Mobirise

    



Hi! My name is May. I've been blogging since 2009.

1950s housewife to the bone.

I'm a lifelong foodie, raised in restaurant kitchens and with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's.

I homeschool my three children in Los Angeles with my husband of 17 years.

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







Last Day – LuLaRoe Giveaway!

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Hello!

Today is our last day for January’s LuLaRoe leggings giveaway! My friend Blayne is giving away a pair of LuLaRoe leggings!

Entering is easy!

*Join Blaybe’s LLR Facebook group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoeBlayneJongbloed/

*Follow, like, share or comment on any of my social media posts (every action counts as an entry)

Find me on social media here:



I’ll be adding up everyone that joined Blayne’s group and followed, shared, liked or commented on my social media.

Good luck!

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Happy New Year – Let’s Have a Giveaway!

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Happy 2017 everyone!

I hope your holiday season was full of love and fun. In the past, I have made and posted resolutions and then gone over them in December to see what I was able to stick to. I usually do pretty well, but I think that has more to do with knowing myself and choosing resolutions I know I will like doing! I haven’t really made or posted resolutions for a couple of years now. This year I wasn’t going to either and I kept saying, the only thing I really want to do this year is to blog more often and keep making videos. Then I had some ideas for blog posts and videos, and then I made notes about my self inflicted challenges for 2017 and before I knew it I had a list of things to do this year. So, goals and reminders to myself. In years past, I have done weekly check ins about my yearly goals. This year, I was planning a Friday recap so maybe I will include that in there.

1. Make a different candy (at least) every week.

2. Cook my way through Salt Lake City Chef’s Table by Becky and Josh Rosenthal.

3. Assist Daphne in cooking her way through Baking With Kids by Linda Collister.

4. Take the handmade pledge and include something handmade with birthday greetings.

5. Sit down for 4 crafternoons a week.

6. Participate in Craftster’s monthly challenges.

7. Assist Helena with her Sewing School.

8. Limit junk food.

9. Be active for at least 30 minutes a day

10. Work on my wardrobe.

I love how my first three resolutions are kitchen related and my next few are crafting related with a little cuteness at the end. Truthfully, I’m pretty good at doing my makeup, gluing on the lashes and getting on with my day. My wardrobe isn’t awful, I even did daily OOTD posts last summer when we spent a month in California buuuuut, it could use some updating and better mixing and matching. I think a lot of us who focus on our families and play around with flavors and foods in the kitchen can forget about putting together a cute outfit. I think of all my goals this year, this one will be the one that requires a change in mindset. I generally focus on my makeup and then literally put anything on!

So, in the spirit of encouraging others to step up their wardrobes as well, I’ve teamed up with my friend Blayne, she is a LuLaRoe consultant and is going to give you a free pair of leggings!

We are doing a little giveaway that is going to run for two weeks starting today (Jan 4) and ending on Jan 18, it is open internationally, so my Canadian/European readers, feel free to enter! All you have to do for a chance to win is to both join Blayne’s LuLaRoe FB group and follow me, like or comment on a post, and each action will get you an entry.

How to enter:

1. First, join Blayne’s LuLaRoe FB group over here. Blayne offers a loyalty card with her LuLaRoe shop, where once you have bought 10 of an item you get anything in stock for free! She also does giveaways often so you have more chances to win even after this giveaway is over!

2. Next if you’re not already following me on social media (or of you missed one), come join me!

Facebook – www.facebook.com/soverydomestic
Instagram – @soverydomestic
YouTube – www.youtube.com/soverydomestic
Twitter – @soverydomestic
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/soverydomestic/

For additional entries you can:

-comment on a blog post
-comment on a Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube
-tag a friend on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube
-share this blog post

I post a whole lot, so you have no shortage of chances to win!

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2016 Advent Day 7

Domestic, Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

The girls woke up and looked all over for their elves with no luck! It wasn’t until a little later in the morning when one of them walked back into their room that they were discovered in the girls’ tree!

We have been getting a lot of packages in the mail for Christmas. Some from dear friends and family, but honestly most are gifts I have ordered for the kids and they always ask if there are any pre-Christmas surprises they can have early. The answer is always no, BUT, I did order them each a Christmas sweater they’d love and Lena’s came today! Hers is from Simply Nailogical, a YouTuber / Instagrammer from Canada who does nail art. The sweater says ‘Happy Holodays’, a reference to holographic nail polish and the graphics on the sweater are cats and nail painting emojis! So silly and fun and boy does she ever love it!

I accidentally posted our advent gifts to Instagram and not Facebook this afternoon, so there is a little hole in our FB advent adventure. ;) That’s ok, documenting it on the bog is where it really counts, right? I had them looking all over the house with no hints aside from being ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, it was pretty fun and they are so good about not telling each other when they find someone else’s gifts. It’s very obvious whose is whose considering their themes this year! So today, Richard got a wooden canvas block! It’s so cool, it can be used with several different mediums, and I have no idea what he’s going to end up using it for, but it’s cool. It’s 3″ x 3″ and has a spot in the back to hang it up! Helena got the second book in the Divergent series today, Insurgent. I have no doubt she will be finished this by tomorrow afternoon! Daphne got a tiny Figaro (the kitty from Pinocchio) and a mini Daisy Duck!

Our advent cookies today were meringue cookies! I love the texture of meringue cookies and thankfully our elevation in Salt Lake does not affect making them at all, but they take about an hour to properly dry in the oven which, of course, can be worked around. Today’s cookies are called Mint Meringue Wreaths, my kids all like mint but you can always leave that out if you’re not a fan. The cute picture in the cookbook had the cookies hanging from ribbons, I love it!

 

This afternoon’s advent activity is one of my favorites and I look forward to doing this with the kids every year – making marshmallows! It really seems so much harder than it actually is. Your Kitchen Aid does most of the work! You whisk a sugary mixture on the stovetop while your gelatin sets up in your mixer. Then you add the two together and let that mixer just mix and mix and mix. It’s pretty amazing what happens really. Then you just spread it out, dust it with sugar and corn starch and wait it out! Voila!

 

Coffee advent has been kicked up a notch tonight with the arrival of my teeny tiny espresso maker. It’s so cute and little, I am obsessed with it. I’ve never had one like this before. You fill the bottom chamber with water, add some coffee to the filter area just above the water and screw the (empty) top part on. Then you set it on your heat source. As the water boils in the bottom chamber, it is forced up through a pipe in the center of the device. This pushes the hot water through the coffee and out into the top chamber. So neat! I was so into it I Snapped the whole process! I made Americanos with Brazilian coffee tonight!

 

Advent is always fun, but this year it just feels even more fun!

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2016 Advent Day 6

Domestic, Holiday, Home, Homeschooling, Kids, Utah

Today was one of those perfectly perfect days that was so full of Christmas cheer we could have been a Hallmark movie. Cheesy and sweet! We kicked off our day with a trip to The Capitol Theatre to see The Nutcracker! We listened to Tchaikovsky while we got dressed up and ready to go, Daphne was dancing around the kitchen to make her dress twirl and it was just the sweetest thing. Our elves greeted us first thing in the morning in the kid’s bathroom on one of their cabinets in there. It was a busy morning with a lot primping going on, so they chose a good spot to see all the morning action!

This was our first time at the Capitol Theatre, and it was decorated for not just Christmas, but for The Nutcracker. What a perfect time to go! We went to one of the few daytime showings courtesy of our homeschooling charter. We didn’t really go ‘with’ a class, but we were technically part of the school board’s group. That afforded us access to amazing seats we may otherwise not have been able to get, and it allowed us to go in the middle of the day when the kids are at their best and not later at night when they would rather be at home in their PJs. What a great opportunity!

 
 

When the ballet was over, the girls picked a ballerina ornament from the Ballet West gift shop as a souvenir and hung it on the tree in their room. So cute!

Instead of heading straight home, we stopped at a cute French bakery a quick walk from the theatre called Eva’s Bakery. The girls got ham and butter sandwiches on crusty bread and chocolate chip cookies with hot chocolate. I chose a turkey panini with marmalade and it was perfection. We ordered some festive macaroons to go (eggnog and candy cane) and headed back home.

 
 

I hid (& the kids searched for their) advent gifts of the day when we got home. I was a little laid back about it today since we had been out all morning and everyone was curious to know what they got. Richard got 3 more copic markers, Helena got a hilarious and very silly book about zombie guinea pigs from a book series called Undead Pets, and Daphne got a tiny Daisy and a mini Belle. Helena finished her book in just a couple of hours before she passed it along to Daphne, who also got a kick out of it.

Our advent cookies were super fun today! The kids got into it and made most of them themselves. Today we made Candy Cane Cookies, and judging from the comments and messages we got about these when I posted them, it seems these cookies are an annual tradition for many families!

 

Our advent activity for today was a Christmas movie marathon and that was an easily accomplished mission! We watched Mickey’s Magical Christmas, Barbie Christmas Carol (this one is my fave), The Polar Express AND Alpha and Omega’s Howladay (which really isn’t very Christmasy at all, but Daphne insisted and it did have ‘howladay’ in the title).

We are managing the balance of festivities and school fairly well, I think. The rest of this week we have normal schoolwork and my husband’s company’s Christmas party is this weekend. Then next week we have three fun field trips planned, and one more week of regular schoolwork before Christmas break officially begins!

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2016 Advent Day 5

Domestic, Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

Day 5 of our advent started off as a normal school day, and we had an online class on grammar! Once we were done with school for the day, the girls and I ran a quick errand before we came home for Christmas fun. Our elves were found in the most ridiculous place today – inside the bread machine! The first thing I said when the girls showed them to me was ‘what if I wanted to make bread today?!’ Of course, the elves knew I wasn’t planning to make bread today, because the elves are smart like that. ;)

For advent gifts today, I basically hid their surprises in plain sight! I didn’t give the children any hints at all and I just put their surprises where I figured they’d end up! So Richard got a ‘shorty stick’ pencil, it’s essentially a mechanical pencil that can accommodate different sizes of lead. It’s pretty neat. I put this on his desk, slightly askew so he wouldn’t notice it immediately. Lena’s book today was the first in the Maze Runner series, she’s already read it, but just like with all her favorite series, she wanted them for her collection. I literally just put this on her bookshelf, but naturally there were enough books there to camouflage them. Daphne’s tiny Tsum Tsum was a little ornament with a space for any of her tiny Tsum Tsums! Sooooo cute! Her mini today was Piglet, and I just put her on her bedside table, with about 5 or 6 other mini Tsum Tsums so it took a minute for her to identify which was the new one.

Our advent cookies today were a hit – again! These cookies are called Double Chocolate Chewies, but the meringue is totally left out of this title! These cookies are those wonderful airy, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside meringue cookies, with chocolate chips! They come together very quickly, and with the power of your Kitchen Aid they come together with very little effort. These cookies are dangerously good though. I had to pack some up to deliver to friends and get them out of my house!

 

Our advent activity today was baking cinnamon ornaments, and we ended up making a cinnamon air freshener instead! We’ll attempt it again tomorrow and I’ll take pictures and post a recipe as well.

Coffee tonight was sampling an espresso roast I had never tried before. I’m really digging these pourovers at night. Originally, I had planned for this coffee advent to be about making fancy coffee recipes, but we are really more interested in straight up coffee so I think I will focus on trying different kinds of beans and brands of roasters.

Tomorrow I am taking the girls to see The Nutcracker! They are both so excited and honestly, so am I! The main reason for our errand this afternoon was to get tights and shoes for them since when we tried on our outfits for the ballet their shoes were pinching them – it has been a while since they had to wear dress shoes! Off we went and they picked some very cute shoes, I will show them all off tomorrow night!

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2016 Advent Day 4

Domestic, Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

So, we’re on day 4 of our Christmas countdown, and we kicked it off with an adventure at Storybrook Play Cafe! Our day started bright and early as we got ready for a pancake breakfast with Santa and Mrs C! I really need to document the adorable Mod Cloth dress I wore to this occasion.

Such a fun time! We always love to go to events (or even just an afternoon to play) at Storybrook, but this was especially fun! They had set out a pancake buffet in their cafe with pancakes (duh), fresh fruit, maple syrup, raspberry syrup, whipped cream and juice and milk (and coffee, of course).

 

After breakfast, we headed downstairs to meet Santa and Mrs Claus! Lena and Daphne sat with them and chatted about what they had been up to so far this season, and what they were hoping for. They asked for a bike and a scooter, which was a little hilarious, because last week they were asking for a guitar and drums. Keeping me on my toes, that’s for sure! Do people do bikes at Christmas? Isn’t that more of a ‘passing gift’ summer thing? We’ll have to have a chat about that! We got some cute photos and I took a Polaroid and Mrs Claus gave the girls each a little reindeer plushie with a candy cane. Super cute. We didn’t stick around for story time, the girls were ready to head home, it was a really cute and fun event.

As soon as we got back home, the girls were off to find the elves! It took some searching, but they turned up in my Pioneer Woman cake stand eating those Pfeffernüesse cookies from yesterday!

Advent gift hunting was a little lame today. We do chores before the daily advent scavenger hunt, and chores were a little slow going today. My littles are not morning people, so even getting up early to see Santa is draining. Once they got everything on their lists done, they gave me a few minutes to hide their surprises. The twist today was, they asked for no hints, just what room their surprise was in! Richard got 3 copic sketch markers, he found their fairly quickly hidden in his monster feet slippers. Lena found today’s book after a whole lot of searching. I put it on the windowill in her room, behind the curtain, facing outside. It was kind of hilarious because after a while she was asking me to tell her if she was hot or cold and she couldn’t get how walking into the middle of her room was cold, but walking towards the wall was hot. Funny! Today, she got the first in a series called The Paladin Prophecy and just like with every book she has received in the past 3 days, she devoured almost all of it in one day. Daphne originally requested no hints, but after searching the living room for 10 minutes she asked for little hint, and then a little more haha. She eventually found her mini Pascal in her purse and her advent calendar produced a teeny, weeny tiny Dutchess cat. Sooooo cute, it’s my favorite so far.

Advent cookies today were amazing, and baked pretty much right after we got back from breakfast with the Claus’. ;) Day 4 was Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies and for the first time this week I made a substitution. Instead of using plain malted milk powder, as the recipe called for, I used chocolate malted milk powder to dress them up a little. Naturally, once they were cool I decided to go ahead and cover them in melted chocolate as per the instructions anyway, even though they clearly did not need them. They were a hit with the kids, even the one child that is not as into chocolate as the other two. The chocolate monster (aka Miss Daphne) was mad for them, so she had to be rationed. ;)

 

Our advent activity today was to bake bread, but we ended up going with buns instead. Same idea, right? I found the recipe for these scrawled on an index card in my kitchen, so who knows where it came from? Pretty standard recipe, make the dough, let it rise, punch it down, shape it, and let it rise again before baking.

 

Tonight’s coffee advent was some Ukrainian coffee I have come to love this year, called Kaba. I’m sure it’s very run of the mill in Ukraine, but for me it tastes stronger than most coffees without being overly bitter. I do love some strong, bitter coffee for sure, but sometimes I’m looking for some strong, smooth coffee and this is it. I just brewed it as a standard pour over, my new go to since I got a cute kettle a while ago.

Tomorrow is a regular school day, our first Monday in this advent countdown, hopefully the excitement of advent surprises and cookies will encourage them to get their work done and not derail them. ;)

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2016 Advent Day 3

Crafty, Domestic, Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

Our third day of advent happened to be our first Saturday of advent, so it was a somewhat relaxed start. We have had two house guests for the past two weeks and one of them left this morning! Every morning he asked for 3 hard boiled eggs, I have little doubt that my muscle memory in the kitchen will have me reaching for my Dash egg cooker before I think more and realize he is not here! Tomorrow morning is actually an event for us, the girls and I are going to Storybrook for breakfast for Santa and Mrs. Clause! I can hardly wait! I admit I am excited for my outfit choice, which involves an adorable vintage-style dress from Mod Cloth and darling earrings from Polly Danger. Of course, I’ll document the adventure.

First up, as usual, were our elves. This morning they were found *in* my Santa head cookie jar, nibbling at yesterday’s advent cookies, I’m sure! They could have just asked. ;)

Advent gifts today were especially fun, I think. Richard’s was two little sets of textured, multimedia canvases, one set was 2″ x 4″ and the other set was 3″ x 3″. His clue was about setting up Chromecast, so he went straight for behind the TV and found them! Today, Lena got Matched, the first book in a three book series that I am madly in love with. When I first read them she was too young for them, so I am happy she has reached the point where she is into them. Her favorite genre right now is YA fiction about a dystopian future, so these are right up her alley Her hint asked her what she looked forward to most about our weekly family meetings, and she headed for the board games! Daphne got two of the cutest little Tsum Tsums today! Her Tsum Tsum tiny was Bambi, but it was made even cuter by the crazy small and totally adorable Santa hat headband that came with it! What?! She can put this hat on any tiny Tsum Tsum! Her mini today was Lady (from Lady and the Tramp, of course) and it’s even cuter than I thought it would be. Her hint was about the Christmas tree, and she was hidden in there. They all showed each other their scores and then scattered to use / read / play with their advent treats.

Our advent cookie experience today was something I knew we would run into eventually, and it actually happened on day 3. We made a cookie we didn’t really love. Ok, ok, full disclosure? I sort of hate it. The upside is these little balls of ground almond reminded me so much of my Thea Rika’s kourabiedes, which I honestly think are a better version of today’s cookie. Anyhoo, today’s was Ginger Pfeffernüesse, it was a flour and almond meal dough with just three eggs and spices. You pinch off pieces and roll them into balls, bake, roll the baked balls in confectioner’s sugar, let cool and roll them in confectioner’s sugar again. They were kinda spicy and not really my thing. I’m more about the chocolate and the obvious sugary cookies. However, I am sure someone will love them and thankfully most of my friends are into trying new foods. I know Erin, Jessica, Wendy and Kaelee will all be down with trying them out. These will not make it back on my to-bake list, though. We actually ended our kitchen adventures today with some edible cookie dough that Lena loves making because we knew we’d love it and the kids were not having today’s cookies.

 

Today’s advent activity was to make paper chains! Lena especially had a blast with this activity! We made chains for all three kitchen doorways and Richard remembered all the paper chain countdowns we have made over the years. I LOVE that he is 16 now and remembers fondly the silly things like that from his childhood. So fun!

 

I also mentioned yesterday that I’d post pictures of the paper snowflakes we made, so here’s one of those too!

Coffee advent tonight was a bit of a throwback for me because it was a Cafe au Lait and I literally have not made one since I was a teenager living at my parent’s house! I used the same Starbucks espresso roast I have been using this week, but I am going to invest in a frother because my froth was pathetic. The coffee itself was really good though!

I am off to bed so I can get up bright and early so my daughters and I can have breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. C in the morning!

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Advent 2016 Day 2

Domestic, Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

Our second day of advent started off a little bumpy, with an emergency trip to the dentist for my husband. Dental pain is awful, no matter how well you deal with pain, so we spent a good part of our day dealing with that. He’s feeling a whole lot better than he was, though of course he is still sore. We ended up squeezing in a little Starbucks date this morning as well, so it wasn’t all bad. I snapped a few pictures of the mountains while we were out, and they always amaze me now. I was telling my friend Kelly today (hi Kelly), that I was so blinded by missing California when we moved here last year that I couldn’t see just how magical these mountain really are. I mean, just look!

 

Once we got back, he went to work and the kids and I got into our day. We found our elves pretty much right away today, they were very obvious from the front door, but less so if you were already in the house.

So today, Richard’s surprise was a tube of violet-grey oil paint, I hid it on the windowstill in the living room and gave him a hint about checking for Dad’s truck when he hears a big engine. He found it right away. Helena’s surprise was the Hello Nature activity book, it is amazing. There are so many cute and fun activities in this book, I hid it between the grates and the chloroplast of our guinea pig’s home. Her hint was about what area of the living room is her responsibility, and she of course knew I was referring to our guinea pig’s enclosure, but it still took her a minute to find it because the chloroplast was blocking it. Daphne did her Tsum Tsum calendar and she got a tiny star with a hole for the face of another little Tsum Tsum to fit through. Her mini was a Randall, remember the purple guy with all the arms from Monster’s Inc? Yeah, that guy. I tucked him a little under my sock yarn beekeeper quilt on her Little Passports chair, and asked her where her favorite place to be in the living room was and she walked right over and sat on him! Whoops!

Our cookie advent was equally simple to yesterday! We made Stamped Peanut Butter Cookies today, and I used a part of my cheese grater as the stamp! These cookies did not come out quite as chewy as the ones I usually make, but I’ve been tweaking and perfecting that recipe for years and years. These ones have a little crunch on the outside but are still chewy on the inside. The kids loved them and Lena thought the pattern the cheese grater made was pretty cool. I liked how kid-friendly this recipe was, the kids could easily make these themselves.

 

Our advent activity was to make paper snowflakes! I got a decent before shot, but not any action shots. I will post some tomorrow of all the snowflakes we made hanging in the kitchen!

Coffee tonight was a straight up Americano, because that’s what we needed after this day. There wasn’t much sleep last night, I was worried about my husband’s tooth pain and once he finally fell asleep while I was writing last night’s post across the room, I was so happy he was sleeping (and therefore not in pain) that I was nervous to get in bed and wake him! Anyhoo, an Americano is just an espresso with hot water, it’s my favorite because I love the bold, bitter flavor of the espresso cut with water to stretch it out. I maaaay have had more than one of these – which of course means I had more than one of these.

I’ll post a week in review this weekend because we’re up to all kinds of fun stuff around here that is unrelated to advent! Tomorrow should be a little more laid back, being the weekend and hopefully my husband will be feeling much better. I’m hoping to catch up on editing school videos so I can finally get those up to date and then get to work on some fun new ones!

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Advent 2016 – Day 1

Holiday, Home, Kids, Utah

It’s advent time again already somehow! I know it happens at the same time every year, but it still feels like it creeps up on me! I am pretty much done all my Christmas shopping. Everything but one thing for the children, and pretty much all the stocking stuffers. I have to finish putting together boxes to send to family, but that’s really not that much. All of our advent preparations are done though – and that’s the most important thing for now!

Each child has their own advent theme again, we are doing a cookie advent as well, and this year instead of Chris and I making little advents for each other like we did last year, we are doing a coffee advent together! Some days will be obvious styles, like a latte or an Americano, and other days will be a little more interesting like Greek coffee or breve. We’ll see how this shapes up. Generally, we have coffee together after the children go to bed, so that will likely be when we’ll sample these little treats. We will also do our traditional advent activities that I first put together a couple of years ago, the link to that breakdown post is here.

The little issue with my advent choices for the children this year is the gifts do not fit in the cute little pouches and mittens I’ve made! So, I have put little scavenger hunt clues in them instead and then the kids go and look for their advent surprise. Richard’s theme is art supplies, Lena’s theme is books and Daphne’s theme is Disney tsum tsums.

Today, I hid Richard’s first surprise, a battery powered eraser, in the fridge on the eggs and his hint was ‘when you make yourself breakfast’. I hid Lena’s first book in plain sight on one of the bookcases in the school room, and her hint was ‘I put it with all the others’, she ran to the bookcases and found the one book that was out of place immediately! Daphne’s is a little different because I got her the cute little Tsum Tsum advent calendar, but since her brother and sister were getting larger advent surprises, I added a mini plush Tsum Tsum for her each day as well. So, she opened the #1 box on her calendar and got a cute tiny Minnie, and also got the hint ‘this isn’t where science is usually done, but it’s where you can be found doing science’. It’s a bit of an inside joke with our family because Daphne loves to play with vinegar and baking soda in the bathtub, so she knew what that hint meant right away and found her Max plush on the counter in the kid’s bathroom.

Our first advent cookie was fun because it was a standard chocolate chip cookie (Daphne’s favorite), but it was rimmed with melted chocolate. They were just a little messy, but worth it! I made the cookie according to the recipe in the book, and once they were cool I melted chocolate in a makeshift double boiler (stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water) and carefully dipped each cookie in all along it’s edge. It was painful for the kids to wait for the chocolate to dry, of course, but they made it! The recipe made about 4 dozen cookies (using a generous teaspoonful of dough for each cookie).

  

Today’s advent activity card was pretty easy, it was ‘write letters to Santa’ day, and they actually filled out a scrapbook page letter for Santa that I came across at Hobby Lobby last month that was so cute I could hardly stand it. The best part is the check box area that asks if you were Nice, Naughty or Maybe Both. Hehe, they both checked off ‘Maybe Both’, and I told them they got bonus points for honesty. :P

  

Finally, for our coffee advent tonight I made simple lattes. Very simple lattes, and they totally hit the spot! I just did a pour over with some Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee. I did buy a little Italian espresso machine specifically for this countdown, but it’s not here yet. Close enough! I steamed the almond milk on the stovetop and then used my Ninja blender to whip it into oblivion. I should really also get a milk frother – I wonder how well they work on non-dairy milks. I suppose I could just use lactose free milk instead if it becomes an issue.

  

There you have it, that was day one of our 2016 advent. We also listened to Christmas music, some good (Michael Bublé) and some awful (Alvin and the Chipmunks) but all very festive, I wore my Christmas apron pretty much all day and we found our elves within minutes of the kids waking up, ooooof course. Follow me on Instagram (@soverydomestic) for annoying elf updates and inspiration!

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Menu Monday – Salisbury Steak

Domestic, Utah

It’s been almost a year since we moved to Utah. Leaving Los Angeles was one of the hardest moves we’ve ever made, (it’s right up there with leaving Toronto), but Salt Lake City has had some unexpected benefits. Like real, actual weather! The endless summer of LA is pretty great, don’t get me wrong, but when it’s unbearably hot in October and you can’t even enjoy your first PSL of the year, it gets a little old.

Salt Lake City is rainy and chilly, and my backyard is slowly being covered in yellow and orange leaves, I love it. The kids have been asking for meatloaf and Salisbury steak and my husband is requesting lasagna and shepherd’s pie. These dishes were a little ridiculous to make in California, heating up our place with the oven even more than the 80+ degree temp outside! So, we’ll celebrate the arrival of fall with some serious comfort foods this week.

This Week’s Menu

Monday – Roasted chicken with white potatoes, carrots and zucchini

Tuesday – Salisbury steak with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans

Wednesday – Lasagna with homemade garlic bread

Thursday – Meatloaf with rice and caramelized carrots

Friday – Order in!

Saturday – Shepard’s pie with a huge Caesar salad

Sunday – Spaghetti squash with chicken and tomatoes

I never really had the desire to make Salisbury steak until it was requested. I didn’t grow up eating it, and it just seemed like a hot hamburger but without the bread if my husband reads this he will request a hot hamburger this week, I’d bet on it). The first few times the kids asked me I honestly thought they were joking, they have never even eaten it! Helena watches a lot of food shows though, so I looked up a recipe and went with it. Of course I managed to find a recipe that was a little different than the norm and then of course I messed with it. So here is my version of it – and it went over really well with my picky eaters!

For the ‘steaks’
1.5 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 beef bullion cube, smashed and crumbled into dust
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
For the gravy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped very small
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch salt

This recipe was a little different than others I came across because with most of them, you make the steaks, and you make the gravy, and then you cook the steaks and the gravy separately before pouring the gravy over the steaks. In this recipe, you make the steaks and start cooking them, then you make the gravy and put the steaks back in the pan with the gravy and cook the steaks IN the gravy. It’s genius right? Flavor on flavor on flavor. While the steaks are cooking in the gravy, you can make your sides and then they’re all ready at about the same time.

  

Before you do anything else, be sure your meat is defrosted and ready to go, chop your onion however you prefer, crush that bullion cube and get out all your gear. These measuring spoons are so cute it hurts, but they are veggies so I never use them for baking.

 

Then, with a little butter in your pan, chase the onion, garlic and mushrooms around until they are pretty well cooked, then take them out and set them aside in a bowl. While this is happening, make your steaks.

 

You can use your hands and a bowl, or even a hand mixer if you like! I used my Kitchen Aid stand up mixer so I can be hands free when I need to be. I added the breadcrumbs first, then the egg, ketchup, the smashed bullion cube, the Worcestershire sauce and the Dijon mustard. Then I let it mix for as long as it needed to while I tended to the mushroom situation on my stove top.

 

Shape the mixture into burger patty-style steaks and put them in the hot pan you just took the onions and mushrooms out of. Sear both sides of them until they look pretty but are not cooked on the inside. Mine are a little crumbly, and you can clearly see they are seared but not cooked through. At this point, take these steaks out of the pan and set them aside just as you did with the mushrooms.

  

Now it’s time to make the gravy, which really is so good I can hardly stand it. Make a rue with the butter and flour in the pan full of flavor! First add the butter, and once it’s melted, use a whisk to stir in the flour. Voila, you made a rue! It will scorch and make the whole dish taste burnt if you don’t add your liquid right away. Whisk in the beef stock and water over medium-low heat.

  

Now add the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper, and add your mushroom mixture back in. Stir until it starts to bubble, then once it’s bubbling, add the steaks back in. They will cook the rest of the way through in the gravy.

 

I had an issue at this point because I do not have a lid for this pan and in order to really do this properly, the pan really should be covered. So, I added the entire situation to a dish that I put in the oven at 350 for another 20 minutes or so. While that finished off in the oven, I made mashed potatoes and green beans and that was that. Not too involving, but worth the effort!

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