The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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15-Minute Mussels

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
Tomato sauce for pasta is one of the easiest things to make. Everything gets dumped into one pot, then you turn the heat to low and let it simmer to mellow out its tomato-y-ness (pucker!) and richen its flavor. I’ve yet to make a pot of tomato sauce without leftovers, and the remaining always goes into the freezer.

So what to do with leftover, frozen tomato sauce? Well, you can make another batch of pasta (yawn) or grab a pound of mussels, a few cloves of garlic, a glug of wine and 15 minutes later, you’ve got a fabulous dish like the one you see above!

Alright, here we go.

I love garlic, so I use lots. In a pot or sauté pan (basically a frying pan with high sides and a hopefully you’ll have a lid, too), add a good drizzle of olive oil and garlic. Turn the heat to low. YES—add the olive oil and garlic first before you turn the heat on. As the oil warms, the garlic will infuse the oil and slowly cook (i.e. not burn). Burnt garlic is bitter. Bitter is baaaaad.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Keep watching the garlic and the heat! No burning!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
As you see the garlic starting to brown, immediately add in the mussels (make sure you’ve already scrubbed, picked over and discarded shells that won’t close or are cracked).

Do it now! If you wait any longer, the garlic will burn! (Okay okay, I’ll stop with the garlic lecture!)

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Use your spatula to toss the muscles in the garlicky goodness (oops, there I go again with the garlic!).

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Turn the heat to high and pour in some white wine, vegetable broth, clam juice or beer. About 1 cup for 1 pound of mussels will do just fine. Add in a generous pinch of salt, stir and bring to a boil.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, and now take a peek at the mussels. Discard any that have not opened.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Like this little bugger.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Before you add the tomato sauce, I want you to taste it. Is it puckery? If so, add a generous pinch of sugar to tame down the acidity.

Add in your tomato sauce (ooohhh … about 1 1/2 cups or so), stir and bring the whole thing to a simmer. Let it go for another minute or so.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Add in some minced parsley or basil, and you’re done!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Do you love? Do you love? Please tell me you love!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: 15-Minute Mussels. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Okay, the reason why you DON’T cook the mussels in the marinara sauce (we simmered them in wine first) is that one bad mussel can ruin the poor diner’s entire meal. Cooking the mussels in the wine lets you see very clearly which mussels have not opened. If you had cooked them in thick red sauce, it might have been more difficult to see.

 
So there’s one of my favorite ways to use leftover marinara sauce! What’s yours? Send me some ideas!

 
 
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Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!

 

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The Theme Is … Snack Time!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Snacks! (Crispy Chocolate Almond Sticks, from Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman)

 
It hits all of us at some point during our day. Sometimes more than once. It’s often the first thing kids want after school, or what grownups need in the afternoon to get them through those last few hours at the office. Even though we try our best to choose wisely when it comes to food, some days all we really want to do is reach for a candy bar (or a Chocolate Almond Stick like those beauties in the photo above). Or head to the drive-through lane of a fast food chain. Or toss a bag of crunchies in the shopping cart during that quick grocery trip after work. It happens.

Ever since I saw a recipe for a Twinkie/Susie Q Cake from TK member acrafton, I knew that one of these days, I’d like to do a post on homemade versions of popular snacks. Today happens to be that day. I can’t wait to show you all the loot!

Let’s start with all those classic snacks we like to munch on, whether it’s at a fair, or a ballgame, or something we pick up from the neighborhood convenience store or donut shop. Just look at the snackfest that we have going on below.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Snacks! (Classic)Top row, from left to right: Boiled Peanuts from missamy, those infamous Funnel Cakes from HeatherD, and Homemade Cracker Jack from Mommy’s Kitchen. Middle row, from left to right: childhood favorite Oatmeal Creme Pies from whatmegansmaking, better than stadium-bought Super Awesome Pretzels from coolguy, and Ree’s dastardly Homemade Glazed Doughnuts. Bottom row, from left to right: summer treat Homemade Jell-O Pudding Pops from Mommy’s Kitchen, Homemade Pop Tarts from kimt, and Homemade Granola Bars from Karly Campbell.

 
 
Or perhaps you’d rather snack on something more savory. Something to tide you over until your next square meal, like some chicken nuggets, fries, onion rings, or Hot Pockets. I found some of those too, so you won’t have to drive out to get them, or buy their frozen counterparts.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Snacks! (Savory)Left column, from top to bottom: Oven Baked Onion Rings from ashleyrodriguez, and a hungry teen’s favorite, Pizza Pockets from handmadetherapy. Center column, from top to bottom: amazing Spicy Panko Crusted Chicken Strips from southerngracegourmet, those little Chinese takeout delights called Crab Rangoons from Maeghan, and Sweet Potato Fries with Curry Mayo from novascotian that are sooo much better than regular fries. Right column, from top to bottom: Oven-Dried Potato Chips (and Apple Ones Too!) from jenniferperillo, and, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, some Chicken Taquitos from blessingsinabundance.

 
 
Sometimes, what you crave is one of those popular store drinks. Have a taste for a certain chain’s frappuccino? Try savorysweetlife’s DIY Home Frappuccino and Mocha Frappuccino below. She also has a Mango Orange Smoothie if you prefer that chain’s fruitier menu items. If it’s sweet tea you want, then try the Sweet Tea from ButterYum. Or maybe all you want is a regular bottle of chocolate milk. If so, Ree’s Homemade Chocolate Milk for the Fridge will come in handy. Or try a Frozen Hot Chocolate that MamaFoodie first encountered at a restaurant in New York.

 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Snacks! (Drinks)

 
 
In my case, however, the snack attack usually comes in some form of candy craving. Preferably involving chocolate. I’ve been known to eye the bag of chocolate chips in my cupboard, deterred only by my inability to figure out a secure-enough hiding place where there’s zero chance of anyone in the house discovering me there with a half-eaten bag of baking chips.

 
I know. I need help.

 
So I thought it only fitting to end this post with the collage that follows. It needs no introduction, and no explanation. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Besides, I wouldn’t want to interrupt you while you look at these and begin to contemplate turning your kitchen into a candy bar factory.

 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Snacks! (Candy)Clockwise from top left: Deliciously Dandy Ding Dongs from Clabbergirl, Homemade Peanut Butter Cups from sweettooth, Homemade Twix Cookies from Rebecca, Homemade Thin Mints from A Cozy Kitchen, Mounds Candy Bars from elanaspantry, and Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Noshings.

 
 
Aah. Snacks. My favorite meal of the day. Snacks, and dinner. Lunch, too. And breakfast. Did I leave anything out?

 
Now it’s my turn to hear from you. Are you a snacker? Do you like munching on stuff, or do you pretty much stick to the major meals of the day? Are you more of a salty snack fan, or does your sweet tooth call the shots? Or are you an equal opportunity snacker who enjoys salty-sweet and spicy-tart and crunchy-bitter and fluffy-sticky (okay, I’m making this stuff up now) combos? Do share!

 
 

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Meet Katie

Posted by in Meet the Member!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Katie of Dishin' and Dishes.

 
She’s shared with us her recipe for the delectable Molten Lava Muffin Cakes you see above, along with more than 60 other recipes in here. She’s also a generous soul who shares her love far beyond her family circle. Everybody, say hello to Katie, known to us here as dishinanddishes.

Katie works in Information Technology for her local school administration, and her greatest passions are writing and cooking, which she combines beautifully in her blog, Dishin and Dishes. And oh, the dishes you’ll find in there. The 60-plus recipes that she shares with us here in her Tasty Kitchen recipe box are just a sampling of the goodies she creates in her kitchen. For one, remember Jaden’s recent post about her Cinco de Mayo party menu? Katie’s got a few recipes that you might want to include in yours, including a 5-minute salsa that she’s trained her 16-year-old to make.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Katie of Dishin' and Dishes (Tex Mex)Clockwise from top left: Unforgettable Salsa, Grilled Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter, Mexican Coffee, Poblano Spoonbread, and Spicy Southwest Soup.

 
 
 
Speaking of teens in the kitchen, Katie and her husband (she calls him Mr. Wonderful in her blog) truly love working with teenagers, and they host more than 30 teens in their home (yes, you heard me—more than thirty) for a small group discussion and mentorship program every Monday. She cooks for all of them every week. Now that’s some serious love and dedication. It’s also good to know that they’re getting not just tasty but also healthy, good-for-you food. Katie has quite a number of yummy salads in her repertoire, as you can see below.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Katie of Dishin' and Dishes (Salads)Clockwise from top left: Pancetta Tomato Bibb Lettuce with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing, Orzo Pasta Salad with Wild Rice and Cranberries, Bay Scallop Ceviche Avocado Salad, and Roasted Red Onion Panzanella.

 
 
 
She’s got great sides and appetizers too, so they’ll always get some veggies with their meal.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Katie of Dishin' and Dishes (Sides and Appetizers)Clockwise from top left: Oven “Fried” Parmesan Zucchini Squash, Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Sage Cream, Cauliflower Gratin, Gyoza or Potstickers Baby!, Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic Tarts, and Roasted Asparagus with Ginger Soy Sesame Dressing.

 
 
 
Katie’s favorite ingredients or food pairings cover a the wide range of flavors, from basil pesto, mushrooms and cream sauce of any kind, to Thai food ingredients. The meal that she prepares when she has only 3 minutes to get it ready? Sliced French bread with pesto, turkey, provolone and red onions, grilled on her George Foreman. But my favorites among her main course dishes are her seafood recipes, which may not be the first thing that comes to you mind when you think of teen-friendly food.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Katie of Dishin' and Dishes (Seafood)Clockwise from top left: Honey and Lime Grilled Salmon, Mussels In White Wine Garlic-Butter Sauce, and Lemony Ricotta Shrimp Fusilli Pasta.

(Every time I look at that salmon, it makes me want to march outside and fire up the grill.)

 
Now comes the part I like the most about these features: the part where we ask our guest of honor some questions. Maybe we’ll find out if there’s anything at all that gives this superwoman in the kitchen (yes, I’m still thinking about the weekly hosting of more than 30 teens) any trouble. Take it away, Katie!

 
 
Q: What do you enjoy most about cooking?
A: Getting my family together in the kitchen. Our kitchen is the social hub of our home.

 
Q: Any favorite chefs or food celebrities?
A: Jamie Oliver. I love his home grown concoctions.

 
Q: What is your go-to dish or meal?
A: Grilled chicken with some sort of roasted vegetable. I haven’t met a vegetable I dislike yet. I’ll toss broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes or a combination of several veggies on a sheet pan with some olive oil and chopped rosemary, sea salt and pepper and roast them until they’ve caramelized. Super easy and effortless.

 
Q: Is there a strange food or food combo that you really, really enjoy?
A: Whole green onions dipped in sea salt. My Grandpa Alex taught me to do that straight out of the garden. However, it makes for really regrettable breath later on.

 
Q: Do you have a most memorable kitchen flop ever?
A: Just one? I once put a soup pot on with a whole chicken it it to boil for chicken and dumplings and forgot about it and left for work. When I got home that afternoon, the house was full of smoke. I think it took about a month to get the smell out of the house!

 
Q: What gives you the most trouble in the kitchen?
A: No doubt, poaching eggs! I can’t do it. I bought one of those pan molds. I just can’t do it. I end up with egg-drop-soup.

 
Q: Give us one of your favorite kitchen tips that you wish you’d always known.
A: If you need to slice garlic and need the pesky paper peel to come off easily, instead of buying one of those $15 rubber tubes, use a jar opener. Place the clove on the rubber jar opener and fold the top over and roll with the palm of your hands. Voila! The peel comes right off, leaving your garlic clove intact.

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Thanks for answering our questions, Katie!

 
Katie’s recipe box here at Tasty Kitchen is bulging with more than 60 delicious dishes. To see more of her recipes and learn more about her, head to her blog Dishin and Dishes, where you’ll find other posts about gardening, teens, home and family, Oklahoma, and various cool little household tips and tricks. Oh, and if you poke around a bit, you just might find a link to a video of her Mr. Wonderful proposing to her. Such a sweet moment, and the shocked look on her face is priceless.

 
 

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Cinco de Mayo

Posted by in Holidays, Looks Delicious!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
If Cinco de Mayo isn’t a drinking holiday, then I don’t know what is!

During B.C. (before children) years, my friends and I would map out our itinerary that started the Cinco de Mayo celebration on the evening of Quatro de Mayo. We only thought it would be proper to devote every available hour to the fine art of drinking, eating and dancing … party-hopping from place to place.

Oh, those were the wild years.

These days, A.C., I’d probably pass out after the 3rd hour. My body sure ain’t the same anymore!

Instead of going out, I’m hosting a party at my house instead. And you’re all invited! What’s on the menu? Well, Tasty Kitchen recipes for sure! You’ll come to my party, won’t you?

I’ll greet you with a nice glass of White Kiwi-Apple Sangria from A Cozy Kitchen. Refreshing. And I love kiwi … I love sangria.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, White Kiwi-Apple Sangria recipe submitted by TK member A Cozy Kitchen.

 
 
 
And while I’m in the kitchen finishin’ up a few dishes for dinner, I’ll most definitely have Ree’s Mexican Layer Dip sitting on the table for you to snack on:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Mexican Layer Dip recipe from Ree Drummond.

 
 
 
Okay, so now how about some soup? Can you believe this Sassy Mexican Soup by Miss Lisa has beer in it? My kinda soup.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Sassy Mexican Soup recipe submitted by TK member Miss Lisa.

 
 
 
This little dish really caught my eye: a Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash by My Recession Kitchen. So creative, and good for ya!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Mexican Salad Stuffed Squash recipe submitted by TK member My Recession Kitchen.

 
 
 
A Cinco de Mayo party is never complete without fajitas, and jojov’s got a recipe for Chicken Fajitas that just looks outta this world. Maybe one of you can help me grill the chicken while I prep the guac?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Chicken Fajitas recipe submitted by TK member jojov.

 
 
 
And we’ll end the party with the cutest desserts in the world by Monstermama: Mexican Fried Ice Cream Cupcakes. I have a feeling these will be the hit of the party!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Cinco de Mayo. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Mexican Fried Ice Cream Cupcake recipe submitted by TK member Monstermama.

 
 
 
What’s on your menu for Cinco de Mayo? Maybe some tacos? Lots of beer?

 
 
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Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes in her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!

 

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The Theme Is … Bridal Showers!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

  June will be here before we know it, and since June is a popular month to get married, that means that these six or so weeks leading up to it will see a lot of bridal showers or wedding planning luncheons being held. So today, we’ll take a look at just some of the […]

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Meet Tracy

Posted by in Meet the Member!

  Her recipes are inspired, and her photography is clean and classic, as seen in her Butter Cookies, Classic Napoleons, and Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies seen above. If you’ve been wondering who’s behind that cute little wedding cake avatar, here’s our chance to get to know her better. Everyone, say hello to Tracy! Tracy (sugarcrafter),…

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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

  The moment I decided that this column was going to be dedicated to “my favorite things,” I just couldn’t get that song out of my head! Yes, that song. You know, crisp apple strudels and even schnitzel with noodles! Isn’t it a lovely song to have stuck in your head all day? Originally, I […]

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The Theme Is … Leftovers!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

  This week, we’ll do a bit of a twist on a spring theme. For many people, spring is not only the time for flowers and vegetables and fruits to start coming alive again, but it’s also the time to dust winter off our shoulders and tackle that annual routine of spring cleaning. The sweaters […]