Posted by Lisa 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!)
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.
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 by John 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.
She chopped up veggies and put together meal kits both for crock pot cooking and regular stove top dinners.
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.
2. Avocado Enchiladas.
3. Lasagna primavera
4. Peppers, onions and chicken for fajitas.
5. Beef stew
6. Bolognese sauce
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.
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 ,baby stuff, Cooking
Posted by Lisa 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.
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.
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 by John on November 28th, 2011
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was fun and the food was delicious. We got a couple projects around the house done this weekend and we’ll share them throughout the week. But, for now, here are some awesome DSLR pictures for you to feast your eyes upon.
Yeah, so that post just made me really hungry again.
How was your Thanksgiving? Have any great new recipes to share? I promise I’ll like it.
Posted in Cooking,Holiday. Tagged in ,Cooking, fall, Thanksgiving
Posted by Lisa on October 10th, 2011
Happy Columbus Day! Why am I so excited for Columbus day you ask!? Because Columbus was a great Italian explorer!
I am very proud of being Italian and love to celebrate Columbus Day much like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (only with much better food and wine!!)
In honor of Chris himself I am making homemade lasagna.
The recipe is from Joy Behar of The View. The recipe can be found here
I did make a few modifications (like always).
First, I used my homemade sauce.
Also I used dried parsley flakes instead of fresh – 1 tablespoon of dried is equivalent to 1/4 cup fresh. Also I skipped the meat.
The filling ingredients are ready to go.
Layer one – cover the bottom of a 9x12x2 dish with sauce.
Layer two – uncooked lasagna sheets. This was the first time I didn’t cook the pasta before using it in lasagna. I’ll tell you my thoughts about it later on…
Layer three – yummy filling
And don’t be skimpy with the filling. Make sure it reaches all sides so each bite is delicious.
Layer four – mozzarella cheese. This was also the first time I did not mix the mozzarella into the filling.
Layer five – lasagna noodles.
Layer six – more filling!!
Then the lasagna gets topped with sauce and a sprinkling of cheese – I used mozzarella.
Into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes…
This is the delicious result. I couldn’t resist and had to have a piece immediately.
This has to be one of my favorite lasagnas I have ever had! I think not cooking the noodles was a big part of it. When the noodles are cooked, the lasagna has a much heavier and looser feel. Uncooked noodles helped the lasagna keep it’s shape and gives the dish a whole new dimension. This recipe (along with substitutions) is going in my recipe box for sure.
Hope you enjoy your Columbus Day! I know I will thanks to my lasagna!
Posted by Lisa on September 14th, 2011
I went over to my parents’ house earlier this week. We picked a rainy day and did some Fall baking!
We ran over to the grocery store to get some ideas, and decided to make homemade Pumpkin Pie. Everyone in my family loves this Fall treat.
We used organic canned pumpkin.
This stuff tastes super good right out of the can! We followed the recipe on the back of the can, not our usual one. The canned pumpkin recipe called for sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in addition to two eggs.
We popped the bad boy into the oven following the directions and in about an hour, this is what we had:
Delicious pumpkin pie with some piping hot coffee
This pie is SO good! I am planning on keeping this recipe so I can make it year after year.
Anyone else have a go-to pumpkin recipe to share? I would love to try some new ones.
Posted by Lisa on September 7th, 2011
Up next for the LO to try: apples!
At the grocery store I picked up four medium sized organic Gala apples. Apples are part of “The Dirty Dozen” so buying organic is a really good idea.
Supplies needed for this one are apples (duh), vegetable peeler, apple corer, and a food processor.
After washing and drying the apples I peeled them with the veggie peeler.
Then I used my handy-dandy apple-corer which also slices the apples. This is a pretty good gadget, especially for making apple tarts and pie – saves a lot of time.
Then I put the apples slices in a medium size pot and covered the apples with water.
I cranked the gas to high until the apples came to a boil and then I let them cook for about 5 minutes. The apples will become really soft pretty quick. Just check them with a fork, if they are soft then they are good to go.
I scooped the cooked apple slices out of the water with a spoon and placed them into a glass bowl.
Then, in batches I pureed the cooked apples to a smooth consistency.
Then I put the apples in my nifty baby food containers and into the freezer (after labeling them!)
… and the results? She loves them – and so do I! Now that Fall is here, I will be purchasing local apples to make my own applesauce for myself and the hubs.
Do you have any great baby food ideas that are easy to make? If so, I’d love to hear them!
Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking. Tagged in ,applesauce, baby food, Cooking
Posted by Lisa on August 30th, 2011
Based upon some other mommy’s recommendations I gave the LO (little one) sweet potatoes to try next.
I purchased a 3 pound bag of organic sweet po’s at my local grocery store.
There were about twelve small potatoes in the bag – I would have preferred a few super large ones though.
I opened the bag and scrubbed each potato individually and let them dry thoroughly.
Then I pierced a few holes in each potato with a fork so they wouldn’t burst in the oven (is this really true for the oven? Or is it just the microwave? I am too scared to try cooking without doing this because I would not enjoy cleaning up the mess!)
Then I placed each potato on the aluminum foil and parchment paper lined cookie sheets. The aluminum foil helps keep the cookie sheet clean for super easy clean up and the parchment paper stops any of the aluminum from cooking into the sweet potatoes (thank you, Martha Stewart for this trick).
I cooked these guys for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. If you have the larger sized sweet potatoes I would recommend cooking at 400 for at least an hour.
I removed them from the oven an sliced each one down the middle.
Next is the tricky part. While the potatoes are still hot, you have to scoop the flesh out. Once the potatoes get cold you can’t get separate the skin and the flesh. However, when the potatoes are hot it’s tricky to not burn your fingers while taking the skins off.
I scooped out as much flesh as I could of each sweet potato because I didn’t want to waste any of my efforts. This was the most time consuming part of the whole process since there were about twelve individual sweet potatoes.
At the end of this step it occurred to me that maybe I could have peeled the potatoes? I still don’t know – has anyone tried this before?? I’ve peeled white potatoes but not sweet ones.
After all the scooping I began pureeing the sweet potatoes using a food processor. I did a few potatoes at a time. Feel free to add water or pumped milk at this point if the potatoes are too thick for your baby. (I’m pretty sure you can add formula also as long as you aren’t going to freeze any).
After each batch was pureed I place about 1.5 ounces into my baby food freezer containers.
Once frozen the sweet potatoes will stay for about three months. If you keep them fresh they are good for three days. Once defrosted, use the sweet potatoes within 24 hours.
At first the LO wasn’t too thrilled about them, but after a few tries she loves them! She will even eat peas if I mix them with rice cereal or the sweet potatoes.
This recipe is definitely a keeper. I think next time I will try to peel the skins and instead of using the food processor try the ricer I have instead. When I make mashed potatoes I always use the ricer instead of a hand mixer, and John loves them this way.
As a side note, since you are spending so much time pureeing the sweet potatoes why not reserve some for yourself and serve as a side dish. After pureeing (I would keep the consistency a little chunkier) add some butter and top with a little brown sugar. Sweet potatoes make a great starch to any dinner. Plus they are healthy, too!
Posted in Baby Stuff,Cooking. Tagged in ,baby food, Cooking
Posted by Lisa on August 10th, 2011
Today I cooked up my first batch of homemade baby food for the little one. I made bananas last week, but that doesn’t really count since all I did was mash and freeze.
This time I whipped up some delicious sweet peas. Relatively simple.
First I bought a frozen bag of (organic) peas:
I opened the bag and let the peas defrost in the fridge using a colander and glass bowl. I realized they weren’t ever going to unfreeze in my lifetime so I just steamed the peas frozen.
I do not have a steam basket, yet. Any time I needed to steam something (like lobster tails for new years) I have made my own steamer using a pot and my sieve I use for sifting my flour etc for baking. Since I will be making more baby food I think a trip to Williams & Sonoma is necessary.
Here is what my homemade steamer contraption looks like, with peas inside
And from the side
This method works pretty well. After the peas steamed for about 5 minutes I let them cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, I set up the food processor.
In batches I pulverized the peas to the desired consistency. I added liquid as needed to help thin the peas out.
After I put the peas in freezer containers I received as a shower gift. They have come in handy, but I may need to purchase some more as I make more and more foods.
An alternative way to store the food is in ice cube trays. After they freeze, pop the cubes out and place in ziplock bags in the freezer.
All together I think the process took about 20-25 minutes. Not too shabby.
The frozen homemade food will keep for three months frozen.
Posted in Baby Stuff. Tagged in ,Cooking
Posted by Lisa on July 15th, 2011
Our neighbors invited the entire neighborhood over for a pool party – awesome! So to show our appreciation I decided to whip up a batch of mini easy cupcakes on a whim. NBD. I got both the cake batter and icing recipe from Cooks.com – what a great site! Finding a recipe was tricky since I didn’t have time to go to the supermarket.
I had to make one modification to the cake batter recipe – I used skim milk instead of buttermilk. Being a regular baker I do not advocate such things unless it is necessary.
While the cupcakes were cooling, I made the icing:
Then I used the magic ziplock bag method to ice the cupcakes.. and viola!
The finished project:
Mini cupcakes are one of my favorites because they can be eaten in one bite!
Yumm.. now I have to make sure I save some for my neighbors.