Reviews Of The Recipes I've Tried From Pinterest

Thursday, February 23, 2012
I LOVE PINTEREST!!! When I first heard about pinterest I really didn't understand the post pictures that you like??? Big Deal!! Then I decided to give it a try, and here is what I absolutely LOVE about Pinterest: It isn't just about posting's the idea and, more importantly, the links behind the pictures. You create a bunch of boards to organize your pictures/links. For example, I have boards for recipes, desserts, classroom ideas, gardening, sewing patterns, etc. Then when you find a picture/link that you want to try...some "Pin It" to your specific board. On days when I'm going shopping, I actually pull up my board called, "My Attempt At Fashion" and it helps to keep my shopping guided by the outfits I know I like. If I want to try a new recipe for dinner, I'll open up by board, "Recipes To Try" and decide what's for dinner then. It's is such a GREAT concept...and has so many great ideas to simplify your life!!!!

So, in my attempt to try and cook more dinners for the family (My husband loves to cook and so I have been blessed with not needing to cook...but he is starting to get a greater work load and so I need to pick it up on my end now).

Cooking is NOT my thing, never has been, and I can't imagine that it ever will...regardless, Mama needs to pick it up. PINTEREST TO THE RESCUE!!! I have a ton of recipes on my "Recipe" board, and I have tried a handful of I thought I would share my reviews of how they turned out.

This was my first recipe that I tried and they were super easy and DELICIOUS!!!! I even had Emily help out and she couldn't be happier. My main criteria for a good recipe is 1. It needs to have approximately 5 ingredients (give or take a few), and 2. It can't take up much of my time. Taste comes after all of that...but if it passes my two main criteria AND it tastes good...will GOD BLESS will then become a staple in our household. As for these delicious potato rounds, they had just a few indredients (GREAT), but the cooking time was super long...not a big deal because most of the time was baking in the oven, but I just came across the problem of them needing to be in the oven at a much higher temperature than my chicken did...and so it took a phone call to my mom to figure out how to overcome that obstacle. Please don't forget, cooking has NEVER been my thing!!! You wouldn't believe the phone calls that went home to my mother for other recipes.

I ended up making this recipe for Craig on Valentines Day because it is one of his favorite things...BBQ! This recipe was as easy as it gets. It was SO SO GOOD and SO SO EASY!!! All I did was rubbed salt and pepper on the pork shoulder, put it in the crockpot with a couple cups of water and cooked it on low for about 9 1/2 hours. When I got home from work, I pulled the pork out, dumped out the water, put the pork back in the crockpot, used a couple forks and shredded the pork, then added a couple cups of BBQ sauce and cooked it on low for about another half hour to heat up the BBQ sauce and then turned it to the "warm" setting until Craig was home from work and ready for dinner. I am not a huge BBQ fan, but this recipe was turn anyone on the BBQ!!! Two thumbs up!!! I even had a ton of left overs too...too much actually, 

I could tell that these had the potential to be extremely good, but I just have never fried anything before so I don't have the whole "oil temperature" thing down or the timing for flipping them. I think I put the pork chops in the oil before the temperature was hot enough so I didn't get the crispy look that is in the picture. The taste was still good, but I think that the next time I make these, they will turn out even better. They were super easy for when you need to get something on the dinner table quickly...I just need a bit more cooking experience...but I will be making these again, that's for sure.

OH MY GOODNESS...This recipe was SO GOOD, and SO EASY!!! I can't tell you how much I love crockpot recipes. I just need to get in the habit of putting it together in the crockpot the night before, storing it in the refrigerator and then, before I leave for work in the morning, set it all up so that I don't wake up my daughter in the morning. All I had to do was cook up the pasta about 15 minutes before we were ready for dinner and...PRESTO...dinner was served!!! Mmmm....Mmmm....Good. This was one that Emily enjoyed as well. You can't beat that.

It seems like every recipe I have tried from pinterest have just been amazing. This one turned out super good too. The only thing I would change would be, instead of making my own bread crumbs by using the food processor for the Ritz Crackers...I would just use our box of bread crumbs. I can't imagine that there would be that much of a difference, plus the clean up would be a lot easier and bit less time consuming as well. My only problem, and I don't know if I would call it an actual "problem" because it is more of my lack of knowledge in the cooking world...but whenever I cook baked chicken with bread crumbs...the underside of my chicken has soggy bread crumbs. WHAT IS THE TRICK PEOPLE??? I know these can be so much more delicious...and even with soggy bottoms, I think they are pretty good, but I know there has to be a trick.

So, there you go. These are the recipes I have tried so far and will keep you posted when I try more. Let me know if you recommend any recipes yourself. I would love any suggestions you have.

Ending The Silence...I'm Back!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I feel like I have disappeared for awhile, and I guess I did. A lot has happened in the last few months _

YEA!!!!! As of today, I am 13 weeks pregnant and my belly is growing at a much more rapid pace than it did with Emily...WAY MORE RAPID!!! There have been a handful of reasons as to why I kept this little secret for so long.
As you know, getting pregnant is not at all easy for me. I waited as long as I could before taking a pregnancy test. I have been keeping track of all of my cycles (with a handy dandy app from my iPhone) since Emily was born. In the last two and a half years, my longest cycle was 38 days long and it only occurred for three cycles, two of them being the first two cycles after Emily was born. After that, my cycles evened out around 34-35 days pretty consistently. When trying to decide if I should take a pregnancy test or not, I committed to waiting until cycle day #40. At that time, Craig had just come home from a trip to Virginia for his work's Christmas Party...and I had to lie to him that I had started my period, because I didn't want to get him excited that I was "late". The morning of day #40, I remember hitting the snooze button to my alarm clock as many times as I possibly could because I literally was terrified to take the test. I was clueless as to how I would handle the results...because I so sure that it would be negative. At the same time, I talked myself into believing that it wouldn't be so awful if it was negative because I was used to the "I would be just fine".
I finally got out of bed, found the hidden pregnancy test (Again, I didn't want Craig to see it), and I took my test. As I watched the second line show up...I was in shock!!! I had to double check the box to make sure that seeing two lines was a positive reading...and sure enough, it was. I WAS PREGNANT!! I started to cry in the bathroom because I honestly felt like this would never happen for us again. I believed that Emily was our gift and that God had other plans for our family...well...He sure did have "other" plans for our family, that's for sure.
I wanted to surprise Craig this time...other than just waking him up in tears asking him to explain what the two lines of the pregnancy test meant. I went downstairs and find the perfect little box to wrap the pregnancy test in. I quietly got back into bed with Craig and gently woke him up (He is NOT a morning person, so it was important that I carefully woke him up so that he wasn't cranky). As he began to wake up, I whispered to him that Santa brought him an early Christmas gift. His reply was, "Doesn't Santa know that I'm sleeping right now?" He was a good sport. When he saw the gift, he slowly opened it up...when he saw the contents in the box he immediately jumped up and said, "NO WAY!!!" He was so excited!!! We spent the next few minutes talking about the good news and trying to come up fun ways to tell our families.
We decided to tell our parents that evening...mainly because I CANNOT keep something like this a secret from mom for more than 24 hours...TOO HARD. We decided to tell my parents through a slide show. As the time, Craig was designing different logo's for my mom's new business that she was starting up. He created a slideshow to present each of his logo's and then the last slide was our pregnancy announcement. My parents were a hoot. It took so many attempts to get them to sit down to watch the slideshow. First, my mom wanted to look at her own computer, then she didn't want to sit at the table, she wanted to sit at the couch (but then dad wouldn't be able to see the announcement). Then when she finally sat at the table, dad was walking around. Craig asked dad to come and sit down, and his response was, "Na, that's OK...I have no say in this anyways." DAD!!!! Come sit down for pete's sake!!!! FINALLY...everyone was in their place, and the slideshow began. When the announcement finally showed, both parents were in unbelief for a split second and then overjoyed!!! YAY!!! When we announced to Craig's parents, we used the same idea...only, instead of logo designs, we showed them pictures of Emily and her visit with Santa. Then, again, the last slide was our pregnancy announcement. Craig's family was also overjoyed and just thrilled to tears for us.

So...why the long silent treatment?

Craig and I decided to return back to our old fertility clinic for the first trimester because when we were there for Emily's pregnancy, we enjoyed the special treatment of being seen once a week and being closely monitored. So, I called the clinic and made my appointment. The first two appointments were blood draws to check my HCG and everything looked great. They did notice that my progesterone levels were low so they put me on some meds to help balance that out. Finally at six weeks, I was able to have my first ultrasound. The ultrasound looked great...the baby was TINY, we couldn't make anything just looked like a small blob, but we could see the heartbeat...a little fluttering on the screen in the middle of the blob. The baby was measuring 5 weeks instead of the 6 weeks that they expected by going off of my cycle. I made an appointment the following week. At that appointment, the Dr found a "Subchorionic Hemorrhage". I don't know if I fully understand it completely, but I believe it is as though the baby's sac was pulling away from my uterus and that empty area was full of blood. The Dr put me on a few restrictions: don't lift anything over 30lbs., no heavy exercise, no mall walking, etc. At first I was calm about it because the Dr seemed calm about it. He said that this occurs in 1 of 4 pregnancies and 90% of them heal on their own. If bleeding continues into the 2nd trimester then they would increase my restrictions with bed rest. What ended up terrifying me was when I broke down and started researching this condition online. It was there that I found a handful of horror stories that ended in miscarriages.
Because of my increased fear, Craig and I agreed to hide the pregnancy as long as we could. My 3rd ultrasound showed new bleeding in the hemorrhage, which was so disappointing because it was my prayer that it would at least show signs of healing so that I could begin to relax. I so didn't want to hurt the pregnancy anymore with my added stress.
At 11 weeks, I made it to another ultrasound. During this ultrasound, the baby's features were clearly starting to show: the head, the torso and the tiny little arm and leg buds. On top of that, little baby was moving and twisting all around...what a CUTEY PIE!!! The best part was that the hemorrhage was clearly starting to clot and heal. PRAISE GOD. Unfortunately, I had to go in a couple of days early for this appointment because I had some spotting earlier that day, so the Dr told me to stay on my restrictions.

Well, I've made it to 13 weeks now. I am no longer at the fertility clinic (they send you to your regular OB/GYN after 12 weeks). The worst part about the switch over is that I don't get seen as often, and the only ultrasound I get is at 20 weeks. I am making it work...the wait is SO LONG, but I know that it will work out. At 13 weeks, my growing belly can no longer be disguised I finally announced our pregnancy at work and on facebook...which brings me to my blog.
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