A year ago, I evaluated the various Pinterest recipes I’d tried out. Well guess what, folks; I haven’t stopped. It’s about time for some all-new recipe reviews, dontcha think?
Let’s get to it.
Creamy Slow Cooker Spaghetti
You know what I love? Spaghetti. Know what else I love? Creaminess. So this recipe, from Picky Palate, has to be the best of both worlds, right?
Well, I don’t know. It was fine. It was good. I didn’t go bonkers for it, and I haven’t made it a second time.
I think the issue for this one is, it’s easy enough to just boil a pot of water and make spaghetti the regular way. Add some jar sauce and some ricotta, and you have creamy spaghetti. The long, slow cooker process didn’t seem to add anything, in my opinion. I guess it saves one from having to stand at the stove and stir, but really with spaghetti, it’s not a big deal.
I mean, come on. Look at this.
Butterfinger cake comes to us courtesy of the oft-referenced Plain Chicken. Doesn’t it look awesome?
I didn’t make it exactly like PC’s instructions. I used chocolate cake instead of yellow (although I LOVE yellow cake, don’t get me wrong), and I used hot fudge topping instead of caramel (although I love caramel too). I just felt the chocolate version would go over better with a certain recipient of the cake. So, my cake was good. It definitely turns out super-moist, and it’s very sweet, and Butterfingers are delicious. But I’m not sure I totally love a really, well, wet cake like this. You know, like a dulce de leche or something. There’s a lot of moisture going on here.
But then again, part of me wants to try the yellow cake and caramel version, too. So, I don’t know. I’m torn.
Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells
This one is also from Plain Chicken and LOOK, LOOK HOW YUMMY:
(Sidebar: The Plain Chicken lady takes such great food photos!)
I actually have this photo set as the “cover photo” for my Pinterest recipe board, because it’s so yummy-looking and it makes me want to make food and eat food. Uh, because I need a photo to make me want to do those things.
So anyway, you take your basic stuffed shells, except you have shredded bits of roasted (rotisserie) chicken mixed in with the ricotta. And also some basil pesto. Yum. Delicious. I love this. I’ve made it for myself and Matt, and I’ve made it to take a friend as a “You just had a baby so here’s some food!” dish. It works on many levels.
Love it, love it, soooo good.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
This one came from a blog called Mommy Makes it Better. I pinned this one mainly because I liked the picture:
And of course, as you know by now, I like using the slow cooker. And also I like apples and their sauce, so win-win-win-win.
The end result? Was good. I gave some away, kept some, ate it. I haven’t made it a second time but I am not a frequent applesauce eater, I suppose. I’d do it again if I had the inclination. I think I would rather do this than just buy a big jar of store-bought. It’s fun to make something where you actually use a cinnamon stick, for Pete’s sake. How often does that come up? (Answer: Not often.)
Slow Cooker “Chile Colorado Burritos”
Here’s another Plain Chicken recipe and another gorgeous food photo:
I was intrigued by this one because it involves making and using your own enchilada sauce. I’d never done that before and wanted to give it a try. Plus, a burrito stuffed with what looks like roast beef and smothered with melted cheese? Yeah, I’m up for that.
Result? Another winner. You slow-cook a bunch of stew beef in the homemade enchilada sauce (which is delicious), then make huuuge burritos with it, top with cheese and more sauce, and broil. Divine.
There’s no fancy stuff here, no additions, just: salmon. But it’s the method of cooking the salmon that I wanted to try out, and that method comes from the venerable Pioneer Woman.
Basically, you take a salmon filet, give it the salt/pepper/olive oil treatment, and put it in a cold oven. Then you follow the Pioneer Woman’s directions as linked above, and in no time you enjoy a perfectly cooked salmon. Perfectly. It’s amazing.
Red Velvet Brownies
Okay…here’s the deal. Pinterest, and therefore the whole Internet, is chock-full of red velvet recipes. There are red velvet versions of almost anything. Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pancakes, bundt cakes, rice cakes, fish cakes, urinal cakes, it never ends.
And I must admit, I’m not as enraptured with the red velvet concept as a lot of people seem to be. Just because you dump a bottle of red food coloring into a baked good and then attach the word “velvet,” people are supposed to go crazy for it? I don’t really get it.
But then, one day, Matt and I sampled a red velvet brownie at our favorite local bakery (Frost It Café in Frisco, TX, by the way, check it out), and darn if it wasn’t delicious. And then I had a Christmas party coming up, and then good old Plain Chicken posted a recipe, so I got it in my head that I should make the brownies to take to the party.
And the result was: well, they were fine. I think they’re a little more work than I really want to do for a Christmas party take-along. And I think Frost It’s were way better than mine.
But look, Plain Chicken’s are so pretty:
And so festive! Can you blame me for trying?
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
This was Matt’s birthday dinner. Not only had I never made Chicken Tikka Masala before, I’d never eaten it. But I knew he liked it, based on the fact that he ordered it when we ate at that one place that time, so I saw this recipe on Real Simple’s website and decided to go for it. The “slow cooker” part helped my decision, naturally.
Result? It’s good! I’ll make it again for sure.
Oh, right: one thing, I totally forgot the cucumber when I made mine, so I can’t speak to how it added to or distracted from the flavor. But the chicken, rice, spices, and stuff were all very nice.
No-Carb Egg Muffins
Sigh. And now we enter the “dark month,” when Matt and I both abstained from carbs. It was a terrible time. But we lost weight.
Anyway, after feeling like I was going to die if I had to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast one more time, I turned to this recipe, from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
And, y’know what? These little “muffins?” They’re eggs. Eggs with some other stuff mixed in, then baked, but they still taste like eggs. Seriously, you guys: I’m going on three months since “dark month,” but I STILL don’t want to taste scrambled eggs ever again.
That’s not the fault of Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, though. The recipe is just fine if what you want is a bite-sized eggy thing that really can only be called a muffin because it’s baked in a mini muffin tin, but otherwise tastes nothing like a muffin.
Baked Beef and Bean Tacos
Here’s yet another one from Plain Chicken.
This recipe involves making the taco shells out of corn tortillas by draping them on the oven rack and baking for a while. Then you add the beef/bean mixture, top with cheese, and bake some more. The end result was really tasty, but overall it’s rather labor-intensive. However, if these had been made in regular store-bought taco shells, there would be nothing remarkable about them.
Man, you guys. It’s nearing bedtime as I keep writing this post, and I am feeling so super-hungry for some reason. Damn you, beautiful food photography!
“Crazy Cake” aka “Wacky Cake”
This one was all over the Pinterest food boards one day, and it looked pretty good. I had ingredients on hand another day, so I gave the vanilla version a try:
I opted not to make the lovely cup of tea that you see above.
As far as the cake: I don’t know. It was very sweet, but that was from the icing (which I made homemade, but that’s a recipe that will maybe be shared another time). It was okay. Not my favorite cake I’ve ever made. But it was fast to put together, only uses the cake pan (no mixing bowl needed), and…yeah, like the photo says. No eggs, no milk, no butter. What is in there? Well, read the recipe to find out, courtesy of Sweet Little Bluebird.
Those of you who know me on Facebook might have seen the photo of the bubble pizza I made (along with my almost-three-year-old helper) a couple of days ago. The recipe came from The Two Bite Club, and here’s their version:
So, bubble pizza basically is this: cut-up canned biscuit dough with sauce and toppings. Bake it, the dough puffs up a bit, and there you go.
It was good, but y’know what? It tasted exactly like what it was. Store-bought biscuits with sauce, pepperoni, and cheese on them. It’s not a bad thing, but there’s nothing gourmet or even especially impressive going on here. If you need to make something easy and kid-friendly, and pizza-ish, here you go.
And now it’s time for the final recipe! Woohoo!
Balsamic Slow Cooker Roast Beef
I just made this yesterday. Had leftovers today. It is delicious.
This one came from a blog called Add a Pinch, which I might have to check out more often. Slow cooked roast beef with a mixture of balsamic vinegar and other things as the sauce. Guess what I made to go with this, by the way? Roasted Brussels sprouts! That’s right, it all comes full circle.
Wow. I did not think I had that many recipes to cover, but I totally did! This has gone on for a long time! And I really think I need to go eat something before I turn in.
(In all honesty, I really could go for a hunk of that bubble pizza right about now. Too bad there’s none left.)