One of my “goals” this year has been to clean out my pinterest account.  I am a terrible “hoarder” of recipes and ideas.  I spend more time dreaming than doing so every now and again I have to do a big sweep and get rid of recipes I will never make.  This time, we’ve decided to actually try all the recipes before getting rid of them.

I must admit that we have had a few flops but the ratio of wonderful meals to flops has been well in our favor.  Some recipes/ideas left us wondering who thought that was a good idea.  Some I picked because I like the idea of knowing we can do something or to give us ideas when times get tight.  I’m going to share the links and some thoughts and try very hard not to make this a novel.

The Failures

Avocado Pasta – This recipe looked so good.  How could avocado and pasta fail?  To start with, we overdid the garlic.  While we could try this again, the avocado on the pasta was just gross.  We get terrible avocados up here in the north anyway.  The texture was not great.  All in all, it was not something that we think back as having possibility.

Carrot Hot Dog – Okay, this is one of those “if the times get tough, we’ll appreciate this recipe” ideas.  I loved the idea of replacing hot dogs with carrots.  My family promptly told me they would rather just eat carrots instead of trying to make them taste like meat.  It was not good.  Even starving, I couldn’t eat this.

Sourdough Pancakes – I don’t fault the recipe for this failure.  I have this desperate need to make pancakes from scratch.  I don’t know why.  We love Krusteaz pancake mix so homemade just doesn’t have the same result.  Now if I had come up with a way to make these a different flavor, then maybe it would have been different.

Carrot Pickles – I just had problems with these recipes.  I’ve learned a few things.  The biggest thing is that we don’t like fermented pickles.  I kept hoping these would taste good but for the most part they just tasted like rotting vegetables.  I had hopes for the Carrot Kraut because we love sauerkraut.  The biggest problem I had is that the brine kept disappearing.  I don’t know why but it just kept drying out.  That and the pickles ended up molding.  Probably I could have saved them but they tasted so bad, we didn’t want to try to save them.  Now, there is an exception.  I really like the carrots with jalapenos.  They survived the fermentation process and taste pretty good.  It might be me but we won’t be trying them again.

Crockpot Chex Mix – I’m not sharing a recipe because we didn’t end up using one.  I had pinned two different techniques for using the crockpot to make chex mix.  One took 3 hours to make and the other just 1.  The second recipe had you melt all the ingredients for the sauce in the crock pot.  So in I dumped my butter and seasoning.  Then I dumped all the dry ingredients into a bowl.  I stood there looking from the bowl to my crockpot and realized that it wasn’t going to fit.  But I could still melt the butter, right?  After about 10 minutes, my husband joined me.  I told him I don’t know what possessed me.  We took the crock out of the pot and microwaved the butter, then made the whole thing in the oven.  Sometimes there just are no shortcuts.

Irish Nachos – I found this recipe on facebook and didn’t save the link.  We made them and they were terrible.  I love potatoes but turning them into nachos just didn’t work for us.  They were just too weird.

The Recipes That Could Have Been Better (or recipes we may try again)

Homemade Hot Dog Buns – These had great flavor but I think we overcooked them.  The buns were dry and hard.  But because they were the best part of the Carrot Hot Dogs (and my family loved making them into toast), we’ll be trying them again.

Potato Scones – The concept is great.  The texture good but these had the unmistakable flavor of raw biscuit dough.  They should have been fully cooked, the cheese in middle fully melted but they just had this weird flavor.  I should note that we swapped out the specialty cheese for shredded Parmesan.

Chocolate Hazelnut Milk – There is nothing wrong with this recipe but my family didn’t like it.  I will say that I have a very strong reluctance to use any sweetener that isn’t cane sugar or honey (no agave, no stevia, no coconut sugar) so when I swapped out the agave for honey, the honey was overpowering.  But that wasn’t the problem.  My family just didn’t think it was chocolatey enough and they didn’t really like the cocoa nibs (I made 2 batches one with the nibs and one with cocoa powder).  However, if I hadn’t tried this recipe and had leftover hazelnut “flour”, I wouldn’t have tried this recipe.  That Chocolate Hazelnut Blender Pie is definitely going into the saved recipe folder (I made it with sugar the second time and it was such a hit).

Crock Pot Tator Tot Casserole – We like this idea but it needed work.  Our first attempt was really mushy and overcooked.  We used our favorite tator tot casserole recipe and this technique.  We’ll be trying it again.

The Successes

5 Minute Mac and Cheese – I love Mac and Cheese – homemade never from a package.  But it’s work and takes a lot of cheese.  Until this recipe.  Now, we never have leftover pasta so it takes longer than 5 minutes in our house but it’s still a fast recipe.  Boil pasta, make sauce in microwave.  Definitely a keeper in our house.

 Taco Pie – This one didn’t quite turn out the way it was supposed to.  We used real mashed potatoes that were a little thicker and a bit more wet so our crust ended up really soft.  But it was all so tasty.  There were no leftovers.  My family devoured this as fast as they could.  The mashed potatoes with the taco seasoning is genius.  That’s being added as a possibility to our meals, especially since we make our own taco seasoning so we always have a jar of it running around.

Baked Samosas – I can’t say for certain that this was a real success for my family since we haven’t eaten them yet.  I bought dumpling wrappers from a local Asian market.  They were the only egg-free wrappers they had.  I didn’t know until I got to working with them that they are the wrappers that make potstickers so I have a bunch of samosa potstickers.  I thought they were tasty.  The filling was easy, the whole technique so simple.  Definitely getting more dumpling wrappers to see what else I can fill them with.

Tator Tot Chicken Pot Pie – I love the idea of pot pie but I just am not in love with the crust.  I loved this.  It’s a twist on tator tot casserole, which we love.  I almost wish there had been more tator tots.  We did add more veggies such as carrots and potatoes (since we had leftovers from other projects).

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino – This is a very simple recipe.  So much flavor.  We ate it with a lot of Parmesan cheese and chocolate milk.  It was spicier than my family likes so we’ll be cutting back on the pepper flakes but I love the simplicity of pasta dishes, especially like this.  Definitely should be served with a salad (and chocolate milk).

Taco Tortilla Lasagna – We had this for dinner last night.  My husband said that this was one of the easiest recipes he has ever made.  The hardest part was browning the meat.  I love that we are learning little twists on our favorite dishes because I am definitely one who would eat the same sort of thing over and over while my family cries to have something else.

So there you have it – a month of experiments.  I did leave some out because I’ll be addressing them later but, for the most part, that is what we played with.  It felt like such a long list until I put it here.  Now it feels like we barely tried anything.  Oh well, my pinterest feels a little lighter and our tummies are so happy.