Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ben’s Bakery: Dog Treats! Peanut Butter Pumpkin

My dog, Ben, happens to be a vegetarian. He doesn’t want to be a vegetarian, whenever I’m cooking meat he sits right next to me hoping for crumbs to fall.  We give Ben a few treats each day, but these are his favorite.  I don't make them all the time, but when I do he stalks them when they are cooling on the counter, and when we give him one he devours them.

Since a lot of dog treats have meat products, these are veggie friendly, and very healthy.  They are also a lot less expensive than buying treats at the store!  My mom has a golden retriever as well, and her dog loved them just as much as Ben! 

You’ll need
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Eggs
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in bowl.

It almost looks like the fudge I made last week

3. Add flour in ½ cup increments.  
4. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should
be dry and stiff (I used 2 tablespoons of water).
5. Cut into ½ inch pieces (mine were a bit bigger because of my cookie cutters)
6. Bake for 40 minutes
7. Cool then give to all your Canine friends :)
Baked and delicious! I bought these cookie cutters for $1 each 

Remember to store in the fridge!!

-Ben (via Domesticate Duchess) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This is my FIRST original recipe, that I first made right before graduating from college.  It is easy, and yummy. Just a warning, it is a little different looking than normal fudge, and has a different texture.  BUT it is super easy and just as wonderful! 

You'll Need:
  • 4 cuzs confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Step-by-step directions:
1.  Grease a 9x9 inch dish, line with wax/parchiment paper
2.  Sift together sugar and coca and put in a large bowl

3.   In a small bowl put milk and butter in separate bowls and heat in microwave until melted. Get really hot, but don’t burn (about 90 seconds)
4.   Stir in vanilla and stir vigorously into the sugar/cocoa combinations

5.  Pour into prepared dish.
6.. Chill in freezer 20 minutes before cutting into squares.



Friday, August 19, 2011

Thrifty Hurricane Glass

I love William’s Sonoma.  I love their fancy cookware, I love their packaged ice-cream mix, I love their coffee machines that literally cost thousands of dollars (please note that I don't drink coffee, but if I had one of their machines I would just to play with it!).  And I really, really love their hurricane glasses. 

Sadly, I cannot justify buying an $80 hurricane glass, especially since I want two. 

So when I was reading a really cool decor blog and saw that Emily posted a William's Sonoma hurricane glass look alike, that was from the dollar storeI literally got my shoes on (well flip-flops.. this is Houston) and drove the dollar store closest to my house.

Here is what you'll need:
  • Candlestick holder
  • Hurricane Glass 
  • White Candle (these were next to the religious candles)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Decor (leaves, cinnamon sticks, small colored stones etc.)

They are all in the same isle too!
 Dollar Store Supplies

First, scrape off the tags and labels 
This one was really tricky and didn't want to come off... so I used a trick my mom taught me back in middle school... use nail polish remover (rubbing alcohol works too) and some cotton balls to take that sticky-ness off
 Cheap brands works too ... this is a thrifty hurricane glass after all

Now that your candles, candlesticks and hurricane glasses are all sticker free, put hot glue on the rim of the candle stick
Don't be stingy with the glue!!

Then, quickly take your hurricane glass and place it on the candlestick holder, look through the glass to make sure that it is centered!

While you wait for the glue to settle (try to wait a good 15 minutes), you can shorten the wick's on your candles so they don't look so... silly.

Now that is MUCH better!

Your hurricane glasses should be close to dry, so you can take your candles and put *A LOT* of glue on the bottom and place them inside the hurricane glass.  Make sure they are also centered!

They look great!

Now for the fun part!  Decorations!  I decided to go with leaves as fall is starting to approach us, but I think I will switch out the leaves for candy corn during Halloween, and cinnamon sticks for Christmas (my original idea was actually cinnamon sticks)

 I bought these leaves at Hobby Lobby, but if you live in a place with
 actual seasons, real leaves will work too!

For $3 each, this can't be beat!
Looking good!

My dining room is becoming a DIY room.. 
check out my wooden wall art

-Domesticated Duchess

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My First Food Review: Orange Chicken

The hubs and I eat a lot of chicken.  Chicken Ceasar Salad, Chicken Wraps, Grilled Chicken, basically a lot of chicken.  I was strolling through my grocery store, when I found a box of Wanchai Ferry's Orange Chicken.  The box was $3 and came with everything you need to make Orange Chicken other than the actual chicken itself.

I was excited to try it out!  For dinner the next evening, I started to prepare the chicken. 

The steps on the box were very easy:
1. Start cooking the rice (20 minutes)
2. Chopped up one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
3. Dip the chicken in the cornstarch coating
4. Over hot oil on the skillet, cook the chicken
5. Add the hot chili's, the orange sauce and water... simmer for 2 minutes
6. Serve with the white rice

My opinion: I actually *really* liked this orange chicken! I don't like my chicken with a lot of breading. This was just lightly breaded and the sauce was really good. The chicken was high quality and fresh which if you buy a frozen meal of chicken, it is never quite as tasty. It also has a lot less calories then a restaurant, but still is delicious! The price in my opinion was average. My only complaint is that it was not spicy at all!
The hubs opinion: He said it was OK. No better or worse than grilled chicken. However, he really likes chicken from Pei Wei and Panda Express (very breaded chicken).  He said if I made it every two months that would be fine.

Also, the box said this should make 5 servings, for me and the hubs it was actually 4.

In conclusion: if you like lightly breaded, this is for you! If you prefer chicken that is fried or has more breading then you may want to skip this box and go for something else.

So maybe I'm not very domesticated by using a box to make my orange chicken, but I like to think of it as being a modern woman.   You can't cook every meal from scratch, right? :) 

-Domesticated Duchess

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Intensely Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Chips

I love chocolate.  My ideal dessert would be chocolate, with chocolate fudge, topped with chocolate sprinkles.  It doesn't matter who/what/where/when/why if chocolate is involved, I like it!

Anyway, these are the most chocolately chocolate brownies I have ever made.  They are also delicious, however, if you are not a seriously intense chocolate fan you are probably safer making these brownies instead. Alas, as some people in this world are not obsessed with chocolate, I seemed to appear to have inherited my mother's genes - a weakness for all things chocolate. 

Back these brownies...

You will need:
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips - if you do not plan to frost brownies, reserve a 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top for later 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a large-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the microwave briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownie.
3. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. 
4. Add the eggs, beating until smooth; then stir in the flour until combined. 
5. Add the chocolate chips now and hand stir in
6. If you do not plan to frost the brownies, take your 1/4 cups and put the chocolate chips on top
7. Bake the brownies for 28-30 minutes. The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center. 
8. When completely cooled, you can either frost using my cream cheese frosting or just serve with cold milk!

Thanks to king arthur flour for this recipe, although I omitted espresso powder, because coffee would just distract from the chocolate.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

MONSTER Cookie Bars!

I LOVE monster cookies, so when I found a recipe for monster bars [or monster cookie bars] I was so excited, I used the first excuse possible to bake them.  The excuse was that it was Thursday.  :)
When I think of monster cookies or monster cookie bars, for some reason I always picture these guys. I love the movie Monster's Inc... it's so darned cute.

WOW This post is popular!! Thanks pinterest!  Please check out at my recipe index for more delicious desserts and hearty meals - I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Anyway, back to the monster bars...

You'll need:
I spy M&M's!  They are hidden back there... oops!
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1-½ cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3  Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 4-½ cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal
  • 1 package (12 Oz. Size) Chocolate Chips
  • 1 package (12 Oz. Size) of milk chocolate M&M's
**Alternative Option** I have made these before using mini reese's pieces instead of M&M's because my hubs prefers peanut butter to chocolate, so if you're a big peanut butter fan, this may be a good and delicious option for you :)

Step-by-step Directions:
1. Combine the butter and sugars, blend well

2. Blend in eggs and baking soda
with eggs
all smoothed out!

3. Add peanut butter in mix and blend until smooth

4. Then cup at a time, start mixing by hand the oatmeal. 

5. Slowly add in the M&M’s and chocolate chips (by hand)

pretty colors! 

6. Spread in a well greased 9x13 pan for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees– do not overbake! These taste better just a little on the soft side. Store in an airtight container

So much better than monster cookies! And so much easier!  If you're looking for another delicious bar to try please look try zesty lemon bars or s'mores bars are delicious! 

Also, I would love to hear from you!  Please let me know if you liked the recipe, if you changed anything up, or just say hi! 

-Domesticated Duchess

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Pepperoni Rolls!

My husband absolutely LOVES pepperoni rolls.  Sometimes, I will pack him a lunch and these are always a hit.  He actually declared these are better than Double Dave's (which was nice, but I disagree Double Dave’s has Domesticated Duchess beat when it comes to taste… but I beat them in calories and cost).  

These are great for an afternoon snack, an appetizer, party food, or lunch/dinner.  I love my pepperoni rolls with Ranch, the hubs prefers marinara sauce.  Ben has no preference, but alas he is a dog and can’t eat pepperoni rolls.

I made this version using the extra can of biscuits from my Monkey Bread recipe.  These were smaller biscuits then what the recipe calls for, so just imagine these as a miniature version. 

Anyway, here are the easiest pepperoni rolls in the whole wide world.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 Can of GRAND biscuits (it doesn’t have to be grand, just get the big ones)
  • 1 bag of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pack of pepperoni (I buy the lower fat kind)
  • Marinara or Ranch to serve on the side

Step-by-step instructions:

1.     1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.    2. On a floured surface, roll out your pepperoni rolls so they are flat like a pancake

3.     3. Put cheese on the dough (as much as you’d like!)

4.     4. Put 5 pepperoni’s on top of the cheese

5.   5. Roll up and pinch ends – seal it up tight!

6.    6. Place all pepperoni rolls on lightly sprayed cookie sheet
7.     7. Cut 3 slits on the pepperoni rolls

8.     8. Cook for 14-17 minutes (varies on how much you stuff them… mine usually are perfect at 15) 

Domesticated Duchess 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Rich, Thick & CHEWY!

I love chocolate chip cookies.  I love them with c-chip cookies with oatmeal, mixed with other chocolates, but most of all I love them with lots and lots of CHOCOLATE!

This is an awesome recipe because it doesn’t produce an insanely large amount of cookies (15 normal size or 12 large).  This is good, as this recipe is so delicious that I probably would eat them all.
The recipe also works out well because you probably have all these ingredients in your pantry.
You’ll need:
  •       4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  •       6 tablespoons white sugar

  •       6 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  •       1/4 teaspoon salt

  •       1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg

  •       1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  •       1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •       1 cup of chocolate chunks or chips (I always use 1 and ¼ cups but I really love chocolate)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla until well combined.

3. Beat in the egg. Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat for a few more seconds.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed just until absorbed.

5. Combine the chocolate chips or chunks into a small bowl and stir into the dough.
6.  Shape the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and drop them about 3 inches apart onto baking sheets
(I use often use a baking sheet I got from the William Sonoma outlet.. which if you haven’t been to the WS outlet, it is AWESOME)
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden.
8. Let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely

Note: I bake my cookies at the minimum required time. If you over bake the cookies they obviously wont be chewy. I just like soft and doughy cookies better than crispy…. Although I probably wouldn’t turn down a crispy cookie regardless :)

Cooking Schedule (on my oven at least)
9 minutes = extra doughy
10 minutes = doughy
11 minutes = soft & chewy!
12 minutes = chewy
13 minutes = crispy

I had my cookies on two separate pans and I baked them for 11 and 13 minutes. (I was giving this batch away, so I wanted a combination of crispy and chewy).  Next time, I will definitely only do 11 minutes… they were PERFECT!

I found this recipe from erincooks. Her blog is awesomely delicious!  Check it out 

Signing Out!
-Domesticated Duchess

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Savory Spinach Dip

I love spinach dip.  It is one of the best appetizers and a great party food.  It serves plenty, and is delicious.  

It is really easy, but what I love most about it is that you can make it lower calorie/fat.  The original recipe calls for ONE CUP of Parmesan cheese, which i thought was too much, and added to much calories/fat.  I cut this down to 1/2 cup or at most 3/4.  Most times I make this, I sub out the cream cheese and sour cream for 1/3 the fat cream cheese and reduced fat sour cream.  And the best part is the reduced fat version is just as awesome as the "fully loaded stuff”!! However, I definitely recommend to not use reduced fat cream cheese, just 1/3 the fat.   

Also - if you like using cream cheese for appetizers try my favorite cream cheese garlic chicken poppers! Addicting and delicious!  

Please checkout my recipe index for more yummy recipes!! It will make you hungry :)

What you’ll need for the spinach dip:
  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  •  garlic salt to taste
  • pepper to taste 

Step-by-step instructions:
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
2. Stir in the spinach

I probably needed to wait a little longer, but I actually made this literally 15 minutes before the gender reveal party so I was in a MAJOR rush!
3. Cook until tender.. about 5 minutes
4. Mix cream cheese and sour cream into the spinach mixture
5. When the cream cheese and sour cream are blended in, stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt.
6. Cook, stirring occasionally until thickened. About 10 minutes.
7. Serve Warm. You can also transfer to a crock pot and put on the LOWEST setting if you are having a party.  If you don't put it on the lowest setting, it may burn a bit.

If you're looking for other dips and appetizers try my Guacamole or Sausage Balls!

-Domesticated Duchess

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tiny Space – Big Change: Bathroom Redesign

I wanted to redesign some element of my home… and the powder bathroom was a perfect start.  Guests frequently use it so it was a nice place to upgrade. It is small, and it is simple.  I wanted to just add a few items to make it a little more appealing.

Here are some before pictures:

 We have a tiny door that leads to a luggage closet.  If anyone else is a Harry Potter fan, when new people come over I tell them our house elf lives there :)

I stuck with the theme of black and white and went to work.  B&W worked great because my bathroom in college was B&W so I had a few items already.  This cut down on the price of the redesign.  I had the bathroom mats, trashcan, BATH sign, round mirror, and the bathtub photograph.

First, I added a shelf to the wall with a beautiful apothecary jar I found at TJ Maxx for $9.99 (score! Normally jars this big are pretty pricey). I already had the frame, and I handwrote one of my favorite bible verses.  The washcloth and ribbon I also already had :)

As I was strolling in one of my favorite hardware stores (if at age 18 I knew that Home Depot and Lowe’s would become some of my favorite stores I would have slapped myself) and notice a lovely collection of vanity mirrors.  The price was right, so I decided to get one.

When I came home my husband half smiled, as he knew this would mean he would be involved in the redesign project.  This was the hard part, removing and unscrewing the previous mirror and drilling in this one.  But that was MANual labor (pun intended) so I didn’t have to do much except for be the tool-handler-extraordinaire!
So much better already!

I rearranged the round mirror, added a potpourri container to sit over the toilet, and bought a light switch cover for $3.50 at Hob Lob.  

And here is a trash can I actually bought a couple years back when a Z Gallerie close to me went out of business (which made me slightly upset!)

Not to mention my fancified soap, which you can read more about here.

And the rest is history!

Of course my work is never done... I have now decided I want to paint the bathroom in vertical stripes of alternated colors (probably grey).  Sigh. If only I could get paid for my misadventures :)

-Domesticated D