The first time I was cognizant that the Pioneer Woman, a.k.a. Ree Drummond, existed was about two years ago. A friend told me to check out her blog. Her what? Honestly, I had no idea what a blog was, but I was captivated immediately. Hers was the first blog I followed.
It wasn’t that her recipes are so unique, or her story so amazing. In fact, it was quite the opposite. She seemed so—regular. She’s a mom, a wife, a homemaker, and finds the humor in all of it. She could have been my neighbor, my sister, my friend. She could have been me.
Her cowboy husband is affectionately known as “Marlboro Man”, and he’s a hunk. My cowboy is just called Greg, but he’s a hunk, too–I met him when I fell on him from atop the speaker box on which I was dancing at a cowboy bar. I wonder if Ree has as much trouble as I do getting her cowboy into something other than jeans and boots? Even at weddings, my cowboy wears a Texas Tuxedo–tux on top, boots and jeans on bottom. Meee-ow.
The Pioneer Woman has a basset hound named Charlie. He has long wet ears and smells like pond-water, except for his feet. They smell like corn chips. Until I read that, I thought I was the only person on the planet in the habit of smelling her dog’s feet. My bloodhound’s name is Roscoe. He has long wet ears and smells like toilet water, except for his feet. They, too, smell like corn chips. Apparently, this is a hound thing.
And finally, there was what I will refer to as the Flay Connection. On the same evening that I wrapped up cooking a Thanksgiving meal FOR Bobby Flay on a soundstage in Los Angeles, she was cooking AGAINST him for the Thanksgiving episode of Throwdown. Of course, she beat him! It was a Thanksgiving special and he didn’t make mashed potatoes. I’d bet you dollars to doughnuts he doesn’t make that mistake again cooking against a southern woman.
With so much obviously in common, how could it be that this person–my “sister from another mister”–and I had never met? Surely we were destined to be friends……
So several weeks ago, I was watching Elf. I watch it regularly throughout the year, and twice on Christmas for good measure. My husband played Buddy the Elf perfectly for Halloween a few years ago. It was the best Halloween costume ever. EVER. I don’t know how I convinced him that it was okay for a cowboy to wear yellow tights on Halloween, but I did. Anyway, I was watching the movie and tweeting with friends, when I see a tweet from Ree to her friends. She is watching “Elf” too. She and her friends are tweeting each-other back and forth with movie quotes. We’re so much alike, that Ree Drummond and me…Here was the perfect opportunity to meet my soul sister. Obviously this was Kismet. Fate. I responded with an Elf tweet of my own. No response. Then I sent a picture of my husband in his Halloween costume. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Maybe I shouldn’t have sent her a picture of a man in yellow tights.
I had been rejected. Dissed. Blown off. Gone were the dreams I had of The Pioneer Woman and I baking cranberry and goat cheese bruschetta together, while our husbands ride the range and check the fence lines. Roscoe and Charlie will never romp together in the field, and roll in stagnant ponds with reckless abandon.
If I was 14 I would have eaten a pint of mint chocolate chip to dull the ache in my heart. Instead, I skulked off to bake something.
In all seriousness, I do love The Pioneer Woman–her blog anyway–I am sure she is lovely, too. However, if we ever met in a bar and pounded back a few margaritas, I am sure we would become fast friends! Because that’s the way the best things find each other—not by design, but by happenstance.
Sometimes a universal, cosmic event brings things together in a partnership that transcends the ages. Like when I fell off that speaker box and onto the cowboy of my dreams. Like when that guy’s chocolate bar fell into that girl’s jar of peanut butter. Like the first time your bacon and sausage got into your maple syrup.
Some of the most timeless pairings are presented here, for your enjoyment…..
Maple Glazed Bacon and Sausages
serves 4 regular folks, or 2 hungry cowboys
- 6 slices thick cut bacon
- 4 oz smoked sausage link (beef, pork, or turkey)
- 4 breakfast sausage patties (spicy if you like it)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- juice of half an orange
Cut bacon slices into 4 pieces each. In a large skillet over medium high heat, fry until just crisp, and drain on paper towel. Remove grease from the skillet. Fry sausage patties on both sides until done. Remove from skillet onto paper towel. Slice the smoked sausage into 1/4″ thick slices, and fry in skillet until browned and crusty. Add bacon and sausage patties back to skillet. Drizzle the syrup and juice over the meat, and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until reduced and thickened. Serve with pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 32 oz package chocolate sandwich cookies
Pulse cookies in a food processor until smooth. Mix in butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 10” deep dish pie plate, or a 10” spring form pan. Bake at 300* for 10 minutes. Place in refrigerator while preparing the next layer.
Flourless Chocolate Cake Layer
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 18 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
- 2 sticks butter, softened, cut into 1” pieces.
- 6 large eggs
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat combine the water, salt and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in either a double boiler or in the microwave, and place in your mixing bowl. Add the butter to the chocolate one piece at a time, beating each in before adding the next. Mix in the sugar and water syrup. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Pour the batter over the prepared crust, and bake for 45 minutes. The center may look unset, but that is okay. Chill for at least three hours.
Peanut Butter Cream Layer
- 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 8 or 9 oz. carton Cool Whip
In small mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and milk, beating until smooth and creamy. Fold Cool Whip into peanut butter mixture. Pour over chocolate base. Chill for at least three hours before serving.
Top or serve with whipped cream, fudge sauce, and chopped salted peanuts, or chopped chocolate peanut butter candies.