Cookbook Review ~ Quail Ridge Press & A GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, July 21, 2012
I was contacted by Quail Ridge Press awhile back and asked if I would be interested in doing some reviewing of new releases for them. I get these requests now and again and most I just pass by. THEN I realized I have a book by this publisher -- Best of the Best from Minnesota Cookbook -- it was long ago a gift from a group of gals I worked with when I lived in Minnesota -- it was my going away gift when I moved to Nebraska in 2006. I have LOVED that book and use it often - my friends left me notes all thru the book and I love flipping thru and seeing those sweet messages. Based on my feelings for that book, I gladly signed on to review their TWO new titles.

First up is ---

Hall of Fame of Southern Recipes is FULL of GREAT Southern recipes like Baked Vidalia Onion Dip , Chocolate Cream Supreme, Key Lime Cake, White Chocolate and Lime Mousse Cake and what Southern cookbook would be complete without a version of Red Velvet Cake. I was so impressed with the content of this book. I needed to plan a little get-together to *celebrate* my porch being completed. This book looked to be the answer to *what to serve?*  -- don't all Southern houses have BIG porches?, lol. I choose a couple things that would fit into my low-carb lifestyle and then some yummies for those who don't have to watch their carbs so closely. My menu, Mint Fruit Tea, Cool Benedictine Soup, Boursin Cheese (homemade) with Crudite & water crackers and Cheese Puffs with Chicken Salad - a perfectly refreshing light meal for a summer get-together. I even dug out my vintage snack dishes - the cold soup was PERFECT in the punch cups! Super easy recipes and everyone raved about the yummy food. A TOTAL success!

Mint Fruit Tea
Hall of Fame of Southern Recipes
(Printable Version)

2 long steams of mint
Grated rind of ½ lemon
Grated rind of ¼ orange
4 tea bags or 2 Tbsp loose tea
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup sugar (you can substitute a no-calorie sweetener)
3-3/4 cups cold water
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Slices of lemon and orange for garnish
Sprigs of mint for garnish

Combine stems if mint, grated rinds, and tea in a heat-proof pitcher or teapot. Pour boiling water over all. Steep 2 minutes. Put remaining ingredients into large pitcher or jar. Strain steeped tea mixture into pitcher and blend. Cool, and pour into tall glass of ice. Garnish with thin slices of orange or lemon and sprigs of mint. Serves 6-8.

Cool Benedictine Soup
Hall of Fame of Southern Recipes
(Printable Version)

3 medium cucumbers
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp garlic salt
Several drops of green food coloring
Chopped almonds for garnish

Peel cucumbers and cut into chunks. Puree in food processor. Combine with chicken broth, sour cream, vinegar and seasonings; tint a light green with food coloring. Chill. Serve cold, topped with almonds. Serves 6.

Boursin Cheese – Home Style
Hall of Fame of Southern Recipes
(Printable Version)

8 ounces whipped butter, softened
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme

Place butter and cream cheese in large bowl of an electric mixer or food processor. Beat at high speed until smooth and fluffy, stopping motor often to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add remaining ingredients, and continue to beat until well combined. Pack into containers and allow to mellow for at least 12 hours in refrigerator before serving. Serve cold with crackers or crudite.

Note: Okay to prepare in advance: if wrapped airtight, this will keep for 2 weeks to a month. Do not freeze. Fluff before serving.

Cheese Puffs with Chicken Salad
Hall of Fame of Southern Recipes
(Printable Version)

4 Tbsp butter
1/2 c boiling water
1/2 c all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
2 eggs
1/2 c shredded Swiss Cheese

Melt butter in boiling water. Add ¼ cup flour and a dish of salt. Stir rapidly until mixture leaves side of pan and forms a ball that does not separate. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth. Stir in cheese. Drop from a teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet, and bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Cool. And split. Fill with Party Chicken Salad. Unfilled puffs make be kept in freezer.

Party Chicken Salad:

2 c chopped, cooked chicken
1/4 c minced celery
2 Tbsp minced green onion
2 Tbsp mined pimentos
2 Tbsp white wine
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c sliced almonds

Mix chicken with celery, green onion, pimentos, wine, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice and sliced almonds. Fill puffs with chicken salad. Yields: 10-12.


The second book I am reviewing is ......

Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker includes 210 pages FULL of the most scrumptous looking recipes, ALL Healthy Lifestyle geared  -- included are  Spinach and Mozzarella Frittata, Spicy Chili with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, and Ranch Turkey Sliders . EACH recipe has a beautiful color photo and a side-panel that includes all the nutritional data -- carbs included and you know that is important to me, lol.

First on my list is Steel-Cut Oats w/Peaches and Honey -- Once you go steel-cut, you won't go back AND the best way to prepare steel-cut oats is the slow-cooker. I served this to my company and my Dad talked about it the rest of their visit....very, very yummy! I doubled this recipe to feed my crowd and served with whipped cream and cinnmon for the top.

Steel-Cut Oats w/Peaches and Honey
Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker
(Printable Version)

1 c steel-cut oats
2 ripe peaches, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1-to-inch pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups water
2 cups 1% milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook on LOW for 2-2-1/2 hours, or until desired consistency is reached. Yield: 13 1/2-cup servings. 81 calories/13 net carbs per serving.

Next was Garlic Lover's Chicken -- The name says it ALL. This dish was yummy -- I doubled it -- again, I was feeding a crowd and I thought a fight might erupt over the leftovers the next day, lol -- I served fresh green beans and a salad on the side. Very simple, healthy and took little time so I could spend more time enjoying my visitors.

Garlic Lover’s Chicken
Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker
(Printable Version)

20 cloves garlic, chopped (YES, that does read TWENTY)
1 tsp olive oil
4 ounce mushrooms
1 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp organic cornstarch
2 large boneless, skinless breasts
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

In a large frying pan, sauté chopped garlic in olive oil over medium-heat. Add mushrooms, and continue to sauté until mushrooms become soft. Pour broth into slow cooker, and whisk in cornstarch. Add remaining ingredients and stir briefly to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. Yield: 4 servings. 199 calories/9 net carbs per serving.

Okay, Quail Ridge Press very generously provided me a copy of these book for review -- they ALSO provided a second set for me to giveaway to one of my dear readers. I've combined that with a HAND-EMBROIDERED Faithfulness Farm, fully reversible APRON & TEE-TOWEL set.
Enter to Win at Faithfulness Farm Blog

The drawing is open to ALL Faithfulness Farm Followers (new followers included) -- as a follower you've already been entered AND as a bonus entry, leave me a sweet comment on this post. A winner will be drawn on JULY 31th.

You may also enter in to win a copy of Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker from Quail Ridge Press -- their drawing will also be on July 31th. Thank you Quail Ridge Press -- I enjoyed the opportunity to review these terrific new releases!!


  1. Mippy said...:

    Looks awesome and yuuummmy! Thank you for sharing and for the chance to possibly win the set!
    ~Mippy :)

  1. RiverBend Farm said...:

    You always come up with such neat giveaways! I'd be honored if you include me. I can just imagine sitting on a huge front porch sipping of that tea and eating chicken salad...yummm..

  1. Susan said...:

    I love reading cookbooks! The Hall of Fame Southern Recipes would be great to look over.

  1. loretta said...:

    I would love to have a cookbook from MN! Most of mine are from the south and don't have any from the west. Maybe I will get lucky! Thank you for the chance.

  1. loretta said...:

    Thank you for this opportunity :)
    Maybe it's my day :)

  1. Sallie said...:

    MMMMMM! Thanks for aharing and for the giveaway!

  1. Sallie said...:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    Since I cook southern every day I got those already...kind of. We do eat steel cut oats and love them but have not added peaches-will do pronto. Thanks Gail.

  1. CalamityJr said...:

    It's only an hour past dinner and you've made me hungry again! Thanks for the chance to own these wonderful cookbooks.

  1. JustPam said...:

    Very nice reviews. Your tea towel and apron are adorable. I would love to win-thanks!

  1. LyndaLoo said...:

    Well, I'm up for a chance to win a free cookbook! The steel oats looks like for the fall....can't wait to try.

  1. LyndaLoo said...:

    Gail, I'm always up for a chance to win a free cookbook! The oats/peach recipe sounds like one I might enjoy come this fall. Thanks!

  1. Unknown said...:

    These look quite mouthwatering really my tummy is rumbling

    Sue feely

  1. Kaylin said...:

    Love the embroidered linens and the cookbooks sound great too. Thanks

  1. Kaylin said...:

    Love the embroidered linens and cookbooks are a favorite too. Thanks.

  1. sayer13 said...:

    Anything homemade is a PLUS....I'm also a recipe addict so this would be the perfect gift to win.

  1. Lisa Cox said...:

    Love the apron and tea towel. So pretty.
    Thank you for always thinking of us followers.

  1. Wow, everything you made sounds great! I'm going to try the cheese and the puffs sound great too! Thanks for the fun give-away:@)

  1. Sue D said...:

    Great recipes--I am going to try the steel cut oata and peaches recipe real soon.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

  1. emt817ftw said...:

    I'm addicted to cookbooks! Would love to add these to my collection.

  1. What a great give-away! I marked the Key cake recipe already and will try that one soon for a family get-together. Thanks for the opportunity to win these great bookbooks, plus the extras of your own.

  1. Shiney Aim said...:

    If I win I'm going to share with my Mom!

  1. What a lovely post! I can't wait to try the slow cooker recipes. I love the Java pattern! I've never stitched it, but it's a favorite. Fingers crossed. <3

  1. nanagilbert said...:

    I so enjoy your site, the recipes, stories & adorable pictures. An added bonus is the chance to get these cookbooks. They both look good. My husband said I am a cookbook hoarder. I can't have too many! The apron & Tea towels is a nice bonus. Please enter me & thank you for a great site. Linda

  1. Mary Ann said...:

    The recipes look wonderful (esp. the boursin cheese) and thanks for the giveaway!

  1. jem said...:

    I have a few of their cookbooks including Wisconsin and one of Desserts. If I see any of the state books at the thrift stores, I grab them - such great recipes.

  1. Emma said...:

    Thanks for the chance to own these wonderful cookbooks.The apron & Tea towels is a nice bonus.Have a great week.

  1. Cherise said...:

    That chicken sound yummy! I love garlic! I would love to win! Thanks for the chance! Have an awesome day! :)

  1. BumbleBeeLane said...:

    I just love southern cooking.Warm Blessings!~Amy

  1. Linda Stubbs said...:

    Hi Gail, Thanks so for stopping by. Those are beautiful cookbooks! Thank you for the neat to join you on the front porch......wouldn't that be a sweet day!

    Hugs, Linda

  1. Barbara said...:

    Love the embroidered linens and the cookbooks sound great too! Thanks, great giveaway!

  1. Jess said...:

    I just bought steel cut oats for the first time and happen to have peaches ready to the recipe is at the perfect time. Thanks so much for your recipes. And love the "crawler". Our only grandbaby has just started walking...I am going up there for a long weekend. So much fun!!!

  1. Sheila said...:

    Gail I am a new follower , I came via Linda's blog Prairie Flower Farm and this is the wonderful thing about blogs you discover other great blogs .Thanks for the chance at your giveaway and also for the recipes. Sheila in Nova Scotia.

  1. robin said...:

    Wonderful giveaway - thanks for the chance!~

  1. Sally said...:

    Great giveaway - count me in :) Loved your reviews and recipes you shared!!

  1. Jen V. said...:

    Great Give the apron & towel!

  1. Jen V. said...:

    Great Give the apron & towel!

  1. tylo said...:

    Count me in, love reading your blog and would like to see more pictures of your home and front porch.

  1. Joyce Ann said...:

    Thanks for sharing the recipes.

  1. Would love to be entered, the recipes sound tummy's growling! Thanks so much:)

  1. Kathy Moody said...:

    What a great giveaway! Thank youj so much for visiting my blog! Thrilled to be your newest follower!! Thanks for the great giveaway. HUGS

  1. Gin said...:

    I can't wait to try that garlic chicken recipe--sounds delish!

  1. kitty said...:

    What a wonderful giveawy, Gail! I am a follower of yours already and would love an extra chance to win. Thank you for the opportunity.

  1. kitty said...:

    What a wonderful giveawy, Gail! I am a follower of yours already and would love an extra chance to win. Thank you for the opportunity.

  1. What a sweet giveaway Gail, thanks for sharing with us! Jean

  1. I don't know how I missed this but glad I found it in time, gee!!! Please enter me, you had me at apron! lol

  1. What a lovely giveaway! Here's hoping I win :) Thanks for the opportunity, Gail!

  1. Carra said...:

    Looks so great!!!
    Thanks for a fun giveaway!

  1. Oh my ~ how exciting! I really enjoy your Facebook page, and want to thank you for all you do on it. Love your recipes, and thanks so much for offering this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G giveaway!

  1. This recipes are wonderful, as all of yours are! Love you Facebook page, and thank you so much, for offering this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G giveaway!

  1. Oh yes, I am a follower of your blog. This giveaway is so attractive to me as I LOVE cookbooks! Where in NE do you live? Could it be we are neighbors? ;)

  1. Please count me in too- what a wonderful giveaway.
    Praying blessings over you today.

  1. Kim Stewart said...:

    I'm a follower now!

  1. Kim Stewart said...:

    What a sweet giveaway!

  1. sle53 said...:

    What a great giveaway! Love recipes from the south!!! And such a cute towel and apron to go with it!

  1. Unknown said...:

    Would love to have that skinny ms. cookbook! both look super yummy!

  1. Judy W said...:

    These recipes look so good! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  1. Kim said...:

    I'll have to try some of those recipes.

  1. arkie said...:

    Love the apron! I'm a big fan of steel cut oats! Enjoy your low carb posts.

  1. Wow what aweseome cookbooks and even more awesome recipes with pictures! Looks like there are lots of recipes that my girls' and I could make! Love the "country" apron too! I really enjoy your site! Happy Summer! Mindy

  1. kelly said...:

    new follower, long time reader! :D
    these cookbooks sound awesome; thanks for the opportunity! :D

  1. Nancy said...:

    I have their Best of the Best cookbooks for Ohio and Hawaii...great resources. That slow cooker garlic chicken recipe is going on my August menus!

  1. Nancy said...:

    I have two of their Best of the Best cookbooks, Ohio and Hawaii..great resources! That slow cooker garlic chicken recipe is going on my August menus!

  1. Finally something new to make with all these cucumbers! I'm also going to make the cheese puffs and chicken salad for lunch this week! Would really love to win that Apron!

  1. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Sounds yummy.

  1. Mary H. said...:

    That recipe for 20 garlic cloves -- oh my word. I'm in love!

  1. Pat Mills said...:

    Oh, this sounds wonderful and thank you for sharing some recipes!

    Please enter me in this drawing. I would love to win!

    Thank you again,

  1. Unknown said...:

    Love the recipes and will definitely try some of them. The apron and dish towel is so cute!

  1. linda said...:

    I didn"t realize you can make boursin cheese from scratch; I will try that. Still hoping for one of your beautiful aprons!

  1. apple blossom said...:

    oh, yes, I'm a follower have been for a long time the apron and tea towel are beautiful. thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] ]com

  1. I love farm aprons. Love them. Thanks for entering me and thanks for all the trouble with those great looking recipes

  1. Barbara B said...:

    Love your blog and follow faithfully. Always inspired by your reads and the lovely recipes you share with your readers. Would love a chance to win!

  1. Winning an apron from you would be a treasure! Thanks for the recipes and giveaway!

  1. Quiltingsigner said...:

    Oh, I'd love to win! I love aprons and recipes!!! Thank you!

  1. Quiltingsigner said...:

    Thank you! I love both aprons and recipes! :)

  1. missybug said...:

    WOW what a great giveaway....

    i would totally enjoy both!

    thanks for an opportunity to win.

    melissa from WA

  1. Christine said...:

    Wonderful reviews!!! Thanks for the recipes!! I'd love to have this collection!!!

  1. Christine said...:

    great giveaway and love the recipes!!! Thanks for the great review.

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