Simple and Easy Lobster Rolls

Simple and Easy Lobster Rolls

Lobster doesn’t have to be fancy. I like to use my instant pot to steam lobster tails that I buy frozen. I let them defrost in the fridge, then I put them in the instant pot on the steamer insert, add some seasoning, set the pressure to 1 minute on high and quick release after 1 minute of cooking. When I have extra lobster meat, I like to make these simple and easy lobster rolls.

Simple Easy Lobster Roll’

Simple and Easy Lobster Rolls Ingredients

  • 1-2 lobster tails, cooked (see cooking method above)
  • Bun (any hot dog style bun will do)
  • Butter
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Seasoning (I used black pepper and Cajun seasoning)
Simple Easy Lobster Roll Ingredients.


Step 1: Toast bun and butter generously. I used the toaster oven for this step, but you could also use your toaster or regular oven.

Step 2: Roughly chop lobster tails, I like to leave big chunks of lobster. Yum! You can add finely diced celery and onion at this step also, I did not have any or else I would have! A squeeze of lemon or lime juice would be really nice as well.

Simple Easy Lobster Roll chopping.

Step 3: Add mayonnaise and seasoning to taste to lobster meat. I used black pepper and Cajun seasoning.

Step 4: Assemble roll by placing lettuce on bun and top with lobster meat.

Step 5: Enjoy!

These are super easy, and I hope it helps inspire you to try something different with your lobster meat! These are a favorite from Boston, Massachusetts if you are ever in Quincy Market! Make sure to try the lobster rolls. Also tag me on Instagram #xoxotinadesign I would love to see what you make!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels

Nothing like warm toasty bagels! I have always wanted to make bagels from scratch. I used my Cuisinart Bread Machine to make the dough. They turned out really good! Follow along to see how I made Homemade Bread Machine Bagels.

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels.


  • 3 1/4 cups flour (I used a mixture of AP flour and WW flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (I used Pink Himalayan)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (Not boiling, just warm, I used a little extra to get the dough to come together)
  • 2 TBS white sugar (plus extra for boiling water step)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • Cornmeal for baking sheet
  • 1 egg for eggwash
  • Desired toppings

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels Step 1

Place warm water, salt, and sugar into bread machine insert. Mix well to dissolve. Add flour to insert, put yeast on top of flour. Set machine to dough setting. I like to check the dough to make sure it has come together during the knead cycle. I had to add a little more water to get the dough to come together. Allow to rise.

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels Completed Dough.

Step 2

After the dough cycle has completed, take the dough out and punch it down. Cut it into 8 equal pieces, I used a bench scraper to cut mine. I had to flour my work surface, the dough was kind of sticky at this point.

Homemade Bread Machine Bagels Cutting Dough.

Step 3

Shape the dough into the bagel shapes, this was kind of fun. First, I flattened it out into a flat circle, then you poke a hole in the middle with your finger, and spin it around your finger to make it an even size. After shaping, allow to rest for 10 minutes covered with a clean kitchen towel.

Shaping step 1.
Shaping step 2.

Step 4

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add 3 TBS sugar to boiling water, and carefully drop bagels into the boiling water and allow to boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through. I did mine in batches of 4. Drain briefly on paper towels.


Step 5

Now it’s time to bake! Sprinkle non-stick baking sheet with cornmeal, place bagels on corn meal separated evenly. Make egg wash and brush each bagel with egg wash, top with whatever ingredients you want. I used sea salt and sesame seeds. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.



Once they are browned evenly, I allowed them to cool, however they did not get very cool because we ate them pretty fast! Thanks for following along! Let me know if you try these, tag me on Instgram #xoxotinadesign, I would love to see what you make!


Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Looking for an excellent bread machine post? Check out this post here.

Beef Brisket On Masterbuilt Grill

Beef Brisket On Masterbuilt Grill

We live in “Cow County” Texas, so therefore we are always looking for new techniques to cook beef brisket. We have really enjoyed our Masterbuilt grill, which does smoking as well as charcoal grilling. After researching a bunch of techniques, this recipe has been our best yet for beef brisket on Masterbuilt Grill. It involves injecting the meat with broth, applying a seasoning rub, allowing it to marinate, then a long cook time with rest.

Beef Brisket On Masterbuilt Grill.

Beef Brisket On Masterbuilt Grill Ingredients

1 Beef Brisket (approx. 12-18 pounds)

Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Spice Rub of choice

Injecting Broth: Bring the following ingredients to a simmer in a small sauce pan stirring to combine:

  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 2 TBS Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TBS Brown Sugar

Step 1 Beef Brisket On Masterbuilt Grill: Trim Meat

My husband prefers a lean piece of meat, so we trimmed a good amount of the fat, some people leave a lot of fat. It is up to you. There are a lot of different techniques.


Step 2: Inject Meat

We used a meat injector to inject the meat with the broth described above, this step helps keep the meat moist during the long cooking process.


Step 3: Apply Rub

Apply your rub of choice, we used a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a spice rub. Some people only use salt and pepper.


Step 4: Allow To Marinate

At this point, we put it in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil until it was time to grill. We decided to try cooking it throughout the night. We put it in the fridge at around 2pm, and started cooking at midnight.


Step 5: Grill!

Now it’s time to grill, my husband did the grilling process. He took the meat out of the aluminum foil and placed it directly on the pre-heated grill. He used charcoal and woodchips and set the grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This was at around midnight. The grill has an app for his phone, so we could hear if anything was alarming while it cooked. He said in the morning it was almost out of charcoal and woodchips, but he was able to refill it in time.

In the morning, we placed the meat back into the aluminum foil wrapping and let it cook until noon. Once the internal temperature read 195 degrees Fahrenheit, we took it off the grill and let it rest in a cooler for about an hour before slicing. He also likes to keep a pan of liquid in the grill during the cooking process.

If you are interested in more details about the grilling process, just let me know in the comments below, I can do an additional post. Also don’t forget to tag me on Instagram #xoxotinadesign with your brisket, I would love to see it!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Reusable Hand Embroidered Napkins

Reusable Hand Embroidered Napkins

Looking for ways to reduce waste? I find using washable cloth napkins instead of paper helps us to be less wasteful. Follow along to make your own reusable hand embroidered napkins and take a step towards sustainability!

reusable embroidered napkins
Reusable Embroidered Napkins

Supplies for Reusable Hand Embroidered Napkins

I really enjoy the flower patterns. Eventually I would like to add letters as well to personalize the napkins for each family member. I realize how special embroidery was to our ancestors, it allowed them to add personalization to every day things! Machine embroidery is a lot cleaner if you have access to one, but stitching by hand is satisfying as well and is a good skill to learn!

reusable embroidered napkins
Embroidery Detail

Steps to Make Napkins

  1. Cut the dish towel into four equal sized squares.
  2. You can add a “zigzag” stitch to the perimeter of your napkins if you have a sewing machine or serger to prevent fraying.
  3. Place corner of napkin into embroidery hoop.
  4. Follow pattern. I used two different types of stitches. I used the entire embroidery thread on the “petals” and only a couple strands of thread on the “stems” if that makes sense.

Embroidery takes a lot of practice! Each napkin took me an evening to embroider by hand. I enjoyed making these napkins for my family. We enjoy using them at our meals and I hope they become something your family enjoys as well!

I hope you try out this project and let me know in the comments below. Tag your napkins on Instagram using #xoxotinadesign, I would love to see them! Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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First Attempt at Sourdough Bread

First Attempt at Sourdough Bread

I finally used my sourdough starter to make bread! You might be asking yourself, “What is a sourdough starter?” If you haven’t read my sourdough starter post, you can find it here. I was super excited but kind of nervous! I had never made anything with an ingredient I had left sitting on my counter for weeks! This was my first attempt at sourdough bread making.

sourdough bread first attempt
First Attempt At Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Starter

I love learning about historical techniques, especially when it comes to cooking. Something about being self-sufficient is very appealing to me, especially in our convenience filled world. Prior to COVID-19 I had never considered growing my own yeast.

I used two different flours, all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I used my grain mill to grind the whole wheat. Grinding my own grains is something new also since the pandemic. Knowing I have a way to make my own flour has been a game changer.

I have really tried to stock up on all the basics, we live in a small living space, but I have 5 gallon buckets stashed around the house with various basic ingredients, just in case!

Sourdough Bread Recipe

After researching various techniques, this is the recipe I decided to try. You do need a digital scale, the world of bread making involves precise ingredients measured out in grams.

You will need:

Digital scale

Large Bowl (preferably glass)

Kitchen Towel ( like to use 100% cotton ones)

Proofing Basket

Dutch Oven

Silicone Spatula

Cookie Cooling Wire Rack

Grain Mill (optional)


250 g Whole Wheat Flour

250 g All Purpose Flour

8 g Salt (not table salt, I used pink Himalayan sea salt from Costco)

416 g Water (give or take a little depending on how dry your flour is)

120 g Mature Sourdough Starter


Bread making is definitely an art form, and I am still trying to get all the techniques down. It may seem like a lot of steps, but it was enjoyable!

Step 1: Add all dry ingredients to bowl, mix well. Make a well, pour in water and starter. Mix water and starter together, then mix in dry ingredients.

Step 2: Cover dough, wait 30 minutes. At this time, feed your sourdough starter, and let rise out with your dough.

Step 3: After 30 minutes, use the “stretch and fold” technique, which involves folding the dough onto itself from all sides. I used a silicone spatula because it was really sticky.

Step 4: Keep stretch and folding every 30 minutes, as many as you can, and wait for about 5 to 6 hours.

Time to Bake!

Step 5: After 5-6 hours, your dough is ready to be “proofed.” This involves lining a proofing basket with a tea towel, and dust it with flour. Dump your dough out onto the counter, and do some more shaping to provide tension. Once shaped, put into the prepared proofing basket and cover with the towel, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour also to keep from sticking.

Step 6: Now let it proof for another hour or so in the proofing basket. When you can press your finger into the dough and it leaves an indentation, it is “proofed.” Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with the cold Dutch oven in the oven.

Step 7: Once your dough is done “proofing”, take the hot Dutch oven out of the oven. Take off the lid, and transfer the dough to the dutch oven. Put the lid back on and put into the oven. I baked it for about 30 minutes, then I took the lid off and baked it for another 15 minutes.

Step 8: Carefully remove the bread out of the dutchoven, wearing oven mits, test the bottom of the bread with the “thump” test, if it sounds hollow it is cooked! Watch out everything is very hot.

Step 9: Let the bread rest on a cookie rack, you are supposed to let it completely cool before you cut it, but this can be hard to do!

First Attempt at Sourdough Summary

In summary, bread making is an art form. I struggled with any type of design on the top. Also the dough seemed very sticky. I look forward to trying this again and updating this post with any new tips I learn!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Easy Baked Sausage Potato Onion Dinner

Easy Baked Sausage Potato Onion Dinner

Looking for an easy addition to your meal rotation? This baked sausage potato onion is an easy dinner to add to your meal rotation, it also uses cost effective ingredients, making it easy on your wallet as well. This was one of my favorite recipe growing up, so it definitely is kid approved! Try using any root vegetables you have on hand as well as different seasoning blends, it’s up to you!

Easy Baked Sausage Potato Onion Dinner

Looking for Meal Ideas?

Stressed at dinner time? Does meal time roll around and leave you feeling less than inspired? This dinner is an easy one to add to your meal rotation.

I used sausage, but you could also use ham, or keep it vegetarian and omit the meat, it would also make a good side dish.

I did not have a green bell pepper, but it still came out good!

Meal planning has really helped me, especially when I grocery shop. I have an extra deep freezer, and I always keep sausage in stock. Potatoes and onions are good vegetables to keep in stock as well, especially since they store a long time. I keep the onions in the refrigerator in the vegetable drawer.

Meal planning also helps me save money by not wanting to order out at dinner time or buy convenience food at the grocery store. I also live out in the country, so it’s hard to run out and buy ingredients without having to drive 30 minutes.

Easy Baked Sausage Potato Onion Dinner

Use your favorite seasonings, I like to use Mrs. Dash and Cajun seasoning in all my cooking! But you could use whatever seasoning you prefer.

Yield: 4

Easy Sausage Potato Onion Baked Dinner

baked potato sausage onion dinner

Easy baked sausage potato and onion dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 package of Sausage: cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Onion: chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 Large Potatoes: peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Garlic Cloves: minced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper: chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 TBS. Olive Oil
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cajun Seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray 13x9 Baking Pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Chop onion, potatoes, sausage, green bell pepper into large pieces, try to make everything about the same size.
  4. Place chopped ingredients into baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, add minced garlic.
  5. Sprinkle with seasonings to taste.
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Test potatoes to fork tender.
  7. Enjoy!


Try different root vegetables too, such as carrots.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope this recipe takes some of the stress off of your dinner time meal planning.

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Other Recipes to Try

Sourdough Starter First Attempt

Sourdough Starter First Attempt

Have you ever heard of sourdough starter? I had not heard of it prior to COVID-19. I was definitely intrigued! This was my first attempt at sourdough starter and I wanted to share my experience.

Isn’t she pretty!

Sourdough Starter Beginning

There is something about the olden days that really speaks to me! Our modern day convivences makes it very hard to learn self reliance. Self reliance is so important, especially will all the shortages we experienced during COVID-19. When I heard about sourdough starters, I had to give it a try. The more I learned about it, the more interesting I found it. People can keep the sourdough starter living for years to make their bread, never needing commercial yeast. Keep it in the refrigerator after the initial starter period, which takes about 2-4 weeks.

If you want to give it a try, here is what I did.


Pint Sized Mason Jar (wide mouth for easier stirring)


Silicone Spatula (small)


Whole Wheat Flour (for the first few days, then you can switch to AP flour, it has to do with needing the entire wheat)

Water (don’t use tap water or anything chlorinated)

Sourdough Starter First Attempt Steps

From what I can tell, people have a lot of different methods to get it started, someone said start it with pineapple juice! You want to give it a lot of stirring in the beginning to get it well oxygenated. The process involves AM and PM maintenance for about 2 weeks before you can use it to bake with. I used whole wheat that I freshly ground in my grain mill. But store bought whole wheat flour will work too.

Day 1

AM: Put 1/4 cup WW Flour and 1/4 cup water in mason jar, stir vigorously.

PM: Stir vigorously.

Day 2

AM: Stir vigorously to incorporate a lot of oxygen

PM: Stir vigorously.

Day 3

AM: Start feeding! Give your starter 2 TBS water and 2 TBS WW flour.

PM: Repeat Feeding from AM.

Keep repeating the AM and PM feeding until it doubles in size within about 5-6 hours after the last feeding, this should take about 2 weeks.

Sourdough Starter Discarding

There is also a “discard” process when you are starting a sourdough starter. Some people recommend throwing away about half of it every feeding. I found taking about half out once a day was plenty to discard. Anything more seemed wasteful.

At about a week, I switched to AP flour to save the WW flour. I also keep the starter covered with just a canning lid at all times, I do not use anything to screw down the lid. The starter needs to breath! Also, when stirring your starter, make sure you scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to keep any mold from growing in your jar.

I am at 2 weeks now, and I am going to bake a loaf of bread with it soon! I will let you know how it turns out.

Once the sourdough starter doubles in size it is considered “mature” and can be stored in the fridge. It still has to be fed, however about once a week. When you use it, just feed it after you take the portion out for your bread. Let it sit out with the bread until it doubles in size, then put it back in the fridge. If you don’t bake with it for awhile, just discard half and let it sit out and feed it until it doubles in size.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Tina

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Easy Quick Knit Soap Sack: Learn to knit

Easy Quick Knit Soap Sack: Learn to knit

Are you looking for an easy, quick knitting project that is also great for beginners? Making a soap sack is a satisfying one day knit. They make great gifts, you can also make a few and donate them to charity. Follow along to see how I make this easy quick knit soap sack. The best part is they only require the knit stitch! You could also use them as a sunglasses holder or small pouch, just adjust the length.

Finished Project.
Small Space Toy Storage Ideas

Small Space Toy Storage Ideas

Do you struggle finding toy storage areas in your small space? Do you feel like toys are taking over your house? We are a family of four living in 800 square feet. See how I find toy storage in our small space with these small space toy storage ideas.

Instant Grits: How to Make Perfect Grits Every Time

Instant Grits: How to Make Perfect Grits Every Time

Are you struggling making instant grits? Are they too dry? Too wet? It took me awhile to get the technique down. Some people use milk and add butter, I use water and cheese. But never anything sweet! My Louisiana mother in law is the best at making grits! Follow along to see how I make Instant Grits. There are also instant grits packets and slow cook grits, this recipe is for 5 minute grits, (see image below). I find them at Walmart.