Recipes Mangia Mondays Home

Monday, February 28, 2011

apple cinnamon oatmeal bread

hello, sweet friends.
thanks for sticking with me while i was in my rut.

i'm back now,
& better than ever.
all i can say is:
thank goodness it's almost march.
thank goodness i only have 2 midterms left.
thank goodness i have an amazing family
{who gets me through}.
thank goodness i have you. :)
& thank goodness i have disney world.

that's right...
my mom surprised me with a trip in may.
i'm so excited!
not just because disney is my favorite place on earth,
but because i get to spend time with my mom.

now, on to the good stuff:

apple cinnamon oatmeal bread

1/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c water
1 3/4 c applesauce
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c wheat flour
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1-2 Tbs brown sugar, for sprinkling

1. preheat oven to 350 f.

2. cream together the butter & sugar. add eggs, water & applesauce.

3. to the creamed mixture, add the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder & nutmeg.

4. pour into greased bundt pan or 2 loaf pans.

5. sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the batter.

6. bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire cooling rack. cool completely before slicing.

until next time,

dowlings, out!
{oh yeah! i cut my bangs. :)}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


i'm horribly ashamed,
dear blog friends.

it seems as though february has left me quite uninspired to blog...
and i feel terrible.

even now,
i have nothing more to say than
i'm sorry...
& i will try harder.
but, i'm in a bit of a funk.
both personally & blogally (new word?).

while i try & figure this out,
i want to leave you with a new favorite band:

the maccabees.
{where have you been all my life?}

until next time,
dowlings out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

friday etsy finds

hello, all.
coming from california,
i love the beach
& everything nautical.
living in new mexico...
i'm surrounded by desert
& cacti.

today, i'm lusting over all things

today, i am honored to be guest posting at

make sure you check out the post
for delicious
they're ahhhh-mazing!

& leave lisa a comment...
because she's super incredible.

until next time,
dowlings, out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

chocolate espresso mousse

hello, friends!

today i am bringing you dessert from our
if you haven't already,
make sure you check out the entree:

this dessert...
yum, yum, yum.
it's so simple, too!
i promise... easy peasy.

if you didn't want to make the chocolate cups,
you could serve them in small bowls
or even shot glasses.
would be adorable!

chocolate espresso mousse

3 T brewed coffee
3 T instant espresso coffee powder
1 C whipping cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken up
3 T superfine sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. in a small saucepan, combine the brewed coffee & instant espresso powder. stir in the cream. place over medium high heat until the cream is hot.

2. add the chocolate & sugar & stir until chocolate is melted. stir in the vanilla.

3. pour into a bowl & chill for 3 hours, or until firm.

for the chocolate cups, watch this video:
how could i not have thought of that!?
i'm addicted to all of these how-to chocolate videos.

for the chocolate hearts,
i used the left over tempered chocolate
from the cups,
transferred it to a squeeze bottle,
& freehanded some hearts.

just make sure you do all of this chocolate work on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so you can refrigerate it & pull them off easily.

pour the hot mousse into the chocolate cups.
you'll melt them, silly!
wait for the mousse to cool & transfer it to the cups.

now, go get your chocolate on!

until next time,
dowlings, out!

i'm linking this post to

It's a Keeper

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

coq au vin & gratin dauphinois

happy tuesday, friends!

like i promised,
here are the first couple of recipes from our

this would be a great date meal...
or, if you're trying to impress your family
{or put them in a food coma}
or, just a different weekend dinner.

first up:
gratin dauphinois
{or, au gratin potatoes}

2 lbs, 4 oz potatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C gruyère cheese, grated
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 1/4 C heavy cream
1/2 C milk

1. preheat the oven to 325 f.

2. thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin. butter a 9"x6 1/2" baking dish & layer the potatoes, sprinkling the garlic, grated cheese, nutmeg, salt & pepper between the layers. save some of the cheese for the top! you should have 3 layers of potatoes... and on the top layer, stop with the potatoes. pour the cream & milk over the top & sprinkle with the cheese.
**i love things extra cheesy... so i used closer to 3/4-1C.

3. bake 50-60 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked & the liquid absorbed. if the top browns too much, cover loosely with foil. let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

baby was being so helpful.
every time i dropped something,
she would lick it up.

and now:
coq au vin
{or, chicken with wine}

2, 3 1/2 lb chickens
1 bottle red wine
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
9 oz bacon, diced
3 oz butter
20 pearl onions
{i used 3 sweet onions, cut into 1/8ths}
9 oz button mushrooms, cleaned & trimmed
1 tsp oil
1/4 C all-purpose flour
4 C chicken stock
1/2 C brandy
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 T softened butter
1 T all-purpose flour
2 T chopped parsley

1. joint each chicken into 8 pieces.
i found this video to be very helpful:
{thank goodness there's a youtube!}

2. put the wine, bay leaves, thyme & some salt & pepper in a large bowl & add the chicken. cover & leave to marinate, preferably overnight.

3. blanch the bacon in boiling water, then drain, pat dry, & saute in a frying pan until golden. lift out onto a plate. melt 1/4 of the butter in the pan, add the onions & saute until browned. lift out & set aside.

4. melt another 1/4 of the butter in the pan. add the mushrooms & season with salt & pepper. saute for 5 minutes. remove & set aside.

5. drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, & pat the chicken dry. season with salt & pepper. add the remaining butter & oil to the frying pan, add the chicken & saute until golden. stir in flour.
{i did all of this in one pan, a 7.5 qt. french oven. it wasn't big enough to accommodate all of the chicken at once, so i did 1/2 at a time... worked out just fine. :)}

6. transfer the chicken to a large saucepan or casserole & add the stock. pour the brandy into the frying pan & boil, stirring, for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan. pour over the chicken.
{if you're like me & only want to dirty the one pan, remove the chicken from the pan & set aside. then add the brandy to deglaze the pan. add the stock, then the chicken. not only am i just dirtying one pan, but i'm also ensuring that all of the tasty brown bits will flavor my sauce because i'm not losing anything while switching pans!}

7. add the marinade, onions, mushrooms, bacon & tomato paste. cook over moderate heat for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

8. if the sauce needs thickening, lift out the chicken & vegetables & bring the sauce to a boil. mix together the butter & flour to make a beurre manie & whisk into the sauce. boil, whisking, for 2 minutes until thickened. add the parsley and return the chicken & vegetables to the sauce.

this is the chicken after i took it out of the marinade
& patted it dry...
it's purple!

i just set up a sheet pan
{lined with foil so it's one less dish to clean!}
to hold everything after i sauteed it.
chicken is still purple!

and the finished product:

hope this inspires you to try something new!

until next time,
dowlings, out!

i'm linking this post to:


Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's feast

hello, lovely blog family.
sorry to have been m.i.a. the last few days!
but i have been a very very busy girl.

friday evening was family dinner
& the family get together for my birthday
& my niece, missy's, birthday.
bbq steak
grilled veggies
& bbq potatoes with onions.

saturday, andrew & i went grocery shopping
to prepare for the enormous feast i made this evening.
we also cleaned house.

sunday was my birthday...
we went to brunch at one of my favorite local spots:
if you ever visit albuquerque
you must go there.

i had a mocha:

and the grove pancakes:

yum x infinity.

yesterday was also filled with tons of prep work
for tonight's dinner.

i decided that i didn't want to go out on valentine's day.
it's a hassle.
& why go out when i can cook just as good of a meal at home?
{for 1/2 the price!!}

so, we invited andrew's brother & his partner
& andrew's parents over for a delicious


i wanted it to feel like a nice restaurant,
so i made a menu & framed it
& set up a nice little table scape.

i will be posting recipes & pictures all this week...
but for now, i'll leave you with the menu:
{& hopefully anticipation!}

{click image to enlarge}

well, until tomorrow!

dowlings, out!

you must make your own mayo.
(it's essentially the same thing as aioli.
i added some extra herbs to make it an excellent dip for the crudite.)
it's very simple
but the taste difference is remarkable.

1 egg yolk
1 c vegetable oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. in a food processor, add egg yolk & lemon juice.
have your oil ready to pour.

2. turn processor on low speed and start slowly drizzling oil in a thin, steady stream.
*you may need to add more or less oil.

3. stop when the consistency is that of... mayo!

seriously... amazing stuff!
here is a closer picture of the aioli & crudite!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

wilton decorating class: week 2

let me tell you:
i love this class.
it's a lot of fun
& i'm learning new techniques.
let me also prepare you if you ever plan on taking these classes:
they are EXPENSIVE.

when i walked into hobby lobby
& was approached by the instructor,
he said it was $20
& that it included the book.
well, super!
i can swing $20 for a 4 week class!
& if the book is included?
what a deal!


yes, the class is $20.
you will spend a lot on supplies.
not just money, but time.
i don't know what i was expecting...
but this wasn't it!

don't get me wrong,
i love love love the class
& am really excited to be taking it!
i just wish they had better explained the true cost.

anywho, on to the exciting stuff!

i got to decorate a cake tonight!
i baked a single layer 8" white cake
(if you haven't tried this product, you need to! it worked amazingly!)
and torted it.

can i just tell you how cool this tool is?
it makes leveling your cakes a breeze!
i'd say it's a must have for anyone who enjoys baking!

so after i got all that done,
we built a dam with icing on the first layer, filled it in, & stacked the second layer on top.
did you know that if you put a toothpick in the same spot on both layers, it's way easier to align your cake? ;) who knew!?

next was the crumb coat.
& then the top coat.
tip: when doing your final, smooth coat, don't go back & forth with your spatula! that's how you get crumbs!! if you go in one direction, you're doing great! also, if you get the viva brand paper towels, they work great to get all of the spatula marks off of your cake. (the paper towels have virtually no pattern!) basically, you lay the paper towel on your cake & smooth it out with your hands (light, even pressure, of course!). it really works wonders... you'd be amazed.

after allllll that work
i finally got to decorate.
did i take a single picture?
i'm a bad blogger!
but, honestly, the cake was not something i'm terribly proud of.
i'm excited about the techniques i'm learning...
not of the decorating the instructor is making me do.

if you guys would like to read up on some helpful tips, i highly recommend the decorating basics page on the wilton website. they really do know what they are talking about when it comes to this stuff. :)

sorry that was such a long post!
& with no pictures!

until tomorrow, friends!
dowlings, out!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

wee bit of me wedneday

i'm linking up with
my leigh ashley
wee bit of me wednesday!

here we go:

{one} ice: crushed or cubed?
crushed. & to agree with everyone:
sonic definitely has the best ice.
terrible for your teeth, but so good to crunch!

{two} what is your worst traffic pet peeve?
when people don't do the "thank you wave."

{three} what room in your house best represents your personality?
probably the kitchen or living room.

{four} do you save old birthday cards?
i do.
i probably have close to 100.
& it's not just birthday cards.
i have all of the notes i got from friends back in middle school & high school, everything.
it's a tad ridiculous.

{five} when was the last time you went on a picnic?
the summer of 2009.
we got a really great picnic basket as a wedding gift.

{six} do you regularly check your horoscope?

{seven} when you’re home, what do you wear on your feet?
$4.76 clearance slipper boot things i got at target.
our house is FREEEEEEEZING.

{eight} what’s your favorite gambling game?
the game of texas.
here's a good story/memory i had forgotten about until now!
the hubs & i were visiting my grandparents in 2006 (or something) & my cousin alexa was visiting, too.
she was 7 at the time. she wanted to play a card game... so we played go fish & crazy 8's & old maid... but she got bored. so, i taught her "the game of texas." basically, i made up this ridiculous game that she couldn't lose. i spelled out the word TEXAS with the cards & she just flipped them over. every time she flipped over a card, i would make up what it meant.
...i guess there wasn't any gambling involved.
but i don't gamble.
so that's the closest i've got!

{nine} have you ever written (or started writing) a book?
no... this blog is about as good as it gets!

{ten} what is your favorite musical?
i just posted about wicked last night...
but my *true* favorite is...
singin' in the rain.

until tomorrow, folks!
dowlings, out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


tonight was great.
wanna know why?
because i saw wicked...again.
& the hubs got amazing seats.
third row. dead center.

it's such a wonderful show.
and i still cried.
if you get the chance,
you need to see it.

it's 11:30.
after a 90 minute first act
20 minute intermission
60 minute second act
20 minute parking garage battle
& 20 minute ride home
i'm tuckered out.

until tomorrow, friends,

dowlings, out!

Monday, February 7, 2011

baby {the dog}

hello, friends.
i would like to introduce you to our new fur baby:

we got her from my mama...
and aren't too keen on the name,
but haven't thought of anything clever, yet.

she's quite lovable.
full of slobbery kisses,
late night snores,
and lots of extra poundage.
but we love her...
a lot.

now that we have 2 pups,

{don't forget about sweet muffin!}

there's a lot of poop.
& since the hubs & i don't have a whole lot of time
{& we don't particularly like picking up poop in our free time}
why not use:
if you live in albuquerque/rio rancho,
check them out!
they are affordable
& they get rid of poop!
...what more could you ask for?!

until tomorrow,

dowlings, out!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

blt pasta

just like yesterday,
we're looking for ways to use the obscene amount of bacon we got from costco.

i got this recipe from
she even won a recent williams sonoma contest with this one pot gem!

one pot blt pasta
adapted from it's a keeper

12 slices of bacon, cooked, crumbled & divided
1 Tbs bacon drippings
4 C chicken broth
1-2 lg tomatoes, diced
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
12 oz. uncooked linguine pasta
15-18 basil leaves, chiffonade cut, divided
4 oz. cream cheese
1 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
zest of 1/2 a lemon

1. place broth & tomatoes in a large, microwave safe bowl. microwave, covered, on high for 6-8 minutes, or until hot.

2. meanwhile, add bacon drippings to a large pot (that has a lid!) over medium-high heat. add shallot & red pepper flakes. saute for 2-3 minutes or until tender. add garlic and cook 10-20 seconds. add broth mixture, pasta, & half the cooked bacon. simmer, covered, 9-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked, but still firm... al dente! stir occasionally.

3. remove skillet from heat. add cream cheese, lemon zest, & half the basil. cover & let stand for 5 minutes or until pasta is tender & sauce is thickened.

4. serve with remaining bacon, grated parmesan, & basil as garnish.

in other news,
the water filter in our garage fridge broke...
and there was water everywhere.

luckily, it didn't happen inside!

until tomorrow,

{very tired} dowlings, out!

i'm linking this post to


Saturday, February 5, 2011

maple bacon cupcakes

what happens when you buy bacon at costco?
you have a lot of bacon.

these maple bacon cupcakes are a delicious way to use up some of that bacon!

maple bacon cupcakes
adapted from

for cupcakes:
4 1/2 Tbs butter, room temperature
1/2 Tbs bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
1 egg
1/4 C + 1 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 C maple syrup
1 1/4 C self rising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 C milk
1/4 C cooked & drained bacon, minced

1. preheat oven to 325 f. line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. beat together butter & bacon drippings until light and creamy. add the brown sugar & maple syrup & beat until well combined.

3. add the egg and beat until incorporated.

4. sift together the flour, salt, baking soda & powder.

5. add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture & mix well, then add 1/2 the milk & mix well. repeat until all the milk & flour are incorporated (make sure you end with the dry ingredients).

6. fold in the bacon. taste and add more syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, & that maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
*i added another Tbs of milk & syrup, as my batter was very thick.

7. divide batter evenly, filling 1/2 - 3/4 full. bake 18-22 minutes.
*18 minutes was perfect for me.

for frosting:
1/2 C butter
1/4 C maple syrup
2 C powdered sugar
turbinado sugar, for garnish
course grain sea salt, for garnish
bacon crumbles, for garnish

1. in a large bowl, beat syrup & butter until combined. add the sugar, a bit at a time, & whip until combined.

2. transfer frosting to a 1qt. ziploc bag. cut the tip from one side & pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

3. garnish with sugar, salt, & bacon.

yum, yum, yum.
though, i think next time i make them, i'll make a basic vanilla cake and add maple syrup to that instead of the vanilla & some liquid. while this cake was excellent, it was very dense & kind of floury. it'll just take some experimentation!!

hope you have a great saturday!
until next time,

dowlings, out!

i'm linking this post to


Friday, February 4, 2011

friday etsy finds

howdy, friends!
our lovely nieces, hannah & vanessa, are spending the night.
we think they're pretty great.

i'm bringing you another edition of
friday etsy finds.
the theme this week?
we'll call it

here we go!

5. lace tunic - found @ lirola

i love everything.
don't you?

tomorrow is bake day!

until then -

dowling, out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

wilton decorating class!

hello, sweet friends!

thursday nights are going to be super fun for me for the next few weeks.
i'm currently taking:

tonight, i learned how to make buttercream frosting
ice a cake
and use a star tip.
woo hoo!

now, i knew how to make buttercream
and i knew how to ice a cake
but my piping skills are less than adequate.

i've got to say,
i'm now a pro with the star tip!

i'll make sure and take pictures next week when we get to decorate an actual cake! i'm pretty pumped... :)
& i really want this.
but, even with a 40% off coupon from michaels or hobby lobby i couldn't afford it!
so, i will make due with my hodge podge of decorating tools
and ooh & ahh at the girl in my class who has it.

friends, i realize i have not posted a recipe in a while!
but with my mama here
and all the crazy snow we've had lately,
i haven't made anything super awesome.

this weekend, i promise i will bring you some fantastic dessert-type-things.

until then,

dowlings, out!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

stylish & versatile blogger awards

*updated 4.06.2011*

in case you didn't know,
gave me the

gave me the

since the requirements of the awards are the same,
i've combined them into one post!

to accept these awards, i must:

1. thank & link back to the wonderful blogger who gave me this award
2. share 7 things about myself
3. award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. contact the bloggers and inform them of the award

so here we go!

7 things about me:

1. my favorite thing to do is stay home with the hubs in our jammies & watch netflix. seriously.

2. i can beat super mario world on the snes in less than one day... including all the secrets, star worlds, & extreme worlds. i'm awesome.

3. i really love playing hostess. it brings my heart so much joy to cook and entertain my friends & family.

4. i'm completely envious of girls who have been best friends for years. i've had so many heartaches in the bff department.

5. at our wedding, my husband actually vowed that he would get me ice cream whenever i wanted. he's pretty amazing. :)

6. i love everything day of the dead (dia de los muertos). it's a beautiful holiday that i look forward to every year!

7. i have a ridiculous collection of elephants - hundreds! i've been collecting since i was 9 years old & have only met one other person (sweet desi!) who collects elephants, too!

15 blogs i think are amazing:

1. oh the places you'll go while falling up: while i may be a bit biased in giving this award because rachel & i are friends, i think she's very deserving! rachel shares what it's like to be a bride planning a wedding & some very cute, clever, & yummy cupcakes as well as other recipes.

2. elana johnson photography: elana takes gorgeous photographs. it makes me sad that i don't live near her so i can get a beautiful family photo done by her. her pictures always make my heart melt.

3. shine your light: lisa is one of the sweetest bloggers around! i love reading her (DELICIOUS) recipes, fabulous inspirations, and i must say that i agree, 100%, with her "ten kitchen can't-live-withouts"!

4. schue love: natasha has such a sweet blog about some of her favorite things, decorating her beautiful home & much more.

5. the sweet art: one word: yum. everything on this blog catches my eye and inspires some culinary creativity!

6. confessions of a 20-something: dear, sweet, pink lou lou has the cutest, girliest blog i have seen. every post i read just feels like i'm chatting with my girlfriend. she's real - and i can't begin to say how much i appreciate that.

7. home sweet farm: great recipes & a superb (or should i say delectable?) blog hop on tuesdays.

8. the misadventures of mrs. b: i just found jen's blog and have been consumed by the countless recipes i have bookmarked & want to try!

9. simple little joys: exactly as the name states, this blog is a joy.

10. sugar swings! serve some: cute & clever sweet treats!

11. the blest nest: the blueberry muffins she just posted look ah-maz-ing! i can't wait to try them!

12. rae gun ramblings: marissa has some incredible recipes i'm dying to try. her etsy shop is pretty amazing, too (if you have little ones)!

13. my leigh ashley: not only does leigh have an awesome link party every wednesday, but she has a beautiful, fun, blog, too!

14. blessed little nest: if i ever want to see something beautiful & awe-inspiring, all i have to do is click on heather's blog.

15. love is everywhere: katie shares heart-felt love stories & is currently doing a very cool "29 gifts" series that i highly recommend!

congratulations, bloggers!

& thank you again, desi & tanya! i'm so glad & thankful that you enjoy my blog!

dowlings, out!