Posts Tagged by food network

Win an Autographed Cookbook from Valerie Bertinelli

If you were around in 1975, you were probably in love with Valerie Bertinelli.  I wanted to be her best friend because she was adorable and cool. My husband loved her because…well, he’s a guy and it’s Valerie. Even in 2018, it’s no different, except that she’s cooking for us now!

These days, as you probably know, Valerie spends her time on the Food Network hosting her own show, “Valerie’s Home Cooking”, and co-hosting the “Kid’s Baking Championship” with Duff Goldman.  This is the part is where my husband and I differ. I love the Food Network and watch it every day. He’d rather drink hot lava than have to watch it. So when I asked him to ride with me to get a new cookbook signed by a Food Network person, he was less than thrilled. He did begrudgingly come with me, though, grumbling the whole way there and making me promise to buy him lunch after. Fine.

Upon pulling into the parking lot, he said he’d just wait in the car.  I pointed to the sign on the bookstore marquis that announced the special guest as Valerie and suddenly saw him sprint by me, grinning from ear-to-ear.  By the time I got inside he was already buying our cookbooks and we got in line to wait for her. He was nervous and giddy, gushing how she was his first love, thanking me for bringing him, and how he never dreamed he’d get to meet her. I feel like I might have rolled my eyes a lot during that conversation. Then Valerie walked in and I think I swooned a little, too!

She chatted with the group about her books for a few minutes, then we all lined up to have our new cookbooks autographed.  Bill didn’t stop grinning the whole time.

I still think she’s pretty cool, too.

We asked Valerie to sign one of her awesome cookbooks for our equally awesome Nest Full of New readers and now we’re ready to give it away!

“After sharing her well-known acting talent for many years, Valerie shares her other passion–cooking–in a book with over 100 recipes as fresh, vibrant, and down to earth as Valerie herself. Enjoy this photo-filled cookbook full of comforting classics with her special twist in Valerie’s Home Cooking.”

I feel like everything Valerie prepares is served with a hug. Love that. And you will love this cookbook!

Enter now using the form below and good luck to all of you! I promise I’ll be able to pry this out of my husband’s hands to send it to the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The Time the Pioneer Woman Was My Best Friend

The Time The Pioneer Woman Was My Best Friend

I don’t know about you, but I think Ree Drummond is one of the neatest people ever. (No, not clean neat…cool neat.)

Does anyone say “neat” anymore?


No? Just me?

Well, it doesn’t matter. I’ve declared her “neat”.

I’ve followed The Pioneer Woman for several years on her blog. (Yes, there really was a Pioneer Woman before her explosion on the Food Network.) I love how she loves her family. I love how she loves her unexpected life. I love how she doesn’t sugarcoat everything. There are messes and times they run late and kids who get sick, stuff that gets dirty and things that aren’t perfect. There is grit and stress. It’s a real life.

She’s also feeling that heart thing that happens when your child leaves the nest. My heart thing started several years ago when my daughter left for college, but I still feel it every day. Y’all know what I’m talking about…

Suffice it to say that I feel like I can relate to Ree in a lot of ways, as do so many women across the country. Very few of us live on a ranch, but we relate in Mom World, in Wife World and often just in Woman World.Country Living Fair Ree Book Signing 1

Ree was in Atlanta on Friday at the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain Park. She’s recently released a beautiful new cookbook called “Dinnertime” and was visiting to chat about it and sign some books.

Country Living Fair Ree Book Signing

This colorful cookbook gem holds yet another example of her neat factor – there’s a “Breakfast for Dinner” chapter. Love that.  And, to ramp up the neat thing even more, her sweet husband Ladd was the photographer for the cover shot.  Seriously.


So I was in line for the book signing and passed the time chatting with my new friends who were in line with me. Everyone had come from different places, for different reasons. The woman in front of us, Ms. Theresa, had driven up from Celebration, Florida with her husband in an RV. The folks behind us were local, like us, and were restaurant owners. Yet another young lady near us was about three weeks from delivering her first baby, but said only labor would have kept her away.

Like I said, Ree is just super neat. You have to be to attract so many kinds of fans.

Soon, Mrs. Drummond arrived via golf cart to begin the first book signing session.  The crowd politely clapped for her, she waved and headed inside. I hesitate to admit this, but I got a little teary when I saw her.   What the heck is that about?!?

Answer: She’s neat and we all feel like her friends.


A good hour or so later, we had snaked our way down the hill and around the building. It was finally my turn to meet my friend Ree.

Wait, I’m not ready!

What am I going to say?

I need to put on some lipstick.

I should coach my husband one more time on how to use the iPad camera.


Someone grabbed my books to hand to her, complete with a little yellow sticky note with the correct spelling of my name. Because we might not be to spell or even recall our names when we get there.

Another someone took my phone to ensure that I got a commemorative smart phone photo of my experience.

My husband moved into position with the iPad to take some back-up photos.

OK, deep breath. Relax. It’s Ree. It’ll be fine.

I must have looked bewildered because a final someone took my elbow and guided me to the table where my books were patiently waiting for to me get a grip and catch up.

Country Living Fair Tracy and Ree Chat

As I looked up, Ree said hello and I was instantly alright. I felt like I was talking to my best friend. We chatted a little, we took pictures, we laughed at my husband. She was very genuine, fun and cool.

Country Living Fair Ree Talking to Bill

No, not cool…neat.

Country Living Fair.1.Tracy and Ree

So after she told my husband how sweet he was and we talked a bit about football (yes, that’s what I do), she handed me my cookbooks, wished me luck with my blog and I was on my way. Country Living Fair.5.Tracy and Ree

The security guard handed me back my phone as I left…I couldn’t wait to see what had been captured on it!

And then it was all over.

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, was my BFF…for about a minute and a half.  And I’m a happy girl with a new cookbook.


Country Living Fair Tracy and Ree

Are you a Pioneer Woman fan?  If so, be sure to keep an eye on the Nest or sign up for updates. My BFF Ree signed a cookbook for you, too! It’s actually the top one in the picture above. Stay tuned to learn how you can win it!