Tag Archives: pioneer

Indecisive Weather





Back to near 70*.

The January weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind. I love winter beach days, but truth be told, we need rain and I want a few more fires in the fireplace before Spring!

Yesterday we had the perfect family day. We attended Saturday evening mass so we were able to sleep in!

Elliott made Holden breakfast in bed, we dropped bags and bags off for Saint Vincent De Paul, browsed Old Navy, had lunch at a new fave, Sharky’s {Jay & I split the shrimp tempura burrito!}, took Holden for a haircut, I got our breakfasts for the week prepared {muffin tin fritattas ~ will share the recipe once I get it tweaked a bit}, Holden finished about 50% of this week’s homework, made Pioneer Woman’s Hamburger Soup for dinner and after I got the kiddos tucked into bed, I watched Sean & Catherine’s wedding! Did anyone else catch it? My favorite was the ceremony seating with the mix of benches, vintage wing back chairs and couches….love, love, love.

Back to the soup…

It was amazing and so healthy and full of flavor. Warning: there is a lot of chopping, but totally worth it.


The only change I made was to add a whole head of garlic and doubled the cayenne. 😉

It was perfect and I can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow night.


A big hunk of crusty bread would put this over the top.

But it’s fantastic bread-less, too.

Again, original recipe found here.


What’s the weather been like in your neck of the woods?

Rummage Sale

A random pile of facts from our weekend…

1. Made {Baked Oatmeal} for our Saturday breakfast.

{followed the link above, but subbed almond/coconut milk and coconut extract}

Such a fun twist on regular ‘ol boring oatmeal…next time I’m adding some fresh berries to the mix.

2. We had an impromptu garage sale on Saturday morning. It was more like a rummage sale. I just threw a bunch of stuff out there and came up with a price when they asked!

Made about $20 an hour for stuff that I would have driven to Goodwill…I’ll take it!

3. Holden cried when a woman walked off with his Baby Bjorn potty chair. He said, “You’re selling all my stuff!” About broke my heart, but he wasn’t about to coax me into keeping stuff that I’m trying to get rid of, so he went inside and watched a movie while mama purged!

4. Fun bowling birthday party with this delicious pizza for lunch.

5. Little Church and my scripture study were cancelled for Sunday morning, so we went to Saturday evening mass instead.

6. Made Rachael Ray’s Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac for dinner.

Super yum and lowfat. I used reduced fat cheeses for the top ~ blue cheese and mexican blend.

7. Sunday morning was lazy with clouds, rain and Pioneer Woman’s Super Sonic breakfast burritos!

I think I got a little too aggressive with the fillings, but they were to-die-for.

8. Kids talked me into taking them to Elliott’s new dance studio’s grand opening in the POURING rain just to jump in the germ infested bouncy….


Waste. Of. Precious. Gas.

9. Jay didn’t like the quote the dealer gave him for new brakes on his Jeep, so he did it himself.

{We did have to make one minor trip to a “professional” for a quick fix-it, but other than that we saved a ton of cash. Thanks Pep Boys for the parts and YouTube for the brake changing tutorial!}

10. Had the Sushi Bake again for dinner last night. We’re hooked.


And that was our weekend, folks.

Hope yours was just as random and nice!


Whipped Cream, Nuts & A Cherry

Last weekend we were supposed to bring the Cuisinart out of hibernation and make ice cream for Father’s Day.

Didn’t quite happen…sorry, Babe!

Tonight we made Pioneer Woman’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and boy, was it worth the wait!

Banana Splitinis it was…

Sliced bananas, freshly churned soft vanilla bean ice cream, a drizzle of Hershey’s syrup, a swirl of whipped cream, some rainbow sprinkles, coconut {for me}, peanuts {for Jay} and the proverbial maraschino cherry on top.

These would also be fun served in small mason jars!


The slip n slide also came out this afternoon after a brief hiatus…

Last week was filled with necessary errands in the beginning of the week and a couple pool play dates at the end.

Tomorrow this guy starts summer camp thanks to his grandparents and sweet friends…for his birthday in February, we decided in lieu of {more} toys a nice gift would be a 3-day a week summer camp at his preschool. Three of his best buds chipped in and gave him a week as well! It’s a win/win situation ~ a fun 3 hours for him and 3 hours for me! We’re so grateful….thanks again.

This girl is going to gymnastics camp mañana. Same thing…for her b-day, the grandparents generously gave her the same 3 days a week to tumble and jump this summer. Again, it gives me a little time to myself and his preschool and the gym are right near each other so it’s perfect.

It’s a GREAT way to break up the summer.

I’ll say it again ~ thank you Lolo & Lola, Gramma, Popsi, Emma, Landon & Dylan.

This gift is truly the cherry on top of this mama’s banana split!

Have a great week everyone!

Meat & Potatoes ~ Must Be Father’s Day!

Jay wanted meat and potatoes for lunch and dinner yesterday, so that is what Jay got.

We had a little hiccup along the way and discovered his first lunch choice, Irv’s Burgers, is closed on Sundays. So we decided on runner up, Umami Burger in Los Feliz.

Fortunately we were seated immediately and got to ordering…

Tempura Onion Rings with Jalapeño Ranch & Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli

Jay had the Manly Burger {of course} ~ beer-cheddar cheese, smoke salt onion strings & bacon lardons

I had the SoCal Burger ~ butter lettuce, slow-roasted tomato, house spread, house-made american cheese & caramelized onions

For dessert we all shared a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff moon pie {OMG!} and a peanut butter chip ice cream sandwich. Gone in a flash!


In between our two meat and potato meals, we visited The Grove where I made a little dent in the niiiice Crate & Barrel gift card Jay won in a raffle at work and he and the kids went to the  Apple store and fiddled with the iPod Touches and spotted Stevie Wonder!

{sorry Stevie, this is probably the worst ever picture of you…I mean not YOU, but the picture quality!}


For din din, his choice was chicken fried steak and garlic roasted mashed potatoes with blue cheese. I made Sonoma salad for a little something green!

Thanks, P-Dub for helpin’ me out with this one. I had NO idea how to even begin to make this….

And there you have it…meat n taters with a little speck o green peeking out in the background ~ a MANLY meal!

{for the mashed potatoes I just boiled up three large taters that were peeled and cubed until fork tender. then i melted half a stick of butter and about 3/4 cup milk and added it to the potatoes. i roasted a whole head of garlic [cut about 1/4″ off the top, drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper, put cut side down on a large piece of foil and wrap the garlic in the foil. roast at 350* for about an hour. the garlic will be soft and spreadable! squeeze out the cloves and add to the potatoes and butter/milk mixture]. use hand mixer to blend until smooth. also added a little blue cheese.}

I was a little nervous about this meal since it’s something I’ve never made and wouldn’t ever order at a restaurant…but it was quite good. The cube steaks were very lean and I used just a little canola oil to pan fry them. The pan gravy turned out very well, too, since gravy is not one of my strengths.

{side note: Pioneer Woman mentions that her favorite way to eat chicken fried steak is between two slices of soft white bread with mayo. In the recipe she mentions Miracle Whip and I had to laugh because, I too, can not stand the stuff! When I was about 6 years old, I vividly remember being at our neighbor’s house and the mom serving me some kind of sandwich with M.W. ….. I must have said I {didn’t care for} it because I recall her saying, “Oh, no honey, it’s not Miracle Whip!” UM, YES IT WAS! Remember that commercial where the guy goes to the store in the middle of the night because he ran out of it? Yeh. NO thanks! I’m not a picky eater at all, but if you really DON’T want me to come over for lunch, just serve sammies with [the whip] AND alfalfa sprouts. Blech!}


I am addicted to making these gift caddies! This was the one for our hero…..

{a couple Seattle’s Best iced mochas, Peanut Toffee Buzz CLIF Bar [with caffeine!], Carmex 3-pack and some shower gel}

{a nice big Hefeweizen and an orange to float in it}


It was the perfect day even though {we} forgot the camera, Irv’s was closed and it took 15 minutes to park at The Grove.

Here’s proof of the perfection…..

Have a great week!

{Ch}argers & {Ch}icken Spaghetti

The Chargers are playing tonight and I wanted something casserole{ish} baking in the oven as we watched the game…

this was PERFECT:

Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti

Um, yum!


I cheated and used my friend Mr. Rotisserie. And by doing this, I goofed and didn’t see that I needed to reserve 2 cups chicken broth {from the fryer chicken that I was supposed to boil MYSELF}, so as I am nearing the end of the prep I see that it’s time to add the chicken broth….oops! Didn’t have any in the pantry, so I just used 1 cup whole milk instead. I was afraid to use 2 cups as I thought it would be too soupy. It was perfect!

I also am not a fan {not even a little bit} of green bell peppers so I substituted a red pepper and used a whole wheat pasta instead. And the pimentos….left those little guys out. Oh, and I drizzled a little Sriracha on my portion, too.

I wanted to share this recipe with you ASAP because it really is delish and so comforting.

{Like we need another comforting meal after our Thanksgiving Day feasts!}

I think this will become a regular. It makes TONS which is fine because it’s that good.

And the Chargers weren’t too bad this week, either!


Here’s to a week of recuperating and ringing in the holidays!


$38 Burger Craving Averted

Last weekend Jay had a burger craving.

We usually use ground turkey for our burgers.

But…he wanted a “real” burger and I could tell that he was eluding to a trip to Red Robin.

My penny pinching self sprung into action and after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, created a burger bash for less than a fifth of the cost of a trip to RR.

Mini Burger Buns: $1.19
One Pound 80/20 Ground Beef: $2.49
Garlic Fries: $2.69

(I had all the other ingredients already on-hand)

I decided to make Pioneer Woman sliders ~ caramelized onions, blue cheese and Tabasco mayo!

And the TJ’s garlic fries are just like the ones from Gordon Biersch….garlic chunks galore!

But, the best part was that the kids ate them, too and I didn’t have to play short order cook and prepare 15 different things!

A “PW” Weekend

Wow! I’m recovering from another awesome weekend.

A “PW” weekend, if you will…

It consisted of “P”lentiful “W”orkouts….

….all because of several “P”ioneer “W”oman recipes that I tried.

We took a little drive and played in some “P”owdery “W”hite!

There were a couple “P”igskin “W”ins to determine this year’s Superbowlers.

So I guess you could say that it was a “P”erfectly “W”onderful weekend!

On Saturday night I made Pioneer Woman’s “most favorite burger ever (for now)”. You can find the recipe here.

They were delish and a nice departure from the turkey burgers with cheddar and horseradish that I’ve been making for the past few years now! Jay was pleased that I finally made some HAMburgers with real ground BEEF!

Here is a “before” pic:

Um, let me just say that what you see above is 2 pounds of meat…PW uses 2 pounds of meat for TWO burgers! What? I mean I know cowboys work hard and all and can put some food away, but WOW! Those’d be some GRANDE burgers! Half pounders are MORE than enough for us!

Here is the “in process” pic:

And, my friends, here is the “after” pic when these babies are all dressed up and ready to go:

Please don’t tell PW that I served her fave burgers with Ore Ida Seasoned Crinkle Fries! Shhhhh!

I tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for the Kaiser Roll! I usually use toasted english muffins for my burgers, but kaisers are a tad crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! I followed PW’s orders and buttered and toasted them and OMG! Sorry, little english muffins, but these were fantastic and the tabasco mayo, caramelized onions and bleu cheese put them over the top. I used fresh baby spinach as my “green” just so I could feel like there was some sort of healthy component to this meal!

After this scrumptous dinner, I ran to Target to get Holden some boots for the snow since we had a little mini road trip planned for Sunday morning. This is what I found:

Lovin’ all the Paul Frank stuff at one of my favorite stores these days!

I got up early Sunday morning and made some Monkey Bread. Another evil concoction that PW has on her blog!

Now this stuff is like a drug so be careful!

After we ate the sinful Monkey Bread, we headed to Frazier Park for some fun in the snow!

It was a blast and only about 45 minutes away!

And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without me trying PW’s Quesadillas de Camarones.

The quesadillas were good…Jay said the shrimp was “not evident”…hmmm, I think the camarones should be evident in a quesadilla named after them so next time I’ll add more of the little critters. He also wasn’t a big fan of the green salsa, so next time maybe some homemade red salsa to go alongside. After indulging in the monkey bread earlier in the day, I felt guilty about adding butter to the pan to brown and crisp up the tortillas…but I had to follow PW’s orders. Next time I may try to make them a little more figure friendly….I tried to go a little lighter on the queso, too. But overall, they were good!

I also made some quacamole….I can’t blame PW for that. That was all MY doing, unfortunately.


2 ripe avocados

1/4 onion (red or white), minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small tomato, seeded & chopped

bunch cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

salt & pepper to taste

dash cumin

That’s it! Mix it all up and dig in with your favorite tortilla chips.

I think I’ll have to incorporate more “P”lentiful “W”orkouts into this week’s agenda because there are a couple other visions of yumminess I’d like to try on PW’s blog…it’s a vicious cycle!

Team Ree

Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob, I’m on “Team Ree”.

Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. She is too cool for school (literally….read on).

I’ve been following a blog for about a year now that my sister introduced me to. This is where I learned of my new idol. You can check out this super cute blog here. I SO have blog envy!

Getting back to P-dub…

The Pioneer Woman is like a quadruple threat – she can cook, she can blog, she can take amazing photos and she can home school her 4 “punks” as she calls them. Now, I have certain feelings about home schooling, but we won’t get into those here. But she makes home schooling sound “cool”.

Her recipes are so entertaining. She calls the ingredients the “cast of characters” and her step-by-step guides are hilarious and accompanied by beautiful photos.

Her story in a nutshell:

Grew up on a country club in the midwest somewhere.

Went to school at USC.

Lived in L.A. for awhile.

Wanted to move to Chicago and become an attorney, but…

Met a bonafide Cowboy one night at a bar instead.

Fell in love with said Cowboy.

Married Cowboy.

Moved to a middle-of-nowhere cattle ranch in Oklahoma.

Started to cook.

Started to blog.

Became my idol!

(Well, I might of left a few things out, but those are the main bullets.)

I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy anymore cookbooks – ANY recipe that I need is on the internet, in a magazine that I already have or on an index card in my recipe box. I’m trying to simplify, so no more cookbooks necessary. Well, I lied. I am going to get The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook. Actually Jay is going to get it for me for Valentine’s Day he just doesn’t know it yet.

I am so excited to try her recipes! This weekend I plan to make the quesadillas de camarones and her “favorite burger” with caramelized onions, bleu cheese and Tabasco mayo! She had me at Tabasco mayo.

I can hardly wait to get to the store and get my shrimp! Thank you PW for getting me to eat more shrimp. I have never been a huge fan of the little crustaceans, but I do eat them from time to time. Hope the quesadilla is as good as it looks! On the other hand, I’ve never met a flour tortilla and some melted cheese that I didn’t like!

Of course, I will report back and have some photos of her eats…

If you haven’t already, please check out thepioneerwoman.com.

Cowgirl up!