Tag Archives: Pioneer Woman

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I plan my meals a week in advance so as to avoid having to run to the grocery store every day for lack of needed ingredients.  I planned on making Chicken Tortilla Soup last night because the weather forecast had been calling for fall temperatures and rain.  What better night to have soup for dinner?!

On a personal note, growing up, I don’t remember having homemade soup very often.  After having made a couple of soups of my own now, I realize why.  Soups have to simmer on the stove for like…an hour.  If I made a meal every night that took me about 2 hours (like this one) from the time I started making it until the time I could put it in my mouth, I wouldn’t be eating dinner until 8 or 9!  So no wonder my mom didn’t make homemade soup much.  Who has that kind of time?  Of course, if you’re The Pioneer Woman and you live in the middle of nowhere and are a food blogger for a living, then I suppose you do have that kind of time.  Anyway…  speaking of time, it’s soup time.

For starters, grab these four ingredients:

Chili powder, Garlic powder, Salt & Ground Cumin

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.

Then, drizzle one Tbsp of olive oil over two chicken breasts.  Sprinkle half of the spices mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts.  Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, dice 1 cup of onion.

This is a nifty trick that my husband taught me: make horizontal and vertical slices across the top of an onion, and then proceed to flip the onion on its side and cut straight down.  This will give you lots of small, diced onion pieces.  Maybe a lot of you already know the trick, but I thought it was the coolest. thing. ever. when I learned about it!

Also dice 1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper & 1/2 cup of red bell pepper.

And if you’re like me, you’ll forget that you’re supposed to also dice 3 cloves of garlic, so you’ll frantically start ripping apart cloves of garlic and your counter will end up looking like this:

And then you’ll have to figure out how to sweep it all into the trash can without getting it all on your floor!  Anyway, once you’ve got the garlic cloves diced, toss the bell peppers, onions & garlic into a large pot with a Tbsp. of olive oil.  Sautee and mix those 4 ingredients in your pot.  I put an emphasis on the word “large” because I put these items in a pretty large pot, but it wasn’t large enough once all of the soup ingredients were inside.  So I ended up transferring my ingredients to a different pot half-way through cooking!

Once those ingredients are mixed, toss in the remainder of the spice mixture.

By this time, hopefully your chicken is ready to be brought out of the fiery furnace, which we like to call, the oven.  Take 2 forks and shred that chicken up!

Now, add the shredded chicken to the onion, garlic & bell peppers.  Mix it in.

Time to bring out the big guns, the “closers,” if you will.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term “closer,” I’m referring to a closing pitcher in baseball.  Baseball teams have closing pitchers whom they count on to, well, close the game so they can win!  Speaking of winning…San Francisco Giants are going to the 2012 World Series, people!  Can I get some love from my Giants fans?!


Tomato paste, green chiles, diced tomatoes, black beans and chicken broth

In your pot, add 4 Tbsp. of tomato paste, 4 oz. green chiles, 14 oz. diced tomatoes, 2 cans of drained black beans and 32 oz of chicken broth.  Again, mix it all up.  Then, bring your mixings to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow soup to simmer for 55 minutes, uncovered.

Meanwhile, cut strips of corn tortillas.

As well as any other toppings you’d like for your soup, I like avocados, cilantro & more onions!

When the soup is ready, allow to cool for 5 minutes and toss your tortilla strips in to combine.

When you serve, top with your desired toppings.  We ended up with sour cream, pico de gallo, onions, cilantro, avocados and cheese.  The perfect end to a rainy day.

We got a bit crazy with the soup…don’t mind the mess we made on the bowl!  😉

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)


  • 1 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Onion
  • 1/2 cup Yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 oz. green chiles
  • 14 oz. dice tomatoes
  • 2 cans drained black beans
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • toppings: avocado, onion, cilantro, chiles, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, cheese…the possibilities are endless!


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, salt & ground cumin in small bowl.
  3. Place two chicken breasts on baking sheet.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil on both pieces of chicken.  Sprinkle half of spices mixture over both sides of chicken breasts.
  4. Bake chicken for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Dice 1 cup of onions, 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper and 3 cloves garlic.
  6. Heat up 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large pot.
  7. Sautee garlic, onions and bell peppers over olive oil in large pot.
  8. Pour remaining spices mixture into pot.
  9. Remove cooked chicken from oven.  Shred with 2 forks.
  10. Place shredded chicken into pot.  Stir to mix in.
  11. To pot, add tomato paste, green chiles, diced tomatoes, black beans & chicken broth.
  12. Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, allow soup to simmer uncovered for 55 minutes.
  13. Cut strips from corn tortillas.
  14. After 55 minutes of simmering, allow the soup to cool for 5 minutes.  During these 5 minutes, stir in tortilla strips.
  15. Top with whatever your heart desires!
  16. Thank God for your food.
  17. Chow down.

Steakhouse Pizza

Well, it’s been a while now, hasn’t it?  In just a moment, I’ll introduce you to my new friend, Steakhouse Pizza, created by the one, and only Pioneer Woman.

Now, I really struggle with finding new recipes.  Or maybe it isn’t necessarily an issue of finding new recipes, but more a concern of trusting new recipes.  Granted, there are a few recipes that I can look at and feel confident that they will taste good.  However, for the majority of recipes that I come across, I need to make the recipe and taste it myself in order to decide if it’s a good recipe, or a terrible one.  To be honest, I want to know that it’s a good recipe before I make it…which is exactly why I practically live on http://thepioneerwoman.com/.  I’ve made quite a few recipes from her cookbook & online blog and have yet to experience a meal that doesn’t appeal to my taste buds.  Last night, her Steakhouse Pizza recipe was no exception to that rule.

I chose this recipe for two reasons:  1)  It was a Monday.  I like alliteration.  Therefore, I believe in something called “Meat-filled Monday.”  In my humble opinion, beef is the alpha-meat, so if it’s gonna be a meat-filled day, there better be beef in there somewhere.  The shortened version of what I just said can be worded like this, If it is Monday, then I eat beef.  Remember those “If-Then” statements back from your days of school?  Oh yeah, you remember.  Fun times.  There can also be exceptions to “If-Then” statements which means that I don’t eat beef every.single.Monday.  It’s a happy notion though.  Anyway, moving along to reason numero dos.  2)  I wanted a recipe that didn’t involve pasta.  You see, I love pasta.  I could eat pasta like I could eat Mexican food…that’s everyday.  Although my sweet fiancé has Italian blood running through his veins and would probably not complain against pasta everyday, I like to try to a little variation in my meals.  (I would eat Mexican food or pasta every day of my life if I could though.)

There you have it: 1. Meat-filled Monday. 2. No pasta.  So when I stumbled across this Steakhouse Pizza recipe, I honestly didn’t think it sounded super delicious, but it involved beef, wasn’t pasta & came from the kitchen of The Pioneer Woman.  How could I go wrong with this recipe?!

So, with some greatly appreciated help from Phil, my master grillin’, smokin’ hot fiancé, Steakhouse Pizza was made.  I mixed up the sauce & caramelized the onions while he grilled up the steaks.  I cheated by purchasing pre-made pizza dough, but sometimes you just gotta cheat a little, you know?

Marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce & Balsamic vinaigrette make up the sauce for this pizza

Onions caramelizing...keep your eye on these little guys! I took my eye off of them & suddenly the kitchen (magically) became really smoky. Funny how that happens...

I need to apologize because I didn’t photo document this cooking sesh very well, but be sure to check out the real recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/09/steakhouse-pizza/ for more pictures and full details regarding ingredients and cooking instructions.

Steakhouse Pizza...a perfect meal for "Meat-filled Monday!"

Both Phil & I were a bit skeptical of steak on a pizza, but our first bites into our slices of pizza hushed all voices of doubt in our minds.  We happily ate our pizza, drank our wine & wreaked of caramelized onions once we finished our dinner.  No complaints.  Keep calm & cook on, ladies and gents.

Monkey Bread

The Pioneer Woman is a good woman.  I’ve tried many of her recipes, and I love that after every recipe that I try, I can continue to say, “Ree Drummond…she hasn’t failed me yet!”  Because she hasn’t.  I’m still waiting for the day to come when I taste one of her recipes and think to myself, Man, that was awful!  But it hasn’t happened yet.  And truth be told, I feel as though that day will never come.  But anyway, the other night we had “Breakfast for Dinner.”  As my contribution, I made Monkey Bread.

Now, I can remember my mom making Monkey Bread for breakfast on Sundays when I was growing up and it was quite tasty.  But then, I grew older and began discovering there was more out in this vast world.  “More” being things and people like The Pioneer Woman.  So one day, I found a “Monkey Bread” recipe on her website and decided to make that rendition instead of my mom’s classic recipe.  Well, I wasn’t disappointed!  The two recipes are basically the same, but the biggest difference is in the amount of butter that The Pioneer Woman uses.  If you’ve made one of her recipes before, you know that everything calls for butter.  Which, is one of the reasons why I think that all of her recipes are so good.  If you think about it, you really can’t go wrong with butter.  That is, until we all start keeling over due to clogged arteries.  But we’ll worry about that later.

So, let’s take a look at this delicious breakfast recipe.  It’s so good, you could probably eat it for dessert!  It’s pretty easy, so let’s get started.  First, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 350.  See?  Easy.

You’ll need 3 cans of biscuits.  Pop those bad boys open and cut each biscuit into fourths.

My hands are so pretty...I should be a hand model

Then, you’ll want to combine 1 cup of sugar in a good sized plastic bag, with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Are you more of a sugar-person, or more of a cinnamon-person?  I’m cinnamon.  Ok, on with it.  Put those biscuits in the bag and shake it all up.

Pardon the blur. I may need a trip to the eye doctor... These are the pre-shaken biscuits preparing to be, well, shaken up a bit.

Once shaken up, you will evenly layer the coated biscuits in a bundt pan.  You may grease the pan if you so desire, but as we all know, there’s a lot of butter in Pioneer Woman recipes, so you’ll be okay if you decide against pre-greasing the pan.  It’s up to you!


Once that’s taken care of, we’ll need to make our saucy-sauce.  There’s two ways this can be done.

Way #1: We’ll call this the “gourmet way.”  It’s really not that gourmet, but I don’t know what else to call it.  Mix your 2 sticks of butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a pan on the stove.  Stir it around until it’s combined into a golden color.

Way #2:  We’ll call this the “lazy way.”  I like this way the best.  You take your 2 sticks of butter and your 1/2 cup of brown sugar, put it in a microwavable dish and…microwave it.  Only takes a minute.  Stir it together once fully melted until it reaches a golden color, and then you are good to go!

When you’ve got the sauce ready, cover your little monkeys (biscuits) with the sauce.

Golden Goodness

Make sure you cover the whole dish as evenly as possible so that none of the biscuits feel naked or unloved!

Feel the Love...

By this point, your oven should be all heated up and ready to get the job done.  Put those beauties in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Smell your kitchen start to fill up with the scent of cinnamon-sugar deliciousness.  Teach yourself a lesson in self-control while you impatiently watch the minutes tick by.  Don’t worry, 30-40 minutes will be over soon enough.  Once you feel yourself feeling the need to give in to your desire for monkey bread, it should be ready for eating.

When you take it out of the oven, let it set for a few minutes before you flip the monkey bread over on a plate.  Now, the transferring of the monkey bread from the bundt pan to the plate is the scariest part for me, but I usually survive it.  Once flipped, it should like something like this…

All Ready for Eatin'!

I dare you to try it.  And then I double-dog dare you to tell me that you don’t like it.  I don’t think that you’ll tell me you don’t like it…I’d worry about you if you did!

The Pioneer Woman Strikes Again

The Pioneer Woman hit my kitchen last night.  And also my waistline.  No matter, it’s worth every pound added to my body.

I was feeling sweet, so I checked out the “Desserts” section of  http://thepioneerwoman.com.  As I scrolled through all of the possible desserts I think I could be heard saying “Mmmm,” “Yum,” “OHHH!”   I think you get the picture, yes?  It could also be described as too-much-deliciousness-for-your-own-good.  Disclaimer:  If you’re seriously trying to lose weight, keep AWAY from the desserts section.  Actually, maybe you should avoid her “Cooking” section all together for a while.  But if you’re like me and this sounds familiar, “My jeans don’t fit!  I’m not eating for a year…did someone just say chocolate?” then Pioneer Woman away!

I decided to keep it simple last night, so I went to cookies.  My eyes came across the words, “Monster Cookies.”  Can I get a “yes, please!” from anyone?  You gonna likeeee these.  Ok here’s the link to the recipe:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/09/monster-cookies/  and let’s begin!

Really, these are glorified chocolate chip cookies.  I mean, they’ve got rice krispies, chocolate chips, oats, M & M’s and peanut butter chips in ’em!  How can you go wrong?  Oh, and if you’re a nut lover, the recipe calls for pecans.  But me no like nuts.  So my version is nut-less.

Yummy cookie dough (Pre-everything monstrous)

Rawrrr Cookie Monster

Such cute little monster cookies


I tasted 1…or 2.  Maybe even 2 and a half, but I had to.  I had to make absolutely sure that the Monster Cookies were delicious.  And they were.  Because I had 2 more today 🙂

One problem that I did face though, is my cookies almost always (unless my baking has been blessed that day) come out flat.  I want puffy cookies!  Any suggestions out there?  I’d be glad to hear them!

“Go Back to Your Double-Wide & Fry Something!”

What movie is the title of this post from?!  I’ll be sad if no one knows the answer.

Anyway, Mama and I fried somethin’ last night, we did.  Courtesy of one of  The Pioneer Woman‘s recipes.  We made homemade corn dogs and cheese sticks-kinda like Hot Dog On A Stick.  So we copied the recipe from http://thepioneerwoman.com and a’fryin’ we went.

If you don’t know The Pioneer Woman then my gosh, you are MISSING OUT.  Pause what you’re doing and go there PRONTO.  I love her.  I want to be her.  The end.  Sorry, I got carried away.  She has fabulous recipes that are guaranteed to make your mouth feel like it’s in heaven, clog up your arteries (in a good way) and cancel out any workouts that you’re currently doing (also in a good way).  AND she provides step-by-step pictures to go along with her recipes.  Which makes it really easy to monitor if you’re on the right track with your cooking project.  Back to the corn dogs….

We followed the directions.  (Go us.)  Everything was hunky dory and pretty simple, but we did run into one slight issue.  Wait, two.  Two slight issues.  The first one was finding the right consistency of the breading batter.  I don’t know if that’s the right term, but you’re following, right?  At first, we’d dip the hot dog in and the batter would immediately just fall off.  So we added a bit more corn meal and pancake mix and we were good to go.  Second problem was that the sticks we put the hot dogs on were too long.  Easy fix, just cut ’em shorter and then we were REALLY cookin’.

I thought they were delicious.  One minor detail, in case you’re like us an get carried away with frying things: we did home made french fries in addition to the fried corn dogs and cheese sticks.  Delicious, but not the healthiest.  And my stomach knew it.  Don’t worry-nothing bad happened.  I just didn’t feel good.  It could’ve been the cheese stick I ate though (I’m self-diagnosed-lactose-intolerant).  Moral of the story: maybe just stick to one fried item on your dinner menu.  Or don’t eat/drink too many dairy products when your stomach can’t handle dairy products (Dairy is just soooo goood though!)

A couple pictures below documenting our frying experience.  Have you ever tried one of The Pioneer Woman’s recipes?  Which one?  How’d you like it?

Breading Batter

Before the Batter Got a Hold of 'Em (Excuse the spoon in the background. He's lost)

In all their fried glory! Corn dog is on the right, cheese stick is on the left