Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day in the First Grade!

My little Jacey is a 1st grader!!! She had a great first day! When I asked her how her teacher was, she said, "AWESOME"! When I asked her how her day was, she said "AWESOME"! This year is going to be "AWESOME"!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Chicken Parmesan

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that is so pretty but so many people have no idea what to do with it. Let me help you out! I lived in Italy for a year and a half where I served a mission for the LDS church (My name is Shalece Fiack, I love eggplant and I'm a Mormon....). Surprisingly I did not learn how to cook an eggplant there, I learned how to roast an eggplant from my dear Turkish friend Cigdem while our family lived in Seattle. THANK YOU CIGDEM!!!

Here I'm going to share a recipe for Eggplant and Chicken Parmesan. I'm making dinner for the missionaries tonight and this is what they are getting, so I thought I'd document it and share the recipe! Don't worry! It is all Weight Watcher's friendly!

You will need:

1 large eggplant
8 cups of pasta sauce (I make my own, but I'll save that for another day...)
1 8oz pkg shredded Italian blend cheese
1 8oz pkg shredded parmesan cheese
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain yougurt
1 cup bread crumbs (I toasted italian bread and then crushed it up in my food processor)

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

pre-heat oven to 400. Place a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the oven while it pre-heats.

Cut the ends off the eggplant and slice it lengthwise into 1/2 thick slices and sprinkle with salt.

When your oven is pre-heated, lay the slices of egg plant on the hot baking sheet. Be careful not to burn yourself! I leave the pan in the oven and just slide the rack out as far as it will go. You may have to do this in 2 batches if you have a big eggplant. Let the eggplant roast for 10 min. Flip the slices over and let roast on the other side for 10 more min. Remove from oven. The eggplant should be a lovely golden brown color.

In a cake pan, lay slices of eggplant to cover the bottom of the pan (I only used half the pan because I am putting chicken parm in the other side of the pan...). Ladle sauce (1/2 to 1 cup of sauce) over the eggplant and spread evenly over the eggplant. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of italian cheese over the layer. Add another layer of eggplant and sauce and cheese repeat until you are out of eggplant. On the top layer sprinkle parmesan cheese and Italian style cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 10-15 min or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Chicken Parmesan

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups pasta sauce
2/3 cup parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Pound out 2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts (wrap chicken loosely in plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound it flat).

Dip chicken breasts into the yogurt and then breadcrumbs and lay in the bottom of a baking dish coated in nonstick spray. Bake for 30 min.

In a clean baking dish lay the cooked chicken and smother with sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 10 min until cheese is melted and sauce bubbly.

WOW! You got 2 recipes for the price of one today! I hope you will try these recipes and let me know how they come out. (I am serving both of these dishes with linguini.)

-The Domestic Diva

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Kitchen Timer: A Mother's Best Friend

It used to take Jacey FOREVER to brush her teeth and get ready for bed! It got the the point that I dreaded bedtime because it was such an ordeal! Then I purchased a kitchen timer and the rest, as they say, is history!
We would set the timer for 5 minutes and try to "beat" the timer getting ready for bed. She loved it and it made my job easier!!!

The kitchen timer can be used for so many things! I find myself using it more OUTSIDE of the kitchen than IN!
Here are some of the things that we use it for...

Taking turns: We have 1 computer and 2 girls. This becomes a problem when they BOTH want to play "letter games" (on Instead of fighting over who's turn it is, we set the timer for 5 minutes and when it rings, the girls know it is time to switch places and set the timer for another 5 minutes! This also works when we have a toy that BOTH girls want at the same time.

Cleaning time: Let's see how many toys we can pick up in 10 minutes!

At the swimming pool: The girls love to swim but I don't always want to spend all day at the pool, so we bring the kitchen timer and set it for 60 minutes. When it rings the girls RARELY give me trouble about getting out.

Bath time: Audrey LOVES bath time and she would stay in there ALL day long if I would let her. I let Audrey know that she can play in the bath for 30 minutes "that's a long time". When the timer rings she knows it is time to wash and get out.

Using a timer with the girls, I think, has given them a sense of time and is also teaching them the value of time! I LOVE MY TIMER!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oreo Truffles

The Young Women in our ward are doing a yard/bake sale to earn money for camp this weekend, SOOOO I thought I'd throw together some Oreo Truffles to help them out! Some of my sweet friends came over to help me with this project (I'm so grateful they did because it would have taken me 2 days by myself and we did it in 2 hours)! Thanks guys! Here's the recipe in case you want to whip some up!

Oreo Truffles

1 package of Oreos (I use Walmart brand)
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (room temp)
1 1/2 pkg chocolate flavored almond bark

Place the Oreos in a bag, crush them with a rolling pin until fairly fine. In a large mixing bowl, place crushed Oreos and cream cheese. Mix together until completely combined. (If you have a Kitchenaid type mixer, I recommend using it in this step. Although you will miss out on a REALLY great arm workout)!
Use a cookie scoop/mellon baller to scoop balls on to a wax paper lined tray. Place full trays in the freezer for 10 min. After your truffles are chilled, drop one truffle at a time in melted almond bark (I melt mine in a microwave safe container in the nuker for about a minute and a half). Cover completely in chocolate and pull out with a fork letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, thus conserving chocolate. Place on a clean sheet of parchment or wax paper and let stand until hardened.

Devour or store in air tight containers.

(We packaged the ones we made in food grade treat bags that I purchased at Walmart in the party section. Finished truffled should be stored in the fridge.)

Happy Oreo Truffling!

-The Domestic Diva

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Domestic Disaster

It has been 2 months since my last Blog post. Not because I don't love blogging, but more for the fact that I have felt like the DOMESTIC DISASTER rather than the Domestic Diva. It seems like every year around March I just really struggle to find a positive outlook on life. This winter was NEVER ENDING and it seemed so were the blahs!

SPRING has arrived! The trees are green the sky is blue again and all is right with the world! I feel my soul starting to blossom once more. Perhaps my previously frozen river of creativity will flow once again!

-The Domestic Diva

Friday, February 11, 2011

New spin on an old classic! TOMATO SOUP!!!

Have ya ever wondered what that vegetable is in the store that looks kind of like celery but has a large bulb at the bottom and feathery green stuff coming out of the top? It's FENNEL (aka anise)! I had never tasted this strange creature until my mission in Italy. It is amazing and I thought I'd show you what you can do with it. Today we are going to make Tomato Fennel soup. I can't remember where I got the recipe, I don't have it written down anywhere, it is so easy I just remember it. So here ya go!

1- fennel bulb
1- medium onion
1-clove garlic
1- 28 oz can tomato pure' or crushed tomatoes
4-cups chicken broth (I use 4 chicken bullion cubes + 4 cups water )
1-tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Cut the top and bottom off the fennel bulb then dice it. Peel and dice the onion and garlic (I cheat and use bottled minced garlic which you can find in the produce section of a super market near you). Heat a your olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and toss in the fennel, onion and garlic and saute until tender and slightly caramel colored on the edges (3-5 min). Put your chicken broth in a blender and add the sauteed veggies. Blend the heck out of them. Meanwhile in a large pot pour your tomatoes in and heat over med heat. When your veggies are sufficiently pulverized, add the mixture to the tomatoes. Stir and bring to a slow boil. Serve and enjoy. You can garnish it with a piece of that funky feathery stuff from the fennel or sprinkle with cheese. This is a great soup with cheese sandwiches!


-The Domestic Diva

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A "Fancy Trick" (By Audrey Fiack)

We were getting ready to go somewhere the other day and Audrey came up to me and said, "Wanna see my fancy trick?". Check out the link below to Youtube. I've tried to upload the video directly here on my blog with no luck.

Thank you, Ms Terri and Ms Kim at First Presby Preschool of Charleston, WV you've made my life so much easier!! I am forever in your debt!