Food Network stars are as common as May 5th margaritas, but few are as likeable and down-to-earth as Oklahoma ranch wife Ree Drummond, host of “The Pioneer Woman.” The award-winning blogger and New York Times bestselling author comes to Mesa Saturday to promote her newest release, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier.”
A country club girl from Bartlesville, Okla., Ree (short for Ann Marie) graduated from the University of Southern California in 1991. While en route to Chicago for law school, she met her future husband one evening at a bar and the rest, of course, is history. Though Drummond’s not a fourth generation rancher like her husband, whom she refers to as “Marlboro Man,” she fell in love with the wholesome romance of his life. As did Columbia Pictures, who owns the film rights to her autobiographical love story “The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” which is rumored to star Reese Witherspoon.
Her second foray into the cookbook world — “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier” — bears her signature girl-next-door persona. In it, the homeschooling mother of four whips up simple meals from basic pantry staples ranging from Homemade Glazed Doughnuts, Chipotle Steak Salad, Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, and Knock You Naked Brownies. Each recipe is replete with step-by-step photographs and humorous side notes. Drummond peppers shots of real ranch life throughout the nearly 300 page book, ending with a photo shoot of her kitchen during the writing process. Spoiler alert: her kitchen looks like everyone else’s — maybe worse.
Saturday’s event, hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore, takes place in Dobson High School’s recently remodeled theater. Changing Hands General Manager Cindy Dach said they are expecting about 300 people for the event. At Drummond’s request, the event is free and open to the public and will include a slideshow narrated by Drummond, followed by a book signing, Dach said. Those purchasing the book from Changing Hands in person, online, or at the event receive priority line placement, though anyone may bring their copy for Drummond to sign. Each attendee will be able to do a brief Q&A with the author during the signing.
Seating is on a first come, first served basis. The event begins at 2 p.m. Saturday with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.
DETAILS >> 2 p.m. Saturday. Dobson High School Auditorium, 1501 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa. Free. (480) 730-0205 or www.changinghands.com.
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