It’s funny how the weather reaching just barely into the mid-40s this weekend felt like we were barreling into spring, it doesn’t take much! The warmer weather and daylight savings had me in a cheery little mood this weekend. I had an awesome day of bridesmaid dress shopping for one of my best girlfriends (she chose J.Crew dresses in all different shades of coral, pink, and blush!). Followed by an evening of lots of girl chat over drinks and heaping bowls of pasta at Cinquecento — if you’re local, go try it out and get the rigatoni with fennel sausage — YUM. I spent the rest of the weekend busying myself around the house, making a few tasty margaritas with fresh fruit (that basically means it’s healthy, right?) and re-potting some little succulent plants in my vintage milk glass vase collection. It was a nice refreshing weekend, but gosh it goes by too quick, doesn’t it?
I was searching for some appetizer inspiration recently and came across this amazing recipe from Kinfolk magazine — I wanted to try it but it wasn’t exactly fitting my bite-sized criteria for serving snacks when I had friends over. I loved the idea of having something a little heartier to serve though, so I used the recipe for inspiration and made my own mac and chili mixture and baked in a mini-muffin tin for bite-sized tastes. They flew off the plate when my friends tested them over the weekend! Full recipe below. Ingredients:
- Red bell pepper – 1/4 cup minced
- Yellow onion – 1/4 cup minced
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 1 small tomato- 1/4 cup minced
- Scallions or chives – about 3 tablespoons chopped
- Lean ground beef – about 1/4-pound
- Kidney beans
- One bag of orichette pasta
- 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
- Milk – 1 cup
Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a skillet, heat a small amount of oil or butter and cook red pepper, yellow onion, garlic, and tomato for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to get soft. Next, add in ground beef, and brown in mixture. When meat is browned, add in about a half a can of red kidney beans and the chives, heat through and then remove pan and set aside.
While making the chili mixture, cook pasta to al dente. Next, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan, and add 3 tablespoons of flour, whisk together. Next, add milk, and continue to whisk together over the heat until it begins to thicken. Next, slowly add in grated sharp cheddar cheese and continue to mix sauce until smooth. When all of the sauce is incorporated and smooth, pour it over the orichette in a large pot or bowl. Fold in all of the sauce and pasta, and then add in the chili mixture.
Scoop mac and chili mixture into a mini-muffin tin. Using the back of a spoon, pack the mixture into the tin so that the ingredients are compressed together. When the muffin tin is full, sprinkle more grated cheese over the top (I used some Parmesan here for extra flavor), and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them rest and cool slightly before removing from the pan (this is important, they may not hold their shape if you remove them when they first come out of the oven). I served them in mini-muffin liners for a festive touch!
Did you hear? This little ‘ol blog turned 5 and we’re celebrating! To share the celebratory spirit, I decided we need to host a little giveaway and have rounded up some of my favorite things, including lots of little festive details to have a party yourself! To enter to win, visit my new Domestikatedlife Facebook page and give it a ‘like’ — then leave a comment below telling me your favorite item from the giveaway! More entry details below:
Here’s what you can win:
Polka Dot Pencils | Mrs Lilien’s Cocktail Swatchbook | Sea Salt Soap | Rifle Paper Co Notebooks | Confetti Wands | Party Candles | Hair Ties | Striped Straws | Sweet Sticky Notes | Dotted Pink Matches
- To enter to win, LIKE the Domestikatedlife Facebook page, and leave a comment below telling me your favorite item from the giveaway.
- For an extra entry follow @domestikateblog on Instagram and leave another comment below.
- This giveaway will end at 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 7th and is open to US residents only.
- Please note, this giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands featured.
A few weeks ago, someone asked me how long I had been blogging. I had to think about it for a second, part of me thought “gosh, forever?” — I can barely remember a time when this site wasn’t part of my daily routine. At the same time, there are days when I open up a new blog post and I feel like it’s the first time I’ve ever started writing. So when I got home after that conversation I looked up my very first blog post and realized it was actually 5 years ago on that very day that I had started writing. Five years! That’s half a decade! I’ve been thinking about this ol’ blog quite a bit after that realization, and like any good blogger, thought I’d share a few of those thoughts with my readers. In those past 5 years I’ve written over 1,000 posts, and those posts all grouped together have given me more than I could have ever bargained for.
One of the very best parts of this blog has been the people I’ve met along the way. I’ve gotten to be part of a rich community of creatives online; people I’ve only known through blog comments and tweets have become friends in real life that I meet up with when traveling to other cities. I’ve been so lucky to have developed relationships with tons of sweet, supportive local bloggers through the Boston Bloggers group that I run with Alison, and feel like I’m always exploring my city and doing fun new things with these inspiring women. In fact, I’ve become such good friends with some of them that I don’t even call them my “blogger friends” any more!
This site has also brought me amazing opportunities. If you told me 5 years ago, when I closed my eyes, terrified to hit publish on that very first post, that I would end up working with brands and bloggers I idolize, and would have my work featured in magazines and some of my favorite online publications, I would have laughed (and knowing me, probably rolled my eyes). I’ve also learned so much about social media from working in the blogging community and I honestly don’t think I’d be where I am in my career today if this blog hadn’t existed. And gosh this blog has brought me a lot of adventures too; from getting to visit Martha Stewart headquarters, to little weekend inspiration excursions, I’ve consistently used this site as an excuse to explore and have fun.
More than anything, this blog has been an amazing journey of finding my passions and getting to look back at how they’ve evolved. When I first started posting I was toying around with the idea of going back to school for interior design, I was design-crazy and remember reading blogs like Apartment Therapy and Making it Lovely and obsessing over fixing up my first post-college apartment. As my interests evolved, this blog evolved alongside with them. I love looking back at old posts now and seeing the trends and style and ideas I was drawn to at a particular moment in time. Five years, 3 apartments, 3 jobs, a wedding, and 1,000 posts later I feel like it’s a reflection of me more than ever before.
So! Thank you for reading along with me, whether it’s just been the last few weeks, or since the beginning (in the beginning it was pretty much just my family and my girlfriends– so an extra special thanks to you!). It’s been a lovely ride — and here’s to another 5 more years!
Now, I’m done with my mushy, emotional blubbering and onto the important stuff — check back tomorrow for a fun giveaway to keep the celebration going!)
I love watching the Oscars, tweeting about the gowns, making my guesses for each category — but somehow, me, the entertaining-addict, has never thrown an Oscars party. This year, I’m breaking that streak and having a few friends over for a casual little viewing gathering. As no party is complete without a signature cocktail, I thought I’d experiment with one to make this weekend for sipping during the show. I’m calling my creation the “Golden Statue” for it’s pretty color and a nod to Oscar himself. Here’s how you can make one of your own: In a small pitcher combine one cup of tangerine juice, one-quarter cup of Royal Rose apricot simple syrup, and one-quarter cup of vodka. Stir it together well and divide into four flutes. Then fill the remainder of the flute to the top with chilled prosecco and serve! I made Oscar straws for a festive touch too!
I got a few questions on the bourbon-soaked cherries that were featured in the Ladies Winter Whiskey Party over on Style Me Pretty this week, so I thought I’d share the recipe! Fill a mason jar with cherries, add in 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar, fill 3/4 of the way with bourbon, and then top the rest off with some water. I let mine rest for about a week before using them, and they were a tasty garnish to our Ladies Manhattan cocktails and paired perfectly with the bourbon-caramel drizzled chocolate cake we had for dessert! Plus I picked up a few small corked jars (these cute ones from Target!) and made mini-versions that everyone could take home at the end of the event — I heard after that made a great topping at home on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream, yum! Photos by Brian Samuels Photography
I have the delicious drink recipes from our Ladies Whiskey Party to share with you today! One of my favorite details from this day was the incorporation of the recipes into the event — I wrote the ingredients out on brown paper bags and tied them on whiskey bottles to match each drink so it was easy to identify each one. And because the idea of the party was all about sharing these whiskey drinks and making whiskey drinking a bit more approachable, we gave everyone a stack of recipe cards with the ingredients and instructions written out on them so they can recreate them at home. Now, onto those recipes!
- Half a lemon, cut into wedges
- 6 mint leaves
- .75 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
In a shaker, muddle lemon wedges with mint leaves and simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with a tall mint leaf.
- 2 oz Michter’s Rye
- .75 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
- .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
- Cherry garnish
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, cherry garnish.
- 1.5 bottles Overholt Rye
- 16-18 oz fresh lemon juice
- 25 dashes bitters
- 2 cups honey spice simple syrup (go slowly to taste)
- 1 bottle inexpensive Prosecco
Combine first four ingredients and chill for several hours. Before serving add Prosecco. Serve over rocks with a twist of lemon. (To make simple syrup: 16 oz clover honey, 16 oz water, 1/4 cup mulling spices. Bring all ingredients to boil, turn off heat. Steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain the ingredients and cool the syrup.)
One of my favorite things about this blog is the great people I get to meet and collaborate with on projects, like the one I’m sharing today. A few weeks back I worked with the Urban Grape to style a Ladies Whiskey Party, a little get together intended to share some recipes all around whiskey. Brian Samuels shot some amazing pictures of the spread — which included whiskey-glazed bacon BLTs and a bourbon caramel drizzled chocolate cake. And the lovely Abby of Farm & Fable lent us the prettiest vintage glassware to highlight the whiskey cocktails. The whole recap can be found over on Style Me Pretty Living today, but here are a few of my favorite pictures (check back tomorrow for the detailed drink recipes!).
Last night we had an awesome time with the Boston Bloggers group at the cutest South End shop — Farm & Fable. Abby, the owner of the shop, hosted a handful of us for some prosecco sipping, snacking, and late night shopping of her vintage cookbooks and artisan kitchenwares. After we mix and mingled for a bit, we headed down to the awesome test kitchen space below the store to learn all about mulling wines, and then we all dug in to bowls of coriander, anise, and cinnamon to mix up our own little mulling spice kits to take home! I love a warm mulled cider during the winter, but Abby opened my eyes to something I’ve never tried before: mulled white wine. She mixed hers with a pear brandy and there were a few sweet pear pieces filled with the spiced mixture at the bottom of my cup — I’m ready to try that recipe at home!
We’ve had our fair share of cold winter nights this year, which means we’ve had to get creative with weekend plans and bring a few of our date-nights close to home. This weekend we had a little taste of summer with a coffee-table picnic. We had a plate of French cheeses — my sweet husband sent me a box of Murray’s Cheeses for Valentines Day (the way to my heart is Camembert, not roses!). We also had some local oysters, which I’ve always been intimidated to shuck on our own, but after some research on technique my husband mastered it in no time! The good news is the weather is warming up, so here’s hoping those newly obtained shucking skills are put to use at a real picnic soon.