Pinterest Party: Two new dinners

February 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

My friend Bethany over at Happy Homemaker Me is hosting a Pinterest Party! Want to join us? We’re all making something from our boards, then sharing what we made.

So, I’m lame and I don’t have any pictures of the two recipes we made. I blame it on the recipes being delicious enough that I just dug in and forgot to take any. :) But I wanted to share the pins I’ve made lately, and the little modifications I made to each one.

First up is tonight’s dinner: Pizza Crescent Rolls.

Source: Uploaded by user via Stacey on Pinterest



Super easy! Crescent dough was on sale at the grocery store, so I picked some up. I modified the dough and made them into calzones – just take two crescent rolls and instead of rolling them up, sandwich pepperoni/cheese/a bit of sauce between the two. Press the two rolls together and then bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. My husband proclaimed them “delicious.”

Next up was dinner from earlier this week: Fresh Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese.

Source: blogs.babble.com via Stacey on Pinterest



Once again, fresh mozzarella was on sale at the store, so I picked some up. I LOVE cheese! And I have a basil plant that I’m a little obsessed with. So I whipped up some very basic pesto (olive oil plus minced basil plus minced garlic), grabbed some chopped spinach (my modification to this recipe), and sliced up the fresh mozzarella. I used sourdough for my bread, and buttered what would become the outside of the sandwiches. I spread some pesto on the inside of the bread, and then layered two slices of fresh mozzarella with some spinach. I cooked these in a frying pan on the stove, and they were quite good.

So that’s the new and exciting food we’ve been eating this week. :) How about you?
And what have you made lately from your Pinterest?

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New Recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

October 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

Source: bakedperfection.com via Stacey on Pinterest



I finally made something off Pinterest! I pin all these things, and sadly don’t get to attempt nearly as many as I’d like. But yesterday we got a dinner invite from dear friends (who just had a baby and are already having dinner guests, they rock!) and they said they’d provide dinner if we provided dessert. Deal! So when I got home from work I browsed through the dessert recipes I’d pinned, trying to find something new. Those peanut butter cup brownies you see above fit the bill – something new, but ingredients I already had.

Click on the picture to see the pin, or click here for the original website. Overall – super simple! Make brownies, don’t bake all the way, fill with melted peanut butter and chocolate chips. Verdict? AMAZING! Although my muffin tin failed me and none of the brownie cups had bottoms. They were more like brownie cookies. But, they still tasted really good!

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New Recipe: Turkey Chili Shepherd’s Pie

August 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

I picked up this cookbook, Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook, at the library last week, and flipped through it while I was at jury duty on Monday. (Side note: got excused! Yay!)

There are some pretty good dinner recipes in there, and I tried one tonight: turkey chili shepherd’s pie. I used my recipe for chili instead of the recipe from the book, made in a crockpot a few days ago. Then today, I put some of the leftover chili in a 9 x 9 Pyrex dish, and topped with mashed sweet potatoes. Yes, sweet potatoes. I was skeptical, but Rachael was right. I stuck the chili and the potatoes in the oven at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes, then sprinkled on some cheddar cheese and stuck it back in until melted and golden. No picture, cause I was starving and forgot. :(

Our verdict: pretty good!! Definitely a good way to use up leftover chili, and it’s a change from our typical chili meals. I added a little sour cream on top of my serving, and I loooved the creamy rich tang it added.

Are you a Rachael Ray fan? I can’t watch her show because I feel like she’s yelling at me, but I do love her cookbooks!

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New Recipe: Hasselback potatoes

August 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

I pinned a recipe (picture below) for Hasselback potatoes on Pinterest this morning, and by lunchtime had scrapped what I’d planned for dinner and decided we were having steak and potatoes instead! :) This was a new recipe for Tyler, but not a new recipe for me. I grew up with potatoes like this, but my mom called them “hedgehog potatoes.” My humorous husband says they look more caterpillars than hedgehogs, but I’m sticking with my mom’s name. :) Come to find out, they’re Swedish, so perhaps my mom learned to make them when she studied there? I’ll have to ask!

You can click on my pin below to repin it to your own board, or you can see the original source here. I won’t repost the entire recipe, but I do have a few tips:
-SLICE THINLY. Seriously. If it’s thick, it just doesn’t work as well. Put the potato between two wooden spoon handles to stop you from cutting down too far.
-Be stingy with the olive oil. Maybe just brush it on, definitely do not pour it on. If you do, then it starts smoking, and you’re running around opening windows and turning on fans. (Seriously, do I ever learn?? Apparently not.)
-You’ll probably need longer than 40 minutes. Mine could have used about 20 minutes more, but I realized that too late.
-This is a great recipe for improvising! It’s been so long since I’ve had my mom’s version that I can’t remember what spices she used to add, but I know that she added more than salt and pepper. Rosemary? Oregano? I have no idea! I’ll just have to make more, I guess!

Anyone else grow up with Hasselback/hedgehog potatoes? Do you know them by yet another name? :)

Source: seasaltwithfood.com via Stacey on Pinterest

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An upside

July 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week, teaching)

Since the last time I posted: I started teaching high schoolers from China, I went to Monterey and saw a baby otter, and I have now interviewed for 12 positions in three months.

And then, today, I got a job. Sort of. In six weeks I start teaching full time, in a special ed classroom, for a teacher who is on leave. At the moment, we don’t know when/if he’ll back, so maybe I’ll have a class after November, maybe I won’t. Right now, I’m not concerned. Either way, I am thrilled to begin – I felt so at home at the school when I interviewed, and I am highly impressed by my future boss.

I can’t say that through this whole process I had faith that God would provide. Oh, has there been doubting going on in this household (which I think is a fully human response and something every Christian faces during their life). But, I am so grateful to have made it this point, to see light at the end of this tunnel of unemployment, and to be soon doing what I love to do, what I was made to do. And, I am sure my students will be saying all sorts of wonderful things for the blog. :)

So for now, I go back to teaching high schoolers from China for the summer, then preparing for my classroom. MY CLASSROOM. I never thought I’d get to say those words!

In other news, I improvised a recipe for enchiladas the other day that I was sure would be a hit. The gist of it was minced bell pepper and onion and black beans inside with the meat and cheese. In my head, it tasted wonderful. Sadly, when we sat down to dinner, it didn’t taste wonderful. It was pretty awful, to be honest. Still edible, but it just didn’t work right. So, you don’t get to see all the pictures I took for that post, sorry. Unless you’d like to see some glamorous shots of ground turkey and cheese that have no recipe attached to them.

Any recipe successes out there this week?? I need something to get over these enchiladas, guys. Or can you commiserate in my attempts to be original?

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New Recipe: Soft Brown Sugar Cookies

July 6, 2011 at 9:45 am (links, recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

Have you checked out Pinterest yet? Here’s my boards. I wasn’t sure how often I’d use it, but now that I’ve played around with it, I’m really liking it! It’s so much easier to pin a picture of something I love to a board and then find it later, rather than bookmarking it and then trying to sift through the hundreds of recipes I’ve bookmarked. Someone gave me a good tip that you can use Pinterest when starting an Etsy shop to see what colors/patterns/styles are popular at the moment.

I found this recipe, for Soft Brown Sugar Cookies, on a friend’s Pinterest board. Tried them out the other night, and they are SO GOOD. The recipe was really straight forward, I didn’t make any modifications, but somehow I ended up with four dozen cookies instead of two dozen… but I only had enough frosting for two dozen. (And I was too lazy to make more frosting, so half of the cookies are plain.) Either way, I love this recipe! They are soft, with a wonderful flavor.

Any readers who are on Pinterest? I’d love to follow you!

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Fruit leather update, and another new recipe: focaccia

June 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

So boy, that fruit leather. It turned out to be a 12+ hour project! I opted for the “275 degrees for 35 minutes, then shut off your oven and let it sit for 8 hours” method. I jumped out of bed this morning, so excited to cut up the fruit leather so Tyler could take some for his lunch.

And… it was still soupy. Just like it’d looked last night when I poured it from the blender. Well, shoot. So I turned the oven back on, to 175 this time, and let it bake. And bake, and bake. I believe I turned the oven off around 11 – it needed an extra four hours of baking!! But, I am impressed with how it turned out. It’s a little crunchier than store bought fruit leather, but it tastes awesome!! Very strawberry, very good. Will be trying again. Just make sure to get an even layer of puree, and make sure to bake until you can touch it and not leave indents. It doesn’t taste good mushy, in my opinion.

And, miracle of miracles, tried another new recipe today in the effort to branch out my yeast skills: focaccia from Tyler Florence of the Food Network. It was indeed as fabulous as the recipe title claims. I didn’t add all the extra toppings, just salt/pepper/rosemary. I also didn’t use cornmeal on the cookie sheet, just olive oil.

I need some more new recipes… what are you all eating this week?

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New recipe: homemade fruit leather

June 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

I got strawberries for $1.25/lb the other day for the sole purpose of making this recipe… it’s in my oven right now, so we’ll see how it goes! So far, so good. I’ll post a picture later if I remember.

Seriously, I’m so spoiled by California produce. If/when we leave this state, I’ll cry!

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New Recipe: Lentil Feta Salad and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

June 2, 2011 at 10:30 am (recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

I got creative for dinner last night and made this recipe, Lentil Feta Salad, that I saw on an episode of From Martha’s Kitchen (I think?) a few weeks ago. My only change was that I didn’t mix in the feta, because if we didn’t like it, I didn’t want to waste the feta, or if we had a lot of leftovers, I didn’t want the feta to get mushy.

I also whipped up some of this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus to go with it. We put lettuce inside pitas, then spread on some hummus, poured in some of the lentil salad, and added feta on top. Verdict? We really liked it! And it felt very healthy. My hummus is still too bland (Fresh and Easy, your hummus kicks mine’s butt) but overall, the meal was a success. I’d put it in the category of summer dinners – it’s not hearty enough for winter, but it doesn’t heat up the kitchen aside from roasting the red peppers, which you could probably skip.

Do you have a favorite Greek recipe? I’d love to be able to make gyro wraps at home…

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Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Cinnamon Roll Cake

May 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm (reading, recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

Two new recipes at our house today, courtesy of two new food blogs I stumbled upon:

For dinner, we had Honey Dijon Pork Chops, with homemade mashed potatoes and salad. We were big fans of this glaze – couldn’t be easier and it added a really nice flavor. I think it’d be good on chicken too. Oooo, kebabs. Chicken kebabs with this would be really, really good.

And in the oven right now, is Cinnamon Roll Cake, which so far smells delightful! I left out the pecans because I’m bringing what we don’t eat tonight (which better be most of the pan!) to church tomorrow night and I know at least one person can’t have pecans. Plus, I’m a cinnamon roll purist and I prefer them with no nuts. Trust me on this one and lick the bowl after you make the topping. Don’t think about the fact that you’re licking butter. Just give it a little lick. If the cake tastes anything like the bowl did, I’m gonna be a happy camper.

I haven’t done any reading for my BBC 100 list in a long time. I’m mostly through the Chronicles of Narnia series and I’m just not loving them and so I feel ambivalent about continuing and that’s stalled my progress on the whole list. Fantasy novels are just not my cup of tea, and I still have to read three more. Plus Harry Potter, and I think Golden Compass too. Meh.

In the meantime, I’m reading Helen of Pasadena, which I kind of adore because I used to work in a Pasadena private school, and I went to an all-girls school up north, and chick lit is more of my cup of tea than fantasy. :)

What are you reading right now? I’m between jobs, and I’m going to need something new, Helen’s story is almost over!

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