Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pinterest Recipe Review Part 3

If you read my Meal Plan Monday posts, you'll quickly learn that I get most of my recipe and meal ideas from the magical world of Pinterest.  Way back in the dark ages, I used to search the Cooking Light and Martha Stewart recipe archives, and actually print out the recipes, three-hole punch them and keep them in a in binder!  Oh how times have changed, and that wasn't even that long ago! 
 Anyway, I love finding recipes on Pinterest, since many are from reputable test kitchens, but lots are also from mommy bloggers that make up recipes in their kitchen like I do.  When I plan out our weekly menus, I choose a lot of tried and true recipes that we have enjoyed over and over, but I also love trying new recipes that look and sound good in the attempts to broaden our horizons.  Some work for us, some don't , and since I share our meal plans every week, I also like to share review on what i think of the various new recipes that I try.  So, here's a new installment of my Pinterest Recipe Review!

This Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Chili was lauded by several friends of mine on Facebook, and it was good, but not quite as amazing as I was expecting, based on the comments!  Kinda like when you see a movie that everyone is talking about, but it was okay, and was just inflated way too much?  That was this chili.  I may make it again to throw something different in the mix, but I'll do a regular chili or this Sweet Potato Chili first.
But, this.  This Butternut Squash and Apple Soup was above and beyond what I was expecting...it was delicious. The real tst for how good meals are in our house is if there are any leftovers, or if there are leftovers, how long do they last.  The night I made this soup, I ate 2 bowls, and then ate it twice the next day and twice the day after that.  I (alone) polished off the leftovers in two days.  I am not even a huge fan of pureed soups, but this was a winner.  The apple and caramelized onions add a bit of sweetness, but the soup is very simple and great for a light dinner or with a salad or piece of crusty bread.  Two thumbs up.
Want an simple and satisfying meal?  We had these Crock Pot Chicken Philly Sandwiches a while back, and they were easy, tasty, and family-friendly.  It made a lot of chicken, so you could either super-stuff your sandwiches, or have plenty for leftovers the next day.  We just ate these sandwiches with french fries, so the meal only required 6 ingredients total.  Perfect for a busy weeknight !
 These Mustard and Garlic Brussel Sprouts may very well have been good, had I not burned the hell out of them.  But I followed the directions to a T, and they came out black and smoking.  There were a few that would not have been classified as carcinogens, and they were pretty good.  May need to tweak the oven temp and the timing and try these again.

This Balsamic Pork Roast was good, though it was the onion gravy that really made it delicious.  It was actually the first time I had made a real oven pot roast without cooking it in the crock pot.  Even cooking it in my dutch oven with the lid on and in a thick gravy, it was a bit dry, since it had been cooking about 4 hours total.  I have never had that problem when cooking the roasts in the crock pot.  But, once we drenched the roast in the sweet onion gravy, it moistened up and was very good.  I think I could adjust the recipe, and cook it in the crock pot to 1) make it easier and less time consuming for me and 2) keep the roast from drying out.  Then, once the roast is done cooking, if I needed to,I could take the onion gravy and reduce it down to a thicker sauce on the stove if I need to.  No matter, it was a good roast, and a great gravy.

I made this Beefy Tomato and Macaroni Soup last month, and it was just meh.  Not bad, but kinda boring.  If I were you, I'd pass over this one and make something with a bit more flavor, more spices, more oomph.  It was fine, just not anything I'd be n a hurry to make again.

Another easy and yummy dinner were these Roasted Potatoes and Smoked Sausage.  It was easy t make, didn't take too long, and with a green veg on the side, made a complete meal.  I would definitely make this again.

We ate this Amish Beef and Cabbage Skillet on Friday night. It was easy, simple, and filling, everything I expected it to be, and it was good.  It is not gourmet, and it's not anything particularly special, but it would definitely be a quick go-to on a weeknight since here are not a lot of ingredients and it doesn't take much time to make.  

If you are a fan of beets, you are going to LOVE this Beet and Orange Salad!  In fact, if you are 
not a lover of beets, you may still enjoy this salad!  The orange segments and the dressing add a sweetness to the earthy beets, and is really delicious.  The recipe calls for 2 bunches of beets, though, and my bunches had three beets a piece. So I roasted up 6 beets for the salad, which did end up to be way too much.  But I was happy to eat the leftovers, but next time I make this I will only use 4 beets, tops.  And I do thinkthe addition of a bit of blue cheese or goat's cheese would be perfection!  This salad is also delicious over a bed of mixed greens for a lunch or slightly different side dish if you want to add even more to it. :)  A total winner.

I hope this gives you some ideas on what to try and what not to try when planning your weekly meals!  Winners or not, I think trying new recipes keeps expanding my cooking horizons, and I learn more and more about what I like to eat and how I like to eat it, and different preparations for lots of different kinds of food.  Hope you find some recipes that you and your family enjoy!
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