For her new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (William Morrow), Ree Drummond, 40, compiled more than 60 recipes, some new, some classics from thepioneerwoman.com, her award-winning blog.
A little more than a decade ago, Drummond left Los Angeles to attend law school in Chicago. On her way, she made a pit stop in her Oklahoma hometown, where she met Marlboro Man (his alias on the blog) in a bar. Seven dates later, Drummond canceled her move, and faster than you can say “Hereford,” she was married and living on a cattle ranch.
Although she never trained as a writer or chef, Drummond began blogging in 2006 to help ease her transition from city girl to rancher’s wife; she added the cooking component a year later, promising that most dishes would not be good for your health. Her book includes recipes for comfort foods such as cottage-cheese lasagna and migas (scrambled eggs with fried tortillas). Each recipe has photographs and friendly warnings (like don’t tell your guy there are prunes in his favorite cake).
Now, with four kids and a Web site that gets 12 million hits a month, Drummond is happily surprised that catering to the tastes of cowboys and cowgirls has become her new normal. “Women can find contentment in unlikely places,” she says.