While our outside weather this week has been snowy, rainy, very muddy and slushy, inside the house, each evening I have been cooking, creating a disaster in the kitchen but leading to many tasty new creations. All of the new recipes I have tried have come from The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook that my friend Roxy (my favorite author) gave me or from Pioneer Woman’s website.
Chicken piccata, Meatloaf (wrapped in bacon with tomato gravy), Chicken Fried Steak and Simple Enchiladas and the above Spinach Salad have all been a part of our evening meals. Plus I have made the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls a few times over the past couple weeks. They are the best with the maple icing.
Trying new recipes takes organization and thinking ahead of time, especially on the prairie where we are limited to what we can buy in our local and small grocery store. Normally my cooking is more like my life: fly by the seat of my pants. But I have been diligently writing out my grocery lists from recipes I want to try and being more regimented in my cooking. As you may know, my husband is organized and regimented. He loves my new cooking style and has been dropping the big hints that he hopes I keep up it up and raves about the end result: one big tasty meal for our family to eat.
I did ask our produce lady at the store to order in some fresh parsley and cilantro and within in two days I had it in my kitchen. If I wouldn’t have planned ahead to do that I would have used dried versions but was happy to have the correct ingredients.
Cooking in the kitchen with hungry young little girls builds my patience and organizational skills. The hour between 5PM and 6PM when I have just wrapped up my work day, picked up the kids and am attempting to cook while they are all around me is the most hectic but fun hour of my day. I have all sorts of strategies I use to keep Miss E busy while I cook including “washing” dishes (mainly her playing in water) and helping me stir (dry ingredients on the counter away from the stove).
Hunter has been in between wrestling practice and then onto a local spring traveling basketball practice during this hour so Miss E makes him her best attempt at a peanut butter and honey sandwich. He is so sweet, smiles, thanks her and eats it, commenting “Wow Elissa you really love putting a lot of peanut butter on my sandwich!” She beams with pride.
Another strategy to keep E away from the stove and focused on something else while I am struggling through my new recipes is to have her help…
feed her sister.
Both are well-supervised but the girls love this routine together. It’s quite cute to see.
My cooking leads to a disaster in the kitchen. And thankfully I have two great helpers in my husband and son to help clean up my messes. Hunter even left me the above sweet note yesterday morning. Or maybe his note was actually dripping with sarcasm. I’m not sure.