So how many times have you looked up recipes on Pinterest and thought ‘OMG! That looks so good! I bet I could do that!’? And you try it and you spent hours on it and it was a complete fail! Or, maybe it wasn’t! Maybe it took 30 minutes and it was absolutely amazing. But then there’s all that time you took looking up the recipes, then you had to go to the grocery store to get all the ingredients, come back home, and take the time making it, and it may or may not turn out good. It can be tricky!
Well, I’m here to help (a little). I hope! I regularly try recipes from Pinterest and I always wish I could share with people what one was a complete fail, don’t even take the time to try it or….what was so easy to make, and such a crowd pleaser. We are always having good friends over that don’t mind to test out my Pinterest meals, or going to church life groups, or even just testing them out on your hubby. I’ve decided that once every quarter I will share with everyone what I’ve tried and give my ratings on the recipe. Maybe it will help! I sure hope so. So here goes!
The recipes I’ve tried lately have been fairly successful so I have decided to share my three favorites that I’ve tried lately. Two sides and a dessert! No, I didn’t post pictures, because my pictures don’t even look close to the ones on the blogs I took these from. You can see how yummy they look via the links I’ve included in here! :o)
If anybody knows me they know I love mac-n-chz! I especially love Panera’s mac-n-chz. If you haven’t tried it, stop what you are doing and go do it now! It’s amazing. So I randomly “Pinterested” and found a copycat recipe for Panera’s mac-n-chz and it is sooooooooo good. Pinterest TRIUMPH right here! Here’s the link to the recipe. CopyCat Panera MacnChz I hope you love it as much as I do! Here’s my general rating/rundown on this recipe: fairly easy, prep time is short, cook time isn’t long, makes a ton, so you can eat on it for a few days. I’m very critical of mac-n-chz, I’ll eat the cheap kind, especially when I just need some right then, but I absolutely love gourmet style and this is gourmet style that I believe would be easy even for someone who doesn’t cook a lot.
Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
As it’s getting into summer time and we all are trying to look good in our bathing suits, I went out searching for better ways to eat and how to cook healthier foods. I love sweet potato fries, but frying them just turns them into an unhealthy treat. So I set out to find a way to bake them and make sure they had some flava flav when I went to eat them. I found this recipe that I actually liked a lot. Sweet Potato Fries This is also another fairly easy side dish to throw with a turkey burger or a grilled chicken breast. These babies have tons of flavor, the best part was most of these spices I had on hand. I used extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil and they turned out good. I will say the most challenging part is taking the time to sit and peel and cut the sweet potatoes, I didn’t really find that to be a lot of fun, but that’s just part of it sometimes. Good thing is the cook time is only about 30 minutes, so it doesn’t take long until it’s ready to eat up! That’s always a plus! I think this is also an easy recipe for the non-cookers as well.
Yummy go-to Dessert!!!!
So a couple of weeks back I was sitting at home, wondering what I was going to take to my church life group. Everyone brings a dish each time we meet and we always have a theme, this week’s theme was family favorites. By that point I was sitting there thinking, ‘I’ve already brought all the family favorites! What am I going to take?’ So I just decided I would look something up on Pinterest. Based on the email responses from everyone in our group, nobody was bringing a dessert and I have a serious sweet tooth. So that’s it! I’ll look up a dessert. So I began my search and I ran across this gem! Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Blondies So here it is, I will admit, this was kind of a fail for me. My caramel turned out runny, what did I do wrong?! I read the instructions and I know enough about cooking to generally tell if something is in my range of skills, and this was totally in my set of cooking skills! Why is this happening to me! So I took the dessert anyways. I disclaimed to them all it was a Pinterest Flop, I didn’t think it would taste bad, but the presentation was all wrong and it wasn’t setting right. So it was devoured in like 10 minutes. Everyone told me they were never listening to me call something a fail again.
This just bothered me though. It wasn’t right. I was supposed to be able to cut them into solid bars. The caramel was all wrong and runny and didn’t thicken up. I want them to look like the blog’s picture darn it! So, I went home and thought ‘I will try it again next weekend for my mom when I cook her dinner for mother’s day’. So I did. This time, I got on Amazon and bought the Silicone Baking Pan I was going to do it just like the instructions said (last time I just used a glass pan and lined it with aluminum foil, which still worked okay). I redid the recipe going line by line on the list of things to do. I first thought that I didn’t let the brownie cool enough before I put the salted caramel on it and that’s why the caramel was so runny and just seeped into the brownie instead of being a layer on top of the brownie. Nope….that wasn’t entirely it. For some reason when I was reading the instructions I was telling myself to melt the butter before adding it to the sugar and syrup. During my second attempt at the caramel, I made it exactly the same, drizzled it on, still runny and just seeped into the brownies. I was so frustrated! The brownie itself was delicious! And the batter tastes pretty yummy too! ;o) But why is my caramel not getting thick? After failing yet again I reread the instructions one more time, what am I missing? It didn’t say anything about melting the butter, but for some reason I was melting the butter before putting it into the sugar and syrup mixture. I tried the caramel one more time! If this doesn’t work then I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. This time I didn’t melt the stick of butter before adding it to the syrup and sugar mixture and I forgot my whipping cream and didn’t get to add that into it and the caramel turned out thicker and yummy. So I drizzled that on top of the already seeped in caramel brownie. Then I melted a big Hershey’s dark chocolate bar and put it on top, it all came about quite nicely, and then I tasted it. And was disappointed. WAAAAY too much caramel! Not just caramel, salted caramel. But the good news is I think I finally mastered!
So lessons learned, the silicone pan was cheap and way easier than using the glass dish, don’t melt the butter before adding it to the rest of the caramel instructions, if you forget the whipping cream too, that’s alright, don’t add two layers of caramel to the brownies when you mess up the first try just redo it until the caramel is the thicker consistency. This recipe really isn’t hard until you start with the caramel; the brownie and chocolate on top are super easy. So really if you don’t like the caramel part, just leave it out. Super rich and delicious!
Clearly caramel making isn’t my strong point, but I’m going to get better at it. This is going to be a new go-to dessert for how easy it is to make the brownie and how yummy the brownie is. All things aside, if I don’t master the caramel the rest is still good! If you try any of these recipes please give me your feedback! I’d love to know how well you liked them!
I love to cook and try new recipes, if it fails, oh well, don’t give up. The first time I ever tried to make gravy for breakfast I royally screwed it up! It turned into a mound of gunk really. Just a big white pile of blob! I was so embarrassed, I have since gotten better at gravy and I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. The fun part of cooking is learning new things and continuing until you’re successful. There is great reward in working in the kitchen and having a finished product that tastes yummy.
If you ever try any of these great recipes or have similar ones you’d like to share, let me know in the comments section. Happy cooking!