BAM! Interviews: Ree Drummond
Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman, doesn’t have a lot of spare time. Between her hit cooking show on Food Network, her lifestyle blog, her line of housewares, and–don’t forget!–her new cookbook, it sure doesn’t seem like she has much time to put her feet up. Which is why we are THRILLED she agreed to sit down and answer a few burning questions we had for her. Keep reading to learn what Ree had to say about her favorite recipes, her must-have kitchen appliances, and what’s next for our favorite down-home chef.Pre-Order the Book
As a working mom, I’d like to thank you personally for your 16-Minute Meals and your freezer meals! When I was a brand-new mom, having 150 meatballs in my freezer changed my life. Can readers expect more freezer meals, quick meals, or make-ahead meals in the new cookbook?
That’s the way I like to cook, so absolutely! There are quick meals as well as meals that lend themselves well to being made ahead and kept in the fridge or freezer until meal time. I like to make sure many of my recipes are adaptable in that they can be served immediately or saved for later.
Speaking of the new book, what’s your favorite new recipe? Can you pick just one?
It’s impossible for me to choose my favorite recipe, but some favorites are the Blistered Tomato and Egg White Scramble (such a fresh, pretty breakfast), Blueberry-Ricotta Crostini, Spicy Cowgirl (my favorite iced coffee!), and Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (a super simple, but pretty, dish.) The “Small Sweet Bites” section is also a favorite. Easy sweets to pop in your mouth!
Since I’ve got you trying to choose favorites: If you could have just one kitchen appliance, what would it be?
It would be a close race between a stand mixer and a food processor!
Let’s go back a bit to how it all began with The Pioneer Woman. What’s it like writing books versus blogging versus cooking for your TV show? Did you ever dream that your blog would take you this far?
To answer the last question first, I never could have imagined that starting my blog back in 2006 would lead to the things it’s led to. I think that’s why I’ve been able to enjoy it so much—it’s been one fun (and unexpected) roller coaster ride. It has taught me a lot, expanded my perspective, and broadened my experiences…while also allowing me to stay home on the ranch, my favorite place on earth.
As for writing books, blogging, and cooking on a TV show—fortunately, those three things are pretty congruous and compatible. I’m able to do them from home and share my passions: family and food. (Well, and Basset Hounds.)
I think my favorite thing about your recipes is that they feel like meals I can actually make on a regular Tuesday night. But there are also recipes for special occasions. What’s your go-to special occasion recipe?
For a more special occasion dinner, you can’t beat some kind of roasted beef, whether it’s tenderloin or prime rib. Then some beautiful sides, like potatoes au gratin, creamed spinach, and so forth. In my new cookbook, I love Shrimp Scampi Lasagna Rollups for a new twist on a special occasion dinner. They take a little time, but are always crowd pleasers.
And on the flip side of that: what’s your go-to quick, weeknight meal?
I love Kung Pao Cauliflower (I can add chicken if I feel like it!), Quick Shrimp and Grits, and Creamy Lemon Pasta with Pancetta and Peas, are such delicious, satisfying (but pretty!) quick meals. I also make a mean double cheeseburger!
Tell us about your other books. How did you get the idea for your children’s books? Do you have any more planned?
My Charlie the Ranch Dog series was based on my late Basset Hound, who was much beloved on my blog from the time he was a pup. He was the perfect subject for a children’s book, because he had big ideas about how important he was on the ranch…but would usually prefer napping on the porch if given the chance. I love that he’s captured forever in the Charlie books. (And I still meet children who adore the books. Charlie lives on!)
Right now I’m focused on my cookbooks and some other exciting books I have planned in the next three to four years. There are some fun things coming!
Between motherhood, the blog, the books, and the show, how do you keep up with it all?
By the skin of my teeth! My to-do list is a mile long on any given day, but I know I will never tackle it all. I’ve learned to take the pressure off myself and am okay if I go to bed with some unfinished business. There’s always tomorrow! I’ve also learned to say no, and I exercise that muscle quite a bit. It took me awhile, but I ultimately learned that saying no to something is actually saying yes to something else. It’s great to look at it that way!
What can we expect to see from you after this book? Any secret plans you can share?
I have more years of my Food Network show planned, and I’m excited about that! I have a new, revamped version of ThePioneerWoman.com coming in 2020, and as I mentioned, there are new books in the works. I’m adding new categories to my Walmart housewares business, and am excited about new food products that I’m launching. Mostly it will be more of what I love—kitchen, home, food, and family!