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I'm curious why this show is called The Pioneer Woman.  Ree and her family enjoy all the conveniences of everyday life.  She doesn't drive a horse and buggy to buy the ingredients for her recipes nor does she have to use archaic tools and a wood stove to prepare the meals.  I guess Countrified Bullshit would be in poor taste for the title of a Food Network show.

Edited by pandora spocks
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I'm not seeing a thread for this week's engagement party, so here goes.  I am watching today's episode, and I am noticing a familiar theme.  Ree and family throw "parties" at the "ranch" quite often for the storyline, yet no one attending these "parties"  ever seems at ease.   It always feels so very forced.  She annoys the fuck outta me (although, I have her first cookbook, and I used to follow her blog religiously).  Not sure if I am the only one, but she received many more "hits" on her site from me prior to this show.  Now I just cannot stand her.

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Brie-stuffed mushrooms; bacon-wrapped shrimp; prime rib; whisky glazed carrots; roasted asparagus

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I'm curious why this show is called The Pioneer Woman.  Ree and her family enjoy all the conveniences of everyday life.  She doesn't drive a horse and buggy to buy the ingredients for her recipes nor does she have to use archaic tools and a wood stove to prepare the meals.  I guess Countrified Bullshit would be in poor taste for the title of a Food Network show.

Exactly! It should be called Ranch ______(fill in the blank) Shouldn't she at least be gardening more, putting up preserves more, cooking/baking more from scratch? I see nothing pioneery about this show....She could have been Modern Pioneer Woman, but do things from scratch & the garden etc. Opening cans/jars & using frozen(unless she grew & froze it herself) doesn't do it for me. I'm sure I've seen her use store bought beef...wait, doesn't she own a cattle ranch? We tuned in because of the title & watched a few times, but I am disappointed & sorry to say her voice starts to grate on my nerves. Her show reminds me of a cross between a reality & cooking show, failing in both respects. Seems like anyone can have a show these days.

 

ETA ~ loved the title Countrified BS, so appropriate

Edited by Q.T. Hush
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I am watching today's episode, and I am noticing a familiar theme.  Ree and family throw "parties" at the "ranch" quite often for the storyline, yet no one attending these "parties"  ever seems at ease.   It always feels so very forced.  She annoys the fuck outta me (although, I have her first cookbook, and I used to follow her blog religiously).  Not sure if I am the only one, but she received many more "hits" on her site from me prior to this show.  Now I just cannot stand her.

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I thought what she made for the engagement party looked quite good.  She seems to be at her best making gigantic hunks of beef to feed a crowd.

 

The guest of honor, her former babysitter, is a beautiful girl.  And I got a laugh out of Ladd helping serve.  I do like the family.

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Seems like anyone can have a show these days.

 

They can, and you're on the fast track to it if you come with a brand already established with a loyal following like Ree had with her blog.  FN has gone so far, so quickly, in the other direction from instructional cooking it almost causes whiplash.  

 

It's funny.  Food Network actually played a significant role in the upsurge in popularity of culinary degrees.  But yet, they no longer want to hire anyone who has one.  If you watch shows line TNFNS, they almost seem like they're out to get the contestants who have a strong culinary pedigree to exclude them immediately.  It's kind of fascinating.

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I thought her menu for the engagement dinner looked pretty good, but I was annoyed that she'd already prepared the shrimp and mushrooms halfway, because that was what I wanted to see how to make. I thought those both looked pretty tasty. That had to be at least $200 worth of prime rib. And when she poured all that Jack Daniels into the cast iron pot I thought the whole thing was going to catch on fire because I didn't see her remove it from the burner. I've seen both Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence cook with hard liquor and they each made a point of saying that you should always take your skillet off the heat before adding the alcohol. Maybe it wasn't that big a deal since she was using a pot with higher sides, but it just struck me as very unsafe -- I have a smaller version of one of those stew pots and that thing gets really freaking hot, even over medium heat.

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I would probably never make any of the stuff from this episode. I never deep fry anything. It seems like a huge hassle, and a waste of oil besides. But I did think it was interesting that she used corn starch and water to soak the chicken in before frying it. Maybe I'll try it sometime (but probably not).

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I really liked the menu she prepared for the engagement party.  The Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp recipe looked especially good!  The Whiskey Carrots, too.  Her dishes are usually very down-to-earth and I like her take on what are often very common recipes.
(I don't get the complaint that she is "stealing" recipes. Maybe I'm missing something?  There are many variations on most of the dishes we all prepare.  How many different ways & ingredients are there to make a potato salad?  And yet, when I make it, I call it "my potato salad". )

I like this show.  Her manner is so calm and pleasant to watch.  This Engagement Party show was very sweet, I thought  They all seem like really nice people.

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I felt kind of bad for the guests who did not get a seat at the dining table.  I can't imagine trying to wrestle prime rib and large stalks of asparagus and little peas into my mouth from a plate on my lap.  While holding a wine glass.

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Ree is executive producer of her show, so seems to me she should be able to do whatever she wants, like having her sister cook with her. JMO.

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The sister-in-law's house, all I can say is Wow.  It looked huge.  I enjoyed this episode.  The food looked good and people did seem to be having a nice time.

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I think there's been one or two times they've shown Missy cook something, but not often. She did a Thanksgiving throw down with Bobby Flay and I think Missy was her partner in that show. Ree did just blog she's going to start having some of Missy's baking recipes on her blog. The lavender honey cupcakes were beautiful. 

 

Tim and Missy's house looked super cool. I would love to know what part of the ranch it used to be. 

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I felt kind of bad for the guests who did not get a seat at the dining table.  I can't imagine trying to wrestle prime rib and large stalks of asparagus and little peas into my mouth from a plate on my lap.  While holding a wine glass.

Haha!  I have to agree with this!  "Save me a seat at the table!"  Actually, I'd be fine standing on the sidelines with a glass of wine and those appetizers to munch on.

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I wish that Ree and the kids tried a really good Chinese restaurant. It would be interesting to see her try to recreate some good Chinese food instead of Panda Express which is nasty in my opinion.

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Interesting -- I've never heard of that. Thanks for posting the link. But then again, I've never tried to make Chinese food myself before. If I'm craving it, I call for delivery. 

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I call for delivery, too, Queasy.  Anything deep fried like that is left to the restaurants.  I'm lazy on some things, and it's just not worth it to me to waste the oil and make the mess. 

 

What I noticed in the episode is that she demonstrates a particular cooking technique, like velveting, but she makes no mention of it and doesn't make any attempt to educate her viewers.  And it's also another reason I think she takes some legitimate heat for plagiarism.  Now people who try that technique associate it with her and her recipe, when in fact it's been around forever.  I really respect the chefs who seem to love to pass along the terminology and some of the history of cooking technique.  They still put their spin on it and make an old traditional method fresh, but they don't act like they invented it.

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I missed the segment where Ree did this but wanted to say that my husband has been marinating meat in water and cornstarch (and sometimes other items such as garlic, soy, herbs, etc) for over twenty years. It tenderizes meat/chicken in a way that no acid can. He learned it from Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet). It's not just good for stir fry. He uses it on steak also. The meat will just melt in your mouth. And it tenderizes without changing the flavor, unlike acid marinades.

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Thanks TahitiGirl, that's very interesting and something I will try the next time I do up some steaks.  What is the ratio of water:cornstarch?

 

And why am I learning this from Tahitigirl and boy when The Pioneer Woman should be doing the educating?

 

I was a faithful viewer of The Frugal Gourmet and either wasn't paying attention or missed the episode when he demonstrated 'velveting.'

 

Thanks again :)

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Trust me, finnzup, you're far better off learning this technique from The Frugal Gourmet even second hand than you would ever be learning anything (even just the way to the restroom) from Pioneer Woman.

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Did anyone else watch the Man Cave episode? Did anyone else think the Man Cave looked like a prison cell with throw-rugs and big floor pillows?

Edited by Queasy-bo
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So where has Cowbooy Josh been lately? He used to show up in nearly every ep and I haven't seen him in anythng other than reruns in a while.  He was one of the highlights of the show for me so I hope he's back at some point. 

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Eesh, I wonder if they actually call him "Cowboy Josh" in conversation.  Like their other friends would be "Car salesman Tim" and "Realtor Becky".

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Ree and Charlie, the Drummond's Basset Hound, have been invited to a pet parade and potluck picnic. Ree's making Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs, Mexican Macaroni Salad, Watermelon Pico de Gallo and Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies to take with them to Tulsa.

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The boys and their friends are fixing up a man cave on the ranch and Ree's feeding them during the remodeling. There are Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis for lunch, then Steak Fingers With Gravy alongside a Mini Chopped Salad and Crazy Brownies for dinner.

 

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As usual nothing new. Chicken and bacon and steak and brownies and a little chopped salad. Blah, really? Well she has the ratings therefore I suppose a lot of people enjoy watching the same food being made over and over and over. I guess I was supposed to enjoy how they decorated their man cave or something? Not so much. 

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That gravy for the chicken fried steak strips seemed to me that it would be mighty bland.

 

Well, I suppose you could rationalize it by saying that since it was for kids, who don't normally like spicy food, she made it on the bland side for that reason. But I don't buy that -- she would have made it the same way for whoever was going to be eating it. Kids won't always reject spicy food, you just have to ease them into it. I made a spicy sausage/pasta thing for dinner last night, and my 5 year old ate it and liked it. She drank a ton of milk with it too. LOL.

 

I said in the General Discussion thread that I thought the man cave looked like a prison cell block decorated with area rugs and throw pillows. Why would anyone voluntarily spend time in there? I also thought the scenes with all the kids were awkward and forced. Maybe it was all Ree's idea so she could make an episode around it. 

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The boys started using it in the winter, stealing stuff from around the house/barns. It does look more comfy after the episode than the pics on her blog, but they were probably perfectly fine without the rug and so many pillows. I have 3 nephews, the youngest is their age, and he would be more than happy to sit in an old salt building with snacks and his friends. I think this was actually more Ladd's idea than hers… she blogged they were removing old buildings a couple years ago and she wanted to knock it down since no one had used it for years and wouldn't be using it ever again, but Ladd wanted to keep it incase the someone wanted to use it as a clubhouse. He and his 2 brothers (there was an older brother who was killed in a car accident when he was 18, Todd is named after him) probably had a clubhouse when they were boys and I could see Ladd wanting his boys to have the same experience of goofing around in their own space. I remember when I was a kid my cousins, my sister, and I would go hangout in one of the little sheds my grandpa had in his yard or the 100 degree camper, or even better yet, a giant Boy Scout teepee from when my grandpa was a scout master in the early 1960's. He would put it up for us, it was sweltering, musty, and full of daddy long legs, but we loved it. The boys were probably amped up since they were set loose in a store with a camera crew and told to have at it. 

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I think that the boys were cute and looked like they were having fun fixing up their own space.

 

And steak fingers with gravy was a great choice for them to eat.

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I thought the boys looked like they were having a lot of fun.  What a neat clubhouse for them to have.  I agree the food was appropriate for the boys and looked good.

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I'm 36 and at this point in my life I feel I have a pretty good handle on to how make sandwiches and tossed salads. I really wish Ree would move on to some real recipes already.

I love how Ree's oldest son is getting to that age where everything his mother does embarrasses him to no end. He looked like he wanted to roll his eyes when Ree was soliciting hi-fives from his friends.

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I've always found it odd that they own a cattle ranch and don't slaughter their own beef. Maybe Ree prefers the hormone and anti-biotic free stuff...

I think all the interactions on this show feel forced. When Ree attempts conversation with her kids I'm like, does she even know these children or were they plucked from central casting?

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She's said repeatedly she wants the meat she uses on the show or her blog to look like what anyone would buy at their grocery store. 

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OMG, this episode was a hot mess. 25 minutes of commercials, filler and stock footage and 5 minutes of cooking.

How was the pet parade a "reward" for the kids? What about the kids in the program who don't own animals? Wouldn't something like a pizza party with make your own sundaes and goody bags have been more kid friendly? Epic fail, Hyacinth!

Ree's food, as usual was completely underwhelming. Limp looking chicken legs that were woefully underseasoned, a mish-mash macaroni salad and oatmeal cookies sans raisins. At least PW never disappoints in terms of snark-worthiness!

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Ree's food, as usual was completely underwhelming. Limp looking chicken legs that were woefully underseasoned, a mish-mash macaroni salad and oatmeal cookies sans raisins

 

See now, I'm always searching for something positive to find in her show, and this would be it.  Keep the damned raisins out of my oatmeal cookies!  ;-)

 

I despise her method of cooking chicken legs.   She's done virtually the same recipe at least a couple of times before, and in my opinion doesn't cook dark meat properly.  High heat for a short period of time is not the best way to cook chicken thighs or legs. The fat doesn't render properly, and the meat doesn't have time to become tender.  I groan at any of these chefs who make legs and thighs this way.

 

Aside from the cooking, cute dogs.  She does have cute dogs.  I do object to the ugliest dog award, because that dog didn't come close to being ugly.  It was cute.

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She's said repeatedly she wants the meat she uses on the show or her blog to look like what anyone would buy at their grocery store.

 

I call BS on this. If you purchase a cow directly from a farmer/butcher you have it cut into all of the same cuts that would generally found in the market. So other than the styrofoam trays and plastic wrap, what would be the difference?

 

Plus my local supermarket doesn't have $100 whole tenderloins out for sale. I would have to go to specialty market or butcher shop to get that.

 

Maybe she could use her knowledge of the meat industry to educate her viewers about raising sustainable meat or selecting the correct cuts for different kinds of dishes. Instead most of her "recipes" use either cheap ground beef, or at the other extreme really expensive cuts like the tenderloins and ribeyes.

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See now, I'm always searching for something positive to find in her show, and this would be it.  Keep the damned raisins out of my oatmeal cookies!  ;-)

 

 I agree!!  In fact, I just finished a batch of these - recipe looked good, and I had some dark brown sugar in the cabinet.  Turned out pretty good :)

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I asked my hubby for more details about his cornstarch method of tenderizing. He verified that he did get it from Jeff Smith. However, it was originally shown as cornstarch and sake. In our less affluent times, he (hubby) started using just water and he still got tremendous results. He makes a paste out of it which is actually more the consistency of heavy cream. Marinate for at least an hour, overnight if you can. Rinse the mixture off the meat before preparing. If you want to add flavor in addition to tenderizing, simply add garlic or herbs to the pasty mixture.

It seems crazy that such a simple method can make a difference but I can always tell if he has forgotten or omitted this step. Try it out! You'll never fix meat without it again (esp chicken). By the way, I assume it works on pork but do not know first hand. Hubby is allergic to pork so we never fix it.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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If this pet parade was a reward for some home-school something or other, why did Ree go without her home-schooled kids?

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I think that I might be willing to chip in to send Ree and her kids to Chinatown in either New York of San Francisco so that they can taste real Chinese food. Panda City is not remotely anything that can be called Chinese food.

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Lillybee, not only that but Hyacinth's kids weren't there and Ree seemed to barely know any of the kids at the picnic. I thought they were all supposed to be one big happy co-op family?

Let's just pray none of those kids got salmonella poisining from those undercooked chicken legs. Or from that macaroni salad that was sitting out in the sun minus an ice pack.

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Hyancith just comes across as such a b!tch and this episode did her no favors, at least in my opinion.  When she was trying to emcee the dog "fashion show", she just did not seem even remotely nice or friendly or welcoming.  Maybe she just nervous in front of the camera?

 

I love all things pasta salad so I would not mind trying out that recipe. I am always looking for new ideas.  Even thought I just watched this last night, I don't remember the other recipes except the chicken legs, which I have no real comment on.

 

The pet parade in and of it self was not a bad idea but how is it in any way a reward for the kids?  That made no sense to me at all. 

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I just watched this last night and I do at least have to give Ree credit for the idea of having the kids work for their allowance. Even if that's not really what happened (and maybe it is), I'm glad to see that.  It's important for kids to grasp the idea that "there's no such thing as a free lunch" so to speak.  She said they'd been saving for a long time, plus they seem to work really hard on the ranch so maybe they did pay for most of that themselves.  I thought the idea of a man cave for the boys was actually a good one, even if the idea of decorating it was most likely contrived for the show.

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