Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner Time by Ree Drummond


Ree Drummond.  I met her through her Thanksgiving turkey techniques and have never once doubted the benefits of her influence on my cooking.

One of the things I love about the library happens around 11:00 – 11:30 each day.  The desk staff stomachs start grumbling and we look forward to what we are making for dinner.  Between patrons (and often with patrons),  we share recipes, talk about how they worked out and who liked them, and make shopping lists.  It is a great time to peruse cookbooks, and the beauty of our 3 week check out period/preview is a chance to cook a few recipes and decide if the cookbook is one to own or just borrow occasionally.  The popularity of some cookbooks, the good reviews, the number of times they are featured on talk shows…it all goes to the borrow or buy question.  I will say, when Ree Drummond comes out with a book, it is a BUY!  This is a fantastic cookbook!  A great selection of recipes, delicious but not too time-consuming or complicated, pictures to show you step by step what to expect (and what a delight to find your cream sauce turning into something very like the picture!) and a very helpful feature: what to pair recipes with and options for varying recipes based on taste and pantry.  These meals are family and friend pleasers.   Ree’s own family stories are shared throughout the book, making it almost like she is at the circulation desk helping us decide what to make for dinner.  “Simple, Scrumptious, Step by Step” says it all.

Beef Stroganoff, spicy cauliflower stir fry, lemony green beans, beautiful roasted vegetables, baked ziti, cheesy cauliflower soup, tuna noodle and chicken noodle casserole, chicken with mustard cream sauce…all such delicious takes on classic dinners.  It is February.  Fall in love with family dinners.