Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 2012 Pinterest Inspirations

I used Pinterest a ton this month! Had several excellent recipes, too. Crock Pot Italian Chicken and Cafe Rio Chicken will definitely be making repeat appearances on our dinner table, and the Pork Chop Bake will be tweaked some and likely stick around as well. Hope you enjoy some of these!

Parmesan Chicken Salad - This was slightly disappointing. I will admit that I didn't use the mesquite grilled chicken recommended, so I might try it again. I just thought the mayo flavor overwhelmed the garlic and parmesan. I like my Almond Chicken Salad better (see Tried and True Recipes board).

Microwaving Ivory Soap - This worked beautifully! Luke loved it. Only took 30-40 seconds in our microwave. Definitely only use 1/4 of a bar or your microwave will be *full* of Ivory soap foam.

Chicken and Rice Casserole (no cream of something soup) - This was pretty good. Very similar to my tried and true version with cream of chicken soup. I think the addition of cheese to the topping was a little odd, but the rice part was very creamy and flavorful.

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Upside-Down Pizza Casserole - This was good, sort of like a pizza pot pie. I threw in some pepperoni after the ground beef was cooked. Would probably do half beef and half italian sausage next time. Not bad, though, and super-quick, which is what I needed tonight.

Crockpot Italian Chicken - There are a zillion versions of this running around, including the Angel Chicken. I picked this pretty basic version. Leah Finn calls it Chicken YumYum, and we agree. Quite yummy! We did rice instead of pasta and added 1/4 cup of chicken broth while cooking (have had issues with meat drying out recently). Might do 1/2 cup broth next time (or 1/4 broth and 1/4 wine) and try light cream cheese. Definitely a keeper, just can't eat it very often.

Easy Homemade Playdough - Excellent recipe/formula. Came together quickly, feels very good, nice and smooth. My 7yo really likes it, which is all that really matters! Not sure if it will last or how quickly it will dry out, but it's easy and cheap, so we can always make more. My color isn't this vibrant, but I used regular food coloring instead of the gel. Will definitely try that next time.

Pork Tenderloin - Marinated in olive oil, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, dry mustard, pepper and garlic. This was pretty good, though I think the balsamic garlic tenderloin was both better and simpler. I'd probably make half again as much pan sauce for a little extra. Overall, pretty good.

Ice Cream in a Bag (no machine needed) - I don't know why I'm amazed, but this actually worked! I think it could stand a bit more vanilla, would probably be better with heavy cream than the half and half, and I'm dying to try chocolate! Can't wait to try it with my son tomorrow.

Light and Tender Cream Scones - These were easy and good! Hard to beat that. I didn't have demerara sugar, so I just sprinkled with regular. Considering adding a bit more sugar (just 1 Tbsp) and some vanilla (not traditional, I know) next time. Worth keeping/using and maybe tinkering!

Condensed Milk Painting, Another pinner says: Dries shiny and beautiful. - It does indeed dry shiny and beautiful, though still a touch sticky. We had fun doing this. I think I liked it more than my 7yo, who is apparently not into painting so much (I think he's afraid he will get messy, which he hates). I used a muffin tin instead of ice cube trays.

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough - Well, it has to be largely fail proof if it worked for me! My first ever successful recipe that involved yeast. I can't say it was the best most perfect pizza dough I've ever had, but it was good. My picky 7yo son ate 5 of the 16 pieces, so it must have been decent. :-) Wow, I pinned this almost 6 months ago; glad I finally used it!

Marshmallows and Toothpicks - My son thought this was tons of fun! He doesn't usually get to play with his food, but for snack today, he was allowed to both eat and play.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin - We enjoyed this! I didn't think a crock pot was the best place for a pork tenderloin, so I used pork chops instead. They were a little dry, but very tender. I also strained the solids out of the pot liquid and thickened it with a little cornstarch for a silky gravy, served over rice.

Crockpot Cube Steak and Gravy - This was quite yummy, not dramatically different from the "three packet" version (since I add cream of mushroom soup to that one), but it was a little less, um, zingy (and definitely less salty). We preferred the roast/stew meat to the cube steak, but at least we know this gravy combination is equally good.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake - This was just okay. I knew the proportions were off from what I think of with a typical cake, and it does say the recipe is Brazilian. It is very eggy, which makes the cake a bit rubbery. It's not bad, just different from what I am accustomed to. Not sure I really care for it.

Perfectly Shredded Chicken - In 20 seconds using the KitchenAid. Yes, this absolutely works! In fact, I am rather shocked at how stunningly well it worked. I wasn't really sure that it would, but it is fast and perfectly shredded. I took my chicken straight out of the crock pot and into the mixer. Briefly on stir, then 2, then 4. Took 20-30 seconds. Done!

Crock Pot Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken - I've never been to (or even heard of) Cafe Rio, but the recipe sounded good, so I tried it. It was excellent! We shredded it in the mixer and made "Mexican Pizza" with it (on top of tortillas), but the refried beans "blanded" out the flavor some. Will try it with quesadillas tomorrow. The chicken itself is excellent! Just need to find the right application (or might just eat it straight up next time).

Draw a 3D Hand - Trace the hand in pencil. With a marker, draw a straight line until you get to the hand. Then make a curve from one line to the next, then continue the straight line. This worked great, but it was more difficult for Luke to do than I anticipated, so he got a bit frustrated. Still, it was pretty cool!

Pork Chop Bake - This was quite good. Left out the green chiles (you know me), but otherwise made by the recipe. The pork with the french fried onions was especially tasty, and serving it with a bed of potatoes instead of the usual rice or pasta was a nice change of pace. Will tweak it some next time, but definitely a keeper!

Yes, June was apparently sponsored by Pinterest! LOL (I'm kidding. No one throw anything legal at me, okay? I was making a joke.) Lots of "camp" ideas and new recipes from there this month. Hey, it keeps me busy and not bored!

Currently feeling: like I pinned a bunch of stuff this month!

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