Cookbook Reviews

The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook by Sherryl Woods

Courtesy of Amazon

In response to her  readers request for recipes, a nudge from her publisher, and an e-mail from a local chef, best-selling Contemporary Romance author Sherryl Woods and co-author chef Teddi Wohlford come together to create a collection of delectable recipes that “[reflect] all the many occasions on which food plays a comforting or celebratory role for the Sweet Magnolias” (source: The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook, Introduction) in The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook: 150 favorite Southern recipes.

The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook is witty, funny and unlike any cookbook out there.  Character Dana Sue Sullivan, a Sweet Magnolia and chef, fills the book with wonderful stories of her life with the Sweet Magnolias and tons of juicy gossip and humor.

The recipes are well written and easy to follow.  I love the side recipes, like a homemade baking mix, and tips provided by chef Wohlford throughout the book.  Along with these little treasures, Woods has filled the cookbook with beautiful images guaranteed to make your mouth water and drive you to the kitchen.

The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook offers tantalizing recipes from Cheddar Blossoms to Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders to Tex-Mex to Homemade Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows.  Oh, and you can’t forget the Homemade Egg Nog and Mint Juleps!

I loved the simplicity and beauty of the Cheddar Blossoms.  The ingredients were simple, the directions were straightforward and they were easy to prepare.  The poppy seed centers added beauty to this already adorable appetizer.  These mouthwatering quick treats baked up beautifully and were a welcome addition to my event.

When I saw a recipe for “Oven-Fried” Chicken Tenders, I knew I had to make them.  The ingredients were kept simple, like chicken tenders should be, but the addition of mayonnaise and paprika were a surprise.  After mixing, dredging and baking, I was delighted to discover the mayonnaise kept the chicken moist, and the paprika not only added color to the breading, but a welcomed seasoning.  These will definitely become a staple in my home.

The Jacked-Up Tex-Mex Macaroni & Cheese was a flashback to my childhood.  The sour cream cools the spice from the seasonings and adds a creamy tang to an already delicious dish.   While this was one of the more time consuming recipes, it was well worth the wait.  This dish paired perfectly with Mama Cruz’s Pico de Gallo recipe.

The Pico de Gallo was simple and amazing!  The combination of peppers, onions, and lime were perfect.  If you don’t care for heat, the peppers can be replaced or omitted.  This has become the only salsa my daughters will eat.

I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves to play in the kitchen, or just loves simple, delicious food.  With its simple ingredients, these recipes can be easily converted to gluten-free; thus, opening up a whole new door for those would like to try the recipes, but otherwise wouldn’t.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook: 150 favorite Southern recipes is non-fiction and 240 pages. The cookbook is scheduled to release on August 28, 2012 by Harlequin.

Join Dana and her Sweet Magnolia friends in Wood’s newest book Where Azaleas Bloom scheduled to be released August 28, 2012.

Sherryl Woods is a best-selling contemporary romance author.  Woods is a graduate of Ohio State University School of Journalism and has written over 100 romance and mystery novels, including the Sweet Mongolia series.  (Source:  Sherryl Woods)

Co-author Teddi Wohlford is owner and professional chef of Culinary Creations, a Fine Gourmet Catering company located in Macon, Georgia. Wohlford has her bachelors degree in Art and Design and numerous years of study in Culinary Arts. Wohlford also loves the Sweet Magnolia series.  (Source: Culinary Creations and The Sweet Magnolia Cookbook, Introduction)

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