Pinterest: Tried and True

Here are 3 things I’ve tried that I found on Pinterest, and that have proven to be successful:

Pre-Made Smoothie Packs

I also posted about this on Instagram a few weeks ago, because I was so excited about it!  I recently made the decision to stop eating cereal every day, so I wanted to have smoothies.  It is a great way for me to have a nutrient-packed, filling breakfast.  Here it is on my Pinterest “Health Food” board.  I used chopped spinach, frozen berries, frozen mango, and banana.  Then when I blend them in the mornings, I add almond butter, ground flax seed, almond milk, and water (sometimes).

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To-Die-For Blueberry Muffins

I made this for my volunteer role at church one Sunday, but made a few extras for us.  These were a hit at our house!  They are so much like bakery or coffee house muffins, and not at all like the kind from a boxed mix. Here is the link from my Pinterest “Breakfast” board.

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(picture via Allrecipes)

Roasted Okra

We made this a couple of weekends ago.  We didn’t go 100% by this recipe, but our method was so similar!  We just had the oven at 400.  It is definitely the time of year to eat okra, so I wanted to share this.  There have been so many okra recipes floating around Pinterest.  Here is the link for the roasted okra recipe on my Pinterest “Savory Dishes” board.

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(Picture via Pinterest & foodpicsgo.com)

Squash & Spinach Crustless Quiche

This may not, technically, be an actual quiche.  It is a baked egg dish, without the crust, so it is similar to a quiche, but much healthier.  This dish is pretty easy, it uses seasonal ingredients, and it is inexpensive to make.  It can also be made ahead and re-heated, or it can be all mixed up and refrigerated, then baked when you’re ready to eat!

Squash & Spinach Crustless Quiche 

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  • 2 summer squash, cut into pretty thin half-moons
  • 2 c chopped spinach
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp milk (or half and half)
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350.

Chop squash, spinach, and onion.  Heat saute pan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, then saute onion for 1-2 min. Add squash and toss to combine.  Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute until lightly browned.  Add spinach and quickly cook until barely wilted. Lay on the bottom of a greased casserole dish. (I used an 8×8 square dish).

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Beat eggs, milk, and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/2 c mozzarella on top.

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Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Check to see if it is done.  (Mine needed about 3 more minutes.) Cut into squares and serve hot!

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Nautical Baby Shower

Three of my best friends are expecting new babies in the next couple of weeks!  This is certainly the time of our lives that baby showers are frequent.  I have helped host two this summer, and have another one at my house this weekend.  I love being able to help prepare friends for new babies in that way!

The first shower is for one of my college roommates, Margaret.  She and her husband, Kyle, are having  little boy, and their nursery is navy and white with nautical details.  So, when we (her sister, one of our other roommates, and I) were planning her shower, a nautical theme was an easy pick!

Here are some pictures of the shower!

boys baby shower; nautical theme baby boy shower, nautical theme

nautical baby shower baby boy shower, nautical theme baby boy shower, nautical theme

Table Decor: I wrapped baby formula cans in rope (with much help from a glue gun), then filled them with white and blue hydrangea.  The shells are some I borrowed from my grandparents’ beach house. The anchors are just little decoration items from Michael’s.

The chevron runners were borrowed from my mom.  The lanterns were a mix of plain white, striped navy, and plain navy.  I painted the stripes and the navy ones.

gift basket for a baby shower

Gift basket of a few baby essentials.

nautical baby boy shower; wreath

We made the mantle fit the nautical theme as well.  I made the wreath to look like a life saver, put some rope in glass vases, and added a conch shell.  After this, we added a few prints of sailboats.

nautical baby shower cupcakes; anchor baby boy shower cupcakes; nautical and anchor theme

Ahoy! It’s a Boy! Cupcakes

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Fruit & Dessert Table

fruit and dessert for a baby boy shower; whale shaped pineapple

Fruit Skewers: We used star and whale shaped cookie cutters to add nautical elements to the fruit skewers.

cake pops for a nautical baby boy shower

Fishing bobber cake pops.

whale shaped sandwiches for a nautical baby boy shower

Whale-shaped pimento cheese sandwiches.

baby boy shower drinks

Blueberry Lemonade

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Me, Margaret, Meridith, Allison

Greek-ish Dinner: Part 2

Here is the next installment of the Greek-ish dinner recipes!

Roasted Vegetables (Mushrooms)

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(The first time I made this, I used squash as well as mushrooms – I prefer it that way! I just didn’t have any squash on hand this time.)

  • Zucchini, large dice
  • Summer squash, large dice
  • Baby bella or button mushrooms, quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar {glaze}

Toss the vegetables with a little olive oil.  Lay out on a baking pan.  Roast at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and slightly browned.  Once finished cooking, season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze before serving.

If you do not have balsamic vinegar glaze, you can make some by reducing balsamic vinegar to thicken.

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Couscous Salad with Greek Dressing

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Dressing:

  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Rub oregano between your hands before adding to the dressing.  Whisk all together.  Use in couscous salad.

Couscous Salad:

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  • 1 1/3 c dried Israeli couscous
  • 1 3/4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, large dice
  • 1/2 c kalamata or black olives, halved
  • 3/4 c feta
  • 1/2-3/4 of the Greek dressing

Saute couscous in olive oil.  Slowly add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12 minutes.

Once cooked, allow couscous to cool.

Mix together the couscous, vegetables, dressing, and feta.  Refrigerate. It is best to let this sit for at least a couple of hours. (Add more dressing before service if needed).

Greek-ish Dinner: Part 1

I’m calling this “Greek-ish,” because it is one of my versions of Greek food – not 100% authentic, but the flavors and many of the ingredients are definitely Greek.

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I made this meal at the beach for my whole family.  My cousin asked me for the recipes, which of course I had not written. So, I was determined to recreate it and actually record the details – one of my new goals when I cook.

I’m posting this in 2 parts so that it isn’t too overwhelming.

Don’t be intimidated by these recipes.  They are relatively easy to mix together, and each recipe shares similar ingredients.

Part 1 Recipes:

  • Marinated & Grilled Greek Chicken
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Pita Assembly + Toppings

Part 2 Recipes:

  • Roasted Mushrooms (Vegetables)
  • Couscous Salad with Greek Dressing

Marinated & Grilled Greek Chicken

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  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 c olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp dried or 1/4 tsp fresh dill
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (that is 2 chicken breasts in the picture above, just cut into smaller pieces)

Mix all of the above ingredients together.  Marinate chicken breasts for at least 1 hour.

To cook, either grill or sauté the chicken in a hot nonstick pan.

Slice before serving.

(This was enough chicken for Todd and I to have for 2 dinners)

Tzatziki Sauce

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  • 1 cucumber, most of the way peeled, chopped very small
  • 1 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped; if using dry, use 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Mix together all of the above ingredients.  Refrigerate.  This can be made ahead.

Assembly & Toppings

  • lettuce, chopped (something crunchy, like iceberg or romaine, is best; I used spinach, because that is what I had on hand)
  • tomatoes, diced
  • cucumber, diced
  • olives (Kalamata or black), halved
  • banana peppers
  • feta cheese
  • pita bread or flatbread
  • olive oil

Drizzle pita bread with olive oil.  Bake or grill until warm, and cut into quarters.

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We like to put the toppings, chicken, and tzatziki sauce on the pita bread, but this can be eaten however you like!

Recent Baking

I wanted to showcase a few of my recent baking projects.  Get ready for a post of mostly pictures, and brace yourself for a visual sugar overload:

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Pink Almond Macarons

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Pink Berry Macaron Shells ready to be filled

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Berry, Salted Caramel, and Espresso Macarons

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“Under Construction” themed Cake Pops for a graduation event

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

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Lemon Raspberry Birthday Cake

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Chocolate Toffee Birthday Cake

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Honeybee Cupcakes for a Winnie the Pooh birthday party

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Red Velvet, Chocolate Toffee, Carrot, and Strawberry cakes for a wedding

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Blackberry Macarons for a womens event

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Red Velvet Butterfinger Cake Pops for a birthday

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more Blackberry Macarons

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Mini Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

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Grapefruit Macarons for a womens event

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German Chocolate Macarons for my mom’s birthday

(this is a major throwback all the way to January)

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Mickey Mouse themed birthday cake

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Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies for a birthday party

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Mickey Mouse smash cake

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Pink Cake Pops for a birthday party

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Mini Oreo and Mini Salted Caramel Cupcakes for a birthday party

Pinterest: Tried and True

Pinterest can be kind of a black hole – it is 10 times easier to get sucked into continually pinning than to create. We pin and pin and pin, but rarely do much with those pins.  It is such an awesome resource, though, and I’m trying to keep track of which recipes, etc, that I try.  I want to remember which ones were successes so that I can use them again!

Here are a few recipes that I’ve pinned that I tried and loved.  Hope this is helpful!

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

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My aunt made this at the beach, and we all loved it.  So, I made it this weekend. Here it is on my Pinterest page and here is the original blog post.

Mediterranean Baked Chicken

I’ve got to be honest – this is not my picture.  I wish I could say it was, but mine did look similar!

I rarely follow recipes for anything other than bread or cake, but I I’m glad I did for this dinner.  It was so good, and easy!

Mediterranean Chicken

Here is the link to my Pinterest page and here is the link to the recipe on The Clever Carrot blog.

Banana Almond Milk “Ice Cream”

This is definitely a new favorite around here.  It hits the spot if you’re craving ice cream, when really you’re only eating the ingredients of a smoothie!  Perfectly guilt-free.

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Their image – gorgeous

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My image – terrible.  Oh well, it was tasty!  And right after I took this photo, we added dark chocolate chips – delish!

Here is the link to my Pinterest page.  Here is the link to the blog with the recipe.