March 12, 2008 12:00 PM

Trisha Yearwood didn’t get interested in cooking until she found herself in college, choosing between canned food and cafeteria fare. “I missed home cooking so bad,” says the singer, 43. “I started calling my mom all the time saying, ‘I’ve got to get your recipes!'” Now Yearwood has compiled her family’s favorite down-home dishes, from her Barbecued Pork Ribs (below) to vegetarian-friendly Black Bean Lasagna in her new cookbook, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen, in stores April 15. Yearwood, who cooks on a daily basis for husband Garth Brooks, 46, and his daughters Taylor, 15, August, 13, and budding chef Allie, 11, says her skills in the kitchen have even earned her the reputation as “the birthday cake girl.” “Whenever someone has a birthday I’m like, ‘I’m baking the cake,'” she says. Of course, there have been mishaps. For Brooks’s birthday one year “I made his favorite German chocolate cake, and I don’t know what I did, but it fell into a million pieces,” says Yearwood with a laugh. “Garth said, ‘Just frost it anyway.’ I couldn’t have taken it to a bake sale, but it tasted good! You don’t always have to have something fancy for it to be good.”

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