I've been watching (read: essentially worshipping) The Pioneer Woman for the last couple years, so when she opened The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, I just knew I had to go.  

I don't know when this obsession started, but one day I was sitting on my couch in suburbia watching Food Network, and the next thing I knew, my kitchen was filled with her entire cookware line and I was wearing cowboy boots.

The Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) is probably the best Food Network personality in the history of ever. She's a city girl who fell in love with a cowboy and moved out to a ranch in the middle of nowhere. She makes terrible puns in her cookbooks, she loves butter, and she has cute dogs. So many reasons to love her.

coffee, tea, pizza, beer
Ally Malecha

The Merc

Her store, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, is a little bit of everything. It's a bakery, a restaurant, a grab-and-go, a coffee shop, a home goods store, and a clothes store. It's basically Disneyland, but surrounded by cows in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and is only about a 10 hour drive from my home in Denver.

beer, meat, pizza
Ally Malecha

My mom and I got there at about 11 in the morning, after spending the night in Bartlesville, about 30 minutes away. After getting to the back of the restaurant line and hearing that the wait was at least an hour, we decided to re-strategize and go inside.

Our first stop was the coffee bar, for a latte, a sticky bun, and a cornmeal pineapple upside down cake. It was the best sticky bun I have ever had, probably due to fact that it has WHISKEY in it. This woman is a genius.

Ally Malecha

After that, we decided to poke around the store a little bit. I fell in love with a cow-printed pillow, and bought a comfy yet cute green shirt that was surprisingly affordable. Most of her Walmart-based cookware line is available, in addition to some higher end items.

chocolate
Ally Malecha

My mom and I were lucky enough to get to the Mercantile on a day that directions to The Pioneer Woman's filming location were available to us. We grabbed a lunch of chicken enchiladas to go and drove out even further from civilization to the Drummond Ranch. On the way, we saw wild horses, cows, and LOTS of land. 

Her kitchen was more amazing than I could have ever imagined. The pantry was the size of my apartment, there were TWO islands, and the sliding doors opened out to the rest of her ranch and views for miles. It was truly incredible.

tea, pizza, beer, cake
Ally Malecha

We had a little more time to kill before making our way back to the Mercantile for dinner, so we drove to the nearby Tallgrass Prairie Preserve where we saw about 300 bison, and stopped at a couple of the other cute stores in Pawhuska.  

When we came back for dinner, the line had died down. We had spinach artichoke dip, chicken-fried steak, mac and cheese, whiskey carrots, and pecan pie. I was so full leaving that I wasn't sure I would make it back to the car.

Ally Malecha

The next morning, it was time to leave Oklahoma to go back to Denver, and as luck would have it, my GPS routed us back through Pawhuska! My mom and I just had to stop again, so we grabbed cardamom and lavender lattes and pastries to go, and got back on the road.

tea, coffee
Ally Malecha

On this three day trip, over half of the time was spent in the car, and I'd gladly do it all again for the sweet buns and the sweet opportunity to bond with my mom, all thanks to the Pioneer Woman.