Recipe–Rebecca on Ree–The Cookbook Challenge–Counting the Cost

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier


I bought Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook right when it came out.  I love her recipes, her blog, her style, her personality.  My new cookbook is already stained and splattered as I have been enjoying reading it and cooking some of the recipes.  Yesturday, as I was cooking up two of her recipes at the same time, I had this thought.  “Why don’t I try to cook the entire book?”

And you say.  “It’s already been done.”

“Copy cat.”

“Old hat.”

(For those of you who didn’t follow that conversation.  A woman named Julie cooked all the recipes in Julia Child’s Cookbook.  She wrote a blog of her journey.  She then wrote a book of her blog.  And then a movie was made of her book.  It is called “Julie on Julia.”)

And I say, “so.”

Can we not repeat a fun idea?

Aren’t you wearing the same brand of jeans as someone else?


I probably am going to cook 60% of the recipes anyway, why not add on the challenge of the other 40%.  Even our names even have alliteration.

That was yesturday, Saturday, April 28.  I mentioned it on the phone to The Hunni, and of course he murmered an affirmative–why wouldn’t he?  He gets to eat the fruit of my labors.

So today, I decided to sit down and “count the cost.”

BREAKFAST = 13 recipes

LUNCH = 14 recipes

SOUPS = 7 recipes

PARTY FOODS = 15 recipes

PASTA AND PIZZA = 10 recipes

SUPPER = 21 recipes

SIDES = 10 recipes

SWEETS = 17 recipes

CANNING = 2 recipes

Now if my Dollar Store Calculator is working, that is 109 recipes.  It sounds like a lot.  BUT I have already made Fried Chicken Tacos, Perfect Iced Coffee, Make Ahead Muffin Melts, and Mushroom Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce.  I made these recipes when Pioneer Woman posted them on her blog.  That’s four recipes down.  Since I bought Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook, I have made Cherry Limeade, and Crash Hot Potatoes.  Two more down.  Yesturday, I started the Carnitas Pizza, and today, we finished off the Apple Dumplings I made.  Two more.  Besides, I have to cook everyday anyway, why not have some fun with it.

So here is the total (not counting the Apple Dumplings and Carnitas Pizza)  109 – 6 = 103 recipes to go.  I wonder if I can finish before I start up school this fall??? HHhhmmmmm.  I have all of May, June, July, and August.  4 X 30 = 120 + 2 (extra days in May and July).  Maybe not.

After looking over all the recipes here is “the cost.”  Most of the ingredients are either currently in my pantry, or I buy regularly.  Here are the few that I don’t regularly buy.

Dulce de Leche–I grew up in South America where Dulce de Leche is a staple, so I have no problem adding this item to a grocery list.  Besides, it is cheap.

instant coffee–I usually just brew up some espresso, but recently The Hunni came home with some Via (Starbuck instant coffee), so this item isn’t a problem.

kale–I recently was served this at the top of the Seattle Space Needle, and found it “okay, but I prefer spinach.”  However, I decided to buy it last grocery run (before my Rebecca on Ree idea), so it also isn’t a problem.

pine nuts–I used to buy them for homemade pesto, but now with four kiddos, I just use the cheaper walnuts.  I guess I could splurge the extra $8.00 for some pine nuts. ???

Dr. Pepper–I LOVE any form of coke or pop or soda, so I don’t usually keep it in the house.  I buy it when I have pizza on the menu and occasionally Mexican food.  I guess, I could pick up Dr. Pepper next time instead of the usual Coca-Cola.

prosciutto–I love this stuff.  The fact is, I have never even priced it.  I just assumed it wasn’t budget friendly and pushed my grocery cart right past it.  Surely this isn’t a budget breaker. (I have since priced this.  It is about $7.00 for one small package.)

celery root–I have never cooked this.  Will the kiddos eat it?  I will give it a try.

tomatoe juice–I can’t tell you how much I dislike this stuff.  I have tried it many times thinking that I might have, “grown into it,” but it never has worked.  It is in a gaspaco, so perhaps I can handle it.

shrimp–On my last grocery run (before the Rebecca on Ree idea) I longingly looked at the raw shrimp.  I picked up a package, then virtuously put it back.  There are four recipes that need shrimp.  Could I get all four recipes out of one package???  Half the recipes?  Quarter the recipes???

ribeyes–Now this is going to kill a grocery bill.  Maybe I can buy just two–for The Hunni and I–and serve the kiddos hotdogs.  The problem is all of my kiddos greatly dislike hotdogs.  They won’t eat them.  And I never even told them what is in hotdogs!!  They just all decide on their own.

veal shanks–Can I get these at my local grocer?  Bone marrow?  The crazy thing is that my Not-So-Adverterous-With-Food-Hunni has had bone marrow and liked it.  Price wise??  I don’t know.  (I have since priced this and on sale it is about $10.00 for two shanks. ouch!!)

blue cheese-I tend to like Feta, but I could buy blue cheese once instead.  There are two recipes that use blue cheese, so it shouldn’t go to waste–maybe to my waist, though.

rum–I am guessing this is expensive.  How expensive I don’t know.  Now I have ALWAYS wanted to bring a flaming dish to the table, so here is my chance.

beer–I have made beer batter before, so I guess I can try adding it to a stew.  Can you only buy one bottle?

whiskey–ouch.  I think this runs about $30.  Three recipes call for it.  HHhhmmm.

Kahlua–Now I KNOW this is expensive as my friend has a Kahlua cake that I have been wanting to make for three years, but by the time I buy all the essentials, my grocery cart is overflowing and I have stuff falling over the edges.  Usually, Krogers opens a new line for me as I have so much stuff.  AND WE EAT IT!!  We go through 3/4 of a gallon of milk EVERY day!  That means in one year we drink 273.75 gallons of milk. If you divide all the milk we drink in a year by 6 (number of people in this house) you get 45.6 gallons of milk per person in a year.  Do I really drink 46 gallons of milk each year?

tequila–Never bought it.  Do they sell these hard liquors in little sample sizes?  That would help.

triple sec–I have my doubts

vodka–I don’t know if I can do it.

That’s the plan.

Come along and cook with me.

–reebecca 🙂

If you would like to buy her book, click on the blue link and it will take you to Amazon.

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11 Responses to Recipe–Rebecca on Ree–The Cookbook Challenge–Counting the Cost

  1. Great idea! I love her recipes as well. Mostly I love the technique tips that are found throughout as well as the amusing stories and beautiful photographs. Her cookbooks are not the type you can borrow from the library and just copy the recipes, you HAVE to own the book. I only have her first one, but the second is on my want list.


    • whitsendmom says:

      I enjoy the stories and photos so much as well. And my kids generally like what I cook from her books (minus the green peppers, red peppers, adobe peppers, jalapeno peppers)


  2. Kathy Tanner says:

    I am an easy mark for a cookbook. But I SHOULD try at least one recipe in the last cookbook I bought before I buy another. At least, that sounds like a good idea. I actually think I enjoy looking at the pictures as much as trying the recipes. Now that we are down to two for dinner, we go out lots and my favorite time to really cook is for company. I think I will invite someone soon. Or should I just give in a order the book on your recommendation? O, I have 10 cookbooks on my wish list at Amazon – after our trip to Oregon and three days and nights with a family that lives healthy and wrote a cookbook ( I have that one too ) That is another story.
    enough babbling
    Blessings to the cook

    May 28
    Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings
    ( faithful women will abound with blessings too )


    • whitsendmom says:

      COOKBOOKS–well actually all books–they are my weakness! What is tha name of the “healthy family” cookbook? Sounds interesting! Are the meals kid friendly?


      • Kathy Tanner says:

        Well, I was just trying to find your recipe for cake that uses lots of milk, and I found you had asked ME a question. So here is one answer. The name of the cook book is
        Good Food, Great Medicine. The author is a nephew to one of your “readers’ Bel McCoy. I am not a good judge of kid friendly, but when you start kids off early with nutritious food, you have an advantage. If you think you would like a copy, I think I have an extra – when is your birthday?


      • whitsendmom says:

        Birthday is long pasted in April. Besides, you already sent a lovely care package filled with goodies for all.


  3. brooke says:

    Roast cooked in beer is very good–and you can buy just one beer–because that’s what I’ve done for my roasts before : ) Also, I’ve subbed in root beer when I didn’t want to go to the store and it was delish to me–but I do like sweet flavors.
    Gonna enjoy watching you cook through Ree–I got this cook book from Tadd for my birthday and have only used a few of the recipes so far. But we’ve made the iced coffee for both our Prophecy conference and our YP weekend and it went over quite well both times.


    • whitsendmom says:

      Did you buy the big “tub” in the photos? I have seen one at GFS and have thought about getting it, but space is a big issue for me. I just love all restaurant supplies there.


  4. Liz says:

    I also Love Ree and her cookbooks! So far my favorite from the new cookbook is the Perfect AuGratin potatoes. Delicious! Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading about you cooking through Ree.


    • whitsendmom says:

      I haven’t made those yet. Hope all is well with you. How are you doing with the summer heat? Which month are you due?
      WE just read a verse this morning in I Samuel 1, “For this child I prayed.”


  5. Lisa Buchanan says:

    I have to comment on the iced coffee. I made it Ree style and was disappointed. I thought it tasted like old coffee. You know the stuff that sits in your coffee maker until the afternoon and so you decide not to waste it and make an iced coffee out of it, but not matter what you do to it, it just tastes old? That stuff. For the most absolutely bestest iced coffee (in my humble opinion) you must needs acquire a aero press. They are cheap from amazon and make THE BEST hot and iced coffee!! It’s the closest I’ve come to drinking coffee that tastes as good as it smells. No bitterness and a rich, full taste. There. There’s my 2 cents. By the way, I love your Ree on Rebecca idea!


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