The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond

ayearofholidaysGenre: Cookbook
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks
Publication Date: November 2013

Holidays are a time for family, fun, and lots of wonderful food. Ree Drummond’s new cookbook, A Year of Holidays, is brimming with those and so much more. The pages are filled with pictures of her family (including those belonging to the four-legged species) and lots of mouth-watering, fun-to-make recipes.

I have been a fan of Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman ever since I stumbled across Food from My Frontier last year. Since then, I am continually retrieving her cookbook from my shelf or pulling new recipes from her site. So when I saw a new book was headed our way, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Drummond offers what her fans have come to expect — delicious, easy-to-follow recipes. I love her step-by-step pictures and often miss them when I pull out other cookbooks.

Even though these recipes are organized by holidays, I can guarantee I’ll make a lot of them year round. Here is a glimpse of some I have tried.

BROCCOLI-CHEESE SOUP (Halloween): This cheesy broccoli dish is very easy to throw together and hits the spot on any cold day.

SPICY WHISKEY BBQ SLIDERS (The Big Game): Because we didn’t actually have a game going on, I shaped these mini-burgers into full-sized ones and they made a great meal, wonderfully complemented by the spicy whiskey BBQ sauce.

PERFECT EGG SALAD (Easter): I’ve already made this twice. It only takes a few minutes to whip up (waiting for the eggs to boil is the longest part of the whole process) and it makes a great addition to just about anything — salad, crackers, sandwiches.

BEEF AND CHICKEN FAJITAS, HOMEMADE TORTILLAS, and ZESTY LIME RICE (Cinco de Mayo): Even though we are not in May, I tested a Cinco de Mayo meal and it tasted just as good in November. I loved the combination of the lime-flavored rice with the fajitas. This was one of those rare meals that everyone in the family enjoyed, even those who are picky.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I was thrilled that A Year of Holidays hit the shelves just in time. Needless to say, I tried out several of the recipes in this section.

TURKEY BRINE and ROASTED THANKSGIVING TURKEY: This was my first year in working on the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal. Nerves definitely played a part. Thankfully, family and friends alike commented on how nice and moist the bird turned out. You can bet I’m bookmarking this recipe for future years.

SOUL SWEET ‘TATERS: For me, the candied sweet potatoes are the highlight of this special meal. That’s the one dish I look forward to more than any other. Yes, even more than the turkey and pie. So changing a tried and true recipe for an unknown one didn’t come without some apprehension on my part. I’m so glad I went ahead. I LOVED it! However, I did use half the amount of sugar it requested and everyone thought it was still sweet enough.

BROCCOLI-WILD RICE CASSEROLE: This was the first year we served a dish like this one at our family Thanksgiving. If, like me, you enjoy broccoli, mushrooms, and wild rice, you can’t go wrong with this choice.

CARAMEL APPLE PIE: This was my first attempt at baking a pie. Drummond couldn’t have provided an easier recipe to start out with. Considering how quickly it disappeared, I’d say everyone enjoyed it.

Leftovers tend to be a synonym of holidays. But one no longer has to worry about that excess of food. Drummond includes many recipes for the days after, showing you how to turn those leftovers into other tasty meals. This book will make a great addition to anyone’s kitchen, whether you enjoy the holidays or cooking in general.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thank you!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

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