The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is an acclaimed blogger, Food Network personality, author, and photographer. With the holiday season in full swing, Blasting News connected with Drummond on Dec. 7 to chat about all-things Christmas and more.

Christmas meal traditions

Ree Drummond: I think that any holiday tradition that I love involves food for sure. I love making cinnamon rolls just like my mom used to make, I like making a big, beautiful Christmas Eve dinner, and biscuits and gravy on Christmas morning.

When I'm entertaining, I get stuck in my kitchen and away from my guests, which makes me go 'ack!'.

What can I do to stop that from happening?

RD: That's a great question and I agree, I don't like that either. The number one piece of advice I could give is to plan ahead; do the grocery shopping... a week before your event. Then go through each recipe and literally come up with a road map for each one. Start five days out and say what can I do, what can I prepare and still have it be fresh on the day? Often that's chopping onions and carrots and celery and putting them in containers in the fridge. Then when it gets around to the day of your event, it's really more about finishing things up.

Food related gifts are hot this year. Share some of your favorites.

RD: I love food gifts. Everybody loves Christmas cookies and fudge and treats, and it's actually more of a gift of your time, so you can be pretty economical about it.

When I grew up, my neighbors would bring my family assorted cookies on platters, so we literally would fill the kitchen island with cookie gifts. That's dwindled a little bit, but I've been doing it more and more. I have a new holiday line at Walmart ( of dinnerware for the holidays, and so my plan this year is to take a stack of the dinner plates --they're all different patterns-- and fill them with fudge and cookies and wrap them in cellophane and put a bow around them.

What are three things that any home cook should always have on hand, and especially during the holidays?

RD: Oh gosh, I'd have to have more than three. But I cannot accomplish anything I do without butter, because whether its roast beef or roasted veggies or all the holiday cookies or cinnamon rolls, you take butter out of the equation and you're pretty much sunk.

In terms of equipment or gadgets, I would say a good, rimmed sheet pan is a great tool to have... I actually have stacks of them in my kitchen. As for number three... oh gosh, a good knife, a fun array of baking dishes and mixing bowls and serving bowls.

Reader questions

Laura would like to know how your children reacted to your rise to fame.

Ree Drummond: I've been a blogger since 2006, and I think my oldest child was seven... so they've just grown up with this happening gradually. It was my blog, then cookbooks, then my show started a few years later. They're aware that their mom might do a few things that their friends' moms don't do, but when we're home on the ranch, the word fame isn't at play.

I mean, I have manure on my porch right now that I have to clean up later. We're very grounded here in the country.

Katie wants to know if you prefer sweet or salty snacks.

RD: Yes. [Laughs] I love salty, and then after I eat salty, I have to have sweet. And then I have to have another salty. So it's a never-ending cycle of craziness.

Tere is interested in how you incorporate your Christian upbringing and values into your business life.

RD: I try to do my best, I try to keep words at a minimum when it comes to matters of faith and try to just live the best life I can and make mistakes just like everyone and move on. It's always... very close in the background for me.

Okay, last one: Jen is wondering if Suzie the terrier from the "Charlie the Ranch Dog" is real, and her boys want to know how Charlie is doing.

RD: Charlie is doing great. He's getting a little old but he's doing great, and yes, the books are real. They're based on real experiences with Charlie the ranch dog.