The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Meet Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman
She is a top celebrity chef online, but you probably have never heard of her. She has been on TV Daytime talk shows where she talks about her life and cooks up a storm, but her name means nothing to you. Her story truly does start with Once Upon a Time there was a girl who fell in love with a cowboy.....
Her name is Ree and his name is Ladd and this is their story.
Introducing Ree Drummond
Anne-Marie Smith was a doctor's daughter (the 3rd of 4 children) from Oklahoma, attending USC in Los Angeles doing a marketing degree. She had plans after graduation, to move to Chicago and go to Law school. But the way Ree tells the story, those plans got sidetracked when she went home one christmas and went for a drink at her local tavern.
There she met a tall good looking cowboy wearing cowboy boots and - once she made the first move to speak to him - they spent the entire evening talking. When they left the tavern, she forgot to ask for his name. So she called him Marlboro Man because he reminded her of the rugged cowboys in the old Marlboro cigarette commercials. This is the base story for Ree's second book - Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.
A month later, he called her on the telephone, and the rest is history. They were married in 1996.
Ree and Ladd live on the Drummond cattle ranch outside of Pawhuska in Osage County, Oklahoma. Ree was originally from Bartlesville in Northern Oklahoma. They have 4 children - Alexandra, Paige, Bryce and Todd.
Ladd Drumond is a 4th generation Cattle Rancher. The Drummond Cattle Company is NOT a poor cattle ranch. It is a multi-million dollar business and Ree married into a rich family.
Now some of you are probably wondering where the name Ree comes from. Ree is short for Marie. Her real name is Anne Marie. Ree has a mentally challenged brother, Mike. His photos seem to show that he has Downs Syndrome. He couldn't pronounce the name Marie as a child so he called his sister Ree. The name has stuck.
Picture source - Copyright to Ree Drummond and Harper Collins
Ree Drummonds Books
Why I am reviewing The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
Ree Drummond is famous for her cooking. She takes photos of every step in the cooking process so that she literally puts up a step by step guide on how to cook the recipe. Women loved these step by step instructions and that's how Ree became an online celebrity. In 2008 and again in 2009 she won Webby awards for her website. Around that time, she also began putting her recipes into a cookbook.
In 2009 Ree's Cookbook was published. I thought she worked hard to get it done and that it was a great idea. She was using tried and true recipes (that have been around for many years) and marketing them under her own titles. Keep in mind that these recipes are meant to be eaten by hard working cowboys and ranch children. They are NOT low calory recipes. Ree is not ashamed to say that she uses plenty of butter in her recipes when its called for.
After the book was published, Ree and her kids went on a book tour all over the USA where she spoke and signed and made many new friends. Most of these women were readers of her website. The only problem I had, was that Ree did not come to Canada!!!
Early this year (2011) I came across Rees cookbook on the shelves at Indigo (the largest bookstore chain in Canada) and I spent $32 to purchase my copy. So I am going to review this cookbook.
Picture Source - Copyright to Ree Drummond - Cover Photo taken by Ladd Drummond.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks - The Cover
In the background of the cover photo (on the left) are Ree's 4 children. The two oldest are girls and the two youngest are boys.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks - The Layout
The first thing you can't help but notice about this book is the use of COLOUR. The book is visually stunning with tons of colour and tons of photos.
The Contents page has the following sections.
Cast of Characters
In the Morning
Dinner (Translation: Lunch)
Supper (Translation: Dinner)
Keepin' it Real
Then after the Index comes The End. The Famous End Photo. On the very last page of the book. The Photo of Ladd's backside in Wrangler jeans and Chaps. You should have read the comments on the blog about THAT photo. So many women were swooning over Ladd's jeans-covered-backside and claiming that they wanted to marry him themselves, They went all gaga over another woman's husband!! It was quite unreal just reading some of those comments.
In the Introduction, Ree tells an abbreviated version of how she met Ladd in the tavern and how they have lived ever since. Then she goes onto to explain how and why she started blogging, (or how the Pioneer Woman entered the digital age) and what happened after she posted some photos of her children and then later some photos of one of her recipes. Five years later, Ree's website is receiving something like 2 million hits per day.
Mixed in amongst the recipes in this book, are tons of other photos showing what life on a cattle ranch is like, These photos include the following - ranch hands and cowboys, fire, cattle, wild mustangs, calf nuts, dogs, pesky brothers-in-laws, Ree's kids, rainbows, photos showing the difference between chaps and chinks, branding and many many others.
Even if you don't want to use any of the recipes, this book has more than enough information and images for showing what life is REALLY like on a cattle ranch, just from the photos alone.
Picture Source - Copyright to Ree Drummond.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks - The Recipes
Think of the most delicious, yummy, no-holds barred recipes you can think of - with no calory limitations - and you will come close to what these recipes are like.
As Ree explains it on the front flap blurb....
This book is a homespun collection of photographs, rural stories, and scrumptious recipes that have defined my experience in the country. I share many of the delicious cowboy-tested recipes I've learned to make during my years as an accidental ranch wife. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it's as easy as pie to follow along.
Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce
Picture source - Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Bicuits Recipe - made by The Steamy Kichen
Please note that in Australia and New Zealand, these are not biscuits. These are SCONES.
Food from My Frontier - Ree Drummond's Latest Cookbook
Have just discovered that Ree is publishing a second cook book in March next year (2012). It's already available on Amazon for pre-publishing sales. On the cover at back right are Ree's 2 daughters. They are now teenagers.
The cover photo is taken at the Lodge - which is the old homestead on the Drummond ranch,. It has been extensively renovated and is now used as a guesthouse for visitors and camera people for Ree's cooking show on the Food Network channel
Ree also uses the Lodge as the school house for her kids - she homeschools them.
Buy Ree Drummond's latest cookbook on Amazon - Food from My Frontier
A collection of simple but scrumptious recipes from perfect pancakes to Sloppy Joes to Spicy Carnitas Pizza. Everyone will find something to love with these recipes.
Please give your opinion of these Ree Drummond recipes
Keeping in mind that these recipes are NOT low calorie, how often do you think you would make them?
Pioneer Woman - Resources
The Pioneer Woman on TV
Video 1 - The first time Ree was mentioned on TV - 2007
Video 2 - Ree Drumond Making Macaroni and Cheese
Video 3 - On the Bonnie Hunt Daytime talkshow - 2009
Video 4 - The Library of Congress National Book Festival - 2010
Video 5 - The Pioneer Woman on her Oklahoma Ranch