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Oct 28, 2009 02:08 PM

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

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


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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.

    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.


        1. re: MandalayVA


          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:


                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!

                  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.