DomestiKatedLife

A Boston-Based Lifestyle Blog

Chocolate Chip Cake.

Do you have one of those family recipes that is a given menu item at every gathering? My husband’s family always makes a special chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, our neighbors growing up always served rice krispy treats at every birthday party, and at our house that dessert item is Chocolate Chip Cake. This cake is the one that gets requested by everyone for their birthdays, and it’s such a crowd-pleaser. I think the sour cream batter is what makes it so addictive. It’s one of the recipes that’s been around forever — so long in fact that I wasn’t even sure where it came from. I had to call my mom, who in turn had to call my grandmother to find out. It turns out it was from a neighbor of my grandparents who made the cake for parties, no frosting meant it was less messy for the kids! And now it’s my turn to pass it along, full recipe below! (PS: see that lovely cake stand pictured? I’m partnering with the fine folks at AHeirloom to give one away on my instagram account this week — be sure to head over to enter to win!)Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of sugar, plus 1/4 cup for topping
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1.5 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 package of chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cream together 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 eggs with an electric mixer.
  • Add in 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tsp of vanilla extract, continue to mix together.
  • Sift 2 cups of flour, 1.5 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tsp of baking soda; stir dry mixture into wet ingredients.
  • Pour half of the batter into a 9×13 baking dish and then layer half of the chocolate chips on top.
  • Add second half of batter and top with the rest of the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 of sugar.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, let the cake cool before cutting.

Winter Cooking Slump.

Alright friends, I’m in a winter-cooking slump and I’m calling out for help. I’ve been through my Pinterest boards, my favorite cookbooks, and even that pile of torn-out recipes I keep in a binder in my kitchen. Sure, I’ve found some ideas for dinner parties or a leisurely Sunday afternoon of slow-roasting something decadent — but I’m looking for weeknight recipes that I can make in 30-40 minutes after work (oh and somewhat healthy would be great too, since I’ve been eating like I’m already storing up for calories for next winter). So — can you help me? Would love your ideas! Leave them in the comments!

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Movie Theater Candy Cookies.

I needed a sweet treat to snack on during the Oscars and thought I’d have a little fun updating a classic: the chocolate chip cookie. Martha Stewart’s soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe is just about the most perfect cookie specimen there is, but I couldn’t help but mix it up for the biggest movie night of the year with some movie theater candy. I followed the original recipe, and then swapped out the chocolate chips for a mixture of M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and Raisnets. Spoiler alert: they were crazy tasty. I’m thinking these will be an annual Oscars night staple!

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Movie Theater Cookies

How To Stay Sane And Chic During A Snowpocolypse.

I don’t know about you guys, but this Boston winter is kicking my butt. The snow is overwhelming, the commuting has been a nightmare, and I have been soothing my winter-blues with a heck of a lot of couch-time and junk-food. More than anything, I’ve been feeling a little … well the best word I can think of is: Meh. Uninspired, unmotivated, and overall just … Meh. So I thought I’d put together a list of ideas for how we can all stay sane and a little more chic during this insane winter weather. Please do share you ideas with me too!
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1) Don’t be one of those suckers stocking up on bread and milk. Hit the speciality food store and get your artisan marshmallows (I love Apotheker’s), macarons, chutney and cheeses. If you’re going to be stuck inside, you want to have quality rations. 2) Go ahead, do it — call yourself an Uber. Sure, it’s surge pricing — but there’s nothing chic about the MBTA this winter. 3) Order that Hudson Bay wool throw you’ve been eyeing for years, consider it an investment in your snuggling game. 4) Wine. Do it. Buy the whole case, you know you’ve already drank as many bottles this winter hiding from the storms. 5) Host a shoveling soiree and go dig out some elderly neighbors — there’s nothing more chic than being a good samaritan! Bonus: it’s a great work out to burn off all that wine. 6) Get out there and support the small businesses that are hurting from having to close during the storms. The great news is that you’ll be one of the brave folks to go out in the cold to try that impossible-to-get-a-reservation-at-restaurant, finally easy to get a seat at the chicest spots in the city. 7) Just dress the part — bean boots and fleece lined wellies are now acceptable attire at 99% of occasions. My advice? Invest in some cute boot socks in case you have to pop them off to change shoes! And don’t forget a sassy pom-pom hat and smart mittens. 8) You’ve probably already reached the end of your Netflix binge-watching queue, so start to dig into some classic old-school movies. 9) Consider this snow-bound winter a great excuse to start that resolution to read more this year, you’ve got plenty of time on the couch to start chipping away at your reading list. 10) No shame in channeling your energy to start thinking about, praying for, even begging a bit for spring. It’s got to come sometime!

A Valentine’s Day DIY For The Guys.

Alright friends, who has trouble thinking of cute Valentine’s Day gifts for the men in your life? Man-presents are tough! When a friend of mine introduced to me the makers of JL The Brand and their stylish(and American-made!) dress socks a little light-bulb went off in my head for a cute Valentine’s Day gift idea for my husband. (And PS: I already gave it to him, so I’m not ruining any surprises here… the life of a blogger-husband, you get your  DIY presents a week early because it was part of a blog post!). I found a small square box and rolled up the patterned socks — love those little crowns! — and topped the box with a hand-lettered quip that says “I love you from your head to your TOES!“. Aren’t Valentine’s Day puns the best?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAnd hey! If you’re looking to treat the guy in your life to some stylish toes too, JL The Brand is offering Domestikatedlife readers 20% your order + free shipping, just use the code SoxAppeal.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPlease note: JL The Brand has provided me with product featured in this post. All opinions, ideas, and DIYs are my own. 

A Sweet Valentine’s Day DIY + Giveaway.

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away! I always seem to come up with homemade present ideas a day or two before the actual holiday comes around, leaving me a short window to actually grab supplies and make it come to life. That’s why I’m excited to share this Valentine’s Day DIY concept today — it’s  inexpensive, simple to make and a great idea to have in your back-pocket for last-minute gifts because all of the materials can be found at your local grocery store!

I repurposed a cardboard egg carton and gave it a quick layer of craft paint in a pink tone. Then I popped a dozen mini-cupcakes from the grocery store bakery section into the egg carton once it dried, and glued a hand-lettered message to the inside of the container that says “Happy Valentine’s Day, Cupcake!” It’s a great way to gift sweet treats without having to bake them yourself — repackaging the items makes them feel special.

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, Rich Products is helping me give away a $50 gift card so you can treat your Valentine (or yourself!) to something special. To enter, follow the instructions below: Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Giveaway Details:

  • To enter to win leave a comment below to share how you’d use your $50 gift card to treat your Valentine (or yourself!).
  • For an extra entry, LIKE the Domestikatedlife Facebook page and leave another comment below.
  • For an extra entry follow @domestikateblog on Instagram and leave another comment below.
  • For an extra entry, share a post with your own gifting ideas using the hashtag #givebakery and include a comment below with your post.
  • This giveaway will end at 5:00 PM EST on Friday, February 13th and is open to US residents only.

Please note: This post was sponsored by Rich Products Corporation, all opinions, ideas, and DIYs are my own. 

Piñata-Inspired Valentine DIY.

With all these blustery snow storms blowing around the Northeast, there’s been plenty of cozy afternoons stuck inside for some Valentine’s Day crafting. During a recent snow-in I got to work updating a store-bought box of chocolates with a piñata-inspired look. It’s a simple DIY that took about 20 minutes, and took a blah-looking grocery-store find to the next level! Here’s how to make your own:
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1) Gather varying colors of pink and tissue paper, a glue-stick or scrapbooking tape-runner, a pair of fringe scissors and a box of chocolates (and maybe get some extra chocolates to snack on while crafting so you don’t eat your Valentine’s present).
2) Cut the tissue paper into 1″ tall strips, and then use the fringe scissors to cut fringe 3/4 of the way up the strip of tissue paper.
3) Run a strip of the adhesive on the top of the box of chocolates — starting at the very bottom of the box (set the bottom and the chocolates aside to avoid crushing them) and press down one layer of the fringed tissue paper. It’s okay to let the strip of tissue paper hang over the sides — we’ll trim it later!
4) Repeat this process, adding each layer on top of the other until you reach the top of the heart-shaped box. Using regular scissors, trim the edges to reveal the original heart shape of the box.
5) Give this custom chocolate box to your Valentine!
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Roasted Garlic White Bean Soup.

As I’m sitting at home on this icy-cold snow day, I could not think of a better time to be sharing this recipe — a rich and hearty soup, chock-full of vegetables and a warm, flavorful broth. I’m still kind of baby when it comes to eating a lot of vegetables — it’s not that  I don’t like them, it’s just that pasta and chocolate and cheese are SO much tastier. So I’ve been attempting to sneak them into dishes (and let’s be honest — covering them with cheese does help — this recipe has both!). Sausage and white beans make the soup filling enough to have it as a dinner, the roasted garlic gives it tons of flavor, and the secret ingredient gives the broth a little extra oomph: a parmesan rind that breaks down partially as it simmers. Full recipe below:

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2015/01/img_5997.jpgIngredients:

  • 2 Bulbs of Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Large Shallot
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (casing removed)
  • 5 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach
  • 2 cans of White Beans
  • 2 cups of Carrots (diced)
  • 4 cups of Chicken Stock
  • Parmesan Cheese Rind

Instructions:

  • Slice the top of each bulb of garlic off and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the bulbs in foil and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the garlic cloves become soft and caramelized. Remove cloves from bulb once cooled.
  • Dice onion and shallot and add to a large dutch oven or stock pot with a drizzle of olive oil. As they begin to soften, add sausage and begin to brown, breaking up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
  • Once sausage is browned, add spinach to the mixture and mix in to wilt.
  • Add white beans, carrots, roasted garlic, chicken stock and parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a slow-boil for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce soup and simmer for an hour; remove what remains of the parmesan rind.
  • Serve hot with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread — enjoy!

Homemade Granola.

My pre-work routine often looks a little something like a tornado rolling in on my apartment — I am really not a morning person. Breakfast is usually the last thing on my mind as I’m pulling on my shoe with one hand and putting on mascara with the other, so most days I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up a quick bite at the coffee shop near my office. It’s quick and easy, but it’s also expensive and not that healthy — why are bad habits the easiest ones to adopt? So in an effort to make a breakfast that’s easy for me to grab at home as I’m running out the door I experimented with making my own homemade granola. It’s silly I haven’t done it earlier — it’s just about the simplest thing to make! Full recipe below:
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Real Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup of Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 4 tbsp of Melted Butter
  • 3 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
  • 4 cup of Oats
  • 3/4 cup of Chopped Almonts

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine vanilla extract, syrup, honey, brown sugar, better and oil in a bowl.
  • Pour the mixture over oats and combine until fully coated. Fold in almonds.
  • Spread the granola evenly across a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing the granola mid-way through.

Stuffed Garlic Knots.

Come football play-off season the pressure is really on for me. I’m not talking about being nervous or worked up about the actual games, I’m talking about intensely brainstorming game-day snack ideas. While everyone else is preparing their picks for the big game, I’m busy concocting up ideas for what I plan to stuff my face with. And good news: I have a buttery, carb-y, pepperoni-stuffed plan, my friends! When I hit a mental block thinking about what to bring to a football viewing party last weekend my husband offered me some sage advice. He said: ‘you usually do well by taking something big and tasty and turning it into a bite sized snack’ – of course! So I shrunk down my favorite flavors in pizzas and garlic breads into a super easy Pepperoni-Stuffed Garlic Knot bite. The full recipe is below for all of your Superbowl Party planning needs!  2015/01/img_5973.jpgGarlic Knot 1Garlic Knot 2Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Ingredients

  • Store-bought pizza dough
  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parsley leaves
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pull or cut 1″ round pieces of pizza dough and use your fingers to roll into a 1 to 2″ disc. Top the disc with a piece of pepperoni and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
  • Roll the sides of the dough over the pepperoni and cheese filling and pinch the dough closed to seal it inside. Roll dough around in between your hands to round the shape and ensure the dough is fully sealed. Repeat until all of the dough is used up and arrange the dough balls into a pie dish.
  • In a food processor, combine butter, parsley and garlic. Spread the garlic herb butter over the dough, making sure that the mixture is evenly dispersed.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the garlic knots just begin to turn gold brown.  Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
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