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Jackie Dott-Mallory

Jackie Dott-Mallory auf Twitter.

Pomegranate And Bourbon Braise Oxtails with Smokey Cheddar Grits & What Sandy Hook Elementary Taught Me

 

As a mom, this tragedy has left a deep wound on my soul. I see my own baby in the faces of all of the victims. Not an hour has gone by in the past few days that I haven’t had those lost lives on my mind.

Playing blocks with my daughter brought me to tears at how lucky I was to get to share such a tiny moment, when so many moms weren’t able to do that. My two year old asking for a kiss, playing in the sand with her dad, asking about the Christmas presents wrapped up for her under the tree, all made me feel like the luckiest mom in the world: my baby is safe, healthy, happy, alive!

In the midst of such horror, I have learned so much from those amazing souls, I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned over the past few days:

  1. Wear your fancy dress on an ordinary day. Six-year-oldCharlotte Bacon was very excited about her new Christmas dress and boots, and kept asking to wear them. On Friday, the day she died, her mother gave in, letting her wear her special dress and boots to school. In honor of Charlotte, use your fancy plates, and those expensive candles you don’t want to burn, put on your shoes that you think are too pretty to wear, because everyday that you are alive and with the ones you love is a special occasion.
  2. Carry your crayons with you. That’s what Emilie, age 6, always did, says her father, Robbie Parker. She drew the world as she saw it: beautiful. In the midst of such a horrific tragedy we need to remember the good in the world, take out our crayons and draw the world as a child sees it. Take time to appreciate the beauty around us, take photos with your phone, stop to enjoy the little things, see beauty in small things, let yourself be wowed by it.
  3. Loving people means putting them first in every way. No one will ever embody this more than Victoria Soto. She is the teacher who hid her students in closets, staying in the open to make sure, beyond all doubt, that the shooter wouldn’t hurt her kids. She gave her life in exchange for the safety of her students, and my guess is that she would do it again without hesitation. I hope and pray that any of the teachers whom my daughter will have in her life are like Victoria, and someday may I be half as selfless as she was.
  4. Say I love you, a lot. In words, in actions, in notes, in everyway you can. After the tragic loss of Jessica, her parents came home to find a note she had left in a journal they hadn’t seen before, it just said, “I love you so much, mama.” I grew up hearing the story of the day my Dad died, and the fact that it was one of the few mornings my moms forgot to say “I love you,” before they headed their spate ways. I heard versions of this same story so many more times from the families of 9-11 victims, and the morning Jaycee Dugard was kidnaped, was a morning her mom was running late and forgot tell her daughter she loved her. We all have those crazy mornings, when we know there is a traffic jam in our future, when our kids flush our make-up down the toilet or spill juice on the couch, those mornings when we say thoughtless things like, “you are driving me crazy!” What happened in Sandy Hook reminds me to hold tight to patience, always say, “I love you,” before leaving my family. I can control so little in this world but I can have control over this tiny thing: I can always tell my daughter, “I love you,” before we part ways. I hope that even when I am 80-years-old, on my way home from dinner at my daughter house, I will think of little Jessica and never forget to say, “I love you.”
  5. Slow Down, Add Memories. Take a day off work, blow off an appointment, just slow down. Even if it would be a financial strain for you to take a half-day off work twice a month,  or even just a long lunch, to have a one-on-one date with one of your kids, you will not regret it. No one gets to the end of their life and thinks, “I should have spent less time with my kids.” Think of it as life insurance, giving your kids a few more memories that they wouldn’t otherwise have once one of you is no longer here.

 

Because of what happened Friday, I needed to take a long day, stay at home and cook Sunday Supper that took hours. For me, this is healing. The active time on this dish is small, but the long cooking time ensures that you will need to be home, hanging out with your family. And there is something about putting slow food on the table to makes me feel like I am loving my family in a special way.

Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups, chopped) good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Makes 18 to 20

Directions

  1. In a bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, and sugar, mix until well combined. Set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate, the butter and the oil. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Don't over heat or the chocolate will seize. Add the beer and stir.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, some lumps are OK.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the dough as has set, about 3 hours and up to 36. Overnight refrigeration is recommended.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Using a cookie dough scoop, make balls just a bit smaller than golf balls, roll into shape with your hands. Place dough balls into powdered sugar, roll until well coated.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add cookie balls
  9. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have set but the center is still a bit soft. Don't over-bake or the cookies will be dry and crumbly.
https://domesticfits.com/pomegranate-and-bourbon-braise-oxtails-with-smokey-cheddar-grits-what-sandy-hook-elementary-taught-me/

 

 

 

A Moment of Silence, A Day of Remembrance

I am one of the many craft, cooking, lifestyle and DIY bloggers who had posts to share with you today, but the events of Friday's shooting in Connecticut have left us heartbroken. Like you, we cried as news reports poured in and wondered out loud about how something so cruel could hurt the most innocent and tender. We not only grieved for the lives lost and wounded, but for that part of the magic and wonder of this holiday season that was taken from us all.  We know that no words, no gifts, no acts of service will ever take away the pain, but we, as bloggers and parents collectively, want those affected by this to know how close to our hearts they are:   We love you. We pray for you. We're so heartbroken for your loss.  To honor the memory of lives cut short, we choose to step away from our blogs and computers today to celebrate the gift of life and those we love most: our children, families, good friends and community. We're holding our kids a little closer, reaching out to neighbors and giving thanks for the moments we have together.  Thank you for stopping by today. We hope you'll join us in remembering, praying, and gathering close. We wish you and your families a safe and blessed holiday.

Today is dedicated to these children, teachers and their families:

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06
– Daniel Barden, 9/25/05
– Rachel Davino, 7/17/83
– Olivia Engel, 7/18/06
– Josephine Gay, 12/11/05
– Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06
– Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06
– Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65
– Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06
– Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06
– Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05
– Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06
– James Mattioli , 3/22/06
– Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05
– Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60
– Emilie Parker, 5/12/06
– Jack Pinto, 5/06/06
– Noah Pozner, 11/20/06
– Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06
– Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06
– Avielle Richman, 10/17/06
– Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982
– Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56
– Victoria Soto, 11/04/85
– Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06
– Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06

Ways to give financially:
Buy a fine art print from Jeremy Collins to help parents with funeral costs. {Click Here}
A fund for victims families has been set up at by The United Way. {Click Here}

Black and Tan Cookies: New York Deli Cookies Meet Beer Mixology

Black and Tan cookies. This is the hybrid of that great New York Deli cookies, the Black & White, and the Grandfather of Beer Mixology, the Black & Tan.

 

Although the Black & Tan, a mixture of stout and pale ale, most often brings to mind a Bass/Guinness marriage, it actually dates back to the 1880’s when British pub owners tried to find a way to make the winter stout stash last without pissing of their customers. The trend caught on, and stout drinkers started to order the lighter mix during the summer months.

The idea of the Black & Tan is really similar to the idea of the Black and White cookie, two contrasting flavors, joining together to enhance the other. Plus, beer and cookies are just great.

Speaking of, whoever is first to open a pub/gourmet-bakery hybrid with a "Cookies and Beer" theme might find me as their brand new stalker.

 

For the Cookies:

2 sticks butter

2 cups Sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp lemon extract

2 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup pale ale

4 1/2 cups Flour

pinch of Salt

1 tbs cornstarch

1 tbs baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

For the Frosting:

4 ½ cups confectioners sugar, divided

¼ cup stout

1 ounce unsweetened bakers chocolate, chopped

¼ cup pale ale

½ tsp vanilla

Makes about 2 dozen

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and beat on high until well combined. Reduce speed to medium, add the eggs, lemon extract and vanilla extract, one at a time, and beat well between each addition, scraping the bottom occasionally.

Reduce speed to medium, add the heavy cream and the beer, mix until incorporated.

Stop the mixer, sprinkle the flour, salt, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda on top of the butter mixer. Stir gently until just combined, scraping the bottom to insure the butter and flour are fully incorporated.

Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerated for 3 hours, and up to 36.

Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, dust the top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an even ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Using a large round biscuit cutter, cut out 24 to 30 cookies, place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Place baking sheets in the refrigerator while oven preheats, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325.

Bake cookies at 325 for 12 minutes or until cookies have puffed and no longer look wet. Do not brown cookies. Immediately slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface.

To make the frosting, put the stout and unsweetened chocolate in a pot over low/medium heat. Whisk until chocolate has melted. Add 2 cups confectioners sugar, whisk until combined. Add additional sugar to thicken, if needed. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

To make the white frosting, add  the remaining 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar to a bowl, add the pale ale and the vanilla, whisk to combine. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken.

Frost all cookies with white icing on just half of the cookies. Frost the other half of all of the cookies with the chocolate frosting.

Cinnamon Rolls With Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Pecan Sauce & A King Arthur Flour Giveaway!

I have loved King Arthur Flour long before I decided to force my way into the blog world.

I read the catalogues the way normal girls read Cosmo, curled up in bed with a glass of wine, pouring over each page. Not just for the products, but because it’s has always been obvious to me that this is a company that wants to help people learn to bake. Teach people how to make bread from scratch and the best cakes their kids have ever had.

This is important to a girl that managed to reach adulthood before ever eating homemade whipped cream or even seeing a plate of  macaroni and cheese that didn’t come out of a box. I had so much to learn, and still really appreciate the books, shows, and websites that helped answer my questions and feed my curiosity.

It was important to me to learn how to cook, not just how to put dinner on the table. I wanted to know how to bake yeast rolls from scratch, and I wanted to know what to do when things went wrong.

I found the Secret Ingredients section on King Arthur by accident and in the space of about 10 minutes my bread and chocolate cake recipes became exponentially better. I now knew the secret to rich chocolate cake and light, fluffy bread. It was like a gift.

I knew that chocolate cake recipes tended to call for coffee or espresso powder, but I just figured that the flavors went well together. It wasn’t until I read the King Arthur website that I learned espresso powder intensifies the flavors of chocolate without leaving any coffee flavors behind.  Espresso powder is now in every chocolate cake I bake.

And the dry milk powder has taken my dinner rolls and bread to new level. Whoever figured out that dry milk powder makes bread rise higher and with a more tender texture deserves a prize. It’s really a great tip, and one that I’ve used for years.

There is a huge flavor difference between the Vietnamese Cinnamon and the regular grocery store variety, it’s like Filet Mignon to Bologna. Vietnamese cinnamon is rich and smooth and bold, really worth trying is you want to cook with cinnamon, this on it’s own will bring your cinnamon roll recipe to a new level.

I have also become a loyalist to the All Purpose Baking Cocoa, which has a bit of a miss leading name. The name makes it sound so average and forgettable, and it far from that. Master or All Trades Cocoa is more accurate. It pulls double duty and fits brilliantly in recipes that call for Dutch Processed and recipes that call for regular unsweetened cocoa. Good quality cocoa is a must, it makes a huge difference over that grocery store stuff. If you are going to all the trouble to bake a chocolate cake from scratch, you really don’t want your efforts washed away with weak, bland cocoa powder. Get the good stuff, it makes a world of difference.

The good people at King Arthur have agreed to give away a basket of these fantastic ingredients, along with The Most Amazing Whisk Ever. It really is my new go-to, it gets the job done quickly, and nothing gets caught in it like with my traditional balloon whisk.

Here is what you’ll get:

Espresso Powder

Bakers Special Dry Milk Powder

The Most Amazing Dough Whisk Ever

All Purpose Baking Cocoa

Vietnamese Cinnamon

 

 

To Enter (open to USA addresses only):

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to bake during the holidays.

 

Bonus Entires:

1. Like Domestic Fits on Facebook, leave a comment stating you did so.

2. Like King Arthur Flour on Facebook, leave a comment stating you did so.

3. Follow Domestic Fits on Twitter, leave a comment stating you did so.

4. Follow King Arthur Flour on Twitter, leave a comment stating you did so.

 

Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered

and congrats to the winner, #62 Shannon McClear!

Screen shot

 

Contest Closes Monday, December 17th at Noon PST. Winner will be chosen at random.

 

 

Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups, chopped) good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Makes 18 to 20

Directions

  1. In a bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, and sugar, mix until well combined. Set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate, the butter and the oil. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Don't over heat or the chocolate will seize. Add the beer and stir.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, some lumps are OK.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the dough as has set, about 3 hours and up to 36. Overnight refrigeration is recommended.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Using a cookie dough scoop, make balls just a bit smaller than golf balls, roll into shape with your hands. Place dough balls into powdered sugar, roll until well coated.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add cookie balls
  9. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-11 minutes or until the edges have set but the center is still a bit soft. Don't over-bake or the cookies will be dry and crumbly.
https://domesticfits.com/2936/

 

 

 

Chorizo Egg Breakfast Skillet

There is something about lingering over a long breakfast with those I love that just makes me feel like I did something right. Everyone eats dinner, most of us have a few minutes for lunch, but it’s when we take time to sit and spend "valuable, productive" hours of the day actually tasting our food, chatting with those people whose company often gets taken for granted, that the day really become special.

This may be a habit I picked up while traveling in those countries that wouldn’t think of letting a hotel guest check out without being fed, even if you only spent $5 on a bed in a shared room. I think maybe a hotel owner and his wife insisting that the 19 year old American who spoke no Italian MUST sit for a cup of espresso and a some bread before departing had a huge impact on me, especially given that I was broke and had paid less for the room than I would have paid for the breakfast in the States. Some how breakfast and hospitality have since been linked in my brain. I feed my guests. A lot.

This is a great Family style breakfast that takes very little skill to throw together. Tons of flavor, little effort.

 

Chorizo Egg Breakfast Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup red potatoes peeled and diced (small dice)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced julienne, stem and seeds removed
  • 6oz chorizo sausage, removed from casing
  • ½ cup pale ale beer (I used Scrimshaw)
  • 14oz crushed stewed tomates, in juices
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, cook over medium high heat until potatoes are fork tender, remove potatoes from skillet.
  3. Return skillet to heat, adding additional olive oil if the pan is dry and cook the shallots and red peppers until soft. Add the chorizo, stir and break up while cooking. Once the chorizo is mostly cooked, add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Return potatoes to the pan.
  5. Crack the eggs on the skillet, evenly spaced.
  6. Cook in a 350 oven until the whites have set, about 10 minutes.
  7. Top with cilantro, parmesan and avocado prior to serving.
https://domesticfits.com/chorizo-egg-skillet/

Chicken Enchilada Soup & Foodies Things To Do in L.A.

As I throw this soup together with ingredients I picked up at my local Mexican food market, it occurs to me how few of you live just a few hours from the US/Mexico boarder. You might not have access to some of the best handmade Mexican sauces and chilies north of Tijuana. You might even only have access to these ingredients via the canned goods section of your grocery store.

This makes me appreciate my town so much. It’s a great food city. Of course, lots of famous chefs and food reality show contestants head for the Sunshine State and set up shop, but my favorite food in Los Angeles comes from the hands of immigrants, handed down through the generations,  made from scratch just the way it was by their great grandmother in her kitchen on another side of the world. We also have more produce than all the other states combined. California grows more than half the produce in the United States. So many things, like California Strawberries, are in season all year long. That’s amazing.

If you visit LA, please, skip Rodeo Drive, and Hollywood Blvd, that’s not really L.A., it’s just a caricature, a fun house mirror of a place that doesn’t really exist, full of lost tourists and overpriced mementos. Here is where you will find the real L.A., especially if you are a food lover:

1. Farmers Markets. This is a must. And no matter what time of year you visit, we’ll have one for you. All year long, any day of the week, you can find one. Everything from produce, to fancy salt, to home grown honey to the goat cheese guy who even brings along his goats.

2. Butchering Classes at Lindy & Grundy. This is the butcher that all of L.A. has a collective girl crush on. Two amazing women started this butcher shop and from time to time offer classes on how to expertly break down meat. Even if you can’t partake in a class, stop by and check out the incredible shop. Then go next door to The Fat Dog and have yourself a Croque Madame and a glass of craft beer.

3. Happy Hour At Bar Bouchon. I had an office in Beverly Hills and spent two years immersed in that little town. Although I never really came to love it, I did get to know the 90210 fairly well. My favorite happy hour was at Thomas Keller’s Bar Bouchon. You can sit on a little patio that opens to the Beverly Canon Gardens, opposite Scott Conants Scarpetta at the Montage. While we are on that subject, I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to a seven course tasting dinner at the Chefs table in the kitchen of the Scarpetta, twice, and it was incredible. Although I didn’t have to pick up the tab either time, that may have colored my opinion, but if you can swing it, the pasta is even better than you would expect from the Modern Master of Italian Cuisine. Given the vast price difference, I would have to give my final Beverly Hills recommendation to Bar Bouchons Happy Hour, if you are in town Monday though Thursday from 4-7pm. Bar Bouchon is great for people watching, the food is fabulous AND well priced. There are very few places in Beverly Hills that you can get such great food will out feeling like your bank account has been pillaged.

4. Surfas and Helms Bakery. These two food and baking Meccas of Los Angeles are located conviently close to each other and offer everything from professional grade products, to classes to one of the best hamburgers in all of Los Angeles. Food events, food shopping, food markets, restaurants, bars all make this little area a must for the food travelers. Check both websites for events and classes, Surfas often has free cooking demos that don’t make the website. You can call ahead to check.

5. Fast Food Worth the Hype and the Sodium: In-N-Out, especially if you haven’t had it, it’s a must. Check out the Secret Menu to order like a pro, although most of us just order the Double Double Animal Style. Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and you have to eat the chicken and the waffles together, none of that side by side nonsense. Pink’s Hot Dogs, it’s an institution. In a land where even historic landmarks are torn down for ultra-modern mini lofts, Pinks has managed to keep it’s foot hold on the corner of Melrose and La Brea for 73 years. You would be hard pressed to find a Los Angeles resident, famous or commoner, who hasn’t eaten there. But beware, even at midnight on a Tuesday, there will be a line. Randy’s Doughnuts. Before Sprinkles, before Krispy Kreme, before the Macaron Madness, there was Randy and his little hand held treats inside a tiny shop with a gigantic doughnut shaped sign on the roof. It’s conveniently close to LAX, and worth a cab ride if you find yourself at the airport with nothing to do for a few hours.

6. Downtown After Dark. Unlike most cities, the Downtown we have in Los Angeles is a bit skeevy and unused. By day it’s mostly a financial district peppered with the house-challenged, and little to do. But in recent years the night life has taken off. Right now, it’s my favorite place for a night out. Coles is one of my favorite places to stop for a drink, along with it’s back bar, Varnish. It’s the oldest bar in Los Angeles, over 100 years old and even served as a speakeasy during prohibition. Although it had a slight remodel, it’s decor is authentic and true to it’s roots. The food is….OK, but the bartenders are complete pros. If you are looking for an expertly crafted cocktail and possibly the definitive Old Fashion, this is a place to go. These are people who know their stuff and are in love with art of the cocktail, don’t even think about ordering a Scooby Snack or a Jager Bomb, show some respect for the cocktail. Library Bar is almost always busy but the vibe is great, and the Pork Belly Skewers are the best pig bites in all of L.A. Make reservations at Baco Mercat and go with someone who wants to share food, family style. The Edison is worth the trip just to see the amazing space. Housed in a 100 year old building that once served as powder plant, and now has a Golden Age feel, and even a beautiful, but very tame, burlesque shows on the weekend.

7. Festivals and Food Events. These happen nearly every weekend. Read up before you come, LA Times Food, LA Magazine, Experience LAGrub Street and even Yelp Events Page are good places to start.

 

So there you are. My Cliffs notes on my little town. There is so much here that I love, even my small local markets that I wish I could take you too. If you do visit, think like a local, try your best to stay off the tourist-beaten path, that is where the best stuff happens.

 

Black and Tan Cookies

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lemon extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup pale ale
  • 4 1/2 cups Flour
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • For the Frosting:
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup stout
  • 1 ounce unsweetened bakers chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup pale ale
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Makes about 2 dozen

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and beat on high until well combined. Reduce speed to medium, add the eggs, lemon extract and vanilla extract, one at a time, and beat well between each addition, scraping the bottom occasionally.
  2. Reduce speed to medium, add the heavy cream and the beer, mix until incorporated.
  3. Stop the mixer, sprinkle the flour, salt, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda on top of the butter mixer. Stir gently until just combined, scraping the bottom to insure the butter and flour are fully incorporated.
  4. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerated for 3 hours, and up to 36.
  5. Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured surface. Pat into a rectangle, dust the top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an even ½ to ¾ inch thickness. Using a large round biscuit cutter, cut out 24 to 30 cookies, place on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Place baking sheets in the refrigerator while oven preheats, about 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 325.
  7. Bake cookies at 325 for 12 minutes or until cookies have puffed and no longer look wet. Do not brown cookies. Immediately slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto a flat surface.
  8. To make the frosting, put the stout and unsweetened chocolate in a pot over low/medium heat. Whisk until chocolate has melted. Add 2 cups confectioners sugar, whisk until combined. Add additional sugar to thicken, if needed. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  9. To make the white frosting, add the remaining 2 ½ cups confectioners sugar to a bowl, add the pale ale and the vanilla, whisk to combine. Add additional sugar if needed to thicken.
  10. Frost all cookies with white icing on just half of the cookies. Frost the other half of all of the cookies with the chocolate frosting.
https://domesticfits.com/chicken-enchilada-soup-foodies-things-to-do-in-l-a/

This soup was inspired by Ali’s Carnitas Soup. 

Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

I think I want my next cookbook to be The Chocolate Stout Cookbook.

It really is my favorite beer to cook with. Not just for the Christmas Cookie of all Christmas Cookies, it’s also awesome for braising meat with.

And even in the dead of summer, in the middle of the Mojave Desert, I’d still drink me some dark beer. In fact, if I could stock my fridge with System of a Stout, I don’t think I’d ever leave my house.

If this is your first time to my little corner of the internet, and you are still a bit skeptical about adding beer to your food, I beg of you to try a chocolate dessert recipe with beer. I’d really like to take credit for cakes and cookies having a beautiful depth, a richness without being overly dense and a slight puff without being dry, but we owe it all to the stout.

Here are my notes about amending your favorite chocolate  dessert recipe with stout:

Replace about 1/2 the liquid with beer.

Up the fat content (an extra egg yolk, a tbs or two of oil) if you replace a liquid, like milk or cream, that has fat in it

Up the sugar a bit (about 1 tbs per 1/4 cup beer, more if you are using an extra bitter stout)

That’s about it. Hope your next chocolate cake will include a dark beer, even if it is from a box (especially if it’s from a box).

Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups, chopped) good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Makes 18 to 20

Directions

  1. In a bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, and sugar, mix until well combined. Set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate, the butter and the oil. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Don't over heat or the chocolate will seize. Add the beer and stir.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, some lumps are OK.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the dough as has set, about 3 hours and up to 36. Overnight refrigeration is recommended.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Using a cookie dough scoop, make balls just a bit smaller than golf balls, roll into shape with your hands. Place dough balls into powdered sugar, roll until well coated.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add cookie balls
  9. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have set but the center is still a bit soft. Don't over-bake or the cookies will be dry and crumbly.
https://domesticfits.com/chocolate-stout-crinkle-cookies/

 

Chilean Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce

I’ve always wanted to go to Chile. Since I started traveling, I’ve had a deep love for Spanish speaking countries, I want to visit them all. Although, other than language, they seem to have little in common. Other than maybe a shared love of food and family.

I spent some time in Spain, missing my flight home for an extra day in Madrid.

I took my husband with my to Costa Rica, and I didn’t want to leave. I just kept begging to head further south, even telling him I’d allow as much Van Halen signing as he wanted once we hit Panama (PAAAAAna-ma-ah!). But he wanted his own bed and some clean clothes. Weirdo.

And Chile has been there, long and lean, just sitting there on my list. I want to go and visit this place, so gorgeous, and with it’s incredible food.

I was invited to a dinner party event put on by Foods From Chile a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a flight south along the Pacific, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of an event that took place in five cities across the US. The food was amazing. Salmon, Avocado Soup, Endive Salad, and Blueberry Crisp, cooked up by the lovely Chef Cheryl.

Maybe I’m not going to get on a plane and head south just yet, but I can eat some Chilean salmon, with some Chilean avocado cream sauce, and of course, the Chilean wine. And dream about the day I actually get my passport stamped in Santiago.

 

Chorizo Egg Breakfast Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup red potatoes peeled and diced (small dice)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced julienne, stem and seeds removed
  • 6oz chorizo sausage, removed from casing
  • ½ cup pale ale beer (I used Scrimshaw)
  • 14oz crushed stewed tomates, in juices
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper, cook over medium high heat until potatoes are fork tender, remove potatoes from skillet.
  3. Return skillet to heat, adding additional olive oil if the pan is dry and cook the shallots and red peppers until soft. Add the chorizo, stir and break up while cooking. Once the chorizo is mostly cooked, add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Return potatoes to the pan.
  5. Crack the eggs on the skillet, evenly spaced.
  6. Cook in a 350 oven until the whites have set, about 10 minutes.
  7. Top with cilantro, parmesan and avocado prior to serving.
https://domesticfits.com/chilean-salmon-with-avocado-cream-sauce/

 

Chipotle Stout and Chorizo Chili Topped with Pork Rinds

 

I’m so glad I can share this recipe with you. I’ve been working like a crazy person to develop and test recipes that I fall in love with but I can’t share them with you because I need to save them for the cookbook.

And, of course, I’m putting a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to make each recipe a home run.

Because once you buy the book, and actually pay for the recipes, I want them all to be amazing. This, my friend, is a huge amount of pressure on me and the limits of my culinary creativity.


But then I get these crazy ideas, like putting crushed Chicharrones on top of chili and I can’t even wait to share it. I have to post it as soon as possible, even pushing back a more "seasonally appropriate" post because I want to show you this.

And Chorizo, with its spice and fatty goodness, is perfect in chili. In fact, I pretty much raided the "C" section of my local Mexican food market (there isn’t a "C" section, by the way, but there should be) to bring you a dish with chipotle, chorizo, chicharrones, cilantro, cheddar and cumin.

 And then I ate three bowls before I could even share it with anyone.

If I was planning on tailgating anytime soon, I would make this in huge vats.

And if you are a "beans in your chili" kind of guy, go ahead and throw some in, I won’t mind.

Or add some sour cream, if that’s your thing.

Chipotle Stout and Chorizo Chili Topped with Pork Rinds

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped, stem and seeds removed
  • 6 oz chorizo, raw, removed from casing
  • 1 lb ground beef chuck (80/20 lean to fat)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Chipotle Stout
  • 14 oz stewed diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (from can), minced plus more if desired
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Toppings:
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups Chicharrones (pork rinds), lightly crushed
  • (Makes 4-6 servings)

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until onion softens but isn’t browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chorizo and beef, cook until meat starts to brown. Add the garlic and stir.
  3. Add the beer, diced tomatoes, one chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, smoked paprika, pepper, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, until thickened. Add additional chipotle peppers as desired to raise heat level.
  4. Pour into bowls, top with cilantro, cheddar and Chicharrones.
https://domesticfits.com/chipotle-stout-and-chorizo-chili-topped-with-pork-rinds/

 

 

 

Eggnog French Toast Bake

I really have to confess that I don’t much care for Eggnog. But, to be fair, I guess I’ve never really had a great version of it.

I’m open to suggestions if you have any.

I does make an excellent coffee cream, and a great ingredient in desserts. Plus, it just tastes like Christmas when you bake a pan of french toast with it, with the added bonus of making your house smell amazing.

This is the perfect make ahead breakfast for Holiday guests. It takes about 5 minutes to put together, cover it and let it sit over night and in the morning all you have to do is throw it (figuratively, of course) in the oven and sit back and watch the wonder and amazement on the faces of your guest that you pull off something so tasty without even breaking a sweat.

But, you really should wait until you have guests or you will eat the entire pan all by yourself with your dog eyeing the pan and judging you the entire time.

 

Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups, chopped) good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Makes 18 to 20

Directions

  1. In a bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, and sugar, mix until well combined. Set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate, the butter and the oil. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Don't over heat or the chocolate will seize. Add the beer and stir.
  3. Add the eggs to the chocolate and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, some lumps are OK.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the dough as has set, about 3 hours and up to 36. Overnight refrigeration is recommended.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Using a cookie dough scoop, make balls just a bit smaller than golf balls, roll into shape with your hands. Place dough balls into powdered sugar, roll until well coated.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add cookie balls
  9. Bake cookies at 350 for 8-11 minutes or until the edges have set but the center is still a bit soft. Don't over-bake or the cookies will be dry and crumbly.
https://domesticfits.com/egg-nog-french-toast-bake/

 

Beer Pizza Dough

Before we continue with my Beer Pizza Dough post, you have to forgive me for the overly moody dough photos.

I was trying franticly to get them taken before I lost all of the light (damn daylight saving).

But it could be worse, see:

 That pizza dough looks like it should be listening to Radiohead and popping Xanax like Pez.

 

Anyway, that’s what happens when you try to cram way too much into one day, things tend to get away from you.

Back to the pizza dough.

I’ve been making pizza dough for years, and have yet to publicly put my name on a pizza dough recipe. This one is the best so far. I love crust, it’s the best part. If you make your way to my great little city, the best crusts can be found at Folliero’s, Mozza, Casa Bianca, and Milo & Olive.

I have also learned that if you come early in the day, when there is no rush, most pizza places will sell you some of their dough. Which is great to have on hand.

I also learned a few things in my quest to make kickass pizza at home:

The secrets of freezing pizza dough from The Kitchn

How essential it is to own and operate a pizza stone and a pizza peel (completely worth the money)

Milk, beer, and oil give the dough a depth and complexity that water doesn’t touch.

Bread flour is essential to getting a chewy crust.

Use good ingredients, grate your own cheese, add uncooked toppings (prosciutto, arugula, fresh tomatoes, herbs) after the pizza comes out of the oven to create depth and balance.

 

Beer Pizza Dough

Yield: 1 lbs dough

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup wheat beer
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus additional for bowl)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the bread flour, salt and sugar, stir until well combined. In a microwave safe bowl, add the beer. Heat until 110 degrees. Add the yeast and wait 5 minutes or until the yeast foams.
  2. Add the beer to the flour and stir until incorporated. Add the milk and 1 tablespoon oil, stir with the dough hook until it forms a sticky ball.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and no longer sticky.
  4. Coat a large bowl with oil. Add the dough, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or until doubles in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and reform into a tight ball. Cover and refrigerate for another 8 to 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  6. To bake, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 425 for at least a half an hour prior to baking pizza.
  7. Roll out the pizza dough to about the size of your pizza stone. Sprinkle a pizza peel with corn meal. Transfer the dough to the pizza peel. Top with your desired toppings, lots of them.
  8. Open the oven and carefully transfer the pizza to the pizza stone. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
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https://domesticfits.com/beer-pizza-dough/

Deep Dish Apple Streusel Pie

 

This was the big winner at Thanksgiving.

It was the first to be devoured, even before the impromptu poker game ended. And, I’m not gonna lie, having every guest who ate it say, "Oh my GOD. This is so good" is really awesome.

When you are trying (fairly desperately) to wedge your way into the food world, there are certain expectations that people have when you make a dish.

The bar is pretty high.

And to be honest, I’m always nervous. Just like the feeling I get when a friend of mine says, "I’m going to make one of the recipes off your blog!"

I was so relieved when Thanksgiving turned out great. These rolls were so good they were second to be polished off, and this Beer Brined Turkey was the best I’ve ever made. Even though it was the same recipe I used last year, it was even better this year.

And the secret to the best potatoes ever is using an ungodly amount of butter. Like, several sticks. And some sour cream.

But this pie. THIS pie will now be the way I make apple pie. And making it in a spring form pan just makes it look incredibly impressive.

 

Chipotle Stout and Chorizo Chili Topped with Pork Rinds

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped, stem and seeds removed
  • 6 oz chorizo, raw, removed from casing
  • 1 lb ground beef chuck (80/20 lean to fat)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Chipotle Stout
  • 14 oz stewed diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (from can), minced plus more if desired
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Toppings:
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups Chicharrones (pork rinds), lightly crushed
  • (Makes 4-6 servings)

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until onion softens but isn’t browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chorizo and beef, cook until meat starts to brown. Add the garlic and stir.
  3. Add the beer, diced tomatoes, one chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, smoked paprika, pepper, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, until thickened. Add additional chipotle peppers as desired to raise heat level.
  4. Pour into bowls, top with cilantro, cheddar and Chicharrones.
https://domesticfits.com/deep-dish-apple-streusel-pie/

 

Deep Dish Porter Pecan Pie

The best thing happened on Thanksgiving.

Just about 18 hours prior to Turkey Tip-Off, my small gathering of 4 people more than tripled into a 14 person party that ended in cocktails, poker, and eating pie right out of the pan. How great is that?

I was happy with the idea of a small gathering, sometimes those can be the best nights. But the fact that I have such an over abundance of food in my kitchen right now and dozens of recipes to be cooked and tested, I could not have been happier about the influx of last minute hungry visitors.

And a Thanksgiving that morphed into a Poker Night, complete with impromptu costuming and teaching my friends 8-year-old how to bluff, was one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had. Although I was seriously caffeine deficient the next day, and zero percent productive.

I may, or may not, have consume an entire bottle of wine by myself.

 I used a chocolate porter for this recipe, and of course, a stout would work well also. BUT now that I sit here staring at these photos, I wish I’d have used something that had been aged in bourbon barrels. How great would that be?

 

Deep Dish Porter Pecan Pie

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 6 tbs of butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs shortening
  • 2 tbs ice cold beer (high ABV works best)
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup porter beer (can sub stout)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. In a food processor, add 1 cup of flour (reserving the other ½ cup) salt, sugar and pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes and the shortening, process until combined. Add the remaining ½ cup of flour, process until well incorporated.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add the beer and mix until combined. Dough will be very soft. Form into a wide flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, press into shape. Remove the excess. Freeze crust for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. In a pot over medium high heat, add the beer, brown sugar and corn syrup. Allow to simmer until combined and the sugar has melted. Sprinkle with flour, whisk until well combined. Remove from heat, add pecans, heavy cream and butter. Stir until well combined and the butter has melted. Allow to cool to room temperature before adding the eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs. Slowly add the pecan mixture to the eggs, whisking the eggs the entire time.
  6. Pour filling into crust, bake at 350 for 50 minute to an hour or until the filling no longer jiggles when you shake the rack it sits on. Chill until the filling has set, about 2 hours.
  7. *Note: This recipe is for a deep-dish pie pan. The filling is too much for a regular pie pan.
https://domesticfits.com/deep-dish-porter-pecan-pie/

Oven Steamed Salmon with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

Every once in a while this happens. I made a recipe I love, and then it sort of slips away and never gets posted. This is one of those recipes. I can’t even remember why it didn’t get posted, maybe because I don’t really like the photos (sorry my ego got in the way of sharing a great dish with you .)

But I DO remember really loving it. Not just because it had a ton of flavor, and was really delicious, but because it’s low calories, naturally dairy and gluten-free AND it is packed with an insane amount of antioxidants, heart healthy foods, and that good stuff we need to shove into our bodies after the collective gluttony we all gleefully participated in over the past few days.

It’s like detox, but really, really delicious.

To be honest, the only reason I remember that it was buried in the recesses of my Dropbox, is an email I got from a PR person at the Blueberry Councill about a recipe contest. And although I have been drawn to a recipe contest or two in my day, I really don’t have the time for that right now. SO, it seemed to be fate that I had one. A really fabulous, healthy and delicious blueberry recipe all ready to go. So thank you, Blueberry Council, for the fabulous berries and the timely reminder.

 

Beer Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup wheat beer
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 3 tbs whole milk
  • 1 tbs olive oil, plus 2 tbs, divided
  • Yield: One large pizza crust, or two small pizza crusts

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the bread flour, salt and sugar, stir until well combined. In a microwave safe bowl, add the beer. Heat until 110 degrees. Add the yeast and wait 5 minutes or until the yeast foams.
  2. Add the beer to the flour and stir until incorporated. Add the milk and 1tbs oil, stir with the dough hook until it forms a sticky ball.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and no longer sticky.
  4. Coat a large bowl with the remaining oil. Add the dough, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or until doubles in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and reform into a tight ball. Cover and refrigerate for another 8 to 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  6. To bake, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 425 for at least a half an hour prior to baking pizza.
  7. Roll out the pizza dough to about the size of your pizza stone. Sprinkle a pizza peel with corn meal. Transfer the dough to the pizza peel. Top with your desired toppings, lots of them.
  8. Open the oven and carefully transfer the pizza to the pizza stone. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
https://domesticfits.com/oven-steamed-salmon-with-blueberry-balsamic-reduction/

Five Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

 

 

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I am already thinking about the leftovers.

I will not be participating in Black Friday.  Unless it takes place in my refrigerator, I will be staying far, far away from any post-thanksgiving debauchery. Besides, I plan to make most of my Christmas gifts, but more on that later.

Here are my favorite uses for Thanksgiving leftovers:

1. Empanadas. A simple dough (or even store bough pie dough) can transform your leftover food into adorable and portable mini savory pies. Also handy to take along on those epic shopping ventures, for those of you who participate in that sort of thing.

My favorite combos: Turkey & Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Candied Yam, Stuffing & Cranberry

More directions on making Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas Here.

 

2. Turkey Galette. Use a standard dough, or a store bought pie crust. Roll it out, add your leftovers, fold the edges in and bake at 400 until the dough is cooked, about 35 minutes. Top with some fresh greens and you are good to go.

 

3. Salad. Seriously, we all need some detox right about now.

 

Cook 1 cup quinoa (use these directions to cook the quinoa, the package directions make it soggy)

Add 2 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey

2 tbs dried cranberries

2 tbs chopped black olives

1 chopped yam, cooked

3 tbs balsamic & 1 tbs honey, mixed together

 

Toss everything in a bowl. Makes about 4 servings.

 

 

4. Turkey Grilled Cheese.

Not a lot to explain here. Just load some bread up with turkey, lots of cheese and pan fry until gooey, melty and amazing.

 

5. Turkey Sliders

Split open on of those left over rolls (or maybe the biscuits from breakfast) load it up with left overs and you just made yourself a cute little sandwich.

Or toss some leftover turkey in some BBQ sauce, fill a dinner roll and it’s like a brand new food.

 

Beer Cheese Wontons

 

This recipe has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

I love Thanksgiving, really. It’s my favorite holiday, due in no small part to the fact that it is a day devoted to a gluttonous love of food. And no presents are exchanged. I’m not sure what it is about those present exchanging holidays that makes me nervous. I’ve never been a girl who is comfortable with receiving gifts. I love to give them, completely love it. But having someone watch me open a gift, I can’t help but feel completely self conscious about my reaction which I assume to be sub-par.

I know. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to over think things.

Which makes my love for Thanksgiving FAR exceed any feelings I have for Christmas. I get to make significantly more food than will ever be consumed, and no one will be attempting to decipher my reaction as I peel away the wrapping of a hand selected present.

Starting sometime in the next 36 hours, I will start preparations for the following dishes: This turkey, These rolls, this Mac n Cheese, something similar to this pie, and this pie too. As well as about 6 other dishes that will create a disgusting surplus of food.

 

And then, we will all be back to making football food, like portable beer cheese dip.

 

 

Beer Cheese Wontons

Ingredients

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 2 tbs green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine the first 9 ingredients (everything except the wonton wrappers, green onions and the oil), process until well combined.
  2. One at a time, place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, wet the edges or the wrappers with water.
  3. Place about 1 tbs of filling in the center of the wrapper. Sprinkle green onions on top (about 1/4 tsp).
  4. Fold wrapper over to create a triangle, press the edges together until very well sealed. Brush the bottom of the triangle with water and fold the corners into the center and press into shape.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Adjust heat to make sure it does not get to the smoking point, or the wontons will burn.
  6. Carefully add wontons to the hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  7. Serve immediately, wontons will get soggy if they sit.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-cheese-wontons/

 

Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing

 

 

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." –-Unknown

It’s my birthday today.

Although I’m taking a few minutes to type this up, I get to spend the day with my Husband and daughter.

For me, birthdays are a bit like Thanksgiving, which is fairly fitting seeing as that my birthday often falls during the same week. Maybe it’s because my Dad died in his 20’s, or because I am by nature a grateful person, but birthdays make me feel lucky. Another years worth of experiences and knowledge under my belt.

Time to set some goals and remember the ones I’ve accomplished over the past year. This time last year I was contemplating writing a book proposal, and just two weeks ago I signed my first (yes, first, of what I hope to be many) book deal.

This year my goals are more personal:

1. Learn how to say no without feeling guilty.

2. Know my value and how to ask for it without apologizing (as in, stop doing so much work for free!)

 

So, seriously, help me out. I might need some accountability with those two.

 

 

Beer Cheese Wontons

Ingredients

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 2 tbs green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine the first 9 ingredients (everything except the wonton wrappers, green onions and the oil), process until well combined.
  2. One at a time, place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, wet the edges or the wrappers with water.
  3. Place about 1 tbs of filling in the center of the wrapper. Sprinkle green onions on top (about 1/4 tsp).
  4. Fold wrapper over to create a triangle, press the edges together until very well sealed. Brush the bottom of the triangle with water and fold the corners into the center and press into shape.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Adjust heat to make sure it does not get to the smoking point, or the wontons will burn.
  6. Carefully add wontons to the hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  7. Serve immediately, wontons will get soggy if they sit.
https://domesticfits.com/creamy-goat-cheese-dressing/

 

 

Oh, and don’t forget to enter to win $250 from California Strawberries. Details here!

 

 

Mini Drunken Pumpkin Coconut Pies

 

Have you ever served on a jury?

I have. A few years ago I was put on a federal case at the Los Angeles court house. The defendant was a smarmy little man who was, without a doubt, about a thousand percent guilty of smuggling 3 million dollars worth of Ecstasy into the country using teenage drug mules.

For two weeks I had to watch him represent himself, after firing his public defender, and very poorly and arrogantly cross examine those miserable teenage girls who had come to testify against him as well as anyone else who took the stand. At one point, the detective who had spent the better part of the previously year building a case against him took the stand to defend the piles and piles (quite literally) of evidence against him, most of which was collected in his home.

"well,do you have picture of me with these alleged drugs? or with the alleged thugs?"

The detective responded with, "First, the drugs are not alleged they are real and right on that table. Second, No, I did not take a picture of you with any drugs, or thugs, or in a box or with a fox. Doesn’t make you any less guilty."

I laughed so hard, and for so long it required a shushing for the judge. I was LOUDLY shushed by the oldest man I had ever seen still earning a living. A man who fell asleep twice the first day of trial.

Later that day, after I had composed myself, I looked over to see Old Man Judge flipping through a sketch book of artfully drawn pictures of naked women. I was probably the only one who could see the cartoon style smut, I was seated in the far top seat of the Jury Pit, closest the judge. Ok, I’m sure "Jury Pit" isn’t the right term, but it was either that or  "Judicial Dugout." Please, let me know if you know the real term.

The first thing I think is, "You MUST be old, your porn is hand drawn!" The second thought was, "I can’t believe he doesn’t have to pay attention to this, but I do."

At the end of a very long 2 weeks, we found Smarmy Drug Dealer very guilty, and I found later that he confessed to it all.

Why am I telling you ALL of this? Because, other than the pen and ink peep show, the most surprising thing about serving on a jury is how exhausting it was. I was SO tired at the end of the day, after doing nothing more than just sitting there forcing myself to listen to terms like bifurcate and per curiam.

And as I start to write this cookbook and I spend the entire day forcing creativity to get out of my brain and into my KitchenAid, I am exhausted at the end of the day. Really, not as surprising a 90-year-old man asleep on the job atop parchment inscribed with a nude Botticelli-esque drawing. But still, I wasn’t really expecting it.

 

Mini Drunken Pumpkin Coconut Pies

Ingredients

    For the Dough
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs ice cold beer (high ABV works best)
  • For the filling
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (if using canned, make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk fat, scraped off the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin ale
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (can sub vanilla extract)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, add the flour, salt and sugar, mix to combine. Add the butter cubes and rub into the flour with your fingers, or a pasty cutter, until well combined. It will resemble coarse meal. Add the beer and mix until combined, adding more until all the flour is moistened and the dough is able to form a ball. Form into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 4 inch circles, a large margarita glass works wonderfully for this.
  3. Spray the wells of 12 to 14 muffin tins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place each circle into a well and gently press into shape, allowing for a bit of an overhang.
  4. In a bowl, add all of the filling ingredients, whisk until well combined. Pour into mini pie crusts. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until the filling has set and no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken.
https://domesticfits.com/mini-drunken-pumpkin-coconut-pies/