Friday, August 17, 2012

Cooking the Books - Quick-Fix Southern

It's time for another cookbook review.  I was at work digitally wondering the cookbook section of the catalog the other day, and wound up putting far too many cookbooks on hold. What can I say? They're my kryptonite.  Amongst my finds was Quick-Fix Southern, by Rebecca Lang, which claims to offer up "homemade hospitality in 30 minutes or less."

The Basics
Lang, Rebecca. Quick-Fix Southern. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2011. Print.

Rebecca Lang is a contributing editor to Southern Living, so I'm assuming she knows her stuff when it comes to Southern cuisine.  Combine that with the promise of speedy cooking, and you've got me hooked. Quick-Fix Southern promises over 100 thematically grouped, Southern recipes that can make it to table in under 30 minutes.

The (Cook)book

Let's talk practicalities for a bit.  There's a lot to like about the set up of this book (and a couple teensy gripes). Firstly, it's light and well proportioned; there's nothing quite so awkward as lugging an enormous cookbook around the kitchen that weighs more than my largest cast iron skillet. This book is light and it's size is perfect, easily allowing for propping or flopping, and stays opened to your recipe easily. I also like the overall layout of the book. You get one recipe per page in an easy-to-read, simple font; the orange of the title stands out without being obnoxious and the orange background for the ingredients set them off nicely.  The pictures, on the other hand, are black and white with orange tint and leave me feeling more than a little meh. I know, I know color photos are expensive to print, but they just don't quite live up to the nicely modern feel of the rest of the book.  Overall the cookbook is highly user friendly.

I love the content of the book and the way it's organized. For starters, the section of basics Lang provides at the start of the book is supper handy. I like her list of pantry and refrigerated staples, which is pretty darn close to my own and always something that's nice to keep in mind. She also provides a quick run-down on what she means when she calls for certain ingredients; I like that she doesn't keep readers in the dark. I also like her section on cast iron care, definitely a must read if you're less familiar with it. But my favorite part of this section is her basic recipes!  These include recipes for southern all-purpose flour, buttermilk, sugar syrup, and barbeque sauce. Simple, but essential!

What about the recipes, you ask? They sure look tasty to me! Here are a few of the one I'm especially looking forward to trying out (or already have): Sweet Potato Biscuits (p20), Drop Biscuits (23), Soft Buttermilk Waffles (15), Classic Sweet Tea (33), Tarragon Chicken Tea Sandwiches (85), Pecan-crusted Racks of Lamb (99), Mozzarella Corn Spoon Bread (130). I know how to make a lot of this, but it never hurts to try something new, and they sound delicious. Many of her recipes also have a little blurb containing some interesting fact about the dish or its history.  I particularly like the one about beaten biscuits.

I really enjoyed flipping through this cookbook and cannot wait to try out some more of its recipes. Maybe I'll do a few test recipe posts, which I've not done in a while.  The author has a great blog, which showcases many of the recipes from the book, with some truly delicious looking photography. It's a fairly affordable choice, too, retailing at 16.99, but as low as 6.80 on Amazon. I'd say this is a book definitely worth adding to a cookbook collection. Although, I'll admit, I was probably a goner as soon as I saw those biscuits on the front cover!

   

9 comments:

  1. Haley,
    Thanks so much for reviewing the book. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it! You'll have to try the Pickled Okra and Ham Wheels for football season. They are addictive!
    Rebecca Lang

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    1. Eep! You're welcome, and I will. I'm also planning to try the jalepeno deviled eggs. They sound pretty irresistible!
      Best,
      Haley

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  2. Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

    PS I am a follower of your blog. I know you have linked in before, too – which is great. Would you consider following Carole's Chatter back – or are you already?

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    1. Hi Carole! I just linked up; thanks for the invite. I followed your blog, too. Thanks for reading!

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    2. Fantastic on both counts! If you pop back in a few days there should be a nice collection of book links. Have a lovely week.

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  3. This sounds like a lot of great recipes...thanks for the review.

    NEW FOLLOWER and E-MAIL SUBSCRIBER.


    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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    1. Of course! It's one of my favorite cookbooks in a long while. Thanks for reading! (also adding your blog to my blogroll, love it!)

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  4. Just a note to let you know that your link in to Books You Loved: October was showcased in the November edition which has just posted. Would love to see another contribution from you this month! This is the link - Books You Loved November Edition

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    1. Thanks! I've definitely got one to add - a YA book review this time.

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