Mobirise




Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.



From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs



Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

Onward and Upward

Uncategorized

I’ve been blogging here for 8 years, and a year more than that before I bought this domain and I’ve loved it so much. Every time I almost quit blogging, either due to time constraints or moving on to other things, I always stop myself because I feel like so many opportunities and friendships started here, I’d hate to let it go.

However, over the last few years there has been less and less engagement on blogs in general and more on Instagram and YouTube. I’ve been creating content on those platforms more this year and not only is it a lot of fun, but there is far more engagement.

The plan from here is for the website to be redesigned into a reference website this summer, with homeschooling information and recipes that I point to from YouTube, with a more update-style blog instead of this content-driven blog.

There is so much content here, it amazing to me that I have not just written all these posts, but that I have made all these recipes! I am looking forward to going through it all and organizing it and deciding what to keep and what to let go of. Expect something new in a month or so, in the meantime, find me on YouTube at youtube.com/soverydomestic!

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Day 13 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Short Ribs

California, Domestic

Usually, when I make ribs, I roast them in the oven all afternoon. I have no yet attempted to use my grill as a smoker and I wasn’t feeling into learning how to do it on a Wednesday afternoon, so I decided to roast them for a little while before taking them out to the grill. Smoking them in a barbecue or smoker is probably the best way to do it, but I cheated a little, just to avoid rough and bloody ribs. ;)

The real star of this was the barbecue sauce anyway! It’s the most basic barbecue sauce and a great jumping off point for experiments!

Short Ribs

2 lbs short ribs
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
5 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Make the barbecue sauce the night before, then in the morning brush it all over every side of each rib and let that rest in a covered dish in the fridge for a few hours. Then, roast it at 375 for an hour or so and theeeen take it out to the grill.

 
 
 

Personally, I feel like ribs should be served with corn on the cob every time, so that’s what I always do but that is probably just my personal association. Your side combos are endless!

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Summer Home Ec – Week One – Kitchen Lesson One

Domestic, Kids

For our first kitchen lesson of the summer, the girls each made a batch of cookies. They were supervised, but with no assistance. I put all the ingredients on the kitchen table, along with measure cups, spoons, a wooden spoon, a whisk, a spatula, my Kitchen Aid mixer, and a smaller mixing bowl. Oh, and a recipe stand and a cookbook. ;)

Letting the kids loose in the kitchen is something I think every mom needs to do from time to time to test her inner resolve to not correct – or rescue! Daphne baked chocolate chip cookies and Lena baked gingersnaps, both with zero help from me (or anyone else).

 

 

I reminded them to read their recipes and ingredient lists before they started to be sure they had everything they needed, and then to re-read them to check again. Daphne caught that she needed a second mixing bowl and baking sheets on her second read-through.

 

They also knew that a big part of this project is following the instructions, and learning that you can make pretty much anything with basic skills and the ability to handle directions. In that spirit, I didn’t correct them when I noticed them not following the directions, and assured them it was all part of the process of figuring it out when they each realized they gone a little off course. No biggie.

 

 

We ended up using recipes from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. The recipes in this book are tested and straightforward. I’ve had it since 2001 and never had a fail that wasn’t my own fault!

Overall, they both did really well. We talked about possible missteps with their baking while they critiqued their own cookies, and what they would do differently!

They’re back in the kitchen on Saturday for cake baking!

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Day 12 of 100 Days of Barbecue – S’mores Cones

California, Domestic, Uncategorized

When spaghetti and meatballs was requested, naturally I figured I’d just find a way to sneak in some barbecue. I’m pretty sure I figured it out actually. My plan was to make the sauce early in the day, as usual, and make the spaghetti shortly before we ate, also as usual and the meatballs are the part of the meal I’d do on the grill. My plan wasn’t to technically grill the meatballs really, but to cook them in my cast iron skillet on the grill. They’d get that smoky barbecue flavor, with no danger of falling though to the grill abyss. However, I’m a little freaked out about undercooked food. I like my steak with some pink, don’t get my wrong, but an undercooked meatball? Yuck! More importantly, my family may revolt on the whole 100 Days of Barbecue insanity if it resulted in gross meatballs. So I decided to precook the meatballs until I didn’t have to worry about them and theeeen put them in the skillet on the grill. I accidentally cooked them all the way through. Womp-womp. So, oh well? Overcooked meatballs are no good either, so I looked over my ‘desserts to grill’ list, and found these in the queue! Even better, I already had everything I needed!

The kids were all a little unsure about these since there was no marshmallow roasting going on, and as far as they are concerned that is a required step in s’more preparation. All I did was pour some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in a sugar cone and wrap the whole situation up in tin foil. Then I put them on the grill for like 5 minutes. I didn’t even get the grill totally fired up because I only needed it to be hot enough to melt the chocolate and the marshmallow.

 

 

One of them was aaaaalmost on a little too long. It was in the middle and the marshmallows almost totally melted away. The other two were near perfect.

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Summer Home Ec – Week One – Sewing Lesson One

Crafty, Homeschooling, Kids

Our first home ec lesson of the summer was a lot of fun! My daughters are 11 (Helena) and 8 (Daphne) and at different skill levels, however Helena requested to start as a beginner along with Daphne as a refresher. I think that worked out really well for her because she felt more confident and we ended up altering Daphne’s lesson a little to make it less frustrating (and therefore still fun) for her.

Officially, the objectives I gave for our first lesson were; threading a needle, running stitch, and whipstitch. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show these stitches well, but not in one place and it takes a little searching, so I’m gathering the best videos to illustrate them throughout this series.

Before we began, I set out felt, needles and thread in different colors. They both chose red felt, Helena went with blue thread and Daphne went with pink thread. In the middle of my ‘how to thread a needle’ instructions, Daphne threaded her needle. She was instantly good at it, which is always a nice little confidence booster! So right away, she was into it.

 

Then I showed them how to do a running stitch and explained to them that it can be used as a decorative closing stitch for stuffies and other cute creations. I also showed them how it can be used for gathering and making some pretty ruffles as well if you gently pull on the end of the thread. This video from Red Ted Art was especially helpful.

Once we began doing the running stitch, Daphne started getting frustrated. I know everyone has different thoughts on this, but just as in our regular homeschool lessons I will backpedal as much as is necessary to avoid frustrating the children. I always, always, find a level of whatever it is we are doing where they are comfortable and start there. Otherwise, they are likely not going to learn anything other than to dislike whatever it is you are trying to teach them. She was having a hard time holding the felt and it was bothering her that she wasn’t able to get her stitches as straight as Helena’s. Then in dawned on me. Where in sewing are all your stitches neat and orderly, even if you’re wobbily with a needle and thread? Cross stitching! Less than 5 minutes later, I set her up with some white aida cloth, an embroidery hoop and embroidery floss and she was a happy camper! Helena continued to work on the fleece with the sewing thread, and I used a ruler and a Sharpie to illustrate stitches that were 1/2″ apart.

 

Satisfied that they were comfortable with the running stitch, we moved on to the whipstitch. The first example I showed them was actually from an advent craft I made years ago. I closed all the pouches with the whipstitch, and they remembered when I did it. This video from Lauren Fairweather showed a wonderful example of using it to attach an applique and that’s what we used in our lesson! You can do it this way or you can use it to sew two pieces together.

For the applique, I just cut hearts out of a contrasting color of felt. First I explained the stitch, then we watched the video I embedded above and then I showed them how on my piece of felt. They happily started on their own and they each did a great job!

 

One Helena had finished whipstitching her heart onto her practice piece, Daphne was about 1/4 done and took a break. She did resume this project after and was happy with her progress.

 

This should be a fun, no pressure summer project. The point of today’s lesson was for the kids to learn to thread a needle, do a basic running stitch and a basic whipstitch. Mission accomplished! Next Sewing lesson will be on Friday when we attach buttons and trims – next home ec lesson is tomorrow though, when the girls will be baking cookies on their own!

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Day 11 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Chicken Souvlaki

California, Domestic

Tonight’s dinner has been my favorite so far, and actually the second time I’ve made it this summer but the first time I’ve made it since Memorial Day when we started this. I grew up in Greek restaurant kitchens, so this meal was a staple growing up and thankfully when my husband started coming to my parent’s house for dinner when we were teenagers, he fell in love with it too. Chicken souvlaki is in regular rotation on our dinner menu always served with my tzatziki, occasionally in a bun or a pita, usually served on skewers with a rice pilaf and corn – which is exactly how I served it tonight! Find my tzatziki recipe over on day 5.

 

 

The secret to good souvlaki (if it’s even a secret) is to get it marinating in the morning. Full disclosure I’m often doing this still in my PJs at 7am so it’s sitting for as long as possible. I use a large pastitsio pan (I’d imagine if you’re not Greek you call it a lasagna pan) for this. I’m honestly not sure how much olive oil I use, but I fill the dish about 1″ deep. In true Greek fashion, I’m not 100% sure how much of anything I use. I can tell you I always use oregano, basil and rosemary. I can also tell you I sprinkle pretty much equal amounts over the surface of the oil until it’s pretty much covered. Then I whisk it up. I cube the chicken and slide it onto the skewers (usually ten pieces per skewer), and then roll it in the seasoned oil until it’s totally covered. From here you just cover the dish and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

 

Turning skewers on the grill can be tricky because they’re hard to get a hold of the skewers with an oven mitt but it’s also awkward to pinch and turn them with tongs. Once you develop a technique the challenge becomes about moving them around the heat evenly. Obviously, they’re going to brown faster over the flame, but they need to be cooked all the way through and no raw inside and charred on the outside. You’ll need to move them around pretty frequently and close the lid to use the grill as an oven for a while to be sure they’ll thoroughly cooked.

Tzatziki can be made the night before and pilaf can be happening with minimal supervision while you’re grilling. You can always just use a rice steamer to make rice while you’re outside if you don’t want to make a pilaf. This pairs well with corn, so you can either do corn on the cob on the grill or boil it inside. The nice thing about corn on the cob is if you boil it inside a little earlier, you can pop it in a very low oven while you’re grilling and it’ll stay warm without getting gross. Then just put everything out on the table when you’re ready to serve

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Summer Home Ec

Domestic

It’s so funny to me how often homeschoolers will pick a whole other curriculum for summer and their kids are so excited! Mine worked hard all year and finished two weeks ago. Now, they are already asking me about the summer school ideas they had. Months ago, they all – even my 16 year old – said they wanted to cook more this summer. Specifically, they all want to be able to do more for themselves and to be of some actual assistance lol. The girls also said they wanted to do more sewing, and to learn new skills.

That’s when I thought it would be fun to put together a fun little 8 week summer home ec program. I have been really inspired by the Great British Baking Show, I love the way they do three challenges (signature, showstopper and technical) in each catagory. I can’t do it that way in a short summer course, but I think that’s how I’m going to deal with cooking and baking for the next school year.

I went through all my kids sewing books and all my kids cookbooks, then I turned to my bookmarks. Then I laid out a timeline and edited it about 15,000 times. ;)

Obviously, you can do this right along with us from June 5 – July 28, or you can do a week here and there, you can mix up the weeks if you feel so inclined. I just thought it would be fun to share a program I put together for the kids, and I’m sure a lot of you will find it useful. I have broken each week down into two sewing lessons and two kitchen lessons for a total of four a week. Depending on your schedule it may work better for you to do home ec weekends or just weekdays. It’s as flexible as you need it to be, but we will be doing our sewing projects on Mondays and Fridays and our kitchen projects on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Every weekend for the next 8 weeks, I’ll share with you my specific ideas for upcoming week. Of course you can substitute your own projects or recipes instead if you like. It’s all a jumping off point to getting inspired. For sewing, I have two kids at the same beginner level, and three kids at two different skill levels in the kitchen. So all the recipes have two options. I will also update as we do these projects to share our progress and I’d love to see if you join us by tagging #summerhomeec on Instagram, or sharing your photos in the comments.

Week One – Sewing Basics and Cookies
  Monday (sewing) – Just the Basics: threading a needle, running stitch and whipstitch
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: chocolate chip cookies / intermediate: gingersnaps
  Friday – (sewing) – Adding On: sewing on a button and trim
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: oatmeal cookies / intermediate: soft sugar cookies with frosting

Week Two – Finishing in Sewing and Making Breakfast
  Monday (sewing) – Finishing Part One: making a hem
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: pancakes / intermediate: french toast
  Friday – (sewing) – Finishing Part Two: Making casings
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: boiled eggs / intermediate: fried eggs

Week Three – Pattern Making and Lunch
  Monday (sewing) – Making it Your Own: Making a simple pattern
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: grilled cheese sandwiches / intermediate: mini pizzas
  Friday – (sewing) – Bringing it to Life: Stuffing and stitching closed
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: chicken noodle soup / intermediate: beef barley soup

Week Four – First Projects and First Pies
  Monday (sewing) – Project One: Stuffie
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: blueberry pie / intermediate: lemon meringue pie
  Friday – (sewing) – Project Two: Tote Bag
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: tourtiere / intermediate: chicken pie

Week Five – Drawstrings and Cakes
  Monday (sewing) – Project Three: Drawstring Tote, Part One
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: simple chocolate cake / intermediate: two layer vanilla cake
  Friday – (sewing) – Project Three: Drawstring Tote, Part Two
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: strawberry cake / intermediate: oreo pudding poke cake

Week Six – Sewing Machine Intros and Bread
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine 101: The Basics
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: basic white bread / intermediate: dinner rolls
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine 101: Pot Holder
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: pretzel bites / intermediate: cinnamon buns

Week Seven – Sewing Machine Projects and Donuts
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine Project One: Simple Toy Skirt
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: basic chocolate cake donuts / intermediate: basic yeast donuts
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine Project Two: Custom Pouch
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: cinnamon sugar donuts / intermediate: baked vanilla donuts

Week Eight – Final Projects
  Monday (sewing) – Sewing Machine Final Project: Apron, Part One
  Wednesday (kitchen) – beginner: blueberry cobbler / intermediate: meringues
  Friday – (sewing) – Sewing Machine Final Project: Apron, Part Two
  Saturday – (kitchen)- beginner: fudge / intermediate: baked Alaska

Here are the specific details on what we are doing this week!

On Monday, we’ll be threading a needle, which I think is pretty self explanatory. We’ll also be learning the running stitch and the whipstitch. For this, I’m just using basic needles and colorful thread on felt.

On Wednesday, we’ll be making cookies! The beginner recipe will be this chocolate chip cookie recipe from my grandmother, and the intermediate recipe will be this gingersnap recipe from Food 52.

On Friday, we’ll be learning how to add buttons and trim to pieces of felt! We’ll learn how to add buttons with four holes, buttons with two holes and buttons with the little nub on the back. ;) We’ll add lace, rick rack and other fun trims to felt as well. It really doesn’t matter what you choose, just some kind of trim for practice.

On Saturday, we’ll bake some more cookies! The beginner recipe will be this oatmeal cookie recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, and the intermediate recipe will be this copycat Lofthouse cookies recipe from Your Home Based Mom.

The children and I are so excited to get started and I can’t wait to see and share with you what they accomplish with this project this summer!

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Day 10 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Kid’s Lunch

California, Domestic, Kids

So day 10 is the first day I’m not sharing a recipe. This afternoon our besties came over for a little barbecue and while nothing on the grill was made by me, we came to the conclusion that since we grilled it all, it still counts. :P

We went for a swim The kids went for a swim while the mamas broke up sibling squabbles endlessly adjusted goggles soaked up some sun before the kids came in for Minecraft and excessive pre-lunch snacking. According to Time Hop (which never lies because I’m always on Instagram so it’s a pretty accurate reflection of my timeline), the bestie and I have had a lot of ‘randoversaries’. That’s what my husband calls it when you accidentally do the same thing on the same day a year later. A couple of weeks ago, we discovered (again thanks to Time Hop) that we had hung out on that day 4 years in a row, which is really crazy because I didn’t even live here during one of those years. Anyhoo, we had a randoversary today and recreated Jarvis and Daphne chillin on a pool lounger.

 

 

I wont product link everything but I will say that we tried the premade beef burgers from Whole Foods, and Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers and they were both a hit. I also finally tired Trader Joes’ potato salad and fell madly in love. The kids had hot dogs and pita chips and hummus and roasted tomatillo salsa. Also! My Instacart shopper picked up brioche hot dog buns because they were out of what I ordered and they were amazing. PS if you use Instacart, use this link to get $10 for free!

Chris did pretty much all of the grilling. He actually cleaned the grill and got the coals going for me and I put the burgers on, but he took over before I could even flip them. :)

 

 

We have been back in our old place in California for about two months now and it’s still surreal to have the same friends over to the same place, 18 months later. I do miss some things about Salt Lake, but for so many reasons this just feels like home. <3

Back to actual recipes tomorrow.

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Day 9 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Top Sirloin with Mushrooms & Onions

California, Domestic

Day 9 and yes, this is the second time I’ve grilled a top round sirloin. It’s my husband’s favorite and while he is a good sport when it comes to my ridiculous cooking experiments, I need to feed him dinners I know he loves in between all the crazy. ;)

This one is a little different because I grilled mushrooms and onions to go with it and I used a little beef stock in the marinade to create a cheater au jus with it. At some point this summer, I’ll make an actual au jus and share the recipe.

Top Round Sirloin with Mushrooms & Onions

1 large sweet onion
8 oz button mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
top round sirloin (this massive piece was 2.94lbs and we had leftovers)
1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup beef stock
your choice of steak seasoning, I used a less peppery version of my rub from day 2

Marinate your steak in beef stock and steak seasoning for at least a few hours. Mine sat covered in the fridge for about 6 hours before I grilled it.

You really don’t want to leave your grill unsupervised, so you should team up for this dinner. You could do the mushrooms and onions in a cast iron skillet on the grill if you want. I chopped the onions and mushrooms pretty thin and set up in the kitchen before I started the grill. I started about 2 tablespoons of butter and all of the onions before I even went outside. You want to put a lid on and sweat the onions for a bit first. Then I turned the heat off, left the lid on and went out to deal with the grill. Once the steak was on, I left it with Chris and came into finish off the onions. We prefer the mushrooms and onions to be separate, so once the onions are nice and caramelized I take them out and put the mushrooms in without washing the pan. The onion flavor makes them even better.

 

The additional 2 tablespoons of beef stock was poured into the dish I put the cooked steak in while it was resting. It soaks up a little and then as it’s cut and shared, each person can tip a little onto their place if they feel so inclined. I served this steak with boiled corn on the cob and roasted potatoes with Greek yogurt and chives.

 
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Day 8 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

California, Domestic

The funny thing about sharing my father’s recipes on this blog is that most of the time it’s kind of a sham. Hear me out. When I share a recipe from my father that I remember making with him or that I have called him and asked about and written down, I am honestly sharing what I know. My dad though? He’s a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of guy, and that’s never more true than in the kitchen. I have shared my childhood hamburger recipe on this blog, the one my dad made so very many times over the years. I vividly remember mixing it all by hand as a kid and how squishy and gross I thought it was, and how cold the eggs felt between my fingers. It wasn’t until I called him to verify that the recipe I had been making from memory all these years wasn’t missing anything that he told me that while he used the same base recipe all the time, everything else changed depending on what he had on hand. This turned out to be the case with several other of Dad’s recipes. Funny, and not at all surprising if you know him.

So, this recipe is more like May’s Hamburgers, it’s Dad’s base with my own twist, so I’m calling it 2.0 to be fair.

Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (roughly)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed pink and black peppercorns
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Depending on how lean (or not) your ground beef is, you risk a very, very smoky backyard situation. The more lean your beef, the less grease you’ll have dripping onto your fire (creating a much bigger fire and flames that come out and attack your food). A word of caution on the opposing side as well though, the higher the fat content, the more flavorful the burger. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. So, those are your options. Even if you go with the leaner choice, you’ll still have grease drippage and some issues with flames. I recommend you grill these when it is still light out and you can see how bad the damage is manage the situation more efficiently. Ideally, you’d cook the burgers along the edge of the flame area, (away from the charcoal on a charcoal grill, or on the second level or over an unlit burner on a gas grill), and move them towards the flame as they stop dripping.

 

Not me though. No. I totally burnt mine. Thankfully, I made a lot and there were enough of them that were not so awful. So yeah, do this in the daylight, and mind the drips!

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