Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table

My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist

by Whitney Miller

Whitney Miller's New Southern Table


I love good old fashioned southern food and this book delivers. She takes classics and make a few swaps and switches and makes them healthier for the at home cook to eat. Her cookbook is full of easy to use recipes that don’t have ingredients that are hard to find or expensive and makes them simple and fast so any one can be a New Southern Table cook. The pictures are so pretty and she writes in such a manner that it’s like your old friends and she is sharing her families recipes with you. Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table is a cookbook that will never make it my bookshelf it will be on my kitchen counter since I know I’ll be using it so much why put it up. Her red beans and rice recipe is different from any recipe I’ve seen and since I make it weekly that was the first one I knew I’d try. All her recipes are good not just on paper but when you make them also. You know what I mean you get a cookbook, try a recipe and it doesn’t come anywhere near what the book says. Not Whitney Miller’s book all the recipes come out great and with such ease! Grab a copy and try out some good down home southern cooking with a twist.

summary: MasterChef winner Whitney Miller shares her favorite family recipes with her own unique flair, making them lighter and infusing them with global flavors.

Following her great-grandmothers’ examples of creatively stretching meals during the Great Depression, Whitney Miller transforms recipes from her Southern roots, preserving flavors of traditional family dishes while offering the excitement of her own special touches. She offers a taste of her family table with dishes like Southern Horchata, PB&J Chicken Satay, Dehydrated Okra Chips, Sweet Corn Grit Tamales, Peach Bread Pudding with Sweet Tea Rum Sauce, and much more. Using new techniques and cooking methods, Miller reimagines classic recipes and experiments with flavors from around the world, inspired by her travels since winning MasterChef.

thank you Whitney Miller, Booklook Bloggers, and Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy of Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.


The Homemade Kitchen

by Alana Chernila

The Homemade Kitchen

The Homemade Kitchen is a good cookbook and made perfect for the seasoned at home cook or the brand new to cooking person looking for info. Really this cookbook would be the perfect gift for a person that is new to cooking. The author has divided the book into chapters that as simple as Be A Beginner which is all so full of so much information it is one of my favorite chapters. I know how to cook eggs, veggies and such but she breaks it down into all kinds from how to steam and roast veggies to transforming milk or cooking grains. This is good for all levels of cooking and I learned a few things and have several post-its in this chapter. The other chapters are about making meals and while I won’t use a lot of them due to picky eaters I do have some post -its. My favorite book of hers will always be The Homemade Pantry but this one is good and I’m glad to have it in my kitchen cookbook library.

summary:  Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.

In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want

thank you blogging for books, Alana Chernila and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read, and review The Homemade Kitchen. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season

165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes and More…

by Michael Symon

5 in 5

I love cookbooks, I love trying new recipes, reading them cover to cover and discovering new ways to cook food. I know in this day and age of e-books, pinterest, blogs and the net many find that cookbooks are no longer needed in book form. Not me I love having a big stack of cookbooks in my kitchen and use them so much many are duct taped together. I haven’t been a big The Chew watcher but I do know of Michael Symon from my favorite channel Food Network.  This is the first cook book of his I’ve looked through and read, however it won’t be the last. He has so many great recipes! I love the simple idea of 5 in 5. The book is divided into seasons so you can do fresh in season cooking. I know many of the dishes I have saved for later could actually be made now using frozen veggies so don’t let that stop you. He has all kinds of food types represented from vegetarian to meat eater. Some of my favorites from the 5 in 5 For Every Season are:

  • Rigatoni with Mushrooms & Swiss ChardI like that it doesn’t have a heavy sauce. My hubby however puts sauce on it. So I guess you can do it either way. 
  • Spinach Salad with Ham Steak and Fried EggA grown up green eggs and ham. I don’t eat pork products so I did just the egg and salad it was still delish!
  • Spaghetti with Quick Sausage RaguI used chicken sausage and it was so yummy! 
  • Orecchiette with White Beans and SpinachVery good and very hearty even meat eaters will love this one. This is a main dish but could be used a side for a grilled portobello mushroom or chicken.
  • Mashed Potato Cakes with ParmesanThis is a nice twist to pancake night and a great way to not waste food. Add some bacon (turkey, or regular) and some eggs and you have a great breakfast, brunch or breakfast for dinner.

These are just a few of our favorites we have so many more. I have post it flags coming out all over this book. It is my go to for meal planning and we are loving it. I might have to grab a copy of his first 5 in 5 and then I’ll be all set!

summary: 5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = 165 recipes

Ridiculously easy from-scratch recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash every day of the week—now with sides and holiday dishes, too…

The follow-up to the bestselling Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, this new book delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever. Each chapter features inspired main courses as well as recipes for sides and 5 fun ways to celebrate the season, including no-bake summer fruit desserts and spiked drinks to warm up with in winter.

thank you so much Blogging for Books, Micheal Symon and Crown Publishing for allowing me to review 5 in 5 For Every Season. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Soul Food Love

Healthy Recipes Inspired by 100 Years of Cooking in a Black Family
by Alice Randall and Carole Randall Williams

I am a collector of books and cookbooks are no different, I love cookbooks! I love finding new recipes and making new dishes. Soul Food Love is really 3 books in 1. It’s a book full of history, its a cookbook and it is a collection of personal family stories. That makes this book so neat and different from other cook books that I own and have read. Yes, you read right I said read a cookbook. I am a foodie at heart and love reading cookbooks cover to cover just like a regular book. Soul Food Love is a book that will push me out of my comfort zone and make me try new foods.

The first 70 + pages is all about their family history and talks about how this cookbook came about. It is a compilation of 5 kitchens, 3 generations and 100 years. It is also about how the recipes in the book are from “baby girls” kitchen and how she wanted to make their long cherished recipes healthy. I really don’t think any of the recipes call for anything you can’t get at your local grocery store or super target or walmart. In the late spring to late fall you could grow a lot of the ingredients in your garden.

The recipe categories are divided up into Sips and Bites, Soups, Main Dishes, Sides and Salads Desserts, Crowns and For a Crowd. There are some I will make over and over and some I just skip just like any cookbook or foodie magazine.

Favorites of mine from each section:

Sips and Bites: Southern Hummus and Black Eyes Pea Hummus ( that uses natural peanut butter not the expensive hard to find sesame paste! Score, Win Win!), Homemade Salsa with Cucumber Chips (great flavorful salsa with sliced cucumbers), Homemade Peanut Butter (which you can use in the hummus recipes)

Soups: Sweet Potato Broth (which I would consider similar to pureed tomato soup only better because it’s sweet potatoes!), Broccoli Soup, Chicken Broth (which I really need to start making and stop buying),

Main Dishes:  Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Onion, Spicy Pepper Chicken (YUM!), Turkey Burgers ( a favorite in our house), Red and Black Bean Burgers (great for Lent Fridays or a meatless “meaty” burger), Sweet Potato Kale and Black Eyed Pea Soup (not sure why this isn’t in the soup section but who cares it is yummy!) Red Beans and Brown Rice Creole Salad, and lastly one that only my husband eats and loves Salmon Croquettes with dill sauce (I stay away from all things ocean wise. He loves these!)

Sides and Salads: A Mess of Greens (love me some greens!), Simple Spinach, Broccoli with peanuts and raisins, Roasted Asparagus with lemon zest, Roasted Green Onions, Any Day Snap Beans (this one is just like what my Grandma in South Carolina made. Brings back memories of spending hours snapping those beans and talking!), Fiery Green Beans, Sweet Potato Skewers, Links Salad (I could eat this whole recipe all by myself) , Savory Avocado Salad with Corn Peppers and Cilantro (this is not quac, it is so good, tasty and filling!), Chopped Spinach and Turkey Salad, Herbed Corn and the Cob, Old School Salad Plate revisited

Crowns: Cauliflower Crown and Crepe Stack

For A Crowd: Bills Whole Smoked Turkey, Breakfast Casserole and another one my husband eats that he loves and I have to take his word and empty plate for it: Herb roasted Salmon filet.

As you can see there are a lot of post flags coming out of this book and so many yummy new foods to rotate through out our menu. I’m glad I was able to review Soul Food Love and I hope you enjoy the stories and recipes as much I have if you pick up a copy.

thank you blogging for books and Crown Publishing for sending me a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were no way influenced by the free book. 

Bread Revolution

World Class Baking with Sprouted & Whole Grains, Heirloom Flours and Fresh Techniques
by Peter Reinhart

I love making bread, everything from the way it makes your whole house smell so yummy to the taste of hot resh bread dripping with butter! It just is so yummy! I also love using my kitchen aid mixer to knead the bread. What better way to multi task the mixer kneads the bread while I throw a load of laundry in. However sometimes it great to get your hands dirty and make healthy bread the old fashioned way. I’m always on the look out for healthy bread recipes and thought this book sounded interesting. I have been seeing all kinds of articles and foodie blog post about sprouting flours and breads but didn’t know where to begin. This is where Peter Reinhart’s book Bread Revolution comes in. Thanks to this book and great introduction I totally understand all about sprouting flours now. He does a great job and really explaining what all is involved in creating tasty healthy breads. The book then goes into how to make a sourdough primer. It is involved and gives you recipes, step by step instructions, and pictures to help you create your sourdough starter. After that he gets into many bread recipes. While there are many I won’t make since they would not be eaten as well as others there are many recipes we will make over and over. If you eat gluten free he even includes recipes for gluten free breads and cookies. Over all it is a nice book to have on my bookshelf. It is a pricey book coming in at 30 bucks. I’m not sure I would have bought it on my own but happy to have it for review. This book is for the die hard bread makers so if you are one of those or know one this might make a great gift. 

Book Summary: An exploration of cutting-edge developments in the bread baking world from beloved author Peter Reinhart, featuring 40 recipes and formulas that use sprouted flours, whole and ancient grains, alternative grains (such as corn and grape skin flour), nut and seed flours, and allergy-friendly approaches. Renowned baking author and instructor Peter Reinhart has always been on the forefront of the bread movement–from cold fermentation (The Bread Baker’s Apprentice) and whole grain breads (Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads) to unconventional methods for making gluten-free bread (The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking). In Bread Revolution, he explores the latest groundbreaking new flours based on grape seeds, emmer, and other ancient grains, and interviews intrepid bakers such as Craig Ponsford, Keith Giusto, and Mike Pappas, who are developing new wheat processing and baking techniques that expose tremendous flavor and health benefits. This on-trend collection of fresh bread recipes will appeal to avid bakers, health-conscious cooks, and food allergic, gluten-sensitive, and diabetic households.

thank you blogging for books and Ten Speed Press for sending me a copy of Bread Revolution for review. All opinions are my own and were no way influenced by the free book

Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from our Tuscan Kitchen

by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

Host of Cooking Channel tv show Extra Virgin

extra virgin

I love cooking shows, cookbooks and Italian food! I’ve watched their tv show Extra Virgin and really enjoy it, the recipes seem so easy to make and yummy. The family seems to really love being in the heart of the home the kitchen! So when I saw this cookbook for review through blogging for books I jumped and waiting for it to arrive. I had the front door open the minute the ups truck pulled up to the house! 🙂

I have made many of the recipes since getting the cookbook, and some have been made a few times. The recipes use simple ingredients, ones that don’t have you searching through many stores. Everything I’ve made so far uses ingredients that mostly are already in my pantry, fridge and freezer. The have made a big time Risotto lover out of us! Oh my stars I can never go back to plain old rice, Risotto is so yummy!!! The pictures of some of the recipes are beautiful and show you that you don’t need a expensive, hard to find ingredient to make a yummy dish that your family will love.

I have so many pages dog eared already and many pages have stains from me cooking and reading, which is exactly what they say in the introduction that they want to of their book. The book is divided into sections just like any cookbook however this book is one that I have almost every single recipe dog eared. I love the Tuscan Kitchen Essentials pages where Gabriele Corcos talks about all this favorite ingredients he uses.

They include recipes ranging from simple homemade pasta to white bean and pancetta bruschetta, minestrone to hunters chicken. They cover all the bases and all types of meals. They even include a very simple 3 ingredient vegetable stock recipe, that is just to easy and tasty not to make. Forget buying it now you can have homemade veggie stock in 3 hours using 3 veggies and water!

Some of our favorites and new permanent menu items: Sausage and Asparagus Risotto, “Fake” Sauce, Red Sauce, Pici All”Aglione, Pasta and Bean Soup, Minestrone, Super Tuscan Burger, Sausage and Beans, Beef Stew with Polenta, Tuscan Bread {along with the bread starter}, see I love this book. There are a whole lot more recipe wise that we love but it would be like listing almost the whole book! 🙂

thank you so much Blogging for books, Crown Publishing, and Clarkson Potter for sending me this book for review! It’s my go to cookbook!