My House and Home

Adventures in making our house a home….and other stuff.

Birthday food fun January 16, 2012

Filed under: Birthday Parties,Food — Tasya Marra Demers @ 10:58 am
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For my Birthday we started with individual 7 layer dip cups, labor intensive, but fun to serve!

The first layer is refried beans seasoned with your favorite taco seasoning.

Second layer is sour cream, you could flavor this with taco seasoning but I wanted the sour cream to be white.

Next layer is Guacamole, either homemade or store bought.

I added a good Pico de gallo for the next layer.

Followed by shredded Mexican cheese.

Sliced olives and scallions complete the 7 layers.

Add a couple tortilla chips with extra on the table, cuz two will not do!

On to dessert! Margarita cupcakes with Tequila spiked cream cheese frosting. But, first let me say, I am no baker!

I used Martha Stewart’s lemon cupcake recipe and substituted the lemon for lime with a bit of Tequila to get these delicious Margarita cupcakes.

A from-scratch cupcake and frosting inspired by the delicious Margarita cocktail.


For the lime cupcakes

3 cups flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs at room temperature

3 limes, zested and juiced

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup Tequila (optional)

For the frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon lime zest

1 tablespoon lime juice

5 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one.
  4. Add lime zest and lime juice.
  5. Turn mixer to the low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated.
  6. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.
  7. (Optional) While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila.
  8. To make frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy.
  9.  Stir in the lime zest and 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
  10. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl thoroughly with a spatula after each addition.
  11. Spread the frosting on your cupcakes, I used a piping bag with a tip.

I have to thank Pinterest for these fun food ideas! Enjoy!



layered creamy cheese spread January 7, 2012

Filed under: Food — Tasya Marra Demers @ 9:43 pm

Layers of cheesy creamy sweet basil sun-dried tomato goodness! This yummy appetizer was hit at the party tonight!

Here are my ingredients:

2 boxes of cream cheese

1 goat cheese log

1 box of garlic and herb spread

A couple tablespoons of butter

1 8oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil of course

Pine nuts


Cheese cloth

Lay the cheese cloth on a plate, the size you want to serve on is best, I switched my plate part way through to be a better fit. Then top with 2 or 3 basil leaves.

Then I mixed room temperature cheeses and butter together to form a creamy texture easy for spreading.

Next, is a layer of pine nuts.

On to the finely diced sun-dried tomato layer.

Now spread another layer of the cheese mixture followed by a layer of pine nuts and pesto.

Another layer of the cheese mixture.

Then wrap it up tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Then take it out of the fridge, unwrap and flip. Voila! Like I said, layers of yummy, cheesy, creamy goodness!

We served with crackers, but bread or sliced veggies would be awesome too.


Whole wheat dumplings with chicken stew January 2, 2012

Filed under: Food — Tasya Marra Demers @ 7:48 pm

Let me just say that it is raining cats and dogs outside right now! Seems a perfect fit to my comfort food recipe! I was really craving the warm comforts of my mom’s chicken and dumpling stew, yummy! I decided to do a take on her recipe, but I made my dumplings with whole wheat flour, to feel healthier and better about myself eating doughy fluffy cloud concoctions of course!

There are many ways to cook chicken,but I have found that the easiest way to get juicy chicken is to bake it in the oven coated with olive oil and salt and pepper at 35o degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, let cool then shred.

Now to start the stew….. 3/4 cup each of diced carrots and celery, along with a diced medium sized onion. Saute with a tablespoon of butter and a swirl of olive oil to coat the pan. I also added a teaspoon of poultry seasoning and a teaspoon of salt and pepper.

After the veggies have been sweating it out so to speak, I add a 32 ounce container of Chicken broth (and maybe a bit more) with the shredded chicken.

I also like to throw in some frozen mixed veggies to the pot as well as a couple diced baby red new potatoes.

Simmer away….meanwhile pour a glass of wine and make the dumplings!

I used 1 and 1/2  cups of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and3/4 teaspoon of salt.

Add 3/4 buttermilk and combine to make golf ball sized dumplings to drop into the pot.

Cook until dumplings are like little fluffy clouds and the vegetables are nice and tender.

Such a nice bowl of yummy goodness on a cold stormy winter’s night!

I hope you give it a try, stay warm!



Quinoa cakes December 29, 2011

Filed under: Food — Tasya Marra Demers @ 1:11 pm

Ok, I admit my Quinoa cakes didn’t turn out like perfect little cakes, more like Quinoa squishy pan fried thingys. Nonetheless, they were delicious! I hope you give them a try!

Here’s how I did it.

To cook the Quinoa add:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

little bit of salt

Put into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and cover cooking for 18-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the seeds are tender. Allow cooked Quinoa to cool for a bit.

In a large mixing bowl add:

2 cups cooked quinoa

12 cup to 3/4 cup of your favorite shredded cheese. (I used sharp cheddar in mine)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

I also added a shredded carrot (options are endless, zucchini, red bell pepper, etc.)

2 eggs

About 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or more to get desired consistency. (could also add panko for a beefier texture. For me, I was trying to eliminate bread for this one.)

A couple scallions or more, I like onion.

A tiny bit of sugar, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon should do it.

1/4 teaspoon of cumin

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

Add black pepper and salt to taste.

Now form the mixture into cakes, whatever size you want, mine ended up being a little less than a palm size once flattened.

Heat some olive oil in a pan or cooking spray making sure the pan is greased well otherwise they will stick.

Cook for 3 or 4 minutes per side till toasty brown.

I added a fried egg on top with a sprinkling of scallions and sliced avocado on the side.


Are you new to Quinoa? Give it a try, don’t be scared it is really good and oh so healthy! Meat-free, yet protein packed, full of fiber and keeps you filled up! It is similar to rice and can be subbed pretty much straight across the board. These cakes would be good with Tzatziki sauce as well.



Moving day December 10, 2011

Filed under: Food,Just for fun — Tasya Marra Demers @ 4:09 pm

We have some friends that are moving this weekend and their kitchen is all packed up, so we offered to bring them dinner, after all they still need to eat right? So, I thought what to make? What to make? what to make? A casserole is always good, pasta or pizza nope they will probably have plenty of pizza over the next few days. I opted for taco night and thought how can I pull this off with all the toppings of course. Aha moment…cupcake tin filled with all the taco bar fixin’s! Onions, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, olives and sour cream for starters.

Then to complete the meal a some tortilla chips, salsa, a couple beers and some Mexican rice, yum!

I hope they enjoy it and that their move goes smoothly!  It is so overwhelming, especially with two little ones to consider. Best of luck to them!


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