My Pinterest Adventures

Gone are the days of clipping recipes and craft ideas from magazines, then compiling cumbersome binders with protective sleeves to shove the clippings into or even worse hand-copying a recipe on a piece of paper, which invariably would end up misplaced. Pinterest, a massive photo-sharing site, offers an easy, user-friendly way to eliminate that bit of paper clutter from your life.

Registration is free and within a few minutes of reading the helpful hints, then downloading the handy-dandy Pin-It button, you’re on your way to many happy hours of exploring magazines online, blogs, news sites, etc. from which you can create your own boards (categories to organize your pins), share your pins, follow other users boards or just repin one of their pins.  Pushing close to 3,000 pins (many of those recipes), well, unlike those magazine clippings I could never find, with Pinterest I’ve tried several recipes.  I decided to critique the latest recipe adventure and start a category here, which I’ll call My Pinterest Adventures.

Last week I prepared a Pinterest recipe find called Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet, located on foodie, Mandy Rivers’, blog, Unsouth Your Mouth.  Having prepared cabbage rolls a few times (decades ago) and finding it rather time-consuming, this recipe sounded like a winner. On an A to F rating scale, I’d give it a B+.  The recipe was easy to follow with clear instructions.  It’s a quick and easy meal to prepare.  Now, for the taste part, I liked it, but the sauce didn’t work for me.  The recipe called for condensed tomato soup as the tomato base in the tangy tomato topping, with brown sugar and vinegar added to give it a bit of zip.  Next time I prepare this recipe, I’ll be experimenting with replacing the condensed tomato soup with tomato sauce or possibly diced tomatoes.

PA Dutch BBQ Pork Sandwiches

This type of roast pork sandwich often shows up in rural PA at family get-togethers and community gatherings. It’s not really a BBQ at all, as you’ll see by the list of ingredients.

4-5 lb pork roast
2-3 tsp. chicken bouillion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 medium onions thinly sliced

Place pork roast in a large dutch oven and cover with water. Add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few hours. When roast pulls apart easily with a fork, it’s done. Pull apart roast with a fork. Mix a few tablespoons of flour in a 1/2 cup of cold water and stir into liquid with roast. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken broth to a gravy consistency. Serve on hamburger buns and have ketchup and mustard handy.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2-3 lb pork tenderloin roast
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can root beer soda
2 medium onions, sliced
1 T minced garlic
1 cup chili sauce

Bottled BBQ sauce (optional)
Coleslaw (optional)
10-12 hamburger buns

Place all ingredients, except chili sauce in a slow cooker. Cook on high heat 1 hour. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook for 7-8 hours. Pull apart pork roast with a fork and add 1 c chili sauce to liquid to make a sauce. Serve on hamburger buns. Have some bottled BBQ sauce handy for those who want more sauce. Some areas of the country like coleslaw served on top of their pulled pork sandwiches.

Cajun Sausage

My sister, Marilyn, made up this recipe and my kids loved this when they were young. It’s got just enough zip to it, without being too spicy.

2 green bell peppers,, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large can (28 oz.) tomato puree
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can water (use the empty tomato paste can)
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 lbs fresh pork sausage links or kielbasa or Polish sausage

Cook and brown sausage in large skillet. Remove from pan and drain off grease. Saute bell peppers and onions a few minutes in skillet. Add sausage and vegetables to a large dutch oven (large cook pot) and then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir frequently and simmer over medium to low heat (if the sauce splashes too much, lower the heat a little) for 1-2 hours. Serve in large hoagie rolls. I like to put some of the sauce on cooked rice and eat it with my sausage sandwich.

Chicken Potpie

This is that Campbell’s soup chicken potpie recipe with a few additions. I double the recipe to make a 9 X 13 pan.

1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 ozs) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 T dried parsley or 2 T fresh chopped parsley
1/2 to 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
Paprika

1. Heat oven to 400F. Mix frozen vegetables, chicken and soup, onion, celery, parsley and chicken broth in an ungreased 2 quart casserole.

2. Stir Bisquick, milk and egg in small bowl with fork until blended. Sprinkle paprika on top. Pour over chicken and vegetables in casserole dish.

3. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

First prepare the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
2 T finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg

Mix ingredients and shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Brown in a frying pan
with a little oil or bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. I line two cookie
sheets with parchment paper and bake all of them at the same time.

Next prepare the other ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 can pineapple chunks
1/3 cup vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 onion chopped in large pieces
1 cup baby carrots or carrots cut into 2 ” sticks

I stir fry baby carrots, green pepper and onions until they are soft, but crisp tender in the correct way. Mix the brown sugar,
cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce in a small bowl, then add to pan. Add
pineapple chunks and meatballs, heat through.

Serve over cooked rice.

German Sausage Skillet

6 slices bacon
1 medium head of cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into wedges
1 medium onion
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp. caraway seed
1 lb kielbasa or smoked sausage, sliced into small pieces
1 small bag of baby carrots (optional)

In a large skillet fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Brown the kielbasa or sausage in the bacon drippings. Then add the cabbage, onion, sugar, water, spices and carrots. Cover and cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, stirring several times. When the cabbage is tender sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top.

Note: The sugar takes away the bitter taste cabbage often has. If you ever cook cabbage in water or put it in stew or soup, always add a couple pinches of sugar to the water.

Chili

1 1/2- 2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic or 1 rounded tsp of chopped or minced garlic from a jar
3-4 Tablespoons McCormick’s Chili Powder
1 tsp. pepper
3 cans dark red kidney beans (16oz cans – you can substitute one can of pinto beans for one can of kidneys to add variety)
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 ozs)
1 large can tomato sauce (28 ozs)
1 can chopped green chilies, drained (optional)
jalapeno slices (optional)

grated cheddar cheese
cooked white rice (optional)

Brown ground beef in large dutch oven (large cook pot). Add chopped onion and bell pepper, cook until peppers and onion are soft. Add chopped garlic, chili powder and pepper, cook a few minutes. Add the cans of beans ( you can drain them or not – it doesn’t matter really). Add the tomatoes, drained green chilies. I add about one tomato can full of water to mine. Simmer over medium low heat for an hour.

Slow Cooker – just brown the ground beef, add to slow cooker and then throw everything else into your slow cooker in the morning and cook on low 6-8 hours.. The onions and peppers can be raw when you toss them in. Fill a tomato can half full of water and add – slow cooking doesn’t take as much liquid. Add the jalapeno slices the last 1/2 hour or so of cooking to avoid 5-alarm chili.

Serve with cheese, rice and corn bread.