September’s Pinterest-ing Meals Challenge
Ok, so I’m leaning on the blog for a little help.
I use the blog for “accountability” purposes from time to time. For instance, I try to make sure I post on Ethan’s month birthdays so I never forget all the things he was doing at each stage. And I try to post all our “exploration” pictures, again so I don’t forget AND so I get them edited for future photo books/videos/prints.
So now I’m going to use the blog to help me go through the recipes I’ve pinned over the last two years!
You know, you go on there, browse around and pin stuff, but then kind of forget it’s there? Well I’m rectifying this situation and hoping it will help get me out of the dinner rut we’re in, making the same things over and over again. We need to shake it up! So this September I’m starting…
Ok, not a super catchy title, but I’m just going to focus my energy on cooking, not naming.
Each Monday in September (and one in October) I will post at least three Pinterest recipes from the prior week. They can be any category—dessert, breakfast, dinner, snack, kid food, drinks, etc—and don’t all have to be made on the same day, just during the same week. I’ll tell you how they turned out, share pictures, and explain any changes I made or would make next time around.
Let’s get started! Here are three Pinterest-ing recipes I tried this week:
Kid Friendly Pumpkin Apple Muffins
I’m dying to get Ethan cooking with me in the kitchen, and these super simple muffins seemed to be a good opportunity. I set up our step stool and let him play with cupcake liners and watch while I whipped up the batter. The recipe includes honey, whole wheat flour, a whole apple, and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Healthy stuff!
The batter was thick and rich…it was hard to keep Ethan from licking the mixer attachment but I didn’t want him eating too much raw egg (though I seemed to grow up just fine after eating my fair share of batters) so I let him have a few nibbles.
They turned out cakey and sweet with a little kick from the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice…yum. Ethan was also a fan—he ate THREE muffins right out of the oven. I know that is too many, but I caved each time he begged for more. He couldn’t get enough! I kept half the batch in a air-tight container while the other half went in the freezer for later use.
NOTE: Pumpkin is chock full of fiber, so you may want to limit the muffin intake for kids. Ethan was a poop machine after his muffin binge. I’d say one a day is plenty.
Super Summery Pasta
This pasta spoke to me. Can you even believe that beautiful photo? Sold. I pinned it quite a while back and decided it was the perfect summer dinner to make with my stash of homemade pesto that is always stocked in the freezer.
Simple, fresh ingredients, most of which I had on hand, were ready in minutes. I threw a couple cubes of frozen pesto in a coffee cup and nuked for a minute, then assembled the dish as directed. My photography is no where near as good as Alexandra’s, but you can get the idea of how the meal turned out.
It was good! Stu gave it two thumbs up. It is similar to quick pasta dishes I make sometimes but the main difference is the ball of mozzarella (known officially as ciliegene)—I’m not a big fan. I love using the little balls for antipasta skewers but the texture seems to gluey for pasta. Next time I’ll do my usual parmesan. That said, any pasta with nuts, fresh veg, cheese, and a light sauce is a week night winner!
And last but not TOTALLY not least,
from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles
This is one of my oldest recipe pins. From WAAAAY back in the “Yum” vault. Though it should be more of a fall or winter meal, I couldn’t wait to try it and am so glad I did.
It started out pretty innocently. I substituted sweet italian sausage, though the recipe called for just plain. Stu and I are convinced that fennel-y, sweet sausage is the key to incredible lasagna, so I figured I’d try it here too!
I admit, I was doubting this soup from the start. What would be so good about it? It seemed kind of watery after I added the stock. But I powered on. I took the author’s suggestion of cooking the pasta separately (though the instructions tell you to cook it right in the same pot) because I knew we’d want this for leftovers. Didn’t want the pasta to get gummy! Speaking of pasta, I couldn’t find the mafalda so I used my favorite fusilli from Whole Foods. You could also just break full-size lasagna noodles in thirds length-wise to get the mafalda experience.
I left the soup to simmer for 30 minutes and when I returned, I. Was. Pumped. The reddish water had turned an incredible bright red color, sweet scents wafting from the steamy pot. I couldn’t wait to grab my riccotta cheese to make the “cheesy yum” for the topping. Alas, my f&*(#% ricotta was moldy. So I just used shredded mozzerella and parmesan. In each bowl I put some cheese, then noodles, then I ladled hot soup over it all, finishing with more cheese and some fresh basil. Stu added pieces of toasted whole wheat sour dough and we were ready.
OMG. This soup is AMAZING!!!!! We kept exclaiming “This is so good!” over and over. The flavors really melded together and the cheese really helps the true lasagna feel come through. I’m actually not sure I’ll ever make a lasagna again! And the leftovers? Even better the next night. Can’t wait to make this for an upcoming football game!
Stay tuned next week for a fall dessert, fast chicken dish, and a fancy but easy pizza.