Tag Archives: Ree Drummond

Recipe Review: The Pioneer Woman’s Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

I’ve never eaten a lemon pancake. I know, it’s not a dark confession, but it is a confession none the less. I love all things lemon, but somehow lemon pancakes have eluded me. Until this week, when I saw the most gorgeous photos of lemon blueberry pancakes on The Pioneer Woman’s website. Have mercy.

Luckily, I had 2 lemons in my fruit bowl who were screaming, “C’mon! Go get the blueberries already! We’re dying to jump in some pancakes here!” Taunted by fruit – that’s my life. Since I can’t stand to disappoint anyone, much less a couple of mouthy lemons, I went to buy blueberries. Big, fat, juicy Texas blueberries. Thank God I did, because these pancakes did not disappoint.

Here’s what I loved about this recipe:
1. the batter was fragrant, light and bubbly
2. it took only minutes to whip up
3. except for blueberries, I had everything I needed in my pantry
4. the texture of the warm pancakes was soft & fluffy perfection

Here’s what I would do differently:
a. I would use two lemons instead of one, to boost the lemon flavor
b. I would use sweeter blueberries; mine were a little tart
c. if I had company, I would definitely double the recipe
d. if I didn’t have company, I would definitely eat every single one myself

If you love lemon more than you love blueberries, consider using 2 lemons (juice & zest) to kick up the lemon flavor. If you love blueberries more than you love lemon, make the recipe exactly as it’s written. Personally, I’m all for more lemon in just about every single situation. Except around a paper cut.

As is my custom, I’m not going to re-publish a Pioneer Woman recipe on my blog. It’s much more practical to provide you with the link so you can see Ree’s Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes for yourself, along with the gorgeous photos she provides in her step-by-step instructions. If you don’t fall in love, then you are definitely not a pancake person. Maybe a muffin man, but not a pancake person. PS – Do you know the Muffin Man? The Muffin Man. The Muffin Man?

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Recipe Review: The Pioneer Woman’s “Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing”

Aunt Trish's salad dressing over a green salad & grilled haloumi cheese - YUM!

It’s not often that I make my own salad dressing, as evidenced by the row of salad dressing bottles on the top shelf of my fridge. Just last week, The Complete Package found a bottle of French that expired in 2008. Oopsie. And there is ALWAYS a jar of Marzetti’s Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing in our fridge. Always. Someone whose name I shall not mention would lose his ever-loving mind if he didn’t have his favorite creamy blue cheese dressing to put on his wedge salads or fried potatoes (hint: not Ziggy). But this past week, I was craving something new. Something light. Something lemony. And The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing looked perfect. It’s light, it’s lemony, and it also has garlic and parmesan cheese. Duh, winning!

Here’s the cast of characters:
3/4 cup of olive oil or canola oil
the juice of 2 lemons
1 clove of garlic, peeled (leave it whole)
4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. sugar
a dash of paprika
salt & pepper to taste

It couldn’t be easier. You put everything in a jar, shake it up, and let it stew in the fridge for 24 hours, then shake it again before using. I made a tossed green salad of romaine, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, cucumber, quartered Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced purple onion, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers and feta cheese. Then we shook up our jar of Aunt Trish’s and poured it over the top. To say that we both loved this salad dressing would be an understatement. It was so good, we were tempted to put our faces into our bowls and lick them clean. Or grab a straw and suck up all the remnants. But instead, we used some toasted garlic bread to sop it all up. No drop was wasted. We enjoyed it so whole heartedly that we could have put our salad bowls back into the cupboard without washing them first. We didn’t, of course, but we probably could have.

Besides being knocked out by how great this was on a salad, my mind was racing through all the other things I could use it on. It would be a great marinade for grilled meats. It would be fantastic drizzled over a sandwich in place of boring old mayonnaise or mustard. This would knock your socks off as a dressing for a pasta salad. You could cube up salami, mozzarella cheese, olives and Italian peppers and make a fabulous antipasto tray for parties. Don’t get me started on using it on a cold seafood salad. This is not a salad dressing, it’s an obsession.

As always, I’m going to refer you to the source so you can see the recipe the way Ree intended – with fabulous photos and an engaging back story. Click here to be transported to salad dressing heaven at The Pioneer Woman.com.

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Recipe Review: The Pioneer Woman’s Beef with Snow Peas

Mmmmm….beef with snow peas. Where’s smell-a-vision when you need it? I can still smell the heavenly aroma wafting through my kitchen. How do I describe this dish and do it justice? I can’t, but I’ll try. How about tender, thin-sliced flank steak marinated in soy, sherry, brown sugar and ginger seared over high heat with snow peas and scallions, creating its own sweet and spicy, gooey soy and ginger sauce? Or even better – let’s call it heaven on a plate. If you love Chinese food like I love Chinese food, you MUST add this recipe to your collection immediately. And if you love ginger like I love ginger, you may just want to run to your kitchen and make this dish right now. It’s that good. Pinkie swear.

Here’s what I did right:
1. I read the recipe in advance so I was prepared
2. I bought a beautiful piece of flank steak
3. I picked out a superb hand of fresh ginger
4. I made a perfect batch of toasted Texmati basmati rice (such good stuff)
5. I added a little garlic with the ginger, and a little water to make more sauce

Here’s what I did wrong:
Nothing. I followed the directions (except for #5 above). I was a good girl, for the most part, which was not easy for me. I love to mess with recipes!

Be warned: this dish has a very strong flavor of fresh ginger. If you’re adverse, or you like it in small doses, cut the ginger back to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon and add a clove or two of garlic to compensate. It’s also a pretty dry final dish, since the marinade carmelizes on the beef. I like my Chinese dishes with sauce so I can spoon it over my rice, so I added about 1/4 cup of water at the end and stirred it to thicken into a lovely sauce. It was perfect. Another word of caution: please don’t overcook the meat. It’s sliced thin and cooks within seconds, so please, please if you love me, don’t cook this too long and ruin your beautiful flank steak. Remember: quick stir-fry = tender, wonderful beef.

As is my custom, I’m not going to print the recipe here. I could never do justice to the original recipe, the funny stories, or the gorgeous step-by-step photographs of Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman. She is the queen, and why listen to the jester when you can get it straight from the queen? So, is your mouth watering yet? Are you ready to jump in and try this? Good. Then click on the link and be transported to heaven. Go on…you know you want to.
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/10/beef-with-snow-peas/

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Coconut “Tunnel Of Fudge” Bundt Cake

Chocolate fudge cake batter wrapped in a coconut cake batter hug. Have mercy.

I did it again. I can’t seem to help myself. Like the lead character in the movie Julie & Julia, I seem determined to cook my way through The Pioneer Woman website. This time it’s cake. Easy, delicious bundt cake. And because I rarely follow directions or color within the lines, I had to put my own spin on it. Click here to see Ree’s original recipe for Pistachio Cake. If you’re a pistachio fan, I’m sure you’ll love her version. And while I do enjoy a good watergate salad every 20 years or so, my love of all things pistachio rates a solid “not so much.” Instead, I decided to swap the pistachio for coconut. Here’s how I did it:

NanaBread’s Coconut “Tunnel of Fudge” Bundt Cake
• 1 box white cake mix
• 1 package (4 ozs.) vanilla instant pudding mix
• ½ cup cream of coconut
• ¾ cup sweetened coconut flakes
• 1 tsp. almond extract
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 4 whole eggs
• ¾ cup Smuckers Special Recipe Dark Chocolate ice cream topping

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Mix all ingredients except the dark chocolate ice cream topping and beat with a mixer for 2 minutes on medium-high. Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Add the chocolate topping to the remaining batter in the bowl (I microwaved it for 45 seconds to loosen it up first) and mix well. Pour the chocolate batter over the coconut batter. Bake for one hour at 350F, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate or cake stand. You can frost or glaze it if you like, but I’m a plain bundt cake kind of girl. I like the portability of an unfrosted slice. Another great thing about unfrosted bundt cake – it freezes well. Just wrap leftover slices in Glad Wrap (it’s the best) and put the wrapped slices into a freezer container with a tight-fitting lid. Any time you NEED a piece of cake (and we all do from time to time), unwrap a slice and microwave it for 30 seconds or so. Presto. Cake. Anytime. And it’s perfectly portable. Just don’t carry it with you to the bathroom scales.

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Things I Love, Volume 5: My New KitchenAid Mixer from Pioneer Woman

The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Sugar Pearl Silver

I haven’t really talked about this much, but I won a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer from Ree Drummond’s website, The Pioneer Woman. She gave away 3 beautiful red mixers over Thanksgiving weekend, and I was one of the lucky winners. You’re probably thinking “wait, that’s not a red mixer in the photo.” I know. I’ll explain, but first I have to say that I can’t stress the word lucky enough, because there had to have been about 80,000 entries. I had a few minutes while we were on vacation in Germany over Thanksgiving to read her blog. The Complete Package was in the shower, so I didn’t think he’d mind. He threatens weekly to hold an intervention to deal with my obsessive love of the Pioneer Woman website. Joking here, but I admit, I am addicted. I love the photos, the stories, the recipes, and the friendships I’ve made via her site.

Anyway, I popped in to read her blog while we were on vacation and I posted a comment to enter the mixer giveaway. I never dreamed I’d win one. That kind of luck has always eluded me. When we got home the next weekend, I checked my e-mail and was stunned to see a message from a fellow PW reader saying, “Congratulations on winning the mixer!” WHAT!?!?! I immediately went to the Pioneer Woman website to check, and sure enough…there was my entry listed as a winner. Holy cow. I feel like I’ve won the lottery! I’ve looked at these KitchenAid stand mixers for YEARS, but would never spend that kind of money on one. It really is a dream come true. First the German Christmas Markets and now this. I do believe my luck is changing! I have to say “THANK YOU” to Ree Drummond, and to Lindy, her prize coordinator. I absolutely love my new mixer. And I love that they allowed me to trade the red color for this beautiful silver. Why? Because it matches my stainless steel appliances perfectly, and I’m all about coordinating colors.

So far, this has been a great week. I finished my Christmas shopping, I sent out my Christmas cards today, I won a gorgeous mixer, I had dinner with my awesome friends Monday night (thanks, ladies!), and, oh yeah….I posted a story about three of the travel show hosts we watch on PBS that inspired our trip to Germany for the Christmas Markets, and one of them commented on my blog! GET OUT!!! It’s true. Joseph Rosendo from Travelscope read my story and commented on it. That’s so totally cool of him, and just one more reason why he’s one of my travel heroes. I’m telling you, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world this week, and I’m very, very grateful.

It's a perfect color match, and looks like it was made to sit there!

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Recipe Review: The Pioneer Woman’s Corn Chowder with Green Chilies

This is corn chowder with green chilies. I can’t take credit for this recipe. Not one little bit. This is a Pioneer Woman creation. It was posted last week by Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman. If you don’t know who she is, you need to find out. Like now. Her website is fabulous, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a devoted fan and follower. She’s a talented, funny gal.

Pioneer Woman's Corn Chowder with Green Chilies - Oh my, it's so good!

I have made several of the recipes off the Tasty Kitchen recipe link on the PW website, but this one by far has been the best. It’s creamy, it’s crunchy, and it’s got a ton of flavor with just a few ingredients. It’s rib stickin’ and soul satisfying. It’s got some of my favorite foods – bacon, sweet corn, green chilies and heavy cream. There’s just no way for this recipe to go wrong. It truly is a southwest sweet corn, green chili comfort food lover’s dream in a bowl.

I made a few slight alterations to suit our tastes, including using 8-10 shakes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce instead of 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I used 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt instead of just using salt alone. I also added two small roasted poblano peppers (diced) and I roasted my corn-on-the-cob on the charcoal grill while The Complete Package was grilling pork tenderloins. Trust me, the toasty roasty bits on the corn added some great flavor to the soup. Other than that, stick to the recipe and you’ll be in chowder bliss in under an hour. And don’t forget to toast up a good loaf of crusty bread to serve with it…with lots of butter. You won’t regret it.

I’m not including the recipe in this post. I could never do it justice. Besides, Ree has already done all the work on her website. Here’s the link to the original Pioneer Woman recipe, complete with step-by-step instructions and mouth-watering photos. The rest is up to you, of course, but you really should try it! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/10/corn-chowder-with-chilies/

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