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‘Pioneer Woman' settles on the frontier of Food Network

Blogger and cookbook author Ree Drummond, the ‘Pioneer Woman' takes her home cooking from an Oklahoma ranch to national audience on Food Network series, which premieres at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
By Jacqueline Cutler Published: August 26, 2011
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Ree Drummond is one of those talented and lucky people whose passions help her create a terrific life, and by her own admission, an accidental one.

She's married to a cowboy she calls the Marlboro Man, and they have four healthy, beautiful children she home-schools on their Oklahoma ranch. She's a photographer and home chef, which she features in her blog, thepioneerwoman.com. That blog and her best-selling cookbook led to Food Network's “The Pioneer Woman,” premiering at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

“I learned to cook because I love to eat,” she says. “Cooking was a means to an end. My mother was a very, very good cook. I was interested in cooking, not sewing and craft.”

In the pilot, Drummond makes chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes with cream cheese and butter. She's feeding her husband of 15 years, their children ages 7 to 14 and a ranch hand.

Though Drummond, 42, works hard at all she does, her success and how this life came about were not what she had planned. She calls herself an accidental country girl.

“I grew up on a golf course and was the last person anyone could imagine living in the country,” she says. “I went to school in California; I lived in L.A. When my friends got wind of the fact that I was planning to marry a rancher and move to the country, my friends cleaned out their ears.”

Though Drummond wasn't exactly a farmhand, she did grow up in Oklahoma, so it isn't as if she were seeing cattle for the first time. She fell into writing yet doesn't characterize herself as a writer. She was a prolific letter writer, and blogging was a natural offshoot. Drummond enjoyed taking pictures, so she took a photography class, then taught herself more.

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