I wasn't truly a fan of the Pioneer Woman until early last spring. Oh, I'd read her blog from time to time but I always ended up on her photography blog and to be honest I'm not a photographer OR a fan of dogs or horses or ranch life so I wasn't a regular reader. But sometime last year I used a Groupon I had for Amazon.com and bought her first cookbook and I became an immediate fan. Not only is she hilarious but that woman can cook! Pretty much all I have to do to ensure my family licks their dinner plates clean is say "this is a Pioneer Woman recipe."
Right before Thanksgiving I shared her recipe for Creamy Mashed Potatoes with a friend who was stressed about feeding the huge crowd of people she was hosting for Thanksgiving dinner. (The best thing about these mashed potatoes is that you can make them ahead.)(The second best thing is the butter, cream cheese, and half and half.) My friend tried them, loved them, and shared the recipe with a friend who shared with a friend, who shared with a friend, and voila! -- a group of fans willing to stand in line for a really long time to meet Ree Drummond was born.
We got there pretty early and I'm so glad we did because over 800 people came out to meet her. Luckily we were numbers 98-104 in that long, long line. It was crazy-packed and unless she stayed until the wee hours signing books I'm not sure everyone had the same opportunity we did.
Here are a few pics, which is the part I know you'd rather see anyway! They're all cell phone pics so sorry about the quality.
She gave a hilarious presentation. And even SANG! It was awesome.
Someone needs to tell me to stand up straight. And suck my stomach in. Geez.
Our motley crew. One of us is slightly obsessed with all things Pioneer Woman. I won't name names, ahem, Terri (cough cough)(who had NINE books for Ree to sign), but I'm thankful she corralled all of us (get it? corralled? ranch humor--ha ha) for this fun day!
The Pioneer Woman was gracious and kind (she complimented my necklace!) and there's no telling how much her mouth ached from smiling and her hand cramped up after signing all those books! And by the way, her newest cookbook is fabulous! John paged through it yesterday afternoon and he may or may not have been drooling by the time he got to the end. Seriously.
After we left the book signing, Terri took us all to NoNo's. Oh my gosh. If you live anywhere remotely close to Denver, you must eat there. I'm glad I got over my dislike of the LSU Tigers flag they were flying on the porch outside (Go Hogs!) because the food was amazing. I had the gumbo and it was delicious, but next time I'm having Catfish Monica because the owner brought us all a plate to try (after we had ordered, darn it!) and it was outstanding! I finished things off with a piece of strawberry cake which was still warm and out-of-this-world-delicious. Shouldn't a visit to meet the woman who makes your tummy happy on a regular basis be finished off with an evening of great food? Yep. We thought so too! Thanks, y'all. It was such a fun day!