The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Let’s Talk Hard-to-Find Ingredients!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Hard-to-Find Ingredients)
Have you ever spent the good part of a day trying to find a specific ingredient for a recipe? Maybe you had to spend an hour or two on research alone because you had no idea what it was or where to find it. And perhaps it was something so singular, you had to special order it online and wait 5 to 7 business days before finally being able to tackle that particular recipe.

For the most part, there are always acceptable substitutes. Sometimes, you can simply omit the ingredient and call it a day. But once in a while, a recipe actually hinges on one or two specific items, or perhaps you’re trying to create a particular dish for someone and you know it just won’t be the same without that ingredient.

I know many of us would go the extra mile if it meant creating something truly special in the kitchen, and I thought it might be fun to share our stories of just how far we’ve gone to do just that—our adventures in the search for that elusive ingredient or even tool to make a recipe work. So tell us:

Do you have any stories about your adventures tracking down an item for a recipe?

A few days ago, I was tasked with finding a specific kind of vermouth for a special cocktail. Now, I’m someone you rarely find standing by the bar or holding a drink, so I had no idea what I was agreeing to. I searched online, made phone calls, and even expanded my search to include two neighboring states, just to find this particular ingredient. I asked if there was an acceptable substitute and was told that it absolutely had to be that item. Five hours later, I finally gave up and decided to do the errands I put on hold while trying to go from here to tarnation trying to track down this bottle of vermouth.

It was 9:30 PM when I walked into our local grocery to pick up some coconut milk and chorizo (that’s a whole other story in itself). I noticed they had a new wine section and I decided to check it out. Lo and behold, there on their vermouth shelf sat four bottles of the vermouth I had just spent 5 hours trying to track down.

Moral of the story: Don’t underestimate your local grocery. Larger moral of the story: Don’t volunteer to procure something you know nothing about.

How about you? Have any stories to tell about searching for hard-to-find ingredients? Or maybe you discovered a substitute that you can share, and spare us all from hours of Googling and driving around. Tell us your story below!


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Let’s Talk Pumpkin!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Creme Pie)

I’m not ready to bid farewell to summer just yet, and I have the calendar on my side. But nature seems bent on overruling us both. The mornings are becoming nippier, leaves are already falling to the ground, and I now have to remind myself all over again that rushing to get somewhere in the mid-afternoon is an exercise in futility with the number of yellow buses on the road. (Seeing all the cute kids hop off the bus and run to their mommies more than makes up for it though.)

Don’t get me wrong: fall is my favorite season. It’s just that it barely feels like we even had a proper summer, so in my mind, it’s still May or June and not mid-September with all kinds of holiday merchandise already filling the store shelves.

As much as I’d like summer to linger, I’m also quite excited about what looms in the immediate horizon: pumpkin season. Yes friends, its arrival is imminent. And I know I’m not the only one excited about pumpkin recipes here. What’s not to love? It’s nutritious, much of it is edible (flesh, seeds, leaves, flowers), it freezes well, makes baked good moist, and in a pinch, it can turn into a carriage if you need a ride to the ball. Yes, pumpkins are real versatile like that.

We want to hear all the ways you like to use this wonder fruit, so tell us:

What are your favorite ways to use or serve pumpkin?

Let me start by showing you a few beauties we’ve featured here in the TK Blog.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Cornbread)

Pumpkin Cornbread. Cornbread? Good. Add pumpkin? YES.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Nutella Cheesecake Pumpkin Muffins)

Nutella Cheesecake Pumpkin Muffins. It has pumpkin. And Nutella. And cheesecake. Sign me up.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Coffee Cake)

Pumpkin Coffee Cake. Light and fluffy and nutty, with a brown sugar glaze.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Enchiladas)

Pumpkin Enchiladas. Pumpkin goes Tex-Mex!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Scones)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Scones. Perfect with tea or coffee.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Bread)

Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Bread. Moist and dense, and I love almost anything topped with streusel.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Pumpkin Pie Bars)

Pumpkin Pie Bars. Pumpkin pie in bar form with no crust to mess with! The buttery cinnamon topping is to die for.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Pumpkin Recipes, Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake)

Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake. This really is pretty much perfect.

Now it’s your turn! Have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Tips on how to select a good pumpkin, or how to cut one up without lopping off a finger? Let us know in the comments below!


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Kitchen Talk: Homemade Ingredients!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Homemade Ingredients)

We love Homemade Ingredients here at Tasty Kitchen. Love. Not only because you have full control over what goes into your food but also because the flavors you get blow store-bought versions out the water. Plus there’s the street cred. Oh, the street cred.

We’ve had a few favorites here at the TK Blog. Like the homemade tortillas you see above. Or refried beans to go with those tortillas. Or impress everyone with homemade ricotta. Be prepared for the double takes and Elaine Benes-esqe “Shut up!” shoves when you tell them you make your own anything.

Homemade creations also gives us reason to buy more Mason jars. Because you really can never have too many Mason jars.

We’re always on the lookout for more ways to make stuff at home, so this is where you come in! Tell us:

What ingredients do you like to make at home?

I like making the basic condiments at home. I have a shelf of homemade mayo, mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce in my fridge. When friends see that, they first blink in disbelief and then they swoon. I think they do it to humor me, but I’ll take what I can get. I’ve also been making my own Greek yogurt for years now and wish I did it more often.

How about you? Do you make some on a fairly regular basis? Or less than you wish you could? Or maybe you’re looking for a homemade version of a favorite item. Whatever it is, let us know!


Avatar of Erika (TK)

Knives for You! (Winner Announced)

Posted by in Miscellaneous

The winner of the knives is:

#764 Schnackies: “I love the colors and any opportunity to eat anything with pumpkin in it. I’m a pumpkin-holic!”

Congratulations! Contact to claim your pretty knives. They’re handy for cutting up those pumpkins!

Tasty Kitchen Blog Giveaway: Wusthof Knife Set

It’s Friday! And it’s September, the first of the ‘Ber’ months. Can you believe summer is almost behind us, and autumn is right around the corner? That means soups, stews, pumpkins, apple picking, golden leaves, and the chance to break out those sweaters and scarves and cute boots. Yay for fall!

To celebrate the coming harvest season, we’re giving away a gorgeous set of Wusthof knives to help you craft all kinds of autumn deliciousness in your kitchen.


To enter this giveaway, just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:

“What do you love most about this time of the year?”

Is it the cooler weather? The season’s bounty? Going back to school? (Yes, I was one of those annoying ones who loved school.) Just tell us why you’re excited about September and you’re automatically entered to win the knife set.


One entry per person, please. Contest ends tomorrow at noon PST.

Winners will be chosen randomly and announced this weekend.

Sponsored by Tasty Kitchen.

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Let’s Talk Chinese Takeout!

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

  Natalie’s brilliant post on Sarah’s recipe for Singapore Mei Fun the other day got me thinking about homemade versions of Chinese takeout favorites. There are quite a few that we always get every time that craving hits, and I’m glad it doesn’t hit more often than it already does because I’d be in big […]

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Looks Delicious! S’mores Pretzel Hand Pies

Posted by in Looks Delicious!

It's Friday! Not just any Friday, too. It's the fifth and last Friday of August, the Friday before a long holiday weekend, and for many, the last Friday of their summer vacation. It's a Friday that needs something extra special, so enter chocolate and marshmallow creme and cream cheese and pretzel buns. As if we needed another reason to enjoy s'mores,

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Share Your Breakfast Ideas!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

The first day of school is just around the corner, and some have already started (sorry!). Back in my school days, that meant my mornings were spent trying to linger in bed for as long as I could get away with, milking it for every last minute of sleep possible. Which, in turn, often meant rushing out the door without so much of a hint of breakfast. Not a crumb or…

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Let’s Talk Pots and Pans!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

I know I'm not alone in my love for cookware, and though I have my share, I do have a few favorites. I know you do too! Tell us:

Of all the pots and pans you own, what's your favorite and most used, and which one do you use the least?