Studio 5 Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

A back to basics cookbook with a step by step photos that standout! Becky Low lets you know if Ree Drummond’s newest cookbook should find a home on your kitchen shelf.

Every cookbook has a theme and Ree Drummond’s theme, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Front,” is moving from pampered city girl to life on a working cattle ranch in Oklahoma – and she loves it. Her recipes are simple and fit into the category ‘back-to-basics’ or do-it-yourself. She has generously interspersed her cookbook with enduring pictures of her adorable children, good looking husband and her beloved ranch life. You can’t read a recipe without noticing the pictures – and noticing the pictures and you feel like you are a part of her love. And then you want to cook.

The recipes are very simple – she even says “simple, sumptuous, step-by-step.” They are the recipes you find passed around the neighborhood or you find submitted a number of times in the ladies church auxiliary cookbook. What makes Drummond’s book sell are the pictures. We eat with our eyes and you could almost like to take a bite out of the pictures. Regardless how simple, all her recipes are followed by step-by-step photos and instructions. For example, on page 228 her Buttered Rosemary Rolls are simply frozen bread dough baked in a cast iron fry pan. The top of the rolls are brushed with butter and sprinkled with coarse sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary; and the cast iron pan gives it that rustic ranch look. But looking at her picture I wanted to make the rolls – and I did.

Ree’s cookbook leaves the impression anyone can cook. Again, they are simple recipes and very do-able. Her humor and writing style connects with readers. But she brings in a touch of reality at the end of her cook. On pages pages 284-285 is the cleanup! It shows the piles of dirty dishes. Even simple cooking takes time and makes dirty dishes. (Perhaps I related to her cookbook pictures because my kitchen has been piled high with dirty dishes after I’ve prepped for a Studio 5 segment!)

Drummond freely admits some of the recipes are classics from her website, “many of them recooked, retested, and re-photographed to ensure as much visual lusciousness and guaranteed deliciousness as possible.” If you are an experienced cook and investing in technique resources Drummond’s cookbook is not for you. But if you cook with your eyes, or you are a beginning cook – this book is for you.

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