The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Greekin’ Up Spaghetti!

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
Italian spaghetti and meatballs is as classic as classic can get, and here I go changing it up! The truth is, I get bored and restless, and either I vent out my creativity by repainting my whole house or I head to the kitchen to Greek up a recipe.

I know for sure that my husband is dang happy that I chose the kitchen instead of the paint can!

The recipe for the Greek-fied meatballs comes from morphing a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks that I acquired this year, How To Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis. The original recipe was for Greek-Style Hamburgers (you must make!) but it’s just as good rolled into meatballs.

Ground cumin and coriander are subbed for the normal Italian oregano. Feta cheese and fresh parsley stand in for parmesan.

The secret to this recipe is slowly sautéing the onions until soft ‘n sweet. Then mince!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
You’ve got to mince them finely as they’ll need to be blended into the meat. See the difference between the right (chopped) and left (minced)?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
To any type of meat that you want—ground chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or pork—add in the minced onion, salt, garlic, cumin, pepper, mustard, coriander and parsley. (Though if you only added the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, it’s just as good).

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Roll ‘em into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Try to keep them all even in size.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Brown them in a pan …

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
On all sides …

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Then pour in your favorite tomato sauce. Your favorite marinara sauce from a jar will do just fine.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
I’d love to know: how would you change up the regular ol’ spaghetti dish? Would you make it Moroccan? Swedish? Tex-Mex? Or would ya keep it as is—a classic untouchable!

 
 
—–
Spaghetti ‘n Greek Meatballs
Recipe adapted from How To Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis
Serves 4

 
1 pound dried pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pound ground meat (choice of ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef or lamb)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

 
1. Cook pasta according package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, swirl in just 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until browned, soft and tender. The longer you cook, the sweeter the onion will taste. Remove from pan to a cutting board and finely mince the onions.

3. In a large bowl, combine the minced onions, salt, pepper, ground meat, Dijon mustard, coriander, garlic, cumin and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Use your hands to mix thoroughly.

4. To form the meatballs, put a good handful of the meat onto the palm of your hand and shape into a tight ball. Try to keep all the meatballs 1 1/2 inches in diameter to make sure they cook evenly.

5. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the remaining olive oil. Add the meatballs (not touching) and cook for 2 minutes. Roll the meatballs and fry the other sides for 2 minutes each. When all sides are browned, pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and bring to a simmer. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.

6. Serve over pasta topped with feta cheese and the remaining chopped parsley.

 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Greekin' Up Spaghetti! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
_______________________________________

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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Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

I have a new addiction but luckily this time, it’s not quite as unhealthy as my last (ahem … Kit Kats) or budget-breaking as the one before that (ahem … fresh oysters from the Pacific Northwest). It’s all my friend Jennifer’s fault. She gushed on about her new popcorn maker—the stand-alone, old-fashioned design complete with the crank to empty the popping bin.

It’s an absolutely impractical space-hogging small kitchen appliance that only people who have a popcorn fixation (moi) could justify. And so there it sits on my kitchen island, taking up 55% of the counter footprint, leaving no room for anything else.

Of course, my husband Scott just shakes his head and says, “We’ll see how long this popcorn thing lasts …” So what am I to do? Well, I make popcorn. Buckets of it. Every few hours.

Okay, so honestly, my addiction isn’t so much eating the popcorn but rather making it. And if I have to hang my head in shame, stand in the corner, and really, really dig down deep for the absolute truthful answer, the popcorn-making frenzy is all about warding off the “I told you it was a bad idea” thing from Scott!

C’mon, please tell me you do the same thing too?

 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Of the gazillion popcorn combos that I’ve made (and have sourced from Twitter friends!), my favorite is the Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. It’s a great way to glam up the humble popcorn! (Though I think popcorn stopped being humble the moment I bought that fancy $80 popcorn maker.)

The first step is to pop yer corn. If you’re doing the microwave thing, make sure you get plain popcorn. If you want to make popcorn on your stove (like your grandma use to do), here’s a recipe from Elise.

Once it’s popped, put the popcorn in a large bowl and drizzle just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the truffle oil (truffle oil is very strong!). If you have an oil mister, even better.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Mix it all about. The oil goes first, so that it coats the popcorn and gives the salt and parmesan something to stick to.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Now add the sea salt. It’s gotta be good sea salt, like my favorite flaky Maldon sea salt. Hey, if you’re gonna use truffle oil and good parmesan, you might as well use good salt!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
And then add a generous grating of good quality parmesan or pecorino.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
To finish, just because this is glam popcorn, I use a vegetable peeler to add some nice shavings of parmesan on top.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Popcorn with Parmesan and Truffle Oil. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
What’s your favorite popcorn flavor? Got any creative ideas for me? I’ve got at least another 2 weeks of popcorn frenzy before I can safely retire the monster in my garage AND minimize the “I told you so’s.”

 
Hugs and kisses,
Jaden

 
 
_______________________________________

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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Fill ‘em Up!

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
The best way to get my kids to eat something is to fill it in a dumpling or wrap ‘em in a tortilla. I could stuff wontons with pickled pigs feet and the boys would chomp it all up! Who can resist a cute little two-bite package? Especially if it looked like little fishies!

Rubber Slippers in Italy made these cute Chinese Goldfish Dumplings made these steamed dumplings that are very popular in Hong Kong dim sum restaurants. She even made the wrappers by hand (oh that woman’s got talent!)

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Goldfish Dumplings, from Rubber Slippers in Italy)

 
 
 
But not all dumplings are Chinese. Let’s take tour around the world and start right here in our backyard (well, my backyard I mean) and head over the For the Love of Cooking’s classic American Chicken and Basil Dumplings. Technically, these babies aren’t filled dumplings, but rather a dough mixture dropped by the spoonful into good chicken broth. Best part of this recipe is that it’s from Cooking Light Magazine (read: I can eat 2 servings and still feel great!).

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Chicken and Basil Dumplings from For the Love of Cooking, recipe from Cooking Light Magazine)

 
 
 
This gorgeous photo is from Asha of Fork Spoon Knife blog (love the contrasting colors!) and she made Meat Ravioli with Puttanesca Sauce. Instead of making her own pasta sheets for ravioli, she used Chinese dumpling wrappers to make the job easier. Just beautiful. Plus, I just love saying puttanesca. I feel so naughty!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Meat Ravioli with Puttanesca Sauce, from Asha of Fork Spoon Knife)

 
 
 
Susan wins the creative healthy award with these Samosa Wraps. Instead of the traditional Indian deep-fried samosa dumplings, Susan wrapped the curried vegan filling in whole-grain tortillas. This would make a perfect lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Or snack. Or midnight munchies. Oh wait. It’s supposed to be healthy, which means no midnight munchies for me.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Samosa Wraps, from Susan of Fat Free Vegan)

 
 
 
Mehan of Mehan’s Kitchen shows us what Afgan dumplings are in this Aushak recipe. I haven’t really much explored the food of Afghanistan, and darn it, I think it’s about time! Mehan also took a shortcut with the dumpling dough and used Chinese dumpling wrappers. Her recipe is from Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires book (by the way, I highly recommend any of Ruth’s books in audio form, telling her stories in her own voice).

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Aushak, from Mehan's Kitchen, recipe from Ruth Reichl)

 
 
 
Lastly, I cannot talk about dumplings without mentioning one of my close friends. Bee of Rasa Malaysia makes Japanese Gyoza, which are pan-fried dumplings. The gyoza are first browned with a bit of cooking oil, then steamed by adding water or broth to the same pan and quickly covering. With a little spicy soy sauce dip, this is one of my favorites.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Fill 'em Up! (Gyoza, from Rasa Malaysia)

 
 
 
Tell me, what’s your favorite type of dumpling or dumpling filling?

 
 
_______________________________________

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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Food Games

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

As a person with hardly an ounce of willpower and a crateful of curiousity, we’ve accumulated many different types of electronic gaming devices. I like to say that we have every shade of Apple, Nintendo and XBox (oh and also Canon, but that’s a whole ‘nother story that had nothing to do with gaming but my obsession with lenses).

Yes, I know these games are bad for my kids; I’ve heard everything from symptoms of shortness of attention span, hypertension, ADHD and carpal tunnel. But honestly, the symptoms could be WD-40, small feet syndrome, stubby middle fingers or tongue flapping, I still love me my games.

My favorite, of course, are the food-related games. Here’s a rundown.

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Cooking Mama). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Cooking Mama

This is a fun one, especially on the Wii, where you get to actually make the motions of chopping, shaking the pan, pouring, cracking an egg with your Wii remote thingy. The boys love this game, from learning how to make spaghetti with meatballs to even the cute Japanese girl’s accent.

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Farm Story). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Farm Story

Plant, plow, wait. And wait. And wait. Harvest. Sell. Repeat. (Yawn.) Pretty cute chubby graphics for kids, but we all got bored of this game really quickly.

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Zombie Farm). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Zombie Farm

Oh no you didn’t download this!

Oh yessiree I did! Okay, technically this doesn’t count as a pure food game; you’re cultivating both crops and zombies. Amongst the red-ripe tomatoes that you’ll harvest, you’re also building a zombie army. What kid doesn’t like zombies?! BRRRRAAAAIIIINZZZZZZZZ.

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Cake Mania). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Cake Mania

I tried so hard to like this game, but we only had it for the Nintendo DS and its ittty bitty screen. I’m getting old. Has anyone played this on the Wii or any screen larger than my thumb?

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Farm Frenzy). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Farm Frenzy

This game started off reallllly slow, collecting eggs that the hens lay, but after a few levels, things speed up and you’re off managing a farm. Grow grass, get water, collect eggs, spin wool, transport produce, sell produce. Any money you make goes right back into the farm, buying more animals and upgrading your farm. (Hey! Just like a real farm!)

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (We Rule). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.We Rule

This is my newest obsession, and when I say obsession, I really mean that. Last night, I woke up at 4 a.m. to harvest my beans (if you wait too long, they spoil). You’re building a kingdom, complete with a castle and options to build a tailor shop, fishing pond and gladiator training center. Yesterday, I gave a shoutout to the game and asked if anyone else was playing. I think Twitter went down for 5 minutes as all these people started tweeting me their player IDs! It’s a fun game, perfect for OCD-ishy people like me.

 
 
 

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Food Games (Star Wars Cantina). Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.Star Wars Cantina

This game could have been soooo much more … especially for $4.99 on the iPad! Okay, so it’s LucasFilm-licensed and you hear the cantina music from the movie, and the Storm Troopers look so cute you want to hug ‘em. You’re a waitress managing the bar with impatient and thirsty customers. Your job is to seat customers, serve drinks and collect money. Yep, that’s it.

 
Have you played any food video games? Tell me about them! I have yet to play Farmville … I’m scared I’ll get addicted!

 
 
_______________________________________

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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Burgers, Shakes, Fries and Don’t Forget the Apple Pie!

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

  When it comes to Fourth of July, are you a traditionalist or adventurous when it comes to the food? For our family, we’ve pretty much stuck to the traditional fare: grilling hot dogs, hamburgers and finishing off the meal with a swim in the pool and super-cold watermelon slices. This year, I can’t decide […]

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In Season!

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

  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 […]

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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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Mojito Madness!

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

  It’s definitely lazy-by-the-pool time of the year, and what better to celebrate summer vacation than a collection of jewel-toned mojitos! Well, only made better if served by cute cabana boy, right? We went searching online for creative mojito recipes and came up with several beauties to share with you. You’ll have to source the […]