I have told you many times that a couple of my favorite past times are watching cooking shows on the weekends and looking through cookbooks.  So when The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond came out with a new cookbook all about holiday entertaining and cooking, I would hardly wait to get my hands on a copy!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays

For most people, the holidays are a time to gather with family and friends and that usually means cooking and baking a little more than your normal routine.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays offers recipe ideas for 12 holidays that are sure to keep your guests happy.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays

Ree (aka The Pioneer Woman) is so humble and seems like the kind of person that I would like to be very good friends with.  For those of you who don’t utter her name daily, Ree is a food blogger turned Food Network show host who lives on a gorgeous ranch in Oklahoma with her cowboy husband and four likable and seemingly very well-rounded children.  Ree’s Food Network show features her either making enough food to feed over 100 hungry kids at her son’s football camp or making her father-in-law his favorite foods for his birthday dinner just to name a few examples.  I love Ree because she is down to earth, can make fun of herself on national television and just seems to have such an insightful handle on what home cooks want to make for weeknight meals or festive holiday occasions.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays book is organized by holidays beginning with New Year’s Day, progressing through the year with everything from Super Bowl treats to Cinco de Mayo fiesta ideas.  Ree has a lot of experience feeding a crowd so she has you covered with menu plans for your 4th of July barbecue celebration or your Easter Sunday gathering.  All of the ingredients for the recipes in this book are easy to find and Ree is the queen of step-by-step photos with her recipes.  I love step-by-step photos along the way in a recipe because it encourages me that I am doing everything right and then I am confident that my recipe will turn out the way it is supposed to.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays

And the best part is, my friend at William Morrow Publishing has so kindly offered to give a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  A Year of Holidays to a lucky one of you!

Just use the form to enter below!  Good luck!

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*William Morrow Publishing provided me with a copy of this book, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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With all of the traveling that I did in December, this may be the year that I made the fewest Christmas cookies!  I made the Today Show Ginger Molasses Cookies more than I ever have in one season, but that was pretty much the extent of my holiday baking.  What I am saying is, I did not get my cookie fix this year.  So, I hope you will welcome these Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies that are packed with some of my favorite flavors and ingredients.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

There are a few food trends that I hope will die off in 2014 such as bacon incorporated into desserts and pork belly everything (sorry pork lovers!).  But one trend that I hope is here to stay forever is browned butter baked goods.  I am always an all butter baker anyway but when you take the five minutes that it takes to heat butter until the milk solids separate, true magic happens.  Once the milk solids separate from the butter fat and sink to the bottom of the pan you are heating your butter in, those solid bits begin to turn golden brown as they are heated and this process creates quite possibly the most mouth-watering smell in the world.  The nutty, rich, buttery smell that results should literally be bottled and sold as a perfume or room spray.  Eau de brown butter anyone?  Ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away although once you make these Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies you’ll understand my obsession.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies begin with the obvious star ingredient, browned butter and the dough only continues to improve with the addition of each other ingredient.  Butterscotch is another wine of my favorite flavors.  I love the butterscotch disc hard candies that you find alongside root beer barrels in random candy dishes.  The buttery, sweet and slightly salty flavor of butterscotch is just so satisfying.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies are some of the best cookies that I have made in a long time.  I made them on a Saturday and then packaged up a few of them for each of my friends who I went od dinner with that night and they agreed that the recipe is a winner.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Watch this video to learn how to brown butter

YouTube Preview Image

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 40 cookies

1 cookies

Rich and nutty brown butter dough stuffed with sweet, creamy butterscotch chips and crunchy pecans

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and both sugars for 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  5. Mix in pecans and butterscotch chips.
  6. Roll dough into 2 Tbsp-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches in between as cookies will spread slightly while baking.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Notes

Per cookies: Calories: 143 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 21g

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I made soup twice last week.  I am fairly certain that I could eat soup every day.  I love how it warms me up and keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours.  I made a brothy farro vegetable soup (farro is my new grain of choice by the way) early in the week that was so healthy and delicious.  Then later in the week I made an also healthy and simplified version of one of my favorite soups, Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients).  As I was making this Simple Potato Leek Soup, I realized that I was utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tips for making things healthier and easier to manage in the kitchen and I decided to share them with you in this post.

I love lists.  Do you love lists?  I hope so because here we go with my list of 3 kitchen tips for you:

  • Sauté vegetables in stock rather than butter or oil.

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IMG_2629

When I am sautéing vegetables for soups or a side dish, rather than dousing them with oil or drowning them in butter, I simply open a can of stock (I use low sodium chicken stock but you could also use vegetable stock without either option affecting the flavor too significantly) and pour about 1/8 cup at a time into the pan with the vegetables.  I don’t measure, I simply make sure there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan so that the vegetables don’t burn.  I watch it and pour a bit more when the liquid has evaporated/steamed off.  I find that this technique results in soft, tender vegetables without any added fat.  I want to save my oil and butter for when I need it to add flavor.  I will usually sprinkle some fresh ground pepper into the veggies, but don’t add extra salt because the broth does that for me.  Once my vegetables are cooked, I can continue with them as I wish whether that be turning them into fajitas or adding other things to make them part of a soup.

  • Clean your potatoes with a manicure/pedicure nail brush (an unused one silly).

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This one does not need much explanation.  I was cleaning out my bathroom and had a never-been-opened pedicure kit with a nail brush and I was about to discard the whole kit when I realized how convenient that brush would make cleaning potatoes.  I scrub my potatoes with the brush while running them under cold water to remove excess dirt.  Simple idea, but it helps me be more efficient and effective.

  • Clean your leeks quickly, but effectively.

Oh leeks, how I love you.  I used to fear and avoid cooking with leeks because they seemed like a pain to deal with because of all of that dirt hiding between their layers.  Here are the simple steps that I now use to avoid sand in my dinner:

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the root ends and the dark green parts off each leek

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the remaining leek in half lengthwise

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

run the leek under water while fanning out the layers to remove dirt; flip leek over and repeat from the opposite end

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut into thin strips (and sauté in chicken stock-see first tip of this post)

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}I hope that you find these simple kitchen tips helpful when you make this Simple Potato Leek Soup!  You would never guess that this soup is only 140 calories per serving based on how rich and creamy it is!  Add additional salt and pepper to your taste.

What is your favorite, most helpful kitchen tip?

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients), plus 3 helpful kitchen tips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Rich, creamy and flavorful soup that is light and healthy and simple to make

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups sliced leeks)
  • 5 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken stock
  • 1-2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium/large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/8 cup chicken stock.
  3. Cut root end and dark green parts off of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise. Run under water while fanning out layers to clean and remove dirt.
  4. Slice into strips, sprinkle with regular salt and pepper and add to pot and cook until softened 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, clean potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces. Add to pot with remaining chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover pot and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
  6. Puree soup using immersion blender or regular blender. Add 1-2 tsp celery salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in sour cream.
  8. Serve with additional sour cream.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 140 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 29g

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com} Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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I returned from a week in London yesterday, and I had the most incredible time filled with good food, laughs and making memories with my family.

I wanted to ring in the New Year by giving thanks to all of you for reading and supporting the creative outlet that is Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.  What better way to do that than by sharing some of my favorite things?

First up are two of the most beautifully photographed and creative cookbooks that I have had the pleasure of reviewing.

Sprinkles by Jackie Alpers

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 7.55.43 PM

and The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis!

One lucky reader will win a copy of both of these books to ensure that your 2014 is filled with a bounty of lovely sweet treats for every occasion.

Use the form to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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