If you are not on Pinterest by now, you really should be! I think whoever came up with this idea is a genius; it has made my life a lot easier on several occasions! When I'm in a funk meal planning, the first place I go is Pinterest. I pin a lot of things. Most of us on Pinterest do. But how many of those pins do we actually try or do? I've been making an effort over the past few months to take some of the things I've pinned and actually make them. Since I haven't exactly had a lot of time for crafts or DIY projects but I still HAVE to cook, the pins I've made lately are recipes. So here are some of the ones we enjoyed...and some not so much!
1. Breaded Ranch Chicken
This recipe was a hit! It was so tasty and very easy. I'm one who almost always has some packets of Ranch dressing mix on hand so this is a recipe I can make in a flash. Though I did recently pin a recipe for DIY ranch seasoning, which I hope to try soon. If it turns out to be a hit then I can make this recipe with my own seasoning.
2. Vegetable Mac n Cheese
This recipe was another hit...in fact, it's on the menu for this weekend. I first made this recipe when we were having guests over for lunch. I know it's risky to try new recipes when company's coming but I took a chance anyway. I'm glad I did. It is such a fun take on mac n cheese, has lots of veggies, which I found you can choose the ones you like and eliminate the ones you don't (I did not put squash in mine). It has nice flavor and the red pepper flakes give it just the right amount of kick to make it interesting!
3. Crock Pot Chex Mix
This one I am going to have to say is a miss...for me anyway. Not so much on taste, because it tastes fine. My problem with it is that it makes a mess of your crock pot! And I don't find it easier to do it in the crock pot then in the oven. I prefer my oven method so I'm going to stick with it. I guess my suggestion would be if you decide to try it then invest in some crock pot liners and save yourself a lot of scrubbing!
4. Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes
If there is anything I love, it's finding a recipe that the kids devour. And this recipe is one of them. Another item I always have on hand are refrigerator biscuits. I grab these when they go on sale and freeze them (yes, they freeze beautifully!) so all I have to do when I've got some leftover chicken to use up is thaw some biscuits and we've got ourselves a meal everyone will love! This is one of those recipes too that you can play around with. Make your filling to your liking and then bake them up. It's an easy recipe and a neat way to use up some leftovers!
5. Buffalo Chicken Bites
This one I'm afraid to say is a miss. None of us cared for this recipe...and we're big buffalo chicken fans. I can't quite put my finger on what it was about this recipe that made it not to our liking but even after 3 or 4 attempts, we still didn't like it. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did!
6. Sweet & Sour Chicken
This is by far the BEST recipe I've pinned on Pinterest to date! Everyone I've made it for has also raved about it. It's not exactly a quick and easy recipe...there's some prep work and planning involved. But it is so worth the effort. This recipe also freezes very well. Prepare it up until the baking stage. Freeze it. Then when you're ready to eat it stick it in the oven and let it finish cooking. You will not regret taking the time to make this, I promise!
7. S'mores Bars
I do not do a lot of baking. It's not my favorite thing to do. I would much rather cook a meal. But I do try to bake for the sake of my family so I like recipes that are quick and easy. This one is that...it's very quick and easy if you have everything you need. But I'm calling it a miss. It just wasn't as good as you'd think it would be. I guess there's just no beating a real s'more by the campfire so my suggestion is this...if you have the ingredients for s'mores, make yourself a campfire and enjoy the real deal because these pale in comparison!
8. Strawberry-Yogurt Cake
This recipe is a huge HIT! It takes some planning because it calls for a few ingredients I don't always have on hand but it's definitely worth making. It's so yummy and very easy to make! I highly recommend this recipe!
9. Poppy-Seed Chicken Casserole
This recipe I just recently tried when my in-laws were visiting and we say it's a hit! It is really yummy and the poppy seeds give it a great flavor. This one Ben even talked about days later...that's when you know you've found a recipe that's a keeper! The instructions say that some add rice to the bottom and I absolutely did. I added 2 cups of cooked rice to the bottom of the casserole. I think next time I might experiment by throwing in some veggies. I love recipes I can be creative with and this is definitely one of them.
10. Coconut Rice
This recipe I have not tried yet but I plan to this weekend. It seems super simple. I even bought minute rice, which I never do, to ensure it comes out just as it's supposed to. I love coconut and I think this fun take on rice will go nicely with the shrimp I'm planning to make to go with it. It seems too simple to mess up but we shall see!
So here you have it! A few of my "pins" that have proved successful and not so successful. Maybe you can incorporate some of these recipes into your menu planning this month. I hope to have some time in the near future to try out the more crafty & DIY type pins I have waiting for me...and when I do I'll be sure to let you know how they turned out!