The Sandwich

Even though I’ve been a dedicated Pioneer Woman reader for over 3 years (after spending Christmas day, 2007 reading through her love story), I had yet to make the sandwich. THE Marlboro Man sandwich. The sandwich guaranteed to make a man propose (didn’t even have to use it for my man!).

That all changed last night.

Things have been pretty crazy around here since the proposal. Wonderfully crazy. Over the moon excited crazy, but still crazy. Case in point: I bought the meat to make these on Saturday, and didn’t get around to making them until last night. Note to self: cube steak in the fridge does not last that long. When I pulled it out last night, the meat was a color no meat should be. I quickly called the boy, who was on his way home, and he sweetly went and picked up more steak.

He really wanted the sandwich.

I served these with steamed artichokes, and I might have been slightly distracted by my love for the artichoke, but these were still delicious.

The Marlboro Man Sandwich

  • 1 whole Large (or 2 Small) Onions
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 2 pounds  Cube Steak
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 3/4 cups (approximately) Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
  • 4 whole French/deli Rolls

Preparation Instructions

Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.

Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown. Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.

Add  Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 tablespoons butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.

Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet.

To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Original recipe copied from here:



Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

Last Saturday was my sweet sister’s birthday, so I offered to come over and cook dinner for her. Yes, I’m pretty much the best sister ever. When I asked what sounded good, the only thing she requested was my crack dressing. Gotta love it. That still left me with no main course. I wanted a recipe that was just a little more special than usual, and that hopefully had a little bit of dairy in it, since the boy (now fiancée!)  wasn’t going to be around.

I remembered seeing this recipe a while before, and had mentally tucked it away for later. So glad that I did, because it was really really delicious. It has some of my favorite things like wine, something bacon related, and leeks. Can’t go wrong with that. I even set aside some of the sauce before adding the cream so I could take it home to the boy, and it was still delicious.

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks

  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta, Cooked Al Dente  (I used farfalle)
  • 3 ounces, weight Chopped Pancetta
  • 3 whole Leeks, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • ½ cups Dry White Wine
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, Shaved

Cook pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Saute chopped pancetta until fat is rendered and it starts to brown. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. Add butter. After 1 or 2 minutes, pour in wine, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until reduced (At this point, I took about 1/3 cup and tossed it with some noodles for the boy). Reduce heat to low, then pour in cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the pasta and top with shaved Parmesan.

Original recipe:

Chipotle Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

My best friend and her husband have been referring to this soup as “The best soup in the world” for months now, but I never got around to making it. It calls for heavy cream, and since we can’t really do that around here, I filed the recipe away mentally for the next time the boy goes out of town without me, which hopefully won’t be happening any time soon.

Part of the amazing Valentine’s meal the boy made for me included a cardamom mint infused cream sauce, using soy cream. It was unbelievably good, and I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t full of dairy if it wasn’t for his allergy. With this experience in mind, I decided to try using the soy cream in this soup as a trial run.


This is now entering into the rotation of favorite things.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

  • 5 whole Sweet Potatoes, Roasted And Cubed
  • 2-½ cups Corn
  • 8 slices Bacon
  • 1 cup Leeks, Sliced
  • 1 whole Vidalia Or Other Sweet Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Marjoram (I used about 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 2 boxes Chicken Stock (32oz Each), Divided
  • 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Chopped
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream (or soy cream!)

Wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil; do not pierce and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour at 375 degrees. Once soft, peel and cube. (Some of these will get smashed and some will not, so cube to your desired size.)

Fry bacon in a dutch oven or other large heavy bottomed pot. Once crispy, remove and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in your pot.

Cook leeks, onion, corn, thyme and marjoram in the bacon fat, stirring constantly until tender.

Add cubed sweet potatoes, 1-1 1/2 boxes of chicken stock, and chipotle peppers; simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Using an immersion blender, blend 1/2-1/3 of the soup. (You want to leave some of the corn and potato cubes whole.) At this point, you can add more chicken stock if needed, keeping in mind that you will still be adding in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream.

Simmer chowder for another 10 minutes, then add heavy cream and combine well. Salt to taste. If your chowder seems too thick, add more chicken stock and/or water to thin until you reach the desired consistency. Top with crumbled bacon.

Original recipe here:

My Valentine

Just want to take a second here and brag on my man. He made me the best Valentine meal ever. Even printed out beautiful menus!

Our meal:

Fried avocado with paprika spiced shrimp and crab salad

Filet mignon in a balsamic and red wine glaze with sweet potato steak fries

Saffron poached pears with cardamom mint creme

All of this deliciousness was washed down with one of our favorite wines, the Guilty Shiraz.

He’s too good to me!

Dijon Roasted Potatoes

We made it back from China, and I’m now going through dumpling withdrawals. Sigh.

The trip was amazing, and the food was incredible. Words can’t begin to do it all justice, so I won’t even try.

Last night the boy made some yummy pork chops in a savory blueberry sauce, and I made these potatoes to go with them. The dressing is really delicious, and I’ve already started trying to come up with other things that it’d be great on. Last night, it seemed to find its way onto my finger a lot.

These potatoes would go great with the beer braised pork chops we love so much.

Dijon Roasted Potatoes

  • 1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 lbs potatoes, skin on, cut into 3/4 inch wedges

Preheat oven to 425. Mix everything together, then put on a large greased cookie sheet. Cook for about 40 minutes, flipping potatoes every 10 minutes or so, until dark brown, crunchy, and delicious.

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Recipe Roundup

The boy and I leave for China tomorrow for 9 days (!), so there hasn’t been a ton of cooking these past few days. No sense in wasting leftovers, right?

Of course, none of this means that I haven’t still been looking at recipes daily. It’s like gastronomic porn. I’m addicted. Mark Bittman listed his top 25 recipes yesterday, and I’ve already been picking out things to cook when we get back.

Full List:

Recipes that caught my eye:

  • Spaghetti with fried eggs
  • Stir-fried chicken with ketchup
  • Stir-fried lamb with chili, cumin and garlic
  • Pernil
  • South Indian eggplant curry (in the microwave!)
  • Mexican chocolate tofu pudding (poor dairy free diet)

A lot of these are super simple, and we can keep most of these ingredients on hand, which would remove the “no one knows what for dinner and we don’t want to go to the store” issue we have sometimes.

One other recipe I definitely want to make is, a Chinese Chicken with soy and ginger. It’s a one pot dish, with rice and everything, that mainly cooks in the oven and looks amazing.

Now at least I have something to look forward to when we get back…


Beer-battered Asparagus

This is another Epicurious recipe, which just goes to show how much we love that site. Their recipes are fantastic and the comments that readers leave are some of the best part. Nothing like learning from someone else’s mistakes. Or laughing at them.

Confession: I myself have never made these. The boy makes them for me. I’m spoiled

The recipe includes a dipping sauce that’s mayo, lemon juice, zest and pepper, but we have never made it. We prefer ours drizzled with lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt. Then we inhale about a pound of them.

Beer-battered Asparagus

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (We prefer Harp, but any lager would do)
  • About 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed

Combine flour, salt, zest, and pepper in a bowl, then add beer and whisk well.

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a 3-4 quart pan (we use my dutch oven), over medium high heat until hot. The recipe calls for 375, though I don’t think we even really measure the temperature.

Dip asparagus into batter, then drop into oil, no more than about 10 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Stir gently to prevent them from sticking to each other. Fry until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle sea salt over them before serving.

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