Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cooking with Pinterest.1

I have always been an avid meal planner and don't like to repeat recipes if I don't have to. But lately I have been in a bit of cooking rut. Nothing sounds appealing and I haven't felt like cooking.

Last week while doing my weekly meal planning (with the help of Pinterest) I realized there were a lot of recipes I have pinned but haven't gotten around to making. So I have decided to start tackling those recipes.

For my own sake I am going to write a weekly blog post that includes notes about what I liked, what I didn't like, what I changed and what I might change to make it better. I will also include a parent and toddler rating for each recipe. There are so many new things I want to try (I mean, there are at least 500 chocolate chip cookie recipes) so it may take a while to get through all of my pins. Here are the recipes I tried this week...

Ham and Cheese Gnocchi via Kevin and Amanda 

I am in love with gnocchi. I have never tried it before and this recipe was superb. After making it, I started looking up more gnocchi recipes to try. The only thing I changed was I used half and half instead of heavy cream and I substituted asparagus for the peas.

Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 2/5*
*Low toddler score was because Jack missed his nap and refused to eat. He went to bed after only eating a couple of bites. I think he would have loved it if he hadn't been exhausted.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti via Damn Delicious

I ran out of time on this so instead of the crockpot I cooked it on the stovetop for one hour. I halved the recipe and it turned out quite good. The sauce was a little runny for my taste, but still good. I added mushrooms to this recipe – since Jack and I are big fans of mushrooms and onions. I served this with a side of zucchini and squash.
Parent Score 4/5 | Toddler Score 5/5

Banana Muffins via Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Jack wanted muffins and we had very ripe bananas, so voilà banana muffins. This recipe included sour cream and just a hint of cloves and cinnamon. I also made a mini loaf that I added dark chocolate chips to as a special treat for Daniel. Both were delicious.
Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 5/5 

Sweet and Sour Chicken with a side of Jasmine Rice via Cooking Classy

The Cooking Classy recipe uses a Kraft sweet and sour sauce, since I try not to cook with too many processed foods, I found this sauce recipe at For this recipe I reduced the amount of chicken (2 large chicken breasts) and used 1 whole red bell pepper and 1 whole yellow bell pepper (less chicken and more vegetables, but it turned out to be good proportions). The sauce was not as sweet as I would like, but when mixed with the meat and veggies it was actually a perfect blend of sweet and sour. I only used half of the sauce so it didn't overpower the meal (I froze the rest for use in the future). Jack loved the pineapple and chicken. He is still not sold on bell peppers.

Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 4/5

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