Pinterest Projects: Huevos Rancheros

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Julie & Julia, you might recall that the character of Julie doesn’t like eggs – or, at least, she spent most of her life hating eggs until one day she decided to actually try them. Well, for most of my life, I was a bit like Julie; I simply didn’t care for eggs.

Over the last few years, however, I have been rethinking my egg antipathy. In fact, eggs have become a regular staple of my diet and now I enjoy them. Weird, huh? In fact, I made this recipe (pin here; recipe via Bev Cooks) because I was actually craving them. It turned out pretty tasty (even though I overcooked my egg a bit), and I would definitely make these again.

Oh, and you know how I opened with saying, “if you’ve seen Julie and Julia”? Well, if you haven’t seen it, get on it. Great movie. Meryl Streep = genius.

(Pin here; original recipe via Bev Cooks)

Pinterest Projects: Nutella-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

Let’s talk about Nutella, shall we? When I was a young lady of 19 (eons ago), I did a summer study abroad program in Florence. I discovered many things in Italy that summer: Renaissance art, sketchy Florentine clubs, and the joys of gallon-sized wine jugs, to name a few. But the discovery my friends and I were happiest about? Nutella. The villa we lived at served it with breakfast. Every. Single. Day. As you can imagine, it was a glorious summer.

Suffice it to say, whenever I see a recipe on Pinterest that includes “Nutella” in the description, I take notice. And when I saw this recipe (pin here; original recipe from Ambitious Kitchen), it looked to die for. So I made it. And it was to die for.

The Nutella gives these cookies a wonderfully gooey center, and the sea salt is the perfect contrast to the cookie’s sweetness. These are delicious, and I’m certain I’m going to bust this recipe out again over the holidays; I need to expose as many of my family and friends to these as possible.

(Recipe via Ambitious Kitchen)

Pinterest Projects: Mini Thai Chicken Pies

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

It seems a bit disingenuous to call these “Thai” chicken pies. Sure, there’s Thai red curry paste in them, as well as many of the ingredients I associate with pad Thai (lime, green onion, peanuts). But if you ever happen upon a street vendor in Bangkok selling something with Bisquick in it, please let me know – that would really be something.

Perhaps these aren’t the most authentic taste of Thai cuisine. But, they’re simple and super easy to make, which means they are worth your time anyway. I enjoyed them, but I think the next time I make them, I’ll experiment with spices as they came out a tad bland for my taste. Other than that, though, I thought this recipe was pretty solid.

(Pin here; original recipe here)

Pinterest Projects: Nutella Pumpkin Muffins

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like it became fall overnight. One day it was hot, and the next, there was a chill in the air and the leaves had suddenly exploded into colors. I’m not complaining, though – autumn is my favorite time of year.

As the seasons change, I am totally wanting to cook meals that feel more like “fall” – think warm and hearty soups, apple pie, comfort dishes, and, of course, pumpkin-flavored anything. And that’s where these muffins come into the picture.

In the blog universe and on Pinterest, there have been a ton of pumpkin recipes popping up. I have bookmarked several, but the one I knew I had to try was this one (pin here; recipe via Reclaiming Provincial). The main draw here was obviously the Nutella. I mean, do you know what does not go well with Nutella? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, I made these muffins and loved them. Seriously, they just shot to the top of my all-important mental list of things I have made that I love. Pumpkin and Nutella is a delightful flavor combination, and these bad boys smelled like heaven when they came out of the oven. Heaven, I tell you.

What’s your favorite fall treat?

(Recipe via Reclaiming Provincial)

Pinterest Projects: Pita with Egg + Avocado

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

When I find a food I like, I fall into the same predictable pattern: make it, repeatedly, and then after weeks (months?) of that, become sick of it and go years without eating it. Well, I have found my newest obsession and, because we’re still in the early days, I can’t imagine growing tired of it in the foreseeable future.

When I saw this dish on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it (pin here; original source here). I mean, pita bread, avocado, and eggs? What’s not to like? (Answer: nothing). This is super easy to make and I have been having it for breakfast a lot. I love how filling the avocado and egg make this meal; I always feel energized for the day after eating it. I’ll also have it for lunch occasionally, and when I do that, I often throw on a bit of shredded chicken to give it something extra (which is the way it’s pictured in these photos). No matter how you do it, this combination is fantastic.

I start by preheating my oven to 350, then drizzling a bit of olive oil on a pita. I also sprinkle on a bit of pepper and sea salt. When the oven is preheated, I cook the pita for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, I peel and chop an avocado, and then I cook an egg over easy. Put the avocado atop your pita, then add the egg.

At this point, you can add chicken if you want. Generally, I’m making this for breakfast, so I don’t add the chicken and instead skip to the other garnishes – a bit of lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, and pepper. I like cumin a lot, so I’m usually pretty generous when sprinkling that on.

Of all the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest, this just might be my favorite because it’s not too difficult yet tastes so wonderful. Make it and eat it on the regular, folks.

(Recipe via ExPress-O)

Pinterest Projects: Spinach Feta Quesadillas

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

When I was in college, I never cooked. Like, ever. The extent of my culinary prowess was boiling water for pasta, which I would then top with canned tomato sauce or pesto. My roommate didn’t cook that much either, but she did used to make quesadillas all the time. It was a bit of a running joke: she would make them, and then my other roommate and I would constantly bother her to give us some. Anything for a home cooked meal, you know?

Flash forward to today, a few years later: now I cook for myself all the time, and making quesadillas doesn’t seem quite so impressive. In fact, they’ve become a go-to dish for me, usually when I’m not sure what else to make: all you have to do is throw together whatever vegetables, cheese, and meat you find in your refrigerator.

Of course, sometimes I go with more gourmet, non-improvised versions of quesadillas, like these spinach feta ones. I found the recipe on Pinterest (pin here; original recipe from Closet Cooking) and followed it with just a few small variations – I used a bit less mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup) and didn’t add the herbs (because I didn’t have them on hand and was too cheap to buy them). Sometimes I’ll also add a bit of shredded chicken. Whichever variation you choose, you really can’t go wrong with spinach and feta (am I right or am I right?). Here’s my process:

Pretty simple, right? What’s your go-to dish when cooking?

Pinterest Projects: Yarn-Wrapped Vases

Pinterest Projects is an ongoing series wherein I attempt to justify hours wasted spent on Pinterest by making projects from some of the inspiration I find there.

I moved into a new apartment this summer and promptly got the decorating bug. Sadly, however, living on a graduate student budget does not allow me to buy all the pieces I covet at Pottery Barn and West Elm. As such, I wanted to DIY up a few fun decor pieces on my own.

When I saw these vases (pin here; original idea from Penelope & Pip), I knew I had to try them. As with everything I have ever found on Pinterest, I found constructing these vases harder than it initially appeared. It was tricky to get the yarn to stick, particularly when I first applied a piece. My vases required an insane amount of Mod Podge and a huge dose of patience. But, I’m proud of the result. Here’s how I put these together:

I started by gathering my supplies – Mod Podge, a paintbrush, four colors of yarn, and three “vases.” Two of my vases were reused objects – a wine bottle and a juice bottle. I couldn’t find a third vessel I liked at home, so I ended up buying a super cheap ($5, I think) vase from Michael’s for the third.

I decided to go with a green and blue color palette. This is way too much yarn for three vases, so I now have plenty of leftover yarn. What should I make with it?

The basic idea behind these vases is simple enough: apply mod podge to vase, stick yarn on top of it. My tip: apply your Mod Podge liberally and in very small sections at a time (it dries pretty quickly). And be prepared to get your hands covered in Mod Podge. Embrace it.

Again, though these took a bit longer than expected, I like the finished project a lot. Grad student cheap-but-cool at its finest.

Have you ever been inspired to create anything you found on Pinterest? Did the results turn out as expected?