big crumbs + small pretzels in oklahoma

Well that was fun! Alex and I arrived at the ranch Friday afternoon after a shockingly non-grueling travel experience (save the 10-minute pat down I received at La Guardia because of this newfangled thing called underwire. Really!) and at least an hour and a half in the car of me going “ooh horsies!” “and cows!” “neeeigh! mooo!” “ooh dirt roads!” and Alex mumbling something like “my god this is going to be a long drive.”

We let ourselves into The Lodge and hot damn, people — I don’t want to say that the photos don’t do it justice as the photos are just the loveliest, but it does not compare to walking into a kitchen the size of Manhattan (seriously, you could fit our bedroom in just the pantry). We spent a good part of last week marveling over how much bigger our new apartment feels (having a whole 30 percent more space than our old one, I think) and I’m pretty sure The Lodge is mocking us.

cowboy alexi'm probably wearing this backwards

We immediately made ourselves at home, trying on the cowboy gear and testing out each and every one of the sofa’s sit-abilities (verdict: all plush and delicious). We then fastened our belongings to the end of a stick, hitched up our hiking boots and started on our way to our room at the end of the house, arriving just as the sun went down. Okay, I exaggerate slightly but I sure do like Oklahoma’s idea of “personal space” (and also “unpacked boxes” but let’s not go there, all right?).

the view

Once the groceries arrived — I bet you didn’t know that in PioneerWoman-ese that “we’ll need three eggs and eight cups of flour” translates to the daily output of a chicken farm and enough flour to blizzard the entire ranch, but I’m not mocking. As a person who ran out of cinnamon while making cinnamon buns two weeks ago, I could learn a lot from her shopping list math! — we got to figuring out the logistics of the demonstration I did on Saturday. I’d been up since 5:45 a.m. Eastern and was wearing a maternity tent from Old Navy when Ree starting snapping my picture, promising it she wasn’t going to use it for anything. I think you can guess how that worked out!

the groceries

Saturday was a blur of demonstrating three of my favorite New Yorkish recipes for the loveliest group of people (and a baby! with red hair and rubberband wrists! gah.). Now, I have no experience doing demonstrations but I do know this: I am incapable of following a recipe or measuring ingredients correctly while talking to other people. So I premeasured everything and laid them out in Ree’s endless supply of nested bowls and do you know what I figured out? Cooking is so much easier this way — I knew those people on the food tv shows were onto something! I learn something every day.

mise for demos

I demonstrated three of my favorite New Yorkish recipes from the archives, my Big Crumb Coffee Cake with a Rhubarb Filling…

slicing rhubarbrhubarb fillingcoffee cake ingredientsgiant crumbssour cream coffee cakerhubarb fillingsprinkling giant cake crumbsrhubarb crumb cake

Soft Pretzels, of course

dividing the pretzel dough32 almost-pretzelsrolling the pretzelsknotting pretzels demohow to knot a soft pretzelsoft pretzels, ready to boiladding baking sodafreshly baked soft pretzels

… and a very, very overdue recipe for one of my favorite breads on earth. But more about that next time. Ree’s Cinnamon Rolls (and my Yankee bastardization of them, which you’ll also hear about soon) just came out of the oven and the cinnamon, it calls to me. I am sure you understand.

One year ago: Jim Lahey’s Pizza Bianca
Two years ago: Margarita Cookies

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127 comments on big crumbs + small pretzels in oklahoma

  1. Daniella

    This is so exciting! I have been reading your blog for over a year and I always hoped you would come to Oklahoma! I guess I thought I might run into you and rave over everything I have made from your blog. As you can guess, I am a total Oklahoma Girl. Yes, I do love all the “personal space.”

  2. Hahaha you’ve got quite the assembly line! Everything looks terrific and I’m sure you guys are enjoying yourselves a lot! Enjoy and come back with lots of stories and recipes :)

  3. Linda

    You can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl … that’s me. I’m glad you experienced all that I love and miss.

  4. Red

    I’ve been waiting for this Oklahoma trip re-cap/post… Looks like everybody was enjoying themselves.
    It was your blog that I found the Pioneer Woman through. Both of your blogs are my favorite reads these days. :)

  5. i have been drooling over the lodge for months now. will you guys go horseback riding? are the pw’s punks as gorgeous as in the photos? wish i was there… everything looks delicious.

  6. Linda

    I had to set up my phone to get all of PW’s tweets so I wouldn’t miss anything. I just found this whole deal so much fun and entertaining. Great recipes too! Did you and Alex get to ride horsies? For some stupid reason, I am uncontrollably lusting for those SK handouts you brought with you (how adorable!) for your demos. I don’t suppose you would consider reproducing them on your site? Just this one time? I promise I will not be a pest about this.

  7. Ariana from Chicago

    My house still have the lingering scent of the “homemade Oreos” on your site (deelish, and sooo good dunked in moo juice). And now I get to relax and read up on 2 of my fav food blog worlds. Together. Sooooo cool. Love Deb and PDub! Wish I could have been there, and glad you had fun. I don’t think it gets any better than this!! Btw, is Marlboro Man as handsome in those chaps in person as he looks on the site? ;)

  8. Kathleen

    Oh stop you looked adorable in the picture-such a cute baby bump! I am loving this smitten kitchen and pioneer woman gtg! It looks like a lot of fun!

  9. The thought that two of my most favorite food bloggers converged upon one amazing kitchen and guests were invited and I wasn’t able to be one of them is bringing a tear to my eye. *snif*

  10. Jenna

    ummm… I was so disappointed to the only picture you posted of your self was from the shoulders up. Thank god Ree got some baby bump pictures.

  11. 10 minute pat down? That’s twice as long as I normally get out of my boyfriend!

    I kid. One of these days, I’m actually going to get around to making those pretzels. And since that aforementioned boy done did good and got me a KitchenAid yesterday for my birthday, I have a feeling that day is coming sooner and sooner.

  12. laurie

    Deb, you are so cute. Your manicure looks great, too. We’re patiently waiting for pictures of Alex hanging with MM and the cows. So glad you had fun with Ree!

  13. Kerrie

    Sigh, I love your big crumb rhubarb coffee cake. I literally buy out our farmer’s market supply of rhubarb so I can freeze it and have it throughout the winter. I’m jealous of all the people who got to be there to witness the coming together of 2 of my favorite blogs.

  14. Judi

    I’ve been reading your blog ever since Ree mentioned it on PW. I love the things you do in NYC. I’m so glad you came to our state to visit, although sorry for the tornadic weather this weekend…but that’s our home in the spring.

  15. Jessica

    I’m so glad that you got to go do this, because you have introduced me to the world of Pioneer Woman. How have I been missing out on this for so long? I’m a year into the archives now… Is her husband really that hot in person? :-)

  16. Oh, my gosh, how fun! I’m also glad to hear you’re coming around to the beauty of dirtying dishes. I totally understand, when you’re lacking a dishwasher, that you want to do everything all-in-one, but, I couldn’t live without my stainless nested set, and using extra bowls for pre-measuring everything, and the clean-up thereafter, does not upset me one little bit. (Wow, I’m so emotional about my bowls, I produced that awful of a run-on sentence….)

  17. You look like a natural in that hat – perhaps you should wear one in the city?

    In other news: don’t feel bad. Last week I started laying out ingredients for an apple cake and remembered that I had no apples.

    Looks like you all had a wonderful time. And now I get to go check out what an Old Navy tent looks like…

  18. Oh wow! This is exactly why I want to be part of the bakers blogging community. I need me some more baker-buddies! BTW- I just learned today that rhubarb has its origins in China. And horsies too! Look at that!

  19. Oooooooooh. Those pretzels look divine. I’ve always been a little … hesitant to make them myself. But seeing all those women rolling them out sure makes them look easy and accessible.

    Alright Deb, you need to come home and hold a demo here!

  20. Marie M.

    Enough about the food. What I want to know is — what was Ree really like in person. Sardonic, self-depracating, funny? Why is Marlboro Man called Marlboro Man? Does he smoke? Does he have a real name? What does Ree call him? Is he as devastatingly handsome in person. (Oh, those blue blue eyes. Sigh.) What about the punks? Did you meet them? The horses — did you go riding? More details please.

    You look adorable in a cowboy hat with your heart-shaped face. First time I’ve seen a picture of what you look like!

  21. Bianca

    That baby is gorgeous! I can’t imagine how gooey you are over babies now you’re pregnant.
    And I’m jealous of your trip!

  22. rudeJen

    You’re cute! I prefer your writing and photography, and I’ve followed your blog longer, but I didn’t know what you looked like, so I must thank PW for that revelation.

  23. Charlotte K

    Did the TSA people tell you that your underwire couldn’t possibly set off the gate? That’s what the jerky guys always tell me here in Boston, but when I don’t wear the underwire, the gate doesn’t go off. A female agent in Charleston, SC, told me she knows it IS the underwire!

  24. Jane

    The Stetson is fetching on you, Deb. BTW, hats are supposed to be making a comeback this year but don’t think the citizens of NY are ready for western gear. Such a shame. You did, however, manage to made me homesick for my childhood home in New Mexico and that that entails. Gorgeous baby and fantastic pics!!

  25. Southern Gal

    Though I don’t comment often here, I do so love your site, and more importantly, your recipes! I’ve tried numerous recipes here and have always been delighted with the way they turn out.

    Anyway, I left a comment on Ree’s site when I heard you were going to be there. I just mentioned that my two most favorite cooks were going to be cooking together and I couldn’t wait to see how it all turned out! Waiting on the recipes and all the pics from Ree. What did you do to those cinnamon rolls?????

    Also, congratulations again on the new house and pregnancy!

  26. Melanie

    I wish I could have been there. The two of you would be more than I could stand! It sure sounds like you had a great time in the country. I know that it was a culture shock. I know that New York City would feel like that to me. Everything looked deicious. I followed ya’ll all weekend. It was fun.

  27. Branwen

    I think you look adorable in the pictures Ree took of you. Also, you and she are my two favorite bloggers so I have very much enjoyed following the events of the weekend!

  28. It looks like you guys had SO MUCH FUN! I wish I lived closer so that I could join in the fun. I love to cook and bake!

    I can’t wait to try your bagels…and pretzels…and…and…and…

    By the way – you look lovely!

  29. tj

    …My goodness, you and Ree are a match made in heaven! And girl you look absolutely glowing – love the “bump”! ;o)

    …This has been so much fun following this get-together, it’s a shame there isn’t an audio of it all, I can just imagine the laughter! lol…

    …Thanks for sharing! Blessings too… :o)

  30. Dawn

    As a reader, the two of you coming together for the weekend is just fantastic. I have been reading your site for more than a couple of years now and have been a fan of Ree’s for quite a while too. The blending of the two different aesthetics has made great fodder for your fans, for sure! I admire you for taking a trip merely a week after moving into the new apartment, while pregnant nonetheless…that takes some major courage!

    I am planning on making the Big Crumb Rhurbarb Coffee Cake this coming weekend, as rhubarb season is finally coming around again. I made it right after you posted the recipe the last time, and it is simply delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your trip and can’t wait to see how your cinnamon roll collaboration turned out!

  31. Abigayl

    Oh my goodness- it looks like you two ha SO much fun! I’m such a fan of you both, which makes your get together even more exciting… can’t wait to make those pretzels!

  32. tinnie

    what a great post! i was so looking forward to it going back and forth to yours and Ree’s site. Can i say that you and hubby look awfully cute in those cowboy hats?! very exciting :)

  33. Kim

    I want to stay at the Lodge!! Thanks for this post. Can’t wait to read more. Thought about you girls in the kitchen this weekend. My husband is like, who?What? Never mind him. What fun!

  34. You are just the cutest thing ever! Going to cook something now. I always get hungry after visiting this site. Hmmm, maybe some bastardized cinnamon rolls… :-)

  35. Well that was fun…welcome to the Southwest, well greetings from Texas at least.

    I recently made homemade soft pretzels and they tasted like the real thing I was so proud of myself. :)

  36. I try to premeasure whenever a recipe gives me the weight, but I feel like I never have enough containers for all of the premeasuring (I try to always premeasure for making candies, because I don’t want to have to abandon the stove for more than 30 seconds at a time).

  37. Carol

    Deb, just think: If you and Alex moved to live near Ree and family just how thrilled Ree would be, since she has little contact with anyone outside the ranch. I know, you can’t move there and love NYC….but, when I saw your photo of the open spaces, I thought “Wow, *I’D* move there…and I don’t even LIKE the country”.

    I often pre-measure ingredients and like it much better than stopping every few seconds to measure something then stop and hunt for a box or baggie.

  38. So envious of your trip to the country – the lodge looks and sounds fantastic. I am going to try your rhubarb coffee crumb cake, it looks so good.

  39. This post makes me so homesick for my beloved Oklahoma. I’m glad you enjoyed your time there. Now you can tell all your New York buddies that it isn’t no man’s land–it’s actually a wonderful, beautiful, friendly place!

  40. Brooke

    Thanks again for such a wonderful visit to the Ranch. You and A*** were lovely and talented, a great combo with a baby on the way! Wonderful food, silly stories, and great hints and tips. I’ll be keeping an eye on you ;) Thanks again!

  41. kim

    I woke up this morning at 6am and started making your pretzels and I have to say they were fabulous. I have eaten nothing but pretzels all day. Very easy recipe it is going in my favorite file.

  42. Vivian

    I hope you had a great time visiting PW. All recipes look wonderful and I will definitely have to give them a try. The Lodge looks so fantastic too hope you enjoy the rest of your stay there.

  43. Joanna

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that “moo”s and “bah”s at farm animals! I wish I could have been there; you’re amazing Deb! I can’t wait to make those pretzels.

  44. Miss M.J. Ma’am

    Wowsa, what a weekend! Loved following it, and the food was amazing! Love your site, and have learned many new recipes and tips. Thanks!!

  45. Awesome food, awesome pics, awesome commentary… you know what I think Deb? I think Australia needs the two of you – Smitten Kitchen and Pioneer Woman Down Under… has a certain ring to it, doncha think?

    My kitchen is somewhat smaller than PDubs – you would feel more at home!!! Although the supermarket IS a little further away… can you cook crocodile?? (Kidding.) Not kidding about the invite though!!!

  46. I was keeping up reading the PW posts all weekend and dreaming of food at night! I can’t wait to try the pretzels. I know my husband has vowed to love me forever, but he will REALLY love me forever if I can do the pretzels. In fact, I’ll love MYSELF forever if I can pull them off. And my son will enjoy them too. I’ll give it my best shot.

  47. I’ve been following both your blogs for two years, and visit them each day. I’m so glad you’ve gotten together.

    Deb, congratulations on the baby!

    Looking forward to more collaborations between the two of you.

  48. What a pleasure it was to meet you. I am excited to make bread again! You taught so well. I bet you were exhausted by the end of the day!
    You have no idea how kind your comments were. Really.
    Hope you made it home safe- did you get caught in the storms?

  49. oops not sure what address I typed in before-Had to update it-
    I finally wrote up my recap of the day-
    Loved the photo that you took of everyone where Hyacinth is looking at me- that look makes me laugh! What was I saying?

  50. Grace

    If you’re worried about the photos of you in the “Old Navy maternity tent”, I would stop soon. My exact words to my boyfriend were: “Isn’t the Smitten Kitchen lady about the cutest cute that ever cuted in the whole world?”

    So there.

  51. ML

    What a cool experience! I follow both of your blogs and I was thrilled to hear that my bloggy worlds were colliding. So glad you two met and that we got to see pics and hear about it.

  52. Janet

    Looks beautiful there!

    Hah — the 10-minute pat-down. I ended up buying wireless bras just to fly with, because I got the pat-down Every. Single. Time. Good god. I had almost forgotten what it’s like to walk through security on my first try.

  53. Natalie

    Ha! I’m an Okie, born and raised! (Living in Cleveland for the last 5 + years and soon to be ATL…ahem) Gotta love this post! ;)

  54. Virginia

    Oh the pretzels! I made the mistake of showing my boyfriend the original post, and if he sees these pictures….I better fire up the range now..
    Beautiful pics, as always!

  55. Andrea

    Back reading your blog after a few days off for maternity leave . . . . thank you for making me laugh out loud. And thank you for the cinnamon roll recipe that my friend Molly made for us post baby. You’re the best!

  56. Lisa Mc

    Ooooooo so envious you got to go….and aren’t you just a cutie, nice looking hubby too! Bet it was so much fun. COngrats on it all


  57. santadad

    Deb, it’s about time you showed your father some respect and made the PRETZELS for me! Enough of the empty promises. 143

  58. Looks like you had a lot of fun! I’m a bit new to your blog so I hadn’t seen the coffee cake until now. Yup, totally bookmarked it! I’m makin’ it REALLY soon! :)

  59. Lisa

    I am so happy ya’ll had such a wonderful weekend!! I hope it happens more often, my two favorite bloggers cooking together- what fun!

  60. Nan

    I’m so glad you had a great weekend – but I’m sure it paled in comparison to the time your guests had! What a treat! I loved the pictures of the baby – and the lodge and the one from the ranch that looks like it’s at the end of the Earth! Now I’m serious about the baby quilt…but you’ll have to ledt me know what colors!! I’ll keep it a secret – I promise! And if you have any favorite fabrics in mind that you’d like me to use, send me a swatch or a sample – I’m sure I could find the same out here.

  61. You look adorable in that cowboy hat! I have a bunch of different sizes of nesting bowls that I sometimes measure ingredients into ahead of time. It really does help you do it right, especially if someones “helping” you cook.

  62. It was so great to meet you and Alex (you two are so sweet together). I know you’ll love motherhood and you’ll fly through the pregnancy with the greatest of ease! The pretzel/sausage combo has haunted my dreams… do you think it would work to roll out the dough as if you were going to pretzelize it, but then instead, wrap it around a sausage, boil the whole works and then lay them on a baking sheet and bake like the original pretzel recipe indicates? I know they’d be the hit of any upcoming soirees.

    ps. Happy nesting!

  63. Sharilyn Unthank

    I had recently discovered PW thru your blog and was all giddy and then the two of you collaborating…whoa nelly! Too good to be true…love the pics, the ranch looks divine…born in CO. love the west in general. Chocolate wafers, and potato gratin my most recent recipes tried of yours and were both delicious and PW’s onion strings must have been good because I blinked and they were gone! You are living the good life and are abundantly blessed! Thanks for sharing!

  64. deb

    Maesa — Lovely to meet you too! I definitely think that could work and that you should definitely let us know how it goes. You could even use mini or thinner sausages! And then invite us over.

  65. I made the pretzels and they turned out just like they did on Saturday. I don’t know why I was surprised after having learned from you! I think it had something to do with the fact that I made something with yeast and it worked out.
    I took yours and Maesa’s suggestion. But had to use hot dogs, for the kids. It turned out wonderfully! A big hit with our family. Can’t wait to try it with sausage.
    Thanks again-

  66. What a DREAM! Did you think about designing your bedroom after her pantry, you know, since it’s the same size, and all. Then you wouldn’t have to get up in the night for a snack, just reach over. . .

    Now I’m in need of some of your big crumb coffee cake!

  67. The views are impressive (both inside and outside) — what a wonderful time you must be having. I love bagel dogs and pretzel dogs, so I certainly hope Maesa gives it a go!

  68. It looks like you made a large batch of the rhubarb crumb cake and put it in a large roasting pan. Did you double or triple the recipe?? I would love to be able to do this for an even this evening! Thanks!

  69. I made that Big Crumb Coffee Cake a year ago and I am patiently waiting for the rhubarb to finish growing so I can make some more. Stellar recipe! Glad you had fun in Oklahoma sure looks purdy.

  70. Rebecca

    Ok, so I’m new here and catching up. .but how did all you lucky folks get to go to such a beautiful ranch and have Deb do a cooking demonstration?

    1. deb

      Hi Rebecca — Are you speaking of Ree? Or to the people she invited out to the ranch that day? (I believe she had a contest and they won the drawing.)

  71. Rebecca

    Hi Deb ~ yes, that’s exactly it. I will have to visit the Pioneer Woman website more often if that’s a prize! I just have to tell you Deb, I came across your site quite by accident (the February2011 Bon Appetite recipe) and I’m so glad I did. I have visited every day since February and I keep hitting “surprise me” and making plans for the next thing I’m going to cook! Not to gush (although, yeah, I’ve already BEEN gushing), you, your stories, your site, your kid and husband are GREAT.

    1. deb

      Aw, thank you. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were asking. Crossing fingers, hopefully once I finish my book, there will be a book tour and seriously, I am chomping at the bit to travel and meet people. So maybe I can come where you are?

  72. Rebecca

    You are entirely welcome and . .no sweat ~ Im not sure my question was very clear. Definitely getting your book (I read cookbooks like novels) and will absolutely come out to meet you. I’m in CA ~ Sacramento to be exact, but I can travel a bit. YAY! So looking forward to the book!