Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicks Dig It

I saw the cutest idea for Easter chicks deviled eggs, but as I wasn't cooking an Easter meal this year (as we traveled and ate with friends and family) I didn't make them...but I sure thought about it. Maybe I'll just make them for fun one of these times. My husband gives me a hard time because he thinks I want to take deviled eggs to any potluck, and I do...but they're so good! While I haven't given this a try yet, Janelle decided to go for it and had a bit of a Pinstrosity.

The Original Pin

I've been looking around trying to find the original source for this picture (as the Pinterest link doesn't go anywhere and I really want to give credit where credit is due) and as far as I can figure out from Google Image search and the comments on the pin, the original pinner saw this picture of deviled eggs that her friend's daughter made on her Facebook page and uploaded it to Pinterest. I don't know where the idea came from, (one commenter claims her daughter made these up) but it's cute and I can see why Janelle gave them a try. Since it was just a photo though, and not a link to a tutorial or ingredient list or anything, Janelle had to wing it and ran into some slight problems.

The Pinstrosity

Not too bad really, in my opinion. I looked at the picture first (confession, I usually do) and I wasn't really sure what the problem was but once I read Janelle's email I understood. Here's the story in her own words:

"I wanted to make the really cute deviled eggs that looked like chicks for Easter. I realized quickly it wasn't as easy as it looked. Trying to get the yoke out of the small opening mostly meant that the white split. Or I would try to slit the top of the egg off only to find the yoke right there or at the other end. There was no consistency where the yoke was as evidenced by the odd shaped egg chicks in the picture."

"Also I had asked my husband to pick up olives for the eyes thinking this would be the best option. It probably would have been but he got me chopped (or minced) olives. I had to try to gather bits of the chopped olive to make eyes. They look horrible! Then I asked my 11yo son to cut the carrot noses because I was short on time and company was coming soon. He had no consistency to his method so all the noses are odd shaped too! (I can't really blame him, thankfully he doesn't have a lot of knifing experience!)"

"Then when I went to display the eggs on a plate, they all slipped, I had no way of displaying them in the up right position. So I put a piece of paper towel on the bottom at least they were face up." to help fix this for future tries? I've found a few ideas online. 

How to Fix It

I found the same idea on where she has a tutorial on how to make these chicks deviled eggs and she gives some good tips. 

To help keep the whites from splitting as you get the yolks out, she suggests slicing into the yolk. I would imagine a paring knife would work best...but any little sharp knife should work. Then use a small spoon or fork to gently scoop the yolk out. 

For the eyes she suggests cutting up a pickle into small slices. Just an alternative for those that don't like olives. 

And then to make the eggs stand up and not roll over...cut a small slice off the bottom of the egg to make a flat resting surface. 

Another idea from is to cut the whites in a zig-zag pattern to look like a cartoon broken egg. This will be harder than just slicing the egg open, but it sure does look cute.

Another idea from is to put a sprig of parsley at the top, and they added a second carrot slice to the beak, and a carrot slice for feet. 

One final idea I'll link to is this one from Instead of using small slices of olives for the eyes, they've used cross sections slices for large owl-like eyes.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Pinstrosity Pinstrosity

Many blog and website owners love Pinterest for all the traffic it brings, but there's always the frustration when you see some of your content on someone's board that doesn't link back to your site. We stumbled upon our first one.

The Original Post:
Em's yarn balloon Level 5 Pinstrosity. This has been one of our most popular posts. I still get a chuckle when I read that post. 

I searched "Pinterest Fails" on Pinterest just a bit ago just for fun to see what people were finding and this one started popping up:

The Pinstrosity

It'd be great if all these pins linked back to our site, but of course none of them do. Instead every pin I clicked on (and I think I clicked on all of them I saw...that took a while) gave me the following message from Pinterest:

So I don't know what kind of site someone is trying to use our Pinstrosity to promote, but apparently it's not any good. Love that. 

So, How to fix this Pinstrosity?...I guess we'll start making a watermark to put on our pictures...not that it will completely prevent this in the future, but maybe it'll help inhibit the action some. We knew we'd start doing a watermark sometime, but I didn't figure we'd have to for a while yet until we had more readers. Oh well. 

What can you do to help fix this? Don't just pin blindly. I try and open every pin before I pin it, that way I know if the link works, if it goes back to the original source, and I can be sure I'm not unknowingly spreading a pin that links to someone's porn site they created (I heard that's happened...sick people). I didn't do this at first when I joined Pinterest because I just didn't I'm getting through all my pins making sure they all are legit. Some haven't been and they've been deleted. Some of my pins didn't hit the origianl source but I was able to track it down and find the real post to link the pin to. Blog and website writers/owners put hard work into their content, help give them credit and pin responsibly (that sounds like a Don't Drink and Drive ad, I know). 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Useless Ice

Scrolling through people's boards to find pins to test for when we are out of submissions (nudge nudge...we could use some Pinstrosity submissions...) I found the following:

The Original Pin

Cool, no? I had to try it.

The Pinstrosity

Ok, this one's not technically a Pinstrosity, because it worked just like the instructions said it would...but once it was formed up...this was the most ridiculous cup. It held such a small amount of liquid...more like a large shot glass, it made my hand really cold, and then the heat from my hand melted the "glass" faster and I had water running down to my elbow and it made the cup super slippery. So I thought, I'll just stick it back in the mug and use it as a cool ice cube...well that worked, but it was kinda lame too since you just can't get much liquid in there anyway. get an ice cup, just like the directions indicate, but it's kinda pointless and it makes such a mess as it melts! Regular ice cubes are way easier and much more practical. But if I were a kid, I probably would have thought this was the coolest thing ever.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cocoa Syrup

Chocolate syrup runs a little on the pricey edge (for the good stuff), so I thought I'd see how this homemade chocolate syrup recipe someone pinned adds up against the store bought bottled stuff. 

The Original Pin
I followed the directions, using all the right measurements and times. I allowed the syrup to cool, then dipped me out a spoonful....

The Pinstrosity

It's okay. Not the best. Definitely not the bottled syrup you get from the store. It has a bit of a bitter aftertaste from the cocoa. So I knew I probably wouldn't be putting it over ice cream. But the site suggested using the syrup for chocolate milk or milkshakes. So I used the suggested syrup to milk ratio and it was kinda gross. So then I added more syrup and that helped some, but there was still that cocoa bitterness to it. And then the aftertaste was weird and it left my mouth feeling fuzzy. I'm not a fan. It's not bad syrup, and I might like it more as I get used to it, but right off the bat it doesn't really measure up to the bottled stuff one bit. Now that I have a jar of it though I don't want to waste it, so I'm going to try putting it in cookies and cakes...we'll see how that works out. In it's favor doesn't have the high fructose corn syrup.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Crummy Curls

I've seen a ton of cute hair ideas and tricks pinned all over. It makes me miss my long hair...there's just so much you can do with short hair. Anyway...the sock curls and the head band curls have gone around quite a bit and I knew sometime we'd have a Pinstrosity on our hands, and finally today we got one.

The Original Pin

Carolyn decided to give this pin a test last night/this morning in preparation for a photo shoot, and it didn't turn out quite as she had hoped. Ok, not at all like she had hoped. After staying up late just to let her hair dry enough after her shower, this Pinstrosity was an extra disappointment. She tells us, "I waited until my hair was only slightly damp, and got to work with twisting it into the headband.  I them climbed into bed and fell asleep (it actually isn't that uncomfortable, I was able to sleep very well with it up like that.)  I got up this morning and started to take my hair down.  I saw the front curls first and thought, "Oh goodness, I am going to be Shirley Temple... again!" And this girl can pull of some great Shirley Temple curls. Well...all looked good at first, but as she kept unrolling the headband, disappointment struck.

The Pinstrosity

She's not sure exactly what went wrong here...and since Em and I both have short hair we can't really test it out. Here's what Carolyn guesses might have gone wrong:
  • The back may have dried out too much before she wrapped the hair in the headband.
  • The back curls may have not been wrapped tight enough.
  • The front curls may need to be a little more dry or loose to match the back curls.
  • Perhaps a larger headband is needed (the one she used is below).

Has anyone else had success with this? Do you have any insights as to how to make this work better next time? Or have you had the same issues (or different issues) with this?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ooey Gooey Cookie Creamy

All you have to say is "Cookies and Cream" and I'm in. Even after seeing the trouble Anita had with this Pinstrosity, I still want to try it out. Mmmmm.

The Original Pin
No Bake Chewy Cookies and Cream Bars, using three of the best ingredients invented...Oreos, marshmallows and butter (which would probable make this Paula Deen approved). They sound amazing, which is what Anita thought as she jumped into this project. Although hers had some...issues.

The Pinstrosity

Let me just share what Anita has to say about her adventure:

"The first problem I had was trying to mix the Oreo cookie crumbs with the melted marshmallows and butter - what a thick, sticky mess, very hard to mix! The marshmallow goo kept getting really thick, - almost hard - before I had it all mixed in, so I had to keep sticking the whole thing back into the microwave to try to remelt it - "try" being the operative word."

"I finally felt like I had achieved reasonable success with mixing... Then came trying to get the mess into the pan.  It was so thick and sticky that I could hardly get it out of the bowl, and tore the foil in a couple of places trying to spread it all out."

"I finally got as much as I was going to get in the pan, into the pan. It looked gross, grey and unappetizing, so I sprinkled it with powdered sugar to disguise it."

"I left it to set, but it didn't; it just stayed gooey, so I refrigerated it.  Then it hardened up so much it was like a solid brick, and was completely stuck to the foil! Double checking the recipe, I saw no mention of buttering the foil first, and I couldn't get it off the "bars." I left it back out a while to see if it would soften up enough to get the foil off, but it only got gooey again and the foil was still stuck on like it was glued on."

"I finally gave up, but covered it and put it in our laundry room fridge till I could figure out a way to salvage it, and figure it out I did, a couple of weeks later."

"I was finishing another Pinterest project that required the oven, so I stuck in my Oreo brick so it would soften a bit again, then went at the foil. I finally managed to tear and scrape it all off (with plenty of "bar" along with it,) then cut it all into small bite-sized pieces and dipped them in melted chocolate. They were great! They were nice and soft in the middle, with a lovely chocolate coating.  I brought them to church for after the service, and they all went in no time!"

So what went wrong? I haven't tested this one out yet to know for sure, but here are some theories I will be testing when I do. 

-If you look at the original picture, their oreos are blended in thoroughly, but you can still see large chunks and veins of white marshmallows. So you do want to mix the oreos all the way through, but you don't want to over mix it. I don't know if this had anything to do with them not setting up completely or not, but it could be worth a try. I know you can stretch and melt a marshmallow a bit and have it set back up, but a marshmallow can only take so much and after too much messing with, it's going to stay very gooey and sticky and messy (oddly I learned that one from playing pranks in college). I'm imagining these to be an oreo version of rice crispy they will still be slightly sticky, but they shouldn't be insanely gooey. 
-Most of the time I try to use tin foil, it turns out like Anita's just doesn't want to work for me. When I try these I'll probably either use parchment paper, wax paper, or just really butter the heck out of my pan before putting the goop in it. I've had way better success from those methods than with tin foil. 


Monday, April 16, 2012

Reindeer Regrets

Martha is many great ideas and pretty things that make us think "I can do that" and then we can't...hey, kinda like Pinterest! Hahaha. What is it about those two? Maybe it's because Martha and Pinterest make everything seem so easy. Anyway, Susan found these adorable reindeer cookies and decided to give them a try. 
The Original Pin
Susan tells us, "Tried to make these cute reindeer cookies ... but they came out not quite so cute!"

The Pinstrosity

This is the reindeer we never hear about, the one Santa sends down the chimney first to make sure the fireplace isn't lit. Maybe he's just the black sheep of the family. 

Honestly, I don't think those cookies are all that bad, but as far as looking like the original pin there is a bit of a difference. 
  • Martha appears to have used gingerbread and it looks like Susan used sugar cookies. This difference caused the difference in shapes of the reindeer. It looks like they both used a gingerbread man cookie cutter shape ('s an up-side-down man), but Susan's sugar cookies filled in more as the cookie baked (and/or maybe her cookie cutter man was a little more squat than Martha's). 
  • I'm not quite sure what happened with the icing, and why Susan's is black. Last icing color in the house? But even with the black icing, it's not all that bad. 
So it didn't quite turn out as hoped, but it still looks like a reindeer to me, and even still looks like a cookie to me. I'm sure her family didn't even care that these weren't twins to Martha's reindeer. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We Need Your Pinstrosities!

It's a rainy day here (which is rare for us), and of course I have my day full with outdoor appointments (family photos, event photos, etc)...this should be interesting. So I'm gearing up for an adventure filled day. Maybe I'll hop over to Pinterest and see if there are any really great rainy day pins. Or you could hop over to Pinterest and see if there are any great rainy day pins and try them out and let us know how it goes!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't Count on this to Float Your Boat

Or your balloon. 

This pin went around boards very quickly. Most of the pins I saw had a caption that ran something like this:
"No helium needed to fill balloons for parties." People saw it, pinned it, and saved it for later...many thinking that this trick would make filled floating balloons. 

The Original Pin
I pinned it to my "To Test" board so I wouldn't forget it for later. I didn't even look at the original source until days later to see what gas they were creating and how. When I finally did open up the blog and read the ingredients...I knew someone somewhere along the line hadn't read the post completely when they pinned it as an alternative to Helium. This was a science experiment for kids to learn about gasses, not a development of a alternative to Helium. The gas created is Carbon Dioxide...which doesn't make balloons float.

The blog author states this in her post:
** Due to lots of comments left below I feel the need to add (for clarity) that this does NOT produce helium. Carbon Dioxide gas will inflate the balloons but they do not "fly" like helium inflated balloons as it is not the same kind of gas. This is meant to be a fun science experiment/demonstration. **

So I knew that this pin would work perfectly as described in the original blog post, but it wouldn't work at all with the description I saw on so many pins. Here...I'll show you.

The Pinstrosity

There's the set up. The bottle with the vinegar, and the balloon with the baking soda. 

Tip the balloon upright to dump the baking soda in the vinegar and Carbon Dioxide gas is produced, which does indeed fill the balloon:

And that was the point of the original show the formation and properties of gas. But a pinner tweaked it and people pinned it to their boards thinking the balloons would float. 

They don't float. CO2 is heavier than the air we breathe. 

So the moral of this story? There's a few. 

  • As Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas stated...CO2 will be formed, but it DOES NOT float. 
  • Read. Read. Read. I think we're all conditioning ourselves to text messages, tweets, statuses, etc. and anything longer we just blow off. Don't be afraid of reading. It's great stuff!
  • Don't take the descriptions on every pin as the gospel truth. Check into things before you get too excited. 
So I'm rating this a Level 4 on the GCT Scale since it failed as to the pin description, but if we were rating it by how it worked according to the original source, it'd be a perfect piece of toast with raspberry jam.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pin Win: Hard Candy Suckers

So I've been testing pins like crazy lately. I have a Pinterest board for pins that I see that either seem fishy, too good to be true, way complicated and easy to mess up, or just a head scratcher. The times we have lulls between emails I test the pins to give us material to put up. I found a pin that just looked too good and simple to be true...

The Original Pin
Hard candy turned into suckers?! There's no way it's that simple and non-messy. Right? 

Well, I bought my candy and sucker sticks, followed all the directions exactly and...

It worked!
Perfectly in fact. There were no problems, no trouble, and no mess. The only "complaint" I have is that they aren't the prettiest of suckers...but that wasn't the point of this pin test. I have to say I was surprised, I wasn't expecting such a successful pin. But, now we know that we're not having our leg pulled...this pin definitely is a keeper. 

It's a pin win for sure.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BBQ Bombs

Easy dinners are my favorite. Finding a recipe like this is gold:
The Original Pin
BBQ Boat Gold. That's what Amanda thought as well. She says, "I saw these and figured they would be a yummy easy meal for my boyfriend and I. Little did I know, I was creating atomic BBQ bombs in the oven..."

The Pinstrosity

Mushroom clouds of dough and BBQ. So what happened here? 

Amanda got looking at the original recipe to check what had turned her BBQ boats into BBQ bombs and found what may have been the detonator. The recipe calls for "1 (12oz.) tube refrigerated biscuits" but taking a look at the picture in the recipe we find an additional secret to making this recipe work as you see it?
The biscuits aren't just your normal everyday size biscuits, their the jr. size, which is why Amanda's full size biscuits morphed into atomic proportions. 

How to fix this?
  • Looking at the original recipe, you don't want the dough to be too thick in the pan so that it will form the right sized boats. As all biscuit dough is not created equal, you may have to bring out the inner mad scientist for a minute or two. The dough in the recipe appears to be about 1/4" thick in the cups and they don't reach all the way to the top. If the biscuit size you're using gives you more dough than that, pull a glop off and reshape the dough in the cup. Later you can combine all the extra "glops" into biscuits so dough isn't wasted. 
  • If you don't want to be the mad scientist, buy the Jr. size or cut the regular biscuits down by about 1/2. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pinstrosity on Facebook

To make it easier for more people to enjoy Pinstrosity, we have just launched the Pinstrosity page on Facebook! 

Go here to check it out, like it, and send it to your friends!

Monday, April 9, 2012

MiO Ice Cube Mess

I've seen the "Rainbow Water" idea as a number of different pins and decided to give it a try. Everyone's drinks looked so fun and cool! 

The Original Pin
One mom just used food coloring to color the ice cubes, then put the cubes in a regular cup of water. Another mom froze Koolaid into cubes then put that in water. Another mom froze Koolaid into cubes and put them in lemon lime soda. 

I decided to make MiO ice cubes since we don't have Kool Aid in the house usually. I squirt a little bit of different flavors (to get different colors) of MiO in each compartment of the ice tray (since a little MiO goes a long way), then filled the tray with water. Once the cubes were frozen solid I plunked them in a glass and filled it with cold water. 

The Pinstrosity

Disappointment. This picture is taken probably about 60 seconds after I filled the glass. Those cubes melted SO fast! And there was only about 2 seconds of color layering before they all just blended together. The ice cubes melted a lot faster than normal and they all floated to the top, erasing any layering that went on. And as careful as I was to try and use just a little bit of MiO, it was WAY too strong. Undrinkably so. Perhaps next time I'll just stick to the original idea and do food coloring and water or Kool-Aid and Sprite and see how that works.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Fried Egg "Underflow"

I LOVE fried eggs. Yum yum yum! I'm an over easy kind of girl...gotta have the yolk runny, but cooked on both sides. So when I saw this pin on Pinterest, I put it in on my "Delighting the Taste Buds" board fast. It looks so pretty and is a fun way to dress up breakfast (or lunch...or dinner...or whenever you make fried eggs).
The Original Pin
I was a little curious exactly how it was going to work though...I could see it being kinda a mess. I wasn't sure how I was going to keep the egg from spilling out the bottom of the bell pepper slice, which is just what happened, and I was worried that if I used too large of an egg or too small of a bell pepper that the egg would run over. So I tried to pick my pepper and my eggs carefully.

The Pinstrosity

I very carefully cracked the first egg into the pepper and immediately it started oozing out the side. That's the top egg in the picture. So the second egg (the bottom one) I tried the good ol' crack with one hand while I pushed the bell pepper down onto the pan with the other hand. It was a little tricky since I'm not very good at cracking eggs one handed. But I got the egg in the pepper and was able to keep it from oozing out the bottom as much as the first egg...but I still got a slight ooze. After that they cooked up beautifully and flipped really easily. So we didn't have an egg overflow, it was more of an "underflow"

added 7-19-2012: We had a question of how to flip the eggs emailed to us. You'll have to wait to flip the egg until it is cooked through quite a bit or you'll get egg splatter all over and have leakage on both sides. Either that, or just go sunny side up. I'm not a sunny side up fan (too slimy) so I let my eggs cook a long time so that they were as cooked through as they could be since I wasn't going to try flipping them.

The taste was a little odd with the two combined, and I'm not sure I liked the crunchy texture of the bell pepper mixed with the soft texture of the egg, but it wasn't bad and it did make them look fancy and dressed up the top of my flat fried burrito (basically a quesadilla with beans in it).


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Glowing Bubbles Popped

So if you've been following the blog for a while now you probably saw the "It Burst My Glowing Bubbles" post about bursting the glow in the dark bubble myth. I found that the glow in the dark solution diluted the bubble solution too much so that bubbles couldn't even form. Well, since that post I've been wondering about using a larger quantity of bubble solution and seeing if that would work and I finally tested it out.

Just as a refresher, here's The Original Pin

I finally remembered to grab a big ol' bottle of bubbles this time. Last time I tested an 8 oz. bottle of bubbles. I could have gone to a 33 oz bottle, but why do that when you could go big and do a 100 oz. bottle?!  I figured if it didn't work with the 100 oz. it wouldn't work with the 33 oz. 

The Pinstrosity
Remember the size comparison last time?

Here's the size comparison this time:

We tested this out last night so that I didn't have to hide in my closet with towels stuffed under the door to block the light. Like the first time, I tested the bubbles first to see if the bubbles were good just on its own (because sometimes you do get crappy bubbles), and it worked great. So I broke the glow stick to make it glow, cut it open and poured it in the bubbles. It just kinda sank to the bottom and didn't want to mix in, so bubbles still formed, but there was no glow on them. So I put the cap back on the bottle and shook it up until the glow solution was all throughout the bubbles. 

Ooh, 100 oz. of glowing bubble solution.  
And the results...didn't work. With the glow solution mixed through the bubble solution, bubbles would not form at all, the consistency had been changed enough. I was disappointed, I thought this might work. So yet again, the glowing bubble pin is popped. 

This morning I was curious to see if bubbles still wouldn't form and pulled the bubble wand out...bubbles! Sitting over night something happened and the bubble solution is again working. They aren't glowing of course, but we do have workable bubble solution again. 

So then I got wondering, maybe the original picture just meant to have a glowing glow stick in the area of the bubbles and it would reflect of the surface of the bubbles. So I retreated to my closet and stuffed the bottom of the door with towels and tested this out. Nope, still doesn't work. 

This pin is officially popped.