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How is it December?!?

Happy December 1! Can you believe Christmas is in just a few short weeks! Yikes! But yay! We have officially entered the last month of 2020. Phew!

So I have to ask, who is ready? I am slowly getting there. The tree is up, most gifts purchased (but not wrapped), holiday music has been blaring, and my oven has been working overtime with holiday baking. Now we just need to get those Christmas lights up. *wink wink* husband dearest. šŸ˜‰

In honor of the holiday season I have some exciting things happening. Next week I am kicking off my first ever Christmas Cookie Week! I will be posting one cookie recipe a day, all next week. Thatā€™s right! FIVE new cookie recipes! These will all be my tried and true Christmas cookie recipes that I have been making for years! They are friend, family, and Santa approved. Make sure you head to the store and stock up on all the baking essentials because you are gonna want to preheat the oven as soon as they hit your inbox.

Cherry Chip Shortbread

Also, from now through 9:00 pm on Wednesday, December 2, you can get 15% off your entire purchase totaling $25 or more from my Etsy shop!Ā I have added some amazing holiday items that make great gifts. I have the most amazing coffee mugs, towels, oven mitts, and more! Make sure to check it out and save yo self some money! Happy shopping!

Gnome Mug

Reindeer Oven Mitt

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Towel

I Tried Koozie

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Diva Did What?!?

You may have noticed the recipes and posts have been pretty thin the last couple of months. I promise you, I have a good reason for it and the recipes will be back! Iā€™ve been a little busy with a very exciting project.

I am someone who is always looking for ways to grow and improve in everything I do and provide the best to my followers and cooking enthusiasts of the world. So, I have been very busy working on something really big. Like really big! Let me start from the beginningā€¦

A few months back it was late on a Friday night and I had a few glasses of wine to drink and I was working on planning my meals for the upcoming week. I know! I am living a wild and crazy life!

I have a custom meal planning sheet I designed that I have been using for years. (You may recall a post about it from several months back.) That night I thought to myself, ā€œIt sure would be great to have a whole note pad of these so I donā€™t have to print them out every month. If I had notepads of these custom printed, I bet other people would use them too.ā€ So in that moment I decided I am going to sell my meal planning notepads!

Meal Planning Notepad

I started thinking about how I could sell them. How can people order them? How can I accept payment? The whole ecommerce side of things was a lot to take on just to sell notepads. Then I thought, if I am going to put in all this work to sell notepads I should totally sell other things too! That night I got out a spiral bound notebook and went down a brainstorming rabbit hole and I just started listing out all the things I wanted to design and sell. Wine glasses, coffee mugs, towels, aprons, the list went on and on. I decided in that moment I was going to open my very own online kitchen boutique! So crazy, right?!?

As many of you may know, I am a graphic designer by day and a blogger by night. Designing is my passion and something that makes me so happy, and so is cooking. I had found a way to combine two things I really loved and the prospect of that was so exciting!

I spent evenings and weekends over the next two months in my home office putting my all into this, and I loved every single second of it! I designed, I researched, I came up with a business plan, I looked at so many different coffee mugs and wine glasses and towels. If it was going to have my name on it, it had to be something I would swoon over myself and it had to reflect my personality and style. Both classy and hilarious. I didnā€™t want the same generic mug you can find anywhere else, I wanted my stuff to stand apart and to really feel like it had come from a specialty kitchen boutique.

Boss Lady Coffee Mug

While cooped up in my home these last several months, working on this online kitchen boutique has been my saving grace, my creative outlet. And so, I am so excited to tell you all that as of yesterday, Diva di Cucina has expanded to not only be a go to resource for recipes and inspiration in the kitchen, but has branched out and now also includes a line of unique and quality kitchen products all designed by me!

So, if you want some amazing items for your kitchen, or are looking to do a little holiday shopping, perhaps you will consider checking out my online kitchen boutique. (I have some great stocking stuffers!) You can access my shop by selecting Etsy from the drop-down menu if you are on a mobile device or by clicking on the E in the yellow circle above if you are on a computer.

Bamboo Serving Ware

If you have taken the time to read to the end of this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is difficult to put into words how exciting of a time this is and how much your support means to me as I embark on this new adventure. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

With gratitude,

Diva di Cucina

Home is Where you Hang Your Broom Towel

Beer Magnet Set

Corks are for Quitters Wine Glass

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The Diva is Back!

Hello Diva di Cucina followers! Itā€™s been awhile. Almost 2 Ā½ years to be exact. Yikes! My sincere apologies for the complete lack of posting. You may be wondering why such a long hiatus. Well the truth is, life happened. I work full time and try to be the best wife and mom for my family as I can. That will always take precedent as much as I love being able to blog. In addition to those roles my son plays sports about 10 months out of the year. I coach two of his teams and am team parent for three of his teams. Plus, I took on the role of room parent in his class last year. I have no idea what I was thinking! I am crazy. So yeah, no exciting stories, Iā€™ve just been living life and trying to be as involved in it as I possibly can be. Life is too short to half ass it, I try to take on an ā€œall inā€ approach. It certainly makes for a busy life, but it also makes for a really rewarding one.

When I started this blog over 6 years ago I originally intended it to just be a way to share recipes with families and friends. I had no idea that within a short time I would have over a thousand followers. I loved that I had found a way to connect with so many amazing people and from all over the world. I am looking forward to getting back to that.

I have never been one to make resolutions at the start of a new year but this year I wanted to make a commitment to myself, a commitment to try and get back to blogging on a more regular basis. Why you might ask, because I truly love it. I love connecting with people over the love of food and cooking. So there you have it. I may not be able to keep up at the pace I did when Diva di Cucina originally launched, but I will certainly do my best to share quality recipes and posts with youā€¦ more than every 2 years. I kid!

I knew I couldnā€™t come back to the same old blog. It had to be refreshed, a new look and feel. I created a brand-new logo and revamped the entire website. I wanted a look that reflected my style, something feminine and rustic. Working on the redesign got me excited about the relaunch of Diva di Cucina, a fresh start per say. The look of the page is much cleaner and I have improved the navigation. I hope you all like it!

My apologies for the long write up, I just felt that in coming back after such a long break I owed you all an explanation. I am looking forward to the future of Diva di Cucina and I hope you are too!

If you like following along on my adventures in the kitchen, perhaps you would like to also consider following me on Instagram and Facebook. On both pages you will see more frequent quick posts and it gives me an opportunity for some fun chats in the comments.

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Brunch Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mothers Day Brunch Ideas

Motherā€™s Day is just around the corner! While going out to brunch is great, I personally think an elegant brunch with my family at home is the best way to spend the day. This time of year we have such fabulous weather in California so sprucing up a table on the patio with some nice linens and flowers can be just as nice as going out to eat. If you are planning on cooking brunch for Motherā€™s Day for your mom, or perhaps even your wife (hint, hint spouses) here are some of my favorite recipes that any mom would be sure to enjoy. Happy Motherā€™s day to all the moms out there!

Mothers Day Brunch Ideas

  1. Asparagus GruyƩre Tart
  2. Moist Banana Nut Bread
  3. Breakfast Portobellos
  4. Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
  5. Hot Ham &Ā Swiss Sammies
  6. Breakfast Potatoes
  7. Blueberry Cream Cheese Danishes
  8. Peaches & Cream Cheesecake Bars
  9. Sausage Gravy
  10. Almond Poppy Seed Bread
  11. Broccoli & Cheddar Egg Bake
  12. Spiced Carrot Bread
  13. Blueberry French Toast Casserole
  14. Strawberry Pie
  15. Raspberry Turnovers
  16. Leek Quiche

Looking for more brunch ideas or perhaps you are thinking of cooking a nice dinner instead? Check out my recipe box. There are lots of great ideas listed by category there!

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Iā€™m Back, and in a New Kitchen!

TheĀ last several months have probably been the craziest of my life so I apologize that my posts have been non-existent. I am working on getting back into the swing of things and promise more recipes coming soon!

Why has my life been so crazy you ask? My family and I bought a new house! A beautiful house that I can say without a doubt is my dream home! I will live and die in this house. If not because I love it, because moving is such a pain!

It really did all happen in a whirlwind. We went and looked and a house just for fun and fell in love at first sight. We werenā€™t really in the market for a new house we just happened to drive by it one day after having lunch and thought it would be fun to look. Within 3 days we were signing papers on it. The house was not even a finished house. As a matter of fact it was only framed.

This is what it looked like when we bought it. Crazy, right?

House

Over the next four months we worked hard on fixing up our old home, staging it, getting it on the market, packing up all our possessions and moving up the road to our new home. And keep in mind this was all going on throughout the holidays. It was so worth it but oh my goodness! Moving is a pain and you donā€™t realize how much stuff you have until you have to box it all up andĀ move it from Point A to Point B.

We have now been in our home for 6 weeks and it finally feels like life is getting back to normal. Hallelujah!

Now onto what really pertains to this blog. My kitchen! My glorious beautiful kitchen! I am in love! The kitchen has granite countertops with full backsplashes, is equipped with stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, including a microwave, TWO ovens (yes, two!), a 5 burner gas range, a beautiful new side by side refrigerator, and more cabinets than a gal knows what to do with.

Kitchen

Oh yeah, and it even came with an incredible view! This is the view from the kitchen and dining room. Not too shabby, eh?!? (Never mind the landscaping, that is still a work in progress.)

View

Here is the funny thing, I was in love with my kitchen from the moment I saw it. However, I was completely intimidated by it. I didnā€™t cook in it for a week because I didnā€™t want to mess it up. It was too perfect! So the first time I went to use the digital high tech oven it took me five minutes to figure out how to turn it on. I am not even kidding! All I wanted to do was toast garlic bread for Peteā€™s sake!

Now I am much more comfortable in it and this past weekend I even hosted myĀ first party with great success. The new kitchen is so much better equipped for entertaining.

Anyways, my sincere apologies the non existent posts the last four months. I hope you can all forgive me and will continue to check in for more regular recipe posts. Iā€™m sure I will have some great and humorous stories of my adventures in my new kitchen over the next few months.

I have missed my regular blogging and am looking forward to getting back into the groove of things. Stay tuned!

XOXOX

Diva di Cucina

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27 Cookout Recipes

Cookout Banner

‘Tis the season forĀ outdoorĀ BBQs, cookouts, and potlucks. I have put together 27 of my favorite summertime recipes for you to try. You will find everything from drinks to desserts. Now get outside and have some fun with friends and some fabulous food. Enjoy!

REFRESHING BEVERAGES

1.Ā Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
2. Blended Mango Margaritas
3.Ā Summertime White Sangria

APPEALING APPETIZERS

Summertime Appetizers

1.Ā Bacon JalapeƱo Cheese Ball
2.Ā Off the Chain Cheddar Crackers
3.Ā Creamy Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups
4.Ā Garlic Parmesan Wings
5.Ā Queso Fundido
6.Ā Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip

MUST HAVE SIDE DISHES

Summertime Side Dishes

1. Broccoli Salad
2. Classic Macaroni Salad
3. Crunchy Pea Salad
4. Italian Pasta Salad
5. Chili (The Classic Kind)
6.Ā Potato Salad

THE MAIN DISH

1.Ā Crock-Pot Pale Ale BBQ Chicken Sandos
2.Ā BBQ Bacon Wrapped Pork Chop with Grilled Onions
3.Ā Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Sammy
4.Ā Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
5.Ā Classic ChickenĀ Salad Sandwich
6.Ā Rio Grande Spice Rub Steak with Grilled Red Onions

SWEET TREATS

1.Ā Banana Split Pie
2.Ā Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie Dip
3.Ā Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
4.Ā Triple Chocolate Parfait
5.Ā Strawberry Pie
6.Ā Personal Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

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Fatherā€™s Day Meal Ideas (My Hubbyā€™s Top 12 Picks)

Fathers Day Menu Ideas

Fatherā€™s day is just around the corner and there are going to be some hungry men hoping to get a day off in the kitchen or on the grille. While many people may enjoy going out, my hubby is more partial to a nice home cooked lunch or dinner with the fam. Rather trying to guess what recipes I think the men in our lives would like I went straight to the source and got a male perspective. I asked my husband to sort through my entire archive of recipes and pick out his top 12 favorite recipes that I have featured on my blog. So if you are looking for some ideas on what to cook for dad this year, here are some great ideas that work for lunch or dinner. Give any of these a try and you will make the man or men in your life extremely happy.

Hubby's Top 12 Pick's

  1. Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade
  2. Western Bacon JalapeƱo Poppers
  3. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Truffles
  4. Toffee Apple Dip
  5. Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
  6. Limoncello Chicken
  7. Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut
  8. Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Sammy
  9. Crock-Pot Pale Ale BBQ Chicken Sandos
  10. Cheesy Mac Attack A.K.A. Macaroni Nā€™ Cheese
  11. Loaded Baked Cauliflower
  12. Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob
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Cinco de Mayo Menu Ideas

CincoDeMayo

Time to bust out your sombrero, and crank up the mariachi music, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! If you are looking to throw a fiesta, or even just cook a festive dinner for the fam, I have some awesome Cinco de Mayo menu ideas for you.Ā  I hope you take the day to kick back, relax, enjoy a margarita (or three), and celebrate this Mexican holiday. Ā”Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Refreshing Adult Beverages

Blended Mango Margarita

Grapefruit Margarita on the Rocks

Letā€™s Get this Fiesta Started!

Shrimp Taco Cups With Creamy Cilantro LimeĀ Sauce

MangoĀ Salsa

Queso Fundido

Chubby Chicken Taquitos

Main Courses

Shrimp Tacos

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

JalapeƱo Cheddar Chicken Burger WithĀ Guacamole

Crock-Pot Shredded BeefĀ Tacos

Green Chile ChickenĀ Enchiladas

Sweet PotatoĀ Burritos

Shrimp Enchiladas with JalapeƱo Cream Sauce

Tasty Extras

Mexican Red Rice (ArrozĀ Rojo)

Crock-Pot Chicken EnchiladaĀ Soup

Mexican Corn on the Cob

JalapeƱo Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

JalapeƱo Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

For the Sweet Tooth

PiƱa Colada Pie With Drunken Rum Sauce

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Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

There is something truly wonderful about a perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwich.Ā Eating a grilled cheese takes me back to my childhood days.Ā I have always been a lover of the ooey gooey cheesy sandwich. There is something absolutely perfect about the simplicity of cheese toasted between a couple of slices of buttered bread.

Today is a day to celebrate the all American sandwich enjoyed by people of all ages. Toasted bread with cheese has been around for ages. The classic version we know in the U.S. originated in the 1920s when sliced bread and American cheese was cheap and easily available. It was one of the more popular meals during the Great Depression for this very reason. Until the 1960s it was served as an open faced sandwich, a single slice of bread with cheese melted on top.

Grilled cheese sandwiches have come a long way with gourmet versions growing in popularity over the last several years. You can use a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables to make the ordinary grilled cheese, extraordinary.

Here are a couple of grownup versions of the American classic for you to try:

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

Fancy Man Grilled Cheese

Whether you prefer a classic or a modern day version, today is still a day about grilled cheese. Wonderful, fabulous, grilled cheese.

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Recipe Box Upgrade!

Have you checked out my Recipe Box recently? Iā€™ve made some great improvements over the last couple of weeks so be sure to give it a looksy! Dinners are now grouped by meat type (beef, chicken, fish, and pork) to help you more easily find a recipe that works with what you have on hand. There is even a vegetarian section! (It may be limited, but itā€™s there and growing!) I have also broken up my side dishes into starch and vegetable based dishes to help you plan a balanced meal. You will also see that Cookies and Breads are newly added categories.

To get to my Recipe Box you can use the link on the home page under ā€œAboutā€ or you can even use the link provided below. Keep checking back as the Recipe Box will always be getting added to. Happy Browsing!

https://divadicucina.com/recipe-box/Ā