So Very Domestic started as a food and crafty blog and has grown to be so much more than that! It now documents the domestic bliss, Southern California adventures and homeschooling that is this life of ours in pretty pictures with recipes and tutorials and reviews. Thanks for reading!
Right now I am knitting...
I Adore These Blogs!
read 7 books toward her goal of 52 books.
1) read 52 books (8/52)
2) sew a dress for myself
3) send everyone a card for their birthday
4) make candles
5) hand write and mail (at least) 52 letters (14 so far)
6) knit this quilt (258/400 puffs)
7) knit 12 pairs of socks (2/12)
8 ) bake one new cookie recipe every week - and blog about it (4/52)
9) make a small quilt
10) start a 'What I did today' daily journal project (using The Happiness Project)
11) participate in Craftster's Monthly Challenge
12) go on at least one epic road trip and as many smaller ones as possible
13) knit 13 Tiny Owl Knits projects
May 8, 2013
Yesterday, I posted the Red Velvet Cookies that I made earlier this year and I declared them the 4th cookie of the year. Now that I’ve gone hunting for more cookie recipes that I made this year though, they are at least the 6th cookie and I think these super girly pink cakester-type treats are actually the 5th cookie of the year. I will edit the gallery as I post more cookie recipes from this year. You know, because I know you’re losing sleep over this.
Like yesterday, this recipe is painfully easy and also involves a box cake mix. THE HORROR, I know. Don’t fret, tomorrow my Pioneer Woman cookbook gets here and my girl Sammie and I will be baking up a storm – no cake mixes involved.
The thing with these cookies is that despite the obvious factory-derived flavor from the cake mix, man they are good. I mean, like way too good. I wasn’t even finished my first one before I knew I wanted about 10 more. So naturally I spread them around to my neighbors and we took the rest of them with us to Silly Goose to share with everyone else to get them out of the house. I don’t think I can make these again because yeah, too tasty and unhealthy at the same time. Save these for when you’ve got a crowd to bake for and can be sure to get them out the door (or eaten)!
Pink Cakesters via Six Sisters Stuff
1 box strawberry cake mix
3/4 cup shortening (I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, I used butter)
Ridiculously simple! Preheat to 350, mix the cake mix, eggs and butter. Roll into balls, flatten a bit with a glass dipped in sugar and bake for about 8 minutes. Let them cool for a little before you move them to a wire rack to cool completely and then fill with buttercream.
May 7, 2013
I think these are officially the 5th cookie of the year – baked back in February!
These cookies fall along the lines of ‘shortcut cookies’ that I honestly don’t love to make, but sometimes living in California makes me feel lazy because I’d rather go to the beach and make wonky sand castles with my kids than bake (completely) from scratch. I am trying to get out of that funk, but in the meantime, these shortcut cookies are pretty awesome. Wee One #2 ate way more than she ever usually does and I know I overdid it.
Just a heads up, if you make these from certain brands of cake mix *cough Duncan Hines cough*, you may experience some red pee. Like hours later when you’re at the aquarium with your littlest little and your friend Katie and her oldest little and then you take a bathroom break and come out and go OHMIGOSH Katie I’m dying and then she reminds you how many red velvet cookies you ate and you Google it in the car on the way home to be sure. No? Am I projecting? Ahem. Just try not to eat excessive amounts of these babies and you should be fine.
1 box red velvet cake mix
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
~1 cup confectioner’s sugar (for rolling)
Pretty standard cake mix cookies, really. Preheat to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the cake mix and flour. Then stir in the eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix, mix, mix!
Roll into 1″ balls and coat in confectioner’s sugar. Arrange 2″ apart on your baking sheet and flatten with a glass dipped in confectioner’s sugar.
Bake for about 10 minutes (check the first batch at 7 minutes), let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before cooling them on a wire rack.
May 6, 2013
Do I just gloss over the five weeks I’ve been absent from the blog? Please? No?
Two super exciting things have happened since I last posted (and a whole bunch of other amazing but less newsworthy things)! First, we moved into the bigger, better, all-we-need-in-an-apartment apartment and a little while after that, one of the besties came down for a visit! We stayed within the same apartment complex, we had been literally waiting for this apartment to become available since we decided to stay past our initial plan of six months. Moving to a tiny apartment from our house in the woods was a serious adjustment and while we are still nowhere close to what we had, this is much, much better and is perfect for us right now. The second bathroom and the backyard really put it over for us. Happy campers over here!
Miss Talea visiting was a glorious and way too fast 5 days. We managed to squeeze a whole lot into those five days though! We did the Aquarium of the Pacific, Hollywood, The Le Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica, Pacific Park, Redondo Pier, Hermosa Pier and a little Corner Bakery and In n Out for good measure. We also watched some bad tv, drank some local wine and knitted some puffs. A lovely visit, but of course, too short.
The littles and I have been up to all kinds of hilarity with their buddies. In these last five weeks we have celebrated a friend’s 2nd birthday, made sand castles at Redondo Beach, went out for a mama’s night with some of my ladies, celebrated a friend’s 4th birthday, broke in my girl Jennifer’s Slip n Slide, went adventuring with Talea, finally celebrated Wee One #3′s 4th birthday, celebrated Children’s Book Day at our local library, celebrated a friend’s 3rd birthday, checked out a new (to us) park or two, celebrated a friend’s 1st birthday and prepared for Wee One #2′s first big dance show! I’m pooped!!
Much cooking and baking and knitting and crafting and homeschooling have been going on as well! Tomorrow, back to as close to usual as I can get – with some Red Velvet Cookies!
Mar 29, 2013
Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I adore holidays. I was going to say especially ones where the kids have some magic like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus but I also really love holidays that bring people together like Thanksgiving and the 4th. So, yeah, just about every holiday is awesome as far as I’m concerned. So we’ve been doing it up with the kids with crafts and baking and celebrating with friends. With just two more sleeps to go, the littlest ones are hyped for the hunt and since Wee One #1 is turning 13 this year instead of subjecting him to the standard-issue egg hunt, we are doing up a treasure hunt for him where he’ll find things along the way with clues for what’s next and then at the end his basket of mostly non-sugary items. I can hardly wait.
The other exciting news is that we are moving to a bigger place on Monday – within the same complex! So we get the upgrade of more space and a yard and a bigger kitchen, and we don’t have to lose the pool or this amazing location where all the essentials (and so much fun) are a short walk away. I’m packing up soooome things, since everyone keeps reminding me that I can literally just walk all of our stuff over to the new place in just a few hours. I also don’t want to turn the place upside down before Easter, but a little chaos is pretty natural for the 5 of us.
After posting all of our Easter fun this week, it occurred to me that some people may like to make actual Easter bread for their families this weekend, not sweet bread stuffed with cheese and made to look like bunnies and not Greek Easter bread, but you know, standard old school straight up Easter bread. Like your granny probably made, in a braid, with dyed eggs on top.
Standard Easter Bread – I’ve been using this recipe forever
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg)
2/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
4 or 5 whole, dyed eggs (they don’t need to be hard boiled first since they’ll cook in the oven with the bread)
2 tablespoons butter (to brush over dough before baking)
Pretty standard bread dough. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the sugar, salt and yeast. Then warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan and mix this in with the flour mixture.
Let it set for about 10 minutes, then add the eggs and another 1/2 cup of the flour and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Slowly add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Now turn out the dough and knead it for about 8 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and put the dough in. I usually use the same bowl I mixed it in. Cover it with a damp cloth in a warm place and let it rise for about an hour. It should be double the size.
Punch down the dough and divide into three pieces. Let them rest 10 minutes.
Roll out each piece into about a 36″ strip and loosely braid them, then join the ends. Or don’t, some people make it a ring and some don’t. Delish, either way. My recipe card says ‘lay eggs’! Haha, place the eggs around the braid, brush with butter and bake for about 50 minutes at 350.
Mar 28, 2013
This is a quick and fun activity for the littles in the days before Easter that doesn’t require too much prep for them to do it all themselves. When Wee One #3 does something entirely on her own, she’s the happiest kid in. the. world.
The prep took me maybe half an hour the night before and it entertained both girls for way longer than it should have – almost an hour. That’s like, daaaaays in preschooler time! Of course they got glue all over the table and a little on themselves, but they also made 5 of these little Easter chicks each and they’re currently hanging in the living room window to decorate our patio! Cute!
yellow paper plates
yellow wings (either teardrop shapes cut from construction paper or craft feathers)
orange construction paper legs (accordion long strips of paper)
orange construction paper feet
small orange diamonds for beaks
glue (most fun for littles is a fresh bottle of white glue)
googley eyes (or you can lose them the night before like I did, and suggest they use markers)
I made one myself after I had prepped all the pieces so they’d have a finished product to go by, but I told them if they wanted the accordion legs to be arms, that’s their call. They ended up making them as I had because they decided that was ‘the cutest way’.
I’m sure you can figure it out, but they found it helpful to glue the feet to the legs and then glue the legs to the body.
Mar 27, 2013
Are these Eastery? I’m not sure that rainbows = Easter, but my littles seem to think so, so I embraced it and we whipped up these little treats yesterday. This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so my neighbors will be getting an extra visit this week!
Rainbow Cookies via Pint Sized Baker
3 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups room temp butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Jello! I used grape, blue raspberry, orange and strawberry (you can use whatever flavors you want)
It starts out as a pretty standard cookie. You know, cream the butter and sugar then add the egg and vanilla. Stir the baking powder into the flour and slowly add that to the butter mixture.
Then the magic happens! Divide the dough into as many pieces as you have Jello flavors. I only had four flavors when my littles wanted to make this right now with a whole lotta urgency, so I had four big pieces.
Sprinkle about two tablespoons of Jello powder per piece. I found using a spoon in a big bowl helped mix it in faster. Some flavors will need more than two tablespoons – with the grape I ended up using a little Wilton food coloring to kick it up to actual purple (instead of this wimpy lavender color it was giving me). I scooped out 1/2 tablespoon balls and dropped them in a bowl of their matching Jello powder before flattening them with a Hello Kitty shot glass. You could use any drinking glass I guess.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes! The kids loved them and they smelled amazing.
Mar 26, 2013
These little bunny buns are the cutest food I’ve made in a very long time. So so cute. I will admit right now – some of them look like cats. But you can tell they’re all at least trying to be bunnies. It’s actually a very basic and entirely painless process. Essentially, you mix it all together, leave it alone for a bit, then roll it around, a couple of snips and pokes later, and you’re done! Easy!
The dough itself is just a little sweet, so you could also play that up with a desserty filling like cream or chocolate or jam or something. It’s not too sweet to interfere with savory fillings though, so I went with Monterey Jack because Wee One #3 was helping and it’s her favorite. 3 of the 20 or so that I made leaked in the oven. My kids and carbs are best buddies though so they were happy to eat the deformed ones.
I will use this dough again for sure. It has great potential for some kind of cinnamon bun situation! Or pizza pockets!
Sweet Bunny Buns via Kit Frazier
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 oz active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar in warm milk and water. Add yeast and set aside 10 minutes.
Stir in the rest of the sugar, salt and 2 cups flour.
Mix until the dough holds together and isn’t sticky, add more flour if you need to. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to double, about 1 hour.
After you punch it down and roll it out, roll a long log, cut into 18 pieces (you may get more or less depending on how big you make the pieces), and roll each piece into an oval shape. I filled mine with small pieces of cheese.
Use kitchen scissors to make small snips in the front of each oval, and use a knitting needle to poke some eyes (or I suppose you could use a toothpick or something, but the original recipe used a knitting needle too). The instructions I wrote to myself on the index card for this recipe were ‘Cut ears. Poke eyes’
If you use cheese (or whatever) as a filling, make sure you pinch the dough closed securely! It’s so not fun to make treats like these and see the filling running out of the buns in the oven! Also, bake them seam side down!
Before you pop them in the oven, brush them with an egg wash (1 egg and a bit of water). Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Mar 25, 2013
I know that traditionally, Easter is very pastely, but I’m not a huge fan of pastels when it comes to Easter eggs (or anything really). A general rule for dying eggs is to just use water and your food coloring of choice if you want light eggs, add a little lemon juice for slightly brighter eggs and add a bit of vinegar for bright eggs. I knew I was going to go the vinegar route and I had a whole lotta food coloring. Still, those tiny food coloring jars from the grocery store are only going to get the eggs so bright, you need to amp up the food coloring to get them really, really, bright. So I used Wilton Food Coloring. Normally this gel food coloring is reserved for fondant and buttercream but you know, mega watt Easter eggs were top priority for me lol.
hard boiled eggs (le duh)
Wilton food coloring
3/4 cup hot water (per egg)
1 tablespoon white vinegar (per egg)
When I cooked these eggs, the oven was still hot from baking, so I just filled a couple of muffin tins with eggs and cooked them at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Then I left them in there for a while longer after I turned the oven off. Then I let them soak in a big bowl of cold water for another 30 minutes before I started dying them.
The hands on part of the process is pretty minimal, and the longer you leave the eggs dying, the brighter they’ll be!
Once your eggs are cooked and cooled, pour 3/4 cup of hot water in each cup. Use a toothpick (because a little bit is really all you need with this stuff) to dissolve the food coloring paste in the water. Now add the 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to each cup and mix. Now plunk your eggs in – one to a cup! I made 2 dozen so the counter was littered with cups and I left them there for a day and a night! The littles insisted on checking on them every time they walked by, and it was neat to see the colors get deeper. These eggs were made for the potluck last weekend and since there were so many babies and small toddlers there I didn’t embellish them any further, but when I make these again this weekend for my littles, I’ll dress them up a lot more.
Whatever you do with them, the crazy bright colors feel festive and are a great canvas for further decorating.
Mar 24, 2013
I have had the most amazing treat of joining a sweet, tight, cheerful group of ladies here in South Bay. Our kids range in age from newborn to adults! The Wee Ones and I have been hanging out with them since last September and we’ve not only explored all over South Bay, but forged some wonderful friendships as well – both with the kids and with the moms! Yesterday, we came together to host a potluck in our neighborhood park and it was as close to perfect as life gets. Everyone brought something delicious to eat or something fun to do and we all pitched in to hire an Easter bunny! Everyone brought one dozen eggs per child and a few of us ran around laying them in the grass for the kids to find later.
I brought the decoupaged Easter eggs I blogged about this morning, three dozen really brightly dyed eggs, traditional Easter egg bread, Cheesy Onion Chicken and Sweet Bunny Buns. I’ll post these tutorials and recipes this week, I promise! So much Easter fun ahead of us still!
Mar 24, 2013
This is a pretty neat idea I bookmarked a couple of years ago on Say Yes to Hoboken. It’s very simple but very cute and can be used in Easter hunts, baskets or the as the original site suggested, as place settings! I made them for an Easter potluck my mommy group put on. I’ll post pictures of all of that
insanity fun tonight!
First tap the top off your eggs and empty them, (refrigerate for baking or scrambling later). Then rinse them and let dry overnight (or longer).
Once they’re dry, fill them with whatever treats you want! I filled half with jellybeans for the kids and half with stickers for the toddlers.
Using a paintbrush, tissue paper and a whole lotta glue, attack these little guys until they are covered. Then let them dry for about a day! Voila!