Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pinterest Party Recap

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, we hosted the first of our collaborative efforts with Koolkat Designs, and Wildcard in our joint celebration of Fall.

Our Pinterest Party —“Falling Into Autumn”— featured Fall themed recipes and craft projects that we found on Pinterest and pinned to our board called "Pinterest Party - November 2012 Edition".

Artists from each of the three artisan boutiques chose recipes from the board, made them, brought them to the party, and we all got to try them and review them.  The event was open to the public and the customers that attended the event got to try the recipes as well.

The following are the recipes we tested, along with a few comments about the recipe.

Easy to make and delicious.  Half a mini pretzel was used for the stem in the place of a braided pretzel.  The flavor of the goat cheese stands out but blends nicely with the other flavors.  Served with baby carrots and Triscuit minis (which are the perfect size for snacking). Group concensus: the recipe could easily be cut in half as this was huge by cheeseball standards.
Hands down, the hit of the party.  Deceptively simple to make, especially since the recipe makes use of a food processor to save on prep time.  Don't expect leftovers with this recipe, though.  Group concensus:  Even non-bakers wanted to try this themselves.  If making these for children, omitting the crushed red pepper flakes is suggested.
Results were close to the picture in the pin and was easy to follow.  As one pinner said, "like a pumpkin pie in a cup!"  Group concensus:  Fun Thanksgiving dessert alternative and definitely worth making again.
Delicious and easy to make, though it seemed to be lacking something.  Group concensus:  Worth trying, but might want to substitute Sprite or 7Up for the club soda to add more fizz and a little extra flavor.
Also pictured are slices of cinnamon swirl bread for those who may not like the tortilla chips.  Another easy to follow recipe.  The apple pie dip tasted like apple pie without the crust.  Reviews were mixed for the tortilla chips.  Many in attendance found them to be a great textural contrast to the dip but were hesitant to try them.  They have a nice cinnamon flavor with just a hint of sweetness.  Group consensus:  The dip makes a great sweet addition to an appetizer spread, but depending on how adventurous your guests are, you may want to skip the tortilla chips.
Delicious, easy to make, and served with the cinnamon swirl bread pictured above.  Transport presented a few challenges, however.  Group consensus:  Worth making, though if taking to an event, assembling onsite provides a better presentation.
Both were delicious, though the acorns turned out closer to the picture than the pumpkin pie bites.  The pumpkin pie bites, though, were delicious bite sized pies, as the name would suggest.  The artist who made, and brought, these recipes reported that for the acorns, dipping the mini chocolate chips in the melted chocolate was difficult to accomplish without burning herself.  Group concensus:  Try putting melted chocolate for the acorns in a squeeze bottle.  The pumpkin pie bites could easily be made with circles of pie dough in place of the pumpkin shapes for a more attractive final product and reduced prep time.
Easy to make and tasted like pumpkin gobs in an adorable cupcake package.  Group consensus:  While the cake mix in the recipe provides a bit of a time savings, making the cake portion from scratch would provide even better results.
Challenging to get toppings to stick to the bark, but wonderful combination of sweet, salty, and tart flavors.  Group consensus:  Flavor more than compensates for the challenge of loose toppings.
The first attempt at making these resulted in burnt crust which ruined the flavor of the entire dish.  So, the artist that made these tried again, without the bottom layer.  They were delicious, but difficult to present well without the bottom crust.  Group consensus:  Pumpkin and cheesecake make a delicious combination, but this recipe needs a bit of finessing.
We all really enjoyed the flavor combination of pumpkin and chocolate together.  This did turn out much darker than the picture on the pin, though.  Group consensus:  Worth making if you're looking for a unique dessert option for your Fall gatherings.
For our DIY Craft project, we chose to make this adorable pumpkin.  A friend of ours had given us a cashmere sweater that was very similar to the one pictured.  Since it had a hole in it toward the bottom of the sweater, she had no further use for it and thought it would be a great candidate for cutting as instructed.  As a group of resourceful artists who frequently repurpose materials for other projects, this was the perfect project for us, but we couldn't bring ourselves to cut the sweater.  Instead, we turned the sweater inside out, put a rubber band around the middle, turned it back right side out, and used the top half of the sweater and sleeves as part of the stuffing while leaving the sweater intact.  This produced the same finished result, but reduced the amount of plastic bags needed to stuff it and kept the sweater intact so that it could be used for future projects.  Group consensus:  Following our revised project steps would allow you to utilize sweaters from your wardrobe, without the need for storing yet another seasonal decoration.
We were having so much fun, we forgot to take any pictures of our artists that attended until after about half of us had left, but we all had a great time, enjoyed tasting each other's dishes, hearing recipe reviews, and having an excuse to spend time together.
We're all eagerly anticipating our next two events in our series:
Koolkat Designs in Uptown Mt. Lebanon is hosting the second event—“Eat, Drink & Make Merry”— on Thursday, December 13, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm.
Wildcard in Lawrenceville is kicking off the New Year with the third event —“New Year, New Craft” —to be held on Thursday, January 10, 2013 from 6pm to 9pm.
All events are open to the public. There is no charge to participate, however a donation of a canned good or non-perishable food item for the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is encouraged.

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