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Snark Talk: Home, Home on the (De) Ranged

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I agree with you, grisgris, and that is always my hope in watching one of these shows.  And most of the time, I do see some unusual twists.  Two newcomers, Nancy Fuller and Demaris Phillips, don't seem to struggle too much with finding interesting things to present, even demonstrating "classics".  I think creativity is alive and well in the culinary world.  

 

In the interest of full disclosure, the two recipes of PW's that I tried that sounded a little inventive (the Spicy Cauliflower Stir Fry and the Bloody Mary Chili) were awful.  The cauliflower just sounded inventive but it ended up being way, way too salty.  I tried her chili because I figured she's probably got a good chili recipe and this one sounded kind of different (who doesn't love a Bloody Mary?), but it was a flavor dud.

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There is also the complete lack of instruction. All she does is describe what she is doing (Now Imma gonna put the ground beef into the pan). She doesn't talk about how to work with an different ingredients or explain techniques or why she is using certain seasonings. Granted that her ingredients rarely vary that much from ground beef, steak, chicken breast. I think I remember a pork shoulder once.

 

That is what I miss so much about Anne Burrell (although I still watch or record her when I get a chance). She was always very clear in what she was doing, explaining and demonstrating every step. If she was doing something original or a variation, she would say "I put my Anne Burrell thumbprint on this". If she was making a classic dish, she would say "I learned this when I was an apprentice chef in Italy" or "I learned this from Mario Batali when I worked with him on Iron Chef".

 

Similar thing with Laura Calder, doing a lot of classic French dishes with excellent instruction and demonstrations. BTW Laura Calder is completely gone from Cooking Channel now.

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My problem with her presentation of church cookbook recipes is how she is so heavy on the first person. It's "MY recipe for X; I add X, etc, etc, etc. She presents it as HER recipe and HER method, when it's just a straight-up rip-off of something that's been around forever. If she wasn't doing a "cooking" show, I wouldn't care. She could just present the damn recipe without all the ME, MY, MINE, I I I!!! But of course, that would require her to not be a complete narcissist and thus it's unlikely to happen.

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My problem with her presentation of church cookbook recipes is how she is so heavy on the first person. It's "MY recipe for X; I add X, etc, etc, etc. She presents it as HER recipe and HER method, when it's just a straight-up rip-off of something that's been around forever. If she wasn't doing a "cooking" show, I wouldn't care. She could just present the damn recipe without all the ME, MY, MINE, I I I!!! But of course, that would require her to not be a complete narcissist and thus it's unlikely to happen.

 

I agree with you 100%. I've read that recipes on her blog are better. I went there once, and was bored to tears with the endless photos that seemed to have no purpose other than she likes to take a picture every minute. I'm obviously not her target audience. But she's found one, and is laughing all the way to the bank.

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So, I did a search to see if there was a forum for the Spring Baking Challenge and came up with this thread, even though no one is talking about it. I haven't watched her show, but many years ago I read her website after a controversy regarding her answers to photography questions was discussed on a website I was a member of at the time. In the comments, in defense of one of her answers, she stated that she paid to shadow a very well-known photographer in her area, and had also had taken some private cooking classes before starting her blog. I don't remember the names of the professionals now, and she ended up having to delete a bunch of the comments, and maybe even the post, because they got so hateful. 

 

Anyhow, she doesn't KNOW why you do the things you do, she was just trained to do it that way. Well, maybe she does now, she was really put through the wringer. The photography answers she was giving were just wrong, and the effects she was getting were because of the lens she was using, but she didn't know it. On one food post, she mentioned adding a lot of butter, "just because." It made foodies mad because they knew why you added it, and it wasn't "just because." She also had posts about home-schooling and having to do it or something, and it turned out there was an elementary school about 15 minutes from her, and she hired a teacher to do the homeschooling. It seems smart to me to hire a teacher, but it apparently made people mad because the posts made it sound like she was the teacher. Once the comments on that post got so nasty, I left. I think it carried over to other posts, but I was done at that point.

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Yes, the home schooling. To me, on the show (I do not read her goofy, smug, self-satisfied blog but I hate-watch the show for those same reasons), she has always indicated she does the home schooling (along with cooking for the masses and doing her blog and photography and on and on like she's some Wonder Woman). Speaking of the masses, she also doesn't show the tons of hired help the ranch employs. There is one guy who appears on a few of the shows, but she fakes it like the family is doing the work all by themselves. Anyhoo, she doesn't do the home schooling, and she never has. The couple of times she showed "home schooling" on her show, it was dumb stuff like canning jelly and putting pond water in jars and spelling. The scenes were so awkward it was patently obvious she's not the teacher. But she has to perpetuate the smoke and mirrors. Why, I do not know. Couldn't she have had a show that wasn't so full of misreprentations (if not flat-out lies) and been just as successful?

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I hope this isn't breaking the rule about not posting about body image, but I just wanted to make this comment.  I've watched Ree almost since the beginning, and it was only this week that I realized how tall she is.  That's where the girls get their height.

 

Ree's jar of chili powder is going down fast, thanks to all of the Tex-Mex dishes she's been making.  Ree, lay off the Tex-Mex for a while, would you?  Not all of us can eat it!  Besides, so much of it bores me.  I know it's your favorite food, but give me a break!  I'm afraid that Alex is going to find college food terribly bland without all of the hot pepper additions her mother uses. 

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I really hope that observing that someone is tall, which she is, is not a violation of some code. She also has crazy red hair. Lol.

Sorry for your stomach woes, Lura, but I'm always wishing she'd do more southwest cuisine. She certainly seems to like it, so doing more "authentic" recipes would get my vote.

Edited by anneofcleves
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The spicier the better as far as I'm concerned, and yes, I would think it would always be better to play to one's strength.  I'm not sure how any TV cook could hope to make everyone happy in their choices of what dishes they feature.  

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Thank you, anneofcleves.  :)

 

I'd only visited Ree's website once before when I decided to go there last night.  It really isn't to be missed!!!!   Read what she wrote about the Senior Dinner at her church!  She has pictures of happy Alex all down the page, including one of Alex with her very handsome boyfriend, and Alex looks so pretty.  But don't miss what Ree has written, especially the last part about her dessert.  After I read it, I thought, "HUH???"  I read it three times, and each time it seemed dumber.  I couldn't believe that the woman who wrote that has millions of followers!  What she wrote is lamer than lame, IMHO.  She also talks about crying during the dinner, but in a separate post she says she managed not to cry. 

 

http://www.thepioneerwoman.com

 

On a more positive note, I think that Alex must be a remarkable girl.  She seems to have a wonderful attitude and is so upbeat about life.  Part of that has to be the result of good parenting, so I really applaud Ree and Ladd where their oldest daughter is concerned.  I think that Alex is the kind of girl who will always have friends.

Edited by Lura
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I've heard of rum cake before, of course, but never Bacardi Rum Cake.  And since I've never heard her say "I dreamed up this recipe out of my head," no, I'm not the least bit bothered about where she got it or whether or not she tells the origins of it.  There's very little that's new under the sun.

 

Absolutely.  I've just seen about 3 or 4 episodes straight and she never once in any of them claimed she'd invented any of the recipes she used.  She gave credit to various people from her mother to her mother in law to a close friend (just for the ones that I can recall offhand now).  What she does do is talk about how much she may like a particular recipe or how much her kids like it or whatever.  I don't see any problem with that.  When I say my kids love my chicken cacciatore I think most people are going to know I may have fine tuned a recipe but I sure didn't create it!

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Absolutely.  I've just seen about 3 or 4 episodes straight and she never once in any of them claimed she'd invented any of the recipes she used.  She gave credit to various people from her mother to her mother in law to a close friend (just for the ones that I can recall offhand now).  What she does do is talk about how much she may like a particular recipe or how much her kids like it or whatever.  I don't see any problem with that.  When I say my kids love my chicken cacciatore I think most people are going to know I may have fine tuned a recipe but I sure didn't create it!

ITA, in the episode this morning that I watched, she said the recipes were inspired by something that they had at a dinner out at a steakhouse.  So she was telling where her inspiration for the dishes came  from.

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I never realized that Ree was so tall until just the other night when I was wondering where the girls got their height.  Ladd looks tall to me, so I assumed it was from his side of the family until I really sized Ree up.  Usually she's behind a counter.  I think she's almost as tall as Ladd when they're standing together, or maybe the same height.  I wonder whether Ladd was looking for a good, strong girl who would be fit for ranch life.

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Probably because enough people have called her out on it.

 

The shows I watched were early episodes.  Or are you talking about her website?

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It boggles my brain that Ree not only blogs about cooking and photography, but that she now is an advice-giver.  She said that people had written to her about personal problems and that she'd tried to help them, and then she got a great idea -- offer advice, too!  So, she's the new Dear Abby of the prairie.  I wonder whether Hyacinth realizes how lucky she is to have a real live advice columnist living nearby in case she runs into a problem.

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It boggles my brain that Ree not only blogs about cooking and photography, but that she now is an advice-giver.  She said that people had written to her about personal problems and that she'd tried to help them, and then she got a great idea -- offer advice, too!  So, she's the new Dear Abby of the prairie.  I wonder whether Hyacinth realizes how lucky she is to have a real live advice columnist living nearby in case she runs into a problem.

 

It seems like anybody famous is qualified to give advice.  Ozzy Osbourne had an advice column in Rolling Stone called Dr. Ozzy.  I'm sure Ree gives her advice with a touch of jalapeno peppers and copious amounts of beef.

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LOL, grisgris!  Good choice!

 

It's time for ol' Ree to put the advice aside and plant some seeds.  Otherwise, she won't have her lettuce and herbs for the season. 

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I get oh so tired of her driving to the lodge and vice versa to the house when in all actuality they are literally across the road from each other..

 

XJYCJVK.png

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Are you freaking kidding me?! She makes it seem like the lodge is a few miles away from the house. It makes no sense now why the girls wouldn't just walk across the dirt road and up the hill during the "new puppy" episode when they were meeting their mother for lunch. It wasn't like it was snowing or raining or windy...

Why didn't they just build a larger house/lodge combo on the property. What a freaking waste of money...but I guess if you got it to throw around after all...

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I seem to recall in older episodes that the kids would walk, but I guess now that the girls are old enough to drive they need to be on truck-cam too.

 

Saw Ladd's birthday episode this morning. What 46 year old man wants chili cheeseburgers and a cake with plastic farm animals (not to mention the "46" candles) for his birthday dinner.

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I seem to recall in older episodes that the kids would walk, but I guess now that the girls are old enough to drive they need to be on truck-cam too.

 

 

I've always thought it was because they were gaming for a Ford Motor Company sponsorship, or some relationship.  If they don't already have one.  They rarely miss an opportunity to showcase driving around in a workhorse Ford truck, nor does the camera miss the Ford emblem on the vehicles as they're driving up.  She writes about Ford on her blog fairly often, too.

Edited by anneofcleves
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I've always thought it was because they were gaming for a Ford Motor Company sponsorship, or some relationship.  If they don't already have one.  They rarely miss an opportunity to showcase driving around in a workhorse Ford truck, nor does the camera miss the Ford emblem on the vehicles as they're driving up.  She writes about Ford on her blog fairly often, too.

 

If anything I bet it's a product placement for the local Ford dealership they do business with.  Obviously they can't name the actual dealership b/c that would be unethical, but by allowing the Ford logo prominently displayed in varying shots it probably works as an "under the table" type of agreement.  If you give the world famous Drummond ranch a discount on Ford vehicles at your dealership we will have the Ford logo prominently displayed in my show and on my blog and people will know we buy all our Ford vehicles at your dealership b/c everyone knows what town the Drummond ranch is located in.

 

I don't recall the kids ever really walking, they have had those golf cart vehicles since the show has been around and the girls have always been old enough to drive those, and now the boys are of age as well.  I just dislike when I personally feel mislead about something like the location of the house to the ranch.  It was the sleepover episode from years back where Ree made it sound like she had to stay at the lodge with the girls b/c it was in some remote location on the ranch.

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If anything I bet it's a product placement for the local Ford dealership they do business with.  Obviously they can't name the actual dealership b/c that would be unethical, but by allowing the Ford logo prominently displayed in varying shots it probably works as an "under the table" type of agreement.

 

I see no ethical reason why they couldn't name the dealership.  There's a restaurant review show in Boston called The Phantom Gourmet that has a dozen plugs in a 1/2 hour show for like 'The official insurance agents for the Phantom Gourmet show' and 'The official bank of the Phantom Gourmet show'.  If a hairdresser paid them I'm sure there would be an official Phantom Gourmet hairdresser.  Isn't that just how advertising works?

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Random:  Does anyone know if she smokes?  Just useless curiosity…..I always notice when she actually tastes something directly to camera, her mouth just shrivels to tiny little, tightly closed, hole and she has all of those tiny little lines framing it like a typical smoker tends to get.  She always looks like she's sending a message "see, I'm a lady and cowgirls never talk with a mouthful."  It's exaggerated, like she's transmitting "My mouth is FIRMLY closed when I chew").  Why the hell do I even notice such things???

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I get oh so tired of her driving to the lodge and vice versa to the house when in all actuality they are literally across the road from each other..

 

XJYCJVK.png

 

There's an episode on now where Ree had to "drive to the lodge" and I busted out laughing because of this.

 

ETA 6/4: The "Hauling Hay" episode is on. Ree says that calzones are a "light" dinner after a hard day of work. We obviously have different definitions of what a light dinner is...

Edited by ShortyMac
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Basically, I like watching her show. Never cooked anything because heart disease runs in my family and I would rather not develop a relationship with a cardiologist. But what BUGS me is ... "I add a bunch a ..." and a "fourth a cup a ..." ... THAT is what bugs me.

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Hildegard,  I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree with some of what you wrote.  Ree makes no bones about the fact that they have other ranch workers who live outside the ranch.  And she talks frequently about Josh, the ranch foreman who lives on the land there.  I don't think Ree has tried to make the world think that the family does all the work themselves.  And home schooling -- Ree does teach the kids all  subjects, and the kids have to meet state testing requirements in order to graduate.  The kids have tests, homework assignments and everything that kids in school have.  I think the reason we haven't seen more of what they actually do is because this is a cooking show, not a show about home schooling.

 

I'm not a fan of Ree's.  I don't think her show is very good at all.  I see all the dumb things that everyone else sees, and I've joked about them myself.  I just hate, though, to see the hard work that she does (and that they all do) diminished by misleading statements.

 

One thing that constantly amazes me is the different lives we all lead.  How many kids have to roll out of bed before dawn to help their dad on the ranch?  And they DO work!  I think they show these things so people will see how much those kids have to learn about a working ranch.  I sure don't envy them!

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 And home schooling -- Ree does teach the kids all  subjects, and the kids have to meet state testing requirements in order to graduate.  The kids have tests, homework assignments and everything that kids in school have.  

 

 

 I'm pretty sure that years ago, a teacher (or someone in the community) confirmed to Pioneer Woman Sux that Ree had teachers for the kids.

Edited by film noire
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You could be right, film noire.  I know very, very little about it.  I thought that one time Ree mentioned a county "supervisor" who came around and helped the mothers.  Not sure.  Also, it could be a little different in different states.  Just from a practical standpoint, I'd think that safeguards would have to be in place to make sure the kids were really being taught.

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Honestly, after seeing the Duggars version of homeschooling I have no doubt that the Drummonds do it incredibly well by comparison.  

 

As much as I think she totally sucks ass as a cook, and wears the ugliest tops in the world, I don't doubt for a second that they're both great parents who give their kids every advantage for their futures.  I can totally see, with their income, hiring certified teachers to come to the ranch to teach the kids or at least supplement their education.  The fact that she creates these ridiculous, staged home school-focused shows (where the 15/16 year old girls are doing something academically akin to gluing yarn on construction paper with Elmer's paste) is dumb.  But all of the staged events for the show are pretty dumb.  

 

Although I frequently think to myself that I wish she'd learn to cook, I really don't because snarking on her show, with you guys, is pretty fun.  

Edited by anneofcleves
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You'd be surprised at the different standards applied in states for home schooling. I have a friend whose daughter decided to home school her 6 kids in Georgia because she's a fundie and she didn't want them in the public system. She barely graduated high school in Maryland, and all her kids are severely behind. Her sister has spent much time making sure they get their GEDs (not their mother!). My husband's oldest daughter is homeschooling her kids (now 6 of them) in New Orleans. Her oldest twins will be starting 4th grade this year, and will be 9 in September. She's decided to order the same standardized tests that LA uses just to make sure she hasn't let anything fall through the cracks, but I really doubt it. She's got a double major in English and Philosophy undergraduate, and 2 masters degrees. She taught elementary school for several years before she had her children. She has a structured curriculum, has them take tests, and keeps detailed records. All her children are, in my estimation, above where they need to be. That said, she said the requirement in LA is that she send the State a letter that says "I taught my kids this year". And that's it. Can you imagine? She could totally lie about what she's doing, and LA would accept it.

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I would imagine part of the reason the Drummond family home schools their kids is for the flexibility it provides. The kids couldn't help on the ranch if they attended regular school. Home schooling done right allows kids to reach for the stars without being held back, waiting for the other students to "get it". It appears this is the case for the Drummonds. They can afford to hire outside teachers, so good for them.

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I think home schooling sounds great. Think of all of the angst it would eliminate like bullying, the financial (and emotional for the kids) burden of clothing/uniforms, most likely school supplies, transportation, etc. It seems like the Drummond kids had other means for socialization like church and sports, so they didn't miss anything there.

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They may be missing a chance to meet & socialize with kids whose parents aren't wealthy, white, native born Americans.  The schools I attended growing up in a poor neighborhood beset with interracial gang violence offered little academically, but I've always been grateful for the rest of the education I got there.  Smart kids with access to a public library (& now the Internet) can educate themselves if necessary, but the kind of insularity that many rich white kids suffer from can be hard to overcome.

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Ree "running" up a flight of stone stairs on the ranch in UGG-like boots and calling it exercise. LOLOL. - "Lighten Up", 2/22/14

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Goodness that 7 can soup- words fail me! Cute idea but using the can liquid and then adding a generous amount of salt?! Then velveeta! The sodium count must be off the charts.

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So based off the "pantry staples" episode and from past shows she did say it isn't a quick jaunt to the local supermarket.  Does anyone know what the closest town she would go to would be for the supermarket.  I'm guessing Pawhuska.  Is that where the kids all go to play their sports activities and her friend Hyacinth lives?  How far is that from the ranch?

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So based off the "pantry staples" episode and from past shows she did say it isn't a quick jaunt to the local supermarket.  Does anyone know what the closest town she would go to would be for the supermarket.  I'm guessing Pawhuska.  Is that where the kids all go to play their sports activities and her friend Hyacinth lives?  How far is that from the ranch?

 

Pawhuska is 21 miles away from the ranch.

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Goodness that 7 can soup- words fail me! Cute idea but using the can liquid and then adding a generous amount of salt?! Then velveeta! The sodium count must be off the charts.

Oh, this one was an absolute gem.  I think she wins the award for the most deplorable "recipe" ever demonstrated on Food Network.  It might be up there with Paula Deen's recipe for English peas.

 

And no kidding about the sodium count.  That kind of meal, in my opinion, is downright negligent to feed a family for the sodium content alone.   If the sodium isn't bad enough, canned chili smells like dog food.  "Here's your fake-cheesy Alpo soup kids!  Woof!."  I think the only thing that would have made this the absolute nirvana of trash cooking would be the addition of a can of cream 'o mushroom soup.

 

On the flip side, somewhere Anthony Bourdain is pointing and laughing and adding this one to his list of terrible things that Americans call food.  He can use the one review on the Food Network site as evidence where Lauren refers to it as "delicious!" and gives it 5 starts.  Oh Lauren, come to my house and let me cook you something, sweetie.  I have a feeling you'll first need a lobotomy on your taste buds and then we can start the process of rebuilding.  I promise, it won't hurt.

 

ETA:  I don't do this often, but I couldn't resist.  When I ran that soup recipe through a recipe builder, I came up with 497 calories per serving and 2,102 mg sodium (or 91% of the daily recommended intake for healthy adults).  What I came up with was probably a little light on the sodium, because she didn't even bother to drain the beans and she added more SALT.

Edited by anneofcleves
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Am I a bad person because I prefer Nigella Lawson's delightfully messy, cluttered and disorganized (albeit MUCH more interesting) pantry to Ree's?

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One of the many reasons I'm devoted to Nigella Lawson is that her freezer looks like mine:  crammed with a hodgepodge of twisted little bags, jars of all shapes & sizes, foil-wrapped boxes, Tupperware-esque cartons with mismatched lids -- all filled with odds & ends that will surely be useful in something someday, won't they?   

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My pantry is the same, a hodgepodge of anything and everything.  It's so bad that I always end up buying items that I already have...condiments and the sort mostly.  To be honest Ree's pantry looked very bare.  Of course we have to remember that this is the tv-show pantry, the house pantry probably looks much more disorganized and more fully stocked.

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ETA:  I don't do this often, but I couldn't resist.  When I ran that soup recipe through a recipe builder, I came up with 497 calories per serving and 2,102 mg sodium (or 91% of the daily recommended intake for healthy adults).  What I came up with was probably a little light on the sodium, because she didn't even bother to drain the beans and she added more SALT.

 

It probably wouldn't be that bad if you rinsed the beans (that was appalling), used no-salt added canned goods, skipped the Velveeta, and then added salt to taste. I get wanting a super quick option for dinner, especially on a weeknight. But good god, that was scary.

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I compare everything on this show to Nigella's since they have the same production company and really are two sides of the same coin. NIgella will always be my preference-- she has so much more personality and I'd rather watch her read the paper in her garden with a cup of tea than anything the Drummonds do.  Funny thing is, I am seldom tempted by NL's recipes and few I've made weren't all that great, (of course I've bought most of her books!) whereas I've made lots of Ree's recipes with far greater success.

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Does anyone know where she got her decoupaged Artisan mixer?  I've seen them in almost every color of the rainbow, but never with that floral design.  Thanks in advance if anybody answers.

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Does anyone know where she got her decoupaged Artisan mixer?  I've seen them in almost every color of the rainbow, but never with that floral design.  Thanks in advance if anybody answers.

Here's the link for the woman who does them. Prices are insane!

http://www.unamorecustomshoppe.com/exclusive-the-original-pioneer-woman-edition-custom-floral-kitchenaid-mixer-artisan-series-mixer-included/

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