Monday, August 13, 2012
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier -- Ree Drummond
In addition to detailed step-by-step photographs, all the recipes in this book have one other important quality in common: They're guaranteed to make your kids, sweetheart, dinner guests, in-laws, friends, cousins, or resident cowboys smile, sigh, and beg for seconds. (And hug you and kiss you and be devoted to you for life.) (Summary from book cover)
My Review: I've been a fan of Ree Drummond for a long time, and every recipe I try out from her blog or cookbooks is fantastic. Sometimes they practically knock me out of my chair. Her second cookbook has even more recipes than her first cookbook but fewer anecdotes from the ranch. Ree's down-to-earth, silly personality still shines through, and I love that she doesn't take herself too seriously. Each recipe, like those she posts on her blog, has detailed step-by-step photos so you can easily see if you're on the right track.
From this book I made the Ranch-Style Chicken (honey-mustard, marinated grilled chicken topped with bacon and cheese) and her Spicy Caesar Salad (a riff on a classic caesar using chipotles in the dressing and cornbread croutons) to go with it. Needless to say we all cleaned our plates. There's also a recipe for Apple Dumplings in this book that has been on her blog for years. I made it a while back, and I don't think I've ever felt such elation and guilt at the same time from something I ate. They're easy to make and taste absolutely incredible, but they have an obscene amount of butter and sugar, crescent roll dough, and a whole can of Mountain Dew. If you know anything about me, you'll know that I don't usually eat things like that. I'm so glad I did that day.
If you're into clean, light, everyday recipes, this isn't that type of book. She has some salads thrown in there, but for the most part, they're the kind of recipes I'd make if I was feeding my extended, meat-and-potatoes family or bringing something to a potluck. Definitely crowd-pleasers, but might have you lying on your back with your legs in the air trying to get your jeans on.
Rating: 4 (I would have given it a 5 if it contained more recipes we'd eat on a regular basis as well as fewer recipes with alcohol and coffee, which I don't use in my cooking.)
Sum It Up: A little heavy on the cream and butter, but life tends to taste better that way.