since it was National Donut Day, I just had to stop and indulge my sweet tooth.

NOTE: It’s a good place but avoid it before and after the high school rush!

National Donut Day (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

National Donut Day at YUM YUM Donuts in North Hollywood (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

From Wikipedia: “Yum-Yum Donuts is a chain of 64 California doughnut shops. Founded in 1971 by Phillip C. Holland, the original location at Avenue 26 and Figueroa Street in Highland Park, a district of Los Angeles, is still in operation. The company also owns the older and larger Winchell’s Donuts chain, which Yum-Yum purchased in 2004. The headquarters for both chains is located in the City of Industry.”

National Donut Day (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

National Donut Day: What’s your favorite kind of donut? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

What’s your favorite kind of donut? I picked up three “fancies”: a chocolate covered custard filled, a glazed raspberry jelly filled, and a cinnamon roll. I asked if they were giving free donuts, so she threw in one of the small sugar covered “sweet cream cheese” filled (as seen on the top shelf of the photo above)

I like all kinds of donuts: cake, cruellers, twists, glazed, filled, sprinkles, beignets, profiteroles, bear claws, fritters, old fashioned, holes….who doesn’t like donuts?

National Donut Day (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Warm and Fresh “to Go” Donuts on National Donut Day (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a sit-down, eat-in area in the shop, but I got mine “To Go” and took them home. I ate the little “freebie” which was soft pastry dough filled with a sweet cream filling similar to a cheese danish. It was good, but one was not enough. Then, I inhaled the glazed raspberry filled jelly donut. Light and airy, with the right amount of jelly, a real thing of beauty! Yum!

I waited awhile until the chocolate covered custard cream filled sugar bomb started calling my name, then slowly enjoyed every bite. A thing of perfection! Yum Yum! I’m pretty sure that it’s my favorite kind of donut when it’s done right. So, that left just the cinnamon roll and I saved that one for tomorrow, the day after National Donut Day. Yum Yum Yum!

National Donut Day (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cinnamon Roll for Tomorrow, the day after National Donut Day! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There are three other doughnut holidays: “International Jelly-Filled Doughnut” Day is the day after on June 8 or 9. “National Cream-Filled Doughnut” Day is September 14 and “Buy A Doughnut” Day falls on October 30.

YUM YUM DONUTS11699 Magnolia Blvd (at Colfax, across the street from North Hollywood High) 818-760-9054 http://www.yumyumdonuts.com