Saturday, January 11, 2014

3 Months worth of Show-And-Tell Reports

Do you remember when I did the 10 Pin Plan and got 10 pins tested in 2 weeks? That was a good week. Well, in the past 3 months I have been able to test 6 1/2 pins. Impressive, huh. Hahaha. I'd make excuses, but I won't. I'll just say someday I'll be a supermom like my Mom, Cameron's Mom, and Kendra (I could list more, but I'll leave it there for now). Until then though, I am pretty proud of what I have been able to do while getting used to being a Mom. And, let's face it, if I have to choose between cuddles and getting projects done, I choose cuddles. Sorry (ok, no I'm not).

This first pin test report is the "half pin". I already had the meals in the freezer (as I reported way back when), but I finally got to taste them.

Pin Report #1 (or 1/2)
Back in October I featured this pin in my Show and Tell Saturday:
I had split the recipes between two bags each, so I ended up with a freezer door full of 16 meals ready to plop in the crockpot:

Well, as of Tuesday night, we have finally tasted all but one of the meals (still haven't tried the French Dip Sandwiches yet). They each have been SO good! And they have been so incredibly easy and nice to have. Thaw for a day in the fridge, put a crock pot liner in the crock pot, plop the contents in, cook, eat, and toss the liner. Easy with minimal clean up. I love it. I will definitely be making these (and other recipes) again! Pin Win on easiness, Pin Win on taste. Try these out, you won't be sorry!

Pin Report #2
I tested this one out in early October as I was trying to find any project I could to keep my from going insane. The tutorial is easy to follow and the end result is so cute! I have a bunch of upholstery scraps from my husbands job so I picked one of those to use and here's how it turned out:
(His hair's not really that red, although that would be awesome. Just light reflecting off his blondeness). 
It still is kinda huge on him, but I put it on him anyway. He'll grow into it though! Have or know a little man that could use a bowtie? These are quick and easy to pump out! Pin Win!

Pin Report #3
This is another pin from October when I was just trying to keep busy. I was crocheting everything I could find trying to use up what yarn I had in my craft drawers. I found this pattern on Pinterest and was instantly excited:

I followed her directions, using three different colors of yarn, and this is how mine turned out:

Pretty much if you know how to chain stitch and double crochet, you can make this. If you don't know how to do either of those, find someone who knows or check out youtube. They are simple stitches (is it called a stitch in crochet?) and this scarf is fast to whip out! Pin Win!

Pin Report #4
Cameron's Kindle Fire case wore out a few months ago and he's been needing a new case. I happened on this tutorial through Pinterest and thought it looked like something I could do. I spent about an hour in our Antique Mall looking for a book that was just the right size, had a hard cover, and had an interesting cover design. It was hard to find just what I wanted! Finally I happened on an old "Pictured Encyclopedia" (not illustrated said pictured...go figure), that was orphaned from the rest of the set. That was the book! I followed the directions, and here's how mine turned out:

I was going to pull up Pinstrosity on his Kindle...but as you can see, it's out of battery. Oh well. 
The book was a little bigger than the Kindle (and I didn't think to make the cardboard insert smaller until after it was all done), so the elastic straps are way bigger than I wanted them to be, but it works. Cameron loves it, and that's the important part. Or at least he's humoring me and being sweet and he uses it. Either way, Pin Win!

These last three pins were super yummy, but I didn't get any pictures of my finished product. Lame, I know.

Pin Report #5
For our church's Christmas party/potluck, I decided to give this a try:
I used my normal pie crust recipe and Paula Deen's scrumptious pumpkin pie recipe for the filling.
I tripled the single layer pie crust recipe, and made a single batch of the filling recipe and ended up with way more filling than I had pie crust. I'm pretty sure the problem there was that I forgot to poke the bottoms of the crusts with a fork, so they puffed up some and didn't hold as much filling.
They turned out so yummy though! Definitely a hit.

Pin Report #6
I found this recipe for homemade peppermint patties in the summer and couldn't wait until Christmas came around to try them out. I don't know why I had to wait until Christmas, but for some reason I did.
When I went to make them, I rediscovered that I had 6 different flavors of flavoring syrups in my cupboard, so I decided to make a bunch of different flavors. These were really easy to make, I had no problems. I made chocolate coated peppermint, chocolate coated raspberry, chocolate coated orange, chocolate coated vanilla, which chocolate coated maple, and white chocolate coated root beer patties. I think my favorite were the maple ones, but they were all good. If I did it again, I'd coat the vanilla ones in white chocolate...the dark chocolate drowned out the filling flavor. It was fun to be able to give those to my parents for Christmas.

Pin Report #7
Everyone's favorite Girl Scout cookie...or at least the favorite in this house:
The Samoa cookie! I found a recipe for homemade Samoas and knew that was what I wanted to make for Cameron for his Christmas stocking.

They were a little time consuming and messy, but they tasted fantastic. I used tongs to hold the cookies to dip the bottoms in chocolate, but the rest I just followed the directions on the site. The recipe makes a ton!

My Mom passed on a trick to me that I used for this to help get the dough even and thin enough. Go to your local hardware store (a craft store may work too) and buy square dowel rods in various sizes (1/8', 1/4", and 1/2" are the sizes I bought).
When you need even dough, lay the dowels on the counter on either side of your dough. You want them closer together than the width of your rolling pin. Then you just roll out your dough until it is all even. The dowels keep the rolling pin the right height above the counter so that your dough has the right thickness and is even all over. Genius! Mom's are so smart. Well, my mom is. I'm a mom now and I'm still gathering my arsenal of information. Good thing Darrow won't be asking for tips for a while yet.

So there you have it. My lump sum of creativity for the past 3 months. Not bad.


  1. I really need to start doing some of the pins I've pinned over the last year or so.....or go through them and sort them or something. My Pinterest boards are getting a bit out of control. ::sigh::

  2. You can get silicone rubber bands that go around your rolling pins too so that you can get your dough the thickness you want.

  3. I'm glad all these pins worked for you! I think the problem with mini pies is that while a big pie is about 90% covered by filling and 10% free edge, when you use the same amount of dough to cut small crusts, you will have more "edge". The circumference-to-area ratio gets bigger the more you split the pie into tiny circles, if that makes sense. All I'm saying is you need extra dough when making mini pies.

  4. These all look awesome, and I've been wanting to do the freezer crockpot meals, so I am especially excited to try that one.

    (And thanks!)

  5. Nice to see so many successes!

    For #5, even if your shells hadn’t puffed up, there would still be more filling left. The smaller the pie/tart, the higher your pastry-to-filling ratio has to be (more pastry, less filling). Without doing any math, you can see that this would be true by imagining all your tarts are sitting in a pie plate. There is a lot more side (as opposed to bottom) pastry in the tarts than there would be if there was a pie sitting there, because each tart has to have enough pastry to make its sides.

  6. Thanks for the dough rolling tip. Will head off to the hardware store this weekend :)

  7. Okay so, let's see… I have a few new recipes to work on! Crockpot meals are a must right now, mini pies (but I need an occasion), and the patties… but I'm totally going to use your idea with the different flavors, hubby hates peppermint + mint. Ridiculous, I know, but he says peppermint should be reserved for toothpaste. Oh well, great pin testing! Thanks so much for the suggestions!


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