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Filtering by Tag: inspired by pinterest

pinned it. did it. {with liz}

liz lamoreux

Ellie and I made banana bread this weekend, and I loved it so much I knew I had to come and tell you all about it and add my own "Pinned It. Did It." column this week. (Meg will be back with another one next week. Read past columns here.)

Ellie is a bit obsessed with making banana bread. At some point last spring, we made some from a mix and now she tells me about every three weeks, "I think it's time to make more banana bread." And we do. But often from a mix while changing things up (like using peanut oil or adding our own bananas etc).

But in my quest to do things a wee bit healthier around here and cook from scratch more, I went to Pinterest to find a recipe.

my "sweet things" pinboard 
(thinking I might want this from Pottery Barn as I do more Pinterest-inspired cooking)

But first I got very distracted by this. (Because wouldn't you?)

And then refocused on bread and found this recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This one was also a contender: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

But the idea of swirling cinnamon won out, so I went with that first one. We followed the recipe but I also added 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Here's a glimpse into our adventure. One thing I love about baking is that, overall, it is often "toddler helper" friendly.

Clearly sampling the chocolate chips is a very good idea.

We used the Kitchenaid Mixer with paddle attachment for this recipe, being careful not to overmix the flour and baking soda. I like the way it mashed the bananas so well. And Ellie liked turning it off and on. But the batter photos were not appetizing, so I skipped those for this cute blue bowl filled with cinnamon sugar photo below.

Ellie wanted to try little tiny tastes of everything. She wasn't too fond of the flour (as predicted) but the cinnamon and sugar was a hit. After we mixed everything together, we stirred in the chocolate chips, and then it was time for the cinnamon + sugar mixture. Ellie was able to easily stir them together and then add 1/2 of it on top of 1/2 the batter, which became the middle of the loaf, and then the other half on the top of all the batter.

Next time I make this bread, here is what I will do differently: I would put about three-fourths of the cinnamon + sugar mixture into the middle of the bread. We put in about 1/2 (as Ellie is doing above), but this meant that we put a lot on the top. And all of it didn't absorb (as you can see in the top photo of this post). So we had that "too much cinnamon sugar on your cinnamon toast effect," and when I flipped it out of the pan, it went everywhere. BUT it did make a crust that was so darn yummy. I would also add only 2/3 (or even 1/2) cup of chocolate chips next time.

And, I learned that the melted chocolate chips plus all that cinnamon goodness on the top and inside made it harder to tell when the bread was done using the toothpick method. So I used the impromptu "might as well put a whole knife tip in there and see if it comes out clean" method, which was surprisingly effective.

It was so good. Like the best. Like you should take it to every party where you need to bring something because oh my goodness it is easy and people are going to love it.

This bread will be heavy in rotation now whenever bananas are starting to "go bad." I'd like to explore adding some new kinds of flours (like oat flour), but that is a whole new adventure and I'm still finding my map for that one.

One thing I know for sure: Pinterest is helping me get excited about cooking more. And now that it is cooling off in the afternoons, I'm starting to actually cook instead of just pin ideas. So stay tuned for more stories from the kitchen.


A quick note about Pinterest: Over here in my corner, I'm one of the top 50 pinners in the world (seriously) and I'm trying to "use Pinterest for good." I really see it as a community of people trying to see the beauty and possibility in their lives. I'm adding a few new features here on my blog inspired by or directly about Pinterest as a way to invite others to look for this beauty within a social media community. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds. Connect with me on Pinterest here. Read other "Pinned it. Did it." columns here.

pinned it. did it. {with meg}

liz lamoreux

Meg is back with another Pinned it. Did it. post! This one has me making a special trip to the grocery store today to get a couple of ingredients so that I can make this bread (I have two huge zucchinis just staring at me on my counter right now). 

In the comments below, let us know how Pinterest is inspiring you these days! (And if instead you feel overwhelmed by Pinterest let us know that too - I'd love to write a few posts about this very thing so ask any questions or share your thoughts. Thanks!)

Read on for Meg's post.


It’s that time of year when the fridge and the countertops are loaded with fresh produce either from the grocery store, the farmers market, or the garden. I remember planting a garden in high school and one thing we were certain would yield a lot of produce: zucchini. So if you have zucchini sitting around or have more to do with it than ways to cook with it, here’s the perfect way to use it or share it.

I first made this Lemon Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Glaze for some friends and it was devoured within minutes of cutting it. I knew at that moment that I would have to save this for special occasions or only pull it out when I really wanted to make an impression. And believe me, it does! However, today looking at all the zucchini we had in the fridge, I decided that it was also a perfect “just because” loaf. And I was right. 

It’s really easy to stir together. I followed the directions exactly as written for this loaf, but I think in the future I will play around with the recipe to see if I can make substitutions like gluten-free flour or applesauce instead of oil, or cut back on the sugar. I make note of changes to each pin when I re-pin something to my “I pinned it and then I did it” board and I think one other slight adjustment I will make note of for the future is to use less lemon juice for the glaze and maybe split the liquid portion of the glaze: half lemon juice, half buttermilk. The glaze is a bit sharp in flavor and is very sweet. I could use a bit less and still enjoy it. And I am a frosting lover. But don’t skip it altogether, it’s wonderful. 

This bread has the perfect amount of lemon flavor. It’s not overpowering, just fresh and light. I also think the buttermilk takes it from being good to great with the hint of sour to help balance the sweet. And with a full cup of grated zucchini, it is moist and light as can be. 

Lemon is one of my favorite summer flavors. I like to pair lemon with iced tea for the perfect summer duo. What other flavors resonate with summer for you? 

Meg Brothers is an artist, photographer, mama, and dreamer. She loves cooking, tattoos, and sporadic dance parties in the kitchen. She prefers dark chocolate, black coffee, and flip flops when weather permits. She is a lover of Pinterest and truly believes in integrating ideas and inspiration - big or small - into normal life. Meg lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Dustin and son, Julian. Meg writes about photography, family, and creative inspiration at megbrothers.com. Find her on Pinterest here and on Twitter here


Note from Liz: Over here in my corner, I'm trying to "use Pinterest for good." I really see it as a community of people trying to see the beauty and possibility in their lives. I'm adding a few new features here on my blog inspired by or directly about Pinterest as a way to invite others to look for this beauty within a social media community. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds. Connect with me on Pinterest here. Read other "Pinned it. Did it." columns here.

it tastes like...adventure

liz lamoreux

You find yourself on Pinterest a lot these days (4 million followers will do that to a girl). You keep seeing inspiration for caprese salad, a favorite you make from time to time. You've even seen roasted caprese stacks. Yesterday, in the middle of all of it, when you notice you still have a whole lot of basil from one of those "live" basil plants hanging out by the kitchen windowsill, you think that maybe it is time to make something new in the kitchen.

You ask your husband to get some ingredients at the store: little mozzarella balls, little tomatoes, and penne, and armed with this Pinterest inspiration, you are just going to wing it.

Your little family is out on a walk, which means you still have some time alone. Alone. In the kitchen. A few suggestions, add a glass of wine (or cider if that's all you have) and turn up a playlist involving The Beatles and maybe even some Jim Croce and Michael Franti, and just for a minute you might even think you are living a past life where you didn't spend half the day neck-deep in potty training.

So you'll preheat the oven to 350 and slice the tomatoes with the insides facing up and drizzle them with olive oil and Fini balsamic and salt and pepper and even a little sugar (inspired by this recipe). You'll pop them in the oven just as The Beatles finish up "Come Together" and you find yourself with the arms of a three year old wrapped around your legs.

"Are you making dinner Mama Kitty? For me?"

And the past life fades away as you answer, "For us. Yes." 

A dance party begins as you watch them kind of work together clearing a space on the table so you can actually eat there instead of on the couch. There are moments of yelling and moments of giggling and you focus back in.

The tomatoes are doing their thing (for about 12-18, longer if the tomatoes are large) and the pasta water is beginning to boil. You slice the little balls of mozzarella in half, knowing you will use more than you really need because too much mozzarella feels like something you all need.

Pasta goes in. Penne takes a while and you forget how long and the instructions in Italian are nice and romantic but help you not at all. So you just keep winging it. Then you wash the basil and slice it with kitchen shears and admire how kind of gorgeous it is as the smell swirls around you.

You turn the oven off after about 12 minutes knowing it would be easy to forget the little tomatoes are in there because you are needed in the bathroom. Two to three minutes later you pull them back out of the oven and put the slices of mozzarella on top of several. Then pop them back in the oven for 4-6 minutes.

Somewhere in there you tried the pasta and it tasted like a twig, so you went with 5 more minutes.

Then it all comes together. Pasta goes in the bowl, tomatoes + mozzarella piled on top, basil on top next. Stir. Add a bit more olive oil and balsamic to taste.

But of course you remember where you are and put plain pasta + plain cheese + edemame aside for the three year old. Later, she will stir them together so her pasta looks like yours. And although you will try to get her to eat that green stuff that looks like lettuce, you will just be really happy that she gobbles up her own concoction.

You will try though and it will go like this.

"You should try this basil."


"Because basil tastes like adventure."

"Like adventure (said as abebenture)?"

"Yes. It tastes like an afternoon spent wandering in a small town in Italy when you meet someone who takes you back to her home for a huge afternoon meal on a little porch with a large table full of cousins and sisters and brothers and a Grandpa who makes you laugh. And the Grandma will bring out pasta that smells so good you cry. And there will be basil picked that afternoon and mozzarella from a farm down the street. And it will taste like nothing you've every experienced and you will know your life will never be the same."

(Between you and me that is some kind of crazy mashed up scene from Letters for Juliet meets Eat Pray Love meets that movie about the wine with Keanu Reeves that might be called A Walk in the Clouds meets some sort of dream I have about being brave enough to just go to Italy and wander and meet people so that I can host a retreat there soon.)

She will smile at you.

And she won't try one bite.

About five minutes later she says, "Mama Kitty, does basil taste like a dream?"

"Yes, honey. Yes, it does."

it tastes like adventure caprese pasta inspired by Pinterest

Wing it. Do whatever tastes good. Have fun. Check out Pinterest. But if these photos look like your kind of thing, here's a place to begin:

  • Two pints of cherry tomatoes (we used yellow and red, some were oval so I sliced them the long way so they would lay flat)
  • One container of small round mozzarella balls (you certainly don't need to use them all, but you could)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp if sugar (optional)
  • Heavy drizzlings of olive oil + balsamic
  • Basil (about one cup)
  • Penne pasta (we used about 12 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Slice tomatoes and then drizzle olive oil and balsamic to taste + sprinkle salt and pepper to taste + sugar if using.

3. Cook for 12-15 minutes (this will vary depending on your tomato size). Watch for the tomatoes to begin to blister.

4. While tomatoes cook, put pasta water on to boil. Salt it if you want. Put pasta in when water boils. (Follow directions for cooking pasta that should be on the package. Or wing it if they are in Italian.

5. Slice mozzarella balls in half (eat one or two because you know you want to).

6. Wash and slice basil into strips.

7. When timer goes off, take tomatoes out of oven (you could turn oven off at this point) and balance mozzarella slices on as many tomatoes as you have cheese. Put back in for 3-6 minutes (watch them as you want them to just be melting but not browning).

8. When pasta + tomatoes and cheese are done, put them in a big bowl together. Add basil. Stir.

9. Add more olive oil and balsamic to taste.

10. Make up a story about how basil tastes. That will be the best part. Well, right after the eating part.

Makes about three adult servings + one three year old sized serving if it's your main meal and you are the Lamoreux family.

If you need things to be more precise, here are a whole bunch of caprese pasta recipes to peruse.


Over here in my corner, I'm trying to "use Pinterest for good." I really see it as a community of people trying to see the beauty and possibility in their lives. I'm adding a few new features here on my blog inspired by or directly about Pinterest as a way to invite others to look for this beauty within a social media community. I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds. Connect with me on Pinterest here