Monday, March 08, 2010

Nonfiction Book Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

The Pioneer Woman CooksLast year I raved about country singer Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours. This year it’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Cook by Ree Drummond.

Drummond, a city girl who fell in love with a Marlboro Man she spied across the room in a smoky bar, was a former vegetarian and self-confessed food snob. She had to clean out her recipe box when she found out cowboys don't take kindly to being served Ahi tuna and sesame noodles but prefer meat and potatoes.

Not only does this cookbook have simple yet delicious stick-to-your-ribs country recipes, but every one of them is illustrated with step-by-step photos that were taken in the natural light of Drummond's kitchen. The Pioneer Woman Cooks was written and designed without a staff of assistants, using clip art she'd been saving for years, and illustrated by her friends.

Like Yearwood's book, Drummond's book is filled with family photos and stories that serve to make her dishes even tastier. I have it on good authority from a Central staff member that Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes (p.70) are out of this world.

I don’t normally buy cookbooks, but I made room on my kitchen shelf last year for Trisha’s book; looks like I’d better start clearing some room in my china cabinet for Drummond’s keeper of a cookbook.


Cheryl Burnette said...

I stumbled across her website this past Christmas and actually made her The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. It was a BIG hit with my family! I actually had made something very similar to this cake before, but the difference here is using the jelly roll pan--and it does really make it better--mouth watering! The Best Ever. Really!

Tressa said...

Hey, Cheryl. Haven't checked out her website yet but I have heard about it.

I've never tried one of the Texas sheet cake recipes, but they do all call for the jellyroll pan for a reason! It really does make the difference between a run-of-the-mill cake and the great Texas sheet cake. My elementary school used to serve this cake.

Irondale Public Library said...

I loved this book! I love reading cookbooks anyway, but this one was interesting to read about her life - and those pictures! Gorgeous! It was really great how she photographed each step. It is always good to know that you are following the recipe the right way and that your food looks the way it should :-)

Thanks for highlighting this book. And thank you Cheryl for mentioning her wesite - I haven't checked it out either.


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