1. I don’t rinse my quinoa before I cook it. I mean, how does anyone really rinse quinoa without losing it all down the drain? The only thing I can think of is to use cheesecloth, but its expensive and I haven’t had a problem yet with any grittiness or bad flavor. Maybe I’m just a rebel.

2. I’m a recovering pastaholic. I was doing SO GOOD, was about 3 weeks pasta free and then moving hit me. And it became easy to just make pasta for dinner. It was in the pantry, and I was trying to eat our way through the food before our move. No joke, we had 10 lbs alone of spaghetti, and it just has to get eaten. Once we move, back to pasta free meals. I swear.

3. I’m obsessed with my dog. But I think you all knew that. I would be a happy camper to just have dogs forever. Who needs kids when dogs are loyal, don’t talk back, don’t ask for money, or go to college. Sure mine whines a bit, tracks in the bugs and mud, has the most disgusting farts after he eats wet food, and loves to roll around in the sand after jumping in the river. But I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.

Grif Continue reading

Spring Cupcakes: Almond with Raspberry Buttercream

With Easter right around the corner, I wanted to make a nice light spring cupcake to bring to my family’s celebrations. These are easy to make, and such a lovely pink color! I also have to confess, I’m on an almond kick lately. Apologies in advance to anyone with a nut allergy, but you could of course omit the almond aspect of this recipe and just make the raspberry buttercream.

Almond Cupcake with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream Continue reading

The Thing About House Hunting…

It’s awful. I was so excited to start this process, but now I absolutely can’t wait for it to be over. I’m a planner. I like being able to control things, make plans and execute them. I’ve quickly realized that control is not possible through this process, and that patience, flexibility, and open-mindedness is key.

Here is the thing. I’m not a patient person. I don’t like surprises or the unknown. As a result, I feel as if I’ve turned into a Tasmanian Devil, or Stitch, or one of those purple Minions from Despicable Me 2.

I know my stress level right now isn’t entirely due to this house hunting process. My company just laid off quite a few people from my department this week, including individuals on my team. It was a devastating loss, and will mean massive changes for me. Little old me, at the ripe age of 25 can now say that she’s survived 2 rounds of layoffs and outsourcing.

Then there is the question of the house we’re currently renting. This house is being put on the market very soon, and the ticking clock is wearing at me, as is the realization of how much work it will be to make sure the house is in good shape to be shown. I have a new respect for people who sell their home, it certainly isn’t an easy time!

These reasons, combined with the week we’ve had house hunting, is the reason why I feel like a monster.

I didn’t realize how quickly things change when you’re looking at houses. Here was our week:

Saturday: Saw 3 more houses, one with lots of potential but no garage. Started seriously considering putting an offer on the home.

Sunday: Find out previous issues with an inspection on said home, start looking for information on issue, cost to repair, etc.

Monday: Seller decides to pull house off the market and we’re back to square one.

Tuesday: House we previously loved but had a contract on it already is back on the market, went to go see it, but it’s a huge disappointment

Wednesday: Keep searching/Waiting

Thursday: Find a new house to check out, see it that evening, put an offer on it!

Friday: Sellers make counter offer, but want to close end of June due to them building their own home. Of course, this conflicts with our plans to move out in April due to the current house going on the market. A few more counter offers made by both sides.

At this point, we dare to hope that this is almost over! We’re hoping to have a contract by the end of the day today, then we can set up the inspection and appraisal, start shopping for insurance, and get our documents together for our mortgage! We’re not out of the woods yet, I know a lot can happen from here. I’m just praying my stress level goes somewhat back to normal.

Wishful thinking? Stay tuned.


Exciting News and Update

I’m sure you were all worried about me. Maybe you thought I got lost in an epic Nor’easter never to return to my little blog. Sure felt like it at times, but I am back and ready to come back strong! I have some updates for you folks, an explanation as to where I’ve been, and exciting news!

One of the biggest reasons I’ve been silent is because I lost the battery charger for my camera. I was about to take some pictures of a recent snowfall when the little battery light flashed and then the camera died. I trudged inside to charge it up only to discover I couldn’t find the darned charger! I searched for 2 months. Not constantly, but for two months I thought eventually it had to turn up. This past week I resigned myself that it was time to plunk down the money for a new one, and now my camera has been resurrected. This will explain why all my pictures in this post are via Instagram.

The second reason I’ve been so quiet is due to some lifestyle changes I’ve made. I had my first physical since before I went to college and had what I call “adult blood work” done. A few days later I got a call from my doctor’s office, who said “Time to cut back on carbs and sugar.”

My reaction: Utter devastation. My readers probably have noticed that I’m a huge fan of both carbohydrates and sugar. In fact, my husband and I ate pasta every night to save money. This was me before, all pasta, cupcakes, and yeasty bread:

Carb Lover Continue reading

Happy Blog Birthday!

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Domestic Quest. What a year it has been! I have learned quite a bit over the course of this year, not just about food and crafts, but photography, social media, etc. In honor of this momentous occasion, I ate a cupcake. In case you were wondering, this was a Thin Mint Cupcake, and if it has “thin” in the title, then there are no calories. I keep telling myself that anyway.

Happy Birthday

This past year, by a landslide my most popular post was my buffalo chicken dip. This dip has been hailed by some as “The best buffalo dip they have ever had.” If you haven’t had a chance to check out that post yet, see it here. For those of you trying to stick to their resolutions, I include instructions there on how this can be made low-fat. Well, lower anyway.

My favorite type of post is my Mixed Review series.  This year, my favorite item was the Stonewall Kitchen Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix. And FYI guys, this mix was on sale last I checked on their website! Now is a great time to stock up. This gloriously delicious breakfast was made all the better by the addition of the butter pecan syrup and candied pecans. Yum.

SK Butter Pecan Syrup

Those were the days. I am currently on the hunt for new mixes to test, and I will also be delving into other areas this year, so stay tuned!

Thank you to all my readers over the past year, thank you to my ever patient husband for putting up with my shenanigans, and thank you to my mom for being one of my biggest supporters. I can’t wait to share the next chapter of my journey with you all!

Stay tuned…

New Year/ Updates

As we rapidly approach the first anniversary of this blog, (YAY!) I start to look to the next year and my goals.  I’m hoping that you will start to see a shift in the types of posts published because I’m hoping to buy a house this year!  I had always intended that this blog document our first-time home buying process, and fixing up whatever home we buy.  Hopefully you will all start to see that dream come to life shortly.  In the meantime, thank you all for patiently reading and growing with me as I learn about blogging, photography, cooking, and crafting.  This journey for me is only beginning, and I’m so excited to see what 2014 and the second year of Domestic Quest brings.  Here are some updates on what I’m up to lately, since I’ve been pretty quiet around here:

Right now, I’m crazy obsessed with learning all about yeast and trying my hand at bread.  As usual, I’ve had quite a few failures in this journey, but the successes are so fantastic and tasty with salty butter slathered on top.  I recently purchased a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, so I’m trying to figure out this whole dough hook thing and not overly mix the dough.  Reading the recipe helps as well.

I have also resolved to lose the weight I have gained after my wedding!  Juggling my cooking/ baking/ bread obsession and weight loss should be interesting, but I’m finding help with a nifty app on my phone, and friendly competition at work.  Four days into my resolution, I’ve lost four pounds, and rediscovered my love of Zumba dance workouts in the privacy of my own home thanks to YouTube.

As I mentioned previously, my husband and I are going to be building some furniture for ourselves.  Though we now have the wood and tools, as you may have noticed its winter up here in New England, and bitterly cold.  This makes me not want to spend any more time in cold than I have to, and the garage is just that.  I’m thinking this project may be put on hold for a few weeks till we start to thaw.  In reality, it could be a few months. *Pouts.*

Hopefully I’ll have some more exciting material to post soon, so stay tuned on this saga of domesticity!


Watch out…

I’m about to start woodworking!  Scary, right?  Luckily, I have a husband who is completely supportive of this adventure and has some experience in the area.  When I approached him with the plans for a beautiful farmhouse style dining room table, he was on board.  He bought some tools, made himself a workbench and now the fun part begins!  *I hope!* Here is what we’re hoping for:

Ana White Farmhouse TableTBD if we use the plans from Ana White’s blog.

Stay tuned!

A Very Gourmet Christmas

I keep seeing all these wonderful “foodie” gift ideas, and had to share some of these with you guys since Christmas is right around the corner.  If you have a baker or cook in your life who seems to have everything, check out some of my suggestions below.  Some of these products I have, and others I just stumbled upon and thought they looked super cool.

1. Ever do cheese platters for parties?  I personally don’t because I’m not a “cheese person” but thought these were pretty cute.  These earthenware cheese markers come in a set of six.  Pair it with a slate cheese board and your party is in business!

Cheese Markers

Continue reading

Mixed Review: Pumpkin Streusel Cake

I haven’t done a mixed review in quite a while.  I have tried a few mixes here and there, but haven’t bothered typing up my scathing reviews.  I should probably do that.  Regardless, just in time for the holiday next week, I present another pumpkin dessert.  This mix is from King Arthur Flour, and sells for $9.95.  My husband got this mix as a birthday present to me.  Strangely enough, all of my birthday presents were mixes of his favorite foods.  Coincidence?  I think not.

This mix has been sitting in my pantry next to the pumpkin doughnut mix for months.  The time has come to whip this batter into shape!  Har har.

Pumpkin Cake Continue reading

Perfect Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

When I first met my husband, he told me a story of the night he put away an entire pumpkin pie at Denny’s.  He is proud of that accomplishment.  I am not a fan of the traditional pumpkin pie recipe that is on the can of Libby’s, which is what I always ate as a kid.  I decided that to win that boy’s heart, I would have to knock his socks off with the perfect pumpkin pie recipe.  This pie came about after years of experimentation, and through the continued encouragement of my husband.  I never get tired of hearing his praise over this pie.  I prefer this recipe for two reasons:

1. Its sweet.  I like sweet.

2. The flavor is over the top.  I add way more spice to this pie than I have ever seen in any other pumpkin pie recipe.  Feel free to tone it down, but I think it’s the perfect amount and always think there could be a little more spice in it.  My husband, the pumpkin pie connoisseur, agrees with me on this point.

Domestic Quest- Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Now, this is the first time I have ever written this recipe down.  Each time I make the pie I adjust slightly based on the size of the pies (8 or 9 inch, deep dish or regular) to make sure I have enough filling.  This will easily fill 2 9 inch pies,, or 2 8 inch deep dish pies. Continue reading


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