Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Eleven

*My best friend Angela and I are cooking our way through the Pioneer Woman's new (well, not new anymore) cookbook, Food from my Frontier*

First, did ya'll know that you can put whatever you need in a box, weigh it at home, go to and print out a label, tape that sucker to your box, and then dash into the post office by the airport and shove it in a big bin they have there? No lines, no waiting, I left the kids in the car and it took me LESS than thirty seconds.  Seriously.  I never knew this, so I thought I'd share.

Okay, on to the cooking.  This week, I think we tackled Cowboy Quiche (p32), Cherry Limeade (p114), Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce (p136), and the Tangy Tomato Brisket (p180).

When you check back tomorrow for my Weight Check Wednesday, you'll notice that I've gained a little bit.  Well, that's because of the food from last week, this week, and the few I've already done for next week.  It ain't pretty girls, but I can't lie- it's worth it.  This food is GOOD.

And for today, I'm doing away with the cute fonts and colors because I'm on a time crunch for the kids getting home.  And Scott better be walking off that bus with a bag full of folders with the word SCOTT written on them.


WOW.  That's about all I can manage.  I made this one morning on the fly when a few girls were coming over to drink coffee and bitch about the boat.  I've never had quiche, other than those little mini muffin ones people shove at you at parties and stuff, and I didn't really understand what they were.  Obviously, or I would have made this the day I got the book.

Let's see.  Eggs? Good.  Bacon? GOOD.  Heavy cream? GOOOOOOOOD.

I think my guests liked it, but honestly, I couldn't tell you.  I was too busy shoveling it in my face and jabbing my fork at any hands that tried to cut a slice.

This is what was left.

Angela says:

"This was interesting. I only recently even tried quiche for the first time. Until I tried it I thought it was something very different, not simply breakfast pie. I used a pre-made crust for this (of course). I substituted half and half for the cream. I chopped up the bacon before cooking it (way easier). I also added crumbled sausage since Big Papa likes meat. I only used half of an onion, a whole onion sounded a bit much. I used my mixer to blend the eggs and all the ingredients because I hate it when the egg whites are separated in any way. It was pretty simple to make, except the center was not done initially. So what I did was cut a piece of it from the edge, and push the center over so it was more spread out, then I covered it back up with foil and put it back in for about fifteen min. That did the trick! This was pretty good, the kids liked it. Next time I won’t put sausage in it (especially since Big Papa wouldn’t even TRY it!). I don’t know if it is worth the fat/calorie content so I am not certain if I will do it again. "

She is obviously drunk.  It is TOTALLY worth the fat and calorie content.  And she reminded me, I didn't have an onion, so mine was onion free. And I used a frozen pillsbury pie crust.



This was pretty cut and dry.  I used diet seirra mist, because that's what I keep on hand for when I get a headache that gives me a tummy ache, and I only used half a cup of sugar.  And next time I won't use any.  Diet soda is SUPER sweet anyway, so I don't see what it helped.


"I am a huge fan of cherry limeade. This was pretty good, and super simple. I used 10oz jar of cherries since I couldn’t find a smaller one. I didn’t know how many limes I needed so I just squeezed three of them. This was yummy, but needs to be drunk shortly after being made, it goes flat after a few hours. Next time I won’t put any sugar in it. There wasn’t any need for it and I like my limeade to be tart.  This is super neat for a party or gathering, especially with youngsters. I think next time I’d just pour the juice from the cherries into the drink and reserve the cherries to put in the cups individually so everyone gets some!"


  • 2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, with juice
  • Thin lime slices


Chill all ingredients before mixing.
When cold, combine the lemon-lime soda, lime juice, sugar, cherries with their juice and lime slices in a large pitcher and stir. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Serve with a ladle, getting cherries and limes in each serving


Wow.  Am I abusing that word? This was SO amazing.  I love pesto, and I love heavy this was a no brainer.  I have a basil plant, but no pine nuts, but it was fine without, at least in my opinion.  I made the pesto in the morning (in case you're wondering, the vitamix is NOT as good as a food processor for making pesto.  But it does work.) and then heated the cream right before dinner, mixed it up, and served it over some cheese tortellini.  It.  Was.  Heaven.

Oh yeah, I also nixed the tomatoes. And Nick grilled some boneless skinless chicken breasts to go on the side.

Angela says:

"This. Is. Amazing. I already had pesto made and frozen using Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It is so handy to have around, and it is a great way to use up basil that may soon be going bad. The sauce is simple, simple. I actually can’t over-emphasize how simple it is (if you have pesto already made). I used a little more parmesean cheese than is called for because I love it. The fresh tomatoes really add a crisp flavor. This is great for lunch or as a side dish. I think it’d be great with shrimp or chicken also."

Hey!! We agree!!!

  • ¾ cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan (additional)
  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta (cavitappi, Fusili, Etc.)
  • 2 whole Tomatoes, Diced

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta until al dente.
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour pesto cream over the top. Toss to combine. Add diced tomatoes and toss quickly. Serve immediately.


I made this in the crockpot.  I have my new le cruiset, but I didn't have seven hours to stay home, and I've recently become afraid of burning down the house if I leave my oven on.  It's weird, because I left it on all the time in Guam.  But this kid out here was lighting houses in Pearl City on fire, so now I'm nervous.  Go figure.

Anyway.  I used ketchup, but I think chili sauce might be better.  This is pretty easy, three ingredients, turn it on, and you're done.  For some reason, I can't remember what it tasted like.  My book says "crockpot, good and easy, Ava ate all and seconds." And that's all I've got.  Sorry!!

Angela is more helpful:

"I was uber hesitant about the brisket. First of all it’s huge. Second it’s expensive. Third it had a huge slab of fat on the back of it. Now I live in Biloxi, MS. I buy my meat from walmart. I am not aware of them having a butcher at my disposal to trim the meat. But I got it, after much bitching to Jenn, and brought it home. I cut it in half, trimmed as much of the fat as I could and stuck it in the crock pot. I thought ketchup and onion soup was a little lacking so I added bbq sauce, sirichi, garlic chilli sauce and tonys (of course). This cooked all day in the crock pot at my mom’s house. She moved them around for me about mid day and turned it off at 5. I pulled it out of the crock pot when I got there and it was just falling apart. It was very flavorful, tender and tasty. I think this is a little bit fatty, but had I a proper butcher it may not have been. I am still not comfortable with the thought of it being cooked in the oven. I am not that confident in my meat cooking skills. "

Passover Brisket (apparently back in 2010 when she first did this, she called it passover brisket instead, so I'm leaving it as that)


  • 1 whole Beef Brisket, Trimmed Of All Fat (5 To 8 Pounds)
  • 1 bottle (24 Ounce) Ketchup Or Chili Sauce (make Sure It's Kosher)
  • 1 package Onion Soup Mix (make Sure It's Kosher)

Preparation Instructions

Place trimmed brisket into a large baking pan.
Mix ketchup with onion soup mix. Add 1 cup of water or more to make it slightly thin.
Pour sauce over the meat, cover pan with foil, and marinate 12 to 24 hours in the fridge.
Place covered pan into a 275-degree oven and walk away for 6 to 8 hours, depending on how large the brisket is. Check tenderness when brisket has been cooking several hours: stick in two forks and pull in opposite directions. Meat should come apart easily.
When meat is done, remove from oven and place on a cutting board. Slice against the grain; don’t be disturbed if meat totally falls apart! That means it’s good.
Either return the sliced meat to the sauce until serving, or place meat on a platter and spoon sauce over the top.
Serve with a kosher-for-passover noodle kugel!

All right.  I have to go, Michael Phelps is on with Matt Lauer from when I taped it this morning (I've mentioned my obsession with the Olympics, no? I wanted to switch it up and root for Ryan Lochte this year, I really did.  He's cuter, he's new, all that.  But I just COULDN'T DO IT.  I just love Michael Phelps.  I can't get enough.  If he had been on my swim team, I would have tried a LOT harder.  He's just so fun, and so honest.  I'm so sick of all these people being all modest and it's an honor to be here and blah blah blah.  Michael Phelps is always like "sweet, this is so fun, and winning ROCKS!! Losing sucks!!"

A few days ago, that idiot announcer was interviewing him and trying to talk to him about how he had a funny start and a weird turn and it just wasn't that great of a swim, and Michael Phelps breaks in and says "yeah, but you know what? I touched the wall first.  And that's really all that matters."  And that basically sums up why I can't get enough. Yes, I understand that it's such an honor to be there, but when it comes down to it, they are there to win.  To be FIRST.  To be the best in the world.  And that's what he does.

What was I talking about? Oh, I have to go.  Good thing I can rewind it.  I just love Matt Lauer.

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