Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

There is something so comforting and endearing about watching Ree Drummond and her family who "live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere" as she reminds her viewers each week on her wildly popular Food Network show, Pioneer Woman, which is named after her wildly popular blog of the same name. And yet, despite the fact that she lives in the middle of nowhere, I am fascinated by her life. She manages to find lots to do with her time, what with keeping up with the extracurricular schedules of four kids, not to mention homeschooling them, along with the busy workings of a cattle ranch. It's a life I wouldn't wish for myself, but I certainly find it interesting to watch. And I think that's why it's so interesting to watch: it is a life that she didn't wish for herself. Ree didn't plan for a life on a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere. She was an L.A. girl. She was a vegetarian. She wore designer clothes. But then she met the love of her life who happened to own a cattle ranch in Oklahoma and everything changed. But everyone who is familiar with Drummond knows her back story, so I won't get too involved in her biographical details, but  if you want to know more, you can read all about that in her memoir, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels (and you should because Ree is an amazing writer).

The recipes in this volume are typical fare for what you would expect from Drummond: simple, easy comfort food. There isn't anything special or unique about what she makes, but what does set this cookbook apart are the places where Drummond injects photographs of her family and of life on the ranch. Again, she manages to make a subject I never found much interest in -- living on a ranch -- fascinating and endearing. So while I won't be clamoring to make many of the recipes in this book (though her sloppy joes were quite tasty and I must say, I will be using that recipe again), I will be clamoring for more stories and pictures because she makes me want to be adopted into her family  -- well, maybe as a cousin or something so I don't have to live on the ranch. I'd just want to come visit from time to time :)

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 304
Genre: Cookery
Audience: Adults
Disclosure: Library Copy


  1. I probably wouldn't buy the book, but I do enjoy watching her show. She does have a very relaxed style that is very appealing!

  2. I agree, there is much to admire about Ree. And I also agree that I don't really eat the way she does, but her photos and stories are worth getting to know.

  3. Can you believe I've never seen her show? Not sure if I'd purchase the cookbook, but will check my TV listings this week.

  4. I like her blog a lot, she is quite funny, but I can't say I loved this book for as shallow a reason that I didn't like the look of the book

  5. I haven't seen her show - not sure it is on our Food TV - will keep an eye out for it. Cheers

  6. I've never seen her show either, but I have seen her on morning shows and she is very personable.

  7. Ree's recipes are the sort of thing I make when my brother is visiting (or I'm visiting him!) - hearty, man-friendly and basic. I've tried a couple of calorie-heavy holiday recipes at parties to great acclaim, but in general I too enjoy the photos more than the food itself. I'd definitely page through this - I may have to get it from the library!

  8. We don't get her show here in Australia but I've seen quite a few of her adapted recipes on Pinterest. Nice review

  9. I have checked this on out of the library. It's a fun book and the photos are good. I like the stories too but some of the recipes are a little to fatty for me.
    Nice review!