Oh. My. Gosh. Why in the world did I wait so long to finally get her cookbook? Thankfully, I didn’t wait to cook any of her recipes! But seriously… Having so many of her best compiled in one place makes me a little bit giddy. OK. A lot giddy. Once I got the thing, I read it from cover to cover. Twice. Does that make me a nerd? Probably.

Hold on, hold on. Let me back up. PW or P. Dub, The Pioneer Woman–Ree Drummond–is, as she describes herself, “a desperate housewife [who] met and fell in love with a rugged cowboy [Marlboro Man]. Now I live in the middle of nowhere on a working cattle ranch. My days are spent wrangling children, chipping dried manure from boots, washing jeans, and making gravy. I have no idea how I got here…but you know what? I love it. Don’t tell anyone!”

For those of you who don’t know, Ree has become pretty famous. Her cookbook is a New York Times bestseller. Her recipes are beloved by millions, and her blog is read and followed by just as many. It is there that she writes daily about her “long transition from spoiled city girl to domestic country wife”. She writes with humor, candor, and honesty. She’s great! And she makes me laugh every time I read her posts.

And her food. Oh, her food! It’s delicious. And usually very easy! Most of the time, I try to make sure that I either substitute ingredients (i.e. ground turkey for ground beef) or make her recipes every once in a while. Because while they are oh, SO good, they are not usually all that healthy (low-fat, low-calorie). However, she cooks for a family of working cattle ranchers, who spend their days working (and thus burning calories). So calorie and fat content aren’t something she typically worries with.

Last night, I made her Chicken Spaghetti for the second time. It’s really, really good! It reminds me a little of my grandma’s Turkey Tetrazzini–which I haven’t had in ages. Ree’s recipes feed a lot, so since it’s just me and Brock I can either half them or prepare the entire recipe and freeze half (which I do with this one).

A couple of weeks before Christmas, she posted a recipe for Spinach Soup with Gruyère. I was intrigued, so I made it. It was not a disappointment; none of her recipes ever are. It has fresh spinach, garlic, onion, salt, cayenne pepper, and Gruyère! It’s creamy and absolutely delicious. If you’re a spinach lover, you must try!

One of the things that I love about her cookbook (and her blog) is that all the photos are taken by her. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great photographer. But since the photos are taken in her own kitchen, in the natural light of her own kitchen, and since they’re not Photoshopped or Food Styled, they look like what I end up with when I finish cooking. They look real. And they still look good enough to eat!

Have any of you tried (and loved) any of her recipes? If so, what do you recommend?