Before we get started: I’m not going to post any recipes here because it drives me NUTS when people blog and say “oh I just got this recipe from so-and-so but I modified it” (and therefore it is implied that it’s modified so much that it is now their own). Then they proceed to lay out an entire recipe as if they were created it and don’t link to the original when really, they just left out an ingredient or added a shot of vanilla. People: not cool!
I don’t come up with recipes, I just follow them. So you’ll have to click on the link to go back to the creators’ websites.
This weekend I was all about the Pinterest. I blame it on the Pioneer Woman. For some odd reason, I had commandeered the TV and was able to watch her show on Saturday morning and had escaped Disney Jr. (I still love you Mickey!!!). She was doing a football show and was making some chocolate chunk (not chips) cookies for her crew. I was sold. They looked like sheer perfection and I knew I had to make them. She made them with “browned butter.” No clue what that was and had never heard of it before.
Ok. So browned butter.
It’s exactly what it sounds like it is. You take a stick of butter, put it in the skillet and stir it up for a good 3-4 minutes until it’s brown. You’ve gotta keep a good eye on it! No texting, Facebooking, wrangling a child who is stealing your other child’s Legos. I wasn’t doing that so I didn’t burn any butter. I mean business when it comes to cookies. It smells AMAZING. It does get brown and it does leave little brown bits in the pan. As soon as the 4 minutes are up, you turn it off and remove from heat. Set aside for 30 seconds, then pour into a heat-proof bowl. Let set for 30 minutes while you go on your way getting the rest of the cookie stuff set up.
Back to the cookies. So instead of creaming 2 stick s of butter with the sugar, you only do 1 since you’ve browned one. The rest of the recipe is the same, but you add the browned butter further on down the line. I normally use chocolate chips, so chocolate chunks was different. Of course, Ree was right. Chocolate chunks do melt so much more nicely and taste amazing.
These looked exactly like the ones on TV! And taste butterly delicious. I did not walk, I RAN to pin this on Pinterest so I would never forget where I put this recipe. I’m never making Nes-lay Toll-ooz (Phoebe on Friends? Anyone?) cookies again.
Forever and Ever Amen.
Next up, a balance to my butter filled sugar explosion.
I’ve seen mason jar salads all over Pinterest (<<my “sandwiches and such” Pinterest board). Sure, they seem like a great idea. But 1) who keeps mason jars at their houses? 2) who really makes that much salad and eats it?
So you know I’m trying to eat healthier. I’ve decided to try and get on board with this smoothie/juicer business because I think the idea of having something fresh and delicious in the morning sounds great-and quite honestly, far more appealing than coffee. I rarely drink it anyway. We usually have random fruits in the house, but eating them is another thing. You can only eat so many grapes and apples, or blueberries in your cereal. Plus I want to get the girls eating a rainbow. I figure, why not try to trick them into drinking the goods?
ANYWAY, back to the salads–blender/smoothie post to come later.
So I’d been cruising Pinterest and figured why not try this? I had bought a ton of salad stuff and it’s delicious at home, but just not feasible for work, and not something I’d commit to preparing nightly. So this is what I did–and it made for a delicious lunch!
So based on the millions of pins I saw (I never really read any one post, mostly looked at the pics), you layer like this:
- Protein (meats)
- softer veggies (I put my mushrooms here)
- garbanzo beans
- Cherry tomatoes (whole–some cut them up but I still think that’s mushy)
- Harder veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots)
- Dressing (I didn’t put any in the jar)
I brought a container of dressing (see below) to leave at work, so I didn’t put any in the jar. I guess if your jar is upright, there’s no issue, but I’d rather it just not be in there. This is awesome and they look so pretty! Now I have a healthy lunch packed for the next three days! There are a lot of other options, too. Not just garden salad, but pesto, Greek, and other types to explore. I’m sure I’ll troll around on Pinterest and find others, but for now, this is where I’m starting.
Pin Win #2.
Then there was the other famous Pinterest pin (if you live in Texas or near a Chuy’s). Chuy’s Jalapeno Ranch Dip/Dressing. SO good. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A spicy ranch dressing. The recipe can be found HERE. But it’s seriously so simple, that you only need a handful of ingredients and a blender. The ingredient basics are (see the recipe for the deets):
- green chiles (canned Hatch green chiles–I’ll definitely buy fresh ones during Hatch green chile season and freeze them)
- jalapenos (I used some amazing jarred ones from the Hill Country here near Austin)
- sour cream
- Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
- cilantro (and I HATE cilantro)
SO good. I have a really crappy blender and this was so basic that it still came out with a great consistency with no chunks or lumps.
I’ve seen a lot of variations on that recipe too.
I’d probably add a bit more jalapenos because it wasn’t super spicy (or maybe depending on the type it may be more or less spicy). It all depends on your audience and what you’re going for. I didn’t use garlic because I just don’t keep it in the house and also I forgot. And also, it wasn’t that important to me. Also? I don’t think that the Chuy’s recipe even has garlic in it…if we’re being true to their recipe.
She does call for 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk or Half & Half to thin down the dressing. I used 1/4 cup of Half & Half because I was afraid it would be too watery. It was really watery when it was done, but I poured it into the containers and once set, it was a perfect dressing consistency. It’s probably a bit thicker than Chuy’s has it, but for salad dressing, I think it worked out really well. If you want it for a chip dip, you may want to add a bit more Half & Half or maybe use milk. But why use milk? This is all about the CREAMY.
Really good on my Mason Jar Salad 😉
So there you have it! My weekend on Pinterest. Definitely a delicious WIN.