Pinning Your Way to More Creative Food

Rainbow Fruit Skeweres

Over the past month or so, I’ve become the cooking star of my family. My husband is usually the cook, but I tell him, “Oh, I’d be happy to help,” then I whip out some idea that I found on Pinterest and everyone is so happy to see exciting, new foods that we haven’t tried before.

The most popular pins on Pinterest are Food & Drink. This doesn’t surprise me. My friends, family members, professional colleagues, and even nonprofits I follow all seem to pin food. The appeal of food is very visual, and clear photographs make it easy to create cooking tutorials without too many words. Food is a winner on Pinterest, and I think my family have actually benefitted from my newfound interest in pinned food.

I’ve made great improvements in lunches for my children. Since they are homeschooled, we face the need for a decent lunch together every day. I try to keep them from eating a giant pile of one thing (the way they eat when they cook for themselves) by introducing very small portions of several things on their plate. Pinterest has helped me make a few minor changes that keep them interested in lunch.

We have already tried Zucchini Tots. These are a great, quick alternative to frozen shredded potato snacks. Add shredded zucchini, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, and egg then pour into a mini muffin tin. I give each person several tots for lunch then freeze the rest. When they want a snack, they have a homemade snack ready to heat up.

I met Hasselback potatoes for the first time on Pinterest. By slicing a potato every 1/16-18″ across, without slicing all of the way through the potato, then drizzling with a bit of oil, the potato opens up and crisps up as it bakes in the oven. My family has had potatoes this way several times since my discovery.

My husband just walked in with wonton wrappers, so tomorrow we are going to try mini wonton tacos. Press one wanton wrapper into a muffin tin, add whatever taco ingredients (or, really, anything else) you like, and you end up with a finger food that has crunch and flavor.

Over the weekend, I made the rainbow fruit skewers above for a family reunion—a nice counter to all of the sugary foods. This is a great example of an image that makes sense in a flash. It doesn’t take a recipe or a lot of concentration to realize that I organize fruit by color to attract potential eaters.

Still on my list for this week are bell pepper egg flowers. My kids love sunny-side-up egges. I am going to use 1/4″ slices across several colors of sweet peppers as molds for eggs. The shape is so beautiful, and the yolk becomes the center of the flower.

Those were just a few of the foods that caught my eye. I keep one Pinterest board for items that I plan to make. Once I make each food, I comment on the pins to let my followers know how I liked the recipe.

Set up a board for foods you think your children will like, foods you want to save for the holidays, foods that can help you keep lunches healthy. Keep the sugary, fantasy foods on another board entirely so you won’t be tempted to mix them.

Whether you are the dreamer, who finds good food and shares with others, or the doer, who creates good food and uploads for others, eat well!

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