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Have you seen the Pioneer Woman Cookbook? What do you think?

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I imagine it will be a while before our library has it. Any opinions so far?

Thanks!

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  1. As much as I enjoy PW, (& I really do) her cookbook recipes are not original. They are reworked ranch styled favorites. http://thepioneerwoman.com/

    By no means does this diminish her appeal. PW's shines in her fun loving approach to all things. Cooking & baking may be the vehicle here but her home life, family escapades, photography hobby, good eye for design, marketing & PR abilities are the story. If you have ever visited her site and read her day to day approach to life or witnessed the popularity of her blog contests, seen her in action at a food blog conference or recently on The Bonnie Hunt Show promoting her new cookbook, you will see her talents and appeal. Ree is a fantastic storyteller.

    I'm more excited about what this says for the food bloggers out there making a career thru blogging. PW is a great example and the popularity and appeal food blogging offers thousands of great storytellers.

    A formal section at Barnes & Noble and the library for Blog Authors is long overdue. The genre is gigantic.

    11 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Ree's entertaining at first but when you delve deeper she repeats herself endlessly (seriously, Ree, we all know how to dice onions now, you don't have to show us in every d*mn recipe post) and as HillJ says her recipes are not remotely original. As for her photos, I'll grant she knows her way around Photoshop. The Drummonds are multi-millionaires--the ranch is said to be about the size of New Hampshire and that family's like the Rockefellers in that part of the world; her family must have jumped for joy when she bagged Marlboro Man, a/k/a Ladd Drummond. She tries to make everyone believe she's just a little ol' country girl made good, just cookin' and homeschoolin' her kids and takin' care of MM, but little ol' country girls don't have nannies and housekeepers. A friend of mine calls her "Oklahoma Oprah" because she inspires the same adoration that Oprah does in the middle-class mommies that love her blog while being as far removed from them as one can possibly be. I've gotten a couple of recipes from the site that turned out well, but other than that ... I don't know, I'm just not fond of hypocrites.

      1. re: MandalayVA

        Wow! The Pioneer Woman revealed! I've enjoyed her site, but do agree re the repeating . . . another excuse to dazzle us w/her food porn, I guess. And I always thought that she might have a huge backup crew - as a mother myself, it always seemed like she was doing waaaaay too much, waaaay too well to not have a supporting staff.

        GG
        http://www.semisweetonline.com

        1. re: MandalayVA

          mee-oooow!

          wow, that's some resentment, there, mandalay. why so harsh? why is ree a "hypocrite"?

            1. re: LaLa

              I used to read her blog but after a while her "average country woman" shtick started to wear thin. I have no problem with someone being wealthy but it's ridiculous when she tries to pretend she's just an average middle class person.

              1. re: PadmeSkywalker

                i still don't get how she's pretending to be anything. what specifically can you cite, please? i'm just curious....

                1. re: PadmeSkywalker

                  I can't see where she is pretending anything. It is pretty obvious they have mega bucks (the lodge remodel; the friendship with "the Senator," etc). I find her delightful, and her recipes look very reliable and tasty. Her down-home cooking style seems to be partly because of a husband who isn't fond of any other kind of food! Or, so she says. Anyway, I would love to see the book.

                  1. re: MazDee

                    I think most people dont realize how much money it takes to run a farming operation. Money tied up in land , livestock,ppayroll, and equipment. As for any projects on a farm, they are just like any other business(tax driven).

                  2. re: PadmeSkywalker

                    What she said, much more succinctly than I.

              2. re: HillJ

                Well said!

                I enjoy her blog too. There are very few recipes I've ever been tempted to try -- they're either such standard items that I'm well-versed in them or there's no particular revelation in them. But her writing and perspective are fun. So there's not much reason to buy a cookbook. But I wish her well with it.

                1. re: rainey

                  Ive always wondered how she has so much time for her blog when she's supposedly out castrating calves and homeschooling the kids and baking a homemade apple pie...

                  keeping a blog is alot of work...all the uploading of pics, photoshopping, writing, etc.
                  its pretty obvious they are loaded...her house is huge and gorgeous

              3. I've quasi-followed her for ages. She seems to be a wonderfully nice person. Her kitchen -- and apparently her budget -- is among the most limitless I've ever seen.

                The thing I like about her is that she reminds me of dishes I grew up eating that I'd forgotten about, like her buttermilk/cocoa sheet cake that is absolutely identical to my mother's:

                http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

                Nothing about her screams "shtick" to me. It's not super-adventurous cuisine, and it's not slimming -- but I like!

                2 Replies
                1. re: dmd_kc

                  Her kitchen -- and apparently her budget -- is among the most limitless I've ever seen.
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  dmd_kc, that is a very keen observation!

                  http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitc...
                  This year PW added Tasty Kitchen Home to her lineup and home cooks responded.
                  Cookbook #2????

                  1. re: dmd_kc

                    That is because she takes her recipes from old church cookbooks.

                  2. I guess PW always kind of disappoints me b/c she benefits from such a nasty agribusiness while seeming so wholesome. I've read comments where folks ask why her ranch doesn't do grass-finished beef and she's pretty dismissive. My impression is that they just raise the cattle to a point and send them off to feed lots. It seems a shame not to use the enthusiasm she's generated for "ranch life" and the money they have to promote healthier farming practices. It's hard to see all those slabs of beef she cooks and not think about the deadly strains of E. Coli I've been reading about in the NY Times lately which are promoted by corn fed beef. She and her family could be industry changers-- instead they're making more money off business as usual. I want to like her, but her pretty pictures of cows don't really address the issue of what happens to the animals when they leave her farm. It makes her seem naive if not willfully blind.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Procrastibaker

                        Had never considered that perspective -- but then I had no idea what business they were in.

                        Having a passing experience with cattle feed lots -- can't drive up the 5 in CA without passing Harris Ranch's feed lot -- I can say that they're thoroughly noxious enterprises. The lack of humane response to the animals is one thing. The horrid toxic effect on everything else -- the land, the communities, the environment -- is something else altogether. These things take your breath away literally and even more figuratively when you consider how they pollute the environment. Remember those CA salmonella contagions! And have at least minimal concern for the humane treatment of animals that serve us.

                        I won't be able to read her blog the same way again.

                      2. I haven't seen her book yet, but I do follow her blog and I find her entertaining. Her site was the one that inspired me to make sushi for the 1st time! I think her site is entertaining and the photos do inspire, even if you know how to dredge chicken or chop veggies, she makes the steps seem easy.

                        I"ll be checking out her book when it hits the library as well.

                        1. Good for Ree for the sucess that she's managed through her blog. However I'm just not a fan. I've tried, but just can't get behind her. I'll never be one of those women who can do it all, and don't understand the ones who (seem like they) can. Of course if I had plenty of money and didn't have to work full time, I might be able to homeschool my kids, play with cameras, and make sushi at home too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jcattles

                            I am not one of those people either, but I know that they do exist and it is not an act. I have an Aunt who does it all, literally. I have always admired and appreciated her creative genius. I would certainly never criticize her for it. I think sometimes people like me drive the creative geniuses nuts though, lol.

                          2. I've just started reading her blog. She does have an entertaining writing style but I wouldn't bother to buy the book _ especially when you can get the recipes on the Web. And no, her recipes are not one bit original. But some of them are good.

                            1. Hmmm, guess I won't be in any rush to see it. I am now thinking that it might make a nice gift for beginner cooks (our kids are late teen & young adults) because, if it is like her site, each step is laid out and photographed so you really CAN'T goof. I like the visuals. Do you think so? I don't mind that her recipes are not unique as much as I wish it wasn't all so butter-laden and the like.

                              I do want her kitchen and equipment, though. Wow.

                              1. I don't fault people for having a fortunate life. A blog is only as revealing as the author wishes it to be. I can't make blanket judgements on PW's life or choices. I do believe she is one of a handful of food bloggers who have reached a remarkable audience and placed a wonderful face on women using blogging, storytelling and interests/skills to their advantage. And why the heck not! As for buying the cookbook, probably not because the recipes aren't diverse enough for me or my family but I can see the appeal for those who enjoy her blog, enjoy country fare or just enjoy a light hearted (minus the butter of course) take on home cooking for a large crowd. FWIW, PW's Tasty member supported recipe site is an even better recipe source than her first cookbook, imho.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  Absolutely, HillJ. She fell in love with a man who HAPPENS to be loaded, she lives the good life out on the ranch and takes pretty pictures and makes easy, tasty-looking, unfancy home cooking. She also seems like a real nice woman who has parlayed her cute country shtick into a pretty lucrative business while sharing only what she chooses with her readers. Good for her. I'm not going to judge her for being rich any more than I'd judge somebody for NOT being rich!

                                  1. re: LauraGrace

                                    No, she shouldn't be somehow blamed for being rich, but you can judge what she DOES with being rich. And she does a lot of good for women and kids, etc. It's also totally fine to consider where the money comes from. The beef/ranch issue is a big one. If a blogger's family were strip mining and the blogger was constantly posting pics of untouched landscapes that would seem hypocritical, no? Likewise, making agribusiness look pastoral just isn't right, IMO. And it taints the good work she does.

                                    1. re: Procrastibaker

                                      Respectfully taking your comments regarding agribusiness into account, I'll be curious to see if this issue hurts PW cookbook sales. I have never read a comment or entry by her readership that questioned ranch practices. Ree Drummond appears to be a ranch wife with no intentional agenda to hurt anyone but we all have our own p.o.v. that's for sure.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Well, why should her readership criticize her? That's a pretty self-selecting group. Americans as a whole are pretty ignorant about where their hamburgers come from. I'm really lucky to have grown up eating meat that came from cows I named. If you don't know how nasty a feed lot/CAFO is, or spent time around manure lagoons, you're not going to grouse much about it. I think it's great that we're at least considering that she's part of that system.

                                        1. re: Vetter

                                          I was focusing on the OP's question regarding the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. How you prepare beef recipes is up to you. I'm not going to add fuel to a agribus. topic that has many p.o. v. You are entitled to your opinion.

                                        2. re: HillJ

                                          Her comments are heavily moderated. Anything remotely critical or questioning of anything is either deleted or not posted.

                                          1. re: cathodetube

                                            Hardly unique to personal blogs, global newspapers, professional website comment sections or for that matter this site & community boards. Comes with ownership and all readers should know and understand it, especially if it gives you pause to post a comment.

                                            Some of the mocking PW sites you mention show deleted comments or comments that never "officially appeared" on the PW comment page. So, so much for owner moderation. Anyone can cut & paste to another blog, call it a "new blog" about the silliness of PW...and start a new fan base. People do find time for shit like this...how entertaining.

                                            And, the "tide turning away" from what PW offers was bound to happen too. We humans still love to help newcomers arrive, and show them the door.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              We humans still love to help newcomers arrive, and show them the door.
                                              ---------
                                              Well said, HillJ. It is a sad but often true observation of human nature.

                                              I stopped buying cookbooks once the web became such a great resource for recipes so don't have any interest in PW's book, but I regularly check out her website for ideas. Whether I follow the recipe verbatim or use it as a jumping-off point, I have had some big hits in my family. One of the appeals to me of her stuff is that it isn't overly fussy or unusual; seems more geared to family-friendly and crowd-pleasing items.

                                              The fact that I get a giggle or two when reading her cooking posts is just a bonus. There are plenty of cookbook authors and food bloggers that take themselves and their food oh-so-seriously.

                                        3. re: Procrastibaker

                                          While I prefer non-agribusiness beef as well, I have never seen PW say "here's my pot roast recipe made with my very own pasture raised, grass fed beef". Nor is she pushing agribeef. Ranching just happens to be her husband's business. To each there own, and I don't see her pushing any agenda other than to cook her tasty looking food.

                                    2. Fern, is there a Barnes and Noble bookstore by you? If so, go there and look through the book. Really, it's ok to do that. Barnes and Noble put lounge chairs among their books just for that purpose. And they don't mind if you copy down a recipe or 2 while you're there. My sister works there and told me so.

                                      1. How wonderful that she has been able to create this.! Agribusiness and blog politics aside, she seems like a lovely woman who is at peace with her life and herself. She has a niche and sucessfully markets to it! Frankly, it takes a lot of drive to do what she has- more power to her!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: NWKate

                                          I completely agree with you NWKate. I was really surprised by the nasty comments about her and her book. I live in Manhattan and I'm probably not her target audience but I find her website and her book to be charming. It never occurred to me that she was rich or not rich. Who cares.

                                        2. http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Woman-C...

                                          fern, PW's cookbook is already on sale at Amazon.com and there are a number of owner-reviews at the bottom of the page.

                                          1. I've seen her mentioned before, but never bothered to look at her blog. So I just did. It's beautiful, but the recipe on the first page is made with frozen dinner rolls. Are they all like that, or is this an oddity? I like good, basic food, but if I wanted to cook with convenience products I'd buy a Sandra Lee cookbook. Is it worth looking further at her stuff, or is this frozen roll recipe typical?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: lulubelle

                                              lulubelle, that was my first impression as well. I haven't tested many of PW's recipes but the recipes posted are a combo of quick, convenience and from scratch. Much like my own busy life. You can view her recipe archive via her cooking page and there is also a Tasty Kitchen page that links to another PW site. That site has a great many "from scratch" recipes submitted by all sorts of home cooks.

                                              1. re: lulubelle

                                                I would never compare her to Sandra Lee.

                                                PW is a simple home cook making simple food, not a prepackaged-junk-manipulator like Sandra Lee. I've used frozen dinner rolls myself from time to time and find them one of the less offensive "convenience" foods out there. I would say she uses the normal convenience foods that most home cooks use, and avoids fancy ingredients that the average middle American can't get ahold of. I have a pretty violent anti-Sandra-Lee bias ;) so that might color my assessment, but it wouldn't hurt to dig through the archives!

                                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                                  i like her step by step photos for the recipes.

                                                  her recipes aren't groundbreaking, but they are good.

                                                  her photography is wonderful, in general. the "tips" for digital photography are superb.

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I agree with you 100% ap, she is great with the camera. I have modeled my photo page somewhat with her in mind. She has a great deal more patience for the step by step than I do and she really keeps in mind someone who is brand new to cooking.

                                                    I love her smashed potatoes (I know that's incorrect) but I made yukons somewhat like those the other night and they were terrific. The grilled wrapped in bacon jalapenos are terrific too. I've been making many of her recipes for years. Mine might be a tad different but whatever. Good for her for taking the initiative and blogging about her day to day life and cooking. Looks as though she's helping out her family and found a very satisying and creative way to earn her own money. i find it admirable.

                                              2. She is not a gourmet and does not pretend to be one. She is a home cook that uses short cuts at times but does offer some solid fresh recipes as well. I read her blog from time to time and enjoy her beautiful photographs and her storytelling. I don't see myself buying her cookbook because the recipes are basic it is her photography that makes her blog special in my eyes.

                                                1. I think most of her recipes are just what new or inexperienced cooks are looking for: she makes it seem easy by breaking down the steps with photographs and using easily obtained ingredients, and she makes cooking man-pleasing food (her own description) seem reachable. She pokes fun at her own mistakes, shows how things can go wrong but be salvaged, etc. Not eveyone has had a Nana to learn from.

                                                  While not a cookbook for seasoned adventurous cooks, it still works for new cooks and anyone looking to get out of their own everyday cooking rut. Though I've been cooking daily for 40 years, I've made several of her website recipes into "keepers". I've rediscovered recipes or methods I'd long forgotten.

                                                  This cookbook would be a good one to give to anyone who is just starting out and wants to add to their cooking abilities. They should have fun with it.

                                                  1. After reading the replies, I spent more time at her website to check her out. I agree that the schtick can get a little old if you read a good bit of it, but I did not get the impression that she's trying to pass herself off as more average than she is. I read the story she wrote about meeting and marrying Marlboro Man and she refers to her own country club/golf course/ballet academy upbringing several times.

                                                    She's not going to write "And guess what? HE'S FILTHY RICH!" but we do see photos of their place and it is easy to see they're in good shape. They have dough but aren't sitting around eating bon bons while pretending to be in the trenches. It appears that they both DO work hard.
                                                    I guess I don't see the validity of that criticism.

                                                    I'm not addressing the agribusiness/morality issue here, but have read related posts with interest.

                                                    Who has made what of hers?

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: fern

                                                      She had a simple recipe for pan-fried pork chops that I made a few days ago. Good for a weeknight meal with a picky eater (my daughter).

                                                      I agree that her schtick can be annoying after a while. But at her best she is entertaining and informative. Someone compared her to Oprah. To me she is more of an American Nigella Lawson, another woman who just happens to be married to a very rich man. Very, very rich in Nigella's case. Both of them are good writers who make cooking approachable. Savvy readers know that neither is a run-of-the-mill harried mother.

                                                      One thing I don't like about Ree's site is the shilling for products like Kitchenaid. If she's so rich, why does she need to make a buck off her readers that way?

                                                      And I looked at the book in Barnes and Noble the other day and I wouldn't bother buying it.

                                                      1. re: NYCkaren

                                                        NYCkaren, that's an interesting comment regarding "shilling for products." Many popular blogs and bloggers earn advertising dollars, more and more all the time. Many blog owners run contests for their readership with the dollars they earn. Some take an income. Some do a bit of both. There are all sorts of options. Blogging is not a cost-less vocation. I wouldn't call the ads or revenue raised shilling when the PW more than covers these details in her contest area. Nor would the contest winners of those pricey Kichenaids argue. Her contests can attract upwards of 25,000 entries.

                                                        Blogs, like websites, often start out as personal journals and wind up unique businesses. This progression is very common now. So, whether she earns money on site ads or cookbook sales, what is wrong with earning money? Her fans will support her and those who aren't, won't. No different than any other business.

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          I take your point. I just find those giveaway contests to be a particularly annoying form of advertising. And I am coming from the world of traditional media where advertising and editorial are supposed to be separate. I realize that bloggers can't operate that way. But my reflex is not to trust them when they're getting paid to hawk a product.

                                                          1. re: NYCkaren

                                                            But my reflex is not to trust them when they're getting paid to hawk a product.
                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                            Interesting statement here too.

                                                            Fair enough. But it is the companies who offer bloggers the opportunity and in today's world where traditional print advertising is disappearing and products still need to reach an audience, smart bloggers (smart imho) are taking the leap and expanding their site AND earning a living. Keep in mind, less than 10 years ago bloggers couldn't have dreamed such an opportunity could exist. And, to push the point further..ask yourself how many domain driven sites have entered the blog (& Twitter) world lately. Do you believe it's just for the additional writing space?

                                                            Respecting your professional experience, there is nothing traditional about the blogsphere. I've attended several Blogher Conference and a number of blog and podcast bootcamps for my own professional purposes. The industry is separate from any past media exp. I've had.

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              "Less than 10 years ago bloggers couldn't have dreamed such an opportunity could exist." That's right, and 10 years ago newspapers weren't dropping like flies. You take it as a given that it's a good thing for bloggers to prosper. I understand that everyone else here may agree with that. But I don't, really. Just my perspective.

                                                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                No, I don't take it as a given. Not all writers prosper. There is no one answer for why newspapers are dropping.

                                                                Like print media, bloggers must attract a following.

                                                                What is happening to print media is very sad but again how many newspapers and magazines opened their own websites?

                                                                If you ran a successful food blog/website and you were approached with a cookbook deal, would you turn it down? Many popular food bloggers are being offered cookbook deals today. Should Mario or Rachel worry :)
                                                                I think not.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  I don't mean to pick a fight. Yes, print media partly sealed their own doom by giving their content away free on line.

                                                                  From where I sit, what is happenng to print media is worse than sad. It's a calamity.

                                                                  1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                    Heck no NYCkaren, no fight picked. I'm enjoying this sidebar very much. You have a valid point. Go right ahead, please.

                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                      Just a quick comment about the media sealing their own fate by giving away content for free. Just a year or two ago, the NYTimes charged for content but it didn't work. Viewers got similar content for free elsewhere. They DO depend on advertisers for money and when their content is free, they have more viewers. Look at Vanity Fair and their $1.00 per issue success.

                                                                      Also, regarding Ree. She may have married into money, but will get little or no money herself should she become divorced or widowed. Many, if not most, family trusts are set up that way so that the family is not paying for multiple wives/husbands who have indeed married for money.

                                                        2. re: NYCkaren

                                                          She gives away Kitchenaides and Le Creuset out of her own pocket. She says so in each giveaway. (Or at least she used to, I don't follow her so closely anymore, so that may have changed.)

                                                          1. re: irishnyc

                                                            Good point irishnyc. Based on what I've read, PW gives away prizes, runs online raffles and contests and rec's products from companies to use as prizes both online and for visitors to her ranch. Busy lady!

                                                            And although I won't be buying the PW cookbook, I will say that I find Ree's sense of humor and upbeat (at least online) approach to communication very pleasing and is the #1 reason I read her site from time to time.

                                                            1. re: irishnyc

                                                              She earns money each time someone visits her blog. Do you really think she pays for the Kitchen Aids and Le Creusets from her own pocket? It falls under advertising for those companies.

                                                              She also has a team of teachers doing her homeschooling.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                PW never answers any questions, unlike Deb from Smitten Kitchen or Elise from Simply Recipes. She just wants the hits to make money. I know which sites I prefer.

                                                                1. re: cathodetube

                                                                  that's great. you should have the choice to go to sites you do prefer; and she should have the choice to run her site the way she wants. that's what liberty is about.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    That's right. Her site has grown more and more disappointing. Fancy posting a recipe for toast! She never credits the original recipes she uses on her site. It is not a place you would go to for any new thoughts or ideas.

                                                                  2. re: cathodetube

                                                                    Deb answers within her posts and Ree has an Ask PW/Ree page. They both pick and choose what questions they answer and edit. Come now, it is their site afterall. They are both making money food blogging. Deb is writing her cookbook now and Ree's already been published three x's. Dozens of food bloggers have gotten publishing deals, tv spots, radio time and countless mentions over the Net; especially in family-friendly categories. They are working for this dough! And since when is making $$ on your idea wrong?

                                                                  3. re: cathodetube

                                                                    Do you really think she pays for the Kitchen Aids and Le Creusets from her own pocket? It falls under advertising for those companies.
                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                    Technically, she gets paid thru advertising revenue earned on her blog and then pays for those prizes. Like rec'ing your paycheck and going shopping. However, if she's smart (and this is how Oprah operated for 25 years) PW has worked sponsorship, discounted prizes and bulk buying into her shopping profile.

                                                                    So, the advertising is her paycheck and how PW spends her paycheck is her business. Some 40,000 plus hits on certain contests she runs doesn't seem to point to any issue with winning.

                                                            2. I've used a fair number of her recipes. I generally avoid the ones that use convenience foods, but I've made many of her fresh recipes. I am really thinking of buying the cookbook because it's easier to reference a much-used recipe in a book than it is to keep having to go online for it. Yes, many of her recipes are fatty, salty, and otherwise unhealthful, but I doubt she cooks like that every day. The Marlboro Man and all of her Punks appear to be healthy and trim.

                                                              I never really gave much thought to how much money her family makes. I guess looking at that amazing house of hers it's pretty obvious she's not in a humble little country ranch. I knew it had to be a successful ranch, but I wouldn't have thought, "millionaires". Heck, I would have thought a millionaire would have sent his kids to private school instead of homeschooling them. I guess because I was taken in by the writing style and so many of the recipes that I never considered the type of beef raised on her ranch. PW has never really gone in for political correctness. I shouldn't be surprised.

                                                              None of that changes the fact that I love her photos and her writing style. She seems pretty cool to me. I'm sure I'll still read the blog even though many of you are right. She does repeat herself a bit. The whole "Country Girl saying 'dadgum' all the time" gets tedious.

                                                              There is one thing that really bugs me about PW and her family. I am a horse lover and rider myself and I am a HUGE stickler for safety. Where I ride EVERYONE wears a helmet whether you're a child beginner or an adult trainer or whether you jump, do dressage, or ride western. I see PW's kids on their horses (and her husband and SIL as well) with no protective headgear and it just rankles me. There is so much danger for horses out there on the open range. She once photographed one of her daughters being thrown and the kid looks like she's about to land on her head! Apparently I'm not the only one who has called Ree out on this because she has a bit on her FAQ about it. Her excuse is that, "I say 3 Hail Marys every time they get on their horses" and then says that all of her kids have fallen off at least once and have survived and (and this is the part that REALLY gets my blood boiling) "If they wear helmets, they won't learn how to fall." That's the dumbest things I ever heard. That's like saying if you wear a seat belt, you won't drive safely.

                                                              1. I used to read her website religiously but got bored of it. The overt "branding" and marketing just got tiresome. I guess I was naive in thinking that the blog was just that of a bored country housewife, and that it would retain the same character it did when it started out. I don't blame Ree Drummond for having ambitions (the cookbook, television, etc.) but the commercial "selling the lifestyle" aspect is not what attracted me to the blog. And the recipes aren't good enough to keep me.

                                                                I would definitely recommend another blog for any people who are fans of the PW concept but who are looking for someone a little more "real" and frankly more creative: Chickens in the Road by Suzanne McMin. I don't have any relation to her, I just stumbled on the blog recently and she's fascinating. She's no millionaire or Martha Stewart wannabe but I like her recipes. She's older and wiser than Ree.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: fallingup

                                                                  Thanks fallingup for leading me to the Chickens in the Road website. I am enjoying reading it. Haven't tried any of the recipes yet but plan to do so soon. Still eating leftovers from Thanksgiving!

                                                                  1. re: fallingup

                                                                    And there goes the rest of the day ... ;) (goes off to read)

                                                                  2. I bought the cookbook about a month ago. She is really overt: this is not food for those on a diet. Butter! Cream! Red meat! Cinnamon rolls! Just about everywhere you look... That said, the recipes she offers are thoughtfully presented, not weird and just... the vast majority of them... tasty. The book is also friendly to the point of being downright engaging. It's a GREAT book for young people who feel like they don't know how to cook yet (very few weird and expensive ingredients, lots of pictures and "you can do this explanations) and I can tell you that my friends in Korea and Japan, all of whom have a very romantic idea of the cowboy lifestyle are all getting copies. It's just the kind of thing they will adore. If Oklahoma is full of happy Asian tourists next year, Ree will be part of the reason why, I bet... ;->

                                                                    1. I looked at her cookbook but I decided not to buy it. When I am eating something with the calories and fat of her recipes I want it to be something a bit more special. I do think the photos would be helpful for a beginning cook but I think there are other cookbooks that have equally easy instructions - maybe not the detailed photos - with healthier recipes and more information for a beginner. Also, I think most all of the recipes are available on her blog or at least that's how it looked to me when I looked through her book.

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                                                                      1. re: Bethcooks

                                                                        fallingup, this is so interesting to me. It's hard enough to be an original but here you go and point to a fellow Blog HER that not only writes romance novels, shares country recipes and lives on a beautiful farm. Ms. McMin could be a kissin cousin and her blog is very special. Thank you for sharing it.

                                                                        There's room for all, blog lovers. Nothing wrong with preference; in this case, which gal happens to strike a cord in my reading room...well the writers, cooks and just plan interesting folk are never in short supply.

                                                                        PW is on a wild ride. I say good for her and great for all the up & coming gals out there with time, talent and a voice.

                                                                        I don't dismiss the agri-conversations one bit. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun and leave it to the big boys to do the PC thing.

                                                                      2. I pre-ordered a copy, and really enjoyed reading it and loved the photographs. So much so that I ordered another copy to give as a gift!

                                                                        I guess I go against the grain, but I love reading her website, and really don't care if she is wealthy or not, she's funny!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: tzurriz

                                                                          I, too, am a fan of PW. She's all about personality and does not seem pretentious. Her recipes are basic and she presents them as such.

                                                                          I've had great success with the Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies, Breakfast Burritos, Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce (my favorite), Oven Roasted Asparagus, and Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes. I've been inspired by her photos to make many spin-off versions.

                                                                          I find her blog stories frequently uplifting and was glad to see she included a few in her cookbook. Her writing style is delightful. The appeal of the cookbook is in the attitude, graphics and photographs as well as the recipes. It is not a standard cookbook and would be ideal for a beginner that is not afraid of butter or beef. I had no problem finding room for this in my very crowded cookbook collection.

                                                                          She's found a niche and I wish her continued success.

                                                                        2. I really enjoyed Pioneer Woman, loved her blog, had the favorite icon to prove it. Of course it was right beside my food blogger goddess, Smitten Kitchen. Then one day I went to PW and sat there while she beat me over the head with a baseball bat telling me how I should buy the National Geographic World Atlas (a lovely book, but the price is astounding) , and of course I kept reading the same sentences over and over, just reworded a bit further down. That particular blog made me step back and rewind all the things I had read on her site, including all the "suggested" merchandise she harped on. Then I went to the comments and was amazed at the fact that these people were saying, oh what a swell suggestion, or wow, it's very expensive but good idea for Christmas.

                                                                          I deleted my favorite icon, and haven't been to her site since. I want cooking information and recipes, not blogs on how I should spend my money so she can get a commission.

                                                                          I'm sure she's a decent person, and she is a great blogger, but if I want great food blogging, I'll go to SK.

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                                                                          1. re: gwlker135

                                                                            Exactly. That was the point I was trying to make above, It's too bad because I do find her writing style very engaging.

                                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                              This is so interesting. A blogger who becomes a book author, turn her skills into a business by taking their ideas and audience to another level is interesting territory. If PW or any number of popular bloggers who have turned their hobby into an income producing business, continually cultivating an audience, have the opportunity to build a market while earning a buck, what is wrong with that. We aren't forced to buy her product and I continue to scratch my head over why the opportunity to build a "brand" is such a turn off for some people. PW and many bloggers have found a new way. While thousands of cookbook authors may have found themselves with a website or blog AFTER initial success, in this day and age HOW you begin a career (planned or unplanned) appears to fall in any order. I say, more power to ya.

                                                                              Maybe this blogger-turned author phenom. needs a new name. Blogger is too limited. And the PW Cookbook is competing with dozens of new titles at the bookstore, online shopping sites, tv this season. No one is forced to spend.

                                                                              Respecting those who feel differently, I'll be interested to see where this industry of new authors, honed from the blogsphere, goes next and who will be inspired by the opportunity.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  Your point is well taken. But so are the observations that what begins with an authentic love of cooking and communicating sometimes becomes commercial. When it does it comes from a different kind of motivation and needs to be regarded in a different way.

                                                                                  I see no harm in recognizing that either. Just as no one is obligated to follow advice, no one is obligated to overlook the motivations.

                                                                                  1. re: rainey

                                                                                    Your point taken as well rainey. What information do any of us have regarding motivation? I have no idea what/if motives are involved in a blog that begins one way and grows another. I see hours of work, a strike of luck, tremendous follow through; all described by the blogger. I agree we're aren't obligated to follow along. The perceptions are our own. Unless you know something for sure. Her readers appear to be following along, new readers are learning about the blog for the first time and folks now turned off by the success turning off.

                                                                                    Either way, I agree w/ you in that it's a personal choice to follow the words of anyone.

                                                                              1. re: gwlker135

                                                                                Check out these websites:- PWSux, Marlboro Woman and Pie Near Woman. Very amusing and enlightening.

                                                                                1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                  Ala Weird Al Y; the sincerest form of flattery. If Ree Drummond wasn't so darn SMART no one would be bothering.

                                                                                  OTOH, PWSux, Marlboro Woman and Pie Near Woman...if they make money on PW name, image, work.. it will be interesting to see what if anything down the line is reported.

                                                                                  Unless of course these sites are endorsed in writing by the cowgirl herself.

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    I hope they do make some money out of their websites. They are much more enjoyable to read. What they do is far more impressive because they are sole traders unless they have a guest posting.

                                                                                    1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                      I just checked a bit farther. Yup, there's money there for sure.
                                                                                      To think that a snarky, deleted comment on the PW site would inspire others to start, follow one human so closely & write blogs about the very person they love to hate is hilarious and a tad hypocritical. But the world is full of people with crazy shit-ass ideas and copycats galore.

                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                        Not as simple as a snarky deleted comment. No one is saying they hate her. That is your perception.

                                                                                        1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                          Love to hate her, love to mock her, love to love her
                                                                                          However you call it, these fun bloggers are poking fun at someone else very closely. Reading and writing from a daily entry of original journals. What perception am I missing. Free country sure, but come on....these bloggers will become known for their love/hate of another and they make no apologies for doing so.

                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                            many people are embittered by the success of others, and it is driven by covetousness and / or sheer envy.

                                                                                            further, to take it to a level of routine and intense (read "obsessive") mockery?

                                                                                            parody and satire are fine; obsession is quite another thing. wow…get a life, or come up with something creative on your own. that's the difficult thing, isn't it? to create instead of tear down and mock.

                                                                                            dr. freud, signing off.

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              I think Pie Near Woman has come up with something extremely creative. I'm not the only one.

                                                                                              1. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                http://www.rechelleunplugged.com/2010...
                                                                                                Apparently, Rechelle had some first hand experience advertising on Ree's site then later visiting Ree at the ranch and it didn't go well (disappointed by the whole keeping it real deal) and then began her own PW blog rant for her own readers to enjoy. Like having a fallout with your old boss and never letting it go. You mean that kind of creative? Cathodetube, if you think it's fun, who am I to criticize? I mean we aren't being critical of anyone are we.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  That is the most hateful thing I have ever read....is this woman stuck in high school?

                                                                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                    and poor Barbie...how did the play doll for generations get "saddled" in some twisted version of belly laughs at someone else's expense? I think the whole thing is cheap and classless. I have a sense of humor ...this, OTOH is just sad. But (again) who am I to criticize a blogger who's spending their time and talent mocking someone she ONCE admired and doesn't anymore...for the whole world to read. Ain't life grand.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      I read some of those blogs last night expecting some juicy tidbits about PW and I just did not find them compelling at all.

                                                                                                      And the woman who visited PW's home for the weekend with head lice and never said anything about it? Who's the rude one there?

                                                                                                2. re: cathodetube

                                                                                                  no, you and pie near woman *both* think it is creative. LOL.

                                                                                                  hey, you enjoy it -- that's great!

                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                    Happily for Pie Near Woman, it's more than just me and her!

                                                                                2. I realise that this is an old thread but wanted to ask if there are any British owners of this book? Just wanted to ask if the ingredients used in the recipes are easy to find in the UK?

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                                                                                  1. re: iliria

                                                                                    You don't need to buy the book to get the recipes. You would also need to be more specific about ingredients. But, I can guarantee that not everything for US short cut recipes is available in the UK. You'd be best off searching for a thread with UK vs. US ingredients or starting your own.

                                                                                  2. her Food TV series starts July 27 2011.

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