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Snapshots From A Weekend On The Ranch…

Horses At The Lodge

We are on our way back from our road trip to Oklahoma and Ree, The Pioneer Woman’s Lodge where I shared with her readers two of my passions, cooking and photographing. We are in Nashville for the night but I could not wait any longer to post a few snapshots before I write a more detailed post later on. Ree wrote the nicest and funniest post about it here and made me wish I could give everyone a hug again!

Horses…Lots of them. Wild horses. This is the first image I saw before pulling in the driveway to The Lodge where we would stay the weekend. Bill and I arrived a day before the attendees to get our bearing, get some work done, take pictures and get Bailey the puppy situated. I texted Ree we were riding speechless at the immensity of the landscape before us. And its beauty.

Lodge Mud Room

We know oceans. This was ocean of grass and waves of hills. As far as the eye could see. We were tired and beaten up by the road trip but all our aches evaporated the minute we pulled into the driveway. The Lodge is grand. Spacious. Cozy. Comfortable. Huge. Styled. Welcoming.


We put our bags down, grabbed our cameras and headed back out the door. We wanted to catch the Golden Hour. Right before the sun goes down. We were met by Buster one of the strays hanging out on the property. Buster stayed with us throughout the evening, checking things out. Such a cool and sweet puppy. Yes, I wanted to take him home.

Bailey & Buster

Bailey and Buster became instant friends and they were inseparable on our little walk in the heat and golden glow of the prairie. Thanks to Buster and his nonchalant ways, Bailey’s lack of assurance with the horses vanished in minutes. They were really like two old pals hanging out.

Lodge Dining & Living Room

One thing about The Lodge is that it’s spacious. Better not realize you need to get back to your room after you reached the kitchen. On the other hand, it is so beautifully decorated that there is something to read or look at all major intersections!!

Night Sky At The Lodge

Marveling at the sky above us. For once, we could see the Big Dipper. The Milky Way. Shooting stars. Things we can’t see or not as well where we live. We stayed up late to take some shots. We could not go to sleep. All our senses were going crazy. I felt overwhelmed. In a good way.

Night Sky At The Lodge

Many times on the trip we pondered the thought of bringing a blanket outside and sleeping under the stars.

Lodge Inside

Who can resist waking up to a kitchen with such a light? Dang! No wonder Ree loves shooting there so much now. In my head I could not stop hugging the islands, countertops, stoves and ovens.

Group At The Lodge

Look at that mighty fine bunch of macarons bakers and photographers! The dynamic of the group was pretty awesome and flowing easily. Lots of good laughs and jokes flying around.


There were a lot of macarons baked and photographed that weekend. We had some great successes and some serious ka-plunk but we all shared and learned that day. Would not have it any other way!

Observing ...

On this trip, I also went to my first rodeo. I also observed lots and lots of cowboys. Always fascinating.

Sunset At The Lodge

This sunrise still fills my heart. The colors that accompanied us as we left The Lodge the other morning. Magical.


This lady. Her warmth, generosity. Her singing and her laughing. Her jokes and her curiosity.

I’ll be back with more pictures from the workshop later this week. Have a great rest of the week everyone!

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Kelly-Jane July 27, 2011 um 8:33 am

What a beautiful location….I wish I was there to see it 🙂

Matarkivet July 27, 2011 um 9:00 am

Incredible photos and can't wait to hear more about the macaroon classes.

PS. Love the photos with the stars…

Cristina July 27, 2011 um 9:37 am

This is a great summary, so nicely told and such nice photographs… I almost feel like I was there with you! Thanks for sharing it with us. Enjoy the rest of your time there and be sure to tell us more 🙂

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 27, 2011 um 10:06 am

Oh, Helene, the pictures from the weekend, your tender prose, it all makes me feel like I was right there.

Til I look around and realize there are no macarons near me nor have I had one in…ages. Sigh.


I am sure those in attendance felt so incredibly blessed to be in Ree's presence and in yours; wow!! I know I would feel like I had won the lottery 🙂

Gaia July 27, 2011 um 10:46 am

What a stunning sky!

Emma Galloway July 27, 2011 um 11:27 am

Oh my what an amazing place to visit! Loving your night shots especially

Maureen July 27, 2011 um 12:19 pm

I'm SO envious! Such a beautiful place to spend time with fantastic people.

Kelly Sauer July 27, 2011 um 12:40 pm

I've seen Ree's ranch before in her photos, but I LOVE seeing it through your eyes! Your photography is a favorite inspiration – no matter WHAT you shoot!

argone July 27, 2011 um 12:48 pm

Quel endroit envoûtant, je comprends que tu sois tombée sous le charme … les deux puppies ont l'air de bien s'entendre en effet ! 🙂

strawberriesinparis July 27, 2011 um 1:03 pm

Sweet!!!! Can't wait to hear more about this trip of yours Helene. PW is the best.

decocinasytacones July 27, 2011 um 1:17 pm

Hi Helene!. I´m so jealous. I read Ree´s post yest and now yours. You really had a great time!. I´m in Spain but I´d love to be there too. Congratulations for the post!, I loved it.
Love from Spain

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots July 27, 2011 um 1:28 pm

Looks like you all had a fantastic time! I read on Ree's website that you and your husband drove to her ranch from Charleston. I'm from Charleston, but just moved to Columbia…boo…and I was wondering what type of sightseeing you guys did on the way to the Ranch! 🙂

Kalyn Denny July 27, 2011 um 1:40 pm

Sounds like you had a fun time! It was lots of fun seeing the photos, especially your handsome husband!

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. July 27, 2011 um 1:45 pm

These are fabulous. This looks like a total blast!

Andrea B July 27, 2011 um 1:46 pm

Gorgeous! I think maybe even I could be persuaded to love the prairie after seeing shots like that.

On a side note: I'm not a prairie girl, but I AM a Nashville girl! Hope your brief time in our small city was a good one. For the best coffee in town go to Bongo Java in East Nashville or Fido's in Hillsboro Village. 🙂

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman July 27, 2011 um 2:21 pm

What a big beautiful sky Oaklahoma has! I'm so envious of the trip…can't wait to see and read more:)

Unknown July 27, 2011 um 2:23 pm

While reading your post I wanted to read more and more. I was hoping it would never end. Can't wait for more pictures and more weekend happenings 🙂 Plus I have never had a macaron. I really want to try making then now. Thank you for sharing!

notyet100 July 27, 2011 um 2:23 pm

Awesome post,truly enjoyed reading this

Salt Lake Sugar July 27, 2011 um 2:51 pm

How very cool! I just read Ree's post and wondered, is there somewhere online that we can order the macaron coloring kit? I'd like to make them with color.

Joyce July 27, 2011 um 3:05 pm

Beautiful photos! By the look of all the happy faces I think it is safe to say everyone had a wonderful time, even Bailey. xo

la domestique July 27, 2011 um 4:39 pm

What a special place! Looks like you had a wonderful time and I can't wait to see more. Safe travels home!

Unknown July 27, 2011 um 4:47 pm

Oh so nice! The evening skies remind me of my home in Cordoba, Argentina (different constellations, of course)…what a dreamy place!

Pétra July 27, 2011 um 5:15 pm

Oh I wish I had been there it looks so beautiful. I am from Oklahoma and I miss the prairie! Ree does look like one of those special people anyone would be lucky to meet. What flavors of macaron's did you all make? They look wonderful.

rahel July 27, 2011 um 5:39 pm

What a wonderful night-sky! Love how you captured the stars!

Nani July 27, 2011 um 7:24 pm

I am SO jealous! Thank you for sharing the journey/experience so those of us not fortunate enough to join you could feel fortunate enough to read about it!!!!

erinesosweet July 27, 2011 um 8:47 pm

Welcome to Nashville! I hope you enjoy your night here!

Unknown July 27, 2011 um 9:59 pm

FABULOUS!! all your photos are amazing…thanks for sharing and I can't wait to read and see more…the Ranch looks and sounds exactly as I picture it. So glad the weekend was a success!

Nic@diningwithastud July 28, 2011 um 12:16 am

That kitchen makes me jealous 🙂 such a perfect location and beautiful shots!

Anonymous July 28, 2011 um 12:46 am

Wonderful! Great pictures…and it looks like SO much fun! I look forward to your next post!

Lucent Imagery July 28, 2011 um 3:14 am

Oh my goodness, this place looks incredible! I am a city person but this ranch looks so divine and tempting for an escape. There is something special about this way of living on the world. Love the dogs!

Easy kitchen July 28, 2011 um 4:16 am

it's so exotic viewed from Paris. and so glamour to see parisian maracons in this place. The skies are so beautiful. it's very difficult to have such skies in Europe (to much cities lights). A very nice post.

showfoodchef July 28, 2011 um 7:30 am

I just knew your photos of that place would be stunning, and they are truly that. I can't wait to read more. What a perfect pairing of wonderful gals!

The Church Cook July 28, 2011 um 11:29 am

Oh, what a wonderful trip, Helene! Love this blog post! And I absolutely adore Ree, she will be the next rising star in the food network! So happy you had a wonderful trip. 🙂

J2Kfm July 28, 2011 um 3:02 pm

Great place to gather and just watch life goes by … amazing scenery, and slower pace of life.

LisaKnowsTea July 28, 2011 um 7:04 pm

Wonderful photos of a beautiful place. I love your blog! It gives my mind rest during the hectic day. Thanks I look forward to "The Pioneer Woman" on TV!

Phoo-D July 28, 2011 um 10:38 pm

I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip and even got to drive all the way there! I agree that there is nothing quite like the 'ocean' of grass that makes up the great plains. It is breathtaking when you really stop and look at it. The lodge is beautiful and you are right about Ree, she is as kindhearted and fun as they come!

anneliesz July 29, 2011 um 2:27 am

Your photos and description remind me of things well loved and missed in Texas. Instead of flat land, you capture the poetry of the place- an ocean of grass and the warm hospitality I love about the South. Looking forward to your post about the workshop too.

angela@spinachtiger July 29, 2011 um 2:50 am

Just splendid to see people living their dream in a dreamy place.

Isa-Marie July 29, 2011 um 7:47 am

I discover your blog and I realy enjoy !
Amicalement from Isa-Marie Grelinette, Paris

Ruth July 29, 2011 um 11:56 am

What a great post – all the photos are fab, but I especially like the one of the two dogs – they look so purposeful!

Mary Gabel July 29, 2011 um 12:10 pm

Looks fabulous!
Do you have anymore workshops planned for the future?

Christina July 29, 2011 um 12:25 pm

I love your photography! Especially the one of the interior of the lodge at night with the big dipper hanging overhead. The colors remind me of Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this trip with us.

Sweet Treats by Dani July 29, 2011 um 2:12 pm

i just cant imagine what an amazing experience that was for everyone involved! great photos, no surprise 🙂

a suburban kitchen July 29, 2011 um 2:20 pm

Oh I long for those wide open spaces. What a fun time and beautiful images.

michele July 29, 2011 um 3:41 pm

The table reminds me of the county and a farm lifestyle.

Lucia July 29, 2011 um 3:45 pm

Love those stars. And the ocean of grass, gold and green. It must have been a bit like a place always dreamt and never seen. Gorgeous.

Rocky Mountain Woman July 29, 2011 um 3:48 pm

Ahhhh…it's too bad you aren't having any fun on your roadtrip….


What a great adventure…

It's amazing the places blogging can take you to isn't it?

Any pics of Charley?

Kate July 30, 2011 um 10:47 pm

hey tartlette! i decided to try making macarons for the first time today. i made the peach ones from a past post. the only issue i had is that as soon as they came out from the oven, they fell. the feet flattened! do you know where i could have gone wrong? i'm perplexed. i tried to follow the recipe exactly. thanks in advance!

Ilke July 30, 2011 um 11:04 pm

I entered on her site for this weekend getaway and waited, waited with big anticipation… But it was not my time I guess 🙁

Looks like a bunch of ladies, cooking up a storm over there. You captured beautiful scenery!

And yes, your husband looks like Richard Gere especially in the last photo on Ree's post 🙂

BRIBRIMX August 2, 2011 um 12:37 pm


Cindy Ruth August 3, 2011 um 4:13 am

What a special treat that would be to win this goodie bag!

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