One of the guilty pleasures of a food blog is the occasional invitation to review a cookbook. It is like being invited to a party just to talk about food, which is just my kind of party. I admit I am showing up fashionably late in this instance since The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier released in March, but there would be no wedging it in between the bridal showers, weddings, and Easter. (Is anyone else out there even slightly dismayed it is April already?)
For anyone who somehow missed the phenomenal success of Ree Drummond’s blog The Pioneer Woman, or her previous bestselling books, or the premier of her cooking show The Pioneer Woman on Food Network last year, let me introduce you to Ree. Far from a rehash of Green Acres, she is transparent about embracing the ranch life that came with the cowboy who captured her heart more than fifteen years ago. Her blog is a culmination of homeschooling, stunning photography, raising kids, working a ranch, and the food that bears witness to it all in one way or another. Ree connects with readers through humor, insight, and the practical reality of putting food on the table to feed her hungry brood.
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier is Drummond’s second cookbook highlighting recipes from her blog and new cooking show. The strength of this cookbook is her commitment to visual instruction. A photograph illustrates each step of instruction to such an extent, few words are needed. Her casual style and inviting tone make each recipe approachable and easy to follow. As you might have guessed, country living and hard work calls for a fair amount of hearty, comfort food. Corn chowder, Peach-Whiskey Chicken, and Brie-Stuffed Mushrooms were a few recipes that caught my attention, while Sloppy Joes, Thai Chicken Pizza, and Rigatoni and Meatballs landed on our weeknight menu for a test run.
There is a lot to like about this cookbook, about Ree’s story, and the success of a gal who grew a loyal following by telling her story and sharing recipes. Whether it is her iced coffee confession (obsession) or a recipe for Knock You Naked Brownies, there is a thread of storytelling to keep the pages turning. The only place I felt the cookbook did not represent the usual Pioneer Woman appeal was the inclusion of a brisket recipe consisting of ketchup and dry onion soup mix. Really? I enjoyed reviewing her work and thought there was plenty to choose from more worthy of her fan base, as the rest of the book certainly qualifies.
If you haven’t already, I recommend taking a minute to peruse The Pioneer Woman site, I imagine it is much like having coffee with Ree, herself. If you are interested in a signed copy of the book and meeting Ree in person, check the book signing tour schedule, or how to order the book on Ree’s site too.
Over the next couple of weeks, you can look forward to a sampling of notable recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier and the chance to win a copy of the book for yourself, so stay tuned!