You don't get to just show up for breakfast at Ree Drummond's Oklahoma ranch—you have to earn it. Ree's husband, Ladd, and their four children, Alex, 14, Paige, 12, Bryce, 9, and Todd, 7, wake up before the sun rises (around 4:45 a.m.), suit up in gloves, chaps and boots, and head out to work the cattle, leaving Mom back at home to cook up a hearty cowboy breakfast. On many mornings, Ree finishes cooking and heads to her computer to write about her day, and her recipes, as The Pioneer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com). She started the blog six years ago to document her life on the ranch after leaving a Los Angeles marketing job and marrying Ladd. Every month, more than 4 million fans flock to the site, which inspired Ree's Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman, and two cookbooks. But fame hasn't eliminated Ree's predawn wake-up calls. In fact, she never gets a morning off, not even on Mother's Day: "My girls bring me breakfast in bed on Mother's Day," Ree says. "But since I get up early, I have to get back in bed when it's ready." On this weekend morning, she's joining Ladd and the kids outside for a full-on family breakfast—and relishing her remote life, 30 minutes from the nearest town, where she can truly enjoy her family. Solitude like this has many bonuses: "Living out here," she says, "I don't have to worry about doing my hair and makeup every morning."
Ree Drummond, star of The Pioneer Woman, invites Food Network Magazine to her family ranch for the most important meal of the day.
Ree and her husband, Ladd, on their Oklahoma ranch.
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