Friday, January 29, 2010

Giveaway Winner

My first giveaway here at the Domestic Notebook was so much fun. Thanks to all who commented. We'll have to do something like this again soon!

Now for the winner.

Comment 23 was randomly chosen as the winner.

Teri H.

Congrats, Teri! I hope you enjoy your new waffle maker.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Giveaway Day

Click here to enter the Domestic Notebook's giveaway for a chance to have the Black and Decker Waffle Iron and Grill sent to your mailbox.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday: ABCs and 123s

With the new year, we've finally found our way back into our regular routine. It's amazing how the holidays, traveling and having visitors can really bump you out of your everyday habits. While the change is fun, it's nice to get back to the "usual things" we fill our days with. One such thing is Muffin Tin Mondays. While we've rarely done them on Monday, we enjoy the special lunch sometime during our week. This week's theme was ABCs and 123s.

Boo was excited to start this tradition again and from now on The Noodle gets to participate. Thanks to my mother-in-law, we have two new blue muffin tins so they each get their own spread. We had a big breakfast this morning so our lunch was pretty light. The boys had an A, B, and C cut out of bell peppers. For the 123s, they had piles of blueberries and grapes to count with. Well, The Noodle obviously didn't do any counting but enjoyed watching his brother instead. The yogurt was just a fun filler.
I flipped over one of these placemats and using a dry erase marker drew circles with different numbers next to each circle. As Boo ate his lunch, he practiced counting out the different amounts of grapes or blueberries, making a pile in each circle according to the number next to it.
{There are only 6 grapes where the number 7 is. Boo ate one before we moved on to the other numbers.}
He really enjoyed it so I think we'll be doing that again soon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway

I'm excited to announce I'll be hosting my first giveaway here on The Domestic Notebook this Thursday. Be sure to check back and enter. Boy do I have a treat for the winner's mailbox! Get excited for this upcoming giveaway!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

I haven't shared my thoughts about the disaster in Haiti here. First of all because I keep things mostly light-hearted here but secondly because I was out of town {read: out of touch} when it happened and it took me nearly a week to catch up on what was happening in the world. The disaster and continued suffering there has moved me to tears many times in the last week. We are praying for the people there and those that are working so hard to help. I came across something today that I wanted to share. It's called Craft Hope for Haiti.

It's a wonderful way to give to the disaster relief. Crafters have generously donated hundreds of beautiful items for purchase in the Craft Hope etsy store and all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. I encourage you to check it out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Shepherd's pie is one of my favorite comfort foods to make. That, and chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, fettuccine alfredo, and pot roast. I really like comfort food. I blame it on being raised in Texas. Texans are all about comfort foods.

I especially crave this stuff when I'm pregnant. My first trimester is always the worst, though I really try not to give in to the desire {too much!} to eat such calorie-laden foods. But the other night, I couldn't resist. The Good Doctor took me out on a date to a really great restaurant that had all sorts of deliciousness on the menu. And what did I go for? The grilled buffalo burger with fries. I felt like I was ordering chicken tenders at a Mexican food restaurant. It was a little embarrassing, but boy was it good! The Good Doctor had an amazing coffee-chili rubbed pork chop with smoked gouda mashed potatoes and peach chutney, which is what I would normally have gone for.

Anyways, back to the Shepherd's Pie. That is what this post is all about, right?
My mom made this a lot growing up and I loved it. Before I give you the step-by-step, here's what you'll need.

2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
1 Tbsp. worcestershire
1 tsp. beef bullion granules
2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. cold water
2 lbs. potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. milk
2 heaping spoonfuls of sour cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

First, begin browning the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the meat is halfway browned {see below}, add the garlic, soup mix, worcestershire and beef bullion.

Stir occasionally until the meat is thoroughly cooked and browned.In a pyrex measuring cup or small bowl, mix the flour with the cold water. Whisk well to combine. Then add to the meat mixture and stir well to incorporate. Cook a couple more minutes until the sauce thickens.Remove the meat from the heat.

Use your favorite pie crust recipe and blind bake it. You don't have to do this but I prefer to blind bake my crust because it ensures a crispy, flaky crust. underneath all that meat. To bake the crust, place a layer of foil and some weights {I use ceramic pie weights} inside the shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
For the mashed potatoes, I use 2 pounds of potatoes. I mix my boiled potatoes with 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 cup milk, a few heaping spoonfuls of sour cream, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the pie, pour the meat mixture into the pie shell.Top with mashed potatoes.Place the pie on a cookie sheet and sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top.

Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pie is heated through.
It's done. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Herbed Garlic Bread

We love garlic bread and while we've definitely been known to grab a bag of the frozen stuff when we're short on time, it's the homemade kind that we love so much.

All you need is a loaf of french bread, a stick of butter, a couple cloves of garlic and some fresh parsley.
Let the butter soften or just pop it in the microwave a bit. Crush the garlic and mix it into the butter.Chop some fresh parsley, about a tablespoon or two, and combine with the garlic butter.
Slice the bread into 1 inch slices.
Take care not to slice all the way through so that the loaf stays together.

Smear the butter mixture on each side of every slice, about 1/2 teaspoon on each side.

Wrap the loaf in foil and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. If you have something else in the oven at the time, like a lasagna, just bake at that temperature and adjust the time. {350 degrees for 20 minutes works.}

Sorry I don't have any pictures of it fresh out of the oven. We took it to a friend's for dinner and all devoured it. Mmmm....garlicky, buttery goodness. Try it!

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