A ‘Home Sweet Home’

Ree Drummond is “The Pioneer Woman”

It’s official: the countdown to Christmas cooking has begun.

Gatherings might be smaller or fewer this year, but that just puts a greater emphasis on making this holiday season meaningful and special for everyone, even from afar. And food traditions new and old may be just the thing we need to keep our spirits merry and bright, as holiday preparations ramp up and the year winds down.

Whether you’re homebound for the holidays or looking to gift some edible cheer, count on Ree Drummond, aka “The Pioneer Woman,” to serve up some bite-sized holiday magic in two new episodes of “The Pioneer Woman: Home Sweet Home,” airing this month on Food Network.

If your holidays typically involve brunch, make yourself a pre-Christmas mimosa and tune in on Saturday, Dec. 5. In that episode, Drummond makes an at-home brunch extra special with her Smoked Salmon Benedict, which is followed by a recipe for Creamy Mushroom Soup that will warm you up on a cold December day. But if you’re mostly focused on the big feast and looking for a new festive side dish, Drummond will also walk you through all the steps for making Hasselback Sweet Potatoes.

More holiday favorites are offered up in the Saturday, Dec. 12, episode. Got some puff pastry tucked away in the freezer? You’ll want to thaw it out and use it after Drummond bakes up her Brie & Mushrooms en Croute on screen. And why drink eggnog out of a plain old glass when you can serve it ice cold in a ginger crumb-rimmed glass?

These are the kind of festive touches that can spice up your at-home celebrations. But if you’re in dire need of a gift idea for the cocktail lover in your life, Drummond has you covered: in that same episode, she’ll show you how to prepare a cocktail hour gift basket filled with a Berry Basil Vodka and Festive Marinated Olives.

Holiday-themed specials or episodes of “The Pioneer Woman” have become somewhat of an annual tradition since the series premiered in 2011. But what makes this year’s batch extra special is the fact that they were self-shot on Drummond’s Oklahoma ranch — hence the added title, “Home Sweet Home.” 

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