The Pioneer Woman Cooks

With comfort food on the ranch as the theme, Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, has all the food you love to eat – and know you shouldn’t.  Not for vegetarians, Drummond includes the beef and potatoes meals she claims to have substituted for sushi after she married her “Marlboro Man” rancher.

This cookbook is loaded with pictures of Drummond’s family, the ranch, the cows, the mustangs, the dogs, the ranch hands, her in-laws – all taken by Drummond herself (she shows you her cameras).  Her parents are conspicuously absent, but maybe she’s saving them for another book. Better than the recipes are the excerpts of life on the ranch that she may have pulled from her famous blog about a southern belle on the ranch (not plantation) – from how she met her husband to becoming a mother.

My Italian grandmother would come back from the dead to smack my hand if I made Drummond’s “comfort meatballs” that have a “sauce” that includes ketchup and sugar, but the “breads” section is worth a try with buttermilk biscuits and marmalade muffins – yum.

Her pineapple upside down cake in an iron skillet is pretty close to my mother’s electric skillet cake, and the step-by-step pictures are handy.

Nothing revolutionary in the recipes, but Drummond offers a folksy and cheery compilation of her life in and out of the kitchen, and makes it all look easy with her clear instructions and pictures.

I was even motivated to check out her blog –The Pioneer Woman – pretty snazzy and with more of the same – recipes, pictures, and, of course, her life.