When Nick and I first lived together, cooking dinner meant throwing some chicken breasts covered in Italian dressing in a pan to bake them and microwaving some canned corn. Living on a college budget and trying to make healthy and delicious meals were hard, and cooking just wasn’t something that I enjoyed. Once we moved to Texas (and subsequently got cable– yay!), I had some time on my hands. I watched show after show on Food Network and since Pinterest had just gotten big, I used it to find lots of new and yummy recipes.
One of the first things I ever made from Pinterest came from this blog called The Pioneer Woman. It was something called “My Brother’s Chicken Tacos” and y’all, I cannot tell you how delicious these things are. My love of cooking spawned around this time, with much credit going to The Pioneer Woman.
Four of my most favorite recipes that I make are from The Pioneer Woman, three of which are pasta dishes. Ree’s Chicken Parmigiana
is what I call my “crowd pleaser,” or the meal I make when I want to impress a group of people. (My mom is still talking about when I made it for her back in July!) It was the first recipe that had me create my own marinara sauce from scratch. I felt like a real chef!
I’ve also made the Bowtie Chicken Alfredo
and the Penne a la Betsy
and I’ve been just as impressed with these recipes as the other two. In fact, I made Penne a la Betsy for dinner last night. (I can’t make it without thinking of Betsy Transatlantically, even though Ree named it after her younger sister.)
So this is a simple love letter: Ree, thank you for inspiring my love of cooking. Thank you for using butter and heavy cream in your recipes and not apologizing for it. Thanks for being just a goofy on your blog as I am. And thanks for inspiring a little blogger to hope and dream that maybe one day she can publish her own book and/or have a show on Food Network.
Have you ever made a recipe from The Pioneer Woman? What’s your “crowd pleaser” meal?