Book Reviews

Joshua Creek Ranch, Texas

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

Reading Girl Hunter is an experience way beyond the typical non-fiction book. Perhaps it helps that I call the author, Georgia Pellegrini a close friend. With sass, wit and style Georgia introduces us to life as a self sufficient eater. Her modern day pioneer lifestyle is shared in a candid way…grab that pot of tea. Once you dig into Girl Hunter you will be glued to your seat.

After you flip a few pages you will crave the outdoors like nothing else. Heck you might even want to grab a shot gun…

Georgia Pellegrini with Beretta shot gun

Girl Hunter is about a girl (woman) who braves the wilds of Wall Street. She comes to discover in fast paced NYC that food is her passion. She trains at culinary school and then decides that she needs to get even closer to the food she eats. She cooks at some of the most famous restaurants in the world. She learns through taking charge and doing.

She is filled with passion and great ambitions.

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

This passion and drive is what inspired her to leave the wilds of Wall Street to get outdoors to the wilds that await her there.

Animals on wall of Joshua Creek Lodge

She is the Girl Hunter. Oh did I mention that she also looks like a modern day Bridget Bardot. Yes, a sad thing I know…

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

This gal has a Harvard trained head on her shoulders and is a perfect shot with a gun. She can take down a wild boar, field dress it and cook it up for dinner. She has hunted many birds, fowl and land creatures.

In her book she’ll tell you all about her journey as a hunter. Let me tell you it is a remarkable path. Most of us are curious how a gal gets along in a sport dominated by men. She gives you the buzz on that too.

Joshua Creek Ranch coffee cup and State of texas seal

It is freeing for me to surround myself with people who believe in themselves and others. People who take action, follow their dreams and smile all the way.

With an occasional *sigh*

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

Georgia even invites her girlfriends to one of her favorite hunting spots, the Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne, Texas for a ‘lil hunting trip. Sharing is caring. Right?

Food blogger trip to Joshua Creek Ranch for Girl Hunter book promo weekend.

In case you are wondering some of the girl hunters are pictured above. From left are Carrie Deliciously Organic, Amy She Wears Many Hats, Erika The Ivory Hut, Dara Cookin’ Canuck, Wendy Wenderly, Angie Bakerella, Georgia THE Girl Hunter Georgia Pellegrini, Cheryl TidyMomMe, Elana Elana’s Pantry and Lori Recipe Girl. Back at the ranch & baking up all kinds of goodies: Kristan Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, Bridget Bake at 350 and Shelly Cookies and Cups.

On our Girl Hunter weekend G taught us gals how to shoot a shot gun. Bet you are thinking I have some great friends. Well I would agree with that.

Women shooting shot guns in Texas wearing plaid shirts

Georgia loves to share her knowledge, passions and great skills with all of us.

Lori Lange Recipe Girl with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch with hunting guide

Check out Lori from Recipe Girl. Check out her skills in the wild. Check out the cute guys checking her out…

Hunter at Joshua Creek Ranch, Boerne Texas

See, I told you Georgia knows what she is doing. People come to tape her with big video cameras so they can learn stuff too…

You see on this particular hunt the huntress was followed by a crew from the Food Network.

Gun ammunition and lady shooting a gun.

And her friends in tow.

Food blogger trip to Joshua Creek Ranch for Girl Hunter book promo weekend.

Here we are on our way to go fly fishing.

Here is Georgia fly fishing…I told ya. Multi talented.

Georgia Pellegrini fly fishing at Joshua Creek Ranch in Texas

Here is Angie aka Bakerellaalmost fly fishing. She is making nice to the VERY serious Orvis fly fishing guide.

Angie Dudley aka Bakerella on Girl Hunter food blogger press trip

She thinks we will get dinner if she acts all cute! She sure is cute.

Orvis fly fishing guide holding flys

Here is Bridget from Bake at 350 looking on with suspicion…she knows there is some serious business to be done back at the ranch.

My cookies make it very obvious why I don’t have a baking blog.

Bridget Edwards from Bake at 350 blog

I have a very special recipe that I can’t wait to share with you inspired by the book. I have so many photos of miss Georgia and also of my recipe I did not want to bombarde your eyes with too much information at one time. In a few days I will share my cooking with you. Hang tight to your hats ’cause this one is awesome! In the mean time two pioneer inspired recipes you might like are my Cowgirl Elk Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Saute with Bacon Herbs and Cous Cous. Both are delish and are inspired by my time in the great outdoors.

Just so you know, this is Georgia’s second book. The first one she wrote is called Food Heroes and you can check out my review on that as well. She has also guest posted over here and I have hung out on her blog as well. We go way back.

A nice history for gals who have been friends for a year.

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

What you need to do pronto is get your hands on this book. It is filled with eye opening stories and amazing recipes inspired by G’s hunts. Even if you are not so inclined to ever hold a gun or kill your own food you will feel compelled to keep reading each and every word. Georgia will dazzle you with her charm, wisdom, wit, knife skills and well trained palate.

Georgia Pellegrini with shot gun at Joshua Creek Ranch, TX

You can catch glimpses of Georgia doing her thing on this video by the White On Rice Couple.

How fabulous is this cover! The stories G tells about that photo shoot are pretty fun too!

Book review on blog

Because I love you and this book I am so happy to share 2 copies with you here and one more exclusively on Facebook…That’s right a total of 3 giveaway copies!

Graphic with pink fleur de lis for

Giveaway Details

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for your entries! Congrats to Britney #89 and Mandy #134. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways.

To keep you well entertained, passionate about food and curious, Da Capo Lifelong Books is providing lucky readers with a Girl Hunter book! 2 copies on my blog and 1 on my Facebook fan page (click the little giveaway icon on the Facebook sidebar for that one). You can enter here and over there.

This giveaway is open until Friday, December 23rd, midnight PST. The winner will be chosen at and will be notified via email, so please make sure your email address is correct. You will have 3 days to respond to me, or a new winner will be chosen. Open to residents of the USA & Canada.

How to Enter

Leave some comments. Tell me all about your adventure seeking self. What sort of books do you generally read?

To earn extra entries, leave a separate comment for each of the steps listed below. You can leave one comment (entry) or many comments (entries) The choice is yours. If you don’t leave separate comments for each step, the number generator will not count them as separate entries.

  1. Vote for my Thai Spiced French Fries to become the new Alexia Foods flavor. You can vote one time per day until March 30th 2012. Leave a comment each time you vote.
  2. Follow Marla Meridith on Pinterest & pin this post
  3. Follow @MarlaMeridith on Twitter
  4. Follow @GPellegrini on Twitter
  5. Tweet this giveaway, being sure to include my Twitter handle (@MarlaMeridith). Here’s a sample tweet you could use or make up your own: I want to win a copy of @GPellegrini “Girl Hunter” via @MarlaMeridith #giveaway #holiday #Christmas
  6. Head over to the Georgia’s website and tell me what you learned over there.
  7. Tell me which Recipe you have tried or would like to.
  8. Sign up for my Email or RSS feeds
  9. Stumble this post & follow @familyfresh on StumbleUpon
  10. Add a link to this post (or any of my posts) on your blog.
  11. Follow @MarlaMeridith on Instagram
  12. Add the badge into your sidebar or somewhere on your blog
  13. Share this giveaway in any other creative way you can think up & let me know.

*You can stay in touch with and Georgia Pellegrini on Facebook too! disclosure: I only review things I love. Georgia is a close friend and her book Girl Hunter is an amazing read. I was sent a review copy from her publisher Da Capo Lifelong Books.

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

177 thoughts on “Joshua Creek Ranch, Texas

  1. I own a rifle but haven’t used it in a long time. I used to shoot at a rifle range with my father. I did go on a hunting trip one time with my brothers, father and grandfather. I kind of had the feeling that my grandfather felt it was for men only. I can truthfully say that I’ve had some good shots. Books, I have many of–I need a library. LOL I don’t have any single favorites–I love reading mysteries, travel, foods, cookbooks, chick books, classics, etc.. I think I would really enjoy Girl Hunter.

  2. I would love to win a copy of your book! My husband loves hunting and we enjoy different game recipes and organic cooking. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Katrina, that is so cool. It is so much more satisfying to feast on food you have gathered or in this case hunted on your own. How neat that you and your BF hunt together 🙂

  3. i used to hunt pheasants with my granddad. well, he hunted. the dog pointed. I retrieved (sigh). fun times; i miss my granddad so.

  4. adventures are in the kitchen and some camping. I mostly read fiction and of course cook books and cooking magazines..:)

  5. What a wonderful post Marla… your photos are stunning as usual! I so enjoyed having girl bonding time with you, you bring such wonderful energy with you wherever you go! Thank you for such kind words about my book and I hope we can get together again soon! xox

    1. Georgia,it was so fun to work on this post and to relive the memories from such a special time! Hopefully this fab group of gals can see each other again soon. I wish you the best of success!

  6. I would LOVE Georgia’s new cookbook. As a wife of an avid hunter, we’re always up for adventure. I’d like to see what kinds of recipes and tips she has for cooking wild game!

  7. I find adventure by hitting the trail when I bow hunt in Southern California. Books I normally read are either interesting novels or adventure books by other bow hunters. Great giveaway!

  8. I went to Georgia’s website and read all about here photoshoot for the cover. Being from Upstate (Western) NY and growing up on farms, reading about her adventure was pretty interesting and I felt like I was there.

  9. First, I would have LOVED To be on that trip. The women, the caliber of truly quality, amazing, intelligent, fun you, Georgia, and everyone who was there…what an honor to be there! One day I’d love to hang out with such an amazing bunch, under one roof. Or log cabin 🙂

    Tell me all about your adventure seeking self = well, I spent a month in the Amazon in Costa Rica, by myself in the sense that no one I knew from the USA was with me. I was there to do yoga and become a teacher; which I did. But I also changed the course of my life in the process. This was in 2001. Wow, memories.

  10. I already have a book, but wanted to say “hey” and how much I enjoyed your post and pictures! Wish we were all back there now. It was such a fabulous weekend in so many ways. Miss you!

  11. the Family Fresh Cooking Recipe that i will definitely try is your skinny cirtus fizz … i’ve been really into making my own drinks to stay away from the hfcs 🙂

  12. Fantastic post! I could just feel of the fun and adventure that y’all had, and love your photos of your trip darlin’. Georgia’s book is one of the best reads that I have enjoyed in quite sometime. It has a permanent spot on my side table now for all to enjoy. xoxo 😀

    1. Hey Red! Glad to hear you have read this book. Definitely a read I could see you getting into. Awesome that it has become one of your favorites 🙂

    1. Thanks Angela! We did have a blast every which way & I sure did have fun decorating those cookies. Such a treat to learn from Bridget, Shelly and Kristan.

  13. My husband hunts but my adventures are strictly in the kitchen. I’ll cook it but I think I’d have a hard time killing it.

  14. Her book is like the girl version of Steven Rinella’s “Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine” where he spent a year gathering and harvesting to create 3, 15-course meals. I look forward to seeing her grow in our community!

  15. This would be an interesting read.
    Hunting: I like the tracking part, the outdoors part, and the cooking part, even the technical side of firing the gun / using the bow. The actual killing and field dressing and such, not so much. I think that it is counter – intuitive to a mother’s heart to have a thirst to kill. It is good to have the skill and knowledge to do it if needed, but to want it and revel in it isn’t good. Women are to be cherishers.
    Fishing: a peaceful and beneficial exercise, but the stink gets to me when I am expecting.
    Women in male dominated sports: It is more than a little irritating that many women seem to want to prove something by taking over guy things. There is a thing called meekness. It is having the power and skill to do something, but not flaunting it, rather reserving it for when it is helpful, useful, or necessary. Wish more ladies would understand we can compliment instead of trying to dominate.
    Beauty & Wisdom: God gives women beauty, it is a gift that some possess more than others. Though we have a part in bringing it out or maintaining. Just because a woman has a nice body and a pretty face doesn’t mean they are automatically right in what they do, what they think, their pursuits. Jezebel was beautiful, but she was a witch. Maybe we should examine a bit more why traditions are as they are with gender roles before we just ditch them in favor of ‘if it feels good, do it’ philosophies.
    Sigh. Anyway, you asked. There are some random thoughts.

    1. Wendy, I am thrilled that we had the opportunity to finally get to know each other beyond cyberspace. I love your energy too! Can’t wait to spend more time together in the hopefully near future 🙂 xo

  16. Loved reading this post and the pictures were amazing. Within the last year I’ve started back reading more (now that my son is 21)!
    As far as adventure – I went to Dali, China on a mission trip this summer and plan to go back next November. It’s a fabulous farming community – the most peaceful place I’ve ever been.
    I love reading cookbooks and autobiographies. I’d love to add this book to my reading list.

    1. Debra, your mission trip to China sounds wonderful. We all need to find a happy & peaceful space like that in our lives. Best of luck to you in getting back there soon 🙂

  17. I usually read nonfiction, political and historical books. I remember living in South Mississippi and having to carry a long barrel snake shot pistol while mowing our three acres of lawn… I am sure glad those days are over. Great blog.

  18. I love the Jack Reacher novels. And I have fond memories of hunting on the barrier islands of south Louisiana with my uncle.

  19. I have always wanted to hunt. My dad took me once when I was about 11 or 12 but we didn’t see anything. I think he was squeamish about killing an animal in front of his daughter. Anyways, I’m interested in learning more about hunting and this sounds like a great book. 🙂

  20. I try eating mostly wild caught things. I’ve only fished and not so sure about hunting but would love to read the book. I am intrigued.

  21. My adventurous reading is including books on industralization of food such as Fast Food Nation and Food Inc. I am also on my reading list is Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Politics, and Starved and Suffed. I am interested in reading books on how I can provide for my family with little interference from Food Companies!

  22. Damn! That is so cool! Nothing cooler than a hot chick who hunts her own food and is a gourmet chef. Natural organic and delicious. You two are incredible! Marla you are so super cool and adventurous!!!!! Live living vicariously through you, your posts and photography.

  23. I love learning new things! I’ve recently decided to take up sewing. I also enjoy reading books by people who are sharing a unique experience, it’d be great to have a chance to win the Girl Hunter!

    1. Cellabella, for me learning new things no matter how big or small is essential. I get bored quickly unless I am constantly learning. Our bodies, brains and should thrive on challenging ourselves daily. Congrats on taking on sewing!

  24. My adventure is all about the outdoors! We grew up in tents with an outhouse and solar and the whole shebang! So I relish in the days I can go camping and foraging. Can some wild food, Hunt some morrels, dig in the dirt and soak up the sun and fresh air!
    I love new lands to explore. Crawl in caves! Hug the Trees!
    I have yet to officially hunt… but who knows! 🙂

  25. I would love to win this book! Thanks!

    I normally read books to my kids! lol When I do get a chance to read for myself, it’s usually a psychological thriller or something having to do with the paleo/primal life.

  26. It is on my to-do list to learn to shoot a gun. It’s just a skill I have always wanted to learn. And, as someone who tries to eat pretty close to the land, I think this book looks awesome.

  27. I looked at Georgia’s blog, and I found “How to Render Duck Fat” very interesting. That’s something I have been wanting to try, and that’s a great tutorial.

  28. I would love to read this book! I am a “girl hunter” as well – heading out to try for my first buffalo next week!

  29. Oh, I’ve been wanting this book so badly!
    Last year, I shot my first deer and processed it myself. The satisfaction of providing [delicious lean wild game that had roamed the hills of VT] for my children was incredible.

    1. Phoebe, congrats!! That is amazing and I respect how great you must have felt to go from the hunt to table. Your family must have been very impressed 🙂 Thanks for telling me about this!

  30. I was listening to my local NPR radio station yesterday and heard Georia! I knew who she was from your blog! How fun, I read mostly fiction, but was interested in her book. I am a suburban girl through and through, but I love fishing. I put on my own worms, and take the fish off, but no guts for me. ;0)

    1. Jennifer, that is so cool that you recognized Georgia from hanging out over here!
      The fishing thing…I always mean to do that each summer in Telluride. Even if it only means catching the fish & not gutting. That is still a good part of the challenge! I would like to learn all aspects though.

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