That's me and P-Wub at her cookbook signing in Atlanta. In person, she looked just as flawless as her pictures. And sooo friendly.
If you like food blogs, I'm sure you've already heard of her and probably been a frequent visitor to her site. If you haven't, I am her to guide you in the right direction. The Pioneer Woman was one of the first food blogs I checked out about a year and a half ago (smittenkitchen was the other) and I've been a fan ever since. She recently had her cookbook published and has been on a book signing tour for the past couple of months. When I saw she was coming to Atlanta, I immediately marked the date on my calender. Her cookbook, just like her blog, features step by step pictures that are amazing and really give you the confidence to make one of her dishes. But her personable and clever writing style is probably what has led to her humongous following. And I say humongous because there were several hundred people, many of whom had multiple copies of the cookbook to be signed, at Borders bookstore of Monday. In fact, I waited for 4 1/2 hours. But it was well worth it. The Pioneer Woman Rocks!!
So I urge you to check out her blog or even add the cookbook to your Christmas list. Both are great reads with simple and delicious recipes, like this and the one below. But I warn you. You will walk away with hunger pains, so prepare yourself.
Her sister, Betsy (right), and friend, Hyacinth, (both featured in the cookbook) were also there. I was equally excited to meet Betsy because her pasta was the first thing I tried from P-Wub's website and have made it many times since. Penne a la Betsy, which I've featured below. Let me just share with you that Betsy is so sweet and engaging, it clearly must run in the family. She even snapped a picture of Mr. Foodie and I (with her camera so I can't share it with you...tear). She thought it was so sweet that he was there, waiting with me and taking pictures for me. I explained how he was my motivation for this blog. I told her he was a keeper. Thanks baby!
Penne a la Betsy
1 pound Penne Pasta
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine (can substitute with chicken broth)
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
handful chopped parsley
handful chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the penne pasta until al dente, following the instructions on the box.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes, until the shrimp are pink. Be careful not too overcook them. Remove from heat and transfer to small bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes. On a cutting board, chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the white wine to the mixture and cook, letting the wine evaporate for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce. Stir well until combined and then add the heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn the heat to low and let simmer, 5-6 minutes.
Add the chopped shrimp to the tomato cream sauce. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley and basil and stir. Finally, add the pasta to the sauce and stir so the pasta is coated with the sauce.
adapted from pioneerwoman.com