I’ve been in a creative slump.
Since moving to SoCal, many of my former magazine subscriptions have now lapsed – including one I accidentally let slide away (Sunset, don’t worry: you’ll be back on my doorstep next month). And while I love my cookbooks (I wrote an entire post devoted to them), I also long to try fresh tastes and trends. And yet I’ve found myself relying on old standby’s and Trader Joe’s’ freezer section to get us through spring.
I was feeling flummoxed – somewhat despondent, even (I really hate that word. It feels so Sylvia Plath. And yet, it is spot-on.). Everything I prepared was beginning to taste stale and the same. And I was bo-red!
And then I met my muse. Oh, Pinterest. You are a soul-saver.
Pinterest is like my own personal magazine – chock full of exactly the sections I want to read. Since meeting her, I’ve found loads of new recipes, DIY crafting projects, and countless must-have items for my closet. Oh, and a lot of pink-hair ideas.
This month, I set myself a goal to cook at least one pinned item each week. I’m keeping track, too – adding a quick note/thought to my pin to recall if I’ve made the recipe. The results have been pretty terrific, so I wanted to share with you which recipes I’ve enjoyed:
- Summer corn cakes – This is a spot-on recipe, bursting with summer flavors. The only thing I changed is making the cakes a bit larger than recommended.
- 4-ingredient chicken – Pretty tasty. I used boneless thighs and baked for 25 minutes. Next time I might add some fresh ginger to amp it up.
- Pomegranate and quinoa “super food” salad – I love that this girl’s from Iowa, just like my mom! This salad is texturally and tastily pleasing. Next time, I’ll buy some fresh shrimp and bake them like this as a topper.
- Raw basil-dressed vegan salad – Yum, yum, yum! Even though I didn’t use the avocado (not ripe enough), this turned out great. A wonderful base recipe – something to turn to when I have a fridge full of half-used produce.
- Red lentil coconut soup – A perfect balance of spicy and sweet.
- Handpies – As I wrote earlier this month, I wanted these to be jammier, sweeter. But the basic concept is perfect, and I’ll be trying different combinations of these all summer. In fact, the softening apples on the counter may just make their way into a cheddar-apple version tonight….
- Gingerbread waffles – ahMAZing. Next time I may whip some orange butter together for an extra nod toward the Jitterbug Café in Wallingford (RIP), but these are fab just on their own.
Looking back on this list, I think it would make a mighty fine menu for an outdoor summer soiree. Add a Jack & Diane to wash it down, and you’re good!
What about you? What are your favorite pins? And while we’re at it, what’s your Pinterest handle? You can find me @amydishes, of course!
(PS: Any blogger whizzes out there? I can't get the silly "Pin this" button added to my site... Need help - thanks!)