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15 Can’t Miss Pinterest Recipes

Posted by on June 27th, 2013

If you’re anything like me, you have a huge Pinterest board loaded with mouth-watering recipes you have yet to try.  For the past few months I have been slowly making each recipe from my recipe board for a weeknight dinner. The result? Most were delicious and even one picky-eater approved (cough cough, John)!

Today I will share with you (in no particular order) 15 Pinterest dinner recipes we have tried and thought were delicious!  (P.S. follow us on Pinterest here!)

pinterest food collage

1. Easy Lemon Dijon Chicken – made this for dinner a few nights ago. It was a success. The lemon and dijon combo worked well together and we had leftovers to make chicken salad.  I even made chicken stock from scratch with the leftover chicken carcass afterwards.

2. One Pan Pasta – this recipe is delicious and super easy to make.  Added bonus: it’s vegetarian.

3. Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas - I love cooking chicken in the crock pot. It is so easy and makes perfect shredded chicken.  I served this dish with soft tacos instead of hard tostadas and it turned out fantastic.

4. Irish Beef and Stout Stew – made this stew for St. Patrick’s Day this year. Yum!

5. Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage – this was an ideal one dish meal.  It has it all protein, starch, and vegetables rolled into one plate. It is super flavorful and freezes well (this was one freezer meal I made before the baby arrived!).

6. Chicken Curry - simple and flavorful chicken curry recipe in the crock pot. This one makes the house smell unbelievable!

7. Shrimp with Cous Cous – an easy one-dish meal that comes together very quickly (tip: use pre-cooked shrimp for an even faster meal prep).

8. Quinoa Chili - terrific recipe for vegetarian chili that is perfect for the cold winter months.

9. Better Than Take Out Chicken Fried Rice – the name doesn’t lie!

10. Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach - follow the recipe for amazing chicken and you’ll have an impressive restaurant-style meal.

11. Freeze Ahead Lasagna Primavera – wonderful make-ahead meal that definitely qualifies as comfort food.. and it’s packed with veggies.

12. Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken - John loves this one.. lovely, flavorful chicken recipe.

13. Ham and Egg Crepe Squares – yes this is a breakfast/brunch recipe but we enjoy breakfast for dinner once in a while and this is a special treat. To make this meal even quicker and easier, buy store bought crepes.

14. Confetti Mac and Cheese – this is a favorite of our toddler and is an easy way to disguise vegetables.

15. Chicken and Biscuits Pot Pie – this yummy dish is filling and super delicious.

So there you have it – 15 Pinterest dinner recipes we’ve tried and given our stamp of approval.  While making this list, I noticed that most of my recipes are from Martha Stewart – this post was not sponsored by her, but I just love following her on Pinterest.  Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite Pinterest Recipes?

Posted in Cooking,Favorites. Tagged in ,

Prepping for Baby #2

Posted by on March 25th, 2013

Hey guys!  First off, yesterday was Lisa’s birthday.  She’s turned 25 again.  It wouldn’t be appropriate to tell you how many times she’s turned 25, so let’s just stick with 25.  To celebrate, we drove to Delaware to get Mexican for dinner.  There aren’t any good places near us unfortunately.  Although Delaware isn’t too far from us anyway.

In addition to our built-in project, which we’re nearly done, Lisa has been crazy busy getting us ready for our second baby.  We think we know what’s going to hit us in a few weeks, so having one kid under our belts has been helpful.  Yet despite our best preparations, we know we’ll be pretty exhausted soon enough (Lisa more so than me).  Prepping for baby #2 has involved mainly going though all the infant clothes, taking inventory and washing most of them.  Btw, Lisa swears by Dreft detergent for infant clothing.  She loves the smell of it.

Since we don’t know what gender the next baby will be, there is only so much clothing prep we can do.  Lisa actually bought an outfit for a boy and one for a girl to bring them home from the hospital in and once the baby is born, we can wash one set and return the other.

Aside from going through all the clothes, I spent this past weekend repainting the nursery.  The room needed some touch ups.  We had our daughter’s name in block letters hanging on the wall.  I had to take those down and spackle the wall and do paint touch ups. We actually joked that maybe we should name the next baby with the same amount of letters as our daughter so we can reuse the screws in the wall.  :)   Unfortunately, the paint I had leftover from the first time we painted the room was much glossier than the paint on the wall and it stood out pretty visibly.  So I had to repaint most of the room with a fresh can.  Stinks. The room looks much, much better now though, so it doesn’t feel like a total waste.  We’ll throw up some update photos shortly.

Once the baby arrives, we’re both going to be sleeping in shifts for a couple weeks.  To help make life easier all around, Lisa made several make-ahead meals.  A few weekends ago, she started with a couple chefs knives and some cutting boards and went to town.

supplies

She chopped up veggies and put together meal kits both for crock pot cooking and regular stove top dinners.

veggie prep

Even when we don’t have a newborn, Lisa and I are really bad at picking meals and cooking.  We’re not picky eaters, we just don’t plan and execute dinner time very well.  We end up eating out a little more often than we’d like to.  By having a bunch of ready prepped dinners, it will remove the aggravation of having to decide on a meal and then run to the supermarket for supplies.  While the menu of made-ahead meals won’t be huge, it’ll be extremely easy to finish the cooking process and have a great dinner.

Here’s what she made:

1.  Lasagna.  The containers are paper casserole dishes from Hefty and are oven ready.

lasagna

2.  Avocado Enchiladas.

avocado enchiladas

3. Lasagna primavera

lasagna primavera

4.  Peppers, onions and chicken for fajitas.

fajitas bags

5.  Beef stew

beef stew bags

6.  Bolognese sauce

bolognese

So right now our freezer is busting out at the seams.  We’ve been tempted to eat a couple of these made-ahead dinners, but so far we haven’t touched them yet.  They’ll definitely come in handy.

veggie bags

So stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll be sharing some more baby related posts over the next few weeks.

I’m hoping we keep up the make ahead meal thing even after the new infant phase.  It’s so convenient.  Do you do any pre-made meal preps or do you tend to cook on the fly?

 

 

 

Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking. Tagged in ,,

Irish Recipes

Posted by on March 17th, 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We hope you had a good weekend! We were busy with “second baby preparations,” which we will be sharing in the next few weeks, btw. We did get a chance to have a low key, but tasty St. Patty’s day dinner!

First off, I made homemade honey butter at John’s request. I’ve never had it, but it sounded good to me. I used Alton Brown’s recipe for the ingredients, but just eyeballed the measurements. I used my Cuisinart hand mixer with the whisk attachment to cream the butter, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Then I placed the mixture in a small ramekin and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. The honey butter was a great compliment to the store bought Irish soda bread.

honey butter

For dinner, I made Martha Stewart’s Irish Beef and Stout Stew. I halved the recipe and still had left overs for this week! This was a great tasting recipe and was very simple to make. John loves any kind of stew and this one was definitely a notch above my standard go-to stew recipe I make in the crock pot. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

irish stew

For dessert we had chocolate cake with green frosting. Pretty straightforward so no pictures here. My personal preference would have been for a few shamrock shakes from MickyD’s, but no one felt like running out of the house to fetch them, so I will have to wait until tomorrow! I don’t know about you guys, but I love shamrock shakes. I have been drinking them since February and will continue to order them until all the McDonald’s near me run out.

So that was our low key St. Patty’s day celebration – what are your traditions?

Posted in Cooking,Holiday. Tagged in ,, ,

Our Daughter’s Wiggles Themed Birthday Party

Posted by on February 7th, 2013

Happy Friday everybody! Hope your week has been a good one. Last Saturday we celebrated our daughter’s 2nd birthday with a small family party. I guess small family is kind of a relative term in this case. Plus we had a few neighbors. We decided to go with a Wiggles theme since she’s a HUGE fan of the show. Lately she’s also into Caillou. It’s not my favorite show, but she lets me watch hockey whenever the Flyers are on and I let her watch Caillou. I think that’s only fair.

In case you’re not familiar with the Wiggles, it’s a group of Australian dudes that wear colored t-shirts and sing and dance. She’s a big fan of their music. There are few things cuter in life than watching a 2 year old try to dance along with a TV show. They each wear a different color: purple, red, blue and yellow. So, the challenge for decorating the party was to try to incorporate those hues into the party decor.

wiggles themed birthday party

Instead of using our house like we did at her party last year, this year we rented out a local small school house. It was ideal. All we had to do was some light cleaning afterwards and we were set.

wiggles theme birthday party 2

For food, we had a decent variety with pasta and potato salad, lunch meats, tomato pie and Chik-Fil-A nuggets (jackpot).

party food

Lisa made some Wiggles colored cake pops for dessert to supplement the birthday cake.

wiggles theme cake pops

She didn’t stop there either. She also had time to make cookies! Everyone got a little cookie baggie as party favors. The best party favors are ones you can eat before you get to your car, IMHO.

wiggles themed cookies

My favorite dessert also made an appearance, pretzel donuts!! While they may look like your average glazed donut, make no mistake, these donuts are something different. They are amazing. I’m convinced they alter the part of your brain responsible for decision making. I’ve seen people snort them. One of the neighbors that attended is now a full blown pretzel donut addict. The thing is, these donuts may not even be the best product this bakery makes. Scary.

pretzel donuts

I digress.

We also put together special little goodie bags for the other little kids in attendance.

wiggles birthday party

All the invitations, the cookie bags and the kids’ party favors had these custom made Wiggle graphics. Lisa took a stock Wiggle image, added the stars background in Photoshop and printed them all up. Fun stuff.

So, I think Lisa and I are both hoping that this time next year we’re not posting about a Caillou themed 3rd birthday party. I’m not even sure what that would look like. I presume it would involve a lot of whining and disappointment as is the overarching theme of that cartoon.

What are your weekend plans? Any foods you’re addicted to or is that just me (and now Mike)?

 

Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking,Life. Tagged in ,, ,

Christmas Cookies

Posted by on December 13th, 2012

Every year I make Christmas cookies with my mom. We’ve been making them together since I was a little kid with my grandmom. Since we’ve been married, I’ve also been putting together a cookie tray for John to take to his office Christmas party. We always make certain traditional Italian cookies and every year try out one or two new cookie recipes. Here’s what we baked up this year…

italian christmas cookies 1

1. Peanut Butter Blossoms. These are peanut butter cookies that are rolled into a ball, then rolled in suger, baked and while hot out of the oven, they are pressed down with a Hershey kiss. This isn’t a family recipe or anything. You can see the actual recipe on Hershey’s website.

2. Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are a thin, buttery, crispy, chocolate chip cookies that are my “go-to” chocolate chip cookies. Most chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve seen make thicker, chewier cookies. That’s fine if you like that, but I really like this crispy version. The recipe is Martha Stewart’s daughter’s and can be found here. This recipe makes 30 4-inch cookies, which are HUGE. I typically halve the recipe and make smaller sized cookies, say 2 or 3 inches in diameter.

3. Crescent Cookies. This is a traditional Italian cookie that my grandmother taught my mom to make way back in the day. She has been making them ever since. They are made with Pecans and are rolled in powdered sugar. Enuff said. Nom nom. I’m not sharing this recipe. Sorry!! Ancient family secret. ;) I’m sure you can find something delicious online.

4. Spritzer Cookies. These are a cookie that was made by my grandmother. They are a lovely, light, buttery cookie that are decorated with sprinkles. You’ll need a cookie press and various dies to make these. We always use the wreath and the Christmas tree and this year we tried the snowflake shape.

linzer christmas cookies

5. Raspberry Filled Linzer Sandwich Cookies. This is a new cookie we made this year and it’s delicious! The only drawback is the recipe doesn’t make a lot of cookies. We used the Wilton recipe that came with the Linzer cookie set. If you don’t bake regularly, these cookies may be more challenging. They also take a lot of time. It’s hard because you have to roll the dough out really thin, which makes transferring the dough to your cookie pan hard without cracking them. They’re definitely worth the effort though! Here’s a tip: Refrigerate them overnight for an even better taste.
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6. Raspberry and Apricot Filled Thumbprint Cookies. These are my favorite Christmas cookies of all time. Period. It’s not Christmas without me inhaling 2 dozen of these little gems. Once again, this is a family recipe, so I’m not sharing. There are plenty of thumbprint cookie recipes floating out there. They can be filled with just about any type of jam or dried fruit, but my personal favorite is seeded raspberry preserves dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Ridic.

7. Sugar Cookies. These are basic sugar cookies that are rolled out and cut with Christmas themed cookie cutters. They are what we’ll be leaving out for Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Any basic sugar cookie recipe will probably do fine.

So, this may be my favorite Christmas tradition and I’m still making some yet. If I do, I’ll share those as well.

What are your Christmas culinary traditions? Do you bake something every year or do you cook?

Posted in Cooking,Holiday. Tagged in ,, , , ,