The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl
By Ree Drummond
Published by William Morrow
Copyright © 2010
After reading “The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels To Tractor Wheels,” which I found humorous and engaging, I decided I would give the companion cookbook “ The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl” a try.
This book is filled with photos, anecdotes, and short stories by Ree Drummond along with her family’s favorite recipes from down on the ranch. At a quick glance I was favorably impressed because the book was colorful and eye catching. The photographs of family and life on the ranch were a very nice touch for this down home American cookbook. But in the end whether a cookbook is good or not depends on the recipe and the instructions.
As a food enthusiast, I began by actually reading the cookbook. I read through the ingredients and instructions in nearly every recipe. One big plus to this cookbook is the multitude of instructional pictures to be found for every recipe. For anyone who craves visual as well as written instruction you will like this book. The style of food is very American; kind of Midwest with maybe a touch of the south. We are talking loads of beef, butter, potatoes, and gravy. To give a somewhat informed review I wanted to try at least one of the recipes for myself.
There were many recipes that were tugging at my taste buds and making my mouth water, but I settled on her Meatloaf. Meatloaf is very All-American and I have no preconceived feelings about it; I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. I was hoping that her recipe would get me down off of the fence. The upside to her meatloaf was its lightness. It didn’t sit like a brick in my stomach so that was good. Another good thing is that it is definitely a recipe suited for a family. The down sides to this recipe were the Tomato Gravy and the parmesan cheese. Tomato Gravy, made from a whopping cup and a half of ketchup, just didn’t play well with the parmesan. The ketchup overpowered everything else in the gravy. I couldn’t hardly taste the mustard, hot sauce, or brown sugar. Needless to say I’m still on the fence with meatloaf.
There did seem to be some real no brainers in here that would be very good. Here are a few: Pico de Gallo, PW’s Potato Skins, Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich, Onion Strings, Potato-Leek Pizza, Chicken Fried Steak, and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake in an Iron Skillet.
So if you have a hardworking, hungry family and are looking for down home American recipes, you may enjoy this cookbook. But feel free to improvise the same way that the author does.