Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pinterest Love-Hate Relationship

While I would love to be Buckhead Betty Crocker all the time, sometimes life happens, and I just can't get it together in time to make an amazing homemade dish for a dinner party or a tailgate or a neighborly gift. Most times, I am more like Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee (your guess on whether I incorporate as many cocktails as she does, ha!), throwing things together at the last minute, ideally with whatever I have on hand. There's a benefit to a fully stocked pantry, after all. The cocktails help with creativity. Trust.

Pinterest has made all of this both easier and more intimidating at the same time. Late to an event and need to bring something along? I am loving Pinterest for a quick idea. I also have pinned countless recipes of "pretty" things that I can't wait to make ... someday. Like these beehive cupcakes. How adorable are these for a Georgia Tech home game?

Honestly, though, while I usually HEART Pinterest, I don't want everyone around me to be like "Oh I saw those on Pinterest!!" when I make something. Ugh. It just takes away from the creativity, the research and the time spent on making it. For me, it almost discredits that whole process -- if it is on Pinterest, "anyone" can find that recipe and make it themselves. I want people to be like "OoOoO this is so fun, how did you think of this?!" and THEN I can reference Pinterest ... or, more likely, I would reference the actual blog or other source that I found it on ... via Pinterest. I am all about giving some props!

If I had to be really honest, I really wish that I had the creativity enough to have been the creator/source of some of those pins that I have pinned. Because then I could respond, "Oh that's great! That was actually my recipe you saw on there!" and it would be awesome.

But I will likely not ever be that person. Sigh. I'd need to be a lot more creative in the kitchen that I am!

In the meantime, I have my recipe binder, and read countless blogs full of inspiring ideas, but Pinterest really keeps it easy when it comes to last-minute ideas. And so I am going to keep doing quick-searches of Pinterest when I am in a bind for an idea, and hoping people can just appreciate the end results for what they are.

Recently, I have made four last-minute dips for events. Two of the recipes are Pinterest finds, one was a no-brainer veggie dip mix (hello, Hidden Valley!) and one was a long-time WW recipe I already had on hand. My favorite so far? The WW recipe. This recipe is one I have had on hand for probably ten years -- and somehow had never tried before now. Success!

I hope that you find these three recipes helpful -- and if you are truly stuck, do like me and grab a spice packet from Hidden Valley for an easy solution. Either way, I will dream that my blog can be one of your last-second recipe destinations along with Pinterest :)

Beer Dip from Beauty and Bedlam -- Via Inspired by Charm on Pinterest (LOVE MICHAEL!)
Notes from Katherine: this was a huge hit. Definitely make at least three hours prior, but ideally the day before. No toppings are really needed because the flavors are awesome as-is. We used Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. 

Loaded Baked Potato Dip from Brown Eyed Baker -- via Inspired by Charm
Notes from Katherine: loved this one, too, though I used green onions and the flavor was almost too powerful. Chives would probably work better. Serve with Ruffles or a similarly strong chip to dip in.  

Peanut Butter Java Dip -- adapted from WW 
Notes from Katherine: So tasty! I served this with graham crackers, and it was a big hit. Nothing like a WW recipe to wow the crowd.

Yield: 12 servings (Serving size: 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine coffee granules and water in a small bowl, stirring until granules dissolve. Place peanut butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 30 seconds or until peanut butter begins to melt. Fold in whipped topping. Add coffee mixture, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and stir gently to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.