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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh hey, Pinterest! Whats for dinner?

I like Pinterest. It's a really helpful creative tool for me.
I don't like people who bemoan pinterest saying it takes away creative originality, or is a huge meaningless time suck. Like most things in life, pinterest (or all kinds of social media, really) is about what you do with the resource. If you get on pinterest and start pinning stuff thats meaningless for hours that you should be doing something else-- yeah, it's going to start to seem like a giant meaningless time suck. I try not to do that. I like to use it for inpiration when I am working on a specific project or need some ideas. Sometimes I get around to using the ideas, sometimes I don't, but I rarely feel as though I have wasted my time, or that pinterest has in some way cheated me out of creativity or time. Anyway, use your time and resources wisely and stop blaming social media when you don't. End of rant.
And moving on.
I pin a lot of recipes on pinterest trying to find something-- or a version of something-- that I can make for my family. When I get bored with our 10 meal rotation of stuff Z will actually eat, I sit down at my computer and ask Pinterest-- what should I make for dinner tonight?
And I have recently come across a few winners I thought I would share. 

The Perfect Meaty Balls! My Dad loves meatballs more than any other food, so I am always on the lookout for a great meatball-- this recipe was fantastic. Really tasty, and a lovely, firm texture without being hamburger-y. (You know what I mean???)  ...these meatballs were also the first meat my son ever tried, and he quickly devoured his. It made my meatball-loving-heart so happy.
*I added a little italian sausage to my beef, because thats the way daddy likes it.
*I used my stand mixer to mix it, even though it says to do it by hand, it was easier and I thought gave the whole thing a nicer, even texture.
*You can use a cookie scoop to get uniform size meatballs.

This Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini is a new favorite for dinner at our house.  What's not to love?
*I often will use leftover grilled chicken from a previous night's dinner. Be good to yourself, make it easy.
*Z likes to use chipotle cheddar on his... adds another layer of flavor.
*I often serve it with oven fries-- seasoned with smoked sea salt. It's a great accompaniment.

Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken. You had me at Cheesy. But then there is basil, garlic, and crispy crunchyness and roasted tomatoes! OMG, the roasted tomatoes! I promise you this will be a crowd pleaser.
*I used panko breadcrumbs to coat my chicken-- because it's what I had-- but it made it extra lovely and crispy.
* Sam went nuts over the roasted tomatoes. Seriously. He thought it was the best dinner ever.
*I served it with pasta and made a simple alfredo sauce for my tomato-fearing husband. It worked well with the alfredo too... as long as you are not prone to cheese overload.

Z was never happier than the day I started making bread for us. This Easy Bread recipe makes a lovely crusty, chewy round loaf.
*You can add any manner of herbs, cheeses, dried fruits, etc. to this bread. I will share my recipe for Z's fav, Asiago Peppercorn, soon.
*I usually serve it torn into chunks with pesto dipping oil, and everyone loves it.

These Lemon Meltaway cookies are amazing. A slightly lemon-y shortbread with lemon buttercream? Yes, PLEASE!
*You'll want to make your cookies smaller than you think. And no more than about 1/4 inch thick-- otherwise the sandwhich gets difficult to eat.
*When making the frosting, start with about half the lemon juice and add a little more if needed, I had too much lemon juice, so I had to use twice as much sugar to make the butter cream.
*Also please use fresh lemon juice-- none of that bottled stuff that tastes like acid-y water. blehck. Thank you for your cooperation.

So thats whats been on the table at our house... maybe you should try a few new recipes this week? These are a great place to start! If you want to know what other junk I am pinning you can follow my food board here and my bakery board here.
Happy pinning and have fun making yummi-ness for your fam! :)

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