A Week of Cooking Pins

I have a habit of “pinning” things on Pinterest without ever revisiting them. I gather that the whole point of Pinterest is to “pin” something to your “board” so that you can remember it for when you have time later, but I mostly look at the pretty pictures, formulate some good intentions, and move-on. Well, last week I made a point of basing my menu around things I had pinned. Here is how it turned out.

First up was Man Pleasing Chicken. This was actually a great recipe that I had made once before. Everyone liked it, it was very easy and tasty. We ate it so fast that I didn’t get a picture. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Next was Zucchini Carrot and Cranberry muffins. These were really yummy but in the end I was the only one to eat them as my family just aren’t muffin-eaters.

The next day I made Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies. These were yummy and easy, and my family gobbled them up, but they were a real pain to get out of the pans.

Then I made Honey Lime Shrimp and Easy Pad Thai. Both were very easy and super delicious. These recipes were keepers for sure.

Finally, I made Sweet Blueberry Bread. I really enjoyed making the bread, and it was a very pretty finished product. I made it into french toast the next day and it was perfect for that. I must say though that we have not eaten the rest of the loaf, it wasn’t that big of a hit on its own.








All-in-all, the pin-cooking was good and I got some great recipes. I will continue to mindlessly pin and know that I may actually come back to them someday.

Tomato Noodles…

…is the really classy name we use at our house for the pasta dish I made for dinner tonight. A more suitable name might be “Versatile Noodles” since they are very easy and inexpensive to make, kid friendly, yet classy enough to serve to company. I started making the Penne Arrabbiata recipe from the Williams Sonoma Pasta cookbook, but they offered a variation on the recipe to turn it into Puttanesca instead. While I liked the idea of adding capers and olives, there was no way I was even going to think of adding anchovies. So what I make is somewhere in between the two recipes, but cannot really be called either. So we call them Tomato Noodles, and we eat them once a week.

Tomato Noodles

Note: I tend to switch things up every time I make this, depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I’ll add a splash of red wine if I have an open bottle that hasn’t, for some strange reason, been finished. Sometimes I’ll add basil paste if I don’t have any fresh. Tonight I added parsley out of the garden because I had a lot of it.


1/4 C olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Generous pinch of red pepper flakes (I tend to cut back so the kids don’t scream)

1 (35 oz) can of plum tomatoes, chopped with juice

salt & pepper (if adding capers I tend to not add any extra salt)

12 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Generous pinch of dried oregano

Splash of balsamic vinegar (optional, but I find it really brightens up the flavor)

1/2 C olives, halved and pitted (I just add whatever olives I have on hand)

1/4 C capers

1 lb pasta (I usually use penne or fusilli)



Put large pot of water on to boil and cook noodles until tender

Meanwhile, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to large skillet and heat over medium heat, being careful not to burn garlic

Add tomatoes and raise heat to medium-high

Simmer for 5 minutes or so

Add salt, pepper, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, olives and capers

Simmer until pasta is done, but do not let it reduce too much (if it gets dry you can add some of the pasta water)

When pasta is done, drain and add to sauce. Mix, serve with parmesan cheese.


Picky-eater approved!