I’ve told you before, I am no food photographer.
Yet, I feel compelled to document on film — or SD card, as the case may be — the end result of every succulent dish I prepare from Ree Drummond’s new cookbook. I bought the book just two weeks ago and have already recreated four of Ree’s masterpieces.
Four recipes out of the same cookbook within two weeks’ time? For me, that is huge.
Mom and I have only been watching The Pioneer Woman on food network for a month or two. On the second or third episode I watched (Thank you, Mom, for having dish and DVR!!), Ree made green bean casserole for a church potluck.
Let me tell you, that was the first time in my life that I ever wrote down a recipe while I watched it on television. It helped that I could stop, rewind and replay her instructions while I scribbled on Mom’s notepad.
I then hurried home and made it for myself.
The results were fantastic. I will never, ever make green bean casserole any other way for as long as I live! The only changes I made to Ree’s recipe were to use french fried onions on top instead of bread crumbs and orange bell pepper instead of pimientos. The pimientos confuse me, though, because on the show Ree said she used red bell pepper; in the cookbook it says pimientos.
That’s okay, Ree. You can keep me guessing and I’ll still come back for more.
(The day Ree Drummond reads my blog is the day I will know I have arrived.)
After the success of the Green Bean Casserole (p. 218), I took the plunge and bought the cookbook. I had a brief case of buyer’s remorse shortly afterwards, but by the time I arrived home I knew I had made the right choice.
Next up: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (p. 22).
I zested the lemon and started measuring dry ingredients one morning before Violet woke up. Upon stepping out of her bedroom and discovering I was making these pancakes, Violet climbed up on a chair and helped me finish them. (And helped finish them off, too!)
I cannot even describe to you how wonderful these pancakes taste. Go buy the cookbook and make them for yourself.
Go now! Go!
Oh, wait! I’m not done yet.
Next came Whiskey-Mustard Meatballs (p. 112) and Apple Dumplings (p. 234), both of which I made for Samantha’s going-away dinner on Wednesday.
I will admit, I wasn’t sure which way the meatballs were going to go. Whiskey and spicy mustard? This could be gross.
But it wasn’t.
Oh, no sirree. It wasn’t gross at all.
The flavor of the sauce was amazing. I could actually taste the whiskey without having it burn all my nasal hairs in the process. It was great!
I served the meatballs on plain old egg noodles and called it a day.
And now: DUM DA DA DUUM!!!! Apple Dumplings!
Would you believe an entire can of Mountain Dew was indeed harmed in the making of this dessert?
Believe it, my friend.
My favorite part of dessert was watching my mom go back for seconds and thirds, all the time exclaiming how wonderful it was. That is what I love about cooking good food.
The next day, Mom went out and bought Ree’s first cookbook for herself. She has since told me that she is going to buy the latest one as well, rather than copy every single recipe out of mine. It’s that good.
What am I going to cook next? I’m not sure. Muffin Melts or Spinach Salad? Grilled Corn Guacamole or Fancy Mac and Cheese? White Chicken Enchiladas or Rib-Eye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce?
Excuse me. Let me wipe that drool off my chin.
Maybe it’ll be the Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or the Coffee Ice Cream. Ha! How about the Knock You Naked Brownies??
Whatever I make next, I am almost positive I will love it.
Thank you, Ree, for letting me into your home, introducing me to your family and giving me the gift of these recipes that are sure to become favorites of my own family.
Now, where did I put those elastic-waist pants?…