Author: The Domesticated Maven

My Dad’s Creations

My dad is an amazing woodworker, among other things!  I will send him a picture of something I would like and Shazam! – he makes it and it is way better than the original picture I sent.  This is a cutting board he made to go on the turn of my counters.

He made a list of all the woods that are used in it and the meaning they have.

He has made things for so many people including me, my sister and all of his grandkids. Be sure to check out his website.  He tells stories about all of his projects.




Check out these inserts for the drawers in my island.  These fit so perfectly that they can never be removed.  This is a clever design and makes it so easy to organize all of my cooking doo-dads!

Just Sweet Bliss

From time to time I will be sharing businesses my friends run. It is only appropriate to start with Sarah and Megan’s Just Sweet Bliss. I take full credit for the start of this business. I asked Sarah to make this sign for me and from there she started her own gig.

I also need for you to know that Sarah always calls me Maven, hence The Domesticated Maven. She also gave my husband the moniker Scottie McHottie – which stuck! Sarah is a huge cheerleader for me and she is just amazing. Please take a moment to check out her Facebook page Just Sweet Bliss and coming soon Sarah and her sister Megan do some amazing work. You can custom order from them.




Garrus & Tali – the puppies in my life!

Meet my Garrus & Tali. This is on the 4th of July 2015. Tali was just a baby. I made these adorable collars so they would be ready to walk in our town’s parade. I just tied strips of tulle & fabric to their collars. I love living in a small town.

S’well Bottle

I love, love, love my S’well bottle.  Made from aluminum, keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours!!  I put ice water in mine in the morning, even with adding water throughout the day, I still have ice in the bottle when I get home from school.  My bottle has been dropped and bumped around, but still works!

S’well also is a company that gives back!  They give to UNICEF to provide clean drinking water to vulnerable communities throughout the world!  There is so much to love about this company and their products.

  • Keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12
  • 18/8 double-walled stainless steel, non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA free
  • 9oz & 17oz fit in a standard sized cup-holder
  • 25oz holds an entire bottle of wine
  • Bottles do not condensate


Lounging on the sofa with my favorite lap dog.  I am wearing my favorite jammie pants from Sudara – Punjammies.  If you haven’t heard of Sudara, please go to their website and check them out –  This organization helps women in India who were involved in human trafficking.  They created a safe, loving organization to give women safe, steady employment and hope.  They make these wonderful pajama pants, plus many other things.  Please check out their website.  I own two pair of jammies and LOVE THEM!

Silpat Mat

I really love these Silpat mats!  They are good for so many things.  Obviously cookies, but also rolls, chicken wings, potatoes, anything that sticks to the pan!  I used to use parchment, but no more & no more waste.

  • Non-stick 100% FDA approved food grade silicone mat
  • Can be used in all types of ovens except direct fired ovens
  • Never needs greasing
  • Simple cleanup
  • Can withstand temperatures from -40F to 480F.

Great Grandma Scholta’s Lemon Meringue Pie

This is one of the many things I remember my Great Grandma Scholta making and it was my favorite.  My great grandparents lived in Loman Minnesota.  Loman sits right on the Canadian border.  It is a teeny town, but there is a great deal of love, friendship and, for me, family in that teeny town.  My great grandparents, Norman & Veda, were farmers in a time when there were no modern conveniences, winters were harsh and snowy, summers were hot, humid and buggy!  They were wonderful people who cared deeply for their family and friends.

I loved visiting Loman when I was a kid.  I had family all up and down the road.  My aunt Ruth was the postmaster. Her house sits right next to the post office – her son still owns it and I stay there when I visit.  Staying there brings back such sweet memories of mornings in Aunt Ruth’s kitchen.  She and my grandma, in their bathrobes, drinking coffee and laughing – or as my cousin Dennis would describe it, cackling!  I know they’re are in heaven together doing just this!


It took me awhile to perfect my Great Grandma’s lemon meringue pie recipe. The first version of the recipe was in my Grandma Grace’s handwriting and the measurements were a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Fortunately one of my cousins published it in the Bethany Lutheran Church Recipes and Remembrances cookbook.  Bethany Lutheran is the only church in Loman and everyone goes there!!  My great grandfather helped build it, my grandparents were the first couple married there and my great grandma took care of everyone who went there.




Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put the following in a food processor:

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Pulse until mixed.

Then add 1 cup cold butter cut into small cubes.

Pulse until crumbly.  Add 6 T. cold water and mix until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  This helps relax the gluten and makes the dough easier to roll out.

Roll out the dough and put in a pie plate and crimp the edges.  Use a fork to pierce the bottom of the pie.  Place two sheets of aluminum foil over the pie crust and fill with pie weights

or beans.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights/beans and continue to cook for an additional 6 minutes.  I put a pie shield on the edges during the second half so the edges don’t get too brown.





This recipe makes enough dough for a two crust pie.  You can divide the dough and freeze half for your next pie.


1 1/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
6-8 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. butter
3 egg yokes (save the whites for the meringue)
1/2 c. lemon juice


Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch.  Boil 2 cups water, add the dry ingredients and cook over medium high heat until thickened.  Start with 6 T of cornstarch, if the liquid doesn’t thicken add more cornstarch one tablespoon at a time.  Once thickened, turn to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Temper the egg yokes by adding 3 tablespoons of the hot liquid to the egg yokes one tablespoon as a time stirring as you add, this keeps the eggs from cooking.  Add the butter to the hot liquid and let melt.  Gradually stir in the egg yokes and lemon juice.  This filling should be thick, almost custard like.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, I use the pie shield on the crust.


While the filling is baking, make the meringue.


Beat 5 eggs whites with 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tsp. lemon juice.  Beat on high until there are stiff peaks.  When the pie comes out of the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Pile the meringue lightly on the pie, spread to the edges and bake until the top is lightly brown.  P.S. Some people say meringue shouldn’t bead, but I’m here to tell you it does.  Great-grandma’s meringue always had beads on it, so I know that is what is supposed to happen!


I hope you love this pie as much as I do.




Homemade vanilla is so easy and so delicious.  Once I discovered how easy it is to make your own vanilla I won’t use anything else.  The one thing to keep in mind is that it takes three (3) months to brew.  I try to make a new batch as soon as the previous one is done brewing.  That way I never run out!

Ingredients for Vanilla Extract, Titos vodka, natural vanilla beans
Ingredients for Vanilla Extract

Here are the ingredients:

2 cups vodka – I use Tito’s – it is my absolute favorite vodka for all purposes.
24 Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Pour vodka in a Ball jar.  Slice the vanilla beans down the center and scrape out the caviar.  Put the caviar and the remainder of the bean in the Ball jar.  This process is a tad tedious, but so worth it!


Once you have finished, seal the Ball jar and shake.  Put in your cupboard and shake once a week.

In three months pour the brewed vanilla through a coffee filter and store in an air tight container.


After three months your vanilla will turn into this beautiful, rich liquid.  It smells heavenly and adds great depth to your recipes.  Once you make this, you will be like me, it will be the only vanilla you will use.