Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Pioneer Woman Cookbook: A Review of Awesomeness

Can I just say thank you to Ree Drummond from all the visual learners out there? THANK YOU! I love to cook, but it's hard sometimes to read the tiny print of a recipe in a cookbook when you're juggling the chopping and sauteing and mixing all at the same time without burning or dropping anything. This cookbook not only offers step by step pictures for each recipe, it also has plenty of cute pictures of her family and their ranch. She also spread little stories throughout the book like nuggets of sunshine. It's actually a book you can sit down and read! That's what I did after I bought it! She introduces each recipe with a story about where it came from or how it came to be. It's truly a joy to read as well as a feast for the eyes.

In addition to being visually and textually appealing, the recipes are delicious. They remind me of my mom's cooking. It's typical ranch/western food. Now I know what you're all thinking, But Teri, I thought you were born and raised in the South? Well, yes, that's true, but my mother was not. She was raised on a cattle ranch in Southern Alberta (that's in Canada, eh?) and that's where she learned to cook: By the said of my grandmother who not only fed their large family, but the ranch hands as well. So I grew up not with collards and fried chicken, but with beef and potatoes. That's not to say that there isn't a chicken recipe in here, because there are plenty, but that the entrees tend to lean more toward the beef side of life.

The flavors and smells of the foods I've cooked over the past couple of days remind me on mom. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it definitely screams: Narda! to me. The food isn't fancy or gourmet by any means, but it is tasty and comforting. And that's mostly why I love this book. I think it's just a big giant cookbook of my comfort foods, even though some of the recipes I've never seen or tasted before. I heartily recommend this cookbook to anyone. It is hands down my favorite cookbook ever.

And of course two days after I got the cookbook, I learned that she was doing a book signing tour and stopping in Charlotte! ARG! I so desperately wanted to go and say thank you, but obligations kept me in Raleigh. Not only is Mrs. Drummond a successful cookbook author, she started a blog a few years back  which actually launched the cookbook in the first place. I feel like everybody knew about this before I did! (I hate it when that happens!) But now, I love looking at all her pictures and reading her blog. It's definitely a great space on the interwebs. Go check it out:

The Pioneer Woman

Photo Courtesy of  thepioneerwoman.com

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