Posts Tagged ‘The Pioneer Woman Cooks’

Review Of December 2010 Food Blogs (Part 2)

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

At Mahanandi, Indira shared some innovative menu ideas for the Christmas Season, or holiday season as it is called in America – see Menu 1 and Menu 2.  Maison Cupcake was cupcake decorating in a Masterclass in Islington’s The Make Lounge with Mich Turner and I love the recipe for Sweet And Savoury Spiced Nuts at Not Without Salt as they remind me of delicious toasted almonds that I used to get all warm and wrapped in cones of paper from street vendors in Munich.  Also at Not Without Salt in December Ashley posted a Quick Puff Pastry recipe that makes me feel so inadequate as I do not have light enough hands for something as delicate as that, while the post on Homemade Truffles reminds me of promises made to myself and not fulfilled – there is always this year, I suppose.

Orangette posted a neat recipe for Whole Wheat Sablés With Cacoa Nibs.  Sablés are another thing that I really should make and maybe I will during 2011.  At Smitten Kitchen, Deb has been active baking loads of cookies, mostly baking with a Christmas theme like Roasted Chestnut Cookies, Iced Oatmeal Cookies and the most amazing Spiced Gingerbread Cookies that have been so beautifully created.  Savoury wise, Deb made classic Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms.

At The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I like Ree Drummond’s recipes for Mulligatawny Soup and Spinach Soup With Gruyere.  Then Ree gets into that Christmas spirit with Lia’s Dark Chocolate Truffles, including several photos of how to make a delicate chocolate butterfly from dark chocolate.  Then there are some offbeat ideas for the Christmas period including recipes for Meatballs With Peppers And Pineapple and Steak Au Poivre, but then in America they get the turkey over at Thanksgiving. 

At The Wednesday Chef, Luisa Weiss makes panforte which is one of those delicacies that I love, enjoying the familar chewy texture and nutty tastes, but perhaps I would settle for candied orange peel rather than quince.  I must admit that it is not something that I ever considered making, but maybe that is another good intention that I can put on my ever expanding list of things I would love to make, but never quite manage to get round to.  And at Wild Yeast, there is a recipe for Candied Lemon Peel which can easily be tweaked for orange, so now I have all the tools to make candied peel in 2011. 

Promises, promises…

Review Of Food Blogs For October 2010 (continued)

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Continuing from the first part of my review of blogs, at Not Without Salt Ashley has been making Homemade Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, which sounds so easy and is something I would never have thought of making, like making Homemade Nutella, which seem to be just timeless purchasing items.  How terrible and consumerist we have all become.  And her Pumpkin Rice Pudding recipe is perfect and will solve the pumpkin problem next autumn, plus also (as you will find out over next week) I have been going through a rice pudding phase myself and need to write up my efforts.

While at Orangette, Molly Wizenberg made a gorgeous sounding Rustic Plum Tart with a so simple pastry; I like plum tarts and cakes but only ever seem to buy them and never get round to making them myself, which seems strange, perhaps one day soon, perhaps?  And Gazpacho is another thing I have never made, so you never just never know.  The use of heirloom tomatoes and the bite of the sherry vinegar sound like a lovely combination – sweet and sour.

Ree at The Pioneer Woman Cooks has come up with an amazing twist on sweet potatoes, which I like to add into mash to give an extra dimension, but she has made a soulful pudding with them by making the sweet potato into a custard style filling and then covering them with a full on pecan crumble crust.  Now that’s different and I am truly intrigued by it.  I love the rich umami depth of Beef With Snow Peas which is a classic stir fried beef recipe that anyone can make at home; I like this sort of dish with some soy sauce infused with Birds Eye Chillis close to hand to dip the beef into.  Then there is Creamy Cheese Grits With Chili which are a real American piece of cuisine and are a great alternative to potatoes, like pap in South Africa or polenta in Italy, and what better to finish off with that Ree’s classic Skillet Cornbread recipe.  Well, there is one thing, she provides a link to an older recipe called Tres Leches Cake, which sounds a must – rich, moist and sweet…what more do you need in a home made cake.

While Luisa Weiss at The Wednesday Chef makes an intriguing sounding Soft Zucchini, Harissa, Feta and Olive recipe.  At Wild Yeast, Susan has been making soudough recipes with two catching my eye – Bread Crumb Sourdough and Soft Semolina Sourdough.

Food Blogs Round Up – August 2010

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

It is the height of European Summer so a number of the food blogs are in holiday mode.  In spite, or perhaps because of the summer, Julia Parsons at A Slice Of Cherry Pie has been making Tuscan Style Soup.

Aran of Cannelle et Vanille fame has been holidaying in her native Basque country in Northern Spain.  She has posted some gorgeous photographs of her family and of just over the border into France

At Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier has been baking sourdough bread; I am not a great bread baker, nor a big fan of bread itself, but I do like sourdough, so perhaps I should give this a go.  She has also baked an Apricot Blueberry Cobbler which is so classic American that it evokes a homely feeling of on the range, plus I like the idea of using orange flower water.  Cobblers are not something I have come across until I started reading food blogs, but will definitely get an outing sometime over this winter to check out whether these fruit puddings with a sort of biscuity dough will enter the family repertoire.  At Orangette this month, there is a great looking recipe for Berry Cobbler.

At Cooksister, Jeanne has been enjoying lots of exquisite looking restaurants in London and South Africa, plus quaffing wines at an exclusive wine tasting event in London town.  I liked the simplicity of the recipe for Pan-Fried Fish Fillets With Capers On Pesto Mash, as I imagine the capes nicely offset the fish tastes, and the slightly old fashioned charm of Gammon Steaks With Spicy Caramelized Pineapple and Crispy Duck Breasts In Wild Cherry Balsamic Reduction.

David Lebovitz has been enjoying the protests by the Communists in France for local food, while offering up a great recipe for that classic – Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Helen at Fuss Free Flavours has baked some amazing looking Brioche, fittingly while holidaying in France, as well as a healthy looking version of Coronation Chicken – much healthier than the full on version we tried from Xanthe Clay recipe earlier this month.

At Lemonpi, Y Lee has been spending her staycation baking cakes like this delicious looking Carrot Cake and some intriguing Skillet Cakes, i.e. cakes baked in a pan. At Mahanandi, I am nervously lusting after making the Red Chilli Pickle as it looks mindblowingly hot, as well as the wonderfully simple Semiya Upma which is an Indian vermicelli-based vegetable stir fry.  There is also an intriguing recipe for Badam Beerikaya, which is a vegetarian dish based around Chinese okra or beerikaya which can probably be done with any smallish gourd.

In mid August, we harvested our small offering of corn grown in the garden.  We ate them boiled lightly, then sprinkled with fleur de sel and drizzled with melted butter.  However, I wish I had noted the recipe for Sweet Corn Pancakes at Smitten Kitchen as that looks a luxurious take on a morning pancake; I love the idea of riching up the batter with buttermilk, which is not something I use although my mum loves her buttermilch.  And Deb’s Fresh Tomato Sauce is one of those labours of love of harvest time; homemade tomato sauce really does taste so much better than shop bought tomato pastes, although the time and effort to make them is a huge barrier to wanting to do it too often, as I have found as your yields are so tiny.  I have to confess to usually making my own tomato sauces and salsas etc using a tin of chopped tomatoes as the starting point as it is much less depressing on the effort front.  And all can be rounded off with a really satisfying American Blueberry Muffin – love them, but I still call them a bilberry here in England even though strictly they are a different plant, but closely related.

Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman Cooks has modern takes on classic recipes like Burgers, Raspberry Crisp, Fried Round Steak and homely Cinnamon Bread.  Plus the Mushroom Burgers that this superlady has been trying on the meat eating husband.

And finally, I am tempted by the recipe for Sweet Portuguese Bread at Wildyeast.  I would like to try it alongside the Brioche recipe at FussFreeFlavours, as I am intrigued by what the differences in flavour and texture will be.

Elsewhere In The Blogosphere – July 2010 (Part 2)

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

…I have done some culling of food blogs that I am following, where activity seems to have died down, while adding one new blog, Lemonpi, which has caught my eye, rather belatedly.

Lemonpi has an interesting recipe for Raspberry, White Chocolate And Lavender Muffins but I would like, at this time of year, to try it with fresh raspberries rather than frozen.  There’s also a great recipe Italian Chocolate Raisin Torte, while her Banana, Yoghurt and Mesquite Cake sounds fine and you can get mesquite meal from Goji King, but not sure if that will quite do the job so any other ideas would be great.

At Not Without Salt, Ashley was on vacation for most of July, but before leaving she posted an evily sweet looking recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes With Marshmallow Frosting; it reminds me of many happy days in my youth and recently with my kids, when happily toasting marshmallows over fires beside dens in the woods or around a campfire.  Then to come back to the summer fruits theme of Part 1 of this round up there’s a recipe for Raspberry Yoghurt Popsicles at Orangette taken from a David Lebovitz recipe.

Now if you’ve got a spare day, this is my recipe for the month which comes from the Smitten Kitchen Blog and is for Sweet And Smoky Oven Spareribs, which was awesome.  Firstly, if you have not got the 6 hours that the recipe required, just turn up the heat a bit to about 125C or 250F and cook for 4 hours – it still came out lovely and succulent, with the meat just sliding off the bone.  Secondly, take Deb’s advice and reduce the sugar and up the salt, which is what we did and it was just right; also, I ditched the sauce as it is heresy to have a barbecue sauce with ribs, plus it just did not need it.  Then there was the Thai Style Chicken Legs, which sounded great but didn’t the month just fly past.  Plus two gorgeously simple puddings, Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin and Peach Blueberry Cobbler.

And Ree at The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a lady after my heart as she knows that custard is just the best, whether it’s a warm custard on your sweet fresh fruit crumble or a cold custard in a custard tart or in the richest of richest crème brûlée recipes that she shares with the blogging world.  Then she whips up a simple but glorious sounding Blackberry Cheesecake that seems so simple to make that I don’t know why I never seem to find the time. While I like the quick cheat Sixteen Minute Beef and Beans Burritos as it exemplifies what real, home food is about – getting well-balanced food to the table quickly with whatever ingredients are in the cupboard, and (in our house) that’s without the aide of a microwave.

And finally, I like the idea at Wild Yeast of Ginger-Pecan Sourdough Biscotti, perhaps with a sweet Vin Santo di Montepulciano.