The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Ponzu Beef and Chicken Fajitas

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

This is the second in a two-recipe series for Kikkoman, a sponsor of Tasty Kitchen. The other recipe I posted here was for Panko Mozzarella Sticks (highly recommend!) and I continue to get positive feedback from those of you who’ve made them. For this one, I used a whole different Kikkoman product and made…fajitas!

Mmmm, does my house smell yummy. If you walked in right now, you’d drool.

Then you’d faint when you saw my laundry pile. But that’s another story!


Grab a sirloin steak and throw it into a dish or a Ziploc bag.



This is Ponzu sauce!



Pour it over the beef, add some lime juice, then cover it with plastic wrap (or seal the bag) and refrigerate it for at least a few hours. I like to do this step in the morning and let it marinate all day!)



Separately, slice two chicken breasts into strips and throw it in a bowl or plastic bag. Pour the ponzu sauce (with lime juice) over the top, cover (or seal) and marinate.

Now go…live your life!



To make the fajitas, wrap a stack of flour tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the oven. (Though I went for the storebought stuff this time, try making homemade tortillas if you have the time—you won’t regret it!)



Slice up the veggies. I used onion and three colors of bell peppers because I love color, and because they were in my fridge! But I have made fajitas using sliced mushrooms, zucchini, and summer squash—anything you have on hand.



Heat some canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. You want to sizzle these veggie, baby!



Throw in the veggies and pour in a little Ponzu.



Let them cook over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they get a little color. You don’t want them to be soggy, though, so taste along the way and remove them while they’re still crisp.



Remove them to a plate and keep warm.



Grill up the steak until medium rare, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on both sides.



Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest while you cook the chicken.



Throw the chicken into the same skillet in which you cooked the veggies.



Flip and cook the chicken until it’s nice and brown (and done), then pour it onto a plate. Remove the tortillas from the oven and get whatever fixins you’d like: sour cream, cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole (or just sliced avocado), chopped olives—just go for it!



Throw the veggies on the tortilla…



Then throw on the chicken.



Then I threw on some cheddar…



And sour cream, because I’m a bad, bad girl.



As for the beef, slice it very thinly. You’ll notice I took two different approaches with the chicken and the beef. For the chicken, I sliced it up, then marinated it, then cooked it. But for the beef, if you slice it before you cook it, you won’t be able to achieve medium rare doneness—it’ll cook too much and too fast. So I like to grill it in one piece, then slice away.



Pink and beautiful!



I loved these so much, I’m actually considering serving fajitas for our Fourth of July party. I can do a huge iron skillet on the grill itself, grill several sirloins, then just have a big spread set up with all the fixins.

It’ll be a mess…but a delicious one.

Enjoy! Here’s a link to the printable recipe: Ponzu Beef and Chicken Fajitas

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Meet Kelly

Posted by in Meet the Member!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans.

The lovely face you see above belongs to Kelly @ EvilShenanigans. She assures us that none of her shenanigans are terribly evil, “unless you are watching your calorie intake, where it takes a decidedly evil turn!” Let’s all wave hello to Kelly, then showcase her recipe box and get ready for that turn.

Kelly Jaggers was born in Harlingen, Texas, and her family moved quite a bit within the state. “But I consider myself a Dallas girl,” she says, “because I have been here the longest, and I have stayed of my own free will.” Her blog, Evil Shenanigans, gets its name from the move “Super Troopers.” It started as a way for her to blog about her adventures in cooking school, and eventually turned into a blog about her cooking “shenanigans.”

Growing up, the biggest culinary adventure she had was Chinese take-out, which she despised. But then she tried Thai food, loved it, and decided that “being afraid of food is like being locked in a box with no light or sound; yes, you can live that way, but why would you?” So now she takes every opportunity to try new food. She’s even tackled Chinese take-out, with what looks like glorious results.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans.Clockwise from top left: Orange Chicken with Fried Rice, Porchetta, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Triple Citrus Skirt Steak, and Honey Lime Grilled Chicken Salad.

Cooking is Kelly’s escape and her joy. When she has a bad day, she escapes to the kitchen. “Often, when I am working out a problem or struggling with a decision,” Kelly says, “I can clear my mind while cooking and I find the answer more easily.” She comes from a long line of women who express love and affection through food: her grandmother who always had a box of warm apple fritters and a pot roast waiting every time they visited, and her great aunt who always greeted them with freshly fried chicken and homemade pecan pie. She loves making something for other people to enjoy, and says that you will know if she likes you based on the size of the meal she prepares for you.

I’d like to pipe in and say that even if she served me a meal of small portions of these sides, I’d consider myself liked. I’d consider myself very well-liked indeed.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans.Clockwise from left: Cream of Chicken Soup, Pancetta Risotto Cakes, Crab Cake Dip, and Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms.

Kelly went to culinary school in 2007, and says that it has taught her that failure is absolutely part of the process, and that you often learn more from abject failure than you do from success. It has also taught her not to dwell on failure, and that if she doesn’t put it behind her, she will never grow. But don’t think of her as a food snob because of her culinary school background. She just as easily admits to loving hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. “I grew up with it and it is one of those dishes I still eat when I need some comfort.” When asked about her favorite food pairings, she confesses: “Really, bacon and anything. I may have a problem with bacon.”

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans.From left to right: Cheddar Bacon Muffins and Jalapeno, Bacon and Cheddar Cornbread.

Her passion for food leans a tiny bit toward dessert or bread, which is likely why the one ingredient she always must have on hand is butter. She loves her whisks and has them in all shapes and sizes, and she can’t get along without them. Some of her other favorite food pairings, like bananas with caramel, are wonderfully featured in her dessert recipes.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Meet Kelly Jaggers of Evil Shenanigans.Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Cream Filled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting, Banana and Chocolate Mascarpone Crepes, Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream, Southern Banana Pudding, Apple Carrot Maple Cakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, and Raspberry and Chocolate Ganache Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream.

There’s so much more to this proud Texan who used to sing opera and bellydances for fun. So let’s get her into the hot seat (or … just seat) and get to know her even more!

Q: Any favorite chefs or food celebrities? Who inspires you?
A: My mom is my number one food inspiration. She taught me to cook, in an effort to make sure I did not starve when I moved out, and taught me a love of cooking and sharing food. She also taught me to make a perfect pie crust, for which my husband will be forever grateful! My favorite television food celebrity is, hands down, Nigella Lawson. Aside from being beautiful, she is well-spoken, intelligent, and she makes food I want to eat. A few years back I got to meet Nigella at a book signing and she was so sweet and terribly humble. I aspire to be as glamorous as she is in the kitchen, but I often fail. It is hard to be glamorous with flour on your nose!

Q: If you had to eat something right now and had only 3 minutes to get it ready, what would it be?
A: Bean and cheese nachos. I always have cheddar cheese in the fridge, I always have a can of beans in the pantry, and I am never without pickled jalapenos. Living in Texas, I think it is mandatory, actually, to have all those ingredients in hand at all times! This dish has saved me on a number of occasions from starvation. It also makes a good late-night or after school snack. Believe me, when you get out of school at 10pm after working a full day, you do not want a snack that takes longer than about three minutes to be ready.

Q: Do you have a most memorable kitchen disaster?
A: Once I created a recipe for a Mascarpone Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake. The batter was lovely, so I was very excited to try the finished cake. After it had cooled, I tried to slice it and the cake collapsed into what I can only describe as dust. Literally, it just turned into a pile of crumbs. I have never had anything like that happen before or since. I was quite crushed!

Q: What else, besides mascarpone bundt cakes, gives you trouble in the kitchen?
A: Making homemade mayonnaise. It almost always breaks. I have tried countless recipes/methods and I inevitably mess it up so I have given up on homemade mayo. It is ok, however, because I have discovered Duke’s Mayonnaise which is better than anything I have made. It makes the shame easier to tolerate, and it tastes damn good!

Q: What food item do you always make at home and never buy at the store anymore?
A: Salad dressing. About five years ago I decided that I needed to stop buying salad dressings because they would just languish in my refrigerator after one or two uses. So wasteful of me! Making my own came out of a desire to save money, but it has also improved my relationship with salads for the better. A yummy dressing means more salad consumption in my house. My favorite dressing to make at home is honey mustard. Three ingredients, give it a little whisk, and you have an all-purpose dressing/dipping sauce. It is fantastic on salad, but also good for dunking homemade chicken nuggets.

Q: Give us one of your favorite kitchen tips that you wish you’d always known.
A: Brown meat BEFORE you put it in the slow-cooker. It seems like such a no-brainer, but I never knew. Browning the meat means that your roast will: a) taste better and; b) look better. For a long time I served anemic-looking, flat-tasting, slow-cooker pot roast. Not anymore!


Thanks, Kelly!

Kelly’s recipe box here is full of all sorts of wonderful food, and there’s even more to enjoy in her blog, Evil Shenanigans. As you take unhurried, longing glances at her baking section, remember that she says one day, she’ll open her own bakery and that we’re all invited. Then maybe send her your RSVP now, to grab a slot in that guest list.


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The Theme Is … Brownies and Bars!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars!

I’m sorry.

I’m just going to come right out and apologize in advance for all the ooey, gooey, sweet, chunky, crunchy, dense, moist, rich goodness you’ll see in this post. If you think the Sea Salt Caramel Brownies from doughmesstic and mandybird80’s Fudgy Revel Bars above are too much torture, then you may want to view this post in installments.

We’re celebrating brownies and bars today to highlight our new Desserts subcategory: Brownies and Bars. It was high time they got their own home. Just look at the little sweethearts. Don’t they look happy to have a place to call their own?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (Milk Chocolate)Top row, from left to right: Brownies, As They Should Be from rainydaygal, Famous Mint Brownies from callimakesdo, and Macadamia Nut Brownies from ericalea. Middle row, from left to right: Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites from savorysweetlife, Bacon Salted Caramel Brownies from savourfare, and Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies from Chrystal. Bottom row, from left to right: Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Top from Rox, Milk Chocolate Brownies from Karenpie, and Best Basic Brownie from lydiajo.

Interestingly enough, although brownies are more popular, blondies apparently arrived at the scene first. While brownies obviously get their color from cocoa or chocolate, blondies have a base of butter and brown sugar or molasses, which are the same base ingredients for butterscotch. I found many wonderful recipes that fall under this group, and you all just do crazy magic with that simple base.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (Blondies)Left column, top to bottom: Congo Bars from Bakerella and The Bar (or Food for the Gods) from ivoryhut. Middle column, top to bottom: Chai Gingerbread Bars from nika, Peanut Butter Bacon Blondies from HowSweetEats, and Coffee Toffee Bars from nhsweetcherry. Right column, top to bottom: Toasted Coconut and Chocolate Chip Blondies from Kelly @ EvilShenanigans, Pumpkin Blondies from Tracy (sugarcrafter), and Chai Bars from savourfare.

Then there are those other types of bars that don’t quite fit into an obvious group. Bars that are part candy, part cake, part petit four, and pure decadence.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (Other Bars)Clockwise from top left: Idle Hand Bars (Sweet and Salty) from guiltykitchen, Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars from RecipeGirl, Nanaimo Bars from myrecessionkitchen, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars from golokitchen, Kit-Kat Bars from Chloe, Nutella Nanaimo Bars from savourfare, Coconut and Chocolate Fudge Bars from cookincanuck, and Salted Butterscotch Shortbread Bars from Dandy.

Maybe a fruity kind of bar is more up your alley. Especially with so many wonderful fruits in season right now. Many of the bars below can easily be adapted to your favorite fruit. Fruit is healthy, yes?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (With Fruit)Top row, from left to right: Lemon Lime Squares from sweettooth, Raspberry Coconut Bars from sugarlovegirl, and Strawberry Lime Squares with Almond Graham Cracker Crust from The Noshery. Middle row, from left to right: Rhubarb Crisp Bars from adenscrazymom, Blueberry Crisp Bars from A Cozy Kitchen, and Apricot Orange Squares from foodandwhine. Bottom row, from left to right: Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust from cookincanuck, Lemon Walnut Squares from Frances Swiecki, and Frosted Banana Bars from dineanddish.

Don’t they look so pretty and colorful?

And finally, in case you need something special, like a gluten-free brownie, or dairy-free, or vegan, I found some recipes for you too. Or maybe you want a bar but just don’t feel like firing up that oven in the heat of summer. Don’t despair; I made sure I found a few recipes to rope you in. You didn’t think you’d escape that easily, did you?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (Special Dietary Needs)Clockwise from top left: The Ultimate Vegan Brownie from guiltykitchen, whole wheat and all organic Chocolate Caramel Bars from Carrie @ Deliciously Organic, Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies from glutenfreegirl, No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars from Karly Campbell, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Brownies from elanaspantry, and another no-bake treat, Peanut Butter Bars from Grandma posted by megstermeter.

And that’s it! Just some of the goodies waiting for you in our new Brownies and Bars category. Okay, you can breathe now. I’m done tempting you. Seriously. It’s safe to come out now.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Brownies and Bars! (Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies, recipe submitted by TK member bell'alimento)Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Brownies from bell’alimento

Oops. Sorry again!
(The chocolate made me do it.)


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In Season!

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: In Season! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

This week, I’d like to celebrate the bounty of produce in season this summer. Loads of colorful fruits and veggies means recipes that are vibrant and happy! I’ve joined a CSA for the first time, and am having fun cooking based on what’s delivered, not what’s on sale or catches my eye at the supermarket.

It’s certainly helped me spend less money on groceries. See, I have a bad habit of loading up the grocery cart with everything and anything that looks and smells good. I know what you’re gonna say: “Don’t go grocery shopping hungry!” But ladies and gents … I’m always hungry.

Let’s start with summer fruit! Blueberries, pineapple, mango and raspberries: Laurie of Simply Scratch shows us that when it comes to sweet, ripe fruit, simple is best. I love that Laurie adds lemon zest to this Summer Fruit Salad!

Tasty Kitchen: Blog In Season! (Summer Fruit Salad, from TK member Laurie of Simply Scratch)

Apricot and cherries: Julie of Bananas for Bourbon makes a beautiful, boozy cake with her Brandy Buttermilk Apricot Cherry Upside Down Cake.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: In Season! (Brandy Buttermilk Apricot Cherry Upside Down Cake, from TK member Julie of Bananas for Bourbon)

Eggplant and tomato: It’s not quite eggplant and tomato season here in too-hot Florida, but late June-July marks the beginning of the eggplant and tomato season in many other areas. Here’s a great twist to the Caprese Salad—add slices of eggplant! Inspired Taste makes Eggplant and Tomato Napoleons.

Tasty Kitchen: Blog In Season! (Eggplant and Tomato Napoleons, from TK member Inspired Taste)

Summer squash: A Busy Nest makes a Lebanese Stuffed Squash that I can’t wait to make.

Tasty Kitchen: Blog In Season! (Lebanese Stuffed Squash, from TK member A Busy Nest)

Corn: Siggy Spice reveals her secret to Best Corn Ever. Can you guess what she boils her corn in?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: In Season! (Best Corn Ever, from TK member Siggy Spice)

Basil and red pepper: Multiply Delicious makes these cutie Pesto Cheese Phyllo Bites. I love using the pre-made baby phyllo cups. They are simple to use and inexpensive as well. Find them in the freezer section, right where you’d normally find the regular frozen phyllo sheets.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: In Season! (Pesto Cheese Phyllo Bites, from TK member Heather of Multiply Delicious)


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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Meet Natalie

Posted by in Meet the Member!

  This week, our featured member is a self-taught home cook who got her love of food from the southern women she grew up with, then fed it with endless hours of Food Network while her husband was deployed in Afghanistan. She’s funny, creative, passionate about the quality of food that she makes, and incredibly […]

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What’s Your Food Obsession?

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

  I have a problem. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a supermarket without adding a package of fatty porky goodness in my cart. Or approached a new menu without scanning first for a dish containing the “b” word. My weakness? An all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Some might call it a obsession; my […]

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The Theme Is … Dad!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

  Today’s theme post is more like a theme and member feature combination. Most of you know that this weekend is the weekend that dads get to be in the spotlight, and I figured we’d start early. So today at Tasty Kitchen, it’s all about the guys! (Disclaimer: I need to say up front that […]

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Meet Jennie

Posted by in Meet the Member!

  She’s a Brooklyn native—a Brooklyn Italian, to be exact—who’s made a name for herself in the food industry. She’s a food writer and recipe developer, and has garnered praise from The New York Daily News, Time Out New York, and CNNfn. Her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen, is a treasure trove of recipes for home […]