Monday, February 8, 2010

Blog Dedication: The blog that makes me want to abandon my city dreams and move down South

This entry is dedicated to my roommate Andrea, my friend Diana, and their favorite blog.

It all started when Andrea came home from the post office one day with the biggest and heaviest box that I have ever seen come to the Fordham mail room.  Low and behold, she had entered a contest (like she does every week) on a cooking blog and actually won a set of very heavy, very expensive, really turquoise cooking pots that will last until long after she is actually able to lift them.  After seeing this, of course I had to check out the blog for myself.  And I fell in love.

The Pioneer Woman is Ree Drummond, and her blog is both gorgeous and delectible.  She shares every aspect of her Oklahoma ranch life with her dedicated readers, chronicled in photos of her family and ranch, entries about her life, and even her own real-life love story.  But the pinnacle of Ree's blog is her cooking section, filled with the most delicious (and probably least healthy) recipes i have ever seen.

Take, for example, Andrea's birthday present to Diana (and everyone else at the party) last Wednesday: The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.  I can completely attest to the fact that this cake was, indeed, the BEST chocolate sheet cake ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!  It required dedication (on Andrea's behalf, not mine) but I think that it's fair to say that it was definitely worth it.  Since I don't have any pictures of our sheet cake, I will post Ree's from her website:

You cannot deny that you wish that cake was on a plate in front of you right now.  In fact, when we had it, it did not stay on our plates very long.  Just to make it easier, I will include the shortened recipe version below:
For the cake:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
For the frosting:
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar
 Preparation Instructions
1) In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

2) In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.

3) Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

4) In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

5) While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

6) Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

And there you go, folks, straight from Ree's website.  I know you are all drooling and making grocery lists right now to run out and make this, but when you're done with that, check out The Pioneer Woman for yourself.  Ree also has a cookbook (which Andrea does own, thank goodness) and you can buy it for yourself if you want even more Southern deliciousness.  I think I may do just that, despite my wallet's objections.

To sum up: thank you, Pioneer Woman, for providing me with endless fantastic recipes and the desire to abandon my city career aspirations, move to the South, and stay at home cooking those recipes all day, every day.  For now, I will simply sit here and torture myself as I look through the "potato" section of the blog inconveniently during dinnertime.

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