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In which I wax poetic about The Pioneer Woman


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I made The Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese the other night. It looked like this:
Oh. My. Genoa. That there is a sea, a sea of cheese.

I think about The Pioneer Woman a lot when I think about food blogging. The woman is clearly brilliant. Her step by step pictures and descriptions are funny and educational. I mean, this woman taught me how to make a roux for crying out loud. A roux. The last time I tried to make a roux, I burned it to the bottom of the pan and then put the flour holder on the still hot burner and melted the bottom off of it. (I'm still really sorry about that, Mom).

I don't know how she manages to make such delicious looking things AND take step by step pictures. I tried step by step pictures once (see: Spicy Sesame Chicken), and while I think it looked pretty nice on the blog, it was not a complete set. I kept forgetting to take a picture after everything I did. Ultimately, I didn't even post all of the pictures I took because I thought it might be too distracting. I mean, does my audience need to see my 70s green Rubbermaid measuring cups filled with chopped onion and garlic? It doesn't seem useful. And yet, I never feel that way when I'm perusing PW's recipes. She manages to make her photos as instructional as her narrative.

Her recipes all seem so homey, too. I mean, I get the vibe from PW that she may be a bit of a food snob (and really, if you keep a food blog you probably are on some level). Yet she's using ingredients that I can usually find at my local grocery store in Iowa. That, my friends, is a feat. Grocery stores here are pretty basic. I went searching for a can of light cocout milk a few weeks ago and came up empty handed. I ended up using straight up coconut milk, which has about a million calories. I don't think light coconut milk would be so hard to find, but then again I thought the same thing about pumpkin and look where that led me.

Anyway, The Pioneer Woman is kind of the end all, be all of food blogs. Maybe this is overly lofty (and I did just watch Julie & Julia), but I think PW is the Julia Child of the internet generation. I mean, I love me some Food Network. But I have never learned as much from Food Network as I have from PW's blog. I think that's relatively common, too. I can pretty much guarantee you that if a person is running a food blog, said person is reading or has read The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

So thank you, PW. Thank you for your witty, useful recipes. Thank you for inspiring people from the internet generation to get out there and cook something. And, most of all, thank you for teaching me how to make a roux. I hope I will never burn another flour container again.


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