The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews

On Sale Date: May 2, 2017
Hardcover | 272 pages
St. Martin’s Press
Cooking / Courses & Dishes
$29.99 USD, $41.99 CAD
ISBN 9781250130440, 1250130441

Description:  Perennial New York Times bestselling novelist Mary Kay Andrews brings to your kitchen a gorgeous cookbook full of her favorite recipes that Publishers Weekly has called, “a true primer on Southern cuisine.” Presented with the breezy air that have made Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite, THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK is sure to find a place at your kitchen table. From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic pork medallions and braised Brussels sprouts with bacon, to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of charcoal-grilled oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits n’ greens casserole, and lemon cream cheese pound cake, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree coastal state of mind all year long.

You don’t need to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is a year-round appetite for delicious, casual dishes cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients. The book’s 16 carefree, crowd-pleasing menu plans are designed around holidays and occasions (“Low Country Boil,” “After a Day at the Beach,” “Game Day Dinner,” “Lazy Weekend Brunch,” “Easter Lunch”), but the 90+ delectable recipes can be mixed and matched to highlight your favorite apps, sides, mains, desserts, and beverages. (publisher)

My take:  One of my go-to authors is Mary Kay Andrews. Her novels are always entertaining and invariably land on my favorite beach reads list. That’s why I was so excited to receive a copy of The Beach House Cookbook. Andrews compiled her favorite recipes in a beautiful cookbook. The photos are gorgeous and will tempt the reader to try each recipe. Scroll down for one of those recipes. Lemon cake is my favorite and I can’t wait to try the Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake!

The book is divided into theme meals such as Low Country Boil, Fourth of July Dinner; Full Moon Party, and Christmas Brunch. There are many more and each one looks amazing. I especially enjoyed the short description and credit that MKA included with each recipe.

With Mothers Day and Fathers Day coming up soon, The Beach House Cookbook would be a wonderful gift for the cook in your life. Highly recommended.


About the author:  MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels, including The WeekendersBeach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former features writer for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she finds an outlet for her passion for cooking, entertaining, and decorating with vintage finds at the homes she shares in Atlanta and Tybee Island, Georgia, with her husband, Tom, and their two grown children, Katie and Andy, as well as grandchildren Molly and Griffin. THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK is her first cookbook.

Connect with Mary Kay Andrews online:
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THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK: Easy, Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent
by Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin’s Press (May 2, 2017)
Named one of Publishers Weekly‘s “Best Books of Summer 2017”

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake
No Southern cook should be without a pound cake recipe in their repertoire. This recipe originated with my late sister Susie, who got it from her emergency room coworkers at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Later, on the advice of famed food chemist Shirley Corriher, I upped the moistness ante with the addition of extra egg yolks, vegetable oil, and sugar. Bake it low and slow, and you’ll have a triumph.
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Ingredients:
  • 7 large eggs, divided
  • 3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar, sweetened whipped cream, and lemon zest curls for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan; set aside.

2. Separate the eggs, reserving 5 egg whites and 7 egg yolks in separate bowls. (Save the extra whites for another use.) Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3. Beat the sugar, butter, cream cheese, and oil with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until the yellow disappears. Beat in the extracts.

4. Combine the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into slices, garnish with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and lemon zest, if desired, and serve.


Also from Mary Kay Andrews:

Praise for the New York Times bestseller The Weekenders – out in trade paperback May 2, 2017!
“Fast-forward to summer with this breezy mystery.” – RealSimple.com
“This book has all the makings of a beach read…The perfect blend of drama, humor, intrigue, and just a touch of murder.” – Bustle
“Atlanta’s prolific chick-lit queen returns to her roots as a mystery author with this frothy tale of divorce, shady real estate deals and murder…Venturing into plots a tad darker than usual, Andrews still finds room for humor, romance and zany characters worth spending a weekend with.” – Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Andrews’ novels, such as Save the Date and Beach Town, are the epitome of relaxing yet involving summer reads, and her latest is no exception…Andrews blends romance, intrigue, and soap-opera-like twists in this entertaining novel about a gossipy beach town.” – Booklist


Good Taste by Jane Green

good-taste-by-jane-green

  • Title:  Good Taste: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends
  • Author:  Jane Green
  • Genre:  Cookbook
  • Pages:  192
  • Published:  October 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Description: A lush and gorgeous guide to all things food and entertaining from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J, The Beach House, and Falling.
 
Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…

… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.

Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouthwatering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.

This book is Jane’s perfect recipe for making a wonderful life complete with friends, loving family, and moments filled with good food, good times, and, of course, Good Taste. (publisher)

My take: At first glance Good Taste has a rather unassuming cover – until you take a closer look at the photo which shows the author readying a dining table for an outdoor meal. It looks quite inviting and lovely.

And that’s exactly how I felt about the cookbook – welcomed by author Jane Green to take a look at her favorite recipes and give them a try. She personalized each one with an anecdote about the family or friends a recipe bring to mind. I loved that.

The book is divided into Beginnings (starters and soups), Middles (main courses), and Endings (desserts). Gorgeous color photos accompany each recipe which is something I really appreciate. I’m not an accomplished cook by any stretch of the imagination so I like to have a clear goal in mind of what my finished product should look like 🙂

There are several recipes I can’t wait to try including: Tomato Tart Tatin; Slow-Braised Onion Chicken; and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. The photos of all three are gorgeous and what I really love is that after reading each recipe I feel confident I’ll be able to make them.

Good Taste would make a wonderful gift for the cook in your life this holiday season.

School of Fish by Ben Pollinger

  • school of fish (Sept30)Title:  School of Fish
  • Author:  Ben Pollinger
  • Genre:  Cookbook
  • Published:  September 2014 – Gallery Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  In School of Fish Ben Pollinger – executive chef of the Michelin-starred New York City restaurant Oceana – demystifies the art of cooking seafood, making home-preparation an exciting and feasible option any night of the week. 

When it comes to fish, most home chefs have something in common: We love to eat it but we’re afraid to cook it. For as many fish as there are in the sea, there are just as many ways to prepare it. Fish is quick, it’s healthy and it’s delicious. So why are we so intimidated about making it at home?

The book is broken down by technique and organized by degree of difficulty. Each section begins with 101-level recipes and advances to more challenging preparations that you will be excited to try once you’ve mastered each technique.  (from the publisher)

My take:  School of Fish is a go-to reference for any kitchen. It’s a “how to” for buying and storing fish; seasoning fish; and knowing when it’s done. Numerous ways to prepare fish are covered in a manner that will instill confidence in even the shyest cook.

Especially helpful is the Techniques section that covers such things as removing anything you don’t want in the fish when you cook it to butterflying a lobster. The photos included in this section are quite helpful.

I can unequivocally say School of Fish would make a great gift for the cooks on your holiday list; wedding showers; or you. It has found a place on my cookbook shelf.

About the author:

Ben Pollinger worked for years under renowned chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Michael Romano, and Floyd Cardoz before taking the helm as executive chef at Oceana, where he has maintained the restaurant’s Michelin star rating since 2006. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

Let’s Eat! by Denise Burroughs

Title: Let’s Eat!

Author: Denise Burroughs

Genre: Cookbook

About: At 51 pages, Let’s Eat! may be a slim volume but it’s packed with comfort-food recipes.  Many seemed  familiar to me – similar to recipes the cooks in my extended family make:  Meatball Appetizer; Chicken Casserole; Taffy Apple Salad; Fantasy Fudge.  Also included are 10 Tips from the Kitchen; How Much Of This Equals That?; Baking Tips; Baking Substitutions; Preparing Marinades And Sauces; Is It Done Yet?  I decided to try the following recipe:

Broccoli and Spaghetti

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2/3 cloves of garlic

14 oz. bag broccoli florets frozen

1 tbs. Red crushed pepper

Salt to taste

1/4 cup water

Grated parmesan cheese

Preparation:

In a medium size pan add 4 Tbsp. olive oil, 2/3 cloves of garlic.  Heat until garlic is sizzling but do not brown.  Add a 14 oz. bag of broccoli florets, red pepper and salt as desired.  Cook on low for about 20/25 minutes until broccoli is soft.  You can add a little water at the end if desired.  Pour over angel hair pasta.  Add grated parmesan cheese on top.  Broccoli florets can be either thawed or frozen.

My experience with this recipe: I used 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and I thought it was too hot.  Next time I would cut way back on the pepper flakes.  My family agreed that while it was tasty it had too much heat.

My Thoughts: The first thing I noticed is that there is no table of contents which I think is essential.  I was also a bit confused about a measurement abbreviation in the recipe I made.  It called for 1 tbs. of an ingredient.  I guessed that meant teaspoon but I was taught that tsp. is the abbreviation.  So I went for a teaspoon and hoped for the best.

Despite my quibbles and because the recipes do not seem difficult or intimidating, I think even beginner cooks would feel comfortable using this book.  Let’s Eat! might be a useful resource for those times you want to make some comfort food or for your contribution to the neighborhood block party or family get-together.

Source: Denise Burroughs for her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book


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About Denise Burroughs: She’s the owner of a paint and body shop and a member of NAPEW (National Association of Professional & Executive Women 2007-2008). A love for cooking and a desire to share wonderful family traditions was put to paper to create Let’s Eat.  There have been so many people who have inspired her in her life, but no one inspired her more than her mother.  Many of the recipes in this book have been served many times over and enjoyed by family and friends.  She is happy to share them all with you and hopes you enjoy every bite as they were all made with lots of love.

You can visit Denise at www.deniseburroughs.com

 

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at Beth Fish Reads

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

5 Ingredient Fix by Claire Robinson – Weekend Cooking

at Beth Fish Reads

 

From the book blurb: Claire Robinson – host of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix – is here to help you get dinner on the table with minimal fuss and just a few great ingredients.

With everyone struggling to streamline and budget, Claire’s recipes make preparing delicious meals a snap.  Showing you how to choose the right ingredients along with a little culinary know-how is her specialty.  According to Claire, cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be impressive:  Simplifying the process with fewer ingredients saves time, frustration, and, ultimately, money.

My thoughts: When I first saw the title of this beautiful cookbook I thought it seemed like a good one for me.  5 Ingredient Fix covers all meals as well as cocktails and various dinner courses.  The author imparts her philosophy of cooking with fewer ingredients and also lists which basics every kitchen warrior should own. There is a section titled Menu Ideas For Memorable Meals which groups recipes from the book into meals.

The photography is gorgeous and made me want to try several recipes. I must say that some of the ingredients are not staples I would normally find in my pantry or refrigerator so preparation is key.  After browsing the recipes I decided to make:

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Basil Butter

1 large spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

8 large basil leaves, sliced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Preheat the oven to 375°

Halve the squash through the stem and remove the seeds.  Season with salt and pepper and roast cut side up on baking sheet until completely soft, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly and, with a fork, shred the squash flesh from the shell and transfer to a serving dish.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the pine nuts and basil to a paste.  Add the butter and cheese and pulse to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the squash warm with soft butter on the side to dollop on each serving.

 

 

Tim and I agreed that it’s a tasty side dish.  I think the star of the recipe is the Basil Butter.  The combination of the basil, pine nuts and cheese is wonderfully flavorful. Some of the ingredients are on the expensive side – I had no idea about the price of pine nuts!  Despite the cost, I would definitely make this recipe again.

 

~

 

Claire Robinson is the host of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge.  She cites her French-speaking grandmother as a major influence on her love for food.  Claire graduated from the French Culinary Institute, is an accomplished private chef, and has worked on culinary production teams for several cooking series, including Food Network’s Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Review copy from Hachette Book Group

The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken

The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Edition

“There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don’t cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind…The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest.” – Peg Bracken

Philosopher’s Chowder. Skinny Meatloaf. Fat Man’s Shrimp. Immediate Fudge Cake. These are just a few of the beloved recipes from Peg Bracken’s classic I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Written in a time when women were expected to have full, delicious meals on the table for their families every night, Peg Bracken offered women who didn’t revel in this obligation an alternative: quick, simple meals that took minimal effort but would still satisfy.

50 years later, times have certainly changed – but the appeal of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK hasn’t.

This book is for everyone, men and women alike, who wants to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible.

* * * * * * *

I remember hearing buzz about The I Hate To Cook Book when I was a teen.  At the time I wondered why a cookbook would be titled as such but fast-forward a couple of decades and I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner for my family on a daily basis.  Looking back I wish I had Peg Bracken’s book in those days.

When I had a chance to review the 50th Anniversary edition of The I Hate To Cook Book I grabbed it.  Author Peg Bracken died in 2007 so her daughter Jo wrote the forward that tells about her mom and the book.  Following the forward is Peg’s introduction where she explained how and why the book came about. Bracken’s wit is apparent throughout the book making it an enjoyable read as well as a go-to reference.

Many of the recipes seemed familiar to me (maybe my mom had this book?).  They use ingredients found in most pantries such as cream of mushroom soup, canned vegetables, fruits, tuna, etc. The recipe directions are easy to follow.   Saturday Chicken (p.20-21) earned a thumbs up at my house.  (I added a small can of mushrooms to the recipe)

Saturday Chicken ingredients

Saturday Chicken

  • 1 cut-up fryer (or any 6 good-sized pieces of chicken)
  • salt and garlic salt
  • paprika
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup heavy cream (don’t cheat and use milk; the cream makes a lot of difference)
  • chopped parsley

Take your chicken and salt and garlic salt it a bit, then paprika it thoroughly.  Next, spread it out, in one layer, in a shallow baking pan.  Dilute the soup with the cream, pour it over the chicken, and sprinkle the chopped parsley prettily on top.  Bake it, uncovered, at 350 for one and a half hours.


Fresh out of the oven


Saturday Chicken (right) with baked potato and green beans


The chapters cover pretty much any type of dinner situation: Potluck Suppers; Company’s Coming; Luncheon for the Girls; Little Kids’ Parties.  Also included are helpful hints, equivalents, and substitutions.  I think The I Hate to Cook Book would be a great addition to any cookbook collection.

Review copy from Hachette Book Group

Review – Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois


Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg: Book Cover

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients
by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François

Published by Thomas Dunne Books


From the authors of the groundbreaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day comes a new cookbook filled with quick and easy recipes for healthy bread

Their first book was called “stupendous,” “genius,” and “the holy grail of bread making.” Now, in their much-anticipated second book, Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François have taken their super-fast method and adapted it for the health-conscious baker, focusing on whole grains and other healthier ingredients.

The method is still quick and simple, producing professional-quality results with each warm, fragrant, hearty loaf. In just five minutes a day of active preparation time, you can create delectable, healthy treats such as 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Whole Grain Garlic Knots with Parsley and Olive Oil, Black-and-White Braided Pumpernickel and Rye Loaf, Cherry Black Pepper Focaccia, Pumpkin Pie Brioche, Chocolate Tangerine Bars, and a variety of gluten-free breads. And many of the recipes are 100% whole grain.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you that there is time enough for home-baked bread, and that it can be part of a healthy diet. Calling all bread lovers: Whether you are looking for more whole grains, watching your weight, trying to reduce your cholesterol, or just care about what goes into your body, this book is a must-have.


Hertzberg

Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is a physician with twenty years of experience in health care as a practitioner, consultant, and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His interest in baking and preventive health sparked a quest to adapt the techniques of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for healthier ingredients.

Zoë François, coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is passionate about food that is real, healthy, and always delicious. She is a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to teaching baking and pastry courses nationally, she consults to the food industry and is the creator of the recipe blogwww.zoebakes.com. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two sons.

The authors answer bread questions at their Web site:www.healthybreadinfive.com.

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My thoughts:

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a wonderful new cookbook that would be a perfect gift for the cook/baker/cookbook reader in your life. I fall into the last category and really appreciate the layout of the book. There are easily understood explanations of why healthy bread is so good for us; the preferred ingredients to use; and the tools needed to make the bread. There is a very helpful tips and techniques section.

A Master Recipe is the basis for the breads. A batch is made and then stored in the refrigerator (up to two weeks) to be used in addition to other ingredients for your preferred bread. The Master Recipe can be baked in various forms: free form, baguettes, and bagels just to name a few. In the center of the book are several full-color photos of breads such as Cinnamon Crescent Rolls, 100% Whole Wheat Christmas Stollen, Indian Spiced Whole Grain Doughnuts, and Boule. I dare your mouth not to water while looking at the photos! Also included throughout the book are black and white photos showing different techniques.

If you’re interested in a healthy diet you’ll appreciate the appendix at the back of the book that explains the nutritional value of eating Healthy Bread. There are at least ten gluten-free recipes for people with that concern. If you’re looking for a great cookbook, you can’t go wrong with Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

You can purchase the book here or here.

Review copy from FSB Associates