Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pin Tested: Ice to Lift Carpet Indentations

Pin Tested: 

Instructions: Put ice cubes into indentations in the carpet made from furniture to restore the carpet to the normal look

Pin Approved: Yes, this seemed to work very well to remove the huge indent made in my carpet from a large coffee table. This process seemed to work better than just a fork. 



Bonus: I went to a flea market today. I'm so excited for the tea towel with a cactus and a pig! What a hilarious combination!

P.S. Blogger is acting a bit odd so my pictures are not looking the way I was hoping. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pin Tested: Baked "Fried" Pickles

Recipe Link


Recipe Link 
  • 1/3  jar pickle slices (10ish slices)
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Shake of garlic powder
  • Shake of pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Shake of bread crumbs
  • Ranch dressing + hot sauce for dipping

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
2. Mix egg, milk, and hot sauce in bowl
3. Mix all bread crumbs and seasoning in another bowl
4. Dry pickle slices with paper towel
5. Dip pickle slices in egg mixture then breading mixture
6. Place breaded pickles on cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 min
7. Dip and Enjoy! 

Yum! I ate mine right away! It may have been because I was super hungry about not eating much for lunch, but I think it was more related to the taste. 

FYI these do not taste like the fried pickles you would get at a restaurant. They are much lighter and not greasy which I think makes them better, but they may be in need of a bit more seasoning because of the lack of grease. The panko bread crumbs give the pickles the perfect amount of crunch! 

Rachel Approved? Any improvements?: 
Yes! I will make them again for sure (for a larger group now that I know they are yummy), but I might add a bit more hot sauce or maybe a dash of ranch seasoning to give them a bit more flavor. 

(I guess I really wanted to make these because I pinned two similar recipes)

I decided to combine to recipes to make my test (aka single-serving) version. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Turkey Meatloaf Burger: Day Two

Turkey Meatloaf Burger Follow-Up: Good News. This burger is still amazing when re-heated. 

I'm also testing to see how a few do after being frozen (I couldn't eat them all myself in such a short period of time). 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Microwave Cleaner/Deodorizer: Take Two!

Since, the vinegar method didn't do the trick, I thought I'd try something else...

Original Pin:

From Maid Natural Cleaning
  1. put citrus peels (or slices of lemon) into a large mug or bowl
  2. cover the slices completely with water (lemons float so this is tricky)
  3. place mug inside of microwave and nuke for 3-5 mins
  4. let the mug cool down for 2 mins and remove from microwave
  5. simply wipe down interior of microwave with paper towel or cloth
I feel pretty exposed while showing you the inside of my microwave

Rachel Approved?: This method didn't have the vinegar scent side-effect of the first method I tried. However, there is still a bacon scent (now with a hint of lemon) to my microwave. On my best deodorizer scale, lemons took my 8 to a 6-5. 

What next?: Besides cooking bacon in the oven or frying pan, I'll be trying another microwave cleaning method. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking of a method that includes baking soda. 

Have you tried any natural cleaning methods? Did you have any luck?

Turkey Meatloaf Burger

Original Pin:

(Disclaimer: I saw this in Rachael Ray's Look and Cook before I saw it on Pinterest)


· 4 tablespoons butter
· 1 small mcintosh apple (I didn't see any mcintosh at my grocery store so I bought a lady allice instead), peeled and finely chopped
· 1 small onion (I prefer red so that is what I used), finely chopped
· 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
· Salt and pepper
· 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
· 1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
· 1 large egg
· 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
· 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
· 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (about 2/3 palmful)
· Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
· Sliced sharp white cheddar, for topping
· 1/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
· 3 tablespoons sour cream
· 2 tablespoons chopped chives
· 4 large sandwich-size sourdough English muffins, split and toasted
· 4 thin slices red onion (I forgot this…)
· 4 leaves red-leaf or red romaine lettuce (I forgot this, but it would be delicious)

(from Rachael Ray's Website)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to melt, then add the apple, onion and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. 

2. Stir in the breadcrumbs, then transfer to a bowl to cool; reserve the skillet. 
3. Mix in the turkey, egg, parsley, mustard and poultry seasoning; season with salt and pepper. 
4. Form into four (I made 6 smaller (but still good sized) patties instead, well I had seven but one fell apart) 4-inch patties.

5. Wipe out the reserved skillet and add a liberal drizzle of EVOO. Warm over medium-high heat, add the patties and cook, turning once, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with the cheddar during the last minute.

6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cranberry sauce, sour cream and chives.

7. Serve the patties on the English muffins with the onion, lettuce and cranberry-sour cream sauce.

Rachel Approved?: YES! This was probably the most delicious burger I've ever eaten. It combines my two favorite foods: Burgers and Thanksgiving. (Yes, "Thanksgiving" is a food). 
I definitely overuse phrases like "the best day ever", but I think cooking this was "the proudest I've felt after cooking something ever."

You don't even notice the missing lettuce and red onion slice

Anything that could make it better?: Having my sweet potato fries done cooking at the same time as my burger...
Check out that ranch and BBQ sauce mixture!
But seriously, I should have used a little less apple - I had a little trouble keeping my burgers together. 

What is the best burger you've ever made? Was the recipe from Pinterest?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Microwave Cleaner/De-Odorizer

Original Pin:

From Budget Savy Diva's Blog
Mix 1 cup hot water (I made my water hot with the tap) and 1 cup vinegar in microwave safe bowl. Microwave mixture for 10 min. 
You could be productive during this time and get some other cleaning done, but I chose not to. 

My favorite way to clean: wine, ice cream, and Duck Dynasty! 

Pin Approved?: No. I'd say my microwave (originally smelling of bacon) went from a 9 (on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the worst) to an 8. So not a big change. The scent is now a mix of bacon and vinegar and my kitchen and dining area smell of vinegar which is less than ideal. (I'm very glad that I'm having nice weather so my kitchen window can be wide open!) 

Any positives?: Yes, after the process it was easy to wipe down my microwave. Mine was pretty clean to start with, but I'm guessing that this method may help with food splashes that have dried.

What now?: Luckily, Pinterest has a multitude of ways to clean-deodorize microwaves so I'll be trying another method later this week. 

Have you tried to clean your microwave using a natural solution? What worked? What did not work? 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pin Tested: Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie

Inspiration/Original Pin:
Mug recipes are everywhere! I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, but I don't love making a whole batch for myself so I thought I would try this mug recipe. 

I followed directions from Domesticated Duchess

1 tablespoon of butter 
1 tablespoon of white sugar
1 tablespoon of packed brown sugar
3 drops of vanilla extract
1 dash of salt
1 egg yolk
scant 1/4 cup of flour (a bit less than 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips (I mixed regular and mini semi-sweet chips)

1. Melt butter in a mug (I used a large mug, but a normal sized mug would work well too) using the microwave
2. Add sugars, vanilla and salt. Stir. 

3. Separate your egg and add only the yolk. Stir.
4. Add flour, and stir again (now it will look like dough)
5. Add chocolate chips and give a final stir
6. Cook in microwave for 45 seconds

Ready for the microwave!


Pin Tested?: YUM!! Oh my goodness - this cookie was delicious! The texture of this cookie is great. It is easy to make and turned out much better than my Banana Bread in a Mug. I also enjoyed the short list of ingredients (only seven!). 
It is a perfect late night snack or afternoon pick-up. 

Improvements: This cookie was a bit bland. I may add a little extra vanilla, sugar, or butter next time. 

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

S'more Bites

Inspiration/Original Pin:

S'more on a Stick from Two Parts Sweet


  • Bag of Large marshmallows
  • 4-5 Graham Crackers (I used low fat to make this a "healthy" dessert)
  • Chocolate Chips (I used a mix of semi-sweet (1/3 cup) and milk (1/2 cup) chocolate)
  • Splash of milk (I used 1% since that is what i normally drink)
  • (This picture shows the marshmallows in pop form - I decided to forgo the sticks and make them s'more bites)

I used Two Parts Sweet's directions as inspiration for mine.

    Assembly line is ready to go!
  1. Melt approx 1/2 cup milk; 1/3 cup semi-sweet chips; and splash of milk in microwave (I microwaved in 5-10 sec intervals - I once had a terrible chocolate melting experience with my best friend in 5th grade - chocolate popcorn is amazing, but burning the chocolate will only prolong the time until you get to try it - it may also make your dad upset for ruining a 'microwave safe' container) 
  2. Crush graham crackers (with an empty wine bottle preferably - see below)
  3. Dip the marshmallow in melted chocolate then graham crackers
  4. Allow for chocolate to harden
  5. Enjoy!

Step #3a
Step #3b

Pin Approved?: Yes! These are delicious! And easy/quick to prepare. I love that they are a twist on a common comfort food and have few ingredients. A bonus is that they use few dishes so clean up is easy. 
S'more bites would be great to bring as a dessert to a party, trivia night, birthday, or holiday. 

I taste-tested these with six 3rd grade boys, my parents, and my college/middle school sisters: all declared them a winner!

Troubleshooting: I had to re-microwave my chocolate a few times. Maybe using a double boiler would make things easier if you make a larger batch.

All done!

Bonus Project: Pinterest has SO many ideas for empty wine bottles. Seriously, search it. They all seem a little ridiculous so I take mine back in for a deposit. 
Unfortunately, I do not have a rolling pin. (I really have little need for one so why buy it?) This project required crushing graham crackers (I could have used my mini food processor, but I didn't want to get it out of the cupboard). 
At this time, I created the empty wine bottle rolling pin. Try it. Very Effective.

Pin On, 

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pin Tested: Smoothie Short-Cuts

Project 1: Frozen Spinach Cubes

Inspiration/Original Pin:

1. Blend spinach and a bit of water in blender

2. Poor in ice cube tray
3. Freeze
4. Add to smoothie

Pin Approved?: Yes! These are perfect for smoothies and avoid having to throw out spinach when I don't get it eaten quick enough. The spinach cubes also replace ice in smoothie. 

Kitchen Mess
Problems/Changes: I had no major problems with this (it is pretty hard to mess up two ingredients, right?). 
Warning: Be careful that your blender is tightly sealed - mine was not so the spinach-y liquid spilled all over my kitchen... At least it is St. Patrick's Day so a green kitchen is actually festive. 

Project 2: Yogurt Cubes

(P)Inspiration/Original Pin:


1. Spoon yogurt (I used light vanilla) into ice cube tray

2. Freeze
3. Add to a smoothie (or even eat like a Popsicle) 

Pin Approved?: Yes! These are perfect for smoothies and avoid having to throw out yogurt (I like to buy the big containers for smoothies, but my mornings always seem to be busy after I open it and I don't eat it quick enough). Having the yogurt frozen prevents me from having to add ice to smoothies. 

Problems/Changes: I had no problems completing this pin. And recommend it to anyone that enjoys making smoothies. 

Pin On, 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CrockPot Meatballs

Inspiration/Original Pin:

I used Canadian Family's Recipe as the basis of mine.

  • 2 cans whole plum tomatoes - I used 2 traditional-size cans
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (the recipe used ground beef and pork)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 (ish) cup jar pasta sauce
  1. Add tomatoes to slow cooker and crush using potato masher. Add tomato paste, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Stir, cover with lid and cook high until sauce is bubbling and beginning to thicken about 3 hours. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix ground turkey, 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into 25 (ish) meatballs. Transfer meatballs to a rimmed sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  3. I cooked the meatballs in a skillet with a bit of olive oil for about 10 minutes (browning all sides). Once sauce has cooked to bubbling, submerge meatballs into tomato sauce, cover with lid and cook until cooked through, about 2 hours more. Discard bay leaf.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of pasta sauce and let cook for 15-30 min (I added this step because I wanted a bit more sauce with my meatballs)
  5. Top with extra shredded Romano (I used Parm and Romano) and serve. 
Ignore the slightly messy bowl - I thought it was okay since I was not in a cooking competition

Pin Approved?: Yes! This was a delicious dinner. The meatballs were simple and affordable to make. They would be great as a sandwich, with pasta, or alone as an appetizer. I also put a few servings in the freezer so I'll see how they hold up after being frozen. 
The best way to enjoy this meal is probably while watching Mad Men (my new Netflix addiction). 

Problems/Issues: I had no problems with this recipe, but I did increase the cooking time a bit. 

CrockPot recipes are very popular on Pinterest - Have you tried any? 

Your Favorite Pintester,