Day one with the Pioneer Woman

Last night I arrived at the airport and the Pioneer Woman was there to greet me. I screamed like a dork when I saw her because I was so excited. We hugged and then she threw my luggage in her SUV and we were off. It was more than an hour drive to get to the ranch, so we had plenty of time to talk. This was good since we were both actually strangers to each other. We had only communicated in email up until that point which made the whole trip much more of an adventure. On the hour plus trip we passed a lot of … nothing. To put things in perspective, from the airport to her house… not one single McDonald’s. Not one. I live in the suburbs and you can trip over one here if you’re not careful. But, it was a great ride. I so enjoyed going to a place that is the complete opposite of what I am used to.

We turned down this long empty road that finally delivered us to the Lodge. I couldn’t wait to see it. Every bit of it exceeded my expectations. Shortly after we arrived, Marlboro Man and all the punks all stopped in to welcome me. This was actually kinda weird for me… seeing all of them at once after seeing them in all of the Pioneer Woman’s pictures. And here they were … in one place … living, breathing, people and one sad looking dog. That’s right, Charlie came to welcome me too, but he couldn’t come inside. A few days before, he was sprayed by a skunk and he was stinky. Sorry, Charlie.

PW’s mom was also there visiting. She’s so nice. She and the female punks (I’ll call them punkettes from now on) stayed the night in the Lodge with me. I was happy to have the company because the Lodge is pretty big. I unpacked all my goodies and watched a little TV with the girls. Then I had to hit the sheets.


Good Morning Oklahoma! When I woke up the first morning and walked out onto the expansive deck, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was right smack in the middle of nowhere. Look way out there in the distance. What do you see? Nothin… definitely not any golden arches.


But if you look a little closer, there’s this. And it’s much better than any old fast food joint. Look at the sweet little horsey.


I got dressed and piddled around until PW came over. Here’s the kitchen. If you’ve seen the pictures on her website, let me just say that it’s even better in person. It’s huge and functional and huge and huge. It has two fridges, two freezers, twelve burners, three ovens and three dishwashers. In other words, it’s heaven. Pioneer Woman and Marlboro Man renovated the old lodge and turned it into a true showpiece. PW plans on using it for more fun blogging get togethers. So keep watching on her site.


Here’s the view from inside the house.


This view is from the baking side of the kitchen. See the light coming from the left. That’s the hallway that takes you to the four bedrooms, each with it’s own bathroom. PW was so sweet and arranged some flowers on my arrival. And, on the other side of the fireplace or rock climbing wall (your choice) is the TV area. When you are in the kitchen, you can duck and see what’s on TV right through the fireplace. And, the TV is about the same size as that opening. Again… heaven.

Now, if any of those le crueset pots go missing, it wasn’t me. Especially if it was the little blue one on the top shelf. It wasn’t me.


Now, the weather wasn’t the prettiest. It did rain a little, but that’s ok. We had plenty of baking to do.

Today’s agenda was cupcake baking and fondant decorating. Fun! Fun! Fun!

PW made the cupcakes from her chocolate sheet cake recipe and I took pics of her baking for me.


Here she is mixing some flour. Notice the angle. Did I mention that PW was really tall? Like super-hero tall. I’m a pipsqueak compared to her. So I had to stand on a table to get this shot. Not only is she tall, but so are all the cowboy-sized counters.

In addition to towering over me in height, she’s also gracious, glamorous and a really great cook. Maybe she is a super-hero.


This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. I love the hint of PW in the background. And, I love, love, love that camera. It kicks my camera’s butt.


Here is the chocolate getting heated on the stove with the french ring.


Can’t you just smell the chocolate cooking. I just about couldn’t stand it. It was the absolute best smell.


And here it is being poured into the flour mixture. I’m not going to go through all the steps because she’s already done that with her Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe.

But, I will show you this oven. It’s has a digital dashboard. (Oh, how I miss you already.)



Now, I took this pic because it made me think of something special. And if you’re reading PW, from a baker to a cook, the eggs were something we both have in common and I thought of you when I saw it.


Back to cupcakes. They’re baking up so beautifully.


Man, the inside of that oven is so shiny!


These are almost ready to be frosted with a thin layer of buttercream.


But first we had to bake a second batch of cupcakes.


I bet you’re wondering who these two are. Lillie-beth is on the left and Tanner is on the right. They were a lot of fun. Tanner is full of all kinds of energy. It was refreshing to see. They stopped by during our fondant adventure to do a little story on PW … a little of this and that.


While they were here, I twittered Tanner’s photo on my twitter feed and his profile went crazy. There were a lot of girls asking about him. Sorry, he has a girlfriend. At least he did a few days ago, anyway.


Yikes… there’s me. I never take good photos, but this one’s actually not that bad. I’ll just have to remember to walk around like this with my hand up and look at everyone at a 45 degree angle… That shouldn’t be too weird. Thanks Lillie-beth for sending it to me.


There’s Marlboro Man. I think he’s reading one of the posts PW put up that day. Did I mention that she’s incredible. In addition to baking and entertaining, she also managed to blog during it all.


PW always has her camera handy. It makes me feel good that there are others out there as crazy for taking pictures as I am.


These are some of the cupcakes we covered in fondant. PW is going to have a tutorial on it soon. What am I saying she probably already has it done.

While I was finishing up some of the cupcakes, PW started getting the salad ready for the next day’s lunch.


While she rinsed…


I rolled.


Here are some of the finished fondant cupcakes that she’ll show you how I made.


Monday was a long day. A lot longer than we both thought it would be. And, we still had cakes to bake for Tuesday, so I baked some and so did she.


Again, I love this oven.


Hey, there’s me again. See the cakes baking in the back. Hi cakes!


Here’s the other oven. And, it’s one big bad wolf. Make that wolves. There’s two of them. (I miss you, too.)


This is the last photo of the day. I couldn’t resist. Someone left this lone apple on the edge of the table and it begged for it’s picture to be taken. Good night!

Next up: Morning Cows

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70 comments on “Day one with the Pioneer Woman”

  1. I love being able to find little nuggets like this on the internet when you’re doing a search. :) Always love your blog… and you got to cook with PW! How cool is that?! two of my heroes in the same place….

  2. What an amazing experience for you!! I have been wondering what kind of oven(s) she has.. Do you know if they were convection or standard? Odd question.. I know. But I can’t put 3 levels of cupcakes in my standard oven and have them all cook evenly like hers do. What’s the trick??

  3. The pics are so pretty!!!!

  4. OMG ~ I just saw this posting of the time you spent with PW. It is awesome!!!! It sounded like you had a great time:)

  5. That kitchen makes me weep with envy! Great photos!

  6. Oh my God, this house, this kitchen, this camera…marvellous…
    I would like you to visit Spain and teach here all about fondant and cup-cakes… it´ll be really nice.
    Kisses from Spain

  7. Therese – It’s some fancy way to keep things heated. the farther away from the center the less heat it emits. It was actually pretty awesome.

    Andi – Welcome to sugarland.

  8. Awesome awesome post and stories! I follow PW’s blog and found you through her! OMG – LOVE all the Easter pop dudes! And everything else, too!

  9. what is a french ring?

  10. Elizabeth Parsons – Ha. You have good self control.

    snowdrop – thanks

  11. wow!! what an exciting post girl, i just love seeing exquisite kitchens and at work to boot, your photos were phenomenal-
    thanks for brightening my day so-

  12. i had to show my hubbie PW’s collection of her La Cruset…to show him how lucky he is i dont have 9 large pots. I live about 2 miles from a La Cruset store…it is hard…very hard…and of course i collect it.

    love the pics and your onservations.

  13. thanks

  14. OMG what a kitchen! I always love to see your photos but these ones are extra great.

  15. mrs.deane – yes. guests and whatnot.

    lyndsay – thanks.

    Pony Girl – Always a Canon. PW uses a Nikon though and it’s pretty awesome.

    Saucy – Thank. You.

  16. Bakerella + Pioneer Woman = Best.Day.Ever.

    Glad you posted it for the rest of us to see (drool over). You know what I mean.

  17. I’m so excited I discovered your site…I’m not much of a cook, but I LUV to bake! ;) I read PWs site and it was fun to see your take on the adventures you had on the visit…by the way, do you typically shoot with a Canon? I like your photos! I am thinking of getting a Canon over a Nikon. Anyway, looks like fun, fun, fun!! (very jealous cowgirl here!)

  18. hope you had a great time in my fair state! =) don’t worry, the rest of the state isn’t as empty…well, at least where i live it’s not lol.

    Tulsa, OK

  19. you’re a total cutie. my hands look just like yours when i color fondant!! i always forget that you can actually wear gloves… :)

  20. I am so with you on the Le Creuset collection!!! Her kitchen looks like a little bit of paradise! Is it true that that’s really just for guests and whatnot??? WOW.

  21. Wow, I’m so jealous :) Looks like you had so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

  22. elizabeth – I’m sitting at the computer like that now.

    Dot O – type in wii in the search bar at the top.

  23. YOu were so lucky to get to go there! Glad you had fun and so glad I found your sweet blog! I think I love you!!!!

    I need to find where you made those Wii cupcakes – We just got a Wii and are having a blast with it.

    I’ll be back for sure. Gonna add you to my blog roll so I can see your updates.

  24. It sounds like a wonderful time! Thank you, both – for sharing of your bountiful talents!
    I lol’d about your comment on your own picture – you are lovely! I moan about my receding chin, and have learned the perfect pose (for pictures) to decrease it – but can’t walk around like that. ;-)

  25. Thanks guys!

  26. This trip just sounds heavenly! That apple is absolutely adorable.

    My Blogs: CalvaryGirl- Life, Designs, and Devotions

  27. I loved reading about your sweet adventure with Ree. She’s an amazing person and so are you. Thanks for sharing all this with us.

  28. Loved your PW adventure!

    My 8 year old daughter and I finally have the time to try making cake pops this weekend. I learned that next time I – (A) need more time, they were messy from rushing; and (B) need more than 2 bags of candy melts.

    We posted a picture on my blog

  29. Michelle – ha ha . yes, I am.

    Anonymous – you and me both

    Jeff and Anna too! – Yep… she’s real!

    Lisa Sharp – it was a treat to visit.

  30. next time… can you pllllllllease pack me in your suitcase so I can fit in a little girlie time! how fun!

  31. It’s so neat hearing someone talk about Oklahoma that isn’t from here. Yes there is a lot of nothing lol. I love that about Oklahoma! I’m very jealous I couldn’t be there. I’m in southern Oklahoma but it’s not so far away. haha

  32. Beautiful pictures. Beautiful cupcakes.

  33. I am green with envy and I’m not sure what I am more jealous off, the food, that KITCHEN, or what a wonderful time it looks like.


  35. hey just wanted to say that williams-sonoma is copying your cake pop idea and making money off of it.
    keep up the good work. :)

  36. Come to Newnan, GA!!!! Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. I’m so jealous! I love the cake pops and was surprised that they were not impossible to make. Thanks!!!

  37. I am officially in lust of that amazing kitchen with all of that cool, cool stuff. Yowza!

  38. Pioneer Woman is REAL! Holy cow, I love her and I love you. My friend made your cupcakes the other day!! SO CUTE! Your site is adorable-how are you so skinny?

  39. Thanks for sharing, this is such a top post, brilliant!
    I’ve never seen a ranch from so close befopre :)))
    (well, only on TV series, I know, that’s poor, lol!!) :)

  40. WOW, this is awesome and I was thinking while looking at that kitchen I would LOVE the pots and then you said “
    Now, if any of those le crueset pots go missing, it wasn’t me. Especially if it was the little blue one on the top shelf. It wasn’t me.” Hee Hee great minds, or is it cookware lovers!

  41. I think I said it before but will say it again.

    Damn, I loved this story.

  42. Damn, I loved this story with pics.

  43. I am oh so jealous!! I tried to make the hello kitty pops last weekend in your honor…wishing i was there! My cake pops…well, ok for a first try!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  44. Oh, I’m so jealous! Of your talent, your fun visit with PW, that kitchen….I’m absolutely Green!

  45. Wow, what an adventure. You know we are all jealous! Like some others, I found your site from PW. What a gal. And your site is great too. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  46. I’m so jealous of her kitchen! My lone oven is getting jealous…

  47. I sure wish I had a kitchen like hers, just imagine what I could cook then. :)

  48. I’ve always wondered what you do with all of those cupcakes/cake pops? Clearly you’re not eating them…do you donate them?

  49. Cuppy Puppy Mommy – back off… I might have to fight you for it.

    Monica – it was!

    CottageGirl – thanks

    karenfae – me too. I’d love to have half of that kitchen

    SimplySweeter – so true

    Spruce Hill – I’d cover broken places with decorative fondant shapes. leaves, flowers.

    Jaden Paige- It was amazing

    Donna – you’re welcome

    betsy – I still can’t wrap my head around it.

    Knitnut,Karen – thanks

    Jessica – thanks

    ‘Rita – you are most welcome

    Frisbies Forever – yeah, I’d be fine with a small one

    Kelly Chandler – thanks

    Michele – Use natural light and get a 50 mm fixed lens.

    Robynn’s Ravings- enjoy the trip

    Susan – good. I’m glad.

    Jenn – You are welcome

    Sarah – me too

    Shirley – yeeeeeepppppppp

    The Italian Dish – it was a marathon post.

    shannon – no. it’s on their property to use for guests and future visiting bloggers.

  50. is the lodge their house? or is it like an actual like lodge hotel thing that they just own? becuase if its their house i am completely jealous of their fabulous kitchen (3 ovens I could just die) and their beautiful decor

  51. Your pictures are so much fun – thanks for taking them and posting them. i know how much work that is!

  52. maaaaaannnnnnnn……

  53. *sigh*



  54. Looks and sounds like you had an amazing experience at the ranch! Thanks for sharing with us all who wish we were there!

  55. It’s been a real treat to read about your trip and see all the photos of the lodge and the food.

  56. What a fun ride! Can’t wait to keep travelin’!

  57. Hello Bakerella!
    I found your blog through PW. No surpise there right? I can’t wait to try to make some of the fantatic food you have made. I have been intimidated by fondant!
    I have to say you take fabulous photos. I just read on PW’s blog that you shoot in full auto??? I just can’t believe that. I have a Canon Rebel xti and I WISH I could get pictures half as good as you. Any tips for a novice like myself?
    I can’t wait to look around your blog!

  58. I love that oven, too! And the lodge! And your cupcakes!!!!

  59. Someday I’ll have a kitchen like that and bake and cook to my heart’s content! I like the blue one too, only the bottom shelf blue one, but then again, I have 10 kids.

  60. Bakerella, thank you so much for the details of your trip. You and PW are my favorites and to see you both together and baking yummy stuff was awesome! Thank you, thank you!

  61. It looks and sounds wonderful! How lucky you were to be invited there! Of course, you do deserve it!

  62. I love that you posted that first shot, because I have such a hard time comprehending that much undeveloped space. I drive past fields and cows every day, but *nothing* like that. It is pretty amazing to contemplate. They don’t grow plains like that, even in Upstate New York.

  63. Thanks for sharing! I love reading all about your ranch visit.

  64. That house/ lodge is like a dream… So gorgeous!! Wow… I am jealous! lol :)

  65. I love this post. I really enjoyed following your whole trip. I felt like I was right there with you in the kitchen. Those ovens do rock! whoooo. PW’s camera makes mine look like chopped liver too :)

    I am posting a picture today of the cake my daughter made yesterday. We are having some problems with the fondant cracking. any tips on how to fix them?

  66. Sounds like you both had a fabulous time. You made some great food and you made a great friend. I love those kinds of adventures!

  67. I would love to have that kitchen!

  68. This is so much fun! I love living vicariously through the two of you!

    What talent you both have…

    What are you talking about? You always take good pictures!

  69. I can’t imagine having an oven like that! And a french ring? Oh my! Man, I bet it was hard to leave. lol

  70. i am in love with PW oven!

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