September’s Pinterest-ing Meals – Week Two
Last week was kind of…weird. Ethan needed to be closely-ish monitored so there would be no head-banging that would mess with his beautiful stitches, meaning no trips to the gym, which made me feel very lazy. Luckily, the weather was AMAZING so we did lots of walks outside and hanging out with friends (more about that on Wednesday). Sometimes schedule change ups mess with my head…my motivation was, in a work, non-existant.
So this week I plan to turn it all around…get lots of stuff done.
That said, the one thing I DID accomplish was week two of my “challenge”. More Pinterest-ing meals! Last week’s recipes were a huge success and they lit a fire for this week…I was psyched to try out more of my many Yum and Yum-Sweets board recipes.
Read about my challenge here, but in a nutshell, I’m rectifying my pinning-and-not-doing 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!
Here are three Pinterest-ing recipes I tried this week:
Salami & Arugula Pizza with Homemade Dough
adapted from TheKitchenSinkRecipes
We make a lot of homemade pizza at our house…so much that we have all the gear including a pizza peel. It’s pretty serious. I’ve used my all-time favorite pizza dough recipe for years, though it was not a Pinterest find. It makes enough for two pizzas, but we usually only make one, giving half the leftover dough to Ethan for 20 minutes of squishy fun, and sometimes make breadsticks with the other half. Ten minutes of prep time, a couple hours of rising, and you have yourself some fantastic pizza dough.
This recipe was something I found in my search for a match to my favorite pizza at Faccia Luna, a local wood fired pizza joint just blocks from our house. The restaurant calls it the “Sopressatta”, which meant nothing to me until I found the delish italian salami at Trader Joe’s. BEWARE: eating this salami can become addictive…make sure you save some for the pizza.
I took the recipe’s cue and only used some squished canned whole tomatoes for the “sauce”. A little of the juice too. Use San Marzano if you can!
I arrange all my gorgeous soppressatta on the crust…trying to be generous. A sprinkle of basil, lots of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and into the 450 degree oven…pizza stone required.
I don’t know why this felt right in black and white. I guess it makes my oven look a little more “wood fired stove-y”…not. As soon as it was out of the oven, I gave the crust a quick brush with some olive old and garlic salt and topped it all with two big handfuls of peppery arugula and a drizzle of olive oil. Simple = GOOD.
So I didn’t really follow the pinned recipe very closely, but I DID use it for inspiration. Sometimes that is all you need to get your butt in the kitchen and try something new!
Since I had a huge bag of arugula, we served the pizza with…
Lemon Arugula Salad
Since this salad looked exactly like the picture when made in real life, I don’t have a picture of my own. But talk about easy…squeeze a lemon, toss in some salt, pepper, olive oil, craisens, parmesan, and nuts (we used walnuts) and you have a fresh and scrumptious salad that took all of two minutes to make. And it looks so FANCY!
Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatos & Goat Cheese
I had goat cheese (it’s something I always keep on hand), chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes—another thing I always have now that Trader Joe’s sells them in a sweet resealable, oli-free package. So I decided to try this scrumptious looking recipe from Annie’s Eats…she rarely steers me wrong. At the last minute, we had an out-of-town visitor stop by for dinner so the pressure was on—it needed to be good!
Let me tell you, it was. The recipe was…OK. Concept, great. So with a little tweaking (namely using my whole 5 oz log of goat cheese, 1 cup of wine, extra tomatoes, and 1.5 cups broth, sprinkling of fresh parsley), and pairing with roasted brussels sprouts and buttered whole wheat egg noodles, it was really good.
Like lick the plate, eat it the next day for lunch good. And SO fast. You can’t ask for a better week-night recipe. I made my notes and will be keeping this gem tucked in my “go-to dinner file!” Even our guest gave it two thumbs up, thanks Troy!
And now, for the week’s star attraction…
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
I made these for choir practice (PS, that REALLY makes me feel like I’m in high school again!) as we were having a little “social” after working our way through a Latvian folk song and two parts of Kodaly’s Missa Brevis. Knowing I’d been knee deep in this challenge, I offered to bring a fall treat…I had apples and caramel on the brain. These bars MORE than scratched my itch. I mean, will you LOOK at this streusel topping?
They were really a breeze to make, especially if you use your food processor for the crust and topping…the recipe called for hand work and that just takes long than I like. Just underneath the buttery goodness is a layer of cinnimon and nutmeg spiced apples, then a thick layer of cheesecake, and beneath that a shortbread crust. I made it the day before practice, so after baking and cooling, I covered it in caramel and let it chill out in the fridge over night.
See that foil? It’s necessary…don’t attempt this dish without this shiny barrier. I actually lifted the WHOLE concoction out of the dish by sliding a spatula between the foil and the pan, loosening the sides. Once out, I sliced the lusciousness into smallish squares, rinsing my knife in hot water between cuts. Oh, and if you think it will all fit back in the pan, you’d be wrong, so get a serving platter ready.
With no hesitation, I will tell you the crowd went WILD.
I literally had people standing in line to tell me how much they loved these squares of fall goodness. I was asked to send in the recipe for our weekly e-newsletter! I tell you, make these for your next event…you will not be disappointed.
Stay tuned next week for more!
You probably noticed I’ve skipped the “Link Party” this week. I don’t think my challenge is very “link-friendly” so I’m skipping it. But I’d LOVE to hear about your Pinterest-ing meals! Throw the links down in the comments.