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Favorite Pioneer Woman Recipes

I know the Pioneer Woman has received some mixed reviews on here, but I have enjoyed everything of hers that I have tried. My favorites so far: Penne a la Betsy, Cajun Chicken Pasta, pimento cheese and her jalepeno poppers.

Would love to know your favorites!

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  1. What is Pioneer Woman? I remember my great-grandmother's cooking; she had learned to cook from her grandmother who was an actual pioneer woman who lived in a log cabin on the Illinois frontier in the 1830's, and I'm pretty sure that penne didn't figure in her cuisine, which ran more to leftover cornmeal mush sliced and fried in bacon grease. Fried pork chops with bread fried in the pork chop grease. Gravy made with bacon fat, flour, and cream. Lots of cornbread. Fried potatoes and fried salt pork. Cornmeal pancakes. Fried bacon and eggs. Fried grease. BTW Grandma ate this stuff all her life (it was greasy and salty and absolutely delicious) and she died at age 99. We seem now to be a race of lesser mortals.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Querencia

      This is what I was referring to http://thepioneerwoman.com/ but your great grandmother sounds like quite a woman!!

      1. re: Querencia

        That's incredible Querencia! I know, my sister has a couple of friends in Alabama that were in their 90s and both passed away in their sleep! they didn't know each other but their patterns were similar. For breakfast, they had to have their pork back strap,(I think that what it's called) fried eggs and grits oh and a tomato every single morning! She said most of their food was fried, but they ate it every day, and they were hardworking women (in their younger years), once in awhile had a glass of wine or such. Lots of cream, butter, fried green tomatoes, chicken - the whole sheebang. And here I sit counting points, yeah I get 20 today. Something is just wrong with this picture. (Maybe its the tomato?) Well whatever the case, God bless your Great-Grandma, definitely she's on to something

      2. Her Italian Drip Beef (I did mine in a crockpot) and seven layer mexican dip are both great choices for Super Bowl parties.

        1. I have a love/hater relationship with her recipes. I think she unnecessary gets a bad rap as I don't think she doesn't try to make herself out to be anything more than wife/mom that enjoys cooking.

          Ones I like:

          filet au poivre
          garlic cheese bread
          marinaded flank steak
          brisket
          fig pizza
          sea salt truffles
          lemon pasta
          roast red pepper sauce
          red pepper risotto

          I am currently reading her book and it is funny that when she first met her husband, it seems like she didn't really know how to cook the most basic things. She tells funny stories about pasta and steaks that were cooked beyond recognition.

          I regularly visit her site and one thing that shocked me was that she buys her meat from the grocery store. For those that aren't familar with her, she is married to a 4th generation cattle rancher. She explained it as they don't "finish" cattle so she doesn't have a direct source for beef.

          1. Her Oatmeal Crispies are very good--a buttery refrigerator cookie, excellent! Since I cook for one now, with no local relatives to bake for, I often make the dough when I feel like baking, then freeze it in rolls. I can unwrap and slice-n-bake anytime I want just a few cookies, or need some as a gift.

            Most of her recipes very rich--geared for her quite active young family--high calorie and fat content. But some I've tried are very good. She presents them for beginning cooks, with a multitude of photos, and most are fairly basic, either traditional or contemporary favorites. She gives cooking and prep tips that are invaluable for those just starting out in the kitchen, along with healthy doses of self-deprecation and humor. From the comments on her blog, she manages to energize many timid young cooks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: toodie jane

              I agree that her cooking and prep tips are very useful for less than confident cooks, that is exactly what appeals to my friends - they can follow along step by step, which is HUGE thing for them.

              1. re: cleobeach

                Agree CB - Step by step shows me what the food is supposed to look like and what implements are needed. PW is the one that got me to try to make sushi. I loved it altho it was a LOT of work. Her best chocolate sheet cake made into cupcakes went over well. I'm not allowed to go to a party w/o those bacon wrapped around crackers appetizers which, seriously, I can't even get past one but there you go. She has gotten a lot of smack down, but that's what happens when you put yourself into the public eye.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Wish we'd had something like this when friends & I were just learning to cook *cough* years ago!

              2. I've heard her cinnamon rolls are incredible; anyone here ever tried them? My husband just requested that I make some this weekend and I thought I might give this recipe a go (I'm more of a caramel roll/sticky bun girl myself).

                7 Replies
                1. re: girlwonder88

                  yes; I have made them several times. I find the dough too rich as is, so just cut down. It's basically a brioche dough (with eggs and butter). You can adjust the amount of eggs and butter to your taste. The pour-over mocha sauce is too sweet for my personal taste, but I like the flavor, so I sprinkle a bit of espresso powder and cocoa on the dough with the butter and nuts, before rolling and cutting. 7 or 8 just fit into a 9" tinfoil pan for giveaways.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Yeah I find PW's Cinnamon rolls rather rich but then they are cinnamon rolls :) I use Smitten Kitchen's cream cheese glaze (frosting? consistency is somewhere in between) in place of PW's Mocha sauce.

                    Other favorites:

                    Bacon wrapped jalapeno thingies which I am *ahem* required to make for all football gatherings. I've made them with bacon, and without, topping them with panko instead. Fantastic either way. I also get raves for her Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. Love her guac! I don't live in an area where bonafide mexican or even tex mex places are abundant (we're north of Calgary Alberta Canada) so I don't have much to go on except that it tastes fantastic to me! :)

                  2. re: girlwonder88

                    My husband has made these cinnamon rolls, and they really are quite delicious. The recipe is incredibly simple. I like cinnamon rolls that aren't too bready, and the dough is just perfect if you like moister, gooier doughs. We never made the glaze - the cinnamon rolls are great and sweet enough without the glaze (though one of these days I'll try the glaze...)

                    1. re: kcchan

                      I've made the rolls, wasn't big on the dough, neede them to be a bit more dense. But the idea of melting butter in the pan before placing rolls in, then the maple flavor glaze- yes! Loved that. Maple flavoring instead of the usual vanilla. Loved it. Making some (again) tomorrow.

                      1. re: slcook

                        Hmmm, so it would probably be easy to make them into a caramel roll instead: add brown sugar and a little corn syrup to that butter melted in the pan, and flip after cooking. I'm not a huge fan of maple flavored desserts, which has been my (no pun intended) sticking point about this recipe.

                        1. re: girlwonder88

                          Try subbing maple syrup for the corn syrup.....healthier AND tastier!

                    2. re: girlwonder88

                      I've made them a few times. They are good. The only real change I make is using maple syrup in the glaze instead of maple extract.