Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Favorite Pinterest Pins: Tested and Proved

I joined FB, just so I could join Pinterest (a FB profile is a requirement to join) because it simplified something I was already doing with "computer bookmarks" and printing things out. I enjoy the Pinterest space every week at some point. I like that there's some inferred personal advice/ preference with a pin on any subject. Of course, like advice, not all pins are worth my time. BUT, I decided to share a few that have made me very happy. I only have 2 sections here, Food-- and Other. (I try a lot of recipes from Pinterest.) Without further waiting--in no particular order--my FAVORITE PINS!

FOODS
Red Enchilada Sauce- I never thought to make my own before, and now, I can't imagine buying it after seeing how easy it is to make in 10 minutes of minimal effort. So, it's clean happy food and a wonderful way to top my pork enchiladas.

Falafel- I've tried a few different recipes for falafel, and this one is my favorite so far. You soak garbanzo beans overnight, then grind them up without cooking them to give them a better texture. They tasted so good that my 4 year old cried when we ran out of leftovers the next day. 
Ricotta- I don't know why it took me until I was 30 to finally think to make my own ricotta, but I'm so happy I did. Prior to making ricotta at home, I didn't even want to buy ricotta because I couldn't afford the really good ricotta. The good store bought stuff in Seattle brought harmony to my taste buds and I kept mentioning how smooth the lipids in the fat were.... "MMmmm these lipids make my mouth sing." Make it, but be warned, you may become a ricotta snob.


Ina Gartner's Summer Garden Pasta- If you love fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and Parmesan cheese, then you'll love this delicate pasta dish. I used to hate angel hair, but realized in my adulthood that I had only been given it overcooked. So, I cook the pasta 1 minute under the directions, and then rinse my angel hair with cold water in a it comes out to ensure it doesn't overcook and ruin my day.

Coconut Crusted French Toast- Stop it! Stop it! I can't take it! This is so good I can hardly look at it without wanting to go to the store and buy white bread! A friend of ours made this for us when we visited and said we should be prepared to have our minds' blown. When breakfast came around, I was drooling and sure enough, our friend was absolutely correct-- our minds were blown! If you love coconut, try this ASAP. You dip the bread in a coconut milk/egg mixture-- and cover it in shredded coconut before you cook it....so, you get a little crust. The house smells heavenly and you might cry happily with each bite. I recommend complimenting your french toast by making some bacon or sausage to serve on the side. It will cut through the sweetness. 

Chicken Gyro- This is a darn good way to enjoy a gyro outside a Greek Restaurant. I think the key is the marinating. She also makes a balanced Tzatziki sauce that satisfies me. If you're looking for fresh pita, I have used this recipe at Food Network and loved the result, cooking the bread on my pizza stone.
Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade noodles- This recipe has a great simple foundation of carrots, celery, and onion. The best part are the homemade noodles. I actually make a double recipe of the noodles so I can overcrowd my bowl with perfect noodles of deliciousness.  Try it next time you need soup and you won't be disappointed.




Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings- These are so easy to make and a more exciting way to eat a chicken breast (low fat, high protein). We make these and dumplings and talk about the kids. Then we steam them and EAT THEM all!! We love the shrimp inside because it adds texture and flavor. This is a very kid friendly meal too. 
Chocolate Mug Cake- This was found on another pinner's tested list, so, I listened to her. I'd never made a mug cake prior, and now I find myself in love. It really needs a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at least some whipped cream to make it out of this world. There's something about eating hot fudgy cake with cold melting vanilla ice cream that makes me feel like I have to go faster before the kids wake up and catch me. Luckily, your kids assume it's peppermint tea or something boring when they see the mug. Try it. It will take the edge off any gooey-chocolate craving.
Best Pizza Sauce- I am surprised when I meet a person who thinks the making of a pizza sauce is abstract and out of their wheelhouse. This is a great sauce I found this year that is super easy to make- with a rich flavor. Can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato paste, and some spices--all crushed up in a food processor. That's it. SOOO easy and so tasty.



Fluffy Vanilla Frosting- I happened upon this recipe last summer when I was trying to find a frosting to act as a filling for a chocolate cake...and this one knocked me off my feet. It was so light and perfectly sweet...that I started licking the bowl of frosting and closing my eyes swooning. I suppose, just like in all cooking, it's the butter that makes the magic happen. (Happy happy Lipids...right!?)





OTHER STUFF
Cut Cherry Tomatoes- Watch out folks! If you're not doing this now, you should be soon. This tip is awesome. Use 2 lids to hold them still, press down, and cut through with a serrated knife. You can cut so quickly--to make Ina Gartner's Tomato Basil Pasta-- or brushetta. I love things that save me serious time and energy. Also, I feel like a genius each time I do it...like I belong in MENSA or something.

DIY Laundry Detergent- LOVE IT! I was tired of buying expensive Eco Friendly liquid detergent that ran out all the time. So, I tried this pin out and made my own laundry detergent. I used the recommended Purex Crystals and my clothes smell lovely for much longer than ever before. I haven't had problems with clumping powder, like I have in the past with powdered brand detergents.

DIY Poop Spray- I saw the commercials for the name brand stuff and didn't pay a lot of attention to it, but this week, I thought about it. I looked up how to make our own, and was pleased at the low cost and ease. If you want to have one more beautiful smell in your life, drop some essential oils in the water before. Love it.


I think that about sums up my favorite pins for now. Share with me some of your favorite pins. I'd LOVE to know about what's worked for you.

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