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This is Paula Deen's second cookbook. It predates her regular Food Network series and may predate her first appearance on any Food Network shows. Unless you look carefully to notice the imprimatur of the giant publisher Random House, you may take this for a local, self-published cookbook done by a church or women's social group to raise money, because that is exactly how the recipes come across. They represent your basic southern meat and potatoes and grits and collard greens menu and succeed very well in filling that niche.
That is almost exactly the same opening paragraph I used for Paula's first book. It is as true of the second book as it was of the first, even down to the plastic amateur binding which makes the Random House imprimatur so surprising.
One of the few differences between the first and the second books is that the second adds more details to how Paula and her sons came to establish their restaurant. Another difference is that only a very few of the recipes are cited as dishes served at Paula's restaurant. A third difference is that Paula strays a bit outside the standard Southern culinary canon. Some distinctly French and Italian standards such as steak au pauvre and pasta Puttanesca sauce have found their way into the book. My humble opinion on the Italian dishes is that a few important details of the proper techniques are missing, but your result from following these recipes will be quite acceptable.
Like the first volume, almost all of the recipes call for a reasonable number of easily obtained ingredients and require a relatively few steps. Many recipes call for prepared or processed ingredients such as canned soups, packaged rice dishes, and Velveeta.
Like the first book, I would open this volume if I wanted to find something to make for a person whose fussy zone excludes things like curry, lemon grass, hosin sauce, wines, and leeks. This would be a fallback source if I wanted something to fit a Pennsylvania Dutch palate, but the Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks on my shelf fail to inspire.
I would not go to Paula's books for baked goods. I am certain her recipes work. I have tried several and find them too long on butter and eggs and too short on fruit. If you, dear reader are an inexperienced cook, I would put this book to the side and start with a cookbook specifically written to teach techniques such as Madeline Kamman's `The New Making of a Chef'.
If you like basic American Cooking done with the cachet of a Food Network celebrity chef, this is an excellent source at a very reasonable price. Many of the recipes have been featured on Paula's Food Network show, so this book gains value if you are fond of following her show. I would also agree with other reviewers that her first book is preferable to the second, but the second is worthy of her style.
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on November 12, 2004
This cookbook is for all of us that miss BUTTER!- I have the book and can tell you that the recipes are simple and easy to do, not to mention fantastic. While it may not lower your cholesterol, It will warm your heart to eat all those foods your Mom used to make. No hunting the gourmet food isle for items you can pronounce let alone find! Paula Deen is a true Southern Lady who leads with her spoon!
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on April 1, 2003
I recently saw Paula's show on the cooking channel. I really love her Southern charm and lack of pretense. The recipes in this book are simple and use ingredients you already have in your kitchen, which appeals to me. The book is in a binder so it stays open easily while you follow the recipe. Unfortunately, though I've made two recipes my extremely picky husband only liked one and be warned, these recipes are not for the weight conscious (sic). I will keep trying, though, as I'm sure most of them are wonderful.
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on December 29, 2004
This book is full of recipes from Paula's show - which is a great time saver (and ink saver) if you're like me and print a lot of her recipes. This is typical Paula fare - southern cooking that is easy, tastes good, and relatively quick-cooking. It's comfort food. Her recipes are adaptable for a low-fat diet - I know because I do it. If you're the type that considers yourself too refined for this style of food or cooking, then this book is a waste of your time and money. If you're a laid-back person who likes food that is low on the fuss factor, uses ingredients that are easily accessible and don't cost a fortune, and typically taste great, this is a great addition to the collection!
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on November 6, 2003
looking through this book, it was not if I was going to use a receipe but where to start. It's going to make the holiday cooking (both when my kids and their families come home and also drop in company) a lot eaier. If you only want just one cookbook - get this one!!!
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on January 26, 2005
I love all the recipes.I'm a recent college graduate and newly married. My husband's mother is a wonderful Southern cook, and I never thought I could make anything near the delicious Sunday meals I'd had at her house--until I tried Paula Deen's recipes. Not only are the recipes just as good as my mother-in-law's, but they're easier and faster. Everthing I've tried out of this cookbook is so yummy. I definately reccommend this book for anyone looking for down-home recipes--no matter their skill level.

it Makes me long form home.I enjoyed this book [...]. All the recipes I've tried are fantastic.
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on November 9, 2006
Paula Deen is definnitely my favorite - and if you sample any of the recipes in this book - you'll know why!!! Nothing fat-free here - thank goodness - just good old fashioned home-style cooking - the kind of food everyone really wants to eat!!! When I make a Paula Deen recipe - I'm always asked for seconds - the diet gets put on hold!!!
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on January 11, 2007
I live in England and so had never heard of Paula Deen before. She was recommended to me by an American friend in California, so i thought i'd check her out. I found that in this book, although the recipes look really homey and good, and they are pretty simple, they are for huge amounts of people! I had to reduce everything down from like 10-12 people to 4 as i do not have that many people in my family! I did find it difficult when it came to the branded seasonings, but got my friend to tell me how to make a substitute, so it went fine. I would recommend this book because it is simple home cooking for the normal person, not the experienced chef! The terminology she uses is easy to understand, and her story in the beginning is so sad.
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on May 14, 2014
As with all of Paula Deen's cook books, it contains great recipes and helpful cooking tips useful for beginners and long time cooks. For great results in cooking, follow a recipe and measure your ingredients. Do not just guess at what will make it work.
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on June 8, 2012
I have almost every one of Paula's cookbooks. This one offers some new recipes and a few of her favorites. A very nice collection. I appreciate how nicely the directions are written and seasoned with some of Paula's delightful stories...... You can almost hear her speaking to you with that charming southern voice as this book speaks to you in a Southern Belle dialect. Thanks Paula, two thumbs up and Best Dishes!
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