FriendFeed is bomb diggity.

You can organize all of your accounts on your favorite sites, like Twitter, Pandora, Netflix, Flickr, Blogger, Amazon Wishlists, Stumble Upon and shared Google posts ALL IN ONE PLACE.

Check it out.

Explanation for the noobs, that means you can see what I've twittered, what I've added to my netflix movie account, see when I've added pictures to my flickr account, when I've blogged, when I add something to my Amazon wishlist, when I've stumbled and when I share cool posts via Google reader (and so on and so on).

Is that cool or what?

Are you on there?? Let me know, so I can add you as a friend.

Daily Recipe - Herbed Garlic Bread

by Divine Domesticity on March 31st, 2008

I didn't do so well with mashing the garlic into a paste, as you can see. I think my problem was not using enough salt. Ah well, it still tasted great.

Herbed Garlic Bread
Makes enough for one gigantic loaf

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt and extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf crusty baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the bread, stir together the butter, mashed garlic, and herbs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Tear open the loaf of bread lengthwise, spread the herb-garlic mixture over both halves and sprinkle with a little olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.

Recipe Courtesy of Tyler Florence

Daily Recipe - Lasagna Rolls

by Divine Domesticity on March 30th, 2008

Giada creates another winner. Cute little lasagna rolls are baked on top of a creamy bechamel. Have you ever noticed that Giada describes everything as creamy? It gets to be a little pornographic after a while.

One great thing about this recipe is that serving is a breeze. Traditional lasagna might fall apart a bit when you are trying to serve it. With lasagna rolls you just use a spatula to scoop a roll out and you are good to go (as pictured above).

Coming up tomorrow is an herbed garlic bread that would go perfectly with the wee lasagna rolls.

Lasagna Rolls
Makes 12 lasagna rolls

I omitted the spinach and added a bit of fresh basil. You get less filling this way, but it worked for my picky husband.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)

1. To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

3. Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

4. Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.

5. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.

6. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Monthly Newsletters - Month Six

Violet - 6 months old already.

Sweet baby girl. You are half a year already!

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You are more fun each and every day.

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Your hair is filling in. I'm threatening to trim your bangs but Dad won't let me.

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You are starting to play in your crib. In the blink of an eye you can travel from one end of your crib to another. You've even started to scoot backwards when you try to crawl.

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I don't need to point this out, but you are just the cutest. You look just like your pop.

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It's okay baby girl. I'd be a little upset too if someone said I looked like my dad.

You've been sleeping in the grown up bed for the last month. We think you may be starting to teethe. 'Ugh' is all I can say about teething. You've been waking up every few hours during the night and fussing. Luckily, you usually go back to sleep right away.

You've conquered baby food! Sweet peas, carrots, bananas and sweet potatoes. You like them all.

What makes you laugh the most at the moment is to blow raspberries on your belly and thighs. It cracks me up so hard to hear you laugh. I can't wait to learn more about you and see your personality come out as you get older.

I'm so excited for what the future holds for you. I promise, I will always do anything and everything for my sweet little girl.



Daily Recipe - Goat Cheese, Avocado and Slow Roasted Tomatoes Pasta

by Divine Domesticity on March 29th, 2008

Goat Cheese, Avocado and Slow Roasted Tomatoes Pasta
4-6 servings

2 pounds red and yellow cherry tomatoes (I used a small, sweet tomato and it worked perfectly)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound penne
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 avocado, diced
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Halve each tomato and place cut side up in 1 flat layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle on the salt. Roast until the tomatoes are dried around the edges but still moist, about 2 hours.

3. Crumble the goat cheese into large chunks and refrigerate until ready to serve the pasta.

4. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta well and return to the pot. Add the tomatoes, goat cheese, avocado, basil, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Adapted from a recipe in Sara Moulton Cooks at Home

Pr0n for Foodies.


Images from ivillage.

Bonus Recipe - Light and Sweet Cornbread from Faith is Messy!

My sister, Laurie, is the best. Check out her recipe for cornbread. This would be great with some honey and whipped butter. Mmm.

Light and Sweet Cornbread

12 servings

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
2/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. yellow or white corn meal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 C. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake 35 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Daily Recipe - Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

by Divine Domesticity on March 28th, 2008

It is Thanksgiving in March!

Turkey doesn't have to be a holiday-specific food. If you aren't feeding an large crowd, try making this using turkey breasts with stuffing baked on the side in a casserole dish.

Tyler Florence rocks this recipe (as per usual). The pan drippings make a very unusual gravy that is slightly sweet. My only complaint was that even with a lot of basting going on, it turned out not as juicy as I would've hoped. Anyone have any tips in that area?

Weird side note: As I was typing the above paragraph, an image flashed in a my mind of a uncooked turkey carcass with pink velor pants with JUICY written across the tush. What IS IT with those gross pants that people find attractive?

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 loaf cornbread, cubed (about 6 cups)
1 tube of Jimmy Dean maple sausage (I believe its 1/2 to 1 lb), cooked and drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
1 (12 to 14 pound) fresh turkey
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips smoked bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the top rack.

2. Combine the butter and sage in a mixing bowl, mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated and the butter has flecks of green in it; season with salt and pepper.

3. In a saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the sage butter, add the onions, cook and stir for 15 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from heat. Put the cornbread in a large mixing bowl and scrape the sauteed onion mixture on top. Add the cooked maple sausage. Add the egg, heavy cream, and just enough chicken stock to moisten the stuffing without making it soggy (about 1/2 cup.) Toss well to combine, season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the breast and legs, and slip pieces of the sage butter underneath; massaging it in as you go. Fill the bird with the cornbread stuffing without packing too tightly; cook the remaining stuffing separately in a buttered baking dish. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan, and put into the oven.

5. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. The turkey should take about 3 hours to cook (i.e. 15 to 20 minutes per pound.) If the legs or breast brown too quickly, cover with foil. About 2 hours into cooking, shingle the strips of bacon oven the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste for another hour or so. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat.

6. Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles. Serve the gravy with the maple-roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing.

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Daily Recipe - Old School Tuna Melts

by Divine Domesticity on March 27th, 2008

Another recipe from my mom. Comforting, cheesy and delicious.

Old School Tuna Melts
Makes about 8 to 1 dozen

Hamburger buns
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 cans tuna, drained
12 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into small chunks
2 Tbsp. diced onion
2 Tbsp. diced red peppers (or even pimento, chopped)
Big spoonful of relish (optional, we don't put it in)
Miracle whip, add enough to have a good consistency

1. Preheat oven to 400-f degrees. Combine all ingredients except the buns. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with foil. Lay down bottoms of buns on top of the baking sheet lined with foil. Add filling to each bun, topping with the other part of your hamburger pun. Cover with foil tightly. (Bun will get too crunchy w/o foil). Bake for 20 minutes.

Daily Recipe - Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Garlic Herbed Mayo

by Divine Domesticity on March 26th, 2008

The garlic herb mayonnaise really added a lot to the sandwich, so if you are tempted to skip it to save time, I beg you not to.

Grilled Portobello and Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich with Garlic Herbed Mayonnaise
4 servings

For the Garlic Herbed Mayonnaise:
1/3 c. Hellmann's or Best Foods mayonnaise
2 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

4 kaiser rolls
4 large portobello mushroom caps (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-8 sun-dried tomatoes halves packed in olive oil (I use more like 4 halves per sandwich)
2 large leaves romaine lettuce

1. Heat a pan to medium-high heat. Brush the portobellos with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Add to heated pan and cook for 5-8 minutes on the first side, then turn over and cook for 4-5 minutes on the second side.

2. Heat your rolls gently in the microwave and spread both halves with your mayo mixture. Place as many as desired sun-dried tomatoes on your roll and top with a portobello. Finish with the romaine and top with other half of the roll. Enjoy!

Recipe from Kitchen Sense: More than 600 Recipes to Make You a Great Home Cook by Mitchell Davis

Confession. I love bad reality TV.

I'm not talking Rock of Love bad -- even I have reality TV standards.

Still, most nights I am tuning in to watch reality TV. Bravo has all my favorites.
  • Project Runway. My husband is also an avid fan, although he will be cranky that I just told everyone so. Christian is by far my favorite contestant to date. Who else could create a new word like "Ferosh" [ferocious].
  • Top Chef. Season One is still my fav. Dave: "I'm not your bitch, bitch!"
  • Make Me A Supermodel. I'm going to come out and say that given that a lot of gay men would enjoy watching a show with barely dressed, gorgeous boys (and so would straight women) it leads me to believe that a man will win this. Specifically, Ronnie. He has a lot of talent and is, obv very gorgeous.
  • Work Out. Probably my least favorite of all the Bravo shows, as I have nothing in common with these tanned, buffed out trainers, but I still enjoy watching it.
  • Real Housewives of Orange County/Real Housewives of New York City. Is it just me or do the New York City ladies come off much more self important and stuck up than the Orange County housewives? Lauri from OC will always be my favorite housewife. Ramona is bugging me the most of the NYC ladies.
Oh, but that isn't all of my favorite reality shows. The obsession continues.
  • John and Kate Plus 8 on TLC. I love this family so much. Some people find John and Kate's relationship horrifying in that they bicker a bit and holler at each other. I would say it is honest and much like my own marriage. Those kids get cuter every year.
  • Moving Up on TLC. First of all, I have loved Doug Wilson since his days on Trading Spaces. Second, it is so fascinating to me that people would have such strong (and often rude) reactions to visiting their old houses and checking out what changes were made since they moved out. Truthfully though, I watch it because of Doug. Meow.
  • The Hills. Omigod, I can't believe I just admitted that. Moving on!
  • To Catch A Predator on NBC. Ack, it just skeeves me out seeing all these men lining up to prey on young women/men. Isn't the best (and most gross) part when Chris pulls out his transcript and starts reading truly sick and humiliating chat logs? Gah.
  • Solitary on Fox Reality Channel. Have you seen this one? It is one of the lesser knowns. Truly painful to watch at times.
  • Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. I watch this purely for Mike Rowe. Oh, Mike.
  • The Girls Next Door on E! Why am I fascinated by Hugh's girlfriends? Is Kendra really that dumb? I have no idea about either.
I think I have a problem here. Am I the only one??

Daily Recipe - Skillet Goulash

by Divine Domesticity on March 25th, 2008

I'm hesitant to admit that my favorite kind of Goulash comes in a single serving tray and is microwaved. I know! Isn't that terrible? The Stouffer's brand. There is something about it that hits just the right spot.

Even as leftovers, the celery in this Skillet Goulash wasn't mushy. I love that!

Skillet Goulash
Makes 6 Servings (1 1/2 cups each)

8 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped medium onion
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed tomato soup
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet or Dutch oven, cook ground beef, celery and onions over medium-high heat, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

3. Stir in cooked pasta, and all remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from a recipe by Pillsbury

The Story -- Birth-Story Carnival!

Sarcastic Mom is hosting a Birth-Story Carnival. I'm bringing this post up from the archives to participate (albeit a day late). Be sure to check out all the other birth stories at the end of this post. And bring a hankie while you are at it!


So, where were we?

Oh right, I had a baby!

What an experience. Before I start off the labor story, let me just mention that as I type this little Violet is sleeping beside me in her bassinet and life could not be more perfect. I am so blessed to have this child. I am so absolutely in love with her.

Tuesday morning at 5:45am my husband and I were checked into the hospital for the induction. Things started slow. Very slow. I wasn't put on pitocin right away -- instead my doctor started me off with a pill (put in your who-haw) and after 4 and 8 hours (and a second pill) they checked to see if I had dilated any further. Now, I started off already 1cm dilated, so when I heard that after 8 hours I was only 2cm dilated, I got a little worried.

Then the pitocin was started. I had wondered throughout my pregnancy what 'real' contractions would feel like. I would very soon find out. Many hours later, I can't recall when exactly, maybe 10 to 12 hours into it, I was at about 3 1/2 cm dilated. The contractions were really starting to hurt. I had the worst stomach cramps from not having eaten in a long time, and the pain was very bad in my back. So I decided it was about time to get my epidural.

I knew that if I had to see the enormous needle used for the epidural I would freak. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but the sight of needles going on -- *cringe*. So I kept my eyes closed most of the time and tried not to think about it. As it turned out, the epidural experience was the 2nd most painful part of my labor, with only hard pushing surpassing it. What happened was 3 things:
  1. I had to sit at the edge of the bed, hunched over my belly as far as I could, which was very uncomfortable. While I did this I was getting hard contractions, about 30 seconds from one to the next.
  2. They ended up poking me with the needle more times than I can recall. The pain really wasn't much worse than any old shot though. If they got me in the wrong spot I would end up jumping in surprise (and pain) and that is a very bad thing to do with the worlds biggest needle in your spine.
  3. The blood pressure cuff. Now before you call me a wuss, let me explain. The machine that worked my blood pressure cuff was all fugged up. It wasn't registering when to stop inflating, which meant that the pain in my arm was INSANE. A time or two I even ripped it off because the pain was just too much. So, that just sucked.
Things were more comfortable for a while after the epidural. I honestly am drawing a blank when I try to remember those next 10 to 12 hours. The blood pressure cuff went off every 15 minutes, which was less than fun. I got checked by many, many nurses. Finally as we approached the end, my dilation was picking up, about 1 cm per half hour. I started to feel like the baby was down there, FAR down there, and like I needed to push. It ended up that I still had to wait a few hours before pushing started.

So with perfect timing (not), the epidural wore off. Now, the funny thing about this was that for as many times as I told the nurses, my doctor, anyone who would listen, that I was in SO MUCH PAIN, I would get the pat reply that, "That is just the pressure you are feeling." Pregnant women -- don't let them tell you that! I wish I had put my foot down and demanded more drugs at this point, before it was entirely too late.

I want to guess that from about 8cm dilation and on I was having contractions very close together, and eventually one right on top of another with no break in between. They were very strong (thanks a lot, pitocin) and I was frankly just miserable. Cranky, exhausted, hungry, my sciatic nerve was on fire, the contractions just wouldn't let up.

Finally I felt like I couldn't NOT push for any longer. The pressure, (and yes I knew what that felt like as compared to PAIN), was so strong that I couldn't help myself any longer. I asked to be checked again and they said that I was 9 1/2 cm dilated, just almost 10. It was go time.

As I started pushing, I had my husband holding my hand, two nurses on each side of me, and the doctor at the receiving end. You push 3 times, ten seconds each, then take a deep breath, and start again. Fast forward about 1 1/2 hours later, and there I am, still pushing. Only the pain was much worse.

I was desperate to get this little girl out. I asked, between contractions and pushing, if they had something to help her move down, as I had heard of babies being "vacuumed" which is kinda like sticking a plunger up your who-haw, suctioning it to the babies head, and as I push, the doctor tries to pull the baby down. The doctor said they could do that, and got ready to try it.

The first attempt was heart breaking. The pain, and pressure, was so intense and felt so low that I was sure that she was close to being born. I was pushing with everything I had, and at the last push, I felt an insane amount of pressure (again, and pain) and heard a loud POP, and I thought for sure the baby was out. Uh, no! The plunger deal had popped off. I am pretty sure I cried and had in internal panic attack.

We had to wait to make sure the baby was alright after that stress, and after we were sure she was fine, we tried again. No luck. My doctor looked at me and said that the baby was just too big, her head couldn't fit, and I would have to have a c-section.

Thank you GOD! I was about to lose my mind from the pain. Of course, it was very early in the morning and we had to wait for the surgeon and staff to be called in from home. I remember that as feeling like the longest 20 minute wait of my life.

I got more drugs (another epidural and morphine) and was wheeled across the hallway to the operating room. I got even more shots, IVs, and they put up the blue curtain so I couldn't see what they were doing. I was sooo happy once the drugs took effect. WHEW!

I didn't know where in the world my husband was, but it turns out that he couldn't come in the room until they had made the first incision. So I was kinda just laying there, thinking about meeting little Violet, and wondering when the surgery would start when the surgeon told me that the first incision had been made. What?? I had no idea! Thank you drugs.

My husband came in, sat next to me and was very supportive as the surgery progressed. It only took a few minutes before they told us that Violet was out -- and she was a big girl! I heard her cry and I felt so happy, just deliriously happy. The staff started working on her, cleaning her up. I got to see her for the first time, for a precious few seconds, before they whisked her away. She had straight, dark hair and grey-blue eyes like her dad.

I'll also note that the drugs did make my stomach very nauseas, so after seeing her for only a few seconds, I had to whimper that I had to look away from her so I could puke. And puke I did. Hehe.

What I didn't know (and wasn't told until later) was that the reason she was being whisked away was that she was 1.) having trouble breathing from fluid in her lungs and 2.) she wasn't getting blood to her arms and legs and a purple/blue color was moving up her lower body towards her chest.

I remember laying there and realizing after a minute that I couldn't hear her crying anymore. That is such a scary realization. When I heard her cry again I was so relieved. She was taken to the nursery and my husband followed to watch them take care of her. I was stitched up and taken back to my room. It would be hours before I could see her again.

Since she had breathing problems, she had to have an oxygen hood put on for what I think was a few hours. The oxygen hood sort of looks like a baby sized astronaut helmet. Before they could bring her in to see me she had to be off of the hood for a half hour. Time was moving slow but I was so excited to see her.

I finally was able to hold her, to kiss her, to meet the little girl who would be mine for the rest of her life.

The next few days went by so fast. Lots of pain killers, drugs for this and that. Waking up every few hours for more medication and to ask how Violet was doing in the nursery. Saturday in the late morning we came home for the first time. Which is scary for first time parents, but it also feels very good.

I feel like I love her more and more each day. Each day she is more beautiful, more charming, just more a part of my heart. I am trying to rest and take it easy, and I find myself waking up from a nap and missing my little girl for that short time I was asleep.

She is perfection. She is our world.

She also sleeps during the day and is up all night. It is okay though. She is worth it.

How was your Easter?

Mine was fabulous.

I am so pissed that I can't find the charger for my digital camera though. Gah. Considering how cute Violet was in her party dress, and all the pretty food I made, I was really irked that I couldn't photograph it all.

We headed over to our very, very wonderful extended families house for dinner. There was a succulent leg of lamb, an equally succulent ham, plates of cheese and crackers, a lot of wine, and succulent company. Just kidding. There was a lot of very friendly people there. We had a blast!

What did your family do? Any good recipes to share?

(My recipes to come later!)

Daily Recipe - Mexican Chicken Casserole

by Divine Domesticity on March 24th, 2008

This is a recipe from my bud Deanna aka Domestic Chicky. I hope she doesn't mind that I lovingly refer to this sort of recipe as 'trashy.' A lot of times, trashy food is really, really tasty.

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Serves 4-6

2 Cups Shredded Cooked Chicken
1 Cup Shredded Cheese ( I use a cheddar/jack combo)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (canned tomatoes with jalepenos-mild)
1/2 packet taco seasoning (or more- to taste)
1 bag nacho doritos

1. Pre-heat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients, except doritos, in a mixing bowl.

3. In a greased 2 qt baking dish, put a layer of crushed doritos (about 2 cups), then a layer of the chicken mixture. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture. Top with more shredded cheese, cover, and bake for 30-35 minutes, till bubbling hot.

You can add other items to this, depending on your preferences, like olives, green chiles, onions, etc...The chicken mixture would also make a great enchilada or burrito filling.

Daily Recipe - Italian Nachos, Johnny Carino's Copycat

by Divine Domesticity on March 23rd, 2008

From the menu at Johnny Carino's:

Italian Nachos - Crispy pasta chips baked with ground Italian sausage and/or sliced grilled chicken, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, roma tomatoes and jalapenos. Topped with creamy alfredo sauce, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

I think we got everything here except the black olives and tomatoes (my husband is not a fan of either). This is so incredibly yummy!

Italian Nachos
Serves About 4

1 Package wontons (found in the produce section), cut on the diagonal to form triangles
1 package ground pork, cook in a saute pan until browned
1 6-ounce package grilled chicken pieces (sometimes found in the salad section)
1 jar Pepperochini peppers (I got mild)
Shaved Parmesan for garnish
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced olives
jalepenos (optional)

For the Cheese Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan

1. In a heavy, medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and then the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; add 2 cups of the grated Parmesan. Season with the salt, pepper and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

2. Heat a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to medium. Cook the wontons until light brown. This only takes a few seconds per side. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

3. Pile the wontons on a large serving platter. Drizzle with warm cheese sauce. Add sausage, chicken, tomatoes, olives and peppers. Top with shaved Parmesan. EAT IT!

Full Disclosure: This post was NOT sponsored by Johnny Carino's (or anyone else for that matter). I took it upon myself to create a mock up of an appetizer offered on their menu and used their description of it as my guide for what ingredients to use. 

Cheese sauce recipe by Michael Chiarello. Recipe put together by me.

Wasssup my peeps?

Long time, no bloggy.

Well, I've been blogging about food plenty, but not about the goings on of life.

Violet and my husband have been battling colds the past 1-2 weeks. My husband got bronchitis, but luckily Violet did not. She does have a wicked cough that is lingering. She coughs so hard that it triggers her gag reflex, and yes, she horks all over me. Poor little girl.

Can you believe she will be 6 months old next week?! Time has flown by.

We're in the market to buy a cheap, used car next month. I refuse to finance. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate credit cards and financed cars? HATE! I despise having monthly payments.

We are still working on our credit card debt, but we have had our cars paid off for a few years now and it is so very nice to not have a substantial chunk of our income go to the cars. My car was totaled a long while back, and we're just now replacing it.

So, I'll be driving around in a mobile crap-shack, so to speak, but it sure beats buying a brand new car. (Don't get me wrong, it will be a safe car, but a used, very affordable car that we can buy outright.)

No profound thoughts from me lately. Life is whizzing by and I'm just trying to keep up! Violet's monthly newsletter will be coming up soon...I better start taking some pictures of her -- how is it that I haven't taken any pictures of her this month?! Oh, right, my dig cam battery died and I can't find the charger for it. Erg!

Daily Recipe - Banana Butterscotch Cake

by Divine Domesticity on March 22nd, 2008

This is one of my all time favorite dessert recipes. Moist, delicious, and the flavors are a bit unique.

Banana Butterscotch Cake
Makes 24 servings

1 2/3 cups (11-ounce package) NestlĂ©® Toll House® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels, divided
1 package (18.5 ounces) yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (2 medium) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 10-cup bundt or round tube pan.

2. Microwave 1 1/3 cups morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Combine cake mix, eggs, bananas, vegetable oil, water and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Stir 2 cups batter into melted morsels. Alternately spoon batters into prepared bundt or round tube pan.

3. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes; invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

4. Place remaining morsels in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on medium-high (70%) power for 30 seconds; knead. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over cake.

Recipe courtesy of

Daily Recipe - Marshmallow Cheesecake

by Divine Domesticity on March 21st, 2008

My husband hates cheesecake. Even he loved this one, because it doesn't have a strong cream cheese flavor. Cheesecake purists won't enjoy it as much as traditional cheesecake, but it is very tasty in its own light, marshmallow-y way.

Bonus hella funny quote from an interview with Gary Busey at Busey World:

MR: What's your favorite cheese ?
Gary Busey: (Pause) Cake.
MR: Cake?
Gary Busey: Cake!
MR: Oh... okay.
Gary Busey: Cheesecake.

Marshmallow Cheesecake

Makes one 9" cheesecake

1/2 (10.5 ounce) package marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup heavy cream
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
maraschino cherries, for garnish

1. In a saucepan on low heat, combine marshmallows and milk. Cook until marshmallows are melted, and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in egg yolk. Fold in 1/3 of the melted marshmallow mixture, then quickly fold in remaining marshmallow until no streaks remain. Stir in lemon juice.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until no streaks remain. Spread into graham crust. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Recipe from

Daily Recipe - Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat

by Divine Domesticity on March 20, 2008

I saw this amazing recipe for Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat on Diary of a Crazed Mommy and I knew I had to try it out and share with you lovelies.

The chocolate glaze really isn't necessary -- this is pretty rich all on its own. Although, if you are a hardcore chocolate addict, I say go for it. I actually preferred this room temperature rather than piping hot. Either way the soft, gooey, chocolaty Milky Way tastes great.

Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat
Makes 4 servings

2 Milky Way Bars (2.05-oz.) bars
1 container Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Chop the candy bars into 1/4-inch slices.

2. Break open the crescent roll container. The dough will be in two halves. Unroll dough and divide on the middle partition, taking care not to tear the diagonal perforations. There will be four rectangles of dough.

3. Place all four rectangles of dough on the cookie sheet with the narrower edges toward you. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped candy bars on top of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border on both sides and a one-inch border on the end farthest from you.

4. Roll up the dough like a sleeping bag, beginning with the edge closest to you. If the diagonal perforations tear when rolling, gently pinch them together.

5. Repeat with the remaining three rectangles. Space them two to three inches apart. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden.

6. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips, butter and milk and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the Pain Au Chocolat and serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of The Candy Bar Cookbook

new design! same great taste.


I buckled down this morning and redesigned the site. I luuurve it. All you peeps reading me through feeds need to drop by and check it out.

And hey, I wish I didn't have to say this, but no bitchy comments allowed! If you liked the old design better, tough titties. Honestly, sometimes I wonder what ever happened to having manners? (Nevermind that I just said bitchy and titties, ahem.)

Daily Recipe - Chicken and Bacon Sandwich

by Divine Domesticity on March 19th, 2008

Pioneer Woman's Chicken and Bacon Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 package pepper bacon (cut package in half with scissors)(I used hickory bacon and added freshly cracked pepper)
4 rolls of your choice (I used onion rolls)
4 slices of the cheese of your choice
Lemon & Pepper seasoning salt
Dijon mustard & mayo, optional

1. Cook bacon in a saute pan to your desired crispness. I like mine chewy, so I went with that. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Drain bacon grease off of pan, reserving one spoonful for cooking the chicken in.

2. Season the pounded chicken breasts with the lemon & pepper seasoning. Don't be afraid to really pour on the seasoning, it is good stuff. Heat the saute pan to med-high and add back the bacon grease.

3. When pan is heated, add the chicken breasts. Allow to cook for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip over. Add the bacon strips to the cooked side of the chicken breast, then top with cheese.

4. Cover your pan with a lid (or tin foil, as I use) and allow to cook for 4 minutes. Once cheese is thoroughly melted, remove from pan and add to your buns of choice. Add condiments and serve!

Daily Recipe - Pear Cranberry Crumble

by Divine Domesticity on  March 19th, 2008

Shown without topping

From the Joy of Cooking:

Streusel Topping

2/3 cup AP flour
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2/3 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Blend with a fork or pulse in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pear Streusel Tart (modified for a crumble)

1.Peel, core, and slice 1/4" thick: 1 1/2lbs ripe pears

2.Measure 3 cups pears and toss with:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp AP flour

3. Cover evenly with streusel.

4. Bake until the pears feel tender when pierced with a fork, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Serve on the day it is made.

Daily Recipe - My Mom's Special Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

by Divine Domesticity on March 18th, 2008

Use with your favorite cake or cupcake recipe. So good!

My Mom's Special Fluffy Chocolate Frosting
Makes several cups

10 oz. butter, softened
2 lb bag of powdered sugar, 3/4 cup withheld
1/2 cup cocoa powder (eye ball it)
3 big spoonfuls powdered egg whites (the secret ingredient!)
2 tsp. vanilla
Milk or half and half, to thin to desired consistency

1. Cream the butter and sugar. Add milk and cocoa, alternating. Add powdered egg white and vanilla. Beat until fluffy and delicious!

Daily Recipe - Raspberry Charlotte

by Divine Domesticity on March 17th, 2008

Light and fluffy, tart and sweet. It is a refreshing dessert that you don't see around much anymore. Why is that?

Raspberry Charlotte
Serves 8-10

Raspberry Cream:
3/4 cup raspberry puree (Blend Raspberries, add sugar to taste and then strain mixture)
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 envelope of unflavored powdered gelatin
Raspberries for garnish

2 dozen ladyfingers

1. In a small bowl stir together the gelatin and 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then microwave for a few seconds to dissolve the gelatin. When the gelatin has dissolved, stir it into the remaining puree. Transfer the mixture into a larger bowl ontop of an ice bath.

2. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold it into the puree mixture (which is still resting over the ice bath).

3. Line your dish with the ladyfingers, adding your raspberry cream then another layer of ladyfingers, until you end with a smooth layer of the cream on top. Garnish with raspberries. Let it rest in the fridge for several hours.

Daily Recipe - Raspberry Caramels

by Divine Domesticity on March 16th, 2008

Damn those caramels sure are red! I know. I accidentally dropped the bottle of food coloring in the pot. They taste amazing, so don't let the fact that they look like little blood sausages fool you.

Raspberry Caramels
Makes 60 Servings - Recipe Adapted From

For regular caramels, omit raspberry extract and use 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract. For orange flavored caramels, substitute 1 teaspoon orange extract for the raspberry extract.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Grease a 12" x 15" inch pan.

2. In a medium-size pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring. When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) remove the pot from the heat.

3. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely. When cooled cut the Carmel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.

As I have learned, handling caramel can be a sticky affair. I lightly sprayed my hands with non stick spray before rolling into little logs, as well as chilling the caramel when it became too warm while sitting out at room temperature. I tried out the plain recipe as well, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING!

Happy Friday Peeps!

This week sure went by fast. You know what? Screw it, I'm busting out the bullet list again.
  • My husband stayed home sick two days this week with bronchitis. He wore surgical masks and foggy eye glasses just like Whoorl (scroll down). Violet has a cold which we are really hoping isn't the starting stages of bronchitis. I've talked to a nurse at her doc's office and so far it seems like she only has a common cold. Yesh.
  • I'm in a cooking rut. Nothing sounds good. Well, nothing except fast food and I'm TRYING to be healthy here.
  • Speaking of cooking, check out these awesome printer friendly menu plans that I made. Coming soon -- printer friendly recipes for all my archived recipes!
  • I'm having a font crisis. The second I think I've nailed down a font that I want to use for the redesign of this site, I change my mind. Clearly, I'm over thinking this.
  • Also, I've been playing a lot of WoW. And, my brain is numb. And, I think I'm getting sick.
Okay. I'm bored. HAPPY WEEKEND!

Daily Recipe - Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

by Divine Domesticity on March 12th, 2008

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Rice Krispies
Makes several servings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
10 ounces jumbo marshmallows
3/4 cup creamy, common brand peanut butter (recommended: Jif or Skippy)
6 cups crispy rice cereal (recommended: Rice Krispies)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1. Melt the butter over low heat in a large pot. Stir in the marshmallows and cook until fully melted and no marshmallow white remains. Stir in the peanut butter until combined. Stir in the cereal until distributed evenly through the marshmallow mixture. Pour out onto a lightly greased rectangular baking dish (9" x 13"). Smooth out the top of the treats by moistening your hands with a little water and using the palms of your hand to press down gently. Don't press down too hard or else your treats will be too dense. Set aside to cool.

2. Once the treats have cooled, melt the chocolate over low heat. Cut the treats into even squares and quickly just shallowly dip the top side of the treats into the chocolate. Turn chocolate side up and set in a baking dish or on a rack until set. (I *gently* flipped my batch of treats over onto themselves to create an extra thick rice krispies treat)

Recipe courtesy from

Daily Recipe - Baby Bluebird Cupcakes

by Divine Domesticity on March 11th, 2008

Do you have an upcoming Easter party to attend? How about a baby shower? These Baby Bluebird Cupcakes would be a perfect, and completely yummy addition!

If you are making these for a baby shower, you could very easily make the chicks pink for a girl, or stick with blue chicks for a boy. They do require a bit of work, but nothing is technically advanced. Practice making the chicks, and the beaks, on a piece of wax paper first and you'll get the hang of it in no time.

If you are in a serious time crunch, you could use either a white or chocolate cake mix to make the cupcakes. I promise I wont tell anyone.

Baby Bluebird Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen
Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; scrape down bowl, and beat in vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Divide batter evenly among liners, about three-quarters full each. Bake until golden and tops spring back to touch, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer pans to wire rack; cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream
Makes 2 1/2 cups

Martha says, "If you live in a warm climate or you want to display your cupcakes for an extended period of time, use half solid vegetable shortening and half butter, which will result in a more stable frosting."

3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Place over a pot of simmering water; whisk until hot and sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer stand, and beat on high speed until cooled, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Replace whisk with paddle attachment, and set mixer on medium-high speed; add butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Beat in chocolate. If not using immediately, refrigerate buttercream in an airtight container for up to a week. Bring to room temperature, and re-beat or stir vigorously before using.

To Make the Cupcakes:
Makes 1 dozen

Martha says, "When preparing the chocolate buttercream frosting, reserve 1 1/2 cups buttercream and 1 teaspoon melted chocolate."

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut(about 5 ounces)
Vanilla Cupcakes
Chocolate Buttercream
Yellow and light-blue food coloring

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pan once. Set aside to cool.

2. Lightly frost cupcakes with 1 cup chocolate buttercream; set aside. Tint 2 tablespoons reserved buttercream pale yellow; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #349 Ateco leaf tip; set aside. Tint remaining buttercream light blue; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #11 Ateco plain round tip, and pipe three bluebird heads, 3/4 inch in diameter, onto each cupcake. Using leaf tip, pipe yellow beaks. With a toothpick, add melted-chocolate eyes. Form each nest with 2 tablespoons toasted coconut.

Recipes from

Daily Recipe - Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with Honey Syrup

by Divine Domesticity on  March 9th, 2008

I went beyond my comfort zone this weekend and made a batch of pancakes using ricotta cheese. I did notice that if the pancake was a bit undercooked you could tell that the ricotta was in there. Cooked correctly, though, and it tasted like a moist, delicious, blueberry pancake. Some lemon zest would go great in these, I would imagine.

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with Honey Syrup
4 servings (16 pancakes)

2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pancake and waffle mix (recommended: Krusteaz)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
Melted butter

1. Stir 1/3 cup of water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the honey. Set aside and keep the honey syrup warm.

2. Using a rubber spatula, stir the remaining 1 2/3 cups of water and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the pancake mix and stir just until moistened but still lumpy. Stir in the ricotta into the pancake mixture, then stir gently to incorporate the ricotta but maintain a lumpy batter. Fold in the blueberries.

3. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Brush with the melted butter. Working in batches, spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with the honey syrup.

Recipe from Giada at

Pick a Font - Continued

To clarify -- This is the font that will be used for the banner -- not the font in the posts!

Wow - I am really surprised at how many of you peeps chose #3 and #4! Personally, I liked #1 and #2 the best.

So since you were more a fan of the handwritten style of font, here are a few more choices in that style. Pick one and tell me why you like it -- or why you dislike any of them in particular. Thanks!!

Pick a font!

I'm mulling over fonts to use for the redesign that is coming up. Which of these 5 do you like the best and why??

I'll admit it, I'm a little *slow*

Not a slow noggin, mind you, but slow to change my opinions.
  • For example, all the hype of global warming - Nope, not on that bandwagon. An Inconvenient Truth? Pass.
  • Going vegan - nope, no way.
  • American Idol, Lost, 24 and Survivor? NO! I will not watch them
I've been making progress when it comes to changing my habits, though.
  • Recycling - yes. Just recently too. Now, all I do is put the cardboard stuff in a bin, the cans in a bag, and I let someone else do the sorting and dropping off. It is a step in the right direction though.
  • Safer cleaning products - yes. I love Mrs. Meyers. Last year I bought the gingerbread cleaning set. Yesterday I ordered the Rhubarb Spring Cleaning Kit. Oh, how I love rhubarb! I'm so excited.
  • Taking better care of myself - yes. All right, so a daily shower just doesn't happen some days, especially with a baby. Even still, doing so much better on that front. I've even been eating a lot healthier and have stopped drinking soda. E-gads!
  • Budgeting - yes. I love Dave Ramsey. I created an excel worksheet where I can track my online accounts. I check my bank account daily and record all transactions. At the end of the month, I figure out how much money went to each category (food, money, bills, etc.). It is empowering to get a handle on our financial situation.
  • Cleaning - yes. I no longer sit on my bum! Don't get me wrong, things are never perfect. I do not let them get out of control though. I'm so proud of how far I've come in this area.
What are some issues that are very important to you? What are some popular bandwagons that you won't jump on?

Just a quickie.

I thought today was Friday.

  • Ugh. Isn't that the worst? You think you are almost to the weekend and you realize you are a nincompoop!
  • I'm feeling uninspired today. We're gonna bust out the bullet list.
  • Have you been checking out Blissfully Domestic? DO IT! Leave me comments! (I do the food posts.)
  • Oh, almost forgot. I've hired a very talented girl to do a blog redesign for me. I'm so excited! I will probably be a couple weeks before its up, so check back.
  • While you are at it, all you feed readers -- Why not click over to the actual website and earn me a few pennies? It helps me pay for all the deeeliciousss food I post about.
  • Last: A picture of Sweet V

Happy Friday! Oh, shiz, I mean Thursday. Blech.

Daily Recipe - Quickie Meatball Bites

by Divine Domesticity on  March 4th, 2008

I know I'm not the only person to take advantage of the bag o' meatballs sold at the big, evil box stores. I use them for a lot of things: meatball subs, Italian wedding soup, Hungarian meatball stew. After awhile though, I can't stand the sight of another meatball! Get them OUT OF THE FREEZER! ACK!

This recipe will help you do that.

Quickie Meatball Bites
Makes 3-4 Servings

Several sheets of phyllo dough, thawed
9-12 Meatballs (I used a nice quality pre-made meatball, already cooked)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
Marinara sauce or premade pizza sauce
Chopped parsley for garnish (I used dried)

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Cut squares of phyllo according to size of pan you are using -- for a mini pan I cut about a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square. Using 3 sheets of cut phyllo, form to pan. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until edges lightly brown.

2. Add marinara, mozzarella cheese to phyllo cups. Add warm meatballs, cutting in half when necessary to fit. Top with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Daily Recipe - Puggy Chow

by Divine Domesticity on  March 3rd, 2008

You know it. You love it. It is a childhood classic.

Puppy Chow aka Puggy Chow
Makes many servings

9 cups Chex cereal (any variety)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.

2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, stir together chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.

3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Stove-Top Directions: Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Recipe from the Chex website.

Daily Recipe - Pumpkin Dip

by Divine Domesticity on  March 2nd, 2008

Wow this stuff is addicting. I just ate both those apples and am now wondering what I could possibly dip in this incredibly yummy pumpkin dip. Hmm...cookies? I'd better go try.

This would be perfect for a party alongside a tray of apples and misc. fruits to dip with. Better yet, it is kid friendly and a Cooking Light recipe!

Pumpkin Dip
12 Servings

3/4 cup (6 oz.) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
24 apple slices

1. Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. (I whipped for about 2-3 minutes, to get it nice and fluffy) Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover dip, and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004

Daily Recipe - Pickle Wraps

by Divine Domesticity on  March 1st, 2008

Everyone shout it with me..... "WHITE TRAAAASH!"

By far the ugliest little things I've ever made. Tasty though!

Pickle Wraps
Makes several servings

1 small jar sweet pickles
1/3 pkg cream cheese
1 package dried beef*

*Save yourself some money and don't get the kind in the jar. Instead, but the Karl Buddig brand of beef lunch meat at the grocery store. It is the cheap stuff but it works awesome for this recipe.

1. Spread cream cheese onto dried beef then wrap around the pickle. Slice into bite-sized pieces.