[124] Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

So. I made this a long time ago. Looks like about 10 months ago, to be exact. I had forgotten I’d made it. When I looked at the sidebar or “Upcoming Recipes”, I was just sure I’d have to let the “Macaroni and Cheese” go, because I didn’t have the foggiest notion where I’d gotten the recipe.

Then, my habit of photographing the cookbooks with the ingredients saved me. I found the photos of the “Macaroni and Cheese” and was saved. Saved, I tell you! I could report the recipe to you (and thus count it in my totals1). Hooray.

Of course, one ugly truth reared its head. I tried to shove the truth’s head back down, but it would not be denied. What was it?… Continue reading →

[109] Sherried Tomato Soup

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

I made this soup based entirely on the name and the photos in the cookbook. It’s right next to the cornbread recipe, which is my new always & forever cornbread recipe (unless I have to make some other recipe to advance the challenge, I suppose), and it taunts me every time I go to make cornbread.

That’s more often than you might think, actually. We’ve become a little obsessed with “her cornbread”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/123-67-Skillet-Cornbread.html because it’s delicious.

I have to admit, I rarely am motivated to try something just because it sounds or looks good. Obviously, that’s a pivotal part of the process, but it doesn’t usually start there. Usually, it starts because I have an ingredient I want to try or use up, or I have a method I want to learn more about, or I’m “desperately seeking a vegetarian meal”:http://metacookbook.com/archives/211-Whats-the-longest-youve-gone-without-eating-meat.html or, on very rare occasions, I just want to use a particular cookbook.… Continue reading →

[67] Skillet Cornbread

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

There’s really nothing like a big pot of chili for wintertime, but one cannot live on chili alone. At least, not this one. Chili is a wonderful, hearty main dish; indeed it’s almost a one-pot meal. However, I always want something to go with it. I don’t always make something to go with the chili, but I always want it. Usually my unaccompanied chili is lunchtime leftovers from the freezer.

However, when I make a pot of chili for the first time, it usually calls out for cornbread. Hell, I bet you could say it ALWAYS calls out for cornbread. And I love cornbread enough that I basically always answer the call. Usually by opening a $0.69 blue box.

Whatever’s in those blue boxes has always been kind of my standard for cornbread.… Continue reading →

[66] Simple, Perfect Chili

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

I can’t lie to you guys. I really love The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and all of her recipes and photos make me drool. Except the ones with cilantro.

Bill also loves her blog. So when we found her cookbook in a bookstore, not too long after it’d been published, we both really wanted to buy it. We knew we could get most of her recipes online (thus costing us nothing), but we felt we should support her work. Also a book is, in some ways, more portable than the internet. For example, I can take this to my mother’s house and cook out of it more easily than hauling a laptop into the kitchen.

Not that I don’t want a kitchen laptop, even so.

I picked this recipe as one of the first to make out of this book because I really enjoy chili and I love having some in the freezer for cold days and lunches and so forth.… Continue reading →

[56] Chocolate Sheet Cake

Cover of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

Finally, the last of the recipes from Bill’s birthday. Man, that guy had a lot going on that day, didn’t he? And he didn’t really do any of it. Slacker!

Nah, I’m just yanking his chain. Bill actually managed to help me corral our friends into showing up (though not as early as we’d hoped), went to work, and helped with the dishes. Both when he got home and after everyone left (around 1:00 am).

“This cake”:http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/the_best_chocol/ was a last minute addition to the menu; I think we decided on it the day before. I know we had to make a baking chocolate run, so I couldn’t have decided to make it on the spur of the moment. Also that we bought pecans for the frosting at the same time.… Continue reading →