photo by the incomparable Shannon Hannon

Those of you who follow me on Pinterest know that I’ve been on a mission.

See, like many other unsuspecting folks, I found myself hopelessly addicted to pinning pretty pictures of pretty things – pretty crafts, pretty clothes, and perhaps especially, pretty food.  I pinned tons of pictures (87 in all) of beautiful, perfect-looking, seemingly unattainable food) I pinned and pinned and pinned, and then suddenly it dawned on me: I should actually make some of this stuff!

You should know that I’m no chef.  Up until this time last year, I could make scrambled eggs, taco salad, Kraft Mac and Cheese, and toast.  But I can follow instructions, and I have a patient and knowledgeable Favorite to help me if I get stuck, so I decided to stop being a chicken and start trying to cook one.  I embarked on a mission: to actually make, and write a one sentence review of,  every recipe I pin.  Turns out it isn’t so hard, once you get going!

So here are my tried and true Top 10 summery dishes from my pins so far – and I believe you can make them.  I’ll even help you if you get stuck.  Email me.  Really.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Spicy Avocado Puree – if you don’t like cilantro, well, you won’t like these shrimp.  But if you do?  Heaven.

Asiago Portobello Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers and Balsamic Glaze – these are the perfect alternative to BBQ’d burgers, and roasting your own red peppers is surprisingly easy and fun!

Chorizo and Tomato Salad – simple, spicy, good.

Shrimp Tacos with Apple Cucumber Salsa – apple cucumber salsa – I heart you like whoa.

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls with Mustard Soy Sauce – I love rolling things.  Seriously, anything in a roll wins big heart points from me.  These are cake to do, look fancy, and taste yummy.  Winning!

Chicken & Spinach Enchiladas – for those of you who like cheap and easy (think frozen spinach and leftover chicken), these are super tasty.  We made them with corn tortillas cause we like’em better, but you can go your own way.

Garbanzo Bean Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing – I might eat only this every day this summer.  Sooooo good for you, and sooooo yummy.

Raw Cashew Dreamcake – I know you’ll all give me the serious side-eye for this raw/vegan suggestion, but man is it ever tasty.

Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil – that’s basically all my favorite things in one bowl.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies – baking in the summer is sticky and awfully warm, but these cookies are pretty much worth it.  Yum x 100.

Seriously, kids, save for a few tiny tricky moments in one or two of them, these recipes are all easy.  You can do them.  You will do them.  Go do them.  And follow me, GirlofCardigan, on Pinterest to keep playing along.