Monday, August 20, 2012

from pinned to practice: #11-14 (and #10 re-visited)

Well, it was a good week around here, Pinterest-wise again! FOUR new recipes made their appearance at the dinner table ~ hmmm...perhaps it's time I start explore non-food-related pins this next week.  :)

I'll start off with Monday's supper: Healthy Crispy Chicken Fingers {pinned from here}.  These actually turned out looking pleasantly similar to the original pin so I was proud of that! Although, I'm not sure I was really fond of the coating for these. It was a Corn Flakes coating. Les really enjoyed it but I prefer my own version of homemade chicken fingers ~ just using Shake 'n Bake for the crispy coating. I'm not sure I would make these ones again necessarily. But they did taste okay ~ especially dipped in my homemade sweet & sour sauce!

My next two recipes that I tried this week involved bacon. Now, I have to say, I l-o-v-e bacon but I've never really used it before in my meals because it sorta scares me! Frying bacon over the stovetop just intimidates me. So other than when Les will fry some up for a special breakfast here and there, our home is pretty much bacon-free. But I really wanted to try a few bacon recipes so I decided to just suck it up.

And it turns out you can get really delicious bacon by doing it INside the oven instead of over the stove. True story! And mine was actually a success! Although, note the difference in the picture below. All bacon was cooked at the same time, in the same oven at the same temperature. But the bacon at the top of the picture was cooked on a Pampered Chef baking stone...the bacon on the bottom? Not so much! Lesson of the day: ALWAYS cook bacon on a Pampered Chef baking stone!

 Anyway, here are the recipes that I made using my delicious oven-baked bacon:

The first one was Cheddar Bacon Chicken Ranch Pasta. You can find the original recipe here but I made a few slight changes. I couldn't find Ranch dressing mix when I was at the grocery store last week so I sort of combined this recipe with my Chicken Fettucini Alfredo recipe that I make. Basically instead of the Ranch dressing mix in the recipe, I just used Chicken OXO powder instead. I also added parmesan cheese to the recipe as well.

And the turn-out? Oh. my. goodness. This meal was incredible!! Everyone gobbled it all up and this will definitely be back in my repertoire!

The second dish I made with bacon was these Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips. I think the original idea behind them is to serve them as an appetizer {with dip} but I just made them as a side dish to one of our suppers. Super easy to make and a delicious spin on how to do potatoes. These were also a huge hit with the whole family!

The meat on this dinner plate was also another pinned recipe. Or rather the marinade anyway. It's a Tender Grilled Pork Chop recipe. I didn't have actual pork chops on hand so I just used some very thin slices of some other sort of pork instead. I don't know if it was because of the type of meat I used or what, but I wasn't impressed with this recipe. It was too salty for my liking and just didn't have a lot of other flavor. Granted, that was probably because I went easy on the Montreal Steak Spice since we over-used it once before and it was far too spicy for the girls. Maybe I'll give this one another try when I use the "right" cut of meat and where I use the called-for amount of the steak spice before I toss this one aside.

So aside from the new recipes this past week, I didn't try any other new pins. But I did re-try Pin #10 from the week before: the hair bow. I had seen another picture of this bow, but instead of using just part of the hair it used all of the hair. I didn't actually pin this one so I can't show you the original picture of it. But I tried it out anyway, and it turned out much better than the other one. I don't know if it was because I now had a couple of times of practice under my belt, or if it just is easier using all of the hair. Either way, I was much more pleased with the turn-out ~ and this time, after seeing it in Malia's hair Joelle was actually wanting it in her hair too! This picture is of Malia's hair again, but when I did it on Joelle's it turned out even better because I was able to tuck the hair that's sticking up at the top into the bow so it had a cleaner look to it.

So I have a few goals for some of my next pins: To try other things than just recipes. And that when I do try recipes, to try to get more creative than just chicken! It seems like a lot of the pins that I have deal with chicken. It is my favorite type of meat, but I need to branch out a bit more!


TammyIsBlessed said...

Definitely try that marinade again - we love it! We do use BBQ sauce right at the end of the grilling time, maybe that masked the saltiness you were referring to? And we did the exact amount of steak seasoning it called for. Loved it!

Might have to try the chicken bacon one you had there, looks good! I'd probably add in some mushrooms too.

Jackie said...

Wow - I need to get some recipes from you Andrea. I just hate cooking...