Monday, January 16, 2012

Pinterest Has Invaded My Kitchen

I'm not too big on Pinterest as a whole, but I do use it often for recipes. I think it's the best digital file I can find for recipes I'd like to attempt myself. There's just something about food being visual. That, and it organizes me way better than my file 'o' randomness I had going on in my kitchen before. Here are some recent pins I've made and the commentary...

European Peasant Bread

I wrote about this in my last post and actually made it yesterday! Of course that meant I had to invest in buying rye flour, whole wheat flour, and yeast, but it was incredible! I was nervous about halving the recipe since any time I attempt using yeast or powders in baking I fail miserably, but it ended up being quite fine! I was worried that my bread hardly rose at all, but it was meant to be a standard, dense bread and that it was. Perfectly crunchy on the outside and super hearty. Went perfectly with homemade split pea soup.

Here was my rendition... one dusted in flour and one not.
 Paired with a homemade pea soup...
Crock Pot Split Pea Soup (how I make it):
1 bag split peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
6 cups of water or stock (if just water, use a bouillon cube or two with low/no sodium)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dry mustard
Cracked pepper to your liking

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours (or until consistency reached). Last night, mine was not thickening fast enough, so I added 1/2 cup mashed potatoes and voila! I didn't have any carrots or onions, so I subbed with a hearty helping of onion powder and just didn't add the carrots. It's really quite versatile and as long as you like split pea soup (p.s. I hate real peas, but love this soup), you can add your favorite veggies/spices. I almost never make it exactly the same way every time because it is so versatile. That, and it's crazy high in protein! If you aren't a veggie or cooking for a non-veggie person, I recommend making and chopping up some bacon to sprinkle on the top. That way the flavor is altered to their liking and they are getting some meat protein as well-- though it's not necessary as a veggie dish can often be just as hearty as a meat dish.

Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Super easy and everyone loved it! Ray's parents even called for the recipe to replicate at home! It's a very standard recipe with only a few ingredients: 6 chicken breasts, 1 bottle BBQ sauce, 2 tbsp. Worcestershire, 1/2 cup of Italian dressing, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Super easy and they all loved it. I couldn't tell you if it's good or not, but the husband seemed to like it well enough and it's healthier than pulled pork like I usually make.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Balsamic & Olive Oil

Loved it. I would add an extra healthy portion of balsamic next time, however. They were delicious but didn't have enough kick to them.

Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls

Definitely delicious. I believe they call for egg roll wrappers, but I used spring roll wrappers and was equally pleased.

Vegetarian Baked Southwestern Spring Rolls

Oh so good. We loved these even more than the Asian-inspired ones! If you'd like, adding chicken can easily turn these into an amazing carnivore side dish or appetizer. I think we even made these one night for dinner. Since they are baked in spring roll wrappers (virtually fat free), it's quite a healthy meal in itself!

Pioneer Woman's Grilled Corn Guacamole

Love. There's nothing really to it, but the combination and the grill flavor makes it all taste incredible. Anything avocado/guacamole pretty much has me sold, though. As you could tell from my last post about that avocado pasta which I fully intend to make very soon.

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

They turned out quite well, moist, and decent. I wouldn't say they were earth-shattering and ended up being more like cupcakes with a hint of pumpkin then muffins... but still good. Sure, I'd make them again. My friend Alli even added chocolate chips to hers and they also turned out moist and lovely.

Pioneer Woman's Black-Eyed Pea Dip

I didn't have the black-eyed peas on hand but made it with black beans instead. Still incredible. Will definitely make again as a pretty phenomenal bean dip to change-up the ol' 7-layer dip favorite. Or like in the Midwest, I've seen lots of people make a 2-3 layer dip with taco seasoning mixed with sour cream and topped with shredded cheese. All fat... of course and none of the wholesome protein in the beans/avocado. But that's the Midwest for ya!

Homemade Tzatziki Dip

Almost entirely fat free when made with fat free Greek yogurt and incredibly high in protein/calcium. And did I mention absolutely delicious? On the list of definitely making this again and again.

"Potentially Life Changing One-Pot Mac n' Cheese"

While good, I wouldn't consider it life-changing. You basically cook the noodles in milk (not water) and they absorb the milk. Once absorbed, you add cheese and it's done. No straining any liquid = one pot. The more bite the cheese has, the less cheese you will need (naturally, as the flavor is bolder). I have tried this recipe twice now and I think it's fine. I like getting my calcium this way, especially in a dish that's usually quite high in fat content. I hate physically drinking milk, so cooking my noodles in milk packs the calcium in for me and I love that. I've used romano, asiago, sharp cheddar, and parmesan. All strong cheeses. Decent, not life-changing. Sure, I'd make it again.

And a few I cannot wait to try...

Brie & Apple Tarts

We're having people over in a couple weeks and we'll be providing appetizers. This is definitely what I'll be making. I may even make some with a little ham for a non-vegetarian's snack. How can you go wrong with pastry, brie, and apples anyway?

Homemade Ice Cream without the ice cream maker

I am afraid this will be too creamy, but I love how easy the recipe is. I love her website for more than just recipes. One, she's an incredible photog and has been helpful in teaching us some cool DSLR tricks... and then there's the baking. She's fabulous. I love her energy. And did I mention that I once won a giveaway by commenting on her site? A bunch of ice-cream related items. Nummers.

Blue Moon Cupcakes

While I don't love the wheat beers as much as the pale ales and ambers, I would love to try my hand at these. I imagine once I'm not gestating I'll be able to drink a beer while making said cupcakes. :)

7-Up Biscuits (only 4 ingredients!)

These get incredible reviews and I see them all. over. the. internet. People rave about them. I just wish I wouldn't keep forgetting to buy the darn Bisquick at the store.

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

I've never attempted Indian food, let alone in a crock pot! But, we love it. It's one of my favorite types of food, actually. There's something about all the flavors and being a veggie. For some reason it's often assumed that vegetarians don't like meat and therefore don't like spices and flavor. At least that's an issue I run into a lot. On the contrary, I love spice and flavor... I just don't want the animal added in! I'm anxious to see if the husband will enjoy this. We usually get our Indian fix by buying the $2 boil-in-a-bag at TJ's. Before you scoff, try them! They are surprisingly pretty tasty and quite filling paired with some quinoa and a grilled veggie (usually fresh green beans).

I'll let you know more successes as they come! We're having friends over tonight for breakfast for dinner. I'll be serving up some Organic Oatmeal waffles, breakfast potatoes, and others will be bringing dishes to add to the mix.

What about you guys? Anyone tried any of the above recipes (since a few are very popular on pinterest)?


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I'm salivating and hungry now (I blame you). I have heard really good things about the 7up thing- looks like a crispy Kreme! yum.

Molly's gong to want to crawl through her computer screen, you know this, right? :)

Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later said... [Reply to comment]

You have been cooking like crazy!!

I want to try the bread, the southwest spring rolls, the tzatziki and the brie and apple tarts!

I made the 7 up biscuits last week... get the Bisquick... they are tasty... plus I just pinned a 5 ingredient dessert that uses Bisquick... so you can make that too and use up the rest of it.

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

I am so suprised you make meat as a vegetarian. I wouldn't even attempt it. I have some of those recipes pinned as well. I have done more craft projects from Pinterest than anything else. Have you ever tried It also as reviews and alterations to the recipes from has been a great place for me to find good stuff to eat.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

oh my gosh I need a snack now- They look so good!! I need to try the 7Up biscuits too!

The Troyers said... [Reply to comment]

I love Kevin and Amanda! I saw the 7-Up biscuits for the first time on her site and they are now a regular. My husband LOVES them. He requests them all the time because they keep well in the fridge and he can have them for/with breakfast.

I did try her no-ice-cream-maker-ice-cream and we were not fans. I suggest NOT adding the butter when it calls for it because it left the inside of our mouths very waxy and filmy. We tried the plain vanilla, cinnamon bun, and Nutella and we threw all of them out. :/ I don't know if we left ours in the freezer for too long or what, but it was not creamy. It froze ROCK solid.

Anyways. I cannot wait to try to the black bean dip and the homemade Tzatziki! Mmmmm!

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

You had me at Brie. Mmmmm.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE breakfast for dinner but I cannot get my husband on board. I don't know what is wrong with him.

ASP said... [Reply to comment]

I just pinned your tzaki (spelling, I know!;) I made that same Indian recipe last week (from Pinterest, of course)--deeeeeeeeelicious! Don't forget the naan!

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

I love Chicken Tikka Masala and excited to try it in my crock pot now. Maybe I'll have to check out Pinterest for its recipes.

And thanks for that link to the recall on the chariot. I was not aware of that and mine is one that fits rights into the dates listed for the recall.

J. said... [Reply to comment]

Nice! Cooking is always part chemistry, part art. And never the same twice ;-) I'm intrigued yet aghast at the thought of using two "processed" ingredients like Bisquick and 7-Up in the same recipe. Were they really better than a "whole" version?? It would be fun to compare, but I'll leave that to you.

ekiwi said... [Reply to comment]

I made your split pea soup and it was a major hit over here! Protein options for non-meat eaters rock my world! Adam requested that I double the recipe next time (have you ever done that? Does it turn out as well?). Always always always thinking of you guys and sending love your way.