When I first heard of Pinterest, I told myself to stay away. You see, I know myself, and I have a tendency to lose all track of time and an awareness of my surroundings when I focus on certain websites. Everyone was talking about how much they loved Pinterest, and I couldn't afford (nor could my family!) to get lost in such a 'wonderful' site. So, for a long time I stayed away.
And then one day I broke and asked a friend at church to send me an invitation to Pinterest. I joined, and (not to toot my own horn, but...) I've been very proud of myself so far. I've spent very little time perusing the site, yet I've found some really great ideas and recipes!
Several months ago, as I was thinking about Riley's upcoming birthday, I asked him what kind of party he wanted. He said, "A cake party!" Okay. So I asked what kind of cake. "A chocolate cake!" Got it! I can do that! And then I knew it was up to me to come up with a creative idea for his birthday celebration. There is so much that he loves right now (the movie CARS, hot wheels, trains, dinosaurs, football, baseball, razorbacks, and the list goes on). So I went to Pinterest. I began by looking at CARS stuff. And then I thought, what about trains? Maybe I could find a train cake that I could make?!
Pinterest pulled through, again!
Now, I am definitely not a professional cake-maker, but I thought, I can do this! It's a Betty Crocker recipe, and thankfully, they included construction of the train in the directions!
So on July 19 (the day before his birthday), I got to work and made the cake.
Chocolate, of course!
I baked the train cars in 4 mini loaf pans and the engine in a regular loaf pan.
And the next day, his actual birthday, Daniel (love my husband!) agreed to help me decorate the cake.
This isn't a great picture, but I was cutting the rounded tops off of each loaf and then creating the engine.
Riley watched us as he ate his lunch
Concentrating and holding my breath as I iced the different cars
Riley's getting excited!
I bought this little frame on clearance several years ago and didn't know when I'd use it...it was just perfect for holding a picture of the train conductor! :)
The recipe called for putting candy on top of each of the cars, but we veered from that a bit. We don't allow Riley to eat a whole lot of sugar, so we didn't want to give him a piece of cake and then take off all of the candy on top. So, we filled the cars with snacks he loves and eats on a regular basis - whole grain cheerios, honey nut shredded wheat, organic chocolate cookies, and Target's version of goldfish (chickadee's).
Needless to say, the train cake was a hit! Riley still talks about it. Pinterest success!
I've had a couple of other Pinterest successes within the last week. I found a yummy-looking cinnamon swirl banana bread that I thought we'd love. I make a lot of banana bread at our house (we're not quick enough in eating our bananas before they get too ripe!), so I was glad to find a variation to my normal recipe. Not only was the bread delicious, but it was an easier recipe than I've been using! Yay! Riley and Daniel devoured it and within 2 days, there was no evidence of a loaf of banana bread in our house.
And then last night I made another recipe found on Pinterest - Layered Enchilada Casserole. Super easy and, once again, delicious! What I love about this is you can make several at once and freeze them for a later date. I will definitely be doing this in the future! While I was reading the recipe, I scrolled down to the comments section (highly recommend doing this!) and found some new tips for the kitchen. For instance, I learned how to shred cooked chicken (that cooked in the crockpot all day, so I had to do nothing!) in my Kitchenaid blender! I was so impressed by this that I had to take a picture to share the outcome...
So, although I was skeptical at first, I am a huge fan of Pinterest now. It's such a great tool! As with everything else in life, it just has to be used in moderation!