Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinterest, Why have you foresaken me!?

You know those moments when you realize the things on pinterest don't always work like they say? No? I didn't either. That is, until I tried to get rid of some wasps.

Check out the pin here:

It explains how to easily and quickly get rid of wasps. And I definitly have a wasp problem.
Exhibit A:
Oh look at all of these little friends. They have decided to make their home in my bathroom vent on my porch. I'm pretty sure the welcome sign I put up was NOT for them. So, I did what any sensible Pinterest addict would do. I checked the garden pins for ideas. And voila! I found the pin listed above. So, I quickly put together all of the necessary ingredients and placed it on my porch below said nest.

Four days later, here are all of the wasps I've caught:
Yep, not one.

I tried adding more vinegar, more sugar. Nothing works. They just don't want to take the bait. I was really hoping to not have to use the harsh chemical version of the wasp/hornet killer because I'm sure it's not good for the environment, but I had to break down at do it. There were all least 20-30 wasps swarming around my front door every day. It was like going into battle every time I wanted to go in or out of the door. And the last think I wanted was to get stung by one, it hurts.

So, my question is, Pinterest, why have you forsaken me?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Zucchini Invasion!

This year is my first attempt at gardening, and I just have to say, "Holy zucchini". Here is a picture of my garden just one month ago:
 And here it is now:
 As you can see, things have grown just a bit. Especially the zucchini. I've already harvested 7 squash from the plant. And I'm at a point where I'm thinking, "What else can I do with it?!" I mean, I've done sauteed zucchini, breaded and baked zucchini, etc. But, now I really wanted to do something different. 
Enter Pinterest.
I knew pinterest would not let me down. So, I began searching my food board and the Food and Drink category. And, low and behold. zucchini recipes out the wazoo. 
I mean, I could make: 

4. or Zucchini Fries 

All of them sounded delicious, but I wanted something different. And to be quite honest, I wanted something that involved sugar. Zucchini bread just wasn't going to cut it. 

Enter heaven ...

Anything that has double chocolate in the title is a winner in my book ... even before I taste it. So, last weekend I tried them. I tweaked the recipe a bit because I prefer to use wheat flour and replace some of the sugar with Stevia sweetener. But, they came out VERY dense and a bit dry. So this morning I decided to try them again. 

Here are the original ingredients: 

Here are the changes I made the first time:

1. Instead of 1 cup sugar - I used 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup Stevia
2. Instead of 1 cup vegetable oil - I used olive oil
3. Instead of 3 cups all-purpose flour - I used 1 1/2 cups baking flour and 1 1/2 cups  wheat flour
4. Instead of unsweetened cocoa powder I used the same amount of dark chocolate cocoa powder. 

Not shown in the ingredients above is 2 cups chocolate chips. I used dark chocolate instead.

This morning I made a few additional tweaks:

1. I added another teaspoon of vanilla
2. I added 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 

I was still worried it would be dense, so I researched online how to make muffins fluffier and moist.  First, I mixed the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Shredded zucchini is considered a wet ingredient. 
Then, once all my wet and dry ingredients were mixed seperately, I made a well in the middle of my dry ingredients and poured in the wet mix. 
Next, I read that you should NOT over-mix you muffin batter. So, I folded in the dry ingredients, mixing ONLY until the dry ingredients were blended in. 
I also cooked them for less time than I had the first time, thinking perhaps I just cooked them too long. And the result? 
The heaven I was waiting for!! :) 
They were moist, flavorful, and I can pretend they are healthy because they are made with zucchini! 

Now who wants to help me clean up my mess? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You know you're addicted ...

Yep, it's true. You're addicted. It's okay... I am too.

It pinteresting really. I just can't stop pinning. It can suck up hours of time in one sitting.
However, while I've been pinning like a mad woman, sometimes I forget to go back to my pins and actually try or use the information in them. But that is about to change. I'm going to set a goal for myself to actually use my pins ... and then share my experiences here. The good, the bad, the epic fails.

So, I wanted to start today with one of my all time FAVORITE pinterest finds. That find is I'm always looking for fun, healthy new recipes to try, and this website is full of them. Not only that, but they are delicious!

Here are a few I've tried (and LOVED): Click on the pictures for the recipes (My pictures don't look quite as amazing as those on the blog, but they get the job done). Many of them are soups because I was pinning like crazy this winter and trying to find easy, tasty, and freezable meals.

1. Baked Potato Soup (made with a little bit of cauliflower to add richness without the extra calories!) 

2. Cauliflower Soup: Ok, I know this sounds totally weird, but it's actually light and tasty. It would not be great as a stand alone meal, but definitely tasty as a side dish.

3. Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup: So good for winter months, PLUS it's easy to freeze for a quick meal later.

4. Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili: This rates high for simplicity and overall yumminess.

And the pin that helped my find my way to this amazing site:

5. Healthier Mozzarella Sticks I was skeptical at first, because really, how can you make these fried favorites healthy. However, I love them and was willing to give it a shot. So, I made the breading, used the reduced fat mozz sticks and baked away. And I was NOT disappointed. If you love cheese, this is a MUST try.

So, this was the result of my first pinning journey back in January when I was still a pinterest newby. Now, I have too many pins to count, and need to start weeding through them, cooking some amazing recipes, try new crafts, and use some tips.

 Keep reading to follow my pinteresting journey.