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Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

December 12, 2009

If you’re not familiar with The Pioneer Woman, you need to be!  This woman is amazing!  She’s a ranch wife and manages to maintain an amazing blog, homeschool four kids, take gorgeous pictures and create a beautiful cookbook.

I was mesmerized by The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond when I got it.  In this wonderful cookbook Ree explains how she became The Pioneer Woman, shows a little of ranch life and shares some of her great recipes.  The beauty of the recipes is that they’re created from simple ingredients that anyone can find and they’re for dishes your family will really eat.  Both Carl and I found lots of recipes that we want to try – sour cream pancakes, Marlboro Man’s favorite sandwich, spicy pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, comfort meatballs, just to name a few.  There are only one or two recipes in here that don’t appeal to either one of us.

One of the great things about the recipes in The Pioneer Woman Cooks is all of the pictures – there is a photograph for each step of the recipe.  Because of this, I think this cookbook would be great for beginning as well as experienced cooks.  Oh, and did I mention that Ree took all of the photographs in this book herself?  I was amazed.

Since cheese and olives are the two basic food groups and this recipe looked easy, I decided to fix Olive Cheese Bread first, and I have to tell you this recipe is to die for.

one 14.5 ounce can black olives, drained

one 6 ounce jar pimento-stuffed green olives, drained

2 green onions

¼ pound (1 stick) butter, softened

½ cup mayonnaise (real mayo, no substitutions)

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1 loaf crusty French bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Chop black olives roughly until most of the large pieces are broken up.
  3. Chop green olives roughly until most of the large pieces are broken up.
  4. Slice the green onions, then chop them up roughly.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions.
  6. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Slice the French bread in half lengthwise.  Spread the olive-cheese mixture in an even layer on each half.  (It will look like too much but will melt down.)
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is thoroughly melted and beginning to turn light brown and bubbly.  Cut into diagonal slices and serve immediately.

Olive-cheese mixture can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.  The olive-cheese mixture also makes a delicious spread for crackers.  You can freeze tightly wrapped olive cheese bread for up to six months – just thaw before baking.  You can substitute chopped artichoke hearts and Parmesan cheese for the black olives and Monterey Jack cheese.  Here’s my finished product:

Carl was in the mood for something different one evening, so he pulled this book out and tried the Chicken Spaghetti recipe and let me tell you, it is delicious!  It can be made ahead of time and frozen too.

I can’t wait to try more of the recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, because I think it’s the best new cookbook I’ve seen in a while.  Can you tell I just love it? I think it would make a fabulous gift for the cookbook lover in your life.

I won this book from lit*chick.  I am an Amazon Associate.
50 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2009 6:59 am

    I heard about this woman from Molly (she even met her I think!). I am in awe. I don’t think Pioneer Woman needs sleep. I’m not sure if my husband would like the style of her food, but I am definitely going to go have a look-see next time I’m at the bookstore!

  2. December 12, 2009 7:14 am

    I love her blog and just for the reasons you say. She makes it all look so easy! I’ve made a few of them myself (we love her Cowboy Nachos!) and they were all delicious! I would love to get a copy of her book. Darn, I should have asked for that for Christmas!

  3. December 12, 2009 7:43 am

    Sold! I am definitely going to take a look at this one!

  4. December 12, 2009 8:07 am

    ARGH…. I am so sold on this book now. If I make the olive bread right away, Mr. BFR won’t mention the fact that yet more cookbooks are finding their way into the house.

  5. December 12, 2009 8:15 am

    I love the Pioneer Woman! I have this cookbook on my wishlist and I have been a good girl so I’m hoping Santa will bring me a copy! I have made the apple dumplings and the Marlboro Man sandwich from her blog. Both recipes are to die for! I need to try the olive bread and chicken spaghetti. They look delicious! Great review!

  6. December 12, 2009 8:25 am

    I loooooove her site, which is why this book is on my Christmas list! I make the chicken spaghetti, and the first time I made it is the first time I ever cooked a whole chicken. I think that’s what I like most about her recipes — you learn some basic skills that you might not have!

  7. December 12, 2009 8:28 am

    Sandy is right — I did attend an autograph signing of this amazing woman (and even met the Marlboro Man and her two young sons). I made the chicken spaghetti dish using leftover Thanksgiving turkey and absolutely LOVED it!

  8. Geri permalink
    December 12, 2009 8:38 am

    Thank you for a great review. I will admit I had never heard of the Pioneer Woman before. Where have I been? Sounds like a super cookbook…will be buying it for sure.

  9. December 12, 2009 8:43 am

    I love her and I want this book! I recently made the stew she featured on her blog and it was so good!

  10. December 12, 2009 9:32 am

    Pioneer Woman’s Olive Cheese Bread is one of my VERY favorite recipes, ever. It is a standard at our book club meetings. I REALLY want this book…. I have to go to the bookstore today, I just might have to get myself an early Christmas present.

  11. December 12, 2009 10:27 am

    Wow! Just reading the Olive Cheese Bread recipe had me salivating! I love cookbooks because with growing kids, their tastebuds are always changing, and I keep looking for new things to cook. Will add to my wish list.

  12. December 12, 2009 10:28 am

    Yummy-her book is on my wish list. I love it that pilots fly the pets to areas that are not overwhelmed by animals in their shelters.

  13. December 12, 2009 10:46 am

    Those look tasty!

  14. December 12, 2009 11:07 am

    It’s time for me to look into Pioneer Woman Cooks!

  15. December 12, 2009 11:17 am

    Your olive bread looks quite delicious. I’ve been following Pioneer Woman for quite a while and have tried many of her recipes. The pictures of her food are truly amazing.

  16. December 12, 2009 12:38 pm

    This sounds like an awesome book to have in the kitchen. I’ll have to look for this one. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

    Sherrie’s Stuff

  17. December 12, 2009 12:41 pm

    I’ve never heard of her before but you can bet I will be spending some time at her site now. The Chicken Spaghetti looks yummy!

  18. December 12, 2009 12:48 pm


  19. December 12, 2009 12:50 pm

    I don’t know if you saw this post about a recent signing appearance by the author:

  20. December 12, 2009 2:08 pm

    Yum! That chicken spaghetti looks yummy!

  21. December 12, 2009 2:26 pm

    Those both look mouthwatering. Yum!

  22. December 12, 2009 2:36 pm

    The olive cheese bread looks really delicious, as does the chicken spaghetti. I especially want to try making the bread. Thanks for posting the recipe. I’m sure you enjoyed these dishes. 🙂

  23. December 12, 2009 3:10 pm

    These sound like great recipes and a book that would make a terrific recipe book for college graduates or as a wedding present.

  24. stacybuckeye permalink
    December 12, 2009 3:38 pm

    Kathy, you’re gushing! I’m not into olives, but that chicken spaghetii looks yummy! The fact that she has photos of every stage is a plus. I’ll have to look for this one.

  25. December 12, 2009 4:12 pm

    I totally have to buy this cookcook! I keep seeing people mention it all over the place.

  26. December 12, 2009 4:41 pm

    I woman sounds amazing! The recipe sounds great as well. (Hope my husband has not heard about this lady who does it all…LOL)

  27. December 12, 2009 4:51 pm

    You had me hooked from your initial tweet, about making the olive-cheese bread. Now Chicken Spaghetti?!? I think that would be a hit here, too.

    Thanks for the review and recommendation, Kathy!

  28. December 12, 2009 6:59 pm

    I’ve been reading her blog for some time because I love her writing style and those gorgeous pictures she takes. Now I’m going to BUY this one for myself!!! Your photos convinced me…and made me hungry!!!

  29. December 12, 2009 7:04 pm

    I spent 40 minutes paging through this book today at the bookstore. I planned on buying my mom a copy, but now I’m going to have to get one for myself as well!

  30. December 12, 2009 7:32 pm

    Sounds yummy! No, I haven’t heard of her before but after checking out her website I’m intrigued!

  31. December 12, 2009 9:59 pm

    Well prior to reading this post I did not know about her blog or the book…. (sometimes I feel like I live in a cave LOL). This looks so good and this is just the type of book I enjoy. I can always use a good recipe!

  32. December 12, 2009 10:43 pm

    She sounds just too perfect and amazing!

  33. December 13, 2009 2:01 am

    I think it is great that she has a book. I loved the website.

  34. December 13, 2009 10:59 am

    The picture of the cheese bread made my mouth water! YUM! I’m so glad you loved this one…I’m getting it for Christmas, and I’m so excited!

  35. December 13, 2009 12:47 pm

    I don’t buy a lot of cook books.. But will for sure buy this one.

  36. December 13, 2009 1:44 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize she had a cookbook – it looks fantastic! Those dishes you made look sooooo yummy!

  37. December 13, 2009 5:09 pm

    Would you please stop with the yummy recipes and pictures? I don’t even like olives but anything covered with cheese is good. Thank you for making my nouth water 😀

    • December 13, 2009 5:10 pm

      mouth…it was supposed to be mouth. That’s because I’m thinking of food.

  38. December 13, 2009 6:10 pm

    Both of those look delicious!

    So far I tried 2 of the recipes from her blog and both were great. Will definitely try out more of her recipes!

  39. December 14, 2009 12:33 am

    I loved the olive cheese bread! Delicious! Everything in the book is amazing so far. I’m even giving away a signed copy on my site if you know anyone that might be interested I’d love it if you’d let them know. Thanks!

  40. December 14, 2009 11:21 am

    You’ve completely sold me on this one!

  41. December 14, 2009 4:37 pm

    Oh my! That olive and cheese bread looks fabulous and like something my family would love! I am going to go put this on my wish list and am going to be trying this out. Thanks so much for posting this review and recipe. The picture totally sold me.

  42. December 14, 2009 5:40 pm

    Cheese and olives? I’m in!!!

  43. December 15, 2009 3:59 pm

    I just got this at the library today and can’t wait to browse it. I’ve made quite a few of PW’s recipes already, I’ve been following her blog for a couple years now. I’m amazed at the amazing turnouts she’s had at her signings and wish I could have gone to one.

  44. December 15, 2009 7:35 pm

    Eek! I’m slightly intimidated by how much she does, but the recipes look great!

  45. December 15, 2009 9:45 pm

    This book has been flying off the shelves at work (B&N)! I finally took a few minutes to thumb through it and decided it’s one I have to own. The photography alone was enough to convince me, but after looking at several recipes, I knew it was my kind of cookbook. Until a few minutes ago, I had never visited her blog. Now it’s in my bookmarks and one I’ll pop over to on a regular basis. Thanks for the great review and info.

  46. December 16, 2009 10:42 pm

    that book caught my eye in the bookstore the other day. yum! I am not a fan of mother blogs (I find the other mother’s perfection and ability to do everything a bit irksome) but this looks like an easy style of cooking!

  47. December 17, 2009 10:37 am

    That bread looks *to die for*!

  48. December 17, 2009 9:21 pm

    I’ll have to get my hands on a copy. This sounds fantastic, and your review made me hungry!

  49. TexasGal permalink
    January 6, 2010 5:44 pm

    I like her site – she has some darn good recipes, a neat writing style and she’s a good photographer too … but she does all this while keeping house, homeschooling the kids, branding calves and helping that Hunky hubby of hers … Nah, don’t think so but you’ve gotta admire her energy and her chutzpah for sure!

    BUT – you all need to know -if you don’t- that she lives on a VERY LARGE ranch and that the Drummond family is one of the wealthiest ranching families in OK.

    Ree is great but she is NOT your everyday, chore-doing, hard-working rancher’s wife – by ANY description.
    She has HELP – & lots of it – with the house, the chores and all the kids
    So just don’t compare yourselves to her and all that apparent “perfection”
    cause it just ain’t so … :-/

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