The Pioneer Woman Show – Vera Recaps “Cowboy Mike”

Recap courtesy of Vera Charles. Thanks Vera!  

This week’s episode, Cowboy Mike, in which Ree’s brother has some awkward interactions with the family and Ree makes three recipes to serve at one meal. Seriously, I took fewer notes this week than in any previous recap, because nothing happened!

The Pioneer Woman, Fake Pioneer Woman, Fake Ree Drummond

Yes my friends, Food Network actually believes we need a cooking show for this.

We start off in the kitchen at The Lodge, where Ree says she is going to make muffins, since her brother Mike is visiting. She seems to be standing off to a different side of the counter or something, because the room looks different. She is closer to the stove than where she usually stands. We cut out to Ladd and Mike riding in a truck, talking about doing something to, for or with cows. Who knows, Ladd always sounds like his mouth is full of marbles, so I usually can’t make out what he’s saying. Back to Ree, who is making muffin batter with buttermilk. I notice the shaky camera work, which seems to be a new thing they have going on. Several times during this episode, I catch myself moving my head around, trying to follow the shaky camera. Wow, that is really annoying!

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

The recipe for these was ripped straight from…

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

page 57 of this cookbook.

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

Ree is zesting an orange; well, more like she is dabbing at an orange with a rasp turned upside down and telling us that she likes to keep the zest all on top of the rasp. What? In my experience, you get much better results by holding the rasp still and scraping the citrus fruit down it and letting the zest accumulate on the board below. Now I am thinking that maybe Ree doesn’t really have all that much experience with zesting citrus fruit. While all of this is going on, she’s talking about her brother and his visit to the ranch and she says the name “Mike” about a thousand times. OK, we get it, your brother Mike is there.

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

“Mike, can you ever forgive me for calling you “retarded” all those years?”

She prepares a couple of mini-muffin pans by spraying a ton of Pam all over them and the countertop, then we fast-forward through 48 muffins magically appearing in the pans. Thank God, because this is the most boring exercise ever! For the second time, what Ree is doing is shot through a fireplace, so it looks like we are watching her from behind a wall of fire. Weird, somebody must think that is creative or artsy or something. We cut back to some more cow footage, she teases the greasy skillet breakfasts that are coming up, we see that they will all being eating later while wearing cowboy hats in the house, and we cut to commercial.

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

“Don’t you love how the fireplace gives my butt that certain je nais se quoi?”

Back to the white work truck and more cows, then back to Ree and the muffins in the kitchen. She says she’s going to make a glaze, which must be applied to the muffins the second they come out of the oven. So she takes the muffins out of the oven, sits them on the counter to cool, then proceeds to make the glaze. So much for “the second they come out…” Ree makes a glaze that consists of brown sugar, orange juice and nothing else, then we cut to Ladd and Mike, who are going to be “doctoring a sick calf”. Oh, goodie, that’s just what I want to see in a TV cooking show. People giving inoculations to ill livestock. Great!

We see Mike roping the calf and Ladd giving it some medicine, then back to Ree making Mexican hot chocolate. She makes it with whole milk, plus half-and-half, and makes some snide remark about using 2% or even 1%,but she wouldn’t want to do that. She’s using a solid chocolate disk that she calls Mexican hot chocolate tablets, which I have seen in the store but I’ve never bought. A quick google search tells me that they contain ingredients like soy lecithin, palm oil, artificial flavors and polyglycerol polyricinoleate, a thickener made from poisonous castor beans. Yum, tasty!

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

Leave it to the fake Pioneer Woman to find a convenience product for Mexican hot chocolate.

Anyway, Ree adds some cinnamon sticks and more sugar to the hot milk, the truck arrives, followed by the kids in a jeep. One of the boys is riding sprawled across the hood of the jeep, because it’s always “safety first” at the ranch. Everybody tromps inside The Lodge, they stand awkwardly around the kitchen wearing their hats and dirty boots, all clumped in a bunch. There is much stilted talking, they roast some marshmallows in the fireplace, everybody talks with their mouths full, which we get to see in Technicolor close-up. There is another tease of the greasy breakfast skillets, we see them eating with elbows on the table, then cut to a commercial break.

Back to Mike driving around in the jeep with the kids, then Ree at the freezer. The whacky carnival music is playing! She is rattling a couple of bags of frozen French fries and I notice that the objects on the shelves in the background are colorful, not all white like the last couple of shows. She two large cast iron pans on the stove and she fries a bag of frozen hash browns in one and some steak fries in another. More shots of driving, then back to the kitchen as the hash browns are coming out of the grease. More butter into the pan, followed by onions and chopped peppers, thankfully chopped by someone off camera. Ree scrapes the peppers around in the cast iron pan with a metal spatula, then cuts up some ham cubes with that giant square knife that she uses for everything. She puts some hash browns in several individual sized iron skillets, then adds fried vegetables, ham cubes and shredded cheese. Then she places the steak fries on top of all that and plonks them into the oven. Geez, no wonder they looked greasy! There is a tease of some upcoming fried eggs, then out to commercial.

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

“I know this show was boring as hell, so buy one of my crookbooks instead.”

Back to The Lodge, where we see the kids and Mike arrive outside. One of the boys is rolling around on the ground. Earlier, Ree was talking about how cold it was and now one of them is rolling on the ground? OK, then. Back inside, Ree is scraping some eggs around in a cast iron skillet with a metal spatula, then placing them on top of the greasy skillets. She is calling this dish Eggbert Sunrises and it’s supposed to be something that she had in a diner in her hometown (Bartlesville?), and I’ve lost track of how many times she repeated that name. Ladd arrives and the whole group comes inside for some more stilted conversation. They stand around in their cowboy hats, then start eating, and we’re out. The whole thing was so stilted, so fake, so corny….just another typical day on the ranch.

the pioneer woman, fake pioneer woman, ree drummond, fake ree drummond

“What a snooze fest.”



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166 Responses to The Pioneer Woman Show – Vera Recaps “Cowboy Mike”

  1. Ruse says:

    I apologize for this right now. But that screen shot of her face with the just-phallic-enough cookbook promo bar on the bottom of the screen made me snort with laughter.

  2. Heather says:

    Someone asked on her blog today what she thought of the whole Paula Deen scandal. Of course, no response was given, but it took every ounce of strength I had not to post, she calls her own mentally disabled brother retarded. Do you really think she’s going to mind if a fellow privileged white calls a black person the N word? She’s not exactly the picture of racial diversity herself, unless you count the migrant farm workers and domestics. Get real people!

  3. martha says:

    Read this wonderful bit about the talented, real-deal, down to earth Amy Thielen today:

  4. Layla says:

    This Saturday, she’s doing an around-the-world type show, so I looked up the recipes she was going to do and when she first did them. The Mulligatawny soup was on her blog in Dec., 2010; the Thai beef and peppers was in March, 2011; chicken piccata in March, 2010, and the buttery lemony noodles in August, 2012. Absolutely nothing original/new. The reeple will never figure it out.

    • The Marlboro Woman says:

      I’m waiting for Onion Dip made from sour cream and Lipton’s onion soup mix.

    • Heather says:

      I figured her version of around the world would be French fries, pizza, and “perfect” lasagna…

    • Leslie says:

      How the hell are “buttery lemony noodles” a recipe suitable for an “around the world theme”? Frankly, it is so stupid that she’s even allowed to do a show on her versions of ethnic recipes, considering she lives on butter and oil.

  5. Heather says:

    Her latest GLORIOUS recipe is for twice baked potatoes, only she cut them into disc shapes! What?? Color me impressed. Culinary genius such as hers is only rivaled by the likes of Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. By the way, I’m in need of immediate medical attention to remove my eyeballs from the back of my head. I sarcastically rolled them too far.

    • cath says:

      You gotta wonder at where she gets the time to faff and fiddle around with potato discs, cookie cutters, mixers for mashing potatoes and all the subsequent cleaning and carry on when there is a ranch to wrangle, homeschooling to attend to, and an empire to run. And such a stupid recipe too…she admits the potatoes stick to the pan! ‘Here Reeps. A glorious recipe that will dirty half your kitchen, keep you tied to the counter for more hours than necessary, and then as you are about to serve they’ll all stick and fall apart and make a mess. You’re welcome!’

      Don’t worry about your eyes Heather. One more post from PDumb and they’ll roll all the way back around again!

      • The Marlboro Woman says:

        Had to click over there to see for myself. What a labor intensive dish. Who, but an Aspen restaurant, would have the time for that? She’s phoning it in guys.

        • Heather says:

          She’s paying someone to phone it in, she can’t even do that. But you gotta love the ballsy nature of someone who says oh by the way, this recipe is basically a hot mess. When one has a cleaning crew, it doesn’t matter.

          • Leslie says:

            I can’t believe she said they were “easy enough for a weeknight dinner”. Um, I have ONE pastry/biscuit cutter, not 68 so I can find the right one for cutting potatoes. She’s so dumb…. that recipe would never work for an after work recipe (I don’t even have children, but I would be way too tired to make something this labor intensive)!

    • sherbetlemon says:

      What a stupid recipe! I mean, it looks delicious…of course it does, it’s just twice baked potatoes complicated by x1000….but why go through that much trouble? She does understand the restaurant only does it for presentation(and because they have half a dozen underlings to prep them?), who is going to do that at home? Also does she know how to season with anything other than Lawry’s, WTH? I’m not knocking anyone using Lawry’s once in a while but she rarely adds flavor with anything else….isn’t it mostly salt, msg and onion powder? I’m sure that’s exactly what your 5 star Aspen eatery was using in their potatoes Ree.

    • Myreehurts says:

      Saw that recipe too. Again, she has really, really huge potatoes and says to bake them at 375 for 30 minutes until they’re tender. She lives in another universe! Potatoes that large will require at least an hour!

      • Sherry says:

        I’ve been thinking about her weird baking times. I’ve got a convection oven and it does shorten cooking times quite a bit. She’s got those gigantic commercial style things and I’m sure they are convection, true convection at that. That would account for her unrealistically short baking times, it’s what her fancy, expensive equipment does! She’s not thinking about what we have at home! Even the new one we have that is true convection doesn’t cook that fast. She obviously does not test her recipes at all or I’d say she needs to test them with real home equipment.

  6. Alex says:

    Good morning, everyone! Only 2 more days till Ree shows off her ’round the world cookin’. Can’t wait… for Vera’s recap, that is. Anyway, Ree is telling us she will be having MORE giveaways on her PW Cooks blog. Do the fans realize that this lets her get out of coming up with a new[?] recipe ?

    • Myreehurts says:

      Nobody is going to make the three recipes in Saturday’s show. When her show first started, all the recipes were getting dozens on comments the first day. Now, each recipe gets 2 or 3 comments, often, one recipe from the show gets no comments at all (football fruit, potato chips, Mexican hot chocolate.) all the recipes from this coming show are a little strange.

  7. cath says:

    Oh help me! Has anyone seen rthe latest facebook post with rows and rows of empty canning jars? Is she planning to can pizza and hamburger? Wtf!

    • Myreehurts says:

      I saw that too, and she jokes that she has a problem because she has so many jars. Thing is, it’s actually a pretty small collection for someone who gardens and cans. But for PW, who only uses them to serve iced coffee, it’s a lot.

      • The Marlboro Woman says:

        Don’t all pioneer women can and put up preserves? Oh yeah…she’s not really a pioneer woman. Got it.

        • Romen says:

          In her latest post on ‘the building’ she states: “I am Pioneer Woman. I love reusing old stuff.” Oooooh! Is that what pioneer women did? Or do? She capitalizes the words as though she is the definitive pioneer woman. And indeed she presents herself as some sort of superhero or heroine for the renovation (not restoration) of this building. Reeple worship does little to dissuade her from that notion; professed future road trips abound. The web spinning grows ever wider in reach. Ick.

      • cath says:

        …and we know she doesn’t can! the only cans she has a relationship with are the ones that fill her shopping trolley when she goes bulk buying around the countryside.

        Did you also see the photo of her flour drawers? That made me itch…think of the easy access bugs and critters would have to that uncovered food. yewwwwww….

    • SUZ says:

      For snark purposes, I follow both ree and daughter alex on Instagram. She has shown those fruit jars as well as her custom-made pullout drawers at The Lodge for staples, So glad I will never meet this narcissistic duo.

  8. jill says:

    every time I scroll past the pic of her leaning over and framed by fire I say to myself “don’t fart baby, just don’t fart!”

    sorry, it’s a problem us old girls have.

  9. Karon says:

    I was just at my Mom’s house(Bless her heart. She hasn’t realized what an idiot Ree is) and she had the “Queen” (not) of Pawhuska on and she was frying up about 50 greasy paper thin pork chops. From earlier posts I thought they didn’t eat pork. Well they scarfed all that down. Someone threw the pork chop bone on the floor (personally I would have knocked the snot out of the person that did that) and the little Jack Russell terrier was scarfing it up as fast as he could. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t those bones like chicken bones and splinter very easily? I guess Jack Russell’s aren’t one of her “bests” anymore if she is going to let the poor little thing choke to death on a piece of bone stuck in his throat. She is an effin idiot.

    • Kitty says:

      Actually, I’ve heard it’s best not to give dogs bones of any kind. I wouldn’t give them those disgusting pig’s feet or whatever that I’ve seen in stores either. I’ve heard those can carry e coli or salmonella or something. Rawhide can also splinter and choke them. Apparently there’s all kinds of hazards like that out there…lol.

      I can’t believe how truly stupid that woman is!

    • Kath says:

      Those were the sorriest pork chops I’ve ever seen In my life, if they were any thinner they’d be transparent. They must have been as dry as sawdust and tasteless as well. You would think someone who raises meat for a living would at lest know how to purchase decent pork chops.

  10. Sheryl says:

    For you, Ree. “What Happens When You Use the R-word.”

  11. Kathryn says:

    Mercy Maude! I went on looking around her cooking marvels, and she made a puff-pastry pizza. She talked about being a rebel and washing the mushrooms because she doesn’t like to eat dirt. Hummm. Could have fooled me. She certainly didn’t mind it when she didn’t wash the leeks!

  12. Kathryn says:

    Big sigh. Looks as if the rip-off Queen has been visiting Bakerella again. Her pancake mini-muffins are the stolen food of the day. Naturally she used her pancake recipe and blueberries, but oddly enough, acted as if she came up with the recipe on her own. The interesting thing is the photos. So copied! Yo, Ree. This meal ushers in Lent. The holiest time of year. We are to use this time to think of our actions. We are to use this time to rise above some temptations. You pretty much mock the day, the reason, and the giving up. I am disappointed.

    • JoyceG says:

      Hmmph. She didn’t even have to go as far as Bakerella’s website – the whole recipe, attributed to Bakerella, can be found on Tasty Kitchen. Ree didn’t even have to leave her own website to find a recipe to hijack. Granted, Bakerella’s is chocolate chip pancakes vs blueberry, but c’mon now, Ree. She’s taking poaching to another whole level.

    • June g. says:

      Her recipe calls for vinegar….weird. Is she making pie crust?…who puts vinegar in a muffin or pancake recipe? Does this ingredient make them luscious…gloriously lighter….fluffier? Okay?

      • c says:

        My recipe for COWBOY CAKE calls for vinegar. It makes a luscious, light and chocolatey 9×13″ cake.

      • Layla says:

        I was mystified, too, so I Googled it, and yes, vinegar can be used in pancake batter. There were comments about how the vinegar “super-activates” the baking powder and some others about mixing the vinegar and milk to sour it. It’s also the way to make a buttermilk substitute.

      • JoyceG says:

        She’s using the vinegar to “sour” the milk and make buttermilk. Just another way of changing up the recipe to make it “less” of a copy!

        • Heather says:

          She’s said many times she would rather add vinegar to milk to make “buttermilk” however, I don’t think it’s that great a substitute for the real thing. The texture is off. But then again, I can cook.

          • Layla says:

            It’s a good way not to get stuck with a carton of it. I like it in food, but I won’t drink it.

            • Heather says:

              I use it for biscuits, marinating chicken, and for dumplings. I buy it in quarts, which I make sure to use up because I think it’s nasty on its own. I’ve used the vinegar trick in a pinch, I just don’t think it’s a perfect substitute as she proclaims.

              • Sue M says:

                Try the buttermilk chicken on Smitten Kitchen. Best ever!

                • The Marlboro Woman says:

                  I second that. My family loves it, but please use buttermilk, no substitutes.

                  • Sue M says:

                    I asked Alton Brown via twitter about when to throw out buttermilk and his answer was when it comes out of the container in chunks. He has a wonderful pound cake recipe that uses buttermilk. Lovely crumb.

                  • Heather says:

                    Not to sound snotty, but mine is the best. I’ve ruined every other fried chicken for my family. They won’t eat it at restaurants now. I marinate it overnight in buttermilk and hot sauce, then double dip it in flour seasoned with several herbs and spices. It stays juicy and is so crispy. It is labor intensive, but worth it. I have an aversion, albeit weird I’ll admit it, to chicken on the bone. I use tenderloins to make this and they are juicy and never dry. True fried chicken connoisseurs would gasp at the thought of tenders, but the bones make me gag. But only in fried chicken. I’m weird. I know.

              • June g. says:

                I agree, I always have buttermilk in the refrigerator for pancakes. I tried vinegar, it was alright but nowhere near the real thing.

        • Polly N. Satcherated says:

          Another substitute for buttermilk (you can actually drink it) – Mix milk and yogurt about 3 to 1. If you use greek yogurt, use a little more milk to thin to the right consistency. Stir and use.

          Posted from my desktop.

  13. jill says:

    I’m hoping with just a few more instructional photo series I might begin to master onion chopping. It’s getting the onions on the downslope cut without slashing my fingers that cause all the trouble. I do hope she covers “mastering the curve” soon. My husband is really getting tired of bloody onions on his omelets.

  14. Joan Madden says:

    Love your site! I also was taken in by The Wonder Woman of Pawhuska. But not for very long! In fact, I once remarked to the very fact of there not being enough hours in the day to accomplish half of what she claims to do!

  15. Reeformed says:

    i love they advertise the ‘worst cooks in america’ throughout her show. hilarious.

  16. Bridget says:

    How hysterical is it that they advertise The Worst Cooks in America on the screen?????