Dinner by Pinterest

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Ever since I first had the idea for my Pinterest in Real Life series, Jamie and I have been on a serious kick of trying recipes I find on there… I've made 4 cupcake recipes, 1 cookie recipe, and 3 dinners, and have the ingredients on hand to try a couple more things.

Grilled Zucchini-Crust Pizzas
Click here for the pin, click here for the original post

I'd been wanting to try these for a while, since we love pizza, but are trying to limit our (meaning Jamie and I, not Max!) carbs/sugar. This appeared to be the perfect solution, and the only thing that kept us from trying it sooner was that grocery-store zukes are far to skinny to work for pizzas! If you look at the original blog post, she used a big fat zuke… I finally got my hands on a large home-grown one thanks to my sister's friend, so this was an obvious choice for dinner!

They're delicious, and her directions are super easy to follow… the only tip I'd suggest is cutting the pepperoni (if you use it!) smaller… because the single piece was almost the same size as the entire pizza, taking bites of it was hard, and I ended up eating the whole thing in a single bite. There were a few where that was too much at once, and I wish I'd been able to eat it in smaller pieces. As you can see from the pic, we also did some with a leaf of fresh-from-the-garden basil. So yummy!

Also, try to cut your zucchini slices as evenly as possible. There was a little variation in the thickness of our slices, so some got overcooked bit. It didn't make them taste bad, but they fell apart, with the toppings falling out the bottom! LOL

Final verdict: A definite make again whenever I get my hands on a good sized zucchini!

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps at home
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We did these for dinner the other night, and thought they were OK, but would definitely make some changes when we make them again.

First off, we used ground turkey instead of chicken. We had turkey on hand, so it was easier. We used iceberg lettuce, but next time I think I might splurge on butter or even whole leaf romaine; the iceberg wasn't very cooperative with the head I was able to find, but maybe a better (bigger) head of iceburg would have worked too.

Our main concern with this recipe was the amount of sauce. Next time, we'll probably double that part of the directions, or maybe 1.5 it. It was good and flavorful, but the meat in the lettuce really felt like a dry crumbly mixture, so I think more sauce would have helped hold it together better.

And one last thing is the water chestnuts… the recipe only calls for half a can, which is kind of annoying. I'd either use the whole can in the recipe (totally wouldn't hurt to have a little more crunch, and bulk it up just a little more) or I'd plan another recipe for the next day that used them as well. I tossed the remaining bit in the can, and the next day realized I could have added them to tuna at lunch or the stuffed bell peppers we had for dinner. Oh well, live and learn!

Final verdict: We'll be making these again, with modifications. I also think they could have used a little more heat, so maybe we'll add some red pepper flakes or something…

And now, for dessert…

Left to Right: Key Lime, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Snickerdoodle

Key Lime Cupcakes
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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
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Condiment-cup cupcakes
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I *love* to bake, so I volunteered to make my own birthday cupcakes… Jamie agreed to clean up for me, so it was a great deal for me! This is also why I made three different cupcakes and frostings in a weekend… we'd never eat 150 cupcakes ourselves, no matter how tiny they are!

The first thing that's obvious is the size; I'd seen a pin of making them in the little cups (like the ketchup cups you get at a fast food place) I found them at my local Smart & Final; about $3 for 250. I'm set for a few more batches! I'm in love with this size cupcake! Each one is a single bite, and it's the PERFECT ratio of cake to frosting. No more eating the top half of a cupcake and running out of frosting!
I expected them to bake a lot faster than a regular size cupcake, but all three needed about as long as the recipe calls for; if the recipe said 18 minutes, I started at 10 and checked them, and they ended up going about 16 minutes on average.

If you love mini food as much as I do, give this a try! So cute! I ended up choosing the recipes I did because they're just straight cake and frosting; I don't think these minis would work with fillings or where you need multiple frostings (like a creamsicle one I'm planning to try, that has both orange and vanilla frosting…)

My tip for these tiny bites is to pipe the batter into the cups. Much easier to control the amount going in each one. I just used a ziploc bag with the corner cut off… nothing fancy.

On to the recipes…

Key Lime: Deeee-licious and the overwhelming favorite of the three (according to people at the party) zingy and delicious with just enough citrus kick. Next time, I'll probably skip the food coloring in the cake; it just isn't necessary. (You can't really tell in the pic, but the cake part is pale green) The frosting, we thought, got more flavorful overnight, so keep that in mind if you're making it ahead of time.

The frosting is a cream cheese buttercream, which held up really well on the warm day… my frosting kept its shape really well and didn't get overly runny, so I'll be using that trick in the future too, if I know the frosting will be sitting out in the weather!

Mexican Hot Chocolate: I really struggle with chocolate cake recipes for some reason… this was good, with a nice amount of chocolate, and the cinnamon buttercream was awesome. I think our cayenne pepper is old and stale; it didn't give much of a kick at all, but Jamie said he noticed it in one of the several that he tried. Next time I'll probably punch it up just a tad, or at the very least, buy fresh!

The frosting is a basic buttercream + cinnamon. Tasty but melty.

My only deviation from the posted recipe was that I ran out of mayo, so instead of a full cup, it was about 3/4 c. of mayo and I used sour cream to get the full amount.

Snickerdoodle: We absolutely loved these fresh out of the oven. The cake is almost pound cake-like in texture, dense and yummy. This also had a cream cheese butter cream, but with cinnamon. When I make the Mexican Hot Chocolate ones again, I'll use this frosting recipe instead. Overall, the recipe could use a little more cinnamon, but that might also be because I forgot to add it (duh) and mixed it in once the batter was in the piping bag.

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  1. Oh. My. Lord.

    Thank you and curse you, simultaneously, for pointing me in the direction of these cupcakes! 😉

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