'The Money Wand'

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What a weekend! My DF (Dear Friend) showed up this weekend with a cookbook he thought I would like to try out. As I open my present, I am delighted to see it is from a wonderful chef, The Pioneer Woman and just in time for the holidays. The book is, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays and this is my book review.

The Pioneer Woman and her Iron Skillet

I have wanted to explore her cookbooks for a few months now. I am a southern country girl, who grew up with iron skillets as a staple cooking utensil used in the kitchen. Even with all the new cooking devices out on the market, I still prefer my old iron skillets and pots, handed down from generations, for most of my cooking. The Pioneer Woman, aka: Ann Marie “Ree” Drummond; has the most scrumptious recipes and a lot of her cooking is done in iron skillets.

Book Details:

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

Author: Ann Marie Drummond

Price: $17.19 Amazon or 9.99 Kindle *** Disclaimer – Prices are subject to change. Prices are current as of December 3, 2018.

Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks

Publish Date and Edition: October 29, 2013; 1st Edition

ISBN-10: 0062225227

ISBN-13: 978-0062225221

Pages: 400 Pages

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

A little story about the Author.

Ree and Hubby Ladd

I am sure you have heard of The Pioneer Woman, after all she has a blog, several books, and a hit TV show on The Food Network. Her name is, Ann Marie “Ree” Drummond. She is a city girl turned country woman juggling the daily chaos of operating her business to taking care of her family with help from DH (Darling Husband), Ladd.

Together they are a team that not only has the business, The Pioneer Woman but, they have 4 children and a ranch to look after. That takes a dedicated team to say the least. The Drummond’s home school their children and to keep them grounded, they have chores to complete on the ranch daily. I would say, this would keep anyone grounded, your a rock-star Ree.

She not only writes cookbooks and blog post but, she wrote her own novel, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-a Love Story, and published it in February 2012. As if that wasn’t enough, she has published her own children’s book. Her children’s book “Little Ree” hit stands on March 28, 2017. On top of being an all around writer, Ann Marie also has her own store. Needless to say, Ann Marie “Ree” Drummond is one heck of a successful woman.

Little Ree

Why this cookbook is one of my favorite gifts.

Yes, I know, it’s a cookbook. I don’t know if you have ever seen the movie, Julie and Julia. The 1st time I ever saw this movie I was hooked. I was hooked on wanting to learn to cook the same way Julie did in the movie. Maybe, not the same recipes as Julia Childs but, new recipes my family has never tried before. I bought a couple of other well-known cookbooks and set out to learn the art of cooking.

I Love the Holidays

Needless to say, none of the other cookbooks spoke to my heart. As I said earlier, I am a country girl so the art of cooking fancy dishes every day didn’t really appeal to me. I like to reserve those dishes for special occasions. I have been doing some research to what type of dishes I would like to create. My conclusion, The Pioneer Woman cookbooks has a lot of never tried before recipes that I was looking for.

While this would not have been my 1st choice of her cookbooks, it was a gift from a DF so, it’s absolutely perfect for the first edition to my collection and it has a beautiful back story.

The Back Story:

After receiving this book on a Friday night, I decided I would whip up a few of the recipes for the 2018 SEC Championship Game, Georgia VS Alabama, being held the next day.

Classic Potato Skins

My family is big on football, especially college football. While we have a small gathering for Saturday football games, we like to feel as if we are at the game itself, instead of just watching it on TV. This means, Game Day or Tailgate Food only. I decided I would make Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders, Classic Potato Skins, and Buffalo Chicken Bites with Homemade Blue Cheese Dip for my contribution to the Game Day menu.

I was in love from the moment I started reading the recipes. I knew this was a woman after my own heart. I made it a point to follow the recipes just as she had written them, except I decided to omit the jalapenos in the Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders, making them just, Whiskey BBQ Sliders. We have older and younger football lovers that attended the game on this Saturday and the Buffalo Chicken Bites were enough spice for the day’s menu.

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Everyone loved the dishes and even my biggest critic, my dad, was a fan. (Thank you, Ree.) Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a bad cook in the least. I just have come to a conclusion after my last birthday, that I am tired of the same old food day after day. I know there are new recipes out there to try and that is my new hobby. One new dish a week, to keep life interesting from now on.

What I love about this book.

This cookbook is a 400 page, step by step with pictures, guide to cooking creative meals for the Holidays. NO, in this cookbook all things are not cooked in an iron skillet but, they are just as good. Plus an extra bonus, she includes left over ideas after the big holidays such as, Easter and Christmas.

Index Preview

You can find scrumptious meals for New Year’s Day to Christmas Day Brunch. Every holiday is covered, actually there are 12 in total including, Valentine’s Day and the Big Game. Need a great treat for Mom on Mother’s Day? Ree has a great menu for the perfect Breakfast in Bed for Mom. So this book isn’t just for us women.

What makes this cookbook great to me is, how Ree includes a step by step guide with pictures to show you exactly, if what your are doing, is right. I have seen so many cookbooks lately and I have not seen one with a step by step guide like hers. I think this is what sets her apart from others. She takes the time to not only entertain you with her words but, she makes beautiful pictures for her step by step guides and a delicious meal. You can just feel the love in each picture.

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders

Another great quality about this cookbook is the recipes are easy to make. I can go to my local grocery store here in Georgia and find all the ingredients the recipes call for. With a lot of cookbooks, this is not an option most times. I will find a recipe that looks wonderful to only find out, half the ingredients I can’t find in my local grocery stores. Not with The Pioneer Woman recipes, all ingredients are easily found locally.

Not only are the recipes easy to make but, they are absolutely delicious. I mean, when our families biggest critic likes everything on the menu, that is saying something. My dad even looked up other cookbooks of hers and put 2 of them on his Christmas list. Ree doesn’t know this, but, that is a huge compliment to her and I both. I don’t mind giving credit when credit is due. I couldn’t of done it without her.

Final Thoughts…

With my excitement and new-found love of cooking, I plan on purchasing a few of her other cookbooks. I feel you can’t go wrong with the purchase of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays, no matter how many other cookbooks you may have. This one is dedicated to the holidays and even has left over ideas so, it will make a great addition to your collection.

Great Cookbook Collection

Ever get tired of the same thing over and over again? This cookbook will give you some new ideas on dishes to make or give you a new spin on your families favorite traditions. You will have all the bases covered with 12 holidays and several recipes per holiday, there are 19 recipes for Thanksgiving alone.

I say, don’t think twice about making this purchase for yourself or for someone who is the chef of the family. I am sure this will be one of the most treasured cookbooks in their kitchen. I know I will be adding to my collection and passing her recipes on when people rave over them at family gatherings.

TTFN and Happy Cooking,


~I would love to hear if you have tried any of The Pioneer Woman’s recipes or cookbooks. Please leave your thoughts and recipes down below in the comments section. ~

~~Want to see more book reviews? Let me know down below.~~

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