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  • The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
    The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
    by Deb Perelman
  • Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients
    Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients
    by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
  • Savory Sweet Life: 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion
    Savory Sweet Life: 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion
    by Alice Currah
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier
    The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier
    by Ree Drummond
  • Bouchon Bakery
    Bouchon Bakery
    by Thomas Keller, Sebastien Rouxel

Entries in the pioneer woman (2)


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.


the pioneer woman, black dress socks, boxers, and gin

This story about me in boxers and black dress socks while drinking gin will take far too much explanation to ever make sense. But we should try.

Here's the short version:

As part of the #afundforjennie effort which we blogged about previously, bloggers are raising money to support our friend, Jennifer Perillo, after the loss of her husband. Earlier this week, a random tweet from me (Chris) led to a photo of me in boxers, black dress socks, while holding gin during the premiere of Ree Drummond's (a.k.a, The Pioneer Woman) new show on Food Network, being auctioned off on Twitter while I slept.

Never, ever go to sleep is the lesson there.

We love Ree (from experience, we can say she does extremely nice things for people without ever taking public credit for her efforts), and we love her show and her food.

So $200 for Jennifer Perillo? Yes.

Supporting Ree? Yes.

Me in boxers? For these two women? Absolutely. 

The best person in this whole mess? Deb Puchalla, the editorial director of and tons of other related sites. Deb is always encouraging me and Karen, and we like that she's a glutton for punishment for offering $200 for my sad, sad body pics. Deb will receive a pic of me and my gut (not sucking it in) while watching Ree. Gin also makes an appearance. Of course.

Here's hoping that Food Network eventually picks up our show, Cooking in Boxers and Black Dress Socks while Looking for the Gin. Catchy, isn't it? If they do pick it up, I promise to wear the lobster boxers in the premiere episode.

Love to Jennifer, Ree, and Deb. And to Karen for being a good sport and a very demanding photoshoot director. Deb gets a special, gut-centric photo for her office. Or wherever.

Below is the best shot from today. Minus the gut.

If you' like to see the start of the photo shoot, check out this tweet