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.
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 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 22, 2013
I love, love, love Greek Easter bread (technically it’s called Tsoureki). My mother is Greek so any time we celebrated something a second time because of the Eastern Orthodox calendar we just called it Greek Christmas or Greek Easter or whatever food we were eating that was slightly different because of the Mediterranean influence we’d toss the word Greek in front of it and my sister and I would happily partake in whatever it was. Now that I’m older and have been ribbed by my friends for years that it’s actually Eastern Orthodox Christmas and Eastern Orthodox Easter we were celebrating two weeks after the western version and that it’s more like Mediterranean chicken and pilaf – not just for Greeks – but I don’t care. I still use ‘Greek’ instead of ‘Eastern Orthodox’ and I can’t help it.
This year, Greek Easter falls an entire month after western Easter but I’m baking up some Tsoureki anyway – because why not? I made this before we left Canada and one of my (painfully honest) Greek aunts said it was good, which is the equivalent of angels singing and clouds parting after two days in the kitchen trying to get it right. All it takes is the right recipe – and a little patience.
Tsoureki via Thea Rika
8 cups all purpose flour (plus more for counter)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm milk
3 envelopes dry yeast
1 2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup sugar
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon mahlab
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
sesame seeds or chopped almonds for sprinkling
1 red egg (optional)
It’s not that far from making sweet rolls, really.
Sift the flour and the salt, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk (not too hot or it’ll kill the yeast), after a few minutes add 1/2 cup flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Now let it sit till it foams up. I usually cover it too.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the rest of the sugar, the orange zest, lemon zest and mahlab. Remove from heat and stir in the beaten eggs.
Using a large bowl, combine your yeast mixture with your warmish egg and butter mixture and very slowly add in the flour. Cover it and let it rise for two hours.
Now is the fun part! Sprinkle your counter with flour, punch down the dough and knead it. Separate it into four balls and let them rest for 10 minutes. Roll the pieces into long strips, about 12″ long. Braid the dough, tuck it into a loaf pan and place your eggs in the braid. Let it rise again, this time for about an hour. Preheat your oven to 350.
Before you pop it in the oven, brush an egg wash over it (just water and an egg whisked together) and sprinkle with sesame seeds or almonds (or not). Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Mar 21, 2013
I know that normally when booze is equated with St Patrick’s Day much chaos ensues. I’m not saying my weekend was free from self-induced late night chaos, but these cupcakes were not responsible! The minimal amount of beer in the cupcakes cooks off in the oven, I swear. The booze in the frosting though? That’s all there! If you’re sharing with littles, make a second batch of Bailey’s-free frosting!
The smell of Guinness and cocoa together reminds me of the year a whole gang of us got together in Toronto to celebrate and I ended up making a different version of this recipe. It was just ok, nothing to blog about. This version though? Amazing. I held out a night and a day before I caved and had one of these cupcakes. So glad I did too! It was crazy, crazy, crazy good!
Good for you though, not so much. In the words of my friend Jillian when she first saw this recipe ‘I gained six pounds just looking at that.’ Considering the alarming amount of sugar in this recipe that’s entirely possible so make sure you share it!! Cupcakes are handy for sharing and if you keep them in the tray like this with a lid, it’s obvious if you nicked one and the social outcasting alone may cause you to hold back. It worked for me! Haha. I brought them to my homie Vanessa’s place and I’m pretty sure her boyfriend ate them all. <3
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes via Closet Cooking
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish cream
*This can be made ahead of time. Just beat the cream cheese till it’s smooth and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar until it’s a little lumpy and almost looks like frosting, then slowly add the Bailey’s. It’s pretty much the same as normal cream cheese frosting but with Bailey’s instead of milk!*
It’s a fairly simple and quick recipe! First melt the butter in a pan and set it aside to cool.
Now mix the Guinness with the chocolate in a medium bowl.
In two more bowls mix first the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and then the eggs and sour cream separately.
Now add the Guinness mixture to the egg mixture and stir that into the dry ingredients.
Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, let them cool and frost them! I made 24 cupcakes with this recipe.
Mar 11, 2013
I. Love. Easter.
I know, I know. I love Valentine’s Day and Halloween and Christmas too. So what? I love to bake for my littles and their buddies and craft like a kid and any excuse for a party of small people makes me incredibly happy. My goal this year is to find the time to blog about it all!
My husband found some pastel candy corn while out running errands and knew I’d be able to use them for ‘something cute’. He was right, naturally!
Technically, cake pops are made by mashing frosting into cake and shaping into balls before poking sticks in the ends and dipping in melted chocolate. Lately, I have been using my Babycakes Cake Pop Maker and then poking a stick in and dipping in chocolate. This time around though, I felt that it called for ‘traditional’ cake pops and I went with mashing frosting into cake for the right texture.
The pastel candy corn of course ended up being used as their cute little ears. I used individual sprinkles and my serious kitchen tweezers for the eyes and little butterfly sprinkles for their noses. You can really use whatever you want as decoration for the bunnies as long as you get a basic bunny shape. If you’re feeling especially adventurous you can always make some cake pops and invite the kids to decorate them with you!
We were passing them out to school friends so we wrapped them up. I think I will make another batch to spread some Easter joy in our neighborhood!
Feb 15, 2013
There was a whole lotta Valentiney love in the kitchen going on around here over the last 2 weeks or so. I made cookies, I made cupcakes, I made gummy hearts, I made heart shaped bacon – and even heart shaped hot dogs. Yes, I know that’s insane, thank you. I was having so much fun Valentining it up with my husband and our littles, I didn’t stop long enough to post about it much! That’s ok, you know I’ll catch up with that eventually.
This post isn’t even a recipe, but man these were good.
These extremely sweet (and also extremely yummy) cupcakes were made from a box, which I know is 100% not me but I’m learning to bend a bit. I made them with strawberry cake mix but I added more strawberry flavor with about 1/4 of a 3oz package of strawberry jello. Yes, jello.
Then I made a totally standard batch of buttercream (butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla), but I added both bright pink food coloring (thanks Wilton) and the rest of the 3/4 of the 3oz package of strawberry jello. I used my extra long icing tip to fill some of the cupcakes with the strawberry-spiked buttercream and then I used two other tips for the tops, the star and rigged swirl are the same tip.
Good thing I had people around to share these with or I may have eaten way more than my fair share!!
Feb 4, 2013
So, I know that Valentine’s Day is mostly a made up Hallmark holiday. But guess what? I don’t care. I like all the construction paper hearts and random heart shaped confections and reading stories about ‘love day’ to the littles. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll add that I also totally love it when my amazing husband brings me flowers and treats and something shiny. Or even when he just purposely does something extra cute, like years ago when we had just one little person, he left him with our sitter and showed up at my office at the time to take me for coffee and wander around Toronto for hours – which is one of my all time favorite pre-children thing we used to do together. Maybe if he sucked at Valentine’s Day I’d hate it, but he rocks so I don’t. Plus I think all holidays are so much more fun with the kids to add their energy and magic to everything. So that’s your heads up that for the couple of weeks, it’s going to be very Valentiney around here.
Baking tarts is no exception. The flurry of pink, purple and red construction paper is in full swing here already and when it was time to bake tarts for dessert naturally my first thought was cherry for the color but Miss Wee One #2 was inspired to cut a little heart in the corner of one of the crusts. Never to be outdone, Wee One #3 took that idea a step further and insisted we cut wee hearts from the leftover pie crust for small, flaky pie crust cookies. Cute!!
I used my granny’s pie crust recipe (from her treasured book published in 1932). I had intended to make actual cherry pie, you know, from actual cherries, but they just didn’t exist this week at the market and I was determined to make these. Enter the cherry preserves. Still, my husband ate 3 of them, so they couldn’t have been bad. <3
At the very least, here is the simple, but amazing pie crust.
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter
3 (ish) tablespoons cold water
Cut the cold butter into the flour and salt with two butter knives or a pastry cutter. Once it’s oatmealy, use a fork to mash the mixture into itself with a few tablespoons of water. You want it to all come together without becoming a sticky cookie-like dough. More like a barely holding itself together crumb topping. Then turn it out onto a counter or cutting board sprinkled with flour and roll it around until it takes shape.
Roll it out to fit your pie plate. I have bowls for the littles that I turn over an use as cutters for muffin pan tarts, and a shallow 9″ pie plate that only needs a 10.5″ circle to fill. My most often used pie plate is a 9″ deep dish so really I need a circle of dough more like 12″ or so for that, so plan accordingly! Unless you’re making pumpkin or lemon you’ll need a top crust as well!