So Very Pinteresting


I totally love Pinterest this time of year. It's August.  It's hot and everybody is just so over summer.  All the sudden, everything pinned is fall and Halloween related.  A few Christmas-y things thrown in.  Lots of football related.  "Tailgate snacks!" "Gameday outfit!" "WPS!"

I heart it.


Southwestern Chicken Chop Salad - What I made was more "pinspired" by this recipe than a step-by-step.  I left out the tomatoes, cilantro, and avocados.  I subbed a red pepper (my fave!) for the green pepper and added a can of green chilis.  Guess what?  It was delicious!  I planned to eat it over a few days (I added the lettuce in each time) so I made the dressing daily using a tbsp each of greek yogurt and low fat mayo and 1/2 tsp of Ranch dressing mix and 1/4 tsp of taco seasoning.  It was a super yummy summer lunch and something I'll keep making.

Roasted Summer Squash - So since I finally decided to stop being an 8-year-old and embrace vegetables, I found that I really like squash.  And this squash?  With parmesan cheese and garlic salt?  Nom, nom, nom.  I wasn't crazy about having my oven on for half an hour during the heat of the summer but serioulsy, ya'll.  Worth it.  This shiz was gooooood.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo - I really love the Skinny Taste website and appreciate all the effort that goes into dreaming up waistline-friendly recipes.  This one, though . . . ai yi yi.  The burgers were easy enough to make.  The hardest part was mashing the black beans.  I don't have a food processor but I do have a good blender and was able to use it without any problems.  The burgers need to be cooked from frozen and mine were in the freezer for a couple days before I put one on the skillet.  Annnnnd . . . it still didn't stick together while cooking.  The cooked "burger" was a little mushy and, honestly, a lot like eating bean dip on a bun.  It wasn't necessarily bad.  It was just . . . interesting.  Different.  Weird.  It did, however, fill me up.  Like, I ate this burger with the squash and didn't even have to eat an afternoon snack.  It held me over for dinner.  I'll tell you this at the risk of sounding TMI McOvershare -- the burger combined with the squash was a lot of fiber that particular day.  A lot.  Don't stand downwind!

Parmesan Zucchini Fries - Prepare to fall in love.  These things?  I tried them with ranch dressing but the next time I make them (and I'm thinking, oh, TONIGHT), I'll dip them in marinara.  Oh?  And bonus!  Both the picky 11-year-old and eats everything five-year-old were fans.  Score!

Chocolate Protein FroYo - Whoever originally had the sheer audacity to actually blog this mess should be tortured.  This stuff is DISGUSTING.  It tastes absolutely nothing like froyo unless the froyo you're accustomed to is something n the dog turd genre.  Seriously.  Don't waste your time or greek yorgut.  *Goes to wash mouth out again*

Skinny Ranch Dressing - I really wanted to like this.  Ever since having Karis, I cannot get enough ranch dressing.  Love the stuff.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really digging this.  It was too salty.  I think adding another cup or half cup of greek yogurt could've helped but I didn't have anymore.  I'm a big fan of "buffalo ranch" so I added some Frank's to the dressing and it sort of helped with the salt overload.  Unfortunately, it also made it pretty runny. 

Here's a "yummy" that I want to share with those of you who are really counting your calories: 40 Snacks under 200 Calories.  Some pretty good ideas on this pin.  One of them is cucumbers with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. Here's a Brandi twist: mix a tiny bit of Frank's sauce with that laughing cow before you smear it on the cucumber.  OMG. Nom!

Gotta Try This:

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner - I just mentioned to Eddie the other day that my rings were in desparate need of a good cleaning.  So, obvs, I literally tried this jewelry cleaner approxomately two seconds after pinning it.  Score!  It works!  I think the best thing about it is that it doesn't have that icky jewelry cleaner smell.

Dish Towel Doubles as Dryer Sheet - Okay, I'm not sure I gave this one a fair shot seeing as I used fabric softener I picked up from the Dollar Tree (what?  I didn't want to waste money if it wasn't going to work!)  It did work -- for about two loads of laundry.  I'm going to try it again with a better fabric softener and see if it doesn't work a little better.

Homemade Icepacks - Water plus rubbing alcohol to make icepacks?  Had to give it a try!  It wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  They sort of came out like a . . . slushie.  Weird.

Preseve Apple Slices - Apparently you can preserve apples by soaking them in a little bit of lemon lime soda (I used Sprite Zero).  Pretty cool!  I thought this would be perfect to keep from buying those pre-packaged apple slices for school lunch.  It worked good . . . in small ziploc bags.  Once I put a bunch of apple slices in a larger bag, no dice.  I'm not sure why but those browned by later in the same afternoon.  I still have a smaller bag in the fridge - been there for a week - with no browning.

Kid Stuff:

Homemade Gak - I FINALLY picked up some Borax!  I went to Walmart to pick up some random stuff the other night and happened to spot several boxes of the stuff on a shelf.  YAY!  We originally planned to make bouncy balls but total mom fail, I didn't have any corn starch.  So we switched to Gak.  It was fun - and easy - to make and, no kidding, kept both boys occupied for a FULL HOUR.  Holla!  Here's the deal, though: random crap will stick to Gak.  This includes long dark hairs, just in case someone in your house happens to be a shedder.  Also?  Gak will stick to your fuzzy bath rug.  And if you happen to SIT DOWN ON IT, it will stick to your pants.  Sigh.

Sandpaper T-shirts - I pinned this ages ago but we finally got around to making our shirts last week.  Jaidan and Z really liked the idea but they were disappointed in the results.  They weren't nearly as vibrant as we were expecting.  I'm not sure if they just didn't color hard enough on the sand paper or what.

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