Even though I had already read two-thirds of The Pioneer Woman's love story as it was published on her website, I was thoroughly excited about the publication of this book.
Not only did she promise some new material in the first two-thirds, there was also that final third that she added, which she promised would include the story of her honeymoon and the first year of her marriage to Marlboro Man.
While I have always absolutely loved reading her love story on her website (and I say "have always loved" because I've read it several times), at times it makes me jealous because in some ways she has led a very fortunate life. She clearly didn't grow up wanting for anything and while she claims to have many of the same image issues that many women do, she's obviously very pretty and was adequately aware of that throughout her youth. She attended college in southern California and enjoyed everything Los Angeles had to offer. When she returned home between L.A. and her plan to move to Chicago, she very easily dated several men and enjoyed life before randomly meeting Marlboro Man one night.
And now - now she has an amazing website, is clearly a great cook, a very good photographer, maintains a beautiful home, homeschools her four gorgeous children, and still wants for very little (except DSL). And she's still amazingly beautiful (absolutely stunning in person). So I find a lot to be jealous of.
So I always find it interesting when she talks about something she struggles with, which she does in the newly added material in her book. Not to be too spoiler-y, but the ranch had some struggles that first year, she didn't have a necessarily easy pregnancy with her first child (yes, she was pregnant in their first year of marriage) and she didn't immediately take to motherhood, which is something I found particularly comforting to read as I felt many of the same emotions she did (although without the circle of support she describes as having - I wish someone came over and cooked and cleaned for me).
I found that the writing style shifted a bit with the third section, which I would guess is because she wrote it separately from the first two parts and also because the subject matter was far less light than it was as she described falling in love with her husband. If you want to fall in love with your partner all over again, definitely read this book, though. That's why I've read the online version a few times; I always come away from it feeling happy to have found love and to be married.
This book isn't for everyone, of course, just like her website isn't necessarily interesting to everyone. But if you like her website even just a little, you will probably like this book (and you can read the online parts of it first to see how much you like it).
And, naturally, she adds some recipes at the end of her book. Most of them are ones readers of her site and owners of her cookbook will recognize, though - nothing new worth noting...
And then, after I made them, they continued to call out to me, like an ex you've dumped who just won't take a hint. (Not that that's ever happened to me, but I read about stuff like that.) I told myself I can't ever make these again, by which I mean I must now make them every week for the rest of my life. I might, in fact, make them tonight. Last night I was craving them because I ran out of them the day before, but I was too lazy to start baking at 9:30pm so instead I ate apple slices with peanut butter and chocolate chips (which, by the way, is a totally awesome snack).
For the cookies, I did not use half butter and half margarine like PW does because I just couldn't bring myself to buy margarine. It reminds me of all the bad parts of the 80s, like shoulder pads and Aqua Net and stirrup pants. So I used all butter; tonight I'll probably use half butter and half shortening to see how that affects the texture.
I did, however, include two tablespoons of flax seeds, as she recommends - and I honestly do think they made a difference. The little nutty crunch they add just tips these cookies over from good to obsessively irresistable. And the ratio of semisweet to milk chocolate chips is just right. Yumsa. If you like chocolate chip cookies, go make these tonight. Or don't, because then you'll eat them all and blame me for the five pounds you may gain. But I dare say they're worth the risk.
16. Read 30 books I haven’t read before (in addition to the above) and blog about them. (27/30)