When last we got together I mentioned that we had five new cookbooks in the shop and promised to give you a review of each. Being a person of my word, and having finished with Farmer’s Wife for a while, I will now proceed to tempt you with some flavorful morsels from these new offerings.
Let the Party Begin!
Let us begin with Fast & Fabulous Party Foods and Appetizers. After all, that is where a party of friends usually begins. True to its name, this book offers 400+ quick recipes for every occasion. Some recipes have as few as three ingredients while others have as many as eight, that includes “pepper or salt to taste” by the way. In addition to the recipes, there are 24 party menus that offer you a variety of possibilities. Throw in helpful hints and suggestions and you have a very serviceable, not to mention indispensible, cookbook. There are 14 chapters with recipes that run the gambit from “Wet Your Whistle” and “Crunchy Munchies” to “Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres” and “Delightful Desserts.” Of course, yours truly went straight for the desserts section. Go figure…
Next we have Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches. This book also has over 400 recipes for your enjoyment. There are 112 soups, 107 salads, 105 sandwiches, 6 seasoning mixes, and 60 salad dressing recipes. With a mixture like this you’ll be covered no matter if you need something as a first course or a hearty main meal. The book also contains helpful hints, historical facts, and some fun trivia to help you pass the time between cooking and eating. Now honestly, wouldn’t that be more fun than cleaning up while your delishious dish is cooking?
If you know you’ll really be in a hurry you might want to grab More Fast & Fabulous Five-Star 5-Ingredient (or less) Recipes. This is a sequal to the original and very popular 500 Fast & Fabulous Five-Star 5-Ingredient Recipes, which I do not have by the way. This encore cookbook will give you 500 recipes that require no more than five ingredients but result in very tasty dishes. With recipes like Jimmy’s Bacon-Wrapped Spuds, Cheezy Bones Pizza, Red Velvet Moon Pies, and Pecan Pie Cookies you know your table will never lack someone’s feet under it. Also included in the book are additional preparation tips, substitutions, and garnishes as well as amusing sidebars and interesting facts related to “fast” that the editors, Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley, thought you might like to read. Just think how empowered and enlightened you will be by reading through this one book alone!
Of course, we couldn’t pass up the Best of the Best from Tennessee now could we. After all, I’ve eaten a lot of cooking from Tennessee ladies, and I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything I wouldn’t eat a second, or third, time around if the offer were made. This cookbook contains more than 400 recipes gleened from 54 favorite cookbooks throughout the state, from Johnson City (my old stompin’ grounds) to Memphis, Chattanooga (lived there too) to Clarksville. Mammy’s Cracklin’ Corn Bread, Chuck Wagon Pepper Steak, Skillet Fried Chicken, Garlic Cheese Grits, Country Ham and Red-Eye Gravy, Chattanooga Chew Chews, and Crisp Crust Apple Pie gives you just a glimpse of what wonderful dishes will be at your fingertips. According to the editors, “The things these Tennesseans do with vegetables is worth the price of the book.”
Lastly, good barbecue is a southern staple, much like grits and gravy. The chef, Kent Whitaker, includes over 300 recipes sure to make your next cookout a hit. In addition to great recipes, you will learn what wood to use for just the right flavor, the difference between barbecue, grilling, smoking, pit cooking, etc., the right tools for the job, and safety tips. Mr. Whitaker, alias The Deck Chef, covers barbecue in the Appalachia area with great zeal. Father’s Day is getting closer and closer every day. Forget the tie and get that man this great cookbook! He’ll love you for it and might even take over the cookin’. You can’t beat that with a stick now can ya!