Writer, Editor, and Digital Marketer

Rachel Cooks Every Day

Thoughts from the kitchen of an everyday cook.

Remind Me Why I Don't Cook from Pinterest Again?

Confession: I am normally a "season purist." I get grouchy seeing Halloween decorations in August. I am ticked off when Christmas sales start in September. And there's nothing worse than being bombarded by ads for shorts and bathing suits when it's sleeting.

But this year... this year, I am READY FOR FALL, ALREADY. I'm not sure what did it. Maybe we've just had too many weeks of 80+ degree days. More likely it's because I'm pregnant in the dead of summer again. Whatever the case, I yearn for cool days, crisp nights, and plaid flannel blankets. The pumpkins growing in Joe's patch outside warm my heart. I've made three separate pumpkin dishes this week alone. I dream of apple cider donuts and hayrides and bonfires and equestrian boots.

So lately, I've fired up Pinterest, searched "Fall," and lost myself in the most photogenic, most basic collage of dollar store plastic pumpkin crafts possible. I feel my brain releasing happy chemicals as I scroll, and scroll, and scroll. This is what the internet was made for.

ANYWAY, all that is to say I made a Pinterest recipe this week.

I usually avoid Pinterest recipes. I've made some good ones, but there have been a lot of duds, too... because there's a pretty wide quality range in where these pins are coming from. Some are from great home cooks. Some are from serious cooking organizations. And some... are from random people with blogs. (Like me!)

I like to make recipes from the same few sources most of the time. I love my Smitten Kitchen, my Budget Bytes, my NYTimes Cooking. I'm currently binging America's Test Kitchen on Amazon Prime. Why? Because these people test their recipes. They know their stuff. They're not going to waste my time. Even AllRecipes usually involves a couple hundred ratings and comments to let you know what you're in for.

...but I fell prey to a really lovely picture of a "magic pumpkin cobbler" on Pinterest.

It was a great idea. You make the pumpkin cake batter, spread it in the bottom of a pan, add a layer that's mostly brown sugar, and then pour water on top... without stirring it. It sounds crazy, but I was ready to trust this random Pinterest recipe. It promised me a lovely caramel sauce, and that the cake itself would rise to the top, creating a cake-and-sauce in one.

And actually that part worked out fine.

But this thing was soooo sweet. Set-your-teeth-on-edge sweet. It actually made me dizzy after I ate it. Joe politely ate a small amount and then didn't protest when I said I was going to pitch it. I don't wanna throw the author under the bus, because plenty of her commenters loved it, but it wasn't my cuppa cider.


So then, I noticed that the blog post actually linked to another website that it said was the "inspiration" for this recipe. So I checked out that recipe... and it involves HALF the amount of sugar (but the same amount of flour). And that recipe is by a professional recipe developer.

So I learned my lesson. Pinterest is great for inspiration, but I prefer to get my recipes from the pros. And next week, I'll make that other recipe, because right now, I can't complain about too much pumpkin.