Country music superstar Miranda Lambert, 39, is best known for heartfelt ballads and powerful songs such as “The House That Built Me,” “Tin Man” and “White Liar.” She also comes from a long line of Texas women who prioritize hospitality around the dinner table. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her loved ones began cooking together via Zoom, revisiting some of the family’s favorite recipes and getting creative with new ones.
What she thought might be a homespun keepsake book of those recipes turned into something bigger — much bigger. This spring, she released Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen (April 2023), a collection of 50 recipes along with family photos and personal stories told in her signature frank, friendly style. AARP caught up with the three-time Grammy Award winner to talk about her undying admiration for her mom and grandmother, her favorite cocktail and a surprising trick for crafting a gourmet breakfast by a campfire.
What do you want people to feel when they try recipes from your new cookbook?
This book is permission to be imperfect. All of the recipes are really approachable, and most of them leave room to make your own modifications to suit your tastes. I hope it’s a reminder to slow down and make time for making memories with friends and family — that’s what it’s really all about.
What does a good meal mean to you?
It’s all about who you make it with or eat it with. It’s less important that the meal is picture perfect or that you follow a recipe exactly, and more important that you get to enjoy time around the table with the people in your life.
Cook With Miranda
Lambert shared three recipes from Y’all Eat Yet? for AARP members to try:
Indulge in this dish, which comes from my mom, Beverly June Lambert.
Y’all will want seconds of this dish, which features buttered cornflakes and melted shredded cheese.
This cake is perfect for any occasion. The first time I made it was for the Countryfest Cakewalk in Lindale, and I call it the showstopper cake.
What inspired you to write a cookbook?
During 2020, we had what we called our own Chopped cook-off with my mom and her friends featured in this book. Our husbands would each pick an ingredient, and we’d have to make a meal using all five items without Googling … which was really hard! It was our excuse to get on Zoom and have a happy hour together every week when we couldn’t physically be together. With all of the recipes and memories we shared, I thought it would be fun to put together a little Shutterfly cookbook for us to have. Three years later, it has turned into something much bigger than that!
Within your family, who are the cooks who have most inspired you and why?
My “nonny,” Wanda Louise Coker, was the original star of the kitchen. We lost her four years ago, and we are still trying to replicate some of her recipes — even with her step-by-step instructions, we can’t get it quite right. There was something magical about her touch! My mom, Beverly June Lambert, has carried on her tradition of doing what you can with what you have and always having a busy kitchen full of love.
What are a few of the must-have dishes at a Lambert family get-together?
Everyone has their specialties — whether it’s my mom’s famous meat loaf, Vicki’s deviled eggs, Heidi’s spicy crackers or Neicy’s gumbo, all of which you get to learn about in this book. We’ve definitely developed some classics that everyone has come to expect over the years. And being Texan, we always joke that salsa is the fifth condiment, so that’s usually on the table one way or another!