Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pinning for Pinterest

So I don't know if you were as out of the loop as I was. Before I heard about it. It is called Pinterest. And it will OR seriously change what you do with your free time. Either way--you will be changed.

Step 1: Request a login at Due to the amazing cool-factor of this website it will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 days to get your login from them. Because they are just that cool.

Step 2: Take new login, link to Facebook or Twitter (I think you have to do this), and then browse. To your little hearts content. Browse away. And then the "pinning" begins....

Pinterest has food, home decor, and even style ideas that you can browse about and add to virtual pin boards (think bulletin board-but less cluttered).

Ex 1) The other day, I fell in love with this hairstyle someone pinned:

With a how-to video attached, and today I tried it:

*clearly not as fantastic but close enough!

Ex 2) Today I found this that I can't wait to make!:

Ex 3) I also decided I need one of these, for when the Hubs makes the house really, really cold:

So, there you have it. Three AMAZING, life-altering reasons to sign up for Pinterest. You won't be dissappointed. And you will never have "free time" again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Let me share a secret with you. I can't bake. Nope. I love to bake and I wish I had the patience for baking, but I don't and I've come to terms with it. And I leave that to my sisters. One of them even blogs about it here: Olive it all.

Instead I take shortcuts. I get help from Betty Crocker and the like. And I'm not ashamed of it.

This weekend I had a hankerin for cupcakes and snickerdoodle cookies at the same time. And then I thought, how hard could it be?

So, after doctoring up a boxed cake mix, I got these tasty cupcakes:

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: 

1 box Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup water
2 tsp cinnamon
1 container of cream cheese icing

Mix cake mix according to package directions. Stir in cinnamon. Bake according to directions. (See... I can't bake- 350 degrees for 15 minutes did the trick. ) Add cream cheese icing and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Soup

So we have had a Cat 3 hurricane looming out in the Atlantic for the past week, spoiling beach plans and threatening the entire Eastern coast. I went to "stock up" my pantry at target with  chicken stock (har har get it) and staples JUST IN CASE...and decided if we got holed up I would attempt a chicken soup. 

Luckily we've only had some large wind gusts big enough to scare the dog from going outside, and the power went out for 30 seconds (yes in the middle of my chicken soup.) So, needless to say we're fine in Raleigh, but interested to see what the coast looks like when the storm passes!!

This soup ended up being the perfect thing to have on a stormy windy day! Nutty and rich yet light and broth-y with flavors of parmesan and nutmeg swimming the backstroke in this silky soup.

Hurricane Soup
2 Chicken Breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Onion, diced
2 boxes 32 oz. chicken broth
Rind of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup cooked rice
1 Bay leaf
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp. nutmeg
Dash Pepper
Parsley and parmesan cheese to garnish

1. In a large pot, cook onions and garlic in EVOO until onions are translucent and garlic is lightly browned. 

2. Add 2- 32 oz boxes of chicken broth, raw chicken breasts, butter, parmesan rind, bay leaf, pepper and nutmeg to pot. Boil for 15-20 minutes until chicken is tender and cooked throughout. Remove chicken, cut in to cubes and set aside. 

3. Add mushrooms to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Add frozen peas and cook 1-2 minutes until thawed and bright green. 

4. Add chicken and rice into pot and stir. Take 1 minute to smell the Ah-mazing aromas that come from the pot. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese and enjoy!! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crunchy Tomato Cucumber Salad

I'm always craving a light salad to go as a side for dinner. One of my go-to favorites is my Crunchy Tomato Cucumber Salad.

Have fun with it! Add cheese, try heirloom tomatoes, cut your cucumbers into sassy shapes. It will feel different (and delicious) every time!!

Crunchy Tomato Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber (peeled in stripes for fun)
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 red onion, julianned
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Add first 3 ingredients to bowl, toss with EVOO and Balsamic, add Salt and Pepper to taste!!

Printable Recipe

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

La Taquiza Vegaterianos

We got a new restaurant in downtown Raleigh called Cantina South. And I'm in love. It's fancy mexican!! I could eat mexican every day and tacos in every which way.

Last week, I tried the La Taquiza Vegaterianos, or Vegetarian Tacos, and oh-my-yummy-goodness they were to die for!

Tonight I whipped up a batch in my own kitchen, and I'm happy to say I pulled it off. They are zesty and creamy and with a kick of cilantro; a combination that resembles all the spunk of a marichi band in your mouth!!

Before I give away the recipe I created, let me introduce you to a new friend:

The Chayote (Mexican Squash)

Do not be afraid of this pear-shaped squash! It cooks just like a squash and takes on the flavors of whatever is cooking around it. 

The insides: 

(even more pear-like!)

La Taquiza Vegetarianos

2 cloves Garlic
1 Chayote, diced (leave peel on)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup diced baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 can black beans
Goat Cheese
1/3 Can Red Enchilada Sauce
1 Tbsp Butter
2 tsp cumin
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Lime wedge
2 Taco Shells

1. Pour Black beans and liquid in small pot, add 1 tsp of cumin, and cook on medium until beans are warm and soft (about 5 minutes).

2. In sautee pan on Med High heat, add EVOO and garlic until garlic browns slightly. Add butter, diced Chayote and Onion and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add diced mushrooms to saute pan with Chayote and Onions and cook another 3-5 minutes until vegetables are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, and remaining 1 tsp. cumin.

4. Pour 1/3 can Enchilada sauce into saute pan and continue to cook on Medium High until liquid reduces and is absorbed into vegetables. (If you like it really spicy, you can add another 1/4 can enchilada sauce.)

5. Assemble tacos. Place scoop black beans, scoop vegetable mixture, goat cheese crumbles. Garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.

comer rĂ¡pido!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My fabulous DIY project

So I have pondered, complained, scoured craigslist, and stared blankly at the spot above our guest bed that is missing a significant element. A headboard. I wanted something cheap (it IS the guest bedroom), but fabulous.

So I first thought about buying a headboard off craigslist and painting it. That was going to cost about $100. I continued to stare. And ponder. And stare. And then it struck me, I can do this-on the cheap!

I happen to follow this amazing DIY blog called YoungHouseLove that will motivate even the laziest of project do-ers (like myself) to grab a paint brush and a hammer and get to work. I decided I wanted drama, in the form of color for my headboard, and this post gave me the exact inspiration of the color I wanted to add to my life the room.

Click here for the color inspiration

I went with a greener color called "Caribbean Green" and lurved it. (lurve=love for all you non YHL'ers).


hello fat dog.

hello fabulous!!

For $30 it was a complete DIY success! We went to Home Depot, cut the trim according to our likings (for ~$15), and the baby quart of Caribbean Green paint was another $15. We simply taped of the measured section to paint and then cut the trim accordingly. Home Depot even has these amazing sawing stations too, to make life easier, seen here:
*Of course, it helps to have a super-hunky husband to help with all the cutting and hammering man-jobs.*

So unfortunately while I was waiting for the paint to dry I got the itch. And then this started to happen in our kitchen. Which then morphed into painting the trim and painting the rest of the walls....oh my!

Chalkboard wall!

More on this later...when the kitchen turns right-side-up again!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies

I did some blog browsing recently and found Buns In My Oven, a super fun food blog with tasty treats that you will drool over!!

I am a lover of all things chocolate and caramel intermingled, so I decided to make her Rolo Cake Mix Cookies to get my chocolate fix for the evening.

These tickled my baking side because first and foremost-they were easy and only require 4 (yes FOUR) ingredients!

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies

1 box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Rolo candies, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350. Mix first 3 ingredients and make into little round golf-ball sized balls. Flatten cookies and add one rolo candy to each cookie, and wrap cookie dough around rolo to cover.

Bake for 9 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Eat, eat, eat until your chocolate fix has been "fixed".

*If my amateur photograph does not make your mouth water and make you stop what you are doing to make these cookies, go check out Buns in My Oven's website and hers will surely convince you.*

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just Peachy Muffins

So, as I was stumbling across my new favorite food site Tasty Kitchen, I ran across a picture of a beautiful fluffy muffin drizzled in confectioners sugar glaze, and I stopped in my tracks. What WERE these magnificent muffins, and how quickly can I make them??

The muffins were Peach and White Chocolate Chip Muffins by featured user MotherThyme, who has recently been posting about all things Peachy.

This is perfect timing, as every year I get 1-2 cases (yep you heard that right) of the most decadent, glorious peaches that have ever grown on this earth from McLeod Farms in the middle of the country in MacBee, South Carolina.

I am confident that these wonderful people growing these peaches in MacBee sprinkle sugar into the soil of their peach trees, and water their trees with sugar water. They may even inject the peaches with sugar while growing on the tree. There is NO other explanation for the perfect sweetness that these peaches contain. (Nor will I accept any other explanation.)

So, upon getting cases of peaches, they tend to ripen quickly, and I am always in need of great recipes to use them in.

Enter, stage right, MotherThyme's Peach and White Chocolate Chip Muffins:

The muffins are moist, with the slightest hint of cinnamon. The miniature chunks of white chocolate chips become the yin to the yang of the sweet, supple peaches. The glaze really becomes the "icing on the cake" (ok, I had to), adding a creamy drizzle of confectioners sugar to these already mouth-watering creations.

Stop by MotherThyme's website for the recipe, you won't be disappointed!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Till the salmon sing in the street...

So there's been this poem on my mind today. It is a beautiful poem that makes me happy because it tries to explain how when you love someone, it can be a grand and silly feeling of extraordinary volumes...

Thank you W.H. Auden:
"As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
'Love has no ending.

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky."

I imagine God feels that way about us. I imagine too, that he is capable of  extraordinary things like asking salmon to sing in the street, and could physically make China and Africa meet, but that would mean there would be an end to His never-ending-unfathomable-BIG-big love for us. God loves us past the impossible and the extraordinary things. His love does not end when miracles begin. And for that, I am grateful.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh for the love of Food!

So, thanks to the lovely Pioneer Woman, I stumbled across this new recipe website called Tasty Kitchen. It is an AMAZING site where you can browse delicous food and "Add Friends" and follow different food bloggers.

I found these tasty temptations today that I MUST try on Tasty Kitchen:

Oh, and guess who else happens to be on this website? Me! You can find me here: DomesticDivaa

Stop by and say hi! Look through my recipe box, add me as your friend, and we can share an online hug.

(Oh, and thanks PW for being so amazing for letting me semi-copy you. Ifyouweretoeverreadthisbloginyourwholelife. ( ; )

Monday, August 1, 2011

Barbeque Chicken Pizza, Yes Please!

So, a few nights ago (ok this is a stretch, its been a few weeks), I made Pioneer Woman's (PW) Barbeque Chicken Pizza, and it was Ah-mazing.

I made some shortcuts to PW's fabulous recipe, and used store-bought pizza dough, a rotisserie chicken, and Guy Fieri's Kansas City-style BBQ sauce (which was deLISH):

BBQ Chicken Pizza:
Store Bought Pizza Dough
Rotisserie Chicken
BBQ sauce
1/2 Red Onion
Hot Cherry Peppers (for your hubby)
Sliced Provolone Cheese

1. Oil pan & stretch out pizza dough to fit your pan (This may seem impossible, but I trusted PW, and it CAN be done.) Drizzle more EVOO on pizza and a little salt.
2. Mix BBQ sauce into pulled rotisserie chicken meat.
3. Spread BBQ sauce onto pizza dough.
4. Cover in provolone cheese slices (I used almost a whole pack).
5. Add chicken, red onion slices, and red cherry peppers for your husband who only likes to eat spicy things.
6. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until cooked throughout.
7. Take it out of the oven, drool over the tasty smell, and add chopped cilantro to the top.

My McWonderful husband even gave it his seal of approval.