Pin it to win it

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

I ❤ Pinterest.  I ❤ it so much that I’m willing to use stupid emoti-hearts to express myself.  I don’t even know why I love it sometimes.  Sometimes I think it’s just relaxing to look through pretty pictures and drink wine.  That’s probably it.  It’s also interesting to see what people get into.  It teaches me things about my fellow humans that I never knew.  Ladies love nail art.  A lot.  Everyone thinks they have a recipe that tastes just like a Frosty (it doesn’t.  stop lying).  Chex mix is more popular than I thought.  Muddy buddies (puppy chow, white trash, etc. etc.) is apparently just the most versatile thing in the world.  Red Velvet puppy chow.  Nutella puppy chow.  Nutella, there’s another Pinterest thing.  There are two things that are arguably the biggest of all.  You’re probably already thinking it, Pinterest fan: crock pot recipes and pumpkin.  Seeing lots of nodding.  I made these two recipes and thought, “Man.  This is straight out of Pinterest.”  So paint your nails to look like candy canes, grab some Chex Mix, and find out why…

Tex mex chicken and beans is your classic Pinterest slow cooker dump recipe.  There’s very little prep.  I didn’t have bell pepper and I’ve had bell peppers get weird in a slow cooker, so I put in the other 1/2 of a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, cut up with scissors.  Those were from the huevos rancheros recipe in October.  Plus, my chipotles in adobo came from the freezer.  You never use a whole can, so I freeze the peppers with adobe in ice cube trays, one pepper per whole, lined with plastic wrap.  Once they are frozen, you can just slide them out wrap and all and put them in a freezer bag.  It takes maybe 2 minutes on defrost to bring them back to life.  I also added some more dried pinto beans because I was scared that the stuff wasn’t reaching halfway up the side of the crock, and the instructions on the crockpot are pretty explicit about that.  Other than that, it was just a matter of letting it heat up.  Super easy.  Very very good.

slow cookin', swayin' to the music, slow cookin', just me and Everyday Food

slow cookin’, swayin’ to the music, slow cookin’, just me and Everyday Food

The penne with pumpkin sauce recipe hits the other Pinterest high note: pumpkin.  But it does it in a more sophisticated way.  It’s not cloying and sweet.  The white wine vinegar cuts a lot of the sweetness.  I will say that you should believe the recipe when it says to salt it generously, the canned pumpkin needs salt.  Also, frying rosemary is a total mess, and it is stressful trying to pick little pieces out of hot oil with a slotted spoon.  Luckily, it adds some flavor and crunch along with the stress.  I made a separate serving for J without the rosemary and red pepper flakes.  He liked it well enough.

Not pictured: nails that look like jack o' lanterns

Not pictured: nails that look like jack o’ lanterns

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Rosemary Smells Like Christmas!!!

Baked Shells with Winter Squash

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First of all, this recipe made me realize that I either have not done much cooking with fresh rosemary (I swear I have used it before but I don’t remember it ever being so fragrant!) or else the rosemary I’ve been cooking with has just been really under par.  My kitchen smelled like Christmas from the instant I started chopping that rosemary.  It was so fragrant that I was a little nervous that if I used the amount stated in the recipe it would totally overpower the dish.

I took a leap of faith and threw it all in.  It was not a mistake.  It tasted so lovely with the caramelized onions and parmesan.  It was really comforting but at the same time I didn’t feel bad about going for seconds because it wasn’t overly cheesy or fattening.

I made just a couple of adjustments from the recipe.  I used cavatappi pasta because I love it’s twirly-ness (I did this with the Mac and Three Cheeses last month too).  I also didn’t bother with the bread crumbs on top.  The dish was good enough on its own so it really didn’t need it.  If I had been serving it for guests I might have used the crumbs because they do make it look a little more fancy.

I would definitely recommend this dish to everyone! So good and hearty!