20 May 2017

Weekend Cooking: The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay Andrews

Review: The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay AndrewsA new Mary Kay Andrews novel is a summer tradition for many readers, who appreciate Andrews's stories with their mix of drama, romance, humor, and sharp dialogue. With her new menu-style cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook, Andrews will find a place in your kitchen all year round.

The recipes in The Beach House Cookbook are inspired by Andrews's lifelong residency in the South and her deep love of ocean-side living. You'll fall in love with Andrews's style: Flea market finds mixed with estate sale antiques, seashells, and easygoing attitude make for enviable gatherings, whether for two or twenty-two.

The Beach House Cookbook contains gorgeous full-color photos of almost every dish plus glimpses of Andrews's beautiful home and family. The red, white, and blue colors and nautical theme are inviting and make you yearn for a beach vacation.

Review: The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay AndrewsFortunately, the menus, which span a year of celebrations, will help you bring a little southern sunshine into your kitchen, no matter where you live. The menus include everything from drinks to dessert and promise a stress-free gathering for the cook–host as well as for the guests.

The meals, which are designed to serve 4 to 12, depending on the event, are well thought out and should have wide appeal. The majority of the menus are for evening entertaining, but some focus on brunch and one is for a picnic. Most are associated with a holiday or a special day (Book Bash Cocktail Party, Valentine's Day Dinner), and some are just because (Full Moon Party, After a Day at the Beach).

The recipe directions are straightforward and easy to follow and use no unusual ingredients. Almost everything can be found at a normal grocery store, even in land-locked areas. What's more, Andrews isn't shy of using shortcuts or prepared foods when it makes sense (for example, pre-shaved Parmesan cheese, canned black beans). After all, the idea behind The Beach House Cookbook is to help us "be creative in the kitchen, yet still spend time relaxing with family and guests."

Review: The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay AndrewsWith that in mind, the recipes themselves are along the lines of everyday, down-home dishes, the kinds of food real people serve to real families. You'll find nothing over-the-top fussy or exotic. I've marked several recipes to try, including the chicken enchilada dip, dry spice rub, roasted vegetable soup, marinated beef tenderloin, and cinnamon roll bread pudding. I'm also attracted to Andrews's cocktails— Tybee Tea with bourbon, Red Rooster with vodka—which look so cooling and delicious, especially for summer entertaining.

Younger cooks looking for tried-and-true recipes, menu ideas, and tips for easy entertaining will love The Beach House Cookbook. Of course, fans of Mary Kay Andrews's novels won't want to miss her personal stories and the inspiration behind some of her dishes. On the other hand, experienced cooks who have large recipe collections, may want to borrow this book from the library. Vegetarians and those on special diets should also borrow before buying.

(Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the review copy of this cookbook. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

I love making quick pickles in the summer, they're a great way to use farmers' market produce and take almost no time at all. Here's Mary Kay Andrews's recipe. She doesn't say how long to let the cucumbers pickle, but I suggest at least a couple of hours.

Marinated Cucumbers and Onions
Review: The Beach House Cookbook by Mary Kay AndrewsServes 6 to 8

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Place the cucumbers and onion in a large jar.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the celery seed and pepper, and pour over the cucumbers and onion. Seal the jar and refrigerate until time to serve.

Note: The recipe and scans come from the Mary Kay Andrews's The Beach House Cookbook and are used here in the context of a review. All rights remain with the original copyright holder.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


Tina 5/20/17, 6:54 AM  

I have not read her books but this cookbook is enticing. The marinated cucumber and onions screams of summer. I will check this one out. Love getting books from the library to preview.

Mae Travels 5/20/17, 7:01 AM  

Marinated cucumbers are on our plate quite often. They are in so many cuisines: French, German, Middle Eastern, Southern, and who knows what else! You can make them immediately before dinner and skip the boiling and jarring.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jackie McGuinness 5/20/17, 8:01 AM  

I don't read her books either but this sounds like a good one to thumb through.

The pickles sound good, pinning that.

Spice rub, we are lucky that the butcher we get our meat from, makes their own spice rub and he gives us a jar everytime we buy meat!

I was on a cooking spree this week.

Katherine P 5/20/17, 10:38 AM  

This cookbook is on my TBR. It sounds really good and I love the pictures. I haven't read any of Andrews' books but I own a few. I love these kind of marinated cucumbers. I eat them as a side dish or put them on tacos for a little sweet and sour crunch.

Katherine P 5/20/17, 10:50 AM  

AACK! Put the wrong link somehow! Added the correct one now. Serves me right for trying to do this before my full cup of coffee!

Claudia 5/20/17, 11:15 AM  

Haven't heard of or seen any of her cookbooks, but this one sounds lovely, to sit out on the deck and plan with.

Deb in Hawaii 5/20/17, 11:18 AM  

I have read a few of her books over the years and they are great for summer. The cookbook sounds like it will be too. I love both pickled cucumbers and onions--they are such a great side for summer eating. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 5/20/17, 4:30 PM  

I just finished reading through this cookbook. I enjoyed it for both the recipes and their connections to her novels and her real life.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 5/20/17, 5:03 PM  

This cucumber salad is perfect to try, we have the ingredients now, and I am always looking for ways to use cukes! Thanks.

Vicki 5/22/17, 1:06 PM  

I love marinated cucumbers and onions, and tomatoes!

bermudaonion 5/25/17, 10:12 PM  

I love the personal feel of this cookbook and think I'll be making several of the recipes included in it.

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