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Monday, May 3, 2010

Pioneer Woman Cooks...Review

About the book:
My name is Ree.
Some folks know me as The Pioneer Woman.

After years of living in Los Angeles, I made a pit stop in my hometown in Oklahoma on the way to a new, exciting life in Chicago. It was during my stay at home that I met Marlboro Man, a mysterious cowboy with steely blue eyes and a muscular, work-honed body. A strict vegetarian, I fell hard and fast, and before I knew it we were married and living on his ranch in the middle of nowhere, taking care of animals, and managing a brood of four young children. I had no idea how I'd wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a homespun collection of photography, 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—including Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler, and Cinnamon Rolls—not to mention several "cowgirl-friendly" dishes, such as Sherried Tomato Soup, Olive Cheese Bread, and Creme Brulee. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it's as easy as pie to follow along.

You'll also find colorful images of rural life: cows, horses, country kids, and plenty of chaps-wearing cowboys.

I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.

Like many others, I enjoy Ree's website, The Pioneer Woman. And to say she has a cult following is an understatement. When she said she was coming out with a cookbook, I really debated about whether or not to get it. I did receive it as a birthday present and, for the most part, I like it.

As far as I can tell, all of these recipes are repeats from her blog. There doesn't seem to be anything new. She follows the same format here with pictures of each step in the cooking process. Since most cookbooks don't even include photos of the finished product, this is refreshing.

I've found a few recipes that I like, but what I enjoyed the most was her commentary. She includes many, many photos of life on the ranch, the punks, the cows and Marlboro Man. Her commentary is funny and entertaining. This is as much a book to simply read, as it is a cook book.

Bottom line: if you enjoy the Pioneer Woman, you'll enjoy this. If you're not sure about the recipes, stand in a bookstore and read through it first. Ree does like cooking with alcohol and none of these recipes are in any way low fat.

You can learn more about The Pioneer Woman here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

* * *
3/5 Stars

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is it Spring yet?

I don't know how the weather is where you live, but here in Idaho we think it's Spring! Actually, what we think is Mother Nature is bipolar and forgot to take her meds. It's warm, it's cold, it's sunny, it's rainy, it's Idaho.

Since it's been a cool and wet Spring (and we're very grateful for the moisture), I've decided that it's still soup weather and this is one of my favorites.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Pair it with Honey Oat Rolls for a delicious meal.