Pros: Step by step photographs with all the recipes. Durable pages. Lots of variety.
Cons: Nutritient information would have been nice.
Every cookbook tells a story. The fun part is figuring out what the story is. This cookbook is big on story telling interspersed with hearty family style recipes. Ree Drummond does a great job with her comfort food. She walks the reader through the making of the meal as if she were there to guide you herself. If you want technical recipes you are not going to find them here. In fact even her wording is down to earth. You really have to read the cookbook to understand how charming it is. Her cooking is definitely laid back, nothing too fussy and very comforting. Her latest book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food From My Frontier, was definitely a great find. This is one of those books you want to have on your shelf as a go-to when you are looking for something satisfying and substantial for your next meal. My husband (AKA Carnivore) loved the recipes.
Her recipes are very true to her style of being a Pioneer Woman. All the recipes are big on flavor and taste. She uses a lot of butter and whole cream. However, I did mention this book is the ultimate comfort food book. When my husband was working really late I surprised him by having prepared the “Rib-Eye Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce, Twice-Baked New Potatoes and pan fried Spinach.” I paired this with a nice red wine and he was ready to relax for the weekend. The last time I checked all my comfort foods included cheese, butter and cream, this book will deliver on those items. Now I am going to seem like I am contradicting what I just said, so bear with me. Ree Drummond has brought comfort food up to a new level of culinary delight. Snuggled in-between the Cowboy Quiche and the Fancy Mac and Cheese you will fine delightful dishes like Fig-Prosciutto Pizza and Brie-Stuffed Mushrooms! As you can tell this cookbook has recipes that will appeal to everyone in your family. Every recipe I tried worked out great. You will be able to find all the ingredients in your local grocery store as well.
This cookbook is not only nice to read, but it’s nice to look through as well. Every single recipe has step by step instructions as well as photos. Just for fun, in the back of the book she even has some realistic pictures of how messy your kitchen can get while creating a cookbook. Most of the recipes in this book are available on her blog. However, I still feel you will be missing out if you only use her blog. Having the actual hard copy book is much nicer for cooking especially with the nice durable pages. I like to write on the recipes to give myself notes and remind me of who did or didn’t like the meal. I don’t know about you, but my cookbook is right where I am doing all my cooking, making it a prime target for spills and splashes. I prefer to wipe a drop off of my cookbook than off of my computer.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and its straight forward approach to cooking. She has the book broken down into several categories, as well as alphabetical listings of the recipes in the index. She has Breakfast, Lunch, Soups, Starters, Party Food, and Drinks, Pasta and Pizza, Supper, Sides, Sweets, and Canning. Since this is such a complete collection of recipes it would be great as a gift for a newly married couple! It is geared towards the novice to intermediate cook. As mentioned above, not only did Ree Drummond introduce us to some wonderful recipes, but I also feel as if I have been introduced to her family as well! I am happy to have this book in my collection. My husband has already marked a few more recipes he wants me to prepare for him. Enjoy trying this wonderful pizza recipe I have included.
Recipes I tried:
Makes 8-10 Servings
1 Recipe Pizza Dough (follows)
½ cup fig spread or fig preserves
12 ounce fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
8 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
12 ounces arugula
Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 500F and arrange the oven rack on the lowest position.
- Roll out the pizza dough as thin as it’ll go. Pour on the fig spread… (I warmed mine first in microwave because my house was cold)
- Then spread it thinly all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle it lightly with kosher salt.
- Lay the mozzarella slices all over the top of the spread.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Drape the prosciutto slices all over the hot pizza. This’ll allow them to get nice and warm without becoming crisp and sizzling in the oven.
- Pile on the arugula as high as you want it to go…
- Then sprinkle on some Parmesan shavings if you like.
Makes enough dough for 1 pizza
1 scant teaspoon active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
- Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Sprinkle in the salt.
- Turn the mixer on low, then slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Finally, pour in the yeast/water mixture
- Stop mixing when everything comes together. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise 1 hour before suing.
*The dough can be stored in the fridge for several days before using.
*The dough recipe may be doubled or tripled depending on the quantity you need.