After spending five hours and my hard earned money on Pioneer Woman’s cookbook (read about the adventure here and here), I decided I’d better try to get my time and money’s worth and use some of her recipes.
So, last Sunday, I used her recipe for Spicy Pulled Pork.
(This was early on in the cooking process.) I left out the cumin and cut back on the chili powder in deference to the kids’ and my wimpy palates, but the flavor was still very good, not overpowering as I was afraid it might be. And versatile. On Sunday, we had pulled pork sandwiches; on Monday, we had the pork on its own with different sides; Tuesday, we had pork, potato and carrot calzones. Tonight, we finished it off for a special leftover night! So, four meals from 5 pounds of pork! Woohoo! It doesn’t take much to get me excited. So, two thumbs up for the Spicy Pulled Pork.
Yesterday, I baked a batch of PW’s Oatmeal Crispies. These, you mix up, roll into logs and chill or freeze until ready to use.
Somehow, even frozen overnight, mine were a little too soft, but that worked out okay. One of the things I dislike about rolled and sliced cookies like this is that they sometimes come out looking…well, square. And while Huey Lewis and the News once averred that “It’s hip to be square,” I have to say that doesn’t apply to cookies. I like my cookies to conform, blend in with the crowd. It’s their flavor that should stand out, not their shape. So, anyway. Being a little too soft meant that they melted nicely while baking and came out round. And oh, so yummy.
This recipe is so simple and so straight-forward, I confess that I was expecting rather bland cookies. True, these are supposed to be PW’s husband’s favorite cookies, but this is also a man who prefers bicuits out of a can so I’m not going to rely on him as the arbiter of good taste. Sorry, MM. So, I was surprised – but happily so – when I found that these cookies are really, truly delicious. I added chocolate chips and peanut butter chips just ’cause it’s not really a cookie unless it includes chocolate, but – and I don’t say this lightly – these cookies could stand on their own with no chocolate. *gasp* I know! That was my reaction, too! So, simple and delicious. And my own dear husband seems mighty fond of them, too. Two thumbs way up.
Then, today, I decided to try PW’s Mocha Brownie recipe. Actually, I left out the mocha frosting and just went for the brownies. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cute to make the brownie in my mini-muffin tins? Then I could decorate them with a swirl of mint flavored frosting and have little mint chocolate bites?” Too cute. Right? Well, it all went horribly wrong in the baking process. I think I made two mistakes (at least, probably more!): 1) I didn’t grease the tins enough and 2) I filled the cups too full. This led to brownies which resisted all but the heartiest effort to free them which, in turn, led to a large mound of brownie bits. This is no reflection on PW’s excellent recipe. The flavor is wonderful and went very well with large mounds of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce tonight. If I had followed her directions, I might now be laying away a large tray of brownies for Christmas consumption. So, I give the recipe one thumb up for flavor and withold the other thumb’s judgement until I can make the recipe again. What a trial to have to make brownies again!
So far, these recipes are keepers. Thanks, Ree.