Friday, September 23, 2011

The Pioneer Woman....I Ain't!!!

One of the first blogs - and still one of my most favorite - I discovered was Ree Drummond's, "The Pioneer Woman".  Don't you just love her?!?!?  Many aspire to have as huge an impact and as large a following as the original blog-pioneering woman, but few will ever equal her - in Blogworld or in the kitchen.

I did a post some time ago about some of my favorite cookbooks.  Eddie had recently given me a signed copy of "The Pioneer Woman Cooks".  What a fabulous cookbook!  I have spent many hours, thumbing through the pages and dreaming of creating such yummalicious meals as she does. 

And now she has a terrific new show on The Food Network!  Have you caught it on Saturday mornings yet?

A few weeks back, she made macaroni & cheese for her son's birthday celebration.  Oh, my looked so tasty!!!  I pulled out the cookbook, found the recipe and decided to give it a try.

Now, I could tell from the ingredient list that this recipe was going to make roughly a ton of mac & cheese (you need four cups of raw macaroni elbows - that's a lot for us empty-nesters).  But, that was okay....

We love mac & cheese.
We will enjoy this for days!!!

So, I proceeded to put together all the ingredients and give it a whirl.

Right away, I encountered a problem.  The recipe calls for plain ol' flour - all I had was some whole wheat flour.  But, I figured since I use it a lot in cooking, this shouldn't be a big deal. 


As I started simmering and stirring the rue, I realized that both the color and texture of whole wheat flour were going to change the appearance of the dish drastically.  Maybe I'm just so accustomed to seeing that neon-glow-in-the-dark-orange tint that you get with the box of Kraft mac & cheese.  In comparison, this just looked so.....


The cooking progressed and I grew more and more dismayed that my mac & cheese wasn't going to look like her's.  I got so upset about it that I completely forgot to stir all the seasonings into the rue before I started adding cheese.  In fact, I forgot all about them until I spotted the small bowl of pre-measured seasonings sitting there by the stove when I shut the oven door to start baking the prepared dish!!!! 

I immediately grabbed the large skillet filled with about 20 pounds of yucky, tan-toned mac & cheese out of the oven and stirred in the seasonings.  At this point, I was just about in tears....which, for some reason, seemed to annoy Eddie Dale immensely.  So, I slammed the dish back into the oven, shut the door and began to clean  up the mess in the kitchen.  (I might insert here that I was already a little PMS'y this day...)

Let me point out that my selection of the oversized oven-proof skillet in which to bake the dish was not optimal, either!  After the required cooking time, I pulled out the finished product and started serving it up.  Unfortunately, the crust was truly a "crust" - thick, dark brown and overcooked, downright crunchy.  So, I realized we would just have to scoop out the inside and avoid the vast burnt expanse of the edges.  Ugh...

All I can say is that it was an "experience".  Not a pleasant one, necessarily....nor a tasty one.  The use of the whole wheat flour definitely changed the dish - and not for the better! After we suffered through the meal, Eddie carefully avoiding making any eye contact with me, I carried the skillet of leftovers straight to the trash can and unceremoniously dumped it!

The silver lining to this debacle - we had prepared her "comfort meatballs" as the main dish and I can say that they turned out to be awesome!  Thank goodness!!!  Because my version of the mac & cheese was a total disappointment.

And now you know why I love to collect cookbooks and gaze longingly at them.....because my experiences in actually preparing dishes according to the recipes are sometimes quite disastrous!

Keeping it real in the kitchen, y'all....



  1. I'm sorry your Mac & Cheese didn't turn out as you hoped but at least it was still edible. Sometimes we forget when we read a cookbook that usually none of the *fails* created by the author made it through the editing phase prior to publishing. Sometimes, maybe they should :)

  2. The Pioneer Woman is amazing! I recently watched her new TV show and fell in love with her down to earth spirit!

    Thank you for subscribing to my blog! I have subscribed to you through Google Friends. I'll look forward to reading more of what the Lord gives you to share.

    Have a blessed day...


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