Found on Pinterest: Crispy Black Bean & Rice Burritos (Recipe)

I have been on a hunt lately for healthy, filling lunch recipes for me to have during the week. It is an attempt to eat fewer peanut butter sandwiches that leave my tummy rumbling by two PM.

This burrito recipe from Gimme Delicious appeared to fit the bill.

and a dollop of sour cream

My Modifications

I used some leftover Spanish rice in place of the plain rice — more flavor is better, if you ask me. And I substituted sliced green onion for the white/yellow onion because I already had it chopped.

Why I Liked This Recipe

Crispy. Hearty. Savory. Gooey. Healthy. What’s not to love?

The filling kept well in the refrigerator for about a week, which made lunch very quick. This recipe would be easy to modify, although it is yummy as written. I’ve estimated it to pack about 350-400 calories.

This recipe is a good use of leftovers. It would be tasty with all kinds of vegetables inside and just about any kind of cheese.

I paired it with a simple salad of Romaine and baby spinach and a homemade creamy cilantro dressing.

Downsides to This Recipe

The initial prep and cooking takes more time than I typically would spend on a lunch meal. Since I cook every night, I don’t usually cook at lunch time because then it feels like I’ve spent all day in the kitchen. But every day I had it after the first, it was really quick!

Overall Impression

I intend to make this again. 🙂


Found on Pinterest: Cinnamon Roll Cake (Recipe)

I love cinnamon rolls (or buns or whatever you happen to call the yeast-risen pastries filled with brown sugar and cinnamon). I don’t like making cinnamon rolls, though. Real-deal cinnamon rolls require a yeast-risen dough that needs time to, well, rise. I’ve tried a few cheater recipes that use store-bought biscuit dough or flaky frozen pastry dough, but they haven’t worked out.

Pinterest has been over-run with recipes for cinnamon roll cake recently. I’ve been craving sweets something fierce this week, so I tried this recipe from the Li’l Luna blog.

My Modifications

I don’t know if it’s taboo, but I like cinnamon rolls with nuts in them. After swirling in the topping, I sprinkled about 1/2 cup of chopped pecans on top. Yum. When I write the recipe on a card to go in my recipe box, I’ll be including the nuts. 🙂

Why I Liked This Recipe

It tasted just like a cinnamon roll. It was just sweet enough. The cake was moist and fluffy. The glaze set up perfectly.

Downsides to This Recipe

I found it difficult to swirl the topping into the cake batter. Maybe I just don’t have enough experience. Maybe I should have portioned the topping in smaller bits across the top. I don’t know, really. I’ve seen countless YouTube videos of “swirl” cakes, and they always make the swirling technique look really easy.

Overall Impression

This is definitely a recipe to keep around. 🙂 It paired wonderfully the next morning with a piping hot mug of coffee, too. We are a dessert-for-breakfast sort of family. Hehe. 🙂

Found on Pinterest: Fingerprint Flowers (Craft)

I found this little kid craft on Pinterest many moons ago. There are many similar ones floating around, but this one from the Crafty Morning blog is the one I first found.

Now that Sprout is old enough to do a craft like this (with help!), I used this technique to decorate a picture frame for my mom for Mother’s Day as a gift from her.

She really, really loved dipping her finger in the paint and then “boop”-ing it on the frame to make the dots. I was surprised how patient she was with me as I wiped her finger and readied the next color.

I found all of the supplies at my local Walmart, and they were very inexpensive. In fact, each item only cost me 99 cents! These particular paint colors were on sale, so I just bought the sale colors. The brushes and frame were regularly 99 cents, so it was a done deal. 🙂

My only disappointment is that I did not plan ahead well enough. I should have painted the words on the frame before helping Sprout “boop” the flowers onto it — then the word “Mother’s” would not have been wonky. In the end, I think that bit of wonkiness lends it a bit of charm, no?

I hope my mom is surprised to get this in the mail (along with another gift, from me) and can find a nice place to put it and see Sprout’s face all the time!

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!

Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma!

Found on Pinterest: Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (Recipe)

Today, I tried yet another Pinterest recipe. And I was pleasantly surprised.

I am not a smoothie lover. I’ve always wanted to be one because smoothies are a great way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet with a mask of yummy fruit flavor. I don’t know that makes me a very poor or very good person to review this recipe…

This is a recipe from the Gimme Some Oven blog site. I have bananas left from a banana pudding I made over the weekend, and they are almost to the banana bread/cake stage. I have four left, though, and I usually use 2-3 in a bread or cake recipe. So I tried this smoothie recipe with the lonely fourth banana.

My Modifications

I substituted plain yogurt for the Greek yogurt and evaporated milk for the almond milk (also left from the pudding I made). I knew the almond milk would have add some protein and nutty flavor that I might miss, so I added just less than 1/4 cup pecans.

After blending that, I tasted it. I added a few more ice cubes, another tablespoon of yogurt, and another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Why I Liked This Recipe

The writer wasn’t kidding about the protein punch. This recipe makes 2 servings (came out to about 20 ounces), and I’ve calculated it to have 8 grams of protein per serving. That’s a little more than an ounce of meat or fish. And this comes at a relatively low calorie cost — just 204 per serving. That’s a decent afternoon snack or a good breakfast.

Plus, it tastes good. The peanut butter and banana flavors are mild and pleasant. The yogurt balances the sweetness very well.

Downsides to This Recipe

Well, it makes 2 servings. This is great if you are serving… uh, 2 people. Otherwise, you have to either eat twice what you should or try to save the extra.

Like all smoothies, it has a slightly grainy texture. I’m pretty sure this is unavoidable and is just part of the package.

Overall Impression

This is a recipe I might make again. It uses ingredients I tend to have on-hand, minus the yogurt. (Although, I’ve been keeping it around for Sprout, so I am likely to have it available now.)

If you are a smoothie-lover (or smoothie-liker…), you might enjoy this one. 🙂

Found on Pinterest: Blueberry Muffins (Recipe)

I had a hankering for blueberry muffins yesterday morning and didn’t have any recipes in my box. I knew where to turn, though… Pinterest. 🙂

This recipe from the Mess for Less blog looked promising. They turned out pretty good… I mean, we ate them, so they obviously weren’t bad.

My Modifications

The only substitution I made was frozen berries for fresh. I do not think this change affected the recipe at all.

Why I Liked This Recipe

The muffins were very moist: a nice change from the box-mix muffins I’ve made in the past. They also have lots of butter right in the batter, so the flavor came through in the final product. This negated the need for added butter at the table, something Nate seemed to prefer.

Downsides to This Recipe

The batter was very, very wet. Therefore, the muffins, though moist, were a spongy consistency, as opposed to the cake-like muffins that are more familiar to me. If I use this recipe again, I will add more flour into the batter, possibly as much as 1/2 cup.

Also, though this isn’t really a downside, this recipe made more than the stated 12 muffins — I got 16 out of it. If more flour is added, I’d expect to get another one or two, then. I happen to have two muffin pans that fit side-by-side on a single rack in my oven, so this was no problem. But if I only had one pan (or if only one fit in the oven at a time), I might be annoyed at the amount of batter left and the extra time required to swap tins.

Overall Impression

This was a good recipe, though I’ll still be on the look-out for a better muffin base to try. 🙂