putting pinterest to the test

Sunday, I finally did what I always tell myself to do…cook!! So, I pulled out the iPad and ran through my endless list of recipes to try from Pinterest.  I ran across a crock pot rancher’s roast beef.  The pin led me to a great and super easy to follow food blog: Heather Likes Food (link to blog & recipe)!  I made a few alterations.  I used Italian dressing mix instead of ranch just because I already had it on hand.  Also, I didn’t add in any sour cream as I unfortunately, must remain lactose free.  BORING, I know.

Take a look at the before shot – right when I added the ingredients to the crock pot!

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Doesn’t this look great already!

The finished product in the crock pot – wish we had scratch and sniff blogs so you could smell the wonderful smell that filled my whole house.

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I couldn’t wait to get it on a plate!! I also tried spaghetti squash – it went horribly a rye.  over cooked? I think so.  Prepared in an amateur manner?  Absolutely.  But, back to the delicious beef! After all, it’s what’s for dinner.  I mean who am I kidding…I am Texan to the core!

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I have eaten two different versions of this meat as leftovers.  Today at work, I sliced the meat and ate it cold on a hawaiian roll.  Healthy lunch! Jealous co-workers.  Then tonight for dinner I tossed several slices of the meat into a skillet and heated them up.  I also steamed broccoli.  The broiled hot dog bun is a family favorite.  For some reason, when you put butter on a bun and broil it for toast it becomes a heavenly treat!

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Heather – great recipe! SUPER easy & SUPER tasty! Thanks!!

And a big thank you to the blogosphere for inspiring me to cook! (A huge feat! Just ask my friends!)

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inspired to cook?

Have you heard of the Pioneer Woman?  I stumbled across her blog MANY years ago! After reading just a few of her posts, I knew I was hooked.  She writes about many different aspects of her life and it makes me want to live out on a ranch in the country…almost. Let’s face it.  I am a city girl.  It would take one very special cowboy to change my mind.  Although, I do love cowboy boots.

She wrote a book that is essentially the story of how she and her husband fell in love.  Its called Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – A Love Story.  I recommend it to EVERYONE.  I may or may not have read the entire thing in about a day and a half (or less).  It, like her blog & cookbooks, is addicting.  Go. Purchase. Read. You can thank me later.

Now, I watch her Food Network show each weekend.  Recently, I saw an episode where she cooked out of her pantry.  I am slightly embarrassed to say that I don’t have much of a pantry…like virtually non-existent.  I have a few spices, several types of dried pasta, and a few baking supplies.  Sad but true.  The result of this is that I went grocery shopping (on a Sunday…yes, I was feeling brave) to be able to cook from my pantry 3 days later.  That counts, right?

The recipe that I had to have this week was a pasta dish.  Here is how my dear friend, Ree (The Pioneer Woman) prepared her meal: Pantry Pasta.  I call her a friend.  Is that nuts? I haven’t met her, ever.  But I respect her so much AND enjoy all that she shares with the world.  Therefore, she is a friend in my book.

While I didn’t use many of the same ingredients, she was definitely my inspiration.  She said to cook with what I had…I tried, but it was more like cook with what I purchased. Baby steps here in the kitchen.  Cooking anything is a big deal to me.

Disclaimer: I am a NOVICE in the photography category.

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ingredients: wild mushroom fettuccine, sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, pesto (heaven), frozen broccoli pieces, goat cheese (creamy, tangy treat)

oh yes, and these too!

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last few ingredients: red pepper flakes (just a few), chicken stock, garlic powder

I cooked up (you hear the Texas in me?!) all of the ingredients. Pasta in its own pot, the rest in a skillet.  I added the pesto and chicken stock towards the end of cooking.  It was a dance 10, looks 3 type of meal.  Anyone else love A Chorus Line? (I know it’s rather racy…but consider yourself warned.) This part of the show was running through my head as I cooked…well at least the first part of the song.  Yes, I have a love of musical theater.  guilty as charged. There is something wonderful about the feeling of a musical where the emotions and feelings are so great that there is nothing left to do but sing and dance.  This is how all of life should be.

Goat cheese is my new love.  It melts into the hot pasta forms a creamy cheesy sauce that just makes the meal.  I added it right before serving.

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goat cheese = game changer

All told, it was a great dinner! I look forward to the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch at work.  Maybe this cooking thing is better than I thought? Only time will tell. One thing I know for sure….Pioneer Woman makes cooking a whole lot more fun. What will she inspire me to cook next?