By: Crissie Miller Kirby
Okay, if you read my first blog of the New Year, you know that I want to become more organized this year. And I want to be more organized in every sense of the word. Mealtimes, included. Let me say, I enjoy cooking, but struggle with finding meals that will accommodate the picky palates of my 3 and 6-year-old. I also want something that does not always consist of French fries, chicken nuggets, or hamburgers. I have a whole shelf in my kitchen cabinets devoted to cook books, and, surprisingly, they are all together and well organized. But, honestly, I just don’t have the time to comb through the array of Southern Living yearbooks, or 15 different church cookbooks, or even the clever Crock-Pot recipe books, looking for something to eat. I also don’t want to spend hours scouring my local Bi-Lo or Wal-Mart grocery section for some random ingredient I will use only once in my lifetime.
Enter Pinterest. Yes, I said Pinterest.
Years ago, I made an attempt, feeble as it was, to take recipes and put them in a three ring binder. Epic fail. Although I’m sure I still have the binder somewhere with the plethora of cut out and ripped out recipes from various magazines and coupon sections, it fell by the wayside. Good idea, but I guess I got too busy or too overwhelmed or what have you. Who knows? Sorry, back to Pinterest. I got “invited” to join several weeks ago and have begun searching for recipes ever since. After I had about 7 or 8 dinner meal ideas, I decided I would plan our evening meals solely from recipes gleaned from Pinterest and see how it worked. The first thing that excited me about this new online tool was that it allows me to have a virtual notebook of sorts for different recipes. Here was an online version of what I had tried to do years ago. YAY!
When I chose the recipes I wanted to try, I simply went to the respective sites, copied the ingredient lists into a word document, and printed it out. I then did a quick look-see in my kitchen cabinets to see if I had any of the ingredients already and crossed those off my list. List in hand, I headed to the grocery store. I won’t detail what it cost me, but I have to say that I did have a $13 bag of cat food and a few other items that were un-recipe related (you know, essentials, like hair spray!)
That night I placed 6 chicken breasts in the crock pot to cook overnight to be used for different recipes. The smell the next morning was great! I took out some of the chicken, leaving the rest for the first day’s meal – Crockpot chicken and rice. All said and done, it was pretty good and even my boys ate it, which is always a huge plus. Over the course of the week, I prepared a Crockpot hobo stew, ham and cheese crescent rolls (my boys’ favorite), peanut butter pretzel candy, and my personal favorite, poppy seed chicken.
All in all, it was a great experiment. I learned a few tough lessons that week – most importantly, for one adult and 2 children, all of these recipes made WAY too much food, so, unfortunately, there was more waste than I had desired. I also learned that I loved cooking every night for myself and my boys – I think we had all grown tired of fast food and even home cooked staple meals; we needed to shake things up a little. I have allowed life to get in the way the last week or so and have not repeated the experiment again, but plan on doing it again soon.
Have you discovered Pinterest? I’d love to hear how others are using Pinterest to make even a small difference in your life.