My First Attempt at the New Pioneer Woman Dinnertime Cookbook

So figuring out what we’re going to eat for dinner is one of my biggest struggles in the kitchen (it ranks right up there with, you know, figuring out breakfast and lunch) — so when I saw that my cooking inspiration (The Pioneer Woman) released a new cookbook all about that final meal of the day, I had to check it out!

Do I look just a little bit excited?

As I scanned through the cookbook, I was thrilled to see sections like “Breakfast for Dinner” (that’s where I can actually shine) and “16 Minute Meals” (even I can find 16 minutes to put together a meal). But, I wanted to start out small for my first recipe attempt (to build confidence and all), so I chose the cheese biscuits (which I knew everyone would appreciate). Sure, they are not technically a complete dinner option, but they serve well as a side for many meals and can also work as breakfast or a snack! Mastering a multi-purpose recipe is always a win-win!

I actually had all of the ingredients on hand (which was a shocker), so gathering them was relatively simple — but as I started going through the directions, I hit a couple of roadblocks.

The first was realizing I only have two percent milk (instead of whole) and two cups of shredded cheese (instead of two and a half). I consulted my resident expert (Nana!) and we decided to just go for it!

Next, I was supposed to use a fine mesh strainer or sifter (we went with a pasta strainer) and then later, the instructions referenced a pastry cutter (we went with a knife and fork).

Despite our little variations, it all came together!

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Please note, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that the lovely hands stirring my authentic Pioneer Woman mixing bowl are Nana’s and not my own — but I was cheering her on the whole time!

About twenty minutes later, we pulled out these beauties…

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Now, the true test: how would the family respond? I’m going with a new five star system to rank my recipe attempts — each kid gets a star plus one for the husband. I’m happy to report, that these were a big hit — a record-setting five stars! Of course, they are mostly made of cheese, so how can one go wrong? But still, with my family, you never know…

Up next, I’m going to attempt the Skillet Lasagna…will keep you posted!

My Dessert Dilemma

So, one of my keys to surviving the day is simple: I must have a dessert each night once the kids are asleep — so that I can sit on the couch and watch a show with my hubby while we relax and gear up for another day of craziness!

For a long time, that dessert was a bowl of brownies and ice cream — which is still probably my favorite dessert! Unfortunately, since my husband often did the dessert preparation, I would receiving a heaping bowl full of ooey gooey brownies that I just pulled from the oven and vanilla ice cream (no sugar added, but still calorie-filled!).

Every single week, my husband would declare that we would go dessert-free after Monday. By Friday, we realized that the “all or nothing” approach would never work for us. So, I went shopping — and I think I have found a solution!

While it is still fun to indulge occasionally on our classic brownies and ice cream dessert, for the every night treat, we are currently devouring the line of “Skinny Cow” products. They have a great selection including ice cream bars (some at just 100 calories), ice cream sandwiches (around 150 calories) and milk shakes (around 220 calories). Besides being really tasty, these are actually decent size desserts — not just bite-sized teasers that only leave you wanting more!

For now, we are excited — dessert night can continue — and I don’t have to run a half-marathon each day to make up for it (’cause that wasn’t happening any way!).

 

Question for you: What’s your favorite dessert?