Saturday, May 1, 2010

Today's Special: Pioneer Woman Extravaganza (aka You're Going to Need a Gallon of Heavy Whipping Cream)

This week I decided to try out a bunch of delicious looking recipes I've seen on the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen blog. They're definitely not as healthy as the recipes I usually make, but some of them are worth an extra run around the block.

Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Recipes

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Groan.- OK, if you're going to use the word "groan" as part of your recipe name, it better be damn good. And this was just average. I mean it was good, but didn't warrant the "groan." Maybe it was a case of my expectations being too high? All I know is, I'm glad I bought the pre-roasted (cheaper) red peppers instead of doing all the work and paying the extra money to do it myself.
The Mushroom Soup- Of all the new Pioneer Woman recipes I made this week, this was by far my favorite. Very quick and easy to make and it was delicious! Nice mushroom flavor and the other ingredients complimented it nicely, especially the Parmesan.
Butter Chicken- This recipe had the most rave reviews from all the PW recipes I tried, but to me it was just so-so. Nothing special. Maybe it'd be better the next day, or maybe the sauce and such would go better on pasta than on rice. All I know is, I had a butt load of sauce leftover and I didn't save it for later.
Jaden's Beef with Broccoli- This turned out pretty good. I think I should've thickened the sauce up more after adding the broccoli, but I was too hungry to bother. This was a fast dinner, but it didn't have quite as much flavor as I'd thought there'd be from the marinade and sauce. This was good, but forgettable. On a positive note, I tried basmati rice for the first time with this meal and it turned out awesome! Recipe Intermission

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes- New Recipe. This was EatingWell's version of healthy-ish Chicken Fried Steak so I was more than a bit skeptical as to how it would taste. I thought this was awesome and turned out great, even though I completely forgot to add the cornstarch to the breading mixture. It was just as good the next day as leftovers. Mmmm.
Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon-New Recipe. I thought this tilapia turned out really well  although I think I went a little heavy on the spice layer (I scraped a bit off). The asparagus was good, but the lemon was a bit overwhelming. I'd cut back on the lemon juice next time.
Pioneer Woman Dessert Bonus

Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes for Two- I wanted to make a dessert using the fresh pineapple I bought and found this on the PW website. It was very easy and turned out really good. Mine doesn't look as pretty as the one on the recipe because my pineapple slices were bigger and I didn't have any pecans. Not bad for an impulse dessert though.


It's Me said...

Okay, I have to say it is really weird that you just tried out basmati rice. I just bought some this week for the first time. I haven't tried it, but I was going to make some for dinner tomorrow. Have you ever made jasmine rice? I love the smell. Just the smell alone makes me want to eat a whole bowl myself and leave the family fending for themselves. Really good with oriental type dishes. It just adds that extra something.

Also, I've felt the same way about most of the Pioneer Woman recipes I've tried. The pictures and comments are so awesome that I get all excited thinking I've found the greatest recipe ever. I make the recipe and is not gross by any means, but nothing to write home about or make again. I still love her website though. It is so fun to read - she is hilarious. I love all her photography too.

Karen said...

Wow it's like we're twins. Or sisters. ;) I've never tried jasmine rice, though I almost bought some with the basmati because it sounded good too. I'll have to try it out.

I was hoping I'd just had some bad luck with the Pioneer Woman recipes, but sounds like it's kind of a recurring theme. Too bad, a lot of stuff on there looks really good. Although, that's not saying I'm going to stop trying the recipes. But, I think I'll make sure the ones I choose have actual positive reviews, not just "Ooo that LOOKS delicious!" I do still like her blog though. And I've started using some of her Photoshop tips :D

heidi said...

So many new posts! Yay!

About "Pioneer Woman"--just last week Paul was telling me about this person who tested some of her typical American fare recipes--fried chicken, salad, and PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE! The cook doing the "test" compared her recipes against this super famous California chef's recipes. (I think, it's Thomas Keller? I seem to remember reading about him, and his uber-fancy destination restaurant.) Anyway, the fancy chef's recipes require hours and hours of preparation--even the simple salad sounded unsimple. But, the results of the comparison--typical American vs. complicated Californian--were interesting. I'll leave it to Paul to explain the rest sometime, since he tells stories better than I do. (Ones like this, anyway.)

Anyway, the fact that you also made her cake this week really snagged my interest!

And: it's funny (and AWESOME) that the healthier recipes you usually make are actually tastier than the indulgent ones you made this week. Makes me feel happy that we eschew cream and such for the green veggies, also. It sounds like we're not missing out.