Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cooking through Pioneer Woman

Ever since I received this cookbook, I've been trying to do at least one new recipe a month. Since I cook our meal for the week on Sundays, I really only cook about 4 times a month with the exception of the occasional preparing a meal for someone at church or having people over for dinner. With that said, I've really only cooked about 6 recipes from her cookbook, but they've all been delicious.

Remember the lasagna I posted about back in January? The lasagna is great! I've made it several times since then including this past Saturday where I split the recipe in 2 and took to two different friends of ours who have recently had babies. I changed up the recipe a little by adding ricotta cheese and once I added mushrooms. While it does take a little prep time - as all lasagnas do - it's well worth it.

Next I made beef enchiladas. These were good, but I'm sorry to say, so not worth the effort and mess involved. If I'm going to make enchiladas, I'll probably just stick to the beef sour cream recipe that I can make by heart and very little trouble.

I then attacked the cowboy calzones. (I couldn't find the recipe on her website, so it must be a "cookbook exclusive"! Go out and buy you one today! ) I was making them for our Life Groups on a Sunday and was running out of time, so I decided to buy pizza dough instead of using her recipe. I also have issues with making a rue, so I don't think the filling was quite as thick as it should have been. All this said, they were still delicious. I see myself making them again and adding my own ingredients to the filling. We'll see.

Then a couple of weeks ago I made meatballs and mac n' cheese. They weren't cooked together like spaghetti and meatballs, but they were a perfect match either way. As PW says, the meatballs are more of a meatloaf and they were really good. It was perfect for Mackenzie's dinner because all I had to do was heat up one meatball, some mac n cheese and veggies and she was set. Mackenzie is usually a really good eater and I have to say that week she ate every bite every night! If you ever make the mac n cheese, I'll warn you that it is thick and it makes a lot. That week I ate it at dinner and for a couple of my lunches and we still had to throw a little out at the end of the week.

The most recent recipe I made was her spicy pulled pork. For my birthday my mom gave me this:

Isn't it beautiful? :) I was so excited to use it that I purposefully planned the pulled pork just for this occasion. I put the pork in the oven at 2:30 and took it out at 7:30 when we got home from Life Groups. The recipe said it would be "fork tender" and let me tell you it really was. We've eaten on it all week and in a variety of ways. The first night we had pork sandwiches because I had a horrible headache and didn't feel like preparing any sides. Tuesday and Wednesday we made burritos or tacos and added lettuce, sour cream and guacamole - yum. And Thursday we had loaded baked potatoes and salad. Mackenzie also liked this especially in the taco form. That is unless she got a bite with too much lettuce, which she would then proceed to spit out. I think it's a texture thing.

Anyways, I'm having so much fun trying all of her recipes. I think my next recipe will be her chicken spaghetti and then one of these days I'm going to have to start on desserts. (I kind of feel like the Julie/Julia book but without all the french food, complicated recipes, cussing and negativity!)

Are there any cookbooks that any of you have "cooked through" and loved? Should I add to my collection and recipes to try?

PS. For those who care, I finished Julie/Julia and my opinion stays as is - it was not that great. I need to add the movie to my Netflix to see if in this case the movie is better than the book.

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