Field Notes

Autumn. FINALLY. My bones have ached for this season. I do believe the leaves on the trees that line our street now match the hues of my heart, and for a few brief, palpable moments over the past few days, I’ve been reminded that I belong in this human skin, this temporal world.

Offline life owns any and all coherent bits of my lexicon right now, so today I give you a film, doughnuts from Ashley’s super fun new cookbook, and a few notes from the field, as follows: 

(1) Tell people you love them while they can still hear you (2) Get over yourself. Self-consciousness robs us of being fully present to others (3) Pay attention and everyone is the guru — especially the 6 year old boy next door (4) Celebrate the people who keep you company. Thank them, daily, for their grace, patience, and wisdom (5) Beautiful things don’t just happen, you make them happen. Work hard. Keep your chin up (6) We belong to the earth. Lie in the leaves on the ground and pray like hell you’ll learn how to burst and bless and move on like they do (7) Change your toothbrush more often and buy new underwear. It’s the little things (8) “Nobody looks stupid when they’re having fun” – Amy Poehler  (9) Date pits do not go in the garbage disposal (10) Sparklers in place of birthday candles make a mess, but are always a good idea. 

Gluten-Free Apple Fritter Doughnuts 

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • 6 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peeled, diced honeycrisp apples
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon for coating
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350.’ Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. In another bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients and eggs. Pour wet mixture into the dry and stir gently with a wooden spoon until just combined and there are no more flour streaks. Fold in the diced apples gently.

Spoon batter into standard doughnut molds, before the top of the basin. As you can see in the video, I struggled with this. If they look wonky and overflowing they still turn out good, I promise. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool before tackling the cinnamon sugar coating.

Ashley’s instructions for the fritter effect are for stoves with a broiler situated at the top of the oven, mine are for a lower oven/drawer-style broiler and instructions are shared accordingly. In an assembly line, place bowl of melted oil/butter in the middle between the cooled rack of donuts and a bowl of cinnamon sugar mixture. Dip tops of baked and cooled doughnuts in the oil/butter for a millisecond, then roll around in the sugar mix. Place on a baking sheet, cast iron pan, or sheet of tin foil beneath the broiler to caramelize the sugar for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn. Repeat until doughnuts are coated. Serve warm.

** Leave a comment with your field notes of late and I’ll pick one winner to receive a copy of Baked Doughnuts for Everyone by October 29, 2013. Winner will be announced on facebook and via email! Cheers!

  1. Leah

    (1) Remember that people are more willing to give you their time and insights than you first expect. Be bold and ask them. (2) Plant kale in July to get a second round by October. (3) Show up. It’s half the battle. (4) Meditate regularly to clear the mind and stop living in an imagined future. (5) Drink herbal tea before bed.


  2. Tiffany

    Sometimes asking for help can be the hardest thing to do, but the most rewarding. You don’t have to struggle alone.


  3. tracy

    my smile is so big right now! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL VIDEO!!!!


  4. emily -- a denver home companion

    get your butt outside and smell that fresh air || many lessons on life and love can be learned from a two year old || do not underestimate the power of a good face lotion || a new candle for every season.



  5. holly


    made my morning.


  6. Grace

    Beautiful video! Happy Birthday to Shaun. Your field notes are 100% spot on. You always have a way of finding the words that are so simply true yet aren’t expressed often enough. Be you. Be bold. Dream big.


  7. Julie

    I’m so excited about Ashley’s cookbook. Can’t wait to try main of her recipes. Thanks for the giveaway.


  8. Emma

    Such a gorgeous video.

    Field notes from the last week or so:
    Don’t let past bullies make you fear the future or believe badly in new people. True friends will be excited for your new adventures. Being in limbo between things isn’t easy, but there are so many worthwhile things to fill your time with – don’t spend your days waiting for the beginning – every day is a beginning.


  9. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine

    I have been wanting this cookbook. Every recipe looks so wonderful and I love to put my doughnut pans to use! What a wonderful video! :)


  10. rosie morgan

    (1) Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. What’s the worst that can happen? (2) Make plans with yourself sometimes. (3) Be brave. (4) Be a voice when one is needed. (5) Never be ashamed of your beliefs. Make them heard.


  11. Jen

    Wonderful post! I would loooooove this cookbook because I looooooove donuts.


  12. Melissa

    Just move. From the simple and small, to the large…Wiggle your toes, go for a walk, hike the trail you’ve meant to go on for ages. Think about the next big life step and make it happen.


  13. Heather

    [1] To say someone is gracious or patient is a misnomer. They are better understood as verbs, not adjectives or nouns. People do not possess them. I do not possess them. But I am able to cultivate them, practice them. [2] Dance. Move to music. Follows the rules of the music, then break them. Its the easiest (and most fun) way to feel alive. [3] Find your aesthetic. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Seek beauty that moves you in unexpected ways, that helps you grow. [4] Hug someone today. [5] Make freezer food. ‘Tis the season. Your body will thank you for that casserole in a few weeks.

    Thank you for this post, Kelsey. It is good to be reminded to take notes on the important things and share them.


  14. Batya

    * have the courage to make bold changes *err in the direction of kindness *send handwritten thank you notes because sometimes email just doesn’t cut it *sip wine and watch the stars *when the going gets tough, head to the mountains *and remember the adage, “comparison is the thief of joy
    Loved this post (and the Congress Park ball field). Talented folks, you two.


  15. Spring

    1) It’s O.K. to take time off 2) open your heart to the world and it will open back to you


  16. Lori

    Life always gives you the lessons you need to learn || It’s always the darkest before dawn


  17. Billy



  18. Lana Pribic

    My field notes as of lately, totally related to wrapping up my last year of undergrad:

    1) the difference between 7 and 8 hours of sleep is enormous; 2) it’s totally okay to not update your blog. always do it when it feels right; 3) there’s always a point, even if it feels useless at the time; 4) being scared of post-graduate life only makes you think harder about the future, so fear is good sometimes; 5) time in the kitchen can be equivalent to time at the yoga studio; 7) a huge salad for lunch always feels good; 8) finding balance, in any area of life, starts with conscientiousness.

    Thanks for making me take the time to reflect on this.
    BEAUTIFUL frickin video you two. It was about time!


  19. Lana Pribic

    PS – how great is the new Head & the Heart album?


  20. Erica

    Ah, Kels.

    you do it yet again. piercing to my soul and all i’m wrestling with in just a few words. hmmm 1) nights in are sacred and sometimes better than nights out. 2) love fearlessly and without abandon. vulnerability is huge. 3) learn from the shitty moments-they’re always teaching you something


  21. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    Beautiful video! (And donuts!) They look amazing considering they are gluten-free… I still struggle with baking gluten-free treats that are not too dry or too wet… so I must need that cookbook! : )

    I realize I haven’t contributed a “field note” of my own, but I will say that I agree with your video’s (and other commenters’) messages to remember to get outside, especially now that autumn is here! And I love the quote you included from Amy Poehler; she is an infinite source of wisdom.


  22. Jessica

    Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be different.
    Everything happens for a reason.


  23. Jackie

    Just got to know about this beautiful blog. I’m exploring every corner: love its recipes, great pics AND videos, and its posts! And I’m sure I’ll love the cookbook too! Is it my lucky day?LOL
    Congrats on everything you do, and count on me to be together and do, be, inspire better! Lotsa love (all the way from Brazil!)


  24. Aman Chandi

    Hann! I almost choked! For that cookbook, I will feed a squirrel some peanuts.


  25. Allyson

    Here’s the field notes I’ve been living recently. 1) Life seems more manageable when the dishes are done. 2) Take time to celebrate, especially when you’re not sure if you can swing it. 3) Hot tea is made for the fall. 4) If you live in a part of the country where it snows in October, invest in flannel sheets. 5) Guilty pleasures are real pleasures. Don’t apologize for things that you love. 6) Be kind but not a pushover. There’s a difference. 7) Reading through magazines is a completely legitimate way to spend an afternoon. 8) Eat more beans.


  26. Keith

    Very nice video! Thank you for it… gave me a nice warm feeling about autumn!


  27. Kim

    Would love to win that cookbook! Coffee makes Mondays possible!


  28. Debra Lee

    Love it. I have fun no matter what anyone thinks!


  29. Sarah

    Hi Kelsey,

    Thanks for a fun video! It made my heart wrench with missing the crisp autumn days of Colorado, so I am enjoying living vicariously through you for now. I loved all of your field notes. Here are my latest. The last is a quote I’ve been meaning to share with you… seems like your rhythm.

    (1) Do things that scare you (except addressing any fears having to do with snakes. I’m okay with keeping those). (2) Always consider what assumptions are being made. (3) Treat yourself to nice sheets. You spend more time in bed than any other piece of furniture (or at least you should be). (4) Forgive more. (5) Enjoy things like candles, baths and candle-lit baths. (6) Don’t forget to renew your library books. (7) Ask for what you need. (8) If you’re making donuts and don’t have a donut-cutter (for breadlike ones rather than batter), use a mason jar lid for the outside and a shot glass for the inside. (9) “Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets” -Jitterbug Perfume


  30. Sarah

    oops, thought of one more good one…

    (10) Be frugal, not cheap

    Also, Happy Birthday to Shaun and congrats on your engagement!!


  31. Healthy Green Kitchen Savoring Fall » Healthy Green Kitchen

    […] Apple Chips from Texan Erin Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Pumpkin Cookies from With Food and Love Gluten-Free Baked Apple Fritter Doughnuts from Happyolks Honey Caramel Apples from Nourished Kitchen Gluten-free, Vegan Pumpkin Tarts from 80Twenty Pumpkin […]

  32. Abby

    Love this. 1) Take the good risks, open yourself to new opportunities 2) give people a chance 3)play with your dog 4)open the windows and let life in


  33. anne taylor

    THIS is why I love that we are friends!


  34. Cynthia

    1) Aim for a joyous calm 2) When you are the only one criticizing yourself, you should shut up. 3) Be silent for an hour a day and the noises don’t seem so overwhelming. Miss you Kels!


  35. sara forte

    a. awesome b. also love her book! lacking baked donut pan c. want to move to denver so we can be real life friends. Love the joy you two share with each other and others and in this space. It is truly and indescribably inspiring. Big love to you both. The biggest.


  36. Brittany

    “Everyday is a masterpiece even if it crushes you”- The Illusion of Separateness.

    Cannot stop thinking of this through the beautiful days, the mundane, and the truly shitty days.


  37. Michaela

    1- Mistakes are valuable if you’re willing to learn from them
    2- Pumpkin makes anything taste good (for the most part)
    3- Peace is priceless


  38. Meike

    1) Stop pitying yourself 2) Have a second ice cream 3) Give more presents 4) Rest 5) Be kind to yourself


  39. un fauteuil

    And in the end, who won ?? 1. The girls . 2. Kesley ;-). 3. The doughnuts ?
    Happy Birthday to Shaun from Lyon !


  40. Luke

    I see REAL people in this video, and that makes me very happy. Keep doing this, for us all, we need it.


  41. Amina | PAPER/PLATES

    Beautiful, beaufitul, beautiful video. Thanks for a lovely start to my day.


  42. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Number 5 never fails. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post!


  43. Kerstin

    Absolutely LOVED this!!! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe and an even more beautiful video. Have a blessed day:)


  44. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    Absolutely no need to enter me to win, but I just have to tell you, I want you to be my best friend 😉 ha!

    I adore these videos soo much and your site makes me so happy!


  45. Alana

    can we be friends in real life? so much joy!


  46. Abi

    Beautiful video. Thank you.

    Field note – you will never regret working less and traveling more.

    This video simply reiterated that for me. Thank you.


  47. natalie

    (1) love without expectations (2) go with your gut (3) when something goes wrong, remember you have everything inside of you to survive and go on; just breathe (4) always slow down (5) furikake-crusted brussel sprouts (6) put pomegranate seeds in everything


  48. Krista

    1) hearing is different than listening 2) it’s easier to complain than it is to try to understand the why of someone else

    A bowl of birthday doughnuts + sparklers is a fun birthday idea! :o)


  49. Shannon

    Such a lovely video!


  50. jacquie

    stay true to yourself no matter how hard that might be
    take time to breath
    look up at the sky each night no matter if cloudy and wonder at the vastness of it all.


  51. Becki @ Bites 'n Brews

    On long walks during the brisk early mornings, don’t forget to look up at the changing trees and towering mountains that surround you instead of at the ground, watching for rattlesnakes. Look down if you hear rattling, though.


  52. Monica

    Just breathe. Life is too short to dwell on the little things.


  53. Carissa

    I just love fall! Everything looks so pretty & the air is crisp. Can’t wait to get outside soon!


  54. Hannah

    1) dance and sing in the grocery store with your kids, it will make people smile…people need to smile.
    2) hands were made for holding, so hold someone’s at least once a day
    3) watch a plane fly across the sky, take a minute and just do it


  55. Becca

    Remember that this too shall pass.


  56. Hefeden

    The world won’t end if the house is a mess (getting a little too comfortable with this).
    Keep a positive attitude.
    Be a solutionist.

    Can’t wait to try these donuts!


  57. Jenny

    1. Be brave in the face of challenges. 2. Don’t take things so seriously. 3. Ask others for what you need. 4. When you get disheartened remember you are healthy, alive and free! 5. Hone your good judgement.


  58. Sarah

    (1) Failure and success are what you make of them. You can only fail at something that’s difficult, and you’ll only attempt something difficult if you have the guts and gall and spirit and faith to try it in the first place. Being brave enough to challenge yourself is half the road to success, and the fact that you don’t make it quite all the way on the first try doesn’t mean you won’t succeed eventually.
    (2) As a corollary to (1), don’t let midterms get you down!
    (3) When in doubt, make cookies.


  59. heymomo

    absolutely loving your notes from the field…


  60. sarah

    (1) You are always more confident when you feel comfortable in your clothes. (2) If someone doesn’t like you, it’s really okay. (3) Setting healthy boundaries. Do it. (4) Time with those you love is the best time. And you’re not missing out on anything else.


  61. The Vanilla Bean Blog | photographs + links

    […] *This doughnut book is all the rage, with giveaways here and here and here. […]

  62. sweettooth

    Always have an outlet for stress relief. Spend some time to care for yourself.


  63. Rene

    a) breath, no really, breath in the fresh air, take in the view, and let your brain smile
    b) sleep more, but get up an hour early, just to sit at the dining room table with a cup of coffee and take in the early morning silence (er well as silent as the city gets)
    c) soup. the answer to what’s for dinner is soup
    d) always buy the fuyu persimmons, share them with the parakeet when he insists
    e) bike more, drive less
    f) the folding crutches were worth every penny (see e)


  64. Carolyn

    1) You are in control of your dreams. Go out there and achieve all you can imagine rather than brooding on the sidelines. 2) The world is a magnificent place and should be explored. Nature is there to marvel at, not ignore. 3) The people you admire are a direct reflection of yourself. 4) Exercise truly helps you become more concise, clear and confident in your own skin. Embrace the smile 5) There is literally nothing a beautiful home cooked meal cannot fix.

    This is such a lovely post and a beautiful video. It was exactly what I needed to hear and see today. Thank you for sharing.


  65. Hannah

    People want to see who you are. Don’t doubt your value. Show them and share it.
    Beautiful as always!


  66. Kaitlyn

    1. Have a large, shallow mug for milky tea on your days off 2. Long hikes alone can help you let go 3. Ask for more hugs– value the healing nature of physical touch 4. Give people presents 5. Appearances are deceiving 6. Invest in a really soft, cozy blanket 7. Building a community can take a very long time, but may be one of the most important things to do in life


  67. Emily

    This is so wonderful! The best thing I find is a 1 and 1 approach. Do something good for someone else, even if it is just something small… dropping a jar of jam off at a neighbors and chatting for awhile, or leaving a sweet note for someone… and then follow it with something good for you. A nice fall walk, baking a treat, taking a bath. If we did this every day, the world would be a much better place. Hope I get around to trying these donuts! :)


  68. AshleyLynn

    ” Dont allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. the mind gives up too easily.” paulo Coelho
    Beautiful video-i love feeling like part of the adventure.
    p.s. your writing literally kills me. every. time.


  69. Shannon

    1. Not knowing the answers is a power and a unity in humanity. Let yourself feel dumb sometimes, because admittance in a lack of understanding is the first sign of wisdom.
    2. It’s okay to be in chaos and it’s okay to have nice things. Simply recognize the differences we have with others and attempt acceptance.
    3. Ice cream in the cold tastes better.
    4. Forget health and get the damn whole milk in your latte. You’ll be rewarded with foam you can eat with a spoon.
    5. Read “Self Reliance” by Emerson at least once a year.
    6. Sometimes a hectic deadline can change your life.
    7. So can philosophical conversations with strangers. Let those happen. Let them in.
    8. You’re not the only one who questions the big stuff. Look to the poets for help.
    9. Bring a sweater.


  70. Shannon

    1. Not knowing the answers is a power and a unity in humanity. Let yourself feel dumb sometimes, because admittance in a lack of understanding is the first sign of wisdom.
    2. It’s okay to be in chaos and it’s okay to have nice things. Simply recognize the differences we have with others and attempt acceptance.
    3. Ice cream in the cold tastes better.
    4. Forget health and get the damn whole milk in your latte. You’ll be rewarded with foam you can eat with a spoon.
    5. Read “Self Reliance” by Emerson at least once a year.
    6. Sometimes a hectic deadline can change your life.
    7. So can philosophical conversations with strangers. Let those happen. Let them in.
    8. You’re not the only one who questions the big stuff. Look to the poets for help.
    9. Go camping.
    10. Bring a sweater.

    (Posted one before, but somehow “go camping” was not included?)


  71. Emma

    Field notes: if you want to come home to a good crock pot soup….be sure to turn the crock pot on before you leave the house in the morning.


  72. Allie

    This is lovely & inspiring . Here are a couple thoughts from a post I’m working on.


  73. Allie

    1. Sit across from those you are with. There is a lot to be said for the connections you make by actually looking a person in the face. 2. “Unfold your own myth.” -rumi // Be inspired by but stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t try to mimic others’ passions; discover, embrace, & carve out your own.


  74. Simona

    Judge yourself the way you would your best friend.


  75. Chloe

    I love you guys. Thank you a thousand times over for the beautiful, real space you have created here. Happy birthday, Shaun! Wishing you both the best this year.


  76. Kathryne

    Oh, you. This is wonderful. Some notes: 1) Look up smiling and everyone smiles back. 2) Shine boots at least once a year. 3) Longer walks, more yoga, better human being.


  77. Courtney

    Loving your field notes and these doughnuts! Mine as of late: (1) never stop believing in yourself, (2) always make time for friends & family, (3) absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, (4) when in doubt, eat dessert :)


  78. Jessica

    Just bought a doughnut pan and i am sooo eager to try these!! Beautiful video too!


  79. Kasey

    I love everything about this! Happy birthday, Shaun!


  80. Week In Review – November 2 | Cultured Palate

    […] Gluten-Free Doughnuts from Happy Yolks sound delicious. The recipe is from the book available from my affiliate, Baked […]

  81. Medha

    Lovely video and beautiful post! Love to savour each word of your post, you are such an inspiration!


  82. Rustic Apple Galette

    […] to make use of all those apples to make apple butter, apple pie, apple crostata or galette, apple doughnuts and this cake. Whole month spent in packing, the apples were pushed aside and the easiest use I […]

  83. Candice

    All your videos are such a great inspiration for me. So more video,please!


  84. Julianne

    Your bits of life wisdom are truly gold! A seriously love #2… and 4, 6, & 8. Heck, all of them! Words to live by. Thanks for sharing :)


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