The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Let’s Talk Asparagus

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Asparagus)

Asparagus season is underway ’round these parts, and I always try to make it a point to keep some on hand. They make a great last-minute side dish or even light meal, and require so little prep work. It’s the quintessential spring vegetable, and there are so many asparagus dishes here that look amazing, like creamy soup, risotto, and even asparagus fries. They all sound so good!

So asparagus is our topic this week: growing, storing, preparing, cooking, you name it. Tell us:

Do you have any favorite asparagus tips (ha!) or recipes?

I usually try to keep it simple. I like to quickly cook fresh asparagus on a grill or a very hot pan, just to get a bit of char in them without losing all that lovely crispness. Toss with some garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice over the whole thing. Done!

I have some really nice asparagus here right now but I think I want to try something new this time. Any recommendations? What’s your favorite way to enjoy asparagus? Do you have any recipes or links to share? Or maybe you have a tip for growing it and keeping it healthy, or can tell us what we should look for when buying asparagus in the store. Come share below!

 

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Hammy Monday!

Posted by in The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Recipes for Leftover Ham (Ham and Cheese Potato Skins)

If you hosted a big Easter meal yesterday, chances are you have a large chunk of ham taking up premium space in your refrigerator. And if you’re like me, the day my fridge is packed to the gills with leftovers seems to always be the same day I want to head out to the store to replenish my supply of fresh apple cider, yogurt, half-and-half, eggs, and everything else that needs to reclaim that space. An odd-shaped slab of meat occupying an entire shelf can put a damper on those plans. So let’s use it up!

Everyone has a few favorite leftover-ham standbys, like simple ham and cheese sandwiches, soups, omelettes, fried rice, or some variation of Hawaiian pizza. But in case you’re looking for inspiration or just something new to try out, we rounded up a few that we’ve featured right here on the Tasty Kitchen Blog. Like the Ham and Cheese Potato Skins you see above. Ham, cheese, and crispy, salty potato skins. Sign me up.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Recipes for Leftover Ham (Individual Scalloped Potatoes with Ham)

Individual Scalloped Potatoes with Ham. More of the ham, cheese, and potato combination!

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Recipes for Leftover Ham (Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. Rich and creamy, with a crunchy buttery topping. Comfort food in casserole form, and worth every extra calorie.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Recipes for Leftover Ham (Darn Good Ham and Cheese Sliders)

Darn Good Ham and Cheese Sliders. A classic, and always a hit.

While we’re on the subject of sandwiches, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the croque-monsieur. It’s a fancy name for what is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with hot and bubbly bechamel (white sauce). Top that with a fried egg, and you have yourself a croque-madame.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Recipes for Leftover Ham

Croque Madame, submitted by TK member Show Me the Yummy Open Faced Croque Monsieurs, submitted by TK member Lauren of Lauren's Latest Croque Madame, submitted by TK member Dax of Simple Comfort Food

We hope these will give you a few new ideas for that leftover ham, especially if you have more time to play in the kitchen now that spring break is over. And if you have any favorite ways to use up leftover ham, share your tips and recipe links below!

 

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Easter Brunch Ideas

Posted by in The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

If you are busy with Easter preparations like filling baskets and dyeing eggs, you may not have finalized your menu. We have a few—okay more than a few—recipe ideas to make your Easter brunch lovely. And now we are officially hungry. So here we go with some prize winning brunch grub!

Hint: All the photos in the collages are clickable, and will open up the printable recipe in a separate tab. So go ahead and click away!

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

Blackberry Mojito, submitted by TK member Mira of Cooking LSL Minty Lime and Pineapple Sangria, submitted by TK member Dana of Killing Thyme Sangrita (Sangria + Margarita), submitted by TK member Jennie of The Messy Baker Blood Orange Mint Gimlet, submitted by TK member Anita of Hungry Couple Strawberry Basil Gin Cocktail, submitted by TK member Show Me the Yummy Bloody Marias, submitted by TK member Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough Blood Orange Mimosa, submitted by TK member Diana of Hot Beauty Health

Before we dive into the food, let’s wet our whistle with a cool, refreshing cocktail. From Bloody Marys to spritzers to mojitos, there’s something here for every brunch-goer.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

Easy Crabcake Eggs Benedict, submitted by TK member Jessie of Life As A Strawberry Italian Eggs Benedict with Pesto Hollandaise, submitted by TK member Jackie Dodd of Domestic Fits A Twist on Eggs Benedict, submitted by TK member Traci of LottaMadness Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, submitted by TK member Mike of Verses from My Kitchen Portobello Mushroom Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise, submitted by TK member Jackie Dodd of Domestic Fits Crab Benedict, submitted by TK member Megan of Wanna Be A Country Cleaver Caprese Benedict with Basil Hollandaise Sauce, submitted by TK member Heather Christo Cajun Eggs Benedict, submitted by TK member Jessie of Life As A Strawberry

Eggs Benedict may be the perfect brunch food, and the effort is always appreciated. If you want to wow your family and guests, try one of these beauties. I don’t know about you, but the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict is speaking to me right about now.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

Smoked Salmon Spinach Quiche with Hash Brown Crust, submitted by TK member Megan of Wanna Be A Country Cleaver Quiche Lorraine, submitted by TK member Ashleigh of Scratchy Mama Crustless Asparagus Quiche, submitted by TK member Leigha of The Yooper Girl Asparagus Quiche, submitted by TK member Tanya of Lemons for Lulu Mini Spinach & Turkey Bacon Quiche, submitted by TK member Claire of The Realistic Nutritionist Southwest Quiche, submitted by TK member Meagan of A Zesty Bite Fried Garlic, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche, submitted by TK member Gaby of What's Gaby Cooking Chicken Sausage and Asparagus Quiche, submitted by TK member Lauren of Lauren's Latest

Another brunch classic is, of course, quiche, and it can come together relatively simply. Using spring ingredients also makes it ideal for Easter. Asparagus, pancetta and gruyere, anyone? We say yes.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

Bacon, Havarti and Scallion Scones, submitted by TK member Colleen Gluten-Free Muesli Scones, submitted by TK member Elana of Elana's Pantry Lemon & Blueberry Cornmeal Scones, submitted by TK member Anita of Hungry Couple Oatmeal Cinnamon-Raisin Scones, submitted by TK member Three Many Cooks Whole Grain Strawberry Pop Tart Scones, submitted by TK member Jenna of Eat, Live, Run Olive Oil Scones, submitted by TK member Faith of An Edible Mosaic Savory Ricotta and Scallion Scones, submitted by TK member Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough Buttered Pecan Scones, submitted by TK member Christina of Dessert for Two Perfect Basic Buttermilk Scones, submitted by TK member Anita of Hungry Couple

I have never had a houseguest turn down a scone, especially if it was warm from the oven. A basket of any of these lovely scones would not be a bad addition to the brunch table. Sweet or savory, scones are such a satisfying treat.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme Is Easter Brunch!

Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, submitted by TK member Melissa of The FauxMartha Light Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, submitted by TK member Jessica of A Kitchen Addiction A Better Carrot Cake, submitted by TK member Elizabeth of Guilty Kitchen Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting, submitted by TK member Kelly of Live Love Pasta Coconut Carrot Cake, submitted by TK member Maya of Alaska from Scratch

And let us not forget the carrot cake! It’s the quintessential Easter dessert, and we’ve got a few favorites for you. Cupcakes are a fun and easy alternative to baking and frosting the full cake!

Happy Easter, friends!

 

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Easter Eggs!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Easter Eggs!)

Easter week is in full swing, and if you haven’t already boiled and dyed eggs, it’s more than likely on your agenda in the next couple of days. Dyed eggs are the centerpiece of many families’ Easter celebrations, so we want to share knowledge today about all things Easter egg. Tell us:

Do you have tips for perfect Easter eggs?

Whether it’s cooking, dyeing or using the leftover eggs in a recipe, we want to hear your tricks.

First, the cooking. We all have our favorite method for achieving the perfect hard-boiled egg. Some of us add vinegar to the water before it boils. Others skip this step. Some boil rapidly for a set period and then remove and add cold water to cool. Another method is to bring water to a boil with the eggs in the pot and then remove from heat, cover and let sit for several minutes to complete the cooking. We know folks who swear by using an ice bath to stop the cooking. How about you? What are your best hard-boiled egg tricks? Since we’ll be boiling at least a dozen eggs, we want to make sure they come out right. We’ll eventually eat these babies, after all.

Now for the dyeing. Always a fun (though sometimes messy) undertaking, we’ve seen some really fun variations on the typical approach and some clever uses of natural ingredients to dye eggs. TK Member Patricia from ButterYum shares a neat method from Le Creuset for dyeing eggs purple using grape juice. We also adore these crackled eggs from Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough. Tell us your tips for the best dyed eggs. How do you get the most vivid colors, and/or what natural ingredients have you found success with for dyeing?

After the hunt, we’ll be ready to crack open our eggs and use them for deviled eggs, a great egg salad or maybe perfect potato salad for Easter dinner. I always love a good Cobb or Nicoise salad, and both call for a hard-boiled egg or two. Then at least one or two eggs will end up in school lunches around here. I’m thinking I need to have another dozen eggs on hand! Let us know your favorite uses for your leftover Easter eggs. We’re ready for some fresh ideas!

We wish you wonderful celebrations with family and friends and hope your eggs turn out lovely and tasty!

 

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Zucchini Blossom Fritters

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

These Zucchini Blossom Fritters by Tk member Katie are wonderfully unique, and contain the delicious flowers that bloom from a zucchini plant before the fruit forms.

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Spring Cleaning Giveaway! (Winners Announced)

Posted by in Miscellaneous

Because we love you and want your heart to be happy when you look around your space and see everything neat and organized, we're giving away two (2) gift cards worth $100 each to The Container Store.

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Growing Vegetables

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Do you have any tips for growing vegetables? Favorite veggies you like to plant each year? Any particular challenges planting specific varieties? Any questions that other gardeners here may be able to answer?

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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Posted by in Baking

Yes, we’re really making brownies with black beans. Embrace it. They’re good for you!