On August 23, we shared with you a project we were kicking off…The Traveling Cookbook. Over a year ago, we came up with this idea and it has been marinating and developing until we were just about bursting at the seams to share with you what The Traveling Cookbook is all about. Here’s the gist, a blogger receives the cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and chooses 2-3 recipes to make.
He/she makes the recipe and then “scrapbooks” on those recipe pages, sharing tid-bits about how the recipe turned out, or who they shared the recipe with. They can include a sketch, a poem, added ingredients, a clipping, etc…to make the page their own.
Then they wrap the book back up and send it on it’s way to a blogger of their choosing. We don’t have a plan or a clue as to whose table The Traveling Cookbook will visit. It’s serendipitous. But, once the cookbook is full, it will come back to us. We will then auction it off to raise money for Feed My Starving Children. You can read all about the launch of The Traveling Cookbook HERE and keep up with it’s journey under the LIFE category – The Traveling Cookbook, HERE.
The book starts it’s journey in Baltimore, at my (Kristin’s) table. I had so much fun deciding which recipes to make…it was hard really. I finally landed on the Mocha Brownie recipe…’cause I have a thing for coffee. My husband and I once owned a coffee shop for the sheer fact we would be able to support our caffeine habit.
The other recipe I chose, was Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich.
I have a house full of boys…18, 17, 14, 12, 4 and my husband…plus 1 very athletic, gymnast daughter. Meat sandwiches always bring a smile to their faces…not to mention, every plate, and pan it’s cooked on, is licked clean.
But, when I started making this recipe, I had no idea it would give me such a story to share with you.
I started by trying to find cubed steak. I’ve prepared a lot of types of meat, but I must confess, I’d never made any recipe calling for cubed steak. I’m a city girl. I thought it was just me, but I had a hard time finding it in my grocery stores. And once I did, it was pricey. So, I made this recipe with a mixture of cubed steak and pounded out, “extra tenderized”, skirt steak (’cause I already had some on hand.) I also bought something new for my pantry, Lawry’s seasoning.
Now, Ree loves her butter. So, to honor her, I bought the best butter I could get my hands on, kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. If you’ve never cooked with, smeared your bread with, or even stuck your finger in this butter…you should. It’s amazing.
And what it did to the caramelized onions was beyond heavenly.
I could’ve stopped right here and just eaten that whole pan of onions. Oh my! But, I didn’t. I pressed on. I think at this point my Urban Man stepped into help. Now, my husband, Devon, has cooked in 4 star restaurants and was even chef of our cafe…so, recipes tend to take on a little more character when he is around. He pushed this recipe into a painterly realm.
The grill was fired up.
The fresh basil was picked.
The fruity and delicious Laconiko olive oil and balsamic vinegar came out, to gently pull the roasted, tossed, veggies together into a yummy side salad.
The meat was browning on the stove and the smell drawing all the boys into the kitchen.
Then the lights went out.
A storm cut out our electricity, for what went on to be a 24 hour period. But, in true pioneer fashion, we lit a bunch of candles and finished dinner over the gas stove.
The meal was devoured by candlelight. The sleeping bags came out and the boys set up camp on the front porch.
The Traveling Cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, brought a bit of the pioneering spirit to our hood, Baltimore. And now, I’ll be wrapping it up and sending it on it’s way to the next blogger. I can’t wait to see what story it brings to her* table.
(*Come back in a few days…we’ll let you in on who is next on The Traveling Cookbook’s stop.)