Love Dip

What you need:

1 12-ounce container whipped cream cheese

1 cup vine-ripened cluster tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced

1 tsp. tomato paste

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

White pepper, to taste

Directions: Add cream cheese, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, and lemon juice to a food processor until smooth and creamy. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Source: http://texasmonthly.com/forum/recipeswap/article/1508

T he days of old fashioned cookbooks are gone, but many food fanatics and developing cooks alike are flocking to a virtual bulletin board with hopes of becoming the next Julia Child -- or just spicing up their weeknight routines.

CU graduate student Jennifer Phillips said she relies on Pinterest to make organizing her recipes simple and fast.

"The main purpose of Pinterest, in respect to food, for me is a simple, paper-free way of organizing recipes that I want to try later," Phillips said. "I don't have a lot of time to sit down and organize a recipe binder, so Pinterest is just more conducive to the busy lifestyle of a graduate student."


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The social media bulletin board -- where people "pin," save and categorize their favorite things -- has become the new recipe box. "Pins" are the new notecards, "boards" the new tab dividers and "likes" have replaced verbal yums.

Think: a 13-year-old girl's corkboard plastered with pictures of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, but for adults obsessed with DIY home projects, flashbacks to childhood, fashion they can't pull off or afford, and food. Lots of food.

CU junior Faulkner Griffin, who writes a food blog for students at dormet.blogspot.com, said there are several "pinners" that constantly post college-friendly recipes.

Pinner Momassey's "Dorm Meals" (http://pinterest.com/momassey/dorm-meals/) board is full of microwaveable recipes and simple dishes, like Ramen Noodle adaptations and 52 uses for a rotisserie chicken, Griffin said. For those with a sweet tooth, pinner Melanie Richard's "Recipes To Try!" (http://pinterest.com/melanieeclaire/recipes-to-try/) board hits the spot with homemade cotton candy and other sugary concoctions.

Phillips said she looks to her friends and family's pins to find a variety of tasty treats to stash for a rainy day.

As a college student, Phillips said she's always looking for affordable meals and offered a few tips for sifting through the thousands of recipes that show up on the site.

"Cooking your own food isn't always cheaper than eating out if you're making fancy recipes," Phillips said. "Look for simple ingredients. Fresh herbs are really expensive, but dried are cheaper and just as good, you just have to use more."

Another one of Phillips's penny-pinching tips is to search Pinterest for vegetarian dishes because, "food is cheaper when you're not buying meat."

Phillips also said she splurges for one of her favorite snacks, Love Dip, which she can now recreate in Boulder instead of waiting until her next visit home to Texas, thanks to Pinterest.

"At HEB Central Market, HEB's version of Whole Foods, they sell this amazing cream cheese-based dip called Love Dip," Phillips said. "I finally grew tired of having to wait six months to have it, so I just typed 'Central Market Love Dip' in Pinterest and there it was."

Griffin suggests taking advantage of the abundance of recipes on Pinterest by searching for a recipe that you've never tried before.

"My tip would be for students to challenge themselves a little bit," Griffin said. " Being able to provide for yourself is an important part of the college experience."