12 June 2012

Actually Using all Those Pinned Recipes

I’m addicted to Pinterest.  What an amazing invention.  All those ideas, recipes, funny pictures and weird internet links all in one glorious spot.  I can finally do away with all the bits of paper and sticky notes that have websites listed on them but I don’t remember why they were interesting.  My various piles of papers are not really smaller, they just don’t include these random notes.

I have found Pinterest really helpful with my Montessori training too.  I have Montessori board and a board for the Quilting Unit I did (read about it here).  I’ve gotten loads of ideas for the classroom from other Montessori pinners.  But the most helpful (well, I suppose it’s yet to be proved helpful) part of Pinterest is all those delicious recipes.  I scroll down the daily pins of friends and acquaintances and drool over the pictures, repinning nearly all of them.  I have 38 pins on my ‘Savory Recipes’ board and about as many in ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Sweets and Treats’ combined.

So a while back, while in the throws of end-of-school papers, I looked up a crock-pot recipe I had pinned on Pinterest and finally put it to use.  It’s a bit daring really.  You don’t know if the “It’s delicious” comment is from the person you know or someone 10 pins ago who didn’t actually try it either.  The recipe was for crock-pot fajitas. We love Mexican in this house and fajitas are always a hit.  I’ve been moving away from the seasoning packet and more towards making my own spice blend.  (This is as much from forgetting to buy the packet and wanting fajitas as an aversion to what’s put in the packet.)
Ready for Culinary Greatness
Here’s the recipe:
(original found Stacy Makes Cents here)
Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas 
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 sweet peppers, sliced
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
Squirt of lime juice
Fajita fixings

Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crock-pot. Lay chicken on top of veggies. Pour chicken broth over top. Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder. Give a nice squirt of lime juice over the top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or on High for 4-6 hours). When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas with your choice of fixings.
Looks promising
Finished product before shredding

It wasn’t bad.  But it wasn’t amazing either.  One thing I did take away from this: I now shred my chicken for all mexican meals, fajitas, gorditas, it’s all shredded.  It is so much easier to keep the tortilla wrapped without chunks of meat.  Shredding it also means I can use bone-in chicken which is cheaper and cook the chicken ahead of time and freeze if necessary.
But I didn’t stop pinning.  Every recipe with a drool-worthy picture was/is repinned.  So I knew I had to have another go and today I did.
It was 4:45, The Ellen Show was ending and I was on Pinterest wondering what in the world I would cook for dinner.  Then I saw it.  Creamy Garlic Pasta.  Wow.  That is drool-worthy.  I had all the ingredients (well, sort of) and it looked like it would be quick.
It was quick.  It was fabulous.  Creamy, Dreamy Garlic Pasta with Fresh Basil?  Yes, please.
Here is the recipe: 
Originally from The Cheese Pusher here (no pushing needed for me :)
This photo is from The Cheese Pusher.
I forgot to take a picture before we dug in.
But it looks this amazing in real life too.

Creamy Garlic Pasta
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic (I included 1/2 large onion) and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream (I only had half and half.  It worked fine.) and parsley (I used fresh basil instead). Serve immediately
I think it took me about 20 minutes from start to finish.  If I had some chicken it would have been good too.  Or with bacon it would have been a pseudo Carbonara.  Whatever you do with it, make it.  It is delicious.  My husband had four helpings.



  1. Hi Rachel. I tried the chicken fajita recipe, but I added lots of garlic, both minced and garlic powder, as well as a lot more chili powder. I get the hot chili powder from BJ's. I also increased the onions. We both felt like it was pretty tasty. If I had had green chilis around, I would have added them, too. It seems like crockpot recipes often need a lot more spices to give them that flavor we all love. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks for the tips! I think I will try it again, it's been a little while since I made it. I also found a really good recipe for taco/fajita seasoning that I made a large batch of so I have it on hand when the Mexican mood strikes. Pair that with already cooked shredded chicken and it's quicker than the crock-pot.