Fans of Food Network star Paula Deen enjoy her unpretentious Southern-gal persona as much as her easy, what's-not-to-like recipes. As a writer of four other cookbooks, including The Lady & Sons Just Desserts
, restaurant owner, and purveyor of her own product line, she's also something of an entrepreneur. In Paul Deen Celebrates!
she offers 170-plus recipes arranged by menus for traditional holidays and other, sometimes whimsical celebrations like Elvis's Birthday and Movie-Watching Pizza Party in Bed. The recipes, which are often Southern-rich, range from the more traditional, such as Shrimp Etouffé, Muffuletta Sandwiches, and Macaroni Salad, to the innovative, including Collard Green Wantons, Grilled Chicken Pita, and Scallop and Bacon Pizza. Her sweets include the likes of Old Fashioned Banana Pudding, Gooey Toffee Butter Cake and Margarita Mousse. Offered also are decorating tips, and "Paula's Pearls of Wisdom" like "treasure today's moment's because they will tomorrows memories."
Deen's dishes couldn't be more approachable and will doubtlessly inspire many holiday menus. Readers should know, however, that she regularly calls for convenience products like cake mixes and canned soups, whose use (by now something of an American tradition in itself) can do little to make homemade food taste as good as it otherwise might. Paula Deen Celebrates! should, however, excite Deen's many fans, who, along with the attractive formulas, receive lots of "back-story" on the author's own celebrations, life, and mostly good times. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Popular Food Network personality Paula Deen returns, focusing on memorable meals for special occasions. Teaming up with Savannah Magazine's Martha Nesbit, the two offer full-blown menus for a wide range of events-from Easter and Mother's Day to Sunday afternoon football and Elvis's birthday. True to form, butter, cream and mayonnaise are well represented, as are a healthy sprinkling of "ya'lls." Deen packs the book with her trademark stories of family and friends, as well as decorating and entertaining tips from her personal assistant, Brandon Branch. Recipes run the gamut, from old favorites like Peppermint Bark and Chicken Pot Pie to Cream Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas, Oyster-Stuffed Quail and Herb-Crusted Pork Loin. Deen is known for her love of southern cooking, and dishes like Black-Eyed Pea Dip, Succotash and Country Fried Steak with Gravy are surefire winners. But her use of collard greens in Collard Green and Ham Hock Pizza and Collard Green Wontons push the envelope a bit, as do some of the decorating ideas from Branch. Those with a cursory knowledge of cooking will find the recipes well within their range, and Deen's low-key approach to cooking-which emphasizes enjoying the process rather than getting wound up about the results-will build confidence.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.