Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pioneer Woman Cookbook Review (err... rave, really)

I received a copy of Pioneer Woman's cookbook for Christmas and I can't stop picking it up. It is full of to-die-for recipes guaranteed to make this Central Plains native, daughter of an Okie drool.

Strangely, I was previously not a regular reader of her blog. It's not that I didn't know of Ree (because most bloggers do), but maybe it was a survivor instinct because now that I do, I guarantee I will shave off at least five years of my life with this food.

I mean, her cinnamon rolls are a butter and sugar lover's heaven. Luckily, I made them before Christmas and was able to give away 5 of the 7 pans.

Last night, I decided to try her recipe for chicken pot pie. I've never been a fan of chicken pot pie but in her recipe introduction she says, "Whoever doesn't love chicken pot pie hasn't tasted good chicken pot pie." I decided to take her challenge. It was definitely the best I've ever had. That's not to say, it is now my favorite dish, but Adrian was indeed thrilled when I told him I would certainly make it again. (That's a first around here.)

Of course, the piece de resistance of the night (and possibly the entire cookbook) is the Chocolate Sheet Cake. Yes, it was so divine that after only making three recipes, I'm already thinking this has to be the best. Adrian labeled it, "the best chocolate cake ever" and told me I was NOT allowed to give ANY away despite it being an 18 by 12 inch monster.

This cookbook is so good that I'm actually thinking I will make every single recipe. I've actually considered doing it Julie/Julia style but we'll see. If every recipe is as incredible as the first three, I may not ever stop singing Pioneer Woman's praises.

I have to tell you, my absolute favorite part of the entire cookbook though is that she includes Lawry's Seasoned Salt in her list of kitchen essentials. I mean, this is a woman after my own heart. It's almost as though we're related... which could be possible since - dun, dun, duhhhh -- She was born and raised in my dad's hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. More likely, though, it's just that Okie blood coursing through my soon to be clogged arteries.

Recipes still on this week's menu: Beans and Cornbread, Migas, Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler, and Simple Perfect Enchiladas with Pico de Gallo.

Recipes I am already dreaming of making: BBQ Jalapeno Poppers and French Breakfast Puffs. I can't wait.

If you haven't already, you might take a gander at this cookbook. It's fancy enough to satisfy both the wanna-be foodie in you and the simple, basic man-food desires of your spouse.

(PS- Not paid for any of this raving except in the obvious way of yummies for my tummy.)


Heidi said...

I couldn't agree more. Drew gave me this cookbook for Christmas. Yep - my meat and potatos husband who gets very annoyed with my constant recipe experiments and is hesitant to purchase me cookbooks for fear I might quit making the staples of tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf and anything else containing beef and/or prepared on the grill. In his words, "I saw recipes for both fried chicken and chicken fried steak and figured it was safe". :)

Chocolate sheet cake, here I come!

Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought she claimed to have grown up in California...missing being able to find all those fancy food items she grew up with... Must be confusing her with some other famous blogger.

Anonymous said...

As in "I" must be confusing her with some other famous blogger, that is.

@sweetbabboo said...

Ah, you are talking about the same person. She did spend time in California. I believe she attended college there and then had a job in LA. I think that is the time she reminisces about when talking fancy foods.


Myrna said...

I've made the chocolate sheet cake before and have a couple of suggestions. Early on I had trouble with the flour mixture staying in little clumps when the liquid was added. To make them "disappear" I mixed the cocoa powder with the flour--no problems since. Also, I've used a hand mixer to disperse the little powdered sugar clumps in the frosting. And any leftovers freeze well!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Interesting..I hate to cook, but next time I'm at the book store I will check this out if the recipes are THAT good.

Andrea said...

Yum! I might just have to try this one out. My problem is I never have the "staples" everyone is supposed to have and therefore end up spending a fortune to make cornbread.