Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays Cookbook Review


Update! Congratulations to Mary Louise who said...

Love this site! Thanks for giving your readers an opportunity to win Ree's cookbook.

Mary Louise please contact me by email at mary@deepsouthdish.com as soon as possible and provide your full name and mailing address so I can get Ree's new book out to you. I know that you will love it!
By now, surely everybody has heard of Ree Drummond, self-proclaimed accidental country girl, award-winning blogger at www.thepioneerwoman.com, Food Network personality, and bestselling author of cookbooks, children's books and even her memoir, a romance novel of her courtship with Marlboro Man. I have all of Ree's cookbooks, but hands down, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays, available today on Amazon and store shelves everywhere, is my favorite one yet.
"There's food, glorious food in this cookbook,
and you won't run out of yummy things to make."

A large and hefty hardback cookbook, weighing in over 3 pounds and with nearly 400 pages, A Year of Holidays contains 140 of Ree's recipes presented in her signature, step-by-step style and using the same beautiful photography that you're accustomed to seeing on her blog.

Filled with simple, scrumptious food celebrations covering Ree's 12 favorite holidays from January 1 to December 31... but, don't think that it's only a cookbook intended for the holidays, because most of these recipes are easily translated to other times of the year, and many may be shared across the aisle of holidays.

Arranged in chapters by holidays beginning with New Year's Day, Ree takes us through The Big Game day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and ending with New Year's Eve. Every holiday section is color-coded so that you can flip right along the page edges to find the right section easily anytime.

You may have seen this new cookbook debut on QVC a few weeks ago, where it promptly sold out in nano-seconds without us getting to really even see the table of recipes they had prepared. I always enjoy that part and especially seeing the host David do the happy dance when he tastes something he really enjoys - especially anything mac and cheese!

So this past Sunday, Ree was on In the Kitchen with David for a second time, and we got a better look at some of the dishes from the cookbook. Here's a little sneak peek at some of what's inside Holidays.

In New Year's Day you'll find Resolution Smoothies along with three different French toast casseroles, including a Bagel and Cream Cheese version, Hoppin' John, Black-eyed Pea Salsa, Collards and Loaded Cornbread, among others.


The Big Game chapter provides a full menu spread that includes Buffalo Chicken Bites, Grilled Corn Dip, four different Potato Skins, Whiskey BBQ Sliders and Dr Pepper Cupcakes plus there's a do ahead game plan, so you can get a jump start on the prep.


Valentine's Day brings recipes for Red Velvet Pancakes, Candy-Dipped S'mores, Layered Jiggly Hearts, Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, Homemade Chocolate Truffles and Valentine Cookies and a romantic dinner for two menu that also includes a do ahead plan.


In the Easter chapter, Ree shares her favorite treats, including Hot Cross Buns, Easter Cookies and Krispies Eggs, and gives us an Easter brunch menu centered around her Glazed Easter Ham and ending with Sigrid's Carrot Cake. There are even recipes for using up those Easter leftovers, including four different deviled egg ideas.


For Cinco de Mayo, you'll find a great party menu starting with Blackberry Margaritas, three different recipes for Pico de Gallo, Homemade Tortillas, Beef and Chicken Fajitas, Chimichurri Shrimp, Black Beans and Lime Rice along with some make ahead tips. Don't miss the Dulce de Leche Brownies or Cinnamon Ice Cream with Cinnamon Crisps.


A breakfast in bed menu for Mom is featured in the Mother's Day chapter, beginning with Coffee Granita and a variety of scones, including Perfect Cream Scones, Lemon-Rosemary or Maple-Bacon Scones, Yogurt and Berry Parfaits and Salmon Scrambled Eggs.


Father's Day features a Dinner for Dear Ol' Dad menu of Arnold Palmers, Three Meat Lasagna and Caesar Salad, finished with a Chocolate Strawberry Cake.


In the Fourth of July chapter, you'll find a great summertime cookout menu beginning with Homemade Lemonade and Watermelon Sangria, and featuring all the great summer sides - Grilled Corn, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Pasta Salad and a Big Bad Burger Bar. This holiday finishes with Peach Cobbler, Strawberry Ice Cream and Key Lime Pie.


Halloween gives us a grouping of terrifying treats the kids will love - Petrifying Pumpkin Pancakes, Mummy Dogs, Homemade Caramel Apples, Candy Corn Popcorn Balls made with a homemade kettle corn, a Cheese Ball of Death and Eyeball Cake Balls.


Ree says it's her favorite holiday of them all and the Thanksgiving chapter doesn't disappoint, bringing 19 recipes, including how to brine and roast the turkey and tips on carving your bird. You'll find the most decadent mashed potatoes that can be made ahead, four different recipes for dressing, how to make a giblet gravy and recipes for all the classic sides. This chapter also includes a do-ahead game plan. Multiple pie recipes are included and there are even some recipes for using up all those leftovers.


The Christmas chapter is loaded with sweet treats and favorites including Brandy Snaps, Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies, Marshmallow Pops, Gingerbread House Cookies and Ree's favorite Christmas cookies. There's Christmas Rum Pudding Cake, Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls and Mulled Apple Cider.

Check out the Christmas Eve Dinner menu too where you'll find recipes for Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding, Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes, Brussels, Burgundy Mushrooms and Boozy Bread Pudding. Ree even shares the Drummond family's traditional Christmas morning brunch menu, consisting of Fried Quail, Drop Biscuits and Quail Gravy.


New Year's Eve winds down the book with party menu ideas beginning with Champagne Cocktails, Skewers, Dips, Cocktail Wieners and sweet dessert shooters of Lemon Creme Pie, Cherry Cheesecake and Chocolate Mint.


Besides the helpful make ahead plans on many menus, several individual recipes, like the Homemade Tortillas,are marked with a butterfly icon indicating they have bonus content available with helpful videos from Harper Collins Unbound via your smartphone.

Ree also provides a multitude of cook's notes, helpful hits and variations for many of the recipes, and you'll find cross references in each holiday for recipes from other chapters that will also work for other holidays.

Of course, the family is there, the kids (hard to believe how much they've grown from the early blogging days) and Charlie, plenty of beautiful pictures from the ranch, including, as always the cowboys in action and the number one cowboy, Marlboro Man, and there are even some precious childhood shots included of Ree.

I love Ree's cookbooks because they contain real, uncomplicated recipes we love, with ingredients we all mostly have on hand. The books are always fun, playful, colorful and just downright uplifting and this newest one is no exception. If you enjoy collecting a wide range of cookbooks you'll enjoy having this one to add to your collection - if you're already a fan of The Pioneer Woman, you will absolutely love it.

It's the perfect resource for holiday cooking throughout the year or for anytime. Purchase your copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Holidays! right now on Amazon.com or at a local retailer or bookstore near you.

UPDATE: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Check back soon here on this post for the winner announcement.


The publisher has offered me ONE free copy to give to ONE lucky Deep South Dish reader!


TO ENTER: Simply comment below to enter for a chance to win, telling me what your favorite holiday is and what you like to cook for it. That's it!

You may post with the NAME/URL or ANONYMOUS options, but be sure to fill in your name or leave your name along with your comment so I'll know who you are if your name comes up in the random draw.

This giveaway closes at MIDNIGHT CST Friday, November 1, 2013. One winner will be selected at random from the comments and will be announced here at the site on this same post.

Readers are responsible for checking back to see if they were selected and the winner will need to provide name and complete mailing address to me via email at mary@deepsouthdish.com as soon as possible after the announcement, so that I can get your new cookbook out to you. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only please.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Disclosure: I received one free review copy plus another copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Holidays! to host this giveaway.


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