Monday, April 6, 2015

An Easy Sweet!

Sunbeam Mini Cake Maker 
Look what I just made!  5 1/2 dozen gluten free mini cakes, in my new Mini Cake Maker.  I used the King Arthur yellow cake mix, mixed as directed  and added 1 tsp vanilla.  I have a few gatherings in the next couple months, that I'm hosting/helping host: wedding shower (neighbors daughter), my daughters First Communion, a birthday party...
I'm freezing these and will use as needed.  It'll be fun to frost and decorate these little nuggets. 
If you have children of any age or just like baking this is a game changer.  Easy clean up. 

XOXOXO, Darlene 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Love Letter

Let me start by saying I love you.  For the last 15 months I've been asking myself 'what's next Darlene?'  Being a chef can be taxing on one's body.  When I have an event, I'm in a non stop mode for 4-5 days and on my feet for 12-16 hours.  To sleep for 24 hours after each event would be a dream, it takes me a couple days to recoup. This is why the "what's next" question has been so loud in my mind.  I started to reflect on what I've enjoyed in my career history, and it brings me back to Real Estate.  I got my RE License in 2004, had my first and only child (Carmella) in 2006.  In 2008 Dave and I decided that staying home with Carmella would be the best thing I could do for our family.  It was my pleasure.  Carmella and I joined a neighborhood playgroup, a few months later Honey Girl Kitchen was born.  These lovely mommies loved the homemade snacks I'd make when I hosted playgroup and so it began.  My first client was Kelly Gordon, thank you!  Baptisms, First Communions, Birthdays, this is how I became an accidental caterer.  I have enjoyed being of service and sharing my gift.  So grateful for the trust and referrals that made my business bloom.  Throughout these years I continued my RE education never letting my RE License expire.  Real Estate was the long term goal as a career...I can sell RE all my life, catering not so much. 
I've built some beautiful friendships while catering.  I ask for your love, kindness, prayers and support in my transition.  I will continue to provide monthly specials the first Thursday of every month plus an update of my transition.      
As of March 9, 2015 I joined CLAY STAPP + CO. Looking forward to the joy of finding my future clients a home

I will still maintain this blog...I will continue to share recipes and post pictures of our family dinner parties.

With so much love, Darlene Rosen

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No Bake Cheese Cake

I feel I need to confess...only because this cheesecake is soooo delicious.  Confession: this is the 2nd pie in 5 days. The first one lasted 24 hours.  We'll see how long this one lasts.  In our home we all equally adore plain cheesecake and you'll find that it's the norm to request it vs a traditional birthday cake.   Every now and then we'll add a french orange marmalade or a french raspberry preserve. 

I came upon this recipe a week ago.  It's Martha Stewart's 'No Bake Cheesecake' it sounded familiar, if I've made it before it's been ages.  

Honey Girl Kitchen's No Bake Cheesecake 

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed cookies (graham, shortbread...whatever you love or have)              
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (salted or unsalted...whatever you have)            
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature       
  • 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk       
  •  zest of 2 lemons     
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract   
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional...this topping makes it an over the top slice)   
  1. Put cookies in a ziploc, crush them with a rolling pin.  Finely.
  2. Put crumbs into pie pan. Add butter, and stir until well combined.

  3. Press the crumb mixture press flat. Freeze crust while you mix up the filling.

  4. In a large mixing bowl add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT sour cream.  Mix on medium to high till smooth (whatever powerful mixer/blender of sort you have).
  5. Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap freeze for 1 hour. 
  6. Top with sour cream.  Refrigerate till serving time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Children Can Set The Entire Table

china + glassware + placemats placed in bottom drawer

Why did I not think of this sooner?  Today  a light bulb turned on when I was cleaning the bottom kitchen drawer...mind you the only bottom drawer.  I have a 1931 kitchen...3 cabinets and 3 drawers. I live with a voice inside my head "Darlene what's wrong with you? Please be tidier."   Then I delightfully respond to the voice "self please, the kitchen is tiny I'm just doing the best I can ❤️". 

My 8 year old, Carmella, has been helping me set the table daily for the last 4 years.  I normally hand her the china and drinking glasses.  She can reach the silverware, napkins and filtered water.  Today all that will change, she will now be able to set the entire table all by herself.   She's good at it too.  All china is set right side up if there is a design, plate straight if squared, water to the right, fork and napkin on the left, spoon/knife if needed on right.  I showed her the drawer and she was pleased.  Next I'll have her load the dishwasher, currently she's still to short to navigate the sink water properly.

Image result for place setting for kids
everyday place setting

Carmella loves responsibilities even if she seems a bit resistant...that's when I reiterate "this is our home and it takes all of us to run a house...we each need to do our part."   Saying those words also helps me not feel as though I'm asking for too much "it's our home".  

Carmella's contribution: setting the table perfectly, vacuum (as best she can), make her bed (as best she can), feed the pooches dinner, set her alarm clock, fold towels and put her clothes on hangers or drawers (still working on neatness).

May your tidiness be ...intentionally delightful.
xoxoxo, Darlene

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goals or Resolutions?

I choose to set goals.  I like that word best. 
My goal planning starts over the holidays during road trips and I finish them up New Year's Day.  My goals will change, be edited and rewritten all year long.  Goal planning is a road map for me...makes me want to be a better version of me.  Goal categories: personal, family and professional...the personal category is broken down to: fitness, social, spiritual, nutrition, reading, financial and kitchen goals.  Do I keep them all? No. However I accomplish more by writing them down vs just thinking about them. 
Happy New Year...wish you love, health and prosperity in 2015.  
Xoxo, Darlene

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Leftovers...

A Christmas Post...
It's Christmas!  What a beautiful day.  Woke up, made breakfast.  Mass at noon.  Christmas lunch at 2pm.  After lunch we spent the day in the back garden till dusk.  Grateful for my family, friends and acquaintances.
My niece, Clarissa, just had a baby boy on the 23rd.  I made little hobo turkey packets from our leftover Christmas lunch for her.  These can be put directly into a oven, 375F 20-25minutes.
Normally I just freeze the items separately, however, I was trying to think of a method of getting Clarissa small meals to have on hand.  Then the idea came...leftover Turkey dinner hobo packets.  We're a bit alike in that neither of us use a microwave.  We both have Breville ovens that we use daily, several times a day.  These packets will work just fine for a new mom.  I'm freezing them and will deliver tomorrow.  Babies are a gift. So grateful. xoxo.

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Lunch

Leftovers...turkey, dressing, veggies, mashed potatoes & gravy on parchment

Wrapped and labeled...ready for freezer

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Orange Kissed Cranberry Sauce

HGK Orange Kissed Cranberry Sauce

Tomorrows Thanksgiving! 
I don't have to make cranberry sauce because my niece, Danielle, is bringing it. However, I always like to make it to share with friends and family. XO.

Orange Kissed Cranberry Sauce

2 cups of orange juice
2 cups of Piloncillo/Panela (unrefined whole cane sugar)
3 vanilla pods
6 cups of fresh cranberries
4 apples peeled and cubed (if organic leave the peel on)
1 tsp orange zest or good good Orange Extract (today I used extract because I did not have oranges)

In a dutch oven bring the OJ, sugar and vanilla pods to a boil.  Add the apple cubes, boil for 10 minutes.  Add the cranberries, boil for 10 minutes.  Add the zest or extract.
Once 3/4 of the cranberries have popped and all is nice and thick it's ready!

This is a refrigerator version.