In the last few weeks I've jointed a chicken (more than once), found a new favourite and had our first fail of the project, although that was largely my fault. Yes, we've moved onto Book 2, and this time it's one I actually own.
I discovered the Pioneer Woman blog and recipes in the last few weeks of my pregnancy when general twitchiness sent me trawling the internet for something different for supper; we tried the meatballs and never looked back. I ordered the book wandering which would arrive first. It was the book. By a good week.
Book 2 in the Great Culinary Experiment: Pioneer Woman Cooks
We've made a few things before but this time I sat down again for a good cover to cover read with the added bonus that I was willing to consider cooking things that involved bending down to put them in the oven.
Now then, shall we get the one that got away first:
Chicken Pot Pie. When I say it's largely my fault, it really is. I ran out of plain flour after making the pie crust, which incidentally was delicious, so when it came to sprinkle flour in to the chicken and veg to make the gravy I used the only thing in the cupboard - strong white bread flour - I know, I know, blame it on sleep deprivation; a very glutinous flour is going to give you a very glutinous pie. And so it was - gloopy, cloying and not at all nice - we enforced the house rule and ordered pizza.
I think that with just ordinary plain flour, although probably not a whole cup of it, it would have been nice, but H just wasn't wild on the flavours altogether so it might just not be one for us.
On the other hand, this will be on the repeat list:
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole. Oh how we loved it. Oh how we loved it the second and third time, and Oh how I forgot to take any pictures on any occasion. It was spicy enough for H but mild enough that Kitty wolfed it down and really simple to make and one recipe makes enough for three generous meals for our little family.
But possibly best of all, a pot roast. Soft tender beef, with slow cooked carrots and new potatoes. One little joint did two suppers, a lunch, and a little bit left for snacking, and it was perfect.
Last but not least, Macaroni Cheese - another of the 'eaten before I had a chance to take a photo'. Just imagine a golden, bubbling, slightly crispy layer of macaroni with cheesy pasta underneath. It was good, it was a working day, and pasta shapes and cheese it one of my major food groups; you can see why the camera never had a look in.
The portions are cowboy sized and I haven't done as many recipes as the last book simply because my freezer only has so much space. At the moment it's got a frozen lasagne, a steak pie and two portions of meatballs and it seems a little empty. What this book has shown me is how much I easier life can be having food stored away in the freezer for working night meals so I think Monday will be our cooking day for a while to come and as long as the freezer doesn't break and I remember to defrost at the right time all will be well.
I think I read somewhere that there's a new book in the works but in the meantime I need to petition Food Network UK to show their American cousin's new Pioneer Woman Saturday morning programme, because this food is good, and it's food to go straight to the heart of my steak-loving husband.