(It’s a sunny Saturday morning here at the ranch and Ree’s signature sweet rolls will here in about fifteen minutes! More on our time here next week. In the meantime Arden, Elaine, and Christen are our winners! Congratulations!)

It was only two years ago when Maggy and Sharon said, “Mom, it’s time. You’ve got to start a food blog.” They were right.

As I was contemplating my identity as a food blogger, both girls were insistent: check out The Pioneer Woman. Once again, the girls were right. The woman who had charmed them was about to dramatically broaden my world

Maggy had discovered The Pioneer Woman as a young bride living outside London. At that point her cooking repertoire was limited to burgers, and Bolognese. She grew up around cooking, of course, and when she was in high school I tried to coax her, but hanging out at the mall was more interesting than learning to make meatloaf with me.

I dutifully sent her off to college with a set of my books that promptly got lost in all her moves. But then Maggy found Ree, the person she could check in with every few days and find a new recipe her man would love.

Sharon had always been drawn to the kitchen and didn’t need as much recipe inspiration. A hopeless romantic, she was drawn to Ree’s prose. During her two-year stint as Fine Cooking’s assistant web editor, she admits spending office hours reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. It was, after all, her job!

And then I started paying frequent visits to The Pioneer Woman site. Like my daughters I was attracted to Ree’s classy, warm, bumptious virtual ranch. I was thrilled that the daughter I thought would never take to the kitchen was calling home to say she had just made Olive-Cheese Bread, Ranch Dressing, or Marlborough Man-approved Crash Hot Potatoes.

I wanted to find a way to thank this woman who had entertained one daughter with heart-throbbing romance and lured the other into the kitchen with crowd-pleasing recipes. I did the only thing I knew to do. I sent her a couple of cookbooks and a note thanking her for all she’d done. When it comes to raising kids, it’s true: It takes a village.

And now I thank Ree for helping Three Many Cooks find our way into the food blogging community. We hope to show the same kindness to our friends and colleagues just starting out.

In anticipation of Maggy’s and my visit at the Ranch this weekend we’re giving away three sets of Ree’s three books: The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, and Charlie The Ranch Dog. Deadline is 6:00 PM Friday, June 24 Central Time when the party starts. In the spirit of the weekend’s theme, tell us your go-to recipe for when you’re just havin’ people over.

P.S. Sharon, we know come July you’ll be mightily relieved to have your intensive Hebrew course behind you, but know that Three Many Cooks feels a little incomplete without you at the Ranch.

Here’s Ree’s Blackberry Cobbler to add to the fun!

Blackberry Cobbler

Recipe by Ree Drummond

If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can substitute regular all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and pinch of salt whisked into it.

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen), rinsed and pat dry

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish.

Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of the sugar and flour into a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Mix well. Pour in melted butter and whisk it all together.

Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake until golden and bubbly, about an hour.  If you’d like, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.