Nailed It or Failed It? The Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It

Even after I bullied them into the first Pinterest Challenge, my Twitter buddies wanted to do it again.

This made me happy because I had so much fun last time, and also because it meant they were still willing to hang out with an old bossypants such as myself.

I originally thought I’d to a project making a blanket out of old sweaters, but the original Pin didn’t go anyplace useful. Undeterred, I googled some ideas. I love the idea of making a blanket out of sweaters! What could be cozier?

After spending half an hour looking at various tutorials, I remembered that I don’t own a sewing machine.

Even after I remembered, I kept looking.

Eventually, I came to my senses and decided to keep hunting for a project worthy of the Challenge. I got off easy last time, chucking Magic Erasers in the toilet, then watching them lay there and do nothing.

This month, we traveled to St. Louis, and are staying in a house with no stove or oven. I do have a crockpot, and electric skillet, and a minuscule toaster oven.

Mostly we use the toaster oven to make break-and-bake cookies after the kids go to bed.

Don’t judge.

ANYway, this seems like the perfect opportunity to try out some Pinterest recipes.

The first one that looked good is called No Fuss Crockpot Orange Chicken. This sounds yummy. The directions begin first brown chicken in a skillet…

I did not get any further than that, because I absolutely refuse to dirty a skillet when making an Easy Crockpot Meal. Sorry.

I decided on Crockpot Chicken Tacos, mostly because I already make this anyway and knew my people would eat it and it’s easy and essentially I manipulated it into being part of the Pinterest Challenge. Not very sporting of me, was it?

Chuck into crockpot:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a tablespoon or so of homemade taco seasoning (another Pin I tried and adopted. It’s a twofer!), half a jar of salsa, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a couple dashes of soy sauce. Cook on low for 6 or 8 hours. Serve on fajita-sized tortillas with cheese and sour cream. Inhale.

Yes, that is a paper plate. I never claimed to be Martha Stewart, people.

Also, I put the cheese under the meat, so the heat from the meat melts the cheese. It’s very avant-garde.

* during this meal, I was heard to say, “Dude. You are not having a tantrum about cheese. Do you even hear how ridiculous that sounds?”

Verdict? Nailed it! This meal is a hit and it’s super easy. You can also make it with beef, just use any cut that does well with a long cooking time. It’s good in burritos, on baked potatoes, and probably (as the Pinner says) as a base for tortilla soup.

Another night, I tried Crockpot Grinder Sandwiches. Basically, you just take a big loaf of bread, slice it, and stick sammy ingredients in between the slices. This seemed super easy and like something everyone would enjoy.

But then. I could not find the right kind of bread. I discovered my cheese was moldy. And even though I bought the smallest loaf of bread at the grocery store, it still would not fit inside the micro-mini crock pot. And then I couldn’t find my bread knife, so I had to hack at the loaf with a chef’s knife and could not make thin enough bread slices. Jim went out on his lunch hour to buy cheese and the grocery store only offered swiss and colby-jack, when CLEARLY I asked for havarti and provolone.

Really, is there NO END to the injustices I must endure?!?

In spite of all these obstacles, which vexed me for at least 30 minutes while I assembled the sandwich, they turned out pretty good. With better equipment and planning, I can see these getting a regular spot on the menu. Especially since we ate outside picnic-style, and the kitchen remained clean(ish).

Try not to be jealous of my excellent camera skillz. Envy is not becoming.

Verdict? Worth another try.

I also made my Mexican Gumbo, served over some Bird’s Eye Microwaveable Frozen Brown Rice. I could not find my usual enchilada sauce spice mix, but I did find Frontera Enchilada Sauce in a packet and it worked great. I managed to misread my own recipe, and put 2 TABLEspoons of cumin instead of 2 TEAspoons, but it still turned out fine. I like cumin.

Overall score?

But I still wish I had an oven…

Click over and see if how my pals did. They are less lame than I, and chose some great craft projects.