Friday, August 3, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Ten

*Angela and I are cooking our way through the Pioneer Woman's Food From my Frontier Book!!*

This week, we went after His and Her Burgers (p160), White Chicken Enchiladas (p186),  Hummus (p94), and the Strawberry Shortcake Cake (p246).

~His and Hers Burgers~
I can't find this one on the web.  It's pretty basic, I mean, a burger is a burger, and then she has you mix up two different types of mayo.  I guess that's what makes one His, and the other Hers.  I did the His and Angela did the Hers, for the age-old reason: I don't do mushrooms.  I feel like I might be missing out on something...

Anyway.  I loved it.  I love burgers.  The chipotle mayo was AMAZING, but it had a bit more of a kick than I was expecting.  Even though almost all of her recipes in this book use chipotle and I should remember.  But I never do.  I'm ALWAYS surprised.  A little got on my finger and ended up in Daisy's mouth and she almost died.  Eh.  Live and learn.

I'm just gonna hit the basics with this recipe.

For both burgers, she starts with ground beef, adds salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and then a third a cup of heavy cream.  PW LOVES her some cream, huh? And some tabasco, to taste.  Form some patties, then grill them up. Then build the burgers.

For His Burgers

Chop up two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and mix them into a quarter cup of mayo.  Top each patty with some thick sliced bacon, thick slices of Cheddar, and some jarred jalepeno slices.  Spread the top AND bottom bun with the chipotle mayo.  This is where I went wrong, I did both.  If you can't stand the heat, I'd start with just one.  I also skipped the jalepeno and subbed pickles instead.  I love me some pickles.

For Her Burgers

Mix a tablespoon of pesto with the quarter cup of mayo.  Caramelize some red onion and then saute some button mushrooms with them in butter.  Top the patty with the onions and mushrooms and some crumbled blue cheese, then spread the pesto mayo on both sides.

Angela did the Hers, here's what she sent me:

Her Burgers
As much as I like pesto, putting it on the burgers was a bit odd. I didn’t like it. And the blue cheese was not a good fit. The burger itself was fantastic, but I am more of a cowboy burger gal than a cowgirl burger. Maybe it’s just a little too fancy for me.

~White Chicken Enchiladas~

This is different in the book than it is online, just a little.

So I liked these.  I coulda done without the work of roasting the peppers, but still, it was good.  Better than the Sam the Cooking Guy recipe I usually use.  I did half heavy cream and half fat free evaporated milk both times it called for heavy cream, and in hindsight, I think the sauce would have been better as JUST heavy cream.  And it made so much, I would just make half next time anyway, so it'd be like only using half the cream, right?

I thought it was going to be too spicy for the kids, but they barely seemed to notice.  Ava ate all of hers, the boys just picked, but that's not saying much.

And here's Angela:

Well, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really follow this recipe at all.  It wasn’t because I didn’t think it would be good. It was because I apparently thought I had purchased all the items needed for it, when in fact I had not purchased any of the ingredients needed. Since it was what I had planned on making for dinner, it was what I had to make for dinner. So I just made a roux with butter and flour, threw in a pinch of mustard because I like the way it makes cheese sauces taste. I used the half and half I had and used the Mexican style shredded cheese I had with half a can of rotel. The chicken was already baked with regular seasoning and chopped up (or shredded). I filled flour tortillas (because I really don’t like corn tortillas) with the chicken, rolled them up, poured the cheese sauce over it, and baked it for twenty minutes. It was really good, but I’m sure the actual recipe would have been better. 

White Chicken Enchiladas (p186)


  • 2-1/2 cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken
  • 2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken (book just says 3 cups low sodium broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil (book says one)
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas (book says 16)
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced (book wants you to roast 2 or 3 hot chiles such as jalapenos, serranos, or the like, on your own.  Next time, I will be using canned like this.)
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (book says one and a half cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (book says four)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour (quarter cup)
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Picante Sauce (optional)
  • Cilantro, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

The book starts by saying to either grill or broil the bell peppers and chiles until the skin in black, then to shove them in a ziploc and let them steam for thirty minutes, then scrape off the skin and dice them up.  Oh yeah, in addition to the hot chiles, it wants three bell peppers, one green, one red, one yellow.  I used half a red and half a yellow because that's all I had.
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain. (Book skips this altogether.)
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you'd like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.
Serve with picante sauce, if desired.
Faint. Repeat as needed.


I'm not a huge hummus fan.  I don't love it, but I don't hate it.  Nick LOVES it.  And he LOVED this recipe.  He said it was super easy, and really good.  So there you have it.  I thought it tasted like hummus.

I think Angela didn't have time for this one, but since I've already typed it all out, I'm just going to leave it in.  I'll let you know what she thinks later.

  • 3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Garbanzo Beans, Rinsed And Drained
  • ⅓ cups Plus 1 Tablespoon Tahini
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Chopped, Or More To Taste
  • ½ whole Lemon, Juiced
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin, Or More To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Basil Or Italian Parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons To 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions

Combine chickpeas with all ingredients, except water and olive oil, in a blender or food processor.

Pulse until mixture becomes somewhat smooth and combined, but do not over mix.

Add water as necessary to facilitate blending. At the end, add olive oil and pulse no more than three times, just to incorporate.

Pour mixture into a bowl and stir to ensure mixture is combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to three days in the fridge.

~Strawberry Shortcake Cake~
So I'm not a baker.  It's annoying, it's time consuming, and it's important to be precise.  And I'm not good at being precise.  Mainly because I usually can't find the right measuring spoons.  So I wasn't looking forward to making this, at all.

But.  I did.  Because that's what we're doing, we're cooking everything.  And I feel guilty because I keep bailing on all the mushroom stuff, so I did it.

And then I ate the whole thing.

It was amazing.  The icing was...I can't think of a single word to describe it.  At all.  You'll just have to make it and try it.  Maybe you can think of a word.

As usual, when I bake things from scratch, it was very dense.  Any clues on why that happens? Next time I make this, I will buy a box of vanilla cake from Betty Crocker, and then add the sour cream and eggs to that.  I'm sorry, I just hate the denseness of the made from scratch stuff!!!

Here's Angela.  It's pretty rare, but we agreed on this one :)

This. Was. Devine. Ever since I got the cookbook aidan has been asking me to make ‘that one cake’ because the picture is on the cover. Papa likes the lighter cakes, and I mistakenly thought this to be more like angel food cake (his favorite). It wasn’t. but it was good. The batter was sooo good. I could have easily eaten half of it. And the frosting? Man! So good. It wasn’t hard to make. I put the cake in two pans, instead of one and then cutting it in half. That would not have gone well I can tell you that right now. I cooked it for less time than was indicated (I think 35 min) knowing that the batter was less and would take less time, but really it could’ve baked for 25-30 min and been fine. I didn’t add any sugar to the strawberries because everything was sweet enough. I mashed them and then put them in the strainer to let the excess juice drain. I didn’t want it making the cake soggy since we wouldn’t be eating it for another 24 hours. The instructions say to put the strawberries on the cake and then put them in the freezer to firm them up so you can frost over the top of them. I did that. Didn’t quite work like she said it would. The strawberries got mixed in with the frosting, apparently my cakes were lopsided and the strawberries in between the layers made it even more lopsided. It turned out to be the ugliest cake I’ve ever seen. I put it in the frig and the next day we tore into it. So good. Extremely rich, but it turned out perfectly. Everyone loved it.

*check out her pictures at  But don't read about the brisket because I haven't done that yet*

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Added by Ree on July 17, 2009 in CakesDesserts
Prep Time 
Cook Time 
Servings 10Difficulty Easy


  • Cake
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 3 whole Large Eggs
  • ½ cups Sour Cream, Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • _____
  • Icing
  • ½ pounds Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 1-½ pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound Strawberries

Preparation Instructions

IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep! 

Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.

Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until no longer jiggly like my bottom. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries in two batches. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.

Make icing: combine cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.

Slice cake in half through the middle. Spread strawberries evenly over each half (cut side up), pouring on all the juices. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes, just to make icing easier.

Remove from freezer. Use a little less than 1/3 of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. 

Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 cup around the sides.

Leave plain OR garnish with strawberry halves.

IMPORTANT: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!

So there you go.  Next week will be a big one, because I somehow jacked this week up and we've already cooked a ton of stuff not on here.  I'm actually a little bit confused about what happened.  Doing this via text with someone who works full time and lives five hours in the future is a little confusing at times.  But I THINK next week I'll be writing up Cowboy Quiche, Cherry Limeade, Tangy Tomato Brisket, Curried Chicken Salad, Pesto with Cream Sauce, and...what else? Angela, I know you've already cooked ALL that, what are you going to do all week? Although I guess I've cooked most of it too.  We need to add more!!

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