Tag Archives: Pioneer Woman

Steakhouse Pizza

Steakhouse Pizza 056

I’m continuing PIZZA WEEK with a very tasty offering I’ve adapted from one of Ree’s recipes (from her second book). She has several pizza recipes in this book, but the Steakhouse Pizza was the one that jumped out at me the most. My family and I are steakhouse kind of people. It’s pretty tough to beat a good, leisurely meal at a nice steakhouse. And it seemed like that was our go-to for special occasions.

Steakhouse pizza 055

Something about the steakhouse atmosphere is so fancy, yet warm and inviting. The steaks are the main attraction, of course, but I know of no one who doesn’t also dine at steakhouses for the sides. The potatoes, ohhhhh the potatoes. Not to mention, salads always taste better from a steakhouse, don’t they?

steakhouse pizza 044

So here is quintessential steakhouse in pizza form. The crust stands in as the starch you would normally get from the potato, and this pizza is COVERED in medium-rare, tender, luscious steak slices. There’s balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce as a nod to those tomato salads with balsamic vinaigrette, and then just before serving, you drizzle on some Worcestershire sauce. Oh, it’s just heaven. Even just writing this is making my stomach growl, and is making me wonder when Matt and I are going to be visiting Ruths Chris’ Steakhouse again!

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Steakhouse Pizza 067

{One Year Ago: Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza}

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

2 (1 lb.) balls of pizza dough
1 ½ to 2 lbs. skirt steak or flank steak
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick rings
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil, plus more for the grill
2 cups good-quality marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
1 ½ lbs. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce, for drizzling
Shaved Pecorino Romano cheese, for finishing

Let the pizza dough balls come up to room temperature; this takes about 30 minutes. Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Brush with oil if using an outdoor grill.
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drizzle the onion slices with 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, then with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining 2 tbs balsamic vinegar to the marinara sauce. Stir to combine.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Set a rack in the center of the oven.
Once your grill is good and hot, if you’re using an indoor grill, drizzle the side where the steak will cook with olive oil. Place the steak on one half of the grill, and carefully place the onion slices on the other part of the grill. Cook the onions about 8-10 minutes, flipping once with a metal spatula, or until they have nice grill marks and are cooked through.
Grill the steak to medium-rare, about 7 minutes total, flipping once. Remove the onions to a cutting board and roughly chop. Remove the steak to a rimmed cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes. When the steak has rested, thinly slice it against the grain with a very sharp knife. Try to slice it on an angle top to bottom as you’ll get thinner slices that way.
While the steak and onions are grilling, work on the pizza itself. Shape the 2 balls of dough into circles or rectangles and place on 2 greased baking sheets or pizza sheets. Parbake them for 6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on each pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Divide the mozzarella slices between the 2 crusts, lining them in a single layer to cover as much of the sauce as possible. Return the pizzas to the oven for another 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the crusts are golden and the cheese is melted.
Let the pizzas rest about 5 minutes, then top each with half the onions and half the steak slices. Drizzle a little Worcestershire sauce over the steak on both pizzas, then sprinkle the romano shavings on each. Cut into slices and serve.
Oh, and P.S. – I had some steak sauce drizzled onto the hot pizza for a slice of my leftovers, and may I just say: YUM!!! Just FYI.

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

I’m continuing Carrot Week with a nod to my blog’s tagline (Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater). Believe it or not, carrots were not on the banned list for my childhood self’s palate. I actually enjoyed snacking on raw carrot sticks, what with its satisfying crunch and neutral-ish flavor that didn’t offend me. Cook those same carrots, though, and now we have a problem.

Whiskey glazed carrots

Man, I hated cooked carrots as a kid. My mom made them on occasion, and I complained bitterly each and every time. So when I devised Carrot Week for the blog, it only seemed fair to revisit a side dish of cooked carrots. In all honesty, cooked carrots are a dish to which I haven’t paid much attention in the past decade or so; I tend to still prefer them raw and dipped in ranch dressing. So I was curious as to what my now-adventurous adult palate would think. I glazed them with butter, brown sugar, and whiskey, and I made sure not to over- or undercook them. And they turned out quite delicious, I’m happy to report.

whiskey glazed carrots

Maybe I might have even not balked at these as a child. See, Mom, when you made cooked carrots, you should have glazed them with a bunch of whiskey – then I would’ve liked them! Or, at the very least, I would have fallen asleep and shut up about it….

I hope y’all can enjoy these, child and adult alike. I had a thought that they would make a perfect side dish for an Easter or Passover dinner spread…. See what you think!

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
6 tbs whiskey
6 tbs brown sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Melt 2 tbs butter in a 10” skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Add the carrots and stir to brown them, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the carrots to a plate with a slotted spoon. If using a gas stove, turn off the heat. Pour the whiskey into the skillet. Let it bubble up and cook for about 3 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tbs butter. When it’s melted, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the carrots back into the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste, and I’d advise adding more black pepper than you usually do to cut the sweetness in this dish.
Continue cooking until the carrots are to your desired softness. Sprinkle some fresh thyme around and serve immediately.

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

I am a list-maker. I love making lists. I love checking things off lists. I’m one of those people who will do something, then add it to her to-do list after the fact, just to check it off. Lists are awesome.

remove corn kernels in your bundt cake pan

That’s in part why I have a tab on my blog listing classic dishes/recipes that I want to make sure I have under my belt. At first it was going to be 100 recipes. But it went past 100 items almost immediately. That’s okay. But then I found I kept finding things to add to it, so I decided to go in and revamp the whole thing last night. I added some things and made it an even 200. Then I organized the categories a little better and alphabetized it, so it’s easy to read.

simmering corn chowder

So yes, that’s 200 dishes to cross off, 200 dishes to make sure I have in my arsenal of kitchen tricks. And I’m a quarter of the way through!

And now I will add one more – corn chowder. A dish I had never made before, mostly because I find it to be somewhat oxymoronic. I associate corn with hot summers and chowder with cold winters. Something seems amiss here, right? And of course you could make this chowder in the winter with frozen corn, and there would be nothing wrong with that; but I felt drawn to making it at least once with seasonal fresh corn, something that just isn’t found in the winter (not in my neck of the woods anyway).

Pioneer Woman Corn Chowder

Long story short, I just sucked it up and made corn chowder, in the summer, with fresh corn. And it was wonderful. Surprisingly light, very corn-centric, with some heat from the chiles I threw in there. I was so pleased that it really didn’t feel out of place on a hot day. Of course a fan blowing straight at me while I ate probably helped, but still! It’s a terrific chowder, one I will be making again in the summers to come.

Corn Chowder

{One year ago: Cubano Sandwiches}

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

5 ears of corn, shucked completely
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 medium poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tbs cornmeal
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Using a sharp knife, slice all the kernels of corn off the cobs. I’ve found the best way to do this is by using your bundt cake pan. That way the deep pan catches all the kernels and they don’t run all over your counter.
Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onion to the pot and sauté in the bacon drippings until softened, about 5 minutes. Throw in the garlic and corn kernels. Stir to allow them to begin to cook. Stir in the chipotles and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock, followed by the cream. Stir to combine, then add the poblano. Let the soup simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
At that point (and not before!) mix the cornmeal with ¼ cup water in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Hummus {the Classic}

Classic Hummus Dip

Here’s a story for you – it’s about the time I ruined my perfectly good Oxo Good Grips rubber spatula… and probably ate part of it too! It all began when I ignored my kitchen instincts.

making hummus

As an aside, instincts have been shown to be not a sixth sense or divine revelation, but the result of experience. So it’s usually a good idea to follow them, especially if you’re dealing with something you’re good at or have some expertise in. So when I saw a recipe that said to make hummus in the blender, my instinct said “No, you should use your food processor.” My reasoning was that chickpeas are fairly thick and dense, and they would have more room to groove in the food pro. But the recipe said blender! It said blender! So I went with the blender.

chickpeas in the blender

And my instinct proved correct. The blender (my blender anyway) wasn’t quite equipped to puree all those garbanzos. It jammed up and wouldn’t catch the top third of the vessel. So I kept stopping the machine, using my wonderful spatula to scrape it down, and was getting nowhere. So, with the machine still running, I gingerly stuck my spatula in and scraped as the blender was running. It did work, in the sense that the chickpeas all got pureed, but predictably I scraped too low, and the blade caught the spatula.


It took a few little chips out of the end, small enough so that I wasn’t able to fish them out, but big enough chips that the spatula was forever ruined. May he rest in peace. Oh, and the part about eating some of the spatula? Yeah, that was because it was late, I was tired, and this was dinner. So I pressed on, and hit puree again until the mixture came together. And there were undoubtedly little chips of rubber spatula in there, little rubber chips that likely got consumed on a pita chip. Oh well. No one died. (Perhaps Oxo will start advertising them as non-toxic when swallowed!)

Pioneer Woman's Hummus

But I am sharing this recipe with instructions to use your food processor, thus sparing you from eating some of your nice spatulas!


Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

3 (14.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, well drained
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup to 1 cup cold water (yes I used the entire cup!)
2 tbs olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

To your food processor (or blender, but you know where I stand), add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Process the mixture, pouring in the water as you go, starting with ½ a cup and adding up to 1 cup as necessary.
Once it is to your desired thickness, add the olive oil and give it a final pulse. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Place the hummus in a serving bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, veggie sticks, whatever you want!

Cherry Limeade

Growing up, one of my favorite fast food locales was Sonic.  It was just so fun and old school.  I loved the drive-in aspect and the roller skating servers. As a kid, I loved the burgers and tator tots, who didn’t? But everyone agrees, the best part of Sonic is the drinks.  They have the usual soda fountain, but you can mix in flavors however you like, and this adds up to, no lie, 398,929 beverage combinations.  So you could get, for instance, cherry vanilla Sprite.  Or Strawberry DrPepper.  Or, my personal favorite, cherry limeade.  I cannot count the number of drinks I’ve had there.  Every afternoon, most Sonics have a Happy Hour, where those drinks are half-price.  It’s insanely popular with broke college students. I spent many afternoons driving through there between classes just for a soda.  I’d meet up with a friend, we’d have a mere thirty minutes to spare, so we’d high-tail it down the road and drive up to order our drinks.  And we would inevitably see many, many classmates who had the same great idea.

Because most of Sonic is outdoors, they have understandably chosen to stay in warmer climates within the US.  As such, they haven’t migrated to my neck of the woods, and it’s one of the things I sorely miss about Texas.  It’s also one of the “Texas” things on which I got to educate Matt (who didn’t grow up in Texas). He had never once eaten at Sonic before we began dating.  Such deprivation!

This summer, we took our vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  There is a Sonic in Nags Head, close to where we stayed in Kitty Hawk.  I made quite certain that we ate there at least once.  Matt ordered a strawberry limeade, I ordered my usual cherry limeade that I hadn’t had in so many years.  It was every bit as blissful as I remember.  That lunch was so nostalgic for me.  And Matt definitely appreciated his burger being served on Texas toast.

I made this cherry limeade a few weeks after we returned home.  It was a huge hit.  Since I can’t have my Sonic at home, this will make a nice stand-in for my favorite drink there.

Source: Food From My Frontier, by Ree Drummond

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup sugar
1 (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
1 (5 oz) jar maraschino cherries, with their juice
Thin lime slices, for garnish

Chill all ingredients thoroughly before using.
Once all ingredients are very cold, add the lime juice to a pitcher. Add the sugar, then pour the soda in. Now add the whole jar of maraschino cherries. Add plenty of lime slices on top. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice, making sure every serving gets their fair share of cherries and lime slices.

*Note: adults, feel free to spike your drink with vodka or rum.