Pinterest (and Food Network Magazine) - I am impressed

For the past week or so, I have been deeply enjoying my vacation with no where to go and a minimum of grown-up pants.  The amount of time I've been spending in my pajamas in almost obscene, and I've accomplished virtually nothing.  I have, however, taken some of this time to experiment with some of the many Pinterest boards I've collected in the past couple of years.

From time to time, I do scroll through my boards and pick out recipes to try and the occasional craft project to tackle.  This week, I decided to amp it up a little bit and try a few different things.... mostly sweet things, but I must admit that I've been impressed by the results.  Here's the wrap-up (to date)

1.


 Delicious homemade toffee.  It called "salted dark chocolate almond toffee" and reported to be the most delicious toffee in the world.  I have not been everywhere in the world, but it is pretty delicious. The blogger has gone through the trouble of screwing up toffee about a thousand times and has written about the potential dangers and places where one could go wrong.  She probably saved me a lot of time and headache.  It tasted a lot like Almond Rocha, which I like a lot.  I wasn't sure about how much salt to use, so I think I missed out on the full "salted toffee" experience.  While the toffee was delicious, it made a lot less than I expected.  I planned on giving some in holiday gift tins and keeping some for us.  Once I gave some away, there was very little left.

2.
Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow.  I like Puppy Chow.  A lot.  We ate this a lot when we were younger and it seems to have suddenly caught on in the past couple of years.  In many ways I like all of the interesting twists on the traditional concept (chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar), but sometimes I just like the original.  This was fun for Christmas.  It's white chocolate and crushed up candy canes.  They claim you don't need any powdered sugar, but I disagree.  The candy cane bits didn't prevent the white chocolate from smearing all over everything, so I added some powdered sugar.  Not a lot -- maybe 1/2 cup.  I'm not 100% sure how much candy cane dust I had, so perhaps if I would have had more, it would have worked out better.  Either way, it's pretty good.  Not my favorite, but pretty good.  Mine looks almost identical to the photo.

3.
Chocolate spritz cookies.  This was maybe the closest thing I had to a Pinterest fail.  I followed the recipe exactly, as I'd never made pressed cookies before.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but they were almost too chocolatey.  They are nothing but flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, eggs and cocoa powder.  The texture is good and they pressed out ok (not great), but the flavor seems a little off.  I don't love them, and no one else in the house seems to either.  The color is also a little off.  They look a bit like dog cookies.  If it wasn't for all the cocoa, I'd give them to the pups.  

4.  Caramel Chex Mix

This is not the exact recipe I used.  I can't figure out where I found mine.  The caramel I made was made on the stove and had baking soda in it (1/2 tsp if anyone on earth actually wants the recipe), but aside from that, it seems to be the same thing.  I'm always leery of microwave caramel.

Nonetheless.  It's delicious.  Super delicious.  I don't have any photos of it because I ate it all.  Amy, I'm sorry.  I should be "healthier" over the break, but I'm not.  I ate a bunch of caramel Chex mix.  

I also made traditional Chex Mix - but I don't know if that's even worthy of its own entry, because I make it at least once a year and there was no surprise that it turned out as expected.  It's Chex Mix.  It's tasty.  

5.
Last but not least, caramel corn.  This is another something I make every once in a  while, but I'm also always on the lookout for a new recipe.  So, this year, I tried a new one.  I made popcorn on the stovetop and then a stovetop caramel.  It is delicious.  It is not my favorite caramel corn ever, but it's pretty good.  I gave most of this batch away, so I might try a different recipe and make a new batch when my mom comes.

6.  

While not from Pinterest, I did make my entire Christmas dinner from Food Network Magazine recipes.  My plate looked virtually identical to that.



I bought pretzel rolls from Costco instead of baking bread (because I'm terrible at bread) and added some roasted brussels sprouts as a green veggie... but aside from that, same meal.  It was incredibly delicious.  I'm a little sad that I didn't make more prime rib.  



So... what's next?  Mike has pretty much put is foot down on the baking, so I'm going to move on to quilting.  I have tons of fabrics to make into a quilt and I think I've found a pattern.. 

I love the colors and the braid pattern.  I think I'm going to give it a shot!  We'll see what happens.

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