Kitchensurfing.

I left one little detail out of recap yesterday of Alison’s baby shower — the food! And for an important reason: this topic deserves its own post. For the shower I tried out Kitchensurfing for the first time, which is an awesome service where you book a private chef to prepare a meal customized to your event, cooked right in your own home. Now, I was excited to try out Kitchensurfing because I mean, the bulk of the work that comes with throwing a party revolves around prepping, cooking, and serving food, and having someone else take care of all the handwork really frees up time for things like … taking the curlers out of your hair more than 8 seconds before you guests arrive while pulling appetizers out of the oven.

2014-10-26 13.04.49So, Kitchensurfing matched me up with a great chef named Tim, who worked with me to customize a gourmet brunch men full of bite-sized treats including: mini biscuits and maple sausage bacon, crispy potato cakes with roasted corn, individual caramelized onion and goat cheese quiches, and candied bacon – YUM! And for a real show stopper – Tim made individual bowls filled with crispy bacon and onions, butter brioche toasts, and a cracked to order sous-vide egg on top. I was a little nervous before the event that I’d be anxious about giving up control of my kitchen, but the truth is that Tim such a great job that I was really able to enjoy the party instead of being stuck in the kitchen, and what’s better than that?Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Want to try Kitchensurfing? Sign up here and receive $50 off your booking!

Please note: Kitchensurfing provided their serves free of charge, all opinions are my own. 

 

A Blogger Bestie Baby Shower.

This weekend I hosted a baby shower with the help of  my friend Lindsay  for one of our blogger besties — Alison of Long Distance Loving. It’s funny, I’ll always refer to Alison as my ‘blogger friend’ because that’s how we met, and we continue to work together on Boston Bloggers. But since meeting through the blogging world we’ve become great friends outside of the blogosphere, and I was so delighted to be able to celebrate her and her little baby-to-be! Alison is keeping the baby’s gender a surprise, so we went with a gender-neutral theme – bright yellows that we used in garlands, sunflowers, and cheery striped straws. We also made little yellow flags out of washi tape that we used for cupcake toppers and in potted succulents for favors. Oh and the food was pretty tasty too! More on that tomorrow…

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Fall Closet Update.

I love Fall fashion as much as the next girl, but I tend to put off new clothing purchases until that first super chilly Autumn day when I realize none of my jeans from last season fit me and my old coat has a coffee stain on it that I never got dry-cleaned out. Well, that first extra-chilly morning arrived this week in Boston, and just like that, I’m on the hunt for some closet updates to get me through the season! On my radar: a crisp new quilted barn coat, cozy Parisian-chic striped tees, and a fresh pair of skinny jeans to tuck into boots! joules Fall

Quilted Jacket | Parisian Stripe Tee | Skinny Jeans | Wellies | Satchel Bag | Pearl Earrings | Bracelet
Please note: I have received compensation for partnering with Joules on this post, all opinions are my own.

Grapefruit Thyme Punch.

There are a few ‘trigger’ ingredients that I look for on a cocktail menu when I’m making a drink selection, and the tartness of grapefruit of is always one of my trip contenders. I mixed up sweet and herb-y drink to balance the tart grapefruit flavor in a tasty drink with Brugal Rum. To make one yourself, follow these instructions: in a rocks glass over ice add 1 tsp of honey, fresh grapefruit juice (1-2 grapefruits, depending how much juice you can get out of them!), and 1.5 oz of Brugal White Rum. Stir vigorously, and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme – swirl it around in the glass to release some of the flavors into the drink, and enjoy!
Thyme Grapefruit Punch Ingredients Thyme Grapefruit Punch

Brugal Rum provided me with sample products to test, all opinions are my own. 

Blueberry Basil Smash.

I’ve got another fun rum cocktail for you today after some more experimenting with Brugal Rum — a blueberry basil smash. My idea for this drink came from a peruse through my fridge, I had some leftover blueberries and basil that were ready to use! To make your own version of this drink, follow these steps: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 1 tsp of sugar, 2-3 lime wedges, a handful of blueberries, and a few sprigs of basil. Pour 1.5 oz of dark rum over the muddled mixtures and shake with ice. Pour in a glass and top with soda water; serve with a fresh lime wedge and a striped straw for good measure! Blueberry Basil Smash Ingredients Blueberry Basil Smash Muddling Blueberry Basil Smash _edited-1 Blueberry Basil Smash _

Family Circle Magazine.

Can I brag a little bit? Yours truly is featured in the November issue of Family Circle magazine that hits stands this week. I’m sharing tons of tips  in their “happy to host” feature to make your holiday entertaining a little less stressful and a little more festive. Grab a copy, check out the article, and let me know what you think!

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Apple Cider Donut Cupcakes.

Ready for this little sweet-treat mash-up? I was scheming up something to bring to a birthday party this weekend and saw The Faux Martha’s recipe for apple cider baked donuts.  I wanted to try the recipe out so I decided to make a batch of mini-donuts and pop them on top of classic vanilla cupcakes (I used a box mix for those, no judging!). In case you were curious if topping cupcakes with donuts was a good idea, let me tell you: it was a great idea. And a few leftover donuts for breakfast the day after weren’t too bad either. IMG_4673.JPGIMG_4678.JPGIMG_4680.JPGIMG_4677.JPG

Ming Tsai + Breville Giveaway.

One of the things I love about Boston is the amazing food scene we have here — I get a little burst of pride opening up Bon Appetit magazine and seeing some of my favorite local spots getting more and more shout outs these days. One of the restauranteurs that is synonymous with the Boston foodie scene is Ming Tsai. I’m excited to be joining Ming at his launch party for Season 12 of his cooking show at Blue Dragon on October 21, and you could join me too! The fine folks at Breville are giving away 2 tickets to the event, as well as a signed copy of Ming Tsai’s cookbook. To enter just head over to Instagram and follow @breville and @domestikblog, and then find their post about the party and comment, tagging a friend you would bring. Good luck!

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Mac and Cheese Baked Apples.

The other day at work the topic of Thanksgiving foods came up, and while it’s not a traditional Thanksgiving food, I mentioned that we always have a mac and cheese at ours because my siblings aren’t big on turkey. One of the best mac and cheese dishes that I’ve ever eaten was on our honeymoon, and the dish came served with a side of homemade applesauce — delicious. My wheels started turning for how I could combine these flavors in a new way, and I came up with this cute little idea for a savory and sweet side dish: mac and cheese baked apples. I love the idea of offering these in small apples as an appetizer, or as a bigger portion for a side dish at dinner — either way, they’re a super tasty treat. Full recipe below!

Mac and cheese baked apple Mac and cheese baked apple1 mac and cheese baked apple2 mac and cheese baked apple3 mac and cheese baked apple4 mac and cheese baked apple5 mac and cheese baked apple6Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large apples (honey crisp apples worked great)
  • 5 cups of cooked pasta (elbows work great!)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra for garnish)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cook pasta as directed, removing from water when still al dente. Clean apples and slice their tops off; using a melon-baller, scoop out the insides of the apple leaving a half-inch rim around the edges. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and begin to whisk in flour until a roux forms, then slowly whisk in the cup of milk and heat until the sauce thickens. Next, mix in the cheeses and combine until the sauce is a consistent texture. Remove from heat fold in pasta until fully coated; salt and pepper to taste. Fill the hollowed-out apples with macaroni and cheese mixture, and top with additional sharp cheddar cheese. Bake in a baking dish in a 400 degree pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.

 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup.

I’ve been trying to be better lately about not wasting food. Cooking for two means we unfortunately sometimes end up tossing out lots of leftovers, so I’ve been challenging myself to be creative with what’s in the fridge and use as much as I can. We had a roasted chicken for dinner this weekend so I was brainstorming ideas for what to make with the extra meat. I whipped up a batch of chicken stock with the bones from the chicken and decided it would make a pot-pie, but in order to use more of the stock and chicken, I made it into a soup instead. I even added a fluffy biscuit for dipping to get the crust flavors. Full recipe below:

Chicken Pot Pie Soup 1
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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 small red potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1.5 cups roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup of fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas

Instructions:

Dice red potatoes, carrot, and onions. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Add roasted mixture to a large pot with 1 tbsp of olive oil. As the mixture heats up, stir in flour until it dissolves and coats the vegetables. Add chicken stock and half and half and bring the soup to a low boil. Reduce to medium heat and add in chicken, corn, and peas. Simmer for 15 minutes to blend flavors; add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a warm biscuit for dipping.

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