If there's one woman you want at your side in the kitchen when the holidays arrive, it's Ree Drummond. Not only will The Pioneer Woman show you exactly how to dress that turkey and spike your Christmas pudding, but she'll have you in stitches while doing so. Her latest cookbook collects all her best-loved recipes for each of the year's holidays — along with plenty of witty cooking wisdom, stories from life on the range, and mugshots of one very lovable basset hound named Charlie.
• Who wrote it: Ree Drummond
• Who published it: William Morrow
• Number of recipes: About 140
• Recipes for right now: Coconut Ginger Baked French Toast, Chipotle Chicken Chili, Dressing with Dried Fruit and Nuts, Broccoli-Wild Rice Casserole, Caramel Apple Pie, Turkey Pot Pie, Christmas Rum Pudding Cake
• Other highlights: One of the things that I've always loved about Ree Drummond is that she seems to tell it — and show it — like it is. Things get messy in the kitchen, we add more cheese than the recipe calls for, the end result isn't always picture-perfect. Ree embraces all of this and lets us know that as long as the end result makes us happy, anything goes.
Never is this attitude more needed or more welcome than around the holidays. It's so easy to get stressed out about making a beautiful turkey for Thanksgiving or perfectly iced cookies to hand out at school, but Ree helps diffuse that stress in two ways: first by showing us step-by-step what we're doing in each recipe (literally — with a photo for every step), and second, by keeping everything light and very non-stressful with a constant patter of jokes, stories, and one-liners. She makes cooking these recipes "real" in a way that many cookbooks don't — it's hard to live up to the beautifully-styled, glossy photos, but Ree manages to make these recipes look simultaneously delectable and doable.
If you're a follower of Ree Drummond, you know that this is a lady who loves to entertain. It's pretty safe to say that these recipes come tried and tested by the many visitors to her ranch! I really appreciate how the recipes really encompass the entire holiday — not just Thanksgiving dinner, but what to serve for breakfast and how to use up the leftovers; not just Valentine's Day dinner for two, but also little treats to share with friends and breakfast in bed. There are also plenty of recipes that do double duty for both holiday menus and weeknight meals, like the Beef and Chicken Fajitas for Cinco de Mayo and the three meat lasagna for Father's Day.
• Who would enjoy this book? Fans of The Pioneer Woman, for sure! There are plenty of new recipes here to discover and it's very handy to have them all rounded up by holiday. New cooks or people who are new to hosting at the holidays would also benefit from Ree's incredibly supportive style and time-tested recipes.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Pioneer Woman Cooks a Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond
• Visit the author's website: The Pioneer Woman
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