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Spaghetti and Meatballs from The Pioneer Woman Cooks


“These are the best spaghetti and meatballs I ever heard.”

So proclaimed one of our three-year-old twin daughters. We try so hard not to laugh at her approximations, but when I asked her to say it again, she knew. She knew she’d said something funny, and we were asking her for a repeat performance. A giant smile crossed her face. She had us, and she knew it.

She brushed her bangs out of her face (they grow down past her eyes because there’s no time to take her to the groomers. Or stylist. Wherever we’re supposed to take our kids for haircuts).

We don’t talk about our kids much on here. But our son turned five in February. And one of our twins insists she’s four now, but the other twin remains steadfastly and accurately three. The fact they were born one minute apart does not faze them. These are now the facts, Dad. Learn to deal with them.

We are trying more family meals. Eating together. We know it’s important. We know they need us, more than ever. Most work days, I make it home just in time to put the kids to bed. Read their copy of Dr. Seuss’ Snow. Which they can recite with me. And then they ask why we never had snow this winter. Atlanta winters seem empty for them without bundling up and running around the backyard, throwing snow high into the air like a confetti cannon. “Where’s the snow, Dad?” Impossible to explain.

So we plan meals to eat together. Carve out the time before the time is gone. For good someday. And 99% of the time, we’re eating a family meal from a recipe by The Pioneer Woman.

We have a heavily woven Ree thread on our blog, and if you’re a long-time reader (hey, happy second anniversary to our blog last month), you know exactly what we’re talking about.

My mom is not convinced we know Ree. “But have you spoke to her? Have you met her?” she asks when we say Ree is our friend. Apparently, Mom has not seen the pictures of me with the gin. But when you eat someone’s food, when you cook from her books, and you watch the “selective” eaters in your house devour the meals, you feel like Ree is your friend.

Ree has a new cookbook out soon. We were lucky enough to get an advance copy. Scratch that...Karen was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Ree’s book, The Pioneer Woman: Food From My Frontier. Karen was one of the lucky folks to get a signed copy of the book with a personalized inscription:

“Love to Karen, who gave so much and asked for so little. XOXO Ree.”

So. She’s pretty much the best. And so is her food. So get your copy now. The food is great, every single time (especially that Spicy Caesar salad dressing).

And Ree has a recipe for the best spaghetti and meatballs I ever heard.

Get the recipe for the meatballs here. She serves them with rigatoni in the book, but our kids insist on spaghetti.

Buy the book here. Do it.

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Reader Comments (5)

Oh I loved those gin pictures.

I seriously can't wait until I have a copy of this book.

Even though during the work week you have limited time with your kids, you are spending quality time with them and I'm sure those bedtime reads are as special to them as they are to you. Congratulations (belated) on your second blog anniversary! These meatballs are pretty darn big and probably as delicious as they look! I'd prefer them with spaghetti too!
Lovely inscription to Karen from Ree.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

LOVE this blog post... And, the spaghetti looks pretty fantabulous, too. :)

Atlanta seems to be agreeing with you so far, but it is a big adjustment. Savor the time you have, because you never know when circumstances can change and you suddenly have more or less time at your disposal. And your kids will remember what you did versus what you didn't do so long a you're there, of that makes sense.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

You rock! One cannot got wrong with spaghetti and meatballs, or family mealtime, for that matter. This post was a reminder that its been far too long since we enjoyed a plate of meatballs. Time to remedy that!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAimee @ Simple Bites

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