Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Prairie Woman

Prairie Woman. That's me! So the story behind this whole fiasco, is that Lori asked me if I liked to cook, I said I sure did... and so she told me that she wanted her and I both to put together a full meal, complete with recipes and photos and decorations and yada yada yada.
I should have slapped her upside the head before she even finished her sentence. But no, I said SURE! Sounds great! Let's do it!
Stupid, stupid me.
We looked at recipes, and decided that we would each do our own thing. I chose to channel the Pioneer Woman completely, using all her recipes. Pioneer... Prairie... they're close, right?
The menu that I finally settled on:
Sounds good, right? So let's get to work and see what mess I made.....
(and please click on each item to see the original recipe/ingredients!)
First off, let's tackle the Fried Mozzarella Sticks!
Here are the yummy ingredients... and the Panko breadcrumbs are just as awesome as she describes on her original post. I was thrilled to see them actually on our little grocery store shelf.

Never thought it would be as easy as taking some cheesestrings out of the package!

Just wait until they are baked.... if you think THESE look good, just wait for it...

My kitchen has no calories. Just saying.

Yummmmy goooooey crunchhhhy goodness.

Wipe up the drool. We're moving on to the stuffed mushrooms.
I didn't even cry while cutting these suckers.... it was a nice change.

Mushrooms slightly cooked, and onions cooked to a caramel-goodness...

And the two shall meet, and things will never be the same.

Oh wait. Sorry, forgot this was a threesome.

I want to just pick these up with my fingers and throw them in my mouth.
I did.

Delicious appetizers... all ready to serve!!
Add some dipping sauce in the middle if you want... I myself just didn't think about it. ;p

And now for the smashed potatoes. I think these are some of the best potatoes I have ever had in my whole entire life. I changed it a bit from her recipe... as you can see by my ingredients here (that is, if you clicked on the links at the start of the post to even SEE the recipes)
The biggest difference, is that I used garlic butter instead of regular butter.
Best. Decision. Ever. Try it.

To cook the potatoes, I just pierced them and threw them in the microwave.

When they are soft, simply throw them in a bowl, mash them up and add all of the ingredients.

Throw some extra fried onions on top before serving... you will be happy you did.

This was one of my more riskier recipes. The Whiskey Glazed Carrots. I have never cooked with alcohol before. I mean, I drink it while cooking, but have never put it in my food. I think I'll be doing it more often. I'll drink it WHILE putting it in my food.

The carrots were chosen because of their color, I love how bright they are, they really spruce up any dish....

Here you see the butter, the whiskey, and the brown sugar coming together in holy matrimony.

And here come the carrots to spice it up a bit ;)

I can honestly say, no carrot will ever compare to this dish ever again...

And now... the absolute belle of the ball. Or the beast of the ball. Or something like that.
Beef Tenderloin.
Absolutely expensive, something I have never bought before.
I'm more of a ground hamburger type of girl....
suits my budget much better.
But this was about trying something different, so here goes nothing.

Cutting off ALL of the fat that I could was actually quite fun.
I pretended that I was in the O.R. with McSteamy....
I was still pretending I was with him when I was rubbing the beef down with the salt and seasoning.... I gotta be honest.

Ooooh this part was fun. Notice my fancy kitchen mallet. Courtesy of the garage.
Pounding those peppercorns was fun. Therapeutic.
Plus, it cleared my sinuses... definate bonus.

This sucker barely fit in my frying pan.

Remember I said that my kitchen has no calories? It still doesn't. I promise.
This butter went on before I threw this in the oven for 25 minutes....

Oooooh baby. Come to momma........ I don't normally love rare beef.
However, this was so amazingly melt in your mouth delicious, that I ignored the redness and just let my tastebuds do the walking AND the talking. mmmmmmm good.

This next picture was after I threw it back in the oven so that Darcy would eat it. He doesn't eat rare beef. He doesn't eat medium beef. I had to cook it some more. ;p

If you will, please pretend that in these super cute napkin rings, are some super cute napkins.

I used the Echo Park Wintertime paper pack to decorate my table all pretty like....
and these Melissa Francess Envelopes and Tags were perfect for having the 'menu' on the table.

Here's my little table setup. Buffet style, which in my family these days works a lot better, unfortunately... I know, a sit down meal with the family is what is best, but you do what you gotta do sometimes. LOL

For my centerpiece, I had found this spiky silver 'thing' at the store, put it on a vase with a candle in it, and made some 3-dimensional stars and tucked them in. I think it turned out kinda funky looking ;)

This 7 Gypsy tray served well as another decoration. I just decorated a few of the frames with papers and a few embellishments and then added a 'happy new year' sentiment with some shiny red alphas. It will be very easy to take this apart and re-do it for another occasion!

Voila! A meal fit for a King.
Or for a boyfriend, 3 fussy eaters, and a bottle fed baby.

I really hope that you enjoyed the journey into the life of a Pioneer Woman wanna-be.
I guess I AM the Prairie Woman.
Remember, any meal at home can be dressed up and made into a fun little occasion with just some paper, some ribbons, a few die cuts, etc. Let your mind wander....
but not too far or else you'll forget you have something in the oven.
Thank you to Lori, for bringing this idea 'to the table' so to speak...
I hope she had as much fun as I did... to find out, PLEASE check out the LIITD blog asap and see what miss thang 'cooked up'!!!!
Cheers to you and yours!


  1. Freakin' Fabulous - OMG, I was giggling all the way through this - you are so good at writing Chelsea.
    The recipes look fabulous, and oh yeah, going to be trying ALL of them.
    Seriously, this was a blast - it was so fun to wait to see yours.
    Bravo girlfriend, now I'm going back to read it again!

  2. I loved this! I was giggling at your narrative as well, the food looks so darn good too! I really enjoyed this post and the pictures you included.

  3. LOL the commentary was hilarious. I need to try some of those recipes. Now I know what to do with my huge box of Panko bread crumbs. LOL

  4. Chelsea it all looks so yummy!!! I love mozza sticks, who knew they'd be so easy...I need to try these!

  5. Wiping the drool from my chin all looks amazing!!!! Love your decorations and center piece too!!! WOW!!!!! TFS!!!

  6. OMG Chelsea!!! Looks wonderful! Can I come eat at your house?