5 Ingredient Corn Salsa + The Best of 2012

Corn Salsa | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this because it’s healthy, light, and versatile. The corn and the beans will leave you feeling full and satisfied without sacrificing any taste and you can use this on meat, in salads, on taco’s, or just scoop it up with some of those handy bowl shaped chips (tostito’s right?). I put this dish together in less than 10 minutes and put it in a fancy glass bowl with a beautiful crystal tray and it looked like high class eats for the guests. Little did they know…. 😉

This would also be extra spicy if you want to add some additional cayenne or some jalapeno, but my people don’t like spicy food per say. Apologies for the pic–I snapped it after making it but before someone put their chip into it 🙂 it’s good, I promise!

You’ll need:

  • 1 package frozen corn (slightly defrosted)
  • 1 standard can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can of diced rotelle OR diced tomatoes w/ chiles (I prefer the tomatoes w/ chiles)
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c. zesty italian dressing
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chips
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Feel like the woman from the rice krispies commercial who ‘slaved’ all day 🙂

The best of 2012….drum roll please!!!!!

According to WordPress statisticians 🙂 Judging from what you all picked, looks like more desserts and carbs in 2013!!! 😀

3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles | Domesticated Academic

3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles

Bread Machine Pretzels | Domesticated Academic


Bread Machine Rolls & Pretzels

Nutella Cookies | Domesticated Academic


3 Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Homemade pumpkin spice syrup!


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Spicy Baked Garlic Fries | Domesticated Academic


Spicy Baked Garlic Fries

Crack Brownie Cupcakes | Domesticated Academic


Crack Brownie Cupcakes



Elf4Health: Things to be Thankful For

Thankful | Domesticated Academic

20 things I’m thankful for. It’s never hard to think of wisdom or reasons to be thankful, even if it’s not Thanksgiving. The older I get, the more I find myself being thankful instead of bitter at the world. I cannot stop shooters or other crazy events from the world from happening in every instance, but I find myself continually being thankful for my happy life, the simplistic nature of it, and my good health. I see people on social media complaining non-stop about every little thing and once in a while, I’ll just comment and say something like, “why don’t you stop this and think about the good things in your life today? it will make the bad things less important and reshift your focus, even if just for a few moments.” Most of those people don’t WANT to be happy (yes, i believe there are some people who thrive on misery as a survival mechanism).

I’m home so this list is fitting:

  1. SNOW
  2. good tires
  3. winter driving skills
  4. wood heat
  5. snow plows
  6. dairy farmers
  7. production agriculture
  8. my ability to move, live, and work on being healthy
  9. family
  10. friends
  11. MOLLY 🙂
  12. PIC (yes, the dog ranks over a man)
  13. Erin
  14. my brain, it works, i still get excited when i have a good thought
  15. my health
  16. learning how to work hard & put others first growing up. you didn’t take care of yourself until the animals were fed.
  17. my curiosity for cooking, photography, research
  18. my love for education
  19. my love of children
  20. my lucky life–i was adopted and have always had good fortune with life

have a fantastic day!


Holiday Hangover-Christmas Spinach Dip Bread Bowl

Spinach Bread Bowl Dip | Domesticated Academic

What do you like to eat when you go to a party? My family digs the traditional stuff but each year, I try to add a few new things into the menu to keep people happy. There’s always meatballs, lasagna, salads, and lots of homemade sweets to go around. There were no plans for any kind of dips or picky snacks so I swooped in with some Bread Bowl Spinach Dip and Corn Salsa. You’ll love this dish because it’s easy, feeds a crowd, and the whole platter can be ready to rock and roll in under 30 minutes. Take 10 minutes off if you have a helper pulling bread out and just use pre-cut veggies. My sister was shocked when she came down from showering and found this and some homemade corn salsa on the table ready to snack on. She was impressed. 🙂 I only snapped one photo of this and my sisters hand is in it, taking a sample. You’ll just have to forgive me on this one.

For entertainment on Christmas morning, my sister and I switched all the tags on all of the Christmas gifts before anyone got to them. Made for an entertaining morning 🙂 Of course, we had a lovely party on Christmas Eve party and enjoyed great company and fine food for over 24 hours. I think we all feel like we have a Holiday Hangover from sugar, carbs, and other delicious eats although as I typed this up, my mom emptied out the cooler and put two bottles of wine in front of me and said, “Drink these.” I guess I know what I’m doing this afternoon!!! 😉

You’ll need:

makes between 16-20, depending on how thin you ‘stretch’ the dough

  • 1/4 c. onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I use low fat)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream (I use low fat)
  • 1 pkg. frozen spinach, defrosted & water squeezed out
  • 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 round loaf of rye or other type of bread
  • carrots, celery, crackers, etc…
  1. Heat saucepan on medium high heat.
  2. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil.
  3. Add cream cheese, sour cream, spinach, salt, pepper, red pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine until spinach breaks up and everything incorporates.
  4. Add shredded cheese last.
  5. Turn heat off.
  6. Cut out and dig out the middle of your bread to make a bowl. You can use and size a small bowl to pour dip into, causing less of a mess.
  7. Serve with pieces of bread, veggies, crackers, or just eat it by the spoonful!

Easy Cheese & Cherry Danish + Favorite Holiday Breakfasts

Cherry Cheese Danish | Domesticated Academic

I’ve got a great recipe that’s super easy, can be made days in advance and simply reheated with the help of everyone’s favorite: canned biscuit dough. It’s the holidays and who has time to make homemade dough?  Mmmm, not me!! I made mine into mini danish to be more bite sized but feel free to NOT split the biscuits in half, then you’ll have 16 full size danish, which won’t be bad either. You can use the knot technique that I showed you in the garlic knots recipe or just hollow out each biscuit by pressing down the middle to make a well for the cheese and cherries.  It’s up to you.

Cherry Cheese Danish | Domesticated Academic

The holidays seem like the best time to linger over breakfast, brunch, and enjoy company. The holidays should NOT be stressful and a good breakfast can be one way to help keep the mood light, have people simply enjoy each other, and not get wrapped up in the small stuff, but instead unwrapping the joy of being around family and friends. That being said, this will be my last formal post for the next few weeks. As I finish things up in my “real life” job, I’ll be working on getting home to see my family and friends and spend the holiday with them. I will be back with some delicious treats, desserts, and some lighter dishes to help ring in the new year and get everyone back on eating track!

Merry Christmas!

Cherry Cheese Danish | Domesticated Academic

Cherry Cheese Danish | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

makes 32 mini-danish or 16 regular sized danish

  • 2 16 oz. cans of flaky biscuits
  • 1 8 oz. package low fat cream cheese, softened (regular is fine, low fat is what I used)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • cherry pie filling
  • confectioners sugar
  • water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until mixed well and there’s no lumps.
  3. Remove biscuits from can and take each biscuit and split it in two pieces.
  4. Make a 6-7 inch long ‘rope’ with each biscuit half and tie into a simple knot. Press the knot so there’s a clear well/mini bowl and raise the sides so the cream cheese mixture will sit in it.
  5. Put a spoonful of cream cheese mixture in the center of each biscuit well.
  6. Top with a cherry (or more if you’re making large danish).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Mix confectioners sugar and water to make a loose frosting.
  9. Glaze and serve warm.

Here are some other favorite breakfast and brunch ideas for you!  Happy Holidays!

Cinni-Mini Rolls | Domesticated Academic

Cinni-Mini Rolls with Maple Glaze

Nutella Sweet Rolls | Domesticated Academic

Nutella Sweet Rolls

Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon | Domesticated Academic

Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon\

Blueberry Muffin Bake | Domesticated Academic

Blueberry Muffin Bake

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake | Domesticated Academic

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

Crustless Quiche | Domesticated Academic

Crustless Ham & Cheese Quiche

Bacon Breakfast Bake | Domesticated Academic

Bacon Breakfast Bake

Mint Brownie Truffles

Mint Brownie Truffles | Domesticated Academic

These chocolatey minty bite sized perfect fellas are amazing. It’s not the holidays until someone breaks out the mint. Mint coffee creamer, candy canes, and THESE!! I love mint things so it’s not a huge inconvenience for me to shove these into my pie hole but if you’re not a mint fan, try leaving out the cookies, adding espresso, or add more chocolate to the brownies. You can’t go wrong either way here.

Mint Brownie Truffles | Domesticated Academic

These could not be easier to put together if you’re already a pro at making boxed brownies. These are great hostess gifts or for some color on your holiday dessert trays. I like to give these away in my gift jars each year because they hold up well and are sturdy for car travel. Over the river and through the woods takes on a whole new meaning sometimes!

  • 1 9×13 package of brownies, prepared as directed on package
  • 1/2 package (about 20 cookies) grasshopper cookies
  • 4 oz. low fat cream cheese (softened)
  • white/vanilla candy coating
  1. Prepare brownies as directed and bake.
  2. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape brownies away from the edge of the pan and pour softened cream cheese over brownies.
  4. Mix with spoon until cream cheese is mixed. Toss any of the hard edges or save them and eat later for a ‘snack!’
  5. If brownies are a bit too hot, let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Roll 1-inch balls and lay on wax/parchment on a baking sheet
  7. Refrigerate until cold or put in freezer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Melt vanilla candy coat in microwave or double boiler.
  9. Roll brownie bites in coating and return to wax paper. Top with sprinkles
  10. Put back in fridge until firm.
  11. Watch guests shovel into their mouths 🙂

Need some other ideas for super amazing holiday treats???

Nutella Cookies | Domesticated Academic

3 Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Samoas Bars | Domesticated Academic

Samoa’s Bars

Peanut Butter Truffles | Domesticated Academic

Peanut Butter Truffles

3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles | Domesticated Academic

3 Ingredient Oreo Truffles

Lemon Cream Cheese Cake | Domesticated Academic

Lemon Cream Cheese Cake

Crack Brownie Cupcakes | Domesticated Academic

Crack Brownie Cupcakes

Oatmeal Fudge Bars | Domesticated Academic

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Butter Toffee

Butter Toffee | Domesticated Academic

This recipe….let me tell you bout THIS recipe….it’s the ONE thing my family requests I make each year. They like all the other stuff, but they ask for the toffee. It’s always about the toffee….you know it won’t be bad right? I originally found this recipe on the tasty kitchen website for Lia’s Butter Toffee and truth be told, I haven’t made any changes. The recipe is pretty near perfect. This is the last thing I make each year and I make a double batch to take to my family! I’ll be posting recipes M-W this week & then….a few photos and a recipe over the next couple of weeks but mostly I’ll be on vacation!!! Dreaming up lighter recipes for the new year when we get back on ‘real eating’ again 🙂

Butter Toffee | Domesticated Academic

I would recommend silpats for this recipe, nothing sticks, but if you don’t have silpats and Santa isn’t going to bring you any, wax paper or parchment paper is a good alternative. PS: put some silpats on your next holiday list 🙂 they are truly amazing. You’re also going to need a candy thermometer or really good digital meat thermometer.  If you cook this over 298 degrees F, you’ll have a hot mess–literally.

Butter Toffee | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

  • 16 ounces, weight Butter, Melted
  • 16 ounces, weight Granulated Sugar
  • 3 ounces, fluid Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 16 ounces, weight Chopped Topping: Toasted Nuts, Candy Canes, Sea Salt, Etc.
  • 24 ounces, weight Tempered Dark Chocolate For Coating, Melted


*Necessary Equipment: Candy Thermometer*

  1. Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until candy thermometer registers 298 degrees.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat or good parchment paper. Use a heatproof rubber spatula or offset spatula to spread quickly before the toffee sets. Spread thin.
  5. Allow toffee to cool completely. Blot to remove excess oil from the surface. Coat surface with half of the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with topping.
  6. When chocolate has totally set, carefully flip over (it’s okay if it falls apart a bit) and coat other side with the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle on topping.
  7. Allow to set, then break into bite-size pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

Need some other desserts for the holidays?

2 Ingredient Nutella Cake | Domesticated Academic

2 Ingredient Nutella Cake

Cherry Crumb Bars | Domesticated Academic

Cherry Crumb Bars

Cherry Pie Bars | Domesticated Academic

Cherry Pie Bars