Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Twelve

*My best friend Angela and I are cooking our way through the Pioneer Woman's second book, Food From My Frontier*

I'm all jacked up on the schedule.  Each 'week' is taking us two weeks.  I shouldn't say 'us' because it's not us, it's me.  I don't get it!! I make a menu plan, buy the groceries, and then...I don't know.  We don't eat out and we do EAT, so I can't quite figure out what's going on.  Anyway.  This week (last week actually, it just sort of bled into this week) we were supposed to make drip beef sandwiches, curried chicken pasta salad, breakfast bread pudding, and steakhouse pizza.  And somehow, last week, even though each of those things was on my plan, I only made the drip beef and the chicken salad.  But we ate seven nights in a row.  Huh?

It's weird.

Oh.  And the coffee cream cake.  Let's not forget that.  Since I ate the whole thing...

Luckily, Angela is willing to wait for me.  Or rather, she does her own thing and doesn't seem to mind when I finally get around to doing mine and typing it up.  Isn't having a best friend awesome?

Drip Beef Sandwiches

I.  Loved.  This.

I've made this before, I'm almost positive.  But the old recipe I used certainly did NOT have these pepper things.  If you're confused about them (I certainly was) they are the peppers that Papa John's sticks in the box with the pizza.  Or at least they used to.  And they are over with the olives and roasted red peppers and things like that.  For anyone here, that's the bread aisle (12, I think) at the Hickam commissary, halfway down, and on the lowerish part of the shelves.

Anyway.  It was a little too spicy for the kiddos, because I used a HUGE jar of peppers and ALL the juice.  But it was SO GOOD.  I made them lunch meat turkey sandwiches once I bit into mine and realized they wouldn't be able to take it.  I used mini french loaves and swiss cheese slices that got all goey and melty and was good.  This was REALLY good.  And I had these AMAZING chuck roasts from a while back when I had a craving at Costco and they looked so good I wanted to rip them open in the warehouse and eat them raw.  So other than the peppers, I had (and still have) all these ingredients on hand!! Gotta love those kinds of meals.

Oh yeah, I did this in the crockpot.  Monday is still crockpot day.  I put it in at eleven and we ate at about six thirty and it really did fall apart when I started shredding it, and the meat just about melted in my mouth when I ate it.

Here's Angela:

i pretty much followed the recipe but did not use rosemary and instead threw in some onions, garlic and tony's. this cooked ALL. DAY. it took forever, but once it was done it was good stuff. 

Italian Drip Beef (in the book, it's just drip beef)


  • 1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5 To 4 Pounds
  • 1 can Beef Consomme Or Beef Broth
  • 3 Tablespoons (heaping) Italian Seasoning (I don't have the book in front of me, but I'm pretty sure it just calls for rosemary.  And I forgot it, and mine was amazeballs, so I say leave it out.)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cups Water (I didn't use water, I used one of those cartons of beef broth, so it was like three cups)
  • ½ jars (16 Oz) Pepperoncini Peppers, With Juice (obviously, I used way more.  Some might say I used too much.)
  • Buttered, Toasted Deli Rolls

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid.
Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven* for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart. **If meat is not yet tender, return to oven for 30 minute intervals till it’s tender!**
Remove from oven. With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove.
May make the day before, then store in the refrigerator. Remove the hardened fat from the top before reheating.
Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler if desired. Serve with juices from the pot.

Curried Chicken Salad

I hated this.  I hated this so much that I actually got angry.  I hated this so much that I cried a tiny little bit, because I LOVE her chicken salad, and I was so upset that I ruined a perfectly good batch of it on THIS.  This was so disgusting that I just threw a hissy fit, grabbed up everyone's plates and slammed them into the sink, and served cereal instead.

So guess what Angela thought? This is me rolling my eyes.

"I’ve made the regular chicken salad many times, so I was pleased to see this variation. I leave out the almonds and raisins, mainly because I never have them and am ok without them. This is such a fresh crisp summer recipe. You can put it on bread, use crackers to dip it, or just eat it out of the bowl. Adding the pasta to it makes it more of a side dish or even a meal and the curry adds such an interesting and flavorful taste.

 It’s great for potlucks. You have to eat it within a day or two or it starts to break down and not taste as good. I use cilantro instead of dill for two reasons. 1. I LOVE cilantro. 2. Dill is weird. It tastes like pickles. "

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad


  • 3 pounds Chicken, Cooked And Diced/shredded
  • 6 ounces, weight Dry Pasta, Cooked And Drained
  • 4 whole Ribs Celery, Thinly Sliced - Leaves Included (use Interior Ribs)
  • ¾ cups Golden Raisins
  • ¾ cups Slivered Almonds
  • ½ cups Mayonnaise
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Curry Powder, More Or Less To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar, More Or Less To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Boil chicken to cook. Boil pasta in chicken broth.
Dice/shred chicken. Drain pasta.
Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, heavy cream, curry powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until well combined.
Combine chicken, drained pasta, sliced celery, raisins, and almonds in a large bowl. Pour curry dressing over the top. Fold together with a rubber spatula. Make sure it’s all combined, then add more of whatever it needs. Make sure the sweet/savory balance is right for you! (I like mine a little sweet.)
Chill for several hours. Serve with juicy grapes on the side.

So gross.  I can't, in good conscience, not also give you the basic chicken salad, which is SO GOOD.

Chicken Salad

Added by Ree on August 7, 2009 in Meat SaladsSalads
Prep Time 
Cook Time 
Servings 6Difficulty Easy


  • 1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken
  • 2 stalks (to 3 Stalks) Celery, Chopped
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped
  • 2 cups (to 3 Cups) Grapes, Halved
  • ½ cups Mayonnaise
  • ½ cups Plain Yogurt Or Sour Cream
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • A Small Handful Of Fresh Dill, Minced
  • ½ cups Slivered Almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Brown Sugar
  • Juice Of One Lemon
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Preparation Instructions

    Rinse chicken thoroughly and place in a large pot of water. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done (about 45 minutes to an hour). When you are ready, remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. With your fingers or a fork, pull all of the meat off the bones, chop into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

    Chop all of your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken.
    In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

    Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro…whatever makes your skirt fly up) and if you’re feeling a bit brazen throw in a dash of cayenne pepper!

    When the dressing tastes just right (you must taste test for appropriate saltiness especially), pour it over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed. If you are feeling naughty add a sprinkling of bacon bits.

    Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich or heck, eat it straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon.
    Try it soon – you’ll love it!

    Steakhouse Pizza

    Steakhouse Pizza

    I thought this was good, not great.  It's a pizza, with steak on it.  Kinda ho hum.  Pizza's good, steak's good, what else can I say.  I probably wouldn't make this again.  And I didn't make the pizza crust again.  I just used one from Whole Foods.

    Here's Angela:
    well, we gave the gluten free pizza crust a go. it was terrible. the pizza crust in her book is so good and easy. i don't know how i'll deal with this gluten free thing. 


    • 1 whole Recipe Pizza Crust
    • 1 whole Skirt Steak Or Flank Steak
    • Salt And Pepper, to taste
    • 2 whole Red Onions, Sliced Thin
    • 3 Tablespoons Butter
    • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
    • ½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
    • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
    • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thin
    • Shaved Parmesan Cheese
    • ½ cups Good Steak Sauce (more If Desired)
    • Preparation Instructions

      Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Arrange rack in the bottom half of the oven.
      Saute red onions in butter and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until dark and caramelized, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
      Combine marinara sauce with 2 tablespoons balsamic and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
      Grill steak over high heat until medium rare. Remove from grill and set aside.
      Roll out pizza dough until very thin. Top with marinara mixture and spread to coat dough. Lay caramelized red onions all over the sauce, then top onions with slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake pizza for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly (but watch to make sure it doesn’t burn.)
      While pizza is baking, slice steak into very thin slices.
      Remove pizza from the oven, then drape slices of steak all over the surface. Drizzle the top of the pizza with steak sauce (use squirt bottle if you have one) and top the whole thing with Parmesan shavings.
      Cut into squares and serve immediately.

Why is that backed with that orange thingie?  I don't get it.  I tried to get rid of it, and nothing works!! Just follow the title link, it's easier to read on her website.

Breakfast Bread Pudding

This was really good.  I was nervous, as I said, about the bread being soggy.  And it was, a little, but it's a breakfast casserole, so it didn't matter.  I don't have any idea why she's calling bread pudding, in my opinion that's a turnoff.  If we weren't doing everything in this book, I would never have made this, just because it's called bread pudding.  That just sounds gross.

Anyway.  I used four eggs and a cup of egg beaters.  I'm not sure the half and half really added anything.  And I used a handful of frozen pepper strips, which I thought was super easy and added a nice touch.  Because I normally would have just skipped them, except I happened to have the frozen ones on hand.

In other news, adding frozen pepper strips to your green smoothie? Bad idea.

Here's what Angela says about the bread pudding.  What a dumb name.
 was hesitant with this recipe because it sounds like it has the potential to be soggy, which I hate. I made a few adjustments to prevent this, and it worked perfectly.
First, I used 4 eggs instead of 8. I only used 1/4 lb of sausage instead of a whole pound and approx 1/3 of an onion instead a whole one. I did not allow it to soak overnight, but just long enough to allow the oven to pre heat. I cooked the onions and the sausage at the same time. This had nice flavor and was pretty easy.

Breakfast Bread Pudding

-lg yellow onion, thinly sliced

-3tbsp butter (I did NOT use this much butter)

-1lbs breakfast sausage (I used reduced fat pork because I couldn't find the turkey sausage I normally use)

-8 slices texas toast, or other thick sliced bread, lightly toasted and set aside to dry for a few hours (I used some biscuits from the other night, and I didn't use a lot because I was worried about the soggy factor.  Next time I'll use more.)

-1 red bell pepper, chopped

-2 cups grated Monterey jack (I used a lot less.  And it was a colby jack mix)

-8 eggs

-3/4cup half and half

-salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne if you want some heat (I didn't)

-Saute onions in some butter, set aside.  Brown and crumble sausage, set aside.  Use some more butter to butter a 2qt casserole dish.  Tear Texas toast (or whatever) into chunks and lay half of them in the dish.

-Add half the sausage, then half the onions, half the red pepper, and half the cheese.  Repeat the layers. End with the rest of the cheese.

-Lightly beat the eggs and half and half.  Season with salt and pepper and cayenne if you're using it.  Pour the egg mixture over the top.

-Cover with tin foil and stick in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (I left mine for five hours). Preheat oven to 350, cook for 20 minutes with foil. Take foil off, cook another 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown  Dish up and serve immediately.

Mine wasn't set, I needed a good ten extra minutes.

Scott had two bowls.  Daisy had three.  Warren dumped his milk in his and went to bed hungry.  Ava was wishy washy, but she doesn't like eggs.  I loved it, and it was easier than the usual breakfast casserole I make with hash browns.  I'll make this a lot.

Coffee Cream Cake

Well.  My note in my book says WOW in all caps.  And it's pretty big.  I loved it.  And I ate it all.  What else can I say?

This sucks, the one on her website is different.  And not just a little different, it's significantly different.  And I think it would be better!! I don't know what to do, do I type it out from the book, or just cut and paste this?

I'll cut and paste first, then talk about the differences.

Coffee Cake (Literally!)

Added by Ree on September 29, 2009 in CakesDesserts
Prep Time 
Cook Time 
Servings 12Difficulty Intermediate


  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Crystals
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • _____
  • 1-½ stick Butter
  • 1 pound Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Crystals
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round baking pans.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Melt 2 sticks of butter in a pot over medium-low heat. While that’s melting, add 3 tablespoons instant coffee to 1 cup boiling water. Set aside.
Once butter has melted, add coffee mixture to the butter in the pot. Let it come to a boil for about ten seconds, then turn off the heat. Set aside for just a minute.
In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Pour the butter/coffee mixture into the flour mixture. Stir the mixture together gently. The purpose here isn’t to mix it together perfectly, but to cool down the heat before adding the egg mixture.
Add in the egg mixture and stir gently until well combined. Then pour into pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until set.
Allow to cool completely.
Combine all icing ingredients, then ice the cake. Chill for an hour before serving.

Okay.  The biggest difference is that in the book, it's a layer of cake, a cream cheese filling (that wasn't that good) then another layer of cake, then the most amazing icing in the history of the world. I don't understand why the pics on her blog look so different, it look like regular frosting.  Mine was like a sorta hard shell covering the cake.  And it was the BEST part.  I don't know what to do now.  I guess next time I'll make it like the internet? Because the cream filling in the book really wasn't doing it for me.  Ugh.

Oh, the most important part.  Remember how I was going on and on and on about how I hate homemade cakes because they're so dense? Well this was light and fluffy and spongy and perfect.  I might literally never make another kind of cake again in the history of ever.

For what Angela thought, you can check out her story here.  I so wish we were together so we could be cooking this with each other.  Wouldn't that be fun?

No idea what we're making next week.  Have I mentioned how I'm all jacked up on the schedule? I think we're making guacamole.  I hope so anyway, because I bought six avocados.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. hi i am natasja engelbrecht and i live in afrika namibia i realy like your page