The Pioneer Woman! I happened upon The Pioneer Woman one day while googling food blogs. And I've been obsessed ever since.
Someone (who shall remain nameless,) has asked mockingly if she is my idol. Well, idol is a strong word but I can't help but admire what she has accomplished, (and her pretty red hair.) Her story intrigues me and I can't get enough. A bonafide "city girl," Ree Drummond was out with friends at a dive bar one night in her hometown right before a big move to Chicago, when she met and fell in love with her "Marlboro Man." This affectionate name refers to the cowboy who would later become her husband and remove her from her comfort zone of stillettos and sushi to his ranch in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. Years later they have four adorable kids who know nothing more beautiful or important than working the land they've grown up on. And most recently, she compiled some of her most fantastic, drool-inducing recipes into a cookbook and embarked on a large book tour across the US. Her blog covers all of her experiences and when she went to Davis Kidd Booksellers in Nashville, I wept quietly at my desk that I couldn't go meet her in person (okay not really, but man, what a bummer!)*
Here's where it gets good...
My mom picks me up from the Destin airport for Christmas and tells me that she had wanted to buy a signed copy for her friend who also happens to be a Pioneer Woman fan. She tells me the whole story about going down to Davis Kidd, checking to see if there are any leftover signed copies - no luck - meets with her friend for lunch (Davis Kidd also has a cafe) who has already bought the book, (don't those kind of people drive you crazy!) And then, as they're leaving, the salesperson shows up with a signed copy! Oh well, too bad her friend already had one. At this point, I'm no better off than when she first started the story. Seriously, I had no idea that sitting under our little beachy Christmas tree, was my very own signed copy of the cookbook. Ahhh, moms just know sometimes don't they?
So far, I've only attempted one recipe which I adapted slightly. I've never had meatloaf or even wanted it honestly. But when I saw it beautifully photographed through each step in her recipe, I decided to go for it. Plus, now that I'm dating a midwesterner, it was gonna happen eventually. I switched the ground beef for ground turkey and the bacon to turkey bacon and wha la! Turkey loaf! Mashed potatoes and peas were also present at this occasion. After shovelling down seconds, my midwestern man said it was the best meal I'd made yet. Woohoo! Success! Thanks Pioneer Woman, keep it up! Us city girls need all the help we can get :)
*It should also be noted that she had two, count them, TWO booksignings here in NYC and I didn't get over to meet her! I guess my idol worship was being tested and I failed miserably.