Friday, March 23, 2012

Food Friday

I got my early edition signed copy of Pioneer Woman's new cookbook the other day except I had to order it on Amazon on the release date and she must've forgotten to write a personal message in it, weird. Here's my official PW Cookbook review: I enjoy and can relate to her writing style and her goofiness even when introducing recipes. I love all the photos because let's face it, that's what I look for first and foremost in a cookbook. I like pretty pictures and I like to see what it's supposed to look like at the end. That way I can compare and gloat when my finished product of the recipe looks prettier. Not that I would ever do that, I'm just sayin' it's nice to have the opportunity. ;) There are A LOT of recipes which is also something I look for in a cookbook, obviously. BUT, I was slightly disappointed to see that many of the recipes included in the cookbook are recipes that are on her site and have been for years, in fact many of them I've already made. That kind of bummed me out but the new ones were appealing enough to me that I've decided against bogging down her site with hate mail. Lucky for her, just ask Carhartt. Overall review: 3 Stars but really you could save yourself the $15 and go back through the recipes on her website but it's nice to have them in a lovely cookbook.

In honor of Pioneer Woman's new cookbook release, today's Food Friday is going to feature a couple of Pioneer Woman recipes that I make over and over and OVER. I bring you only the best.

Let's start with dessert first, shall we?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

My love of Reese's eggs is well documented so when PW featured this pie on her website a few years ago, it spoke to me. And I made it. And I loved it and so did everyone that I've served it to in the nearly 3 years I've been making it. It's become a mainstay at our holiday meals and family dinners and even the occasional Baptist potluck and I don't take just anything to a Baptist potluck so that's saying something.

Confession: I usually don't make my own Oreo crust as the recipe instructs. I've always been a rulebreaker and Oreo makes a perfectly good already made pie crust so I just buy that and skip that step. I've made it both ways and honestly, you cannot tell the difference so why bother? Let's get to the good stuff...the filling. The part of the recipe to make the pie filling, I follow exactly. Although, I don't know if the recipe tells you to make sure you don't put all of the pie filling into the pie crust so that you can eat the leftover out of the bowl with a spoon, but that's a crucial step. Quality control you understand. This pie is peanut butter chocolate perfection and it's so quick and easy but tastes impressive. And the best part? It tastes a lot like a Reese's Egg, so yeah, DANGEROUS. This pie has cured postpartum blues and even once started an actual fight between two normally sensible adults when I donated it to a cake walk and one person took it knowing full well the other one was vying for it. It wasn't pretty. You've been warned.

If peanut butter and chocolate isn't your thing, 1) I'm not sure we can still be friends and 2) try this Mocha Silk Pie  or this French Silk Pie  instead. OH. MY. GOODNESS. But don't make it using the pecan crust for the Mocha Silk because nuts are gross in pie or maybe that's just my opinion, whatever. Cheat again and buy the Oreo crust or bake a regular pie crust. I didn't even add in the Kahlua and it was still out of this world. As for the French Silk Pie, umm WOW. French Silk has been a favorite of mine since I was a wee tyke, mainly because of the thick layer of whipped cream on top. One time at band camp in high school, a group of us went to Perkins and one of our guy friends bought an entire French Silk Pie to go, because he was a teenage boy and his adolescent metabolism could handle such ridiculousness. He asked my friend Chrissy and I to hold his pie while he went to the restroom which we were MORE than happy to do. Because in the 2.5 minutes he was in the bathroom, we demolished all of the whipped cream off of his entire French Silk pie. He was not the least bit amused but because we were cute and young and lovable, he forgave us...eventually. Again, sorry Mike, but if you want to stop by I'll make this pie for you and I'll even leave the whipped cream on it! I KNOW, my generosity knows no bounds.

Back to the recipes, these were my first experiences with a "silk" based pie which I'm pretty sure means raw eggs whipped until a silky texture. I didn't even google that I just MADE IT UP, feel free to google to verify but I'm fairly certain I'm right. I wasn't scared at all about the raw eggs and in the multiple times I've made these pies nobody's gotten sick from them. Well, sick because even though our minds were telling us that one piece was plenty our hearts were saying just one more slice because it's SOOOOOO good, but that just means it's an outstanding recipe and is no reflection on the raw eggs. My KitchenAid mixer, Rose, really came in handy for these recipes. I definitely wouldn't have attempted it without her.  You can of course but then you won't be able to get through airport security with THE GUNS you'll be toting (arms people arms, it would be a complete upper arm workout.)

Another recipe from Pioneer Woman that has become one of those fallback, make without looking, kind of recipes for me is Crash Hot Potatoes. My family could eat these by the bushel. Potatoes come in bushels right? And because I have to be me, I cheat when making these too. I don't always boil the potatoes on the stove as the recipe instructs (*gasp*) but sometimes when I'm feeling especially lazy, I just cook them in the microwave until they're fork tender. Works just the same, minus the boiling water plus the extra bonus of radiation!!!! If you don't have a potato masher, the bottom of a glass works fine too. I don't know how something so simple tastes so good and causes each one of my children to eat their weight in crash hot potatoes but they do. I've also tried this method with sweet potatoes and sprinkled them with brown sugar and cinnamon and they were equally well received by my peeps.

Happy Friday! By the time you're reading this, I will have watched the Hunger Games movie and will be able to continue on with my least until the second movie comes out. I may just have to make a Peeta Pie to celebrate!!!

P.S. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be TEAM GALE ALL THE WAY!!!! I mean, honestly is there even any question?

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