Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Failures

Pinterest Recipe Failures

You know the highly addictive website Pinterest has a ton of great ideas and inspiration as well as recipes. 
Well I have tried many, many, MANY of these recipes in the past. Many were wonderful and well some of the others were NOT!

Recipes that are not tried and proven are simply a recipe for disaster. Cookbooks on the current market are usually very well tested with a few exceptions. Self published cookbooks being the main culprits of this crime. A highly popular and subscribed to, semi monthly magazine is terrible about not testing and still publishing recipes.  You know the one, home cooks send in their recipes and the magazine prints them. I would have to assume after many a failure by following these recipes, there is no real review of these recipes other than reading the recipes and scratching their heads and saying, "hmmm sounds good, let's print it". 
An experienced cook can tweak or correct the mistakes to make a dish tolerable but this disregard for reviewing the recipes has made me drop my subscription all together.

Pinterest sadly has become just as bad. I am not trying to be mean about this, or hurt Pinterests feelings, that is not my point. I am not a perfect cook and I probably don't do everything right in the kitchen and I am not professing I am. Nor is my point that there are soo many pins that are horrid fails. My point is take recipes on Pinterest with a grain of salt. Consider the source and do not feel badly if yours doesn't turn out as advertised.


The two biggest fails are the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and the Overnight Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.  

I know, I know they sound sooooo tasty and good but be warned the resulting food not to mention the mess is not worth the effort.
Here is the breakdown of why these recipes were categorized as a FAIL.

The overnight Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal-  This recipe states you can place the water, apples, cinnamon and oatmeal on the bottom of the crockpot set it on the lowest setting and by morning you have oatmeal. No fuss or just throw it in and walk away. My findings- Oatmeal cooked onto the pot overnight is not fun to clean. We are talking concrete people.
>>>>> Flash to a memory of a Mythbusters episode where they tried to remove set concrete from the inside of a cement truck with dynamite.  Now back to our story.....
The oatmeal on top was edible and even some of apple was fine. Luckily it did not taste burnt at all but as you get lower, toward the bottom of the pot the concrete mixture of baked on oats and apple are horrifying. This lovely finding left me scrapping down the pot with a plastic kitchen spoon and then soaking in baking soda overnight to get it to break loose. 

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes- The swirl looks great in the picture but the recipe, when prepared as written, leaves the swirly filling burning, melting into a coagulated goo and a coating on your grill or pan with a caramalized burnt on layer of misery that you will have to soak and scrub and soak some more. Sounds yummy now, doesn't it?!
After trying these several times on separate occasions it is a huge failure. I even went out on a limb and tried to prepare the filling first and freezing it to help it stand up to the heat a little bit longer but the results were the same. So I went to this gals blog and looked over her recipe rather than the pinned and repinned pinterest pin. I found one comment on her blog stating the VERY SAME results I had seen. There was no reply from the blogger at the time. I checked back a few days later and again another person said they were scared to post it until someone else did but they found the same results. I thought ok maybe the blogger is busy. I checked back now about 3 weeks later and found all the negative posts were GONE.
I guess all the scrubbing helps work off the enormous amount of brown sugar....

We are all imperfect, I mean look at my grammar in ALL my posts. I am just asking these people to test and test again before they post, print, sell or recommend.

Do you have any Pinterest Fails?

Monday, January 21, 2013

National Popcorn Day

Saturday was National Popcorn Day

I know, I know! How did we ever live without knowing this day existed!
I love popcorn, my kids love popcorn, my hubby loves us and so he puts up with popcorn : )

Everyone in our house likes their popcorn different. 
The kids want butter and salt or butter and flavored toppings like Nacho cheese, Kettle Korn or the like. Kernel Seasons makes a big selection of these popcorn seasonings. They are located in the popcorn /snack aisle near the popcorn if you want some too or amazon has a ton.

I like mine like I like my men, SPICY and full of life!  hee hee
I like to put butter a lot of butter and then I love Tony Chachare's HOT Spicy Cajun Seasoning. 
uh ok time for a confession:  I am a huge butter fan but on popcorn my addiction moves to a seriously dangerous level and I am ok with that.  I will eat Tony's (as we call it) on everything! 

But I have seen a few posts on pinterest lately about making popcorn a bit different. 
I tried this one and found it to be really yummy.  There is no recipe just a mention of ingredients so I had to wing it and try on my own. You might want to play around with the ingredients yourself to see what you like best.
We called is Marshmallow Popcorn.

Pop your corn. We used plain and pop ours with a air popper. It was store brand yellow popcorn kernels, approx 2 cups worth.

I used a half bag of mini marshmallows, a whole stick of butter and about a cup of brown sugar.
Melt the butter, mix in the brown sugar then melt in the marshmallows stirring constantly as it will burn and stick easily. After melting thoroughly, keep it warm and fluid.

Then take a baking sheet and line it with tin foil sprayed with cooking spray or coated with butter.  Don't forget the spray or butter as the marshmallow mixture will stick to the foil and make a terrible mess of things. You can delete the foil but the foil makes this treat a faster clean up. And treats + fast cleanup = one happy mamasita!

Once the pan is lined and coated, pour the popcorn on the pan in one even, single layer. Then take your warm marshmallow topping and drizzle it over the top. Allow it to setup a second or two and then toss it around a bit and drizzle again. Once your popcorn is covered to your liking we just grabbed chunks and put them in a bowl and ate them. 

Now I tend to really like salt and sweet together so I added salt to my serving. Right on top of the marshmallow; sprinkle that salt. It was soo very good! 

Recipe is great for POPCORN BALLS

Now if you like Kettle Korn you will love this and if you are a fan of popcorn balls this recipe would make delicious soft yet stable popcorn balls. My experience with popcorn balls has been the coating is either hard like a candied apple coating and would just about break your teeth or they were dry crumbly flavorless rice cake resembling orbs.
Using this recipe, popcorn balls would be sweet, flavorful, soft in the way a rice krispy treat is but less dense that a treat is. So in my mind perfect!!!!

I have one more popcorn variation that I want to try and as soon as we do I will share that with you too. 
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MMMMMM smells so good! Zucchini Bread

Mmmmm smells so good!

Today I started the day off with a vegetable with a funny name. A Zucchini. 
Zucchini is squash technically and in general I avoid eating anything that is named after the sound a bug makes when I step on it.....but for Zucchini I make an exception (mainly because I leave the squash label off).

 photo courtesy of

This is a Zucchini. This photo shows a great cross section and how the "meat" looks when it is shredded and sliced. The Zucchini is versatile and tasty. 
The best time to eat them is when they are highest in flavor. Fresh picked is best but the stores in warmer climates have good options this time of the year (winter) too. When Zucchini is short, about 6 to 8 inches in length. The longer /larger that a Zucchini gets equals the lower the flavor value and the larger the seeds in the center. I have grown Zucchini longer than my 7 year old's arm and when tasted side by side to a smaller Zucchini the flavor difference is obvious. I know people who just flat out love to gnaw on the seeds of the larger variety and like the milder flavor. It is up to your uses and likes but I have to be honest, the smaller version really is the best for overall flavor and most recipes. 

I shredded several medium sized Zucchini after cutting off the ends and removing the skin before 830 a.m. Zucchini bread is the goal of the day! 

I am a big fan of the Betty Crocker recipe for this bread.  I have tried others they are well..... sad in comparison. The BC version, is delicious and moist and healthy. I say it is healthy because it has veggies in it of course, but please dear friends, don't email me that it could be healthier if I changed or omitted this or that. Somethings shouldn't be messed with and baked goods are one of those things!

I have adapted the recipe ( I double everything cause we are eaters in my house) and I am sharing it here for you my dear bloggy buddies.

Zucchini Bread
6 cups shredded Zucchini (3 to 6 medium sized Zucchini)
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp vanilla
8 large eggs
6 cups all purpose flour (the book says you can substitute whole wheat flour I haven't tried that version)
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat to 350 degrees F. After shredding your Zucchini mix all the wet ingredients including the Zucchini together and in a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry into the wet slowly until well incorporated. Split the batter into four and pour into greased loaf pans. I bake 2 loaves at a time. 
I find they cook better this way. Might be my stove or my craziness but either way it works : P

At 350 degrees a 8" pan will bake in approx. 50 -60 minutes, a 9" pan 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes approx. 
Stick a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean you are good to go. I also watch for the edges pulling away from the pan. 
Let these cool and enjoy the delicious smells. I let them cool in the pan about an hour and then remove them and let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Total time about 2 hours. 

After they are cool, wrap them really tightly in saran wrap. You could even slide a wrapped loaf into a freezer bag and freeze this bread for a later date. It freezes very well without changing the taste or texture. 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Zucchini can be used in so many dishes but this was the one that helped me get past the squash issue ((cringe)) and my  aforementioned 7 year old who runs screaming from all things veggie will eat this like there is no tomorrow.

Want more Zucchini recipes? Or maybe you have a food that you want to like but just can't bring yourself to try it? Let me know I ain't skerd! I will try to find a recipe a nose clip, a great seasoning or something to help.

Thank you again I read every comment and email and I appreciate you following my blog!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Always the student

Always the Student

In my journey to accomplish my New Years goal of learning to crochet I have started Crochet School.

I have tried several tutorials online when I came across this one at CraftyMinx .

So far I have learned how to single and double stitch.  And that resulted in one project that took me about 4 hours total. It is a 6" x 5" rectangle. Barbie blankie? Dish Cloth? Pot holder? Hmm Who knows but I got in a lot of good practice.

Now I am on to Crochet school. I will share my progress and great tutorials I find, as I go.

Crochet School

Friday, January 11, 2013

New year, new goals and lingering colds--ahh January

New year, new goals and lingering colds--ahh January

It has been awhile since I wrote anything and I am not sure why...OH yeah, I just remembered, it is because the holidays are crazy busy and then we all started coming down with a really bad cold. The name cold doesn't seem to hold as much ferocity as this virus had but short of having the flu it was no fun..... I am now two weeks into it and still not back to normal. Virus' are not my friend, the cold medicine makes me loopy and harder to think. I snore when I have a cold and that makes my hubby unable to sleep. Then he says I am a lumberjack and no girls wants to be called a lumberjack. So after i take a much deserved swing at his head with my pillow I venture out to face a new year.

I have a new goal for this year. 
I want to learn to crochet. I found several great tutorials on U -tube. Now I don't really care for U-tube but if the source of the video is a legitimate one the videos are usually safe.

Pinterest has a vast amount of sources to choose from as well and plenty of free patterns to boot. 

I found this website Annie's Catalog and have really liked it so far.  I have been using it to practice the different stitches before I take on a pattern. 
The site has crochet, knitting, needlework and beading. All dying arts in my mind as people are too busy with an electronic this or that, or just trying to survive the current economy. 

The hardest part of learning about crochet so far is the patterns.  The code alone should require a degree in ancient languages. : ) 

Do you have any tips on learning these abbreviations? Please tell me it will come with time.

Here are a few fun pictures of projects I have found and will eventually be working on. 

Dish clothes- I can never find dish clothes I like. They are always strange colors. Now I can make my own.

How to crochet cotton washcloths...easy!
Fun hats for the kids before they are "too old" to have silly fun.
moose hat crochet pattern
aviator hat pattern. $4.
Scarves for the niece who is incredibly hard to shop for.
My Merry Messy Life: Crochet Swirly Scarf - Free Pattern
For my sister who has an owl fetish : )
Crochet Owl Pattern...

and who doesn't need these?
Who doesn't need a #crochet mustache?
Love this cardigan since I am ALWAYS FREEZING
Relaxed Cardi Crochet Pattern
And then once I have mastered all that is crochet I will make this and wear it as queen of crochet.
King's Crown Crochet Pattern « The Yarn Box The Yarn Box
Ok maybe not but the possibilities are exciting!


Did you know I have added the option of following my blog via email?
Yep now my blog will be available to you right in your email inbox if you like!
Thanks for visiting