"I think a lot of people look at a recipe and think, 'How do you do that?' because not everyone knows how. I try to show them how," she said. "Somewhere along the way cooking became something that was fancy, and it just left behind all those people who aren't comfortable in the kitchen."
In addition to accessible recipes, Drummond uses readily available pantry ingredients -- due to the fact that the nearest major grocery store is about a 90-minute round-trip drive away and that includes a five-mile stretch of gravel road. A few times a year -- woo-hoo! -- Drummond drives the two hours to Tulsa to shop at a Sam's Club.
She posts several times a week, and her style -- easy-going, self-effacing and filled with observational details -- makes readers feel like they just stopped by for a cup of coffee and a slice of pie.
The blog itself seems to echo country living. The photo presentation illustrates it best. Most blogs rely on photo galleries that practically challenge readers to Click! Click! Click!, and race by captions like they are an afterthought.
On the Pioneer Woman, a blog posting typically starts with a topic du jour and is followed up with photos and brief observations and interjections that serve as captions. The effect invites readers to sit back, and lazily scroll through the photos, devouring and savoring each morsel as they go.
This success aside, Drummond always comes across like regular folk, relatable to the masses. She recently posted about cleaning out her closet of clothes, and took loving photos of what was clearly designer label fare. But there could be no begrudging the woman who wrote openly about no longer being able to fit into said clothing, and how cap sleeves are not exactly her friend anymore.
Drummond would not discuss revenue from her site, except to say that her family makes its living from ranching, not blogging. Fans might be interested to know that many of Drummond's contest giveaways -- like those big shiny KitchenAid mixers and food processors -- are purchased out of her own pocket. "I give a big chunk of my revenue back in prizes. I don't give it all back, for sure, but I wouldn't have an audience if they weren't reading my site, and this is my way of showing them how much I appreciate them."
Her cookbook, which includes new recipes and old favorites, as well as her trademark step-by-step photography, is a natural extension of the blog. Just as Drummond never thought she'd end up back in the country, she also never imagined that she would be writing a cookbook.
"I think that's really the moral of all this. You can go ahead and feel free to make all the plans you want in life, but who knows where you'll really be in 15 or 20 years. I look around and I don't recognize anything about my life."