Sure, I have given that dimpled debutante of the dinner table Ree Drummond, better also known as the Pioneer Woman, her fair share of satirical grief here in the past. And, really, it’s only because, as so many #blessed stay-at-home moms in ill-fitting stirrup pants and sexless sweatshirts featuring a basket of puppies outlined in puff-paint have so dutifully informed me, I am “manically jealous” of all her empirical successes, from books and TV and everything in-between while I have nothing.
Which is all very true. Hers is an echelon of achievement that I shall never even come close to attaining in this flicked Marlboro butt of a life I’ve made for myself as a “yellow journalist,” barely scraping by in life financially, let alone emotionally and nutritionally, hanging out in mall food courts and eating the cold orange chicken and soggy pizza crusts leave behind on abandoned tables, hopefully, while she and her sexy hubby live it up on the high horse at a multi-million dollar Pawhuska ranch.
That being said, I am not without the ability to issue the occasional edible mea culpa, albeit in click-baiting listicle form, as there are a number—five, exactly—of Bartlesville Country Club Drummond’s recipes that sound absolutely scrumptious and I would someday love to try if they can ever be paired down to a toaster oven and a hot plate. ¡Cómpralo ya!
Aye Dios mio, does this Chicano love a good refried bean! But, instead of just eating them straight out of the can like one usually does, Ree’s recipe actually enhances the creamy frijole goodness by layering them with various spices and cheeses in a heavily buttered skillet on high heat, eventually adding a full cup (or two, burp) of tequila to the proceedings and then baking. Bonus points if you get the worm, ese!
If there’s a meat I particularly love because it always seems to be on a Manager’s Special no matter where I shop, it’s a big ol’ juicy pork butt, clearance priced and ready for the crock-pot. Sensually rub on (and in) a few spices along with a healthy serving of your favorite barbeque sauce and in a few hours, you’ve got some tender and tasty D-grade pulled pork. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, however, ingeniously calls for the addition of two cans of your favorite soda! Any soda! Hmmm…do you think Aldi’s Red Bull knock-off counts as soda?
Ree says this recipe was inspired by a similar entrée she had while dining at the long-defunct Planet Hollywood, so if it was good enough for the vanity menu of a bankrupt business venture between Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, then I’ll be back…for seconds! After fluffing in flour and dipping in egg, said chicken strip is then generously rolled and coated in pulverized Cap’n Crunch—or the Great Value equivalent, if you’re nasty—and fry-daddied beyond recognition. Add your own Crunch Berry dipping sauce and, ahoy matey, they’re tragically delicious!
Growing up, when my mom made us “white chili,” it was basically a pot of pork and beans with half a jar of mayo and a copy of the Dave Matthews Band's Under the Table and Dreaming swirled around and simmering for a few hours. Color me surprised—or better yet, don’t—as I’ve learned, thanks to the Pioneer Woman, that this pigmentless pot of butter, onions, boneless chicken and Great Northern Beans is so much more than I ever thought it could be.
Remember the good ol’ days when a milkshake was just come ice cream and milk? Well, get over yourself, you sloppy bitch, because we’re gonna serve these patriotic bad boys up, Pioneer-style! Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to a glass of milk, pour in some chocolate syrup, shake ‘em up nice and thick and then, for funsies, top with whipped cream. And then top that with about four bags of your favorite “fun size” candy bars and, if you’re extra decadent, a box of your favorite Little Debbie treats. I prefer them Zebra Cakes, mama!
I also enjoy the occasional Swiss Cake Roll. Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler.