I love Pioneer Woman’s new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives Well, I love all of her books. This one has the most wonderful Meatball Tortilla Soup in it. My youngest daughter had a second bowl right away, then asked me to make another pot of it for her thermos for school lunches. Yeah, we all thought it was *that* good. A huge thank you to Ree Drummond for letting me share the recipe with you! I added in the underlines where I drew lines in my book, showing which ingredients are grouped together when they’re thrown into the pool. You don’t write in your books?! But it makes cooking more relaxing. Turn that radio up!
If you love the aesthetics of the cover, she’s got a cookbook stand at Walmart (I think it was around $20), that coordinates with it. Dark wood covered in flowers with a lacey, turquoise metal bar to hold your book. Turquoise, orange, and floral are all of my favorites, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist much longer.
My review of the book with my pics and thoughts on the dishes I tried is below the recipe. I’ve attached my reviews of her other books below that so you can see the pics and get a feel for what each book promises. Now, back to that delicious soup!
Meatball Tortilla Soup
Makes 8 Servings
To describe this delicious soup as merely a “delicious soup” is the understatement of the year! First of all, it’s so far beyond delicious! Flavorful, fabulous, and fantastic is more like it. And it’s really much more of a stew than a soup. A stew of wonderful texture and color, with an added bonus of yummy meatballs in every bowlful. You’ll love every bite! (And as an extra thrill: It freezes beautifully!)
1 pound ground beef
½ cup grated pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
½ large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ears of sweet corn, kernels sliced off (or 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
6 cups low sodium beef broth
One 10 ounce can diced tomatoes and chiles (such as Rotel)
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
One 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
Grated pepper jack cheese
Combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Shape the meat mixture into small balls (about 24 total) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the soup: In a heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add one-third of the meatballs and lightly brown on all sides (they wont be cook through), then remove them to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meatballs!
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and let it melt. Add the onion, garlic, corn, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, the diced tomatoes and chiles, tomato paste, salt, chile powder, and cumin, and stir in. Bring it to a boil, then add the beans. Return the meatballs to the pot, cover, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the tortilla chips. Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream, a slice of avocado, a little grated cheese, and a few cilantro leaves.
My review of the book…
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives
by Ree Drummond
This is my 5th Pioneer Woman cookbook. It’s a neat one, ranging from the comfort food she’s known for, to comfort food with fun spins, to some really healthy dishes.
The chapters are: A Preface of Ree’s favorite pantry items, freezer staples, fridge staples, and favorite cuts of beef * Breakfasts * Lunches on the Go * Apps and Snacks * Under 40 (minutes) * Under 20 (minutes) * Take Your Time * Sheet Pan Suppers * Meatless Marvels * Sensational Sides * Bread, Baby! * Sweets, Glorious Sweets
1-2) Each recipe has an intro, a list of ingredients, a photo of the finished dish, and then step by step photo instructions. Some have fun variations listed at the end. My teenagers love cooking out of her books because those step by step photos are really empowering to them. It gives them that little bit of security and confidence. And I love buying them because I know they’ll have success with the recipes, and feel really proud bringing those dishes to the smiling people at the table. All of her books are just like that, too, and all of them are the same size except for The Pioneer woman cooks – it’s smaller.
3-5) We just went to the State Fair of Texas this weekend and ate a lot of delicious things we really need to atone for, so I thought I better start with some of Ree’s healthy recipes. Tex-Mex Butternut Squash Soup – 108, Teriyaki Salmon and Kale Sheet Pan Supper – p 216, and cute kid who inhaled her whole dinner before I got a chance to sit down. Then she grabbed a second bowl of soup. The soup is a delicious variation of regular butternut squash soup. It’s just a little bit spicy. And the pomegranate seeds were a great addition. She says you can swirl on the crema or sour cream with a spoon. I love to use an old ketchup squeeze bottle or icing piping bottle to swirl it on. The salmon and kale were yummy, too, and are the perfect “I have no time!” dish. Preheat the oven, two minutes to prep, and 10 minutes to bake.
6) Mini Turkey Meatloaves – p 193, and Broccolini with Garlic and Lemon – p 282. The meatloaves are unbelievably moist, really yummy and easy peasy. They’re the best turkey mini meatloaves I’ve tried. The last recipe of Ree’s I saw for broccolini with lemon and garlic was one of those fussy blanch, then plunge into ice water, and then to the skillet recipes. Nope! This one just involves a quick trip through the oven in a roasting pan. Nice. She just has you squeeze lemon juice over at the end. I used the zest, too. Total keeper!
7) King Ranch Chicken – p 196. Great comfort food! Tortillas, chicken, peppers and onions, and cheese in a velvety sauce of soups, tomatoes, and spices.
8-9) Lemon Bars – p 358. I had 5 lemons left on my tree, and used 4 on these. Totally lemon worthy.
10-11) Everything is mise en place for the Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips – p 102. Yes, I snapped that photo just so I could use mise en place (everything in its place) and Cap’n Crunch in the same sentence. Pretty sure that was the first time. I didn’t even know that was on my bucket list. The chicken was great. The kids loved it. I just went for veggies in ranch and some fruit to go with it. My daughter called it breakfast chicken. That gave me a great idea. This would be terrific in chicken and waffles.
12) Steaks with Chimichurri – p 146, and Baked Sweet Potato with Sour Cream and Mint – p 271. Delicious dinner. I gave the sweet potatoes a little honey drizzle.
13) Citrus Salad with Vinaigrette – p 236. Yummy and super summery.
14) Meatball Tortilla Soup – p 181. This soup is amazing. The flavor is off the charts. I think I’m ready to call winner of book. My youngest had a second bowl right away, and then asked me to make a second pot for her thermos for school.
15) Mango Chile Chicken – p 106. Delicious, healthy chicken and salad. I like to massage the dressing into the kale and let it rest while I prep everything else. It softens so that you don’t get that salad jaw fatigue.
Some others I have flagged to try: Chilaquiles – p 8 * Orange-Vanilla Monkey Bread * Waffle Iron Hash Browns – p 27 * Beef Noodle Salad Bowls – p 48 * Thai Chicken Wraps – p 54 * Greek Feast to Go – p 57 * Watermelon Feta Bites – p 68 * Bacon-Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates – p 79 * The Merc’s Queso – p 89 * Zucchini Roll-Ups – p 92 * Cheese Lover’s Crostini – p 95 * Slow Cooker Beef Enchilada Dip – p 97 * Shrimp Po’ Boys – p 118 * Marsala Mushroom and Goat Cheese Flatbread – p 144 * Steaks with Chimichurri – p 146 * Meat Pies – p 202 * Lobster Mac and Cheese – p 207 * Chicken Legs and 40 Cloves of Garlic Sheet Pan Supper – p 214 * Shortcut Ravioli – p 254 * Spicy Blue Cheese Green Beans – p 293 * Roasted Garlic Pull-Apart Cheese Bread – p 300 * Milk Chocolate Mousse – p 322 * Nutella Krispie Treats – p 334 * Blueberry Cake Milkshake – p 362
I’ll update this as I play in the book more.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime – Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper
by Ree Drummond
Fantastic! If you love Ree’s show, you’ll love the book! This one is comfort food with a twist. Totally recommend!
1) Huevos Rancheros – p6, with Enchilada Sauce – p8, and Pico De Gallo – p23. Delicious breakfast! Everyone loved it! The enchilada sauce makes 3 cups, but this recipe only uses 1 to serve 4 people, so you have 2 cups left for another recipe. She lists suggestions of other recipes to try it in right on that page.
2-3) Individual Chicken Pot Pies – p138. Yum! It was hard not to lick the plates! These are in her freezer chapter. She has you make them in those cute little disposable tins if you’re going to freeze them. We were eating ours right away, so I made them in our au gratin dishes, which made them look like little footballs. I think this has potential as a Super Bowl dinner. Maybe cut the vents to look like the lacing on the football. 🙂
4) Beef with Snow Peas – p163. Awesome and ridiculously easy! She gives some variations. One is to add a red bell pepper, and my husband had just brought one in from the garden, so that went in, too.
5) Chicken Taco Salad – p53. Great salad! We all loved this! I am embarrassed to say that I was wondering what sort of bowls Ree had that these 4 servings could fit in. It was supposed to be 8 servings! Um. The 4 of us finished it.
6) Mexican Tortilla Casserole – p130. Delicious! It’s a make ahead and just needs 40 minutes in the oven when you’re ready.
7) Hawaiian Burgers – p152 and Sweet Potato Fries – p308. That is a *fantastic* burger!!! So much flavor! Everyone loved it!
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations
by Ree Drummond
This book oozes fun! It’s organized by holiday, with plenty of recipes for each so you can pick and choose what you like. Totally recommend!
1-5) Game night! Buffalo Chicken Bites with Blue Cheese Dip – p 28, Potato Skins – p 36, Grilled Corn Dip – p 34, and Eight Layer Dip – p42. These were all really good, but the Buffalo Chicken Bites were outstanding! We’re enthusiastic dippers, and still had half the blue cheese dip left over, so I *had to* make the chicken again the next night to use it up. 😉 My 16 year old was eating the chicken pretty competitively, and finished half the platter herself, so I’ll probably just double the chicken next time instead of halving the dip. The kids had never tried potato skins before and loved them! I adore it when Ree drops in retro food we’ve all long forgotten about. She gives a bunch of variations to try that all look really fun, too. I’d like a little more color on them, so I’ll leave them in the oven a smidge more next time before the cheese step.
6) Valentine’s Day! Bacon-Wrapped Filet – p 76, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – p 78, and Cheddar-Bacon Wedge Salad – p 80. This is divine. There’s three full heads of sweet roasted garlic in those potatoes. It was supposed to be a romantic dinner for two, but my kids thought it would be much better for four. Yum! –My steaks took a bit longer than the 3 minutes in the recipe to hit 130° (medium rare) on the thermometer.
7) Easter! Sigrid’s Carrot Cake – p 110. Delicious and fabulously moist! It’s one of those very retro casual bakes that make the holidays so much easier!
Here are some others I have flagged to try:
*Cinco De Mayo – Blackberry Margaritas, Beef and Chicken Fajitas, Glorious Guacamole, Chimichurri Shrimp, Fiesta Black Beans, and Zesty Lime Rice
*Father’s Day – Arnold Palmers, Toasted Ravioli, Three Meat Lasagna, and Caesar Salad
*4th of July – Homemade Lemonade, Watermelon Sangria, Big Bad Burger Bar, Grilled Corn with Spicy Butter, Baked Beans, and Key Lime Pie
*Halloween – Broccoli Cheese Soup, Mummy Dogs, Cheese Ball of Death, and Caramel Apples
*Thanksgiving – Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey, Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Basic Thanksgiving Dressing, Green Beans & Tomatoes, Caramel Apple Pie…
*Christmas – Mulled Apple Cider, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes, Burgundy Mushrooms, and Boozy Bread Pudding
*New Year’s Eve – Champagne Cocktail, Skewers of Glory, Grilled Chicken Skewers, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Lemon Crème Pie Shooters
by Ree Drummond
This one is classic comfort food, just like the first. This was the first Pioneer Woman book I bought. I tried her sloppy joes, which are the absolute best in the whole wide world, and I *had* to have this book. Just like the first one, I cooked almost everything, but no pics. I wasn’t into food pics yet. <weird!>
My one pic from this book… Apricot Shrimp Skewers – p 183, Whiskey-Glazed Carrots – p 224, and Ree’s lemon asparagus (Not in the book. The lemon asparagus was from an episode called Engagement Dinner. It’s very worth Googling and pasting inside the cover). I had just made Apricot Habanero Jam from The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving, and used that where Ree called for apricot jam in the recipe. Yum! The carrots were amazing, and the lemony salty asparagus was fantastic!
Here’s a list of the delicious recipes I tried, so you can get a feel for the book: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes – p 22 * Cowgirl Quiche – p 34 * Best Grilled Cheese Ever – p 42 * Sloppy Joes – p 58 * Chicken Tortilla Soup – p 76 * French Onion Soup – p 84 * Brie-Stuffed Mushrooms – p 96 * Caprese Salad – p 98 * Whiskey-Mustard Meatballs – p 112 * Mango Margaritas – p 116 * Fancy Mac and Cheese – p 132 * Steakhouse Pizza – p 142 * Beef Stew – p 165 * Twice-Baked New Potatoes – p 212 * Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin – p 226
by Ree Drummond
I really enjoy this book. Delicious, easy, really well done comfort food. This one’s the orignal. It’s what you think of when you think comfort food. The way she has the ingredients and small photo step-by-step instructions laid out, my 15 year old is able to dive in and make dinners herself that she’s really proud of, and everyone really enjoys. <sniff. That was 2 years ago…>
Pictured below: 1) The twice baked potatoes in here are absolutely perfect and really easy. Love! And the homemade ranch dressing on an iceberg wedge makes me horribly nostalgic for my Grandma’s kitchen. 2) Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich (cube steak and onion) is delicious!
I’ve made most of the book, but I didn’t used to take food pics. <sigh.>
Great book! You won’t be disappointed! Here are some of the other recipes I LOVED from this book: BBQ Jalapeno Poppers – p 14 * PW Breakfast Burritos – p 51 * Macaroni and Cheese – p 96 * Potato-Leek Pizza – p 110 * Chicken Pot Pie – p 126 * Meatloaf – p 150 * Cheese Grits – p 164 * Simple Perfect Enchiladas – p 176 * Burgundy Mushrooms – p 202 * Creamy Rosemary Potatoes – p 204