Monday, February 1, 2010

The not-so-much a Pioneer Woman cooks

Before I start rambling let me announce the winner of the book drawing:

Congratulations Nel! Email me with your contact details and I will put the book in the post to you this week. If you didn't win this time check Nel's blog in the next couple of weeks as she'll be passing the book on to another reader soon.

Now, I don't know how it was in your neck of the woods this weekend but it was bitterly cold in these parts. And I'm not sure why I'm talking like this...evidently frigid temperatures make me talk like the Clampetts. Frigid temperatures also make me want to pull out my cookbooks and try some new recipes.

Okay, so I like to buy them and love to read them but I'm not always good about remembering to actually cook from them. Like the rest of America I received a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks this Christmas. I've made several recipes via her website but on Saturday night I actually used the cookbook. I made her recipe for linguine with clam sauce and it was delicious. My husband loved it too but he struggled to understand the 'pioneer' part. She says this is one recipe that is maybe not as 'cowboy friendly' as some of her others but it is really tasty and also quick and easy...if you have her book give this recipe a try.

On Sunday we were still living with arctic temperatures which called for homemade soup and cornbread. I'm pretty sure that as a little girl parsnips fell into the category of vegetables that needed to be secretly stashed in my napkin when mom wasn't looking followed by an 'excuse me may I leave the table to go to the restroom' request. Brussel sprouts would have fallen into that same category. Not so as an fact I don't think there is a single vegetable I don't love. Or dessert but that's a post for another day. I don't think I ever cooked parsnips before moving to England but they're a popular vegetable there and I fixed them pretty often, usually roasted in the oven with a little maple syrup-yum! Yesterday I made a delicious Cream of Parsnip soup that we all love... if you've never eaten parsnips give this a try...they are sweet and a perfect vegetable for a cream soup. You will notice pretty quickly that I'm nothing like The Pioneer Woman when it comes to combining photography with cooking but I consider it a success that I remembered to take pictures at all. Here's the recipe-

You will need:

2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 cup diced shallots (about 3)
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups peeled, chopped parsnips (about 9 small-medium)
5 cups chicken stock
3/4 tsp white balsamic vinegar (I didn't have this and used cider vinegar...regular balsamic would change the color of the soup and the cider vinegar worked)
3/4 tsp salt
pinch pepper
3/4 cup half and half

In a soup pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add shallots and onion and saute, stirring until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add wine, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Add parsnips, chicken stock, vinegar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until parsnips are completely tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and use immersion blender to puree the soup (or cool slightly and carefully puree in batches in food processor or standing blender). Transfer puree to saucepan and whisk in the half and half. Warm over low heat until steaming.

I served this with The Barefoot Contessa's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread which is fab-u-lous.

Seriously fabulous. I highly recommend...this cornbread recipe makes a large pan so I froze the leftovers. Enjoy!


  1. Oh Joyce, freezing, ice-cold wintry weather definitely puts me in the mood for cooking. I think you did a great job with your recipe explaining, photo taking, cooking extravaganza. I like the Barefoot Contessa and the Pioneer Woman both. I'd love to try both of these recipes.

    I recently found a recipe for "Cheddar Chowder" from another blogger that I will give props to after I make it and then post about it.

    Happy Monday!

  2. IN the first place, I'm impressed with your cookbook collection. In the second place, it was cold here in Florida, too, but not like your neck of the woods. (Clampette-speak). In the third place, who wouldn't like vegetables if you put maple syrup on them?!?!?

  3. Oh, wow! That looks fantastic. Could you wait 4 days for me to get there and help you eat the leftovers????

  4. Looks good, but nothing for our weather at the moment (110°). We´ll just stick to ice cream..... :)

  5. Looks yummy, Joyce. I'm sure our temperatures are not a frigid here as they are in your neck of the woods (good Southern expression), but it's been plenty cold, and we've eaten lots of soup lately.

    A couple of weeks ago, I tried a recipe for turnip green soup. Good, but I would use less salt if I make it again.

    I don't know that I've ever eaten parsnips. They were definitely not something my mother ever cooked, but then she never cooked brussels sprouts either.

  6. Look at your mad blogging/photography/cooking skillz....

    Love parsnips- love cornbread - Yep, pretty much love food in any shape and form.

  7. Well Thank you! I will email you my info.

    until next time... nel

  8. Stop! You're making me hungry! lol

    I also enjoy cookbooks even though I have more recipes than I'll ever try in a lifetime. Still, it's a relatively cheap form of therapy.

  9. Yum! I also have that cook book. Who doesn't? :)

  10. Hope you don't mind. I added a link to your blog on arise 2 write.

  11. That soup sounds delicious! I have never fixed parsnips, but I'm like you, I love all vegetables, so I'm sure I would like it. I want to try that cornbread too. I'm going to have to get an immersion blender. So many cooking shows I have watched recently have used them. If it snowed all the time where I live, I would weigh a ton, because I love to cook too, when I am snowed in. It wouldn't do for me to live in Alaska. Love & blessings from NC!

  12. I have so many cookbooks too and yet it seems like I make the same meals over and over. I must branch out. I've never, ever eaten a parsnip (to my knowledge). I love every vegetable ~ well, there's not much of anything I don't like (except liver) and so I must try this recipe sometime. The cornbread looks so good too. I finally mastered cornbread and I knew it was good when my husband said it was better than my Nannie's. :) I think the little bit of bacon grease heated in the oven before I pour in the batter is the secret. :)
    It's been so cold here too and as you've read I was in for 4 days and have cooked up a storm.
    I bought the PW cookbook in Dec. and haven't made anything from it yet. I love it though and love pictures with recipes. I love that you took pictures of this recipe. Now I know what a parsnip looks like. :)
    Congrats to Nel!
    Have a great day!

  13. My post wouldn't go thru... try this again. I have never tried Parsnips and now want to try this. And the cornbread! And wish it was all prepared in my kitchen RIGHT NOW. :)