Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Damn you, Pinterest

I've decided that, unequivocally, recipes found on Pinterest need to come with disclaimers.

Do not attempt this recipe with low-fat or fat-free products - unless you want to fig up the dish.

Directions recommend stirring occasionally but really you need to chain yourself to the stove and stir non-stop to achieve perfect consistency.

The recipe gives a cooking times of four hours, on low, in a slow cooker. The developer, though, forgot to mention that she accidentally set the appliance on high and that's why the lentils were so perfectly cooked.

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Twice this week I have been romanced by beautifully photographed dishes and the accompanying recipes and twice this week I have been fooled.

1. The first recipe - Cheesy Chicken Ranch Casserole - seemed like the best of both worlds. It was a dish that would appeal to Mark and Miles but one for which I could improve the nutritional profile. Wheat noodles, low-fat dairy products and the addition broccoli would all help to make it a bit more Kim-friendly. The noodles and broccoli were fine ideas but the non-fat evaporated milk ... not so much. The sauce was supposed to thicken, and mine curdled. I salvaged it as best I could, and Mark declared it a winner but he was ignorant to my troubles and loves anything with pasta and cheese.

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2. I was on a cooking binge last weekend - making three different types of muffins, splitting the bounty between my freezer and that of my mother-in-law. I decided to be even nicer and make a hearty soup for the both of us since it has been so dreary. I found a pin for Curried Lentil and Chickpea Stew, which sounded hearty but healthful. The recipe said it made four servings so I doubled the ingredient list and dumped it all in the slow cooker for the prescribed 4 hours on low (there's an additional one hour of cooking time at the end). However, after 6 hours on low and another couple on warm, the lentils were still a bit crunchy. As in not edible. I ended up cooking it for another 1.5 hours on high to get the al dente I was hoping for. I will concede that doubling the recipe might not have helped but the cooking time was definitely off. And one pot definitely makes more than four servings. I have about 20 bowls of this stew after giving my mother-in-law five servings. But it is good.

3. The most successful meal this week, as it turns out, was not from Pinterest but the Thai Kitchen website. I had bought red curry paste for a sweet potato soup recipe and didn't want to leave the jar to dry up in the fridge. The Thai Red Curry was easy, quick and full of vegetables. And it used leftover roast chicken - SCORE. I did brown some tofu, adding a bit of the sauce, for me, and I loved it. As for the boys? Miles promptly spit out the tofu and Mark said it wasn't his favorite but still ate two big bowls.

Curious. Very curious indeed ...

By the way, if you want good Pinterest recipes, Jess recently wrote a post with her favorites.


  1. I've been planning a few posts on my Pinterest faves.

    Too bad those recipes you found didn't quite turn out right. At least you get to try something new, and you know what works for next time!

  2. Anytime I cook anything with lentils I let it cook for at least and hour and a half no matter what the recipe says. Otherwise they don't cook right, and nothing ruins a soup like crunchy lentils! I LOVE the Thai Red Curry paste for soups! Some coconut milk, veggie broth, and lots of diced vegetables make for an awesome and quick soup! I definitely pick and choose the recipes I use on Pinterest, and I'm getting a lot better at reading the recipe and knowing if it will work out well. Trial and error!

  3. Ooo... I totally know how you feel. But some can be delicious!

    I made this one a couple weeks and have made it repeatedly since then (it's easy, fast, and so yummy!): (I skipped the sugar and anything else I didn't have on hand... didn't miss it).

    This one was also rather tasty:

    But, to be honest, most of the food stuff on my pinterest are desserts. They all just look soooo good!

  4. try though i might, i don't understand the allure of pinterest. i did sign up for an account, but after five minutes, it was enough. I'm glad it's a resource, and maybe someday I'll get on board.

  5. So sorry the recipes didn't turn out quite like you wanted them too! Such a bummer! The Thai Red Curry does sound delicious, though! :0) Tofu..yum...and two big bowls means it was pretty darn good!

  6. How bad am I? I've pinned probably hundred of recipes and haven't made a single one. Ha!