Ree Drummond is an American author, blogger, TV personality, food writer, and photographer. She is best known for her blog ‘The Pioneer Woman.’ She lives on a ranch in Oklahoma. In her blogs, she writes about her daily life at the ranch as a mother and a wife. ‘The Pioneer Woman’ has been awarded with the ‘Weblog of the Year’ awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011, at the ‘Annual Weblog Awards.’ Born and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, she studied journalism and gerontology in college. In 2006, she started her online blog, ‘pioneerwoman.typepad.com,’ and later changed the name to ‘Confessions of a Pioneer Woman’ and finally to ‘The Pioneer Woman.’ ‘Confessions of a Pioneer Woman’ remains one of the many successful sections on her site. The blog earned huge fame and success, with several major publications praising her writing style, her ideas, and some high-quality photographs. She also puts up visually impressive food recipes in her blogs. In 2011, she started her own TV show titled ‘The Pioneer Woman,’ which is still telecast on ‘The Food Network.’ She also writes books, and most of her books are filled with cooking recipes. She recently announced that her book ‘From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels’ is being turned into a film by ‘Columbia Pictures.’
Childhood & Early Life
Ree Drummond was born Ann Marie “Ree” Drummond, on January 6, 1969, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. “Ree” was her childhood nickname given to her by her parents, William Dale Smith and Gerre Schwert. She was the third child in the family and had two elder brothers named Mike and Doug and a younger sister named Betsy
Her parents divorced later. Her father then married a woman named Patsy, his current wife.
Inspired by her biological mother, Ree had always been interested in the art of cooking. Growing up in the countryside of Oklahoma, she always dreamed of getting out of the ranch to make a successful career for herself. For most of her childhood, she was not sure about her career.
In 1987, she graduated from ‘Bartlesville High School.’ She then left Oklahoma to study in Los Angeles, California. She graduated in gerontology from the ‘University of Southern California.’ However, she had also studied journalism for a while in college, which contributed to her writing skills.
She had once decided to become a lawyer and was looking forward to attending a law school in Chicago. However, around the same time, she met her future husband and fell in love with him. She let go of her plans of joining law school and settled down with her husband. She moved to a ranch in Oklahoma and started her blogging career from there.
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Ree set up her blog in May 2006, using the domain ‘pioneerwoman.typepad.com’ and ‘Typepad’ blog service. Soon, she set up a domain and titled it ‘thepioneerwoman.com.’
She later started a blog named ‘Confessions of a Pioneer Woman’ and ended up making that title just another section in her blog. She then named the original blog ‘The Pioneer Woman.’
She writes on a variety of subjects. However, she primarily posts cooking recipes and blogs about her life on the ranch as a wife and a mother. She homeschools her children, and this experience was also turned into some popular blogs.
Her first cooking blog, ‘How to Cook a Steak,’ was posted in 2007. Along with the recipe, written in a long and detailed manner, she also posted about 20 pictures of different stages of cooking the steak and famously referred to them as a lot of “ridiculous detail.” Due to her immersive writing style and her wit, her blogs have gained immense popularity with the readers.
Her blogs glamorized the idea of living on a ranch in the countryside, which is not generally considered to be an ideal “modern American” idea of living. As the blog became more popular, Ree won several awards. She won her first ‘Weblog Award’ in 2007 and continued winning the award in 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2009 and 2010, she was also awarded with the honor of the ‘Weblog of the Year.’
She became one of the most successful American bloggers when she received more than 13 million “hits” on her blog every month. She earned more than 23 million “views” per month in 2011, with over 4 million “unique visitors.” It was also estimated then that the number of “views” Ree was receiving was almost as much as the total readership of ‘The Daily Beast,’ one of the most successful American websites.
Her popularity crossed national boundaries, and Canadian newspaper ‘The Globe and Mail’ published an article on her tremendous success as a blogger. Her blog was coined as “the mother of all farm girl blogs.” Other major publications that have recognized the groundbreaking success of ‘The Pioneer Woman’ are ‘The New York Times,’ The ‘Los Angeles Times,’ and ‘BusinessWeek.’
‘Time’ named ‘Confessions of a Pioneer Woman’ one of the ‘25 Best Blogs’ in the world. According to estimates, she earns more than $1,000,000 every year only from the advertisements on her blog. Over time, the look and the quality of photographs on her blogs have also improved drastically.
In April 2008, she organized a contest and asked her readers to submit their favorite recipes. The contest became a major success as she received more than five thousand recipes in less than a day of the launch of the contest on her blog. Keeping her promises and realizing that a large section of her fan base was food-loving, she created a catalogue of the best recipes she received.
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She set up another domain, ‘TastyKitchen.com,’ in 2009. It was solely dedicated to her fans who were looking for the best of her recipes. The tagline of the website was “Favorite Recipes from Real Kitchens Everywhere!” The free community allowed her readers to share their own recipes. The platform encouraged discussions, new recipes, and arguments over food.
Several food bloggers now use ‘TastyKitchen.com’ to promote their own blogs.
Ree has also written several cookbooks. She has written about her real-life love story in her blogs. In 2011, all the stories were compiled in a book titled ‘From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.’ She recently announced that the book has been picked up by ‘Columbia Pictures’ and that a film is being made on it. Reese Witherspoon is expected to portray Ree in the film.
Ree has also written several successful children’s novels.
Over the years, she has become more accessible to the public and has appeared on several TV shows. She made her debut with the show ‘Throwdown!,’ where she appeared with Bobby Flay. She appeared on the show as herself and ventured into a cooking competition with Bobby.
Since 2011, she appears on ‘The Pioneer Woman,’ her own daytime series on ‘Food Network.’
Ree Drummond aspired to become a lawyer before she met Ladd Drummond in a bar in the mid-1990s. Ree and Ladd started dating and got married in September 1996. Ladd belonged to a family of ranchers, and the couple decided to live on his family’s cattle ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Ree refers to her husband as “The Marlboro Man” in her blogs.
The couple have four children: Alex, Paige, Bryce, and Todd. Both of her sons were homeschooled.
In 2016, Ree and Ladd opened a restaurant named ‘The Mercantile’ in Pawhuska.