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!!