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The Neelys' Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion Hardcover – Illustrated, November 1, 2011


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The Neelys' Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion + Down Home with the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook + Back Home with the Neelys: Comfort Food from Our Southern Kitchen to Yours
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307592944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307592941
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pat and Gina Neely are restauranteurs, best-selling authors, popular speakers, and hosts of the Food Network hit series Down Home with the Neelys. They recently opened their first New York City restaurant, Neely’s Barbecue Parlor. They live with their daughters in Memphis, where they enjoy cooking at home with family and friends.

www.ginaandpat.com
 
Ann Volkwein is a best-selling food and lifestyle author based in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her previous books include: The Arthur Avenue Cookbook, Chinatown New York, Mixt Greens (with Andrew Swallow), and, with Guy Fieri: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; More Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; and Guy Fieri Food.
 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1.
Gina’s Hoppin’ John Soup
 
[GINA] Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has bee telling me that if you don’t eat black- eyed peas on New Year’s Day you’ll have a bad year ahead of you. Now, when I was younger I didn’t care a bit. I was going through that awkward stage anyway—how much worse could it be? But as I got older, I learned to love that black- eyed pea tradition, convinced that my year was going to be fantastic! And you know what’s funny? I tell my girls the same thing. Who says traditions and superstitions aren’t effective? Not to mention that black- eyed peas are rich in calcium and vitamin A. What could be bad about that? Of course, this being a Gina recipe, I added in my favorite collard greens. . . .Mmm, even better.
 
SERVES 4 TO 6
 
1 small bunch (about 1 pound) collard greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces smoked ham steak, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red- pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low- sodium chicken broth
One 15.5- ounce can black- eyed peas, drained and rinsed
One 15- ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 cup cooked long- grain white rice
1 dried bay leaf
Dash of hot sauce, preferably
Tabasco
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Parmesan cheese, grated, for topping
 
Remove the stems and center ribs from the collard greens. Stack about six leaves on top of each other, roll into a cigar shape, and slice into thin ribbons.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, toss in the ham, onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, roughly 4 minutes.

Sprinkle in the red-pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper.

Add the collard greens, and saute until they begin to soften.

Pour in the chicken broth, the black- eyed peas, and the can of tomatoes with their juices.

Bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the rice into the soup to warm. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Spoon into bowls, and sprinkle each bowl with Parmesan cheese.
 
2.
Pat’s Sweet and Spicy Grilled Wings
With Smoky Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
 
[PAT] I absolutely love making my smoky grilled hot wings. Gina calls me the grill master: I’m a grill king and a wingman. There is nothing better than wings with a smoky grilled flavor mingling with a sweet, spicy, and creamy dipping sauce. One of the best things about living in Memphis is that we can grill year- round, even on a 35-degree day (which is the normal temperature on Super Bowl Sunday). Grilling wings can be completed in a 10- minute period outside, so even if it’s chilly out, you can stand it!
 
SERVES 6
 
WINGS
 
3 pounds chicken wings, cut at the joint, washed, and dried well
1⁄4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon- pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 cup hot sauce, preferably
Tabasco
1 tablespoon apple- cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sliced green onion, for garnish (optional)
1 scant cup smoky blue- cheese dipping sauce (recipe follows)
 
Toss the chicken wings with the oil, and sprinkle with lemon- pepper seasoning, salt, and chile powder in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes, letting the flavors marry together while you prepare the grill.

Heat your grill to medium- high direct heat, using charcoal. Once it’s hot, grill the wings for 7 to 9 minutes per side, until crisp and completely cooked through.

Combine the butter, mustard, honey, hot sauce, vinegar, chile powder, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Taste for seasoning, and add more chipotle if you want it spicier. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer.

Once the sauce is simmering, cut the heat and add the wings, and toss thoroughly in the sauce. Remove to a large platter, sprinkle with green onion, and serve with the smoky blue- cheese dipping sauce.
 
SMOKY BLUE CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE
MAKES 1 SCANT CUP
 
1⁄4 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese
1⁄4 cup buttermilk
1⁄4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons apple- cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Mash the blue cheese with a fork into the buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl, thoroughly breaking it up. Pour in the vinegar, paprika, and green onion and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can marry.
 
3.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Bites
 
[GINA] Can you imagine life without these two amazing ingredients? Who would want that? It would be like having fabulous shoes without a great handbag. Having chocolate and peanut butter is heaven on earth. If you think I talk a lot, give me chocolate and peanut butter and you won’t hear another word out of me!
 
MAKES 36 SMALL BROWNIES
 
BATTER
3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1⁄2 cup all- purpose fl our
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1⁄3 cup packed light- brown sugar
1⁄2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 
PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL
(“GET YO SWIRL ON!”)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar
3⁄4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of table salt
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust a rack to the center of the oven.

Line an 8- by- 8- inch baking pan with parchment or foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang over the edges. Cover the pan with some nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter and 1 cup chocolate chips together in a heavybottomed saucepan set over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Whisk together the fl our, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Once the chocolate is slightly cool, stir the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla into the saucepan until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the saucepan until thoroughly combined. Pour in the remaining cup of chocolate chips.

To make the peanut- butter filling: beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Spoon large dollops of the peanut butter mixture evenly across the top of the batter.

Use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to make pretty swirls with the peanut butter throughout the chocolate.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.

More About the Author

Patrick and Gina Neely are owners of Neely's Bar-B-Que in Memphis and Nashville and hosts of the Food Network series Down Home with the Neelys. They have been married since 1994 and live in Memphis with their two daughters (and scores of other kin nearby).Food writer Paula Disbrowe's cookbook Cowgirl Cuisine was published in March 2007. She lives with her husband, daughter, and menagerie of animals in Austin, Texas.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I love cooking from the Neelys' cookbook.
Dorothy Richardson
Written in their voice with a beautiful collection of photos of the couple and those closest to them, the book is more than just about food.
Cyrus Webb
She just love it and looks forward to trying out the recipes in the book.
Cricket

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pat and Gina Neely, who have done their own food show, a previous cookbook and opened a restaurant - have made a cookbook to take you through a year's celebrations It has about 146 recipes, many with the kicked up flavors that include red peppers and tabasco sauce (which you could leave out or reduce, if you are adverse to them).
The celebrations are divided by month and include menus for occasions such as; New Year's Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, a 21st birthday, Valentine's Day, Welcome home , March Madness, Movie night, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Girl's Night, Labor Day, Back to School, and of course Christmas. Each holiday has a menu and the recipes. A personal introduction is given for each section and also a few sentences about each recipe. Serving sizes are given and an icon shows if it takes more than 1 hour for preparation. Many of the recipes that are written for frying, like the deep-fried Cornish game hens also have an alternative on baking them - a really considerate addition for those who do not like frying or are trying to cut down on fried foods. There is help when needed, such as Pat's guide to deep frying.

Recipes are also listed by course; although you can look them up in the index it would have been nice to have included the page numbers. An index lists by type of dish, name and main ingredient.
We have already tried the Hoppin' John and it is the best recipe for that, that I have run across, as is the hot crab and mushroom dip.

Pat and Gina also list 10 top party hints. The one for guys begins sensibly enough with #1. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
Some of the menus are for simple gathering, some for more elegant, but what is wonderful, is the emphasis on family and friends and gathering together to enjoy some good food.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One thing you can always expect from Neelys is their ability to combine great food with family, friends and moments you are not sure to forget. In their latest book THE NEELYS' CELEBRATION COOKBOOK they take us through each month of the year and share recipes that are just right for any event or occasion you might be planning for.

Written in their voice with a beautiful collection of photos of the couple and those closest to them, the book is more than just about food. You can feel the love that goes into each recipe as well as the love as it is portrayed through those preparing it. There's no wonder that the couple has found success in doing something they enjoy and are great at and have been able to share it with all of us.

This is one of those books I can see members of the family not only using together in the kitchen but just gathering around to thumb through looking at the pictures. It is just that kind of book that you want to share, something that the authors know alot about. Presented with loving care, THE NEELYS' CELEBRATION COOKBOOK gets you in the mood to celebrate.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roxie L. Gamble on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Neeley's are a wonderful couple. There new cookbook is full of awesome recipes and family stories of celebrating with food. Love it! Highly recommend it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Live Outside on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you can not find something in this cookbook to start your mouth drooling, then you obviously did not open up this book. What I like most about the Neely's recipes are that they are made with simple ingredients that most people have in their cupboards, the instructions are easy to follow and the recipes are something most people would typically fix or fix for a special occasion. I loved the Easy If-Ya-Ain't-Got-a-Smoker BBQ Pork, Grilled Shrimp & Pineapple Skewers, Fried Chicken Sliders with Sweet-Pickle Mayo and Honey BBQ Sticky Drumsticks. This book is sectioned off by months of the year and there are recipes for each month based on what type of holiday or celebration you could be celebrating that month(graduation, Girl's Night, Back to School, Tailgating, 16th birthday, Super Bowl, etc.). Each month has 2 or 3 different celebrations with different recipes for each celebration (yes, lots of recipes!). Great drink ideas too: Minted Iced Tea,Peach Sprtizer, Shot of Love, Blood Orange Bellinis,etc. they are just great and such a great variety. The dessert are just wonderful too! Some of the recipes in the book are deep-fried and I am not a big deep-frier and I was really excited to see that at the bottom of a lot of these recipes they had separate directions on how to make these recipes in the oven. Each recipe also has its own tidbit of information at the top of the page to help you create the recipe. The Neely's start off each month's section with commentary about the celebrations of the month and their personal take on them and that is what makes the Neely's so special and the cookbook something you're glad you embarked on. It's not just a cookbook, it's an adventure in your kitchen
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Kinnebrew on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just love this cook book..great dishes..best BBQ sauce , I make it all the time. I would for sure tell people to buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is their best yet. I'm a huge fan of the Neely's and I think the pictures along with the personal stories for each occasion makes it so special......great job!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yvette on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the stories they shared and the recipes. I will be using some of the recipes. I loved the menu for Easter and will be making it for my family
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