I honestly can’t remember the first time I learned about the blog The Pioneer Woman. I want to say it was probably three or so years ago, and I *think* I read about her blog in a magazine of some sort. While I have no doubt the magazine was raving about the blog and the author behind it (Ree Drummond) I do recall thinking this was a blog I could easily skip adding to my blogroll because – and this is how shallow I tend to be – I find word ‘pioneer’ off-putting. Unless I’m reading Willa Cather, Larry McMurtry or, if I am in a self-loathing mood, Cormac McCarthy, I’m generally not interested in prairies or plains or cattle or anything much at all having to do with the word pioneer. Then, sometime later, my fabulous southern friend A., the friend who says amazing things like “I made a quick crawfish etouffe for dinner last night” and “bananas foster is the easiest dessert in the world to make” mentioned how great she thought the Pioneer Woman’s website is, and claimed to get tons of recipe ideas from her.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “There’s that blog being mentioned again.” And I did nothing more about it.
Over the course of the last year, though, I’ve noticed references to The Pioneer Woman come up more and more frequently, from co-workers who reference everything from her homemaking tips to her recipes with the same casualness they talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers to the comment sections of the food blogs I read, wherein commenters are recommending to one another or to the original blogger some recipe from the website that is an absolute “must try.” It was finally some best of blogging list published recently, which official name I cannot remember, that encouraged me to add Drummond’s site to my blogroll and I have to admit, I am very happy I did. I’m not writing this post to review the writing/content of the Pioneer Woman – I truly believe every blog I link to has something to offer but I am not going to review every single one of them – but her recipes? Freaking fantastic, and incredibly accessible. In a day and age where it seems every recipe and menu item I see uses words like “confit” or “reduction” or “foam,” The Pioneer Woman presents recipes I can (a.) follow, (b.) afford and (c.) get excited about, which is why I am here today. I want to point you in the direction of two excellent recipes I recently made. If they came from a cookbook or a friend or family member I would post them here, but since they came from her website I will simply link to them since absolutely no credit can be taken on my part for their creation or fabulousness.
S. and I had my brother and sister-in-law over on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl…everyone was concerned about whether I would be up to cooking or not so late in my pregnancy but when I saw Drummond’s post on Drip Beef I knew I had to make the first version, the one with the pepperoncinos and Italian seasoning. While I have been banned from ever making this again for a Steelers game (we lost) it was a HUGE hit, an absolute keeper of a recipe, and I encourage all non-vegetarians to go, read, grocery shop and make this as soon as humanly possibly, especially since it is a quintessential winter recipe and won’t be nearly as appealing in a couple of months. For what it is worth, I made mine in my crockpot so my oven could be freed up to make spice cake. Also, we have nicknamed this dippy beef since I misread the post the first time and thought it was “Dip Beef” instead of “Drip Beef.”
In deciding to expand upon my appetizer repetoire, I also made cream-cheese stuffed jalepenos for the game. I first saw this recipe on Brown-Eyed Baker during her countown of different dips in preparation for the Super Bowl, and I went ahead and bought the ingredients before realizing, upon actually following the recipe, that she discovered the recipe from, who else? The Pioneer Woman. All roads lead to her. These were a hit as well, and quite frankly it took all of my self-control to only eat two and not just dig into a big plate of them for my dinner. You can find the recipe here.
I am looking forward to purchasing the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook and hopefully her memoir as well sometime in the nearish future. It took me a few years to come overcome my distaste for the word pioneer ( and truth be told, I still shudder at some of her ranch-related tales – I will not be reading Laura Ingals Wilder books to my daughter, that is for sure) but I am so glad I did – there is so much to learn from her site.
And, just for fun, some of my favorite words: bodega. bayou. puppy. anthem.
And, according to my brother, the worst past-tense of any verb, ever: shat.
Happy Thursday, everyone!