Put a Pin On It

Since I’m not particularly crafty, I avoided Pinterest for as long as possible. Now I have a Pinterest account, I visit it rarely and usually just for recipes. I’ve pinned many recipes but only tried a few, usually because they look fancy and elaborate and expensive and time consuming. But after spending several weeks not cooking a thing, I decided now was the time to actually try some of those recipes I pinned a year ago, breakfast and dinner, all week long.

I love cold cereal. My kids really love cold cereal. I have some great pancake, coffee cake and breakfast casseroles but I only make those on special occasions or if I have some extra time on the weekend. Waking up to cook breakfast for my family just isn’t going to happen during the school year when I start teaching at 6:30. This summer I don’t start until 9:00 so I thought this would be easy peasy, forgetting that my two oldest go to marching band practice at 7:00. This was a challenge. I didn’t succeed every morning but I gave an honest effort. My husband was amazed. “Hot breakfast? Who does that anymore except farmers’ wives in movies?”

Breakfast Successes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – These were a little messy, especially when trying to squeeze the brown sugar mixture out of the bag. Those tiny lumps you find in your brown sugar don’t seem so tiny when squeezing them through an even tinier hole. My first few attempts weren’t pretty but I got the hang of it.

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I’m not a Bisquick fan, but we were out of flour and the recipe said it was ok. It turned out to be just fine. When I was making the glaze, I wondered if it was really necessary to use cream cheese. I did use it and it was so good I can’t imagine ever leaving it out. Everyone loved these pancakes and I definitely plan to make them again.

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Shake – My husband and I loved this recipe so much that I made it twice this week and was tempted to make it again this morning. So tasty and filling, this one’s a keeper.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake – We didn’t have much time Sunday morning but we did have a whole bunch of blueberries. My oldest son is almost impossible to wake up but when we told him about the blueberry cake and he smelled it, he immediately popped up. This recipe was quick and delicious and I’ve already received requests for more.

Breakfast Blah

Easy Yogurt Overnight Oats – I like easy, but these weren’t the greatest. I think I’ll stick with my Muesli recipe.

Breakfast Failure

Bacon Pancake Dippers – My oldest son said, “It just makes the bacon less accessible.” And who wants that? We had a few left over that even the dog wouldn’t eat. My boys did enjoy singing the Bacon Pancake song over and over.

I’m much better about cooking dinner regularly during the school year when I have a deadline before I start teaching. Dinner is usually prepared by noon because I know I won’t have any time later. In the summer, I procrastinate until it’s too late and we get pizza or eat ramen. This week I actually had to plan my menu ahead of time, buy ingredients that weren’t even on sale, and I had to stop whatever I was doing and prepare another elaborate meal. Every night. Even when I didn’t feel like it. Poor me.

Dinner Successes

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ chicken Sandwiches – This was the easiest recipe all week. Dump some meat and sauce in the crockpot? Sounds right up my alley. Instead of using canned pineapple, I sliced and grilled a fresh one. Quite tasty and easy.

Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad – I noticed that I’ve pinned lots of fancy salads but rarely make any, probably because half my family will complain . I decided I don’t care if they like it and made this salad anyway. It was so delicious. The leftovers were finished off the very next day, and not just by me. I think when I make it again I’ll add a little bit of sugar to the dressing to fit my tastes more, but it was really good just the way it was.

Sweet and Sour Beef and Cabbage – Funny story, when I made the ginger sesame salad, I had to send my son to the store at the last minute because I had bought the wrong kind of cabbage. This left me with a whole head of cabbage I needed to use. Luckily, I had pinned this recipe for a skillet version of cabbage rolls (without all that pesky rolling). Not bad at all.

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Bacon plus guacamole plus grilled cheese? Duh, that’s a no-brainer. (We also added tomatoes, of course.)

Dinner Blah

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole – My husband loved it, I mostly liked it, but the kids who tried it complained. I thought it was a little heavy on the chicken and not saucy enough.

Dinner Failures

Thai Cashew Coconut Rice – I had such high hopes for this one. It was expensive and time consuming to make and might have actually tasted good but the onions were so overpowering. I like onions, but a whole red onion and 3/4 cup green onions? It felt like a chore to finish eating it. It made a gigantic batch which sat uneaten, stinking up my house with the cabbage smell. We had to throw it out before guests came over. It felt so wasteful.

Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip – This should have been amazing. It tasted so good, but it got all watery and gross looking. It was sad and expensive.

Desserts

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream – Success!

Dr. Pepper Ice Cream – Success!

Fruit Pizza – Whoa, Nellie, success!

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Was it crazy to cook so many fancy things every day? It sure felt that way. Was it more expensive? Totally. But I did find some really great recipes I want to make and eat again, like, right now. I think we’ll stick with leftovers for the next few days to give me a break. Besides, it’s too darn hot.

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