Showing posts with label Pinterest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinterest. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Comforts

In the midst of some of the coldest temps in two decades, there are few things that comfort like hearty food and a good book. I've found a few yummy new recipes I thought I'd share, as well as an update on what I've been reading. 

First up, the eats:
{most of these recipes I found via Pinterest, so follow along if you'd like to see more of what I'm pinning}
Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
I LOVE pasta, and pasta with alfredo sauce is my version of heaven. I can't resist it. This recipe is super easy and soooo good. Definitely not diet friendly, but worth the calorie binge!

Lasagna Rolls
More pasta! This is just lasagna in a different shape, but for some reason my son loves it like this. He won't eat normal lasagna, but roll it up and bam! It's the best. Kids are weird.
Also? Why did I never think of boiling lasagna noodles in a skillet before? Worked way better than cooking them vertically in a pot where they got all folded up and stuck together.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I've tried several different balsamic pork recipes, and they're usually all pretty good. But this one takes the prize. Delicious. Easy. Satisfying.

Now, on to the books.

I never really considered myself a fan of either YA fiction or post-apocolyptic series. But I made an exception for the Hunger Games and now I've gotten sucked into the Divergent series. 

I will say that these books feel pretty similar to the Hunger Games in a couple ways. Strong female lead characters, post-apocolyptic societies moving toward war, coming-of-age and first love themes… you get the idea. That said, I still devoured the first book (Divergent) and am nearly finished with the second (Insurgent). As with the Hunger Games, I don't like the second book as much, but I'm willing to finish the series, if only to find out what is beyond the fence outside the city. {Don't tell me if you've already read them!}

After reading Wolf Hall, I was kind of caught up in the world of Tudor England. A friend had recommended The Other Boleyn Girl to me a long time ago, but I never got around to it till last month. 
Loved it! This historical fiction novel explores the life of Mary Boleyn, who catches the eye of Henry VIII when she first comes to court as a girl of fourteen.  But when the fickle king’s interest wanes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister Anne. We all know how Anne's story ends, but her journey to the executioner's block is filled with plots and power struggles, passion and betrayal.

The next book in the series, The Boleyn Inheritance, is equally good.
This time author Phillippa Gregory tells the story of Henry's fourth and fifth wives, respectively. There is drama enough in the history of this brutal period of history to make any story interesting.

That's all for today, but I'd love to hear what your favorite winter comforts are. Do you have a go-to hearty soup recipe or a book you love to curl up with by the fire? Whatever your favorite winter comforts are, I hope you're staying warm!
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Baking: So Easy a Tween Can Do It

Our weeknight schedule is always jam-packed, so a last minute realization that we needed to make seven dozen cookies for a Girl Scout event tomorrow nearly inspired a panic attack. I have lots of cookies in the freezer this time of year, but Caitlin was supposed to actually be involved in making them since it was for her event after all. And heaven forbid we fudge the requirements and use cookies I made without her. That's not the Girl Scout way.

So with only a three-hour window between school and a choir concert, I turned to my oracle of holiday inspiration: Pinterest. We found two likely candidates, made a quick trip to the store, and got to work. 
I've seen these melting snowman cookies all over Pinterest recently and they looked cute, but seemed pretty elaborate. Not so! This recipe was so easy, Caitlin made them all by herself no problem. 

{image and recipe from Tablespoon}



I did jump in and help with the decorating, but for the most part she had it under control.


 You know it's easy when we are crunched for time, in the middle of a messy project, and we're actually smiling!
 And they turned out pretty darn cute. {Remember, they are melting so they're supposed to be imperfect…}

Last year we also discovered this awesome and super easy recipe for Andes Mint Cookies.
{Recipe and image via Six Sisters Stuff}

With only four ingredients, they are a snap to make and are so yummy!
Caitlin kept double checking the recipe, because she couldn't believe they were so simple.

Thanks to my holiday idea board and some easy cookie recipes, a potential crisis was averted. Caitlin made the cookies herself, thereby maintaining her honor as a Girl Scout. We did have to fill in the gaps from my freezer cookie stash, but she produced the majority of the cookies. And we had fun, to boot.

Do you have any favorite "so easy a tween can do it" recipes? 

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Return of Yard Work and Recipes Worth Trying

Cue the Hallelujah chorus; spring has finally arrived in central Minnesota!
I cannot even express how happy we all are to see the mercury finally above the 50 degree mark.
Unfortunately, with warmer temperatures and disappearing snow, we were able to fully see the sorry state of our deck after the brutal winter. It wasn't in very good shape to begin with, but we've finally reached the point of no repair. It was no longer safe to walk on and I was always worried that someone would get hurt out there. So, on Saturday the boys strapped on their safety goggles, grabbed their sledge hammers, and went to work.
 Our deck is built into two sections, and thankfully we will be able to salvage the larger half. But this lower section was rotten throughout and had to be completely demolished. We are hoping to replace it with a paver-patio of some sort, but we don't have a solid plan yet. A big project is not in the budget, so it may stay in its current state for some time to come.
 Hunter thought this was the best weekend project ever. He has always loved to be Chris's helper, but he's now finally big enough to actually be of assistance. I was very impressed with how quickly this demo-crew got the job done.
While the boys were busy outside {and Caitlin was at a friend's} I got busy on my neglected chairs. Yes, they are still unfinished, but I've made progress! They are all painted, waxed, and awaiting their sanding. Sigh, someday they'll get done!
I might have gotten more done, but I kept getting distracted by my stomach.
I tried out several new Pinterest recipes this weekend and wanted to share the winners.
If you're interested in seeing more of what I pin, you can follow me here. These were all easy and delicious recipes...highly recommended!






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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Reviews

I own a lot of cookbooks, and I do use them frequently. But recently, 90% of my new recipes have been coming from Pinterest. Some have been awesome, some have been okay. 

And some will not be making a return to my kitchen table. I hate when that happens... you buy the ingredients and put in the work, follow the recipe carefully, and it just isn't very good.  

Fortunately, that is not the norm. By and large, I've had great luck with Pinterest  recipes thus far. Today I thought I would review some of our recent Pinterest culinary adventures.

{Disclaimer: this is in no way a judgement of original poster's cooking skills. Just my own experience and taste!}

THE HITS:

Source: genaw.com via Jessica on Pinterest

When I pin something, I often don't change the notes from the previous pinner, but with this one I should have done so. The notes say to use the crock pot, but the original recipe is for the stovetop, so that's the way I prepared it. It was delicious!


I have made a double batch of these cookies twice in the last month and frozen whatever didn't fit in the cookie jar. The last dozen are thawing out now and will be consumed today, if not sooner. These are great-big, chewy, chunky, bits of awesomeness. 



Easy, filling, and fast: this soup is perfect with grilled cheese. My whole family loved it and that is a rarity.


THE MISSES:


What I loved: frozen egg noodles. I didn't know such a thing existed! I am definitely going to try them  in chicken noodle soup.
What I didn't love: The goopy texture of the recipe and bland flavor. 



This recipe came highly recommended, so I tried it despite the fact that chicken and potatoes don't really appeal to me as a combination. I like chicken with rice better. Guess what? I should have listened to myself. I still don't like chicken and potatoes together!

Live and learn! 
I'm always looking for a good recipe to add to our weekly repertoire and if you'd like to follow along you can find me here on Pinterest
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Simple Winter Mantel

After the {relative} opulence of my autumn and Christmas mantels, I have been craving something a bit simpler. I wanted less stuff, less fuss, while still maintaining a big impact. 
Easier said than done!

I have a love/hate thing going on with my mantels, in that I love to decorate them, but struggle to get them to look just right. If only there was some formula I could follow to achieve the perfect mix of mantel elements... but where does one turn with such an impossible request? 
Pinterest, of course!


If you click through to the original article, there is a great discussion about how to decorate a mantel.
Basically, you want to create a visual triangle using a large, center focal point, flanked by layered elements that add weight and movement.


I scoured the house and came up with a hodge-podge of things I thought might work. I focused not only on finding objects similar to those shown in the diagram, but things that worked together color-wise as well.  I smuggled the cardinal out of Caitlin's room {she hasn't noticed it yet!}, the wooden boxes from Hunter's room {they're still full of little-boy treasures}, and the photo of the kids from my bedside table. And there's now a gap in my front-hall gallery wall where I swiped the "home sweet home" picture... 
Nothing is safe from my mantel scavenging.
The red leaf-y things are from Michael's and they were the only thing I had to purchase for this project. 

I thought the pops of red gave it a Valentine feel without being too over-the-top-holiday. I'm saving that for the kitchen mantel! 

I think, for now, this is a winner. It feels like a more purposeful arrangement, rather than my usual thrown-together affair. And it will be easy to change out some of the elements for a more spring-y feel down the road.

How do you arrange a mantel or vignette? Do follow the rules and decorate by formula, or wing it and fly by the seat of your pants?

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I'm linking up here:
My Romantic Home
French Country Cottage

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: An Ode to Pinterest

Welcome to WIWW!
I'll be linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.
I have to hand it to the people at Pinterest: I am completely dependent on that website for inspiration. From clothing, to cooking, to holiday decor, I reference it multiple times a day.

I love the colors used in this outfit. Navy and mustard together get me every time.



Normally I would be all over the casual-jeans look, but I guess I was feeling fancy. So although my outfit ended up quite different, the color combo remained true to the original.
Jacket: J. Crew
Turtleneck: Lands End
Cords: Old Navy
Shoes: Macy's 
Petal Pusher: The Pleated Poppy

Up next is a Pinspiration special. Here's the original version:

And here's my copycat outfit:
{not quite so chic, and definitely not so sleek as the original!}
Scarf: Target
Sweater: Lands End
Skirt: Macy's
Leggings: Smartwool
Boots: Madden Girl (Macy's)

My aunt put together this cute little number on Polyvore, I pinned it, and copied it in real life shortly thereafter!
Sweater: Target
Jeans, scarf: Old Navy
Boots: same as above

My church outfit for this week was inspired by Lindsey, herself.

Cardi, belt: Old Navy
Shirt: Banana Republic
Slacks: Gap
Shoes: Target
White flower pin: borrowed from Caitlin
Pink petal pusher: The Pleated Poppy

I'm always on the look-out for more Pinspiration. What are your favorite outfits, recipes, and projects?  If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, you can find me here
Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Comfort Food: Day 19, Pinterest Recipes

I thought for today I would share some of my favorite Pinterest recipes. I love finding new ideas there and am always inspired by all the deliciousness everyone else is coming up with. You can follow me on Pinterest here.

Since pinning this recipe several months ago, this dish has become one of my personal favorites. Not so much for the rest of my family, who all dislike mushrooms. However, sometimes I just claim cook's privileges and make it anyways.
Source: kayotic.nl via Jessica on Pinterest


This bread, from Kate at The Small Things Blog, makes me weak at the knees. You should make it. Tonight. You'll never be the same again.


These cookies, from Edie at Life in Grace, are awesome and unexpected. She has a ton of wonderful recipes on her blog, but this has to be one of my favorites.


My aunt Deb made this dip for a recent family gathering and it is really is out-of-this-world-delicious. 

What are your favorite Pinterest recipes?

This has been day 19 of a 31 day series on comfort food.
You can start from the beginning here.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Pinspiration Friday

The last part of this week has been frustrating, at best. 
The kids are quarrelsome and whiny.
My internet connection is sketchy and unreliable which means I am going to have to spend hours  on the phone with some IT guy.
My garage sale was a bomb, and it was entirely my own fault.
I thought I could save a bit of $$ by only advertising on Craigslist.
Not so much.
Lesson learned: I'll be giving it another try next week, with a proper ad in the local paper.
Long story, short: I could use a little pick me up.
So it's time for another edition of Pinspiration Friday, where I share some of my favorite eye-candy from the previous weeks.
You can follow me on Pinterest here.
From my style Pinboard~
I love this color combo; it's so cheerful.
But I'm also lovin' all the fall outfits that have been cropping up.
Look for copycat versions of these two in upcoming WIWWs.
And speaking of fall, I love fall recipes and comfort food.
Finally, just for the sake of some pretty, here are some of my favorite living room spaces:
Source: bhg.com via Jessica on Pinterest
I feel better just from soaking up all the positive Pinterest energy. 
What are some of your favorite pins? I'd love to see them! 
Comment with a link to your Pinboards!
Have a great weekend!
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