31 March 2018

Weekend Cooking: Debbie Macomber's Table

Review: Debbie Macomber's TableOver the years, I've often featured cookbooks written by authors or that were inspired by a book or series. I love that connection between two important aspects of my life.

In my experience, these kinds of cookbooks are fun to read, and Debbie Macomber's Table (Ballantine, April 3), a new cookbook from the famous author, is no exception. This book of family recipes includes Macomber's stories and memories and even relates some of the dishes to characters and scenes from her popular novels.

Even if you're unfamiliar with Macomber's books, you'll enjoy her family-friendly, tried-and-true recipes, which are perfect for everyday dining and family celebrations. Although Macomber grew up in the Pacific Northwest, her dishes span a wide range of American flavors, such as fish tacos, raman noodle salad, clam chowder, and deep-dish pizza.

As you might guess, Macomber relies on easy-to-find ingredients, but they way she uses them gives her dishes a special touch. For example, my husband really wants to try the whiskey bacon brownies, which are a Macomber family favorite. I have my eye on her garden-fresh cherry tomatoes and goat cheese spread, which is served warm. Once tomatoes are in season, this dish will find a place in my house. Sounds like a nice treat for a summer evening on the deck with friends and neighbors and drinks.

Although I've seen recipes for baked oatmeal, I had never tried it before. We really liked Macomber's version, which is chock-full of fruits and nuts and can be assembled the night before. All we had to do the next day is slip it into the oven. So warming on these damp spring mornings. I made the apple cinnamon variation, but I plan to try all her suggestions. Note: The leftovers are good reheated or eaten at room temperature.

Review: Debbie Macomber's TableMacomber is my kindred spirit: we both love popcorn. Her herbed variation is great with wine after (or instead of) dinner. Next time my nephews visit, we're going to try the salted carmel-drizzled popcorn; I know they'll love it. I'm not sure why Macomber provides storage information; we never have any popcorn left over!

Thanks to Debbie Macomber's Table, I've got my next batch of house gifts, thank you gifts, and Christmas gifts taken care of: pretty jars of homemade soup mixes and home-blended teas for the savory side and white chocolate bark, Christmas toffee, and almond biscotti, for the sweet side.

Other recipes that I have marked are Guinness and beef pot pies, Southwest BBQ chicken salad, baked polenta, turkey lettuce wraps, and strawberry scones (I'm impatiently waiting for strawberry season!).

Recommendation: Debbie Macomber's Table is for you if you're a fan of Macomber's novels, if you like cookbooks that supplement your reading, and if you like easy-to-make and family-friendly recipes. I'd like this book just because it's from Macomber, but I'm extra-happy that it will be more than just an addition to my literary cookbook collection; Macomber's recipes are just the thing to spark up our weekly menus.

What's the downside? If you're vegetarian or vegan, you won't find many recipes that will suit your diet. Check this one out from the library.

For more about Debbie Macomber, visit her website. Thanks to Ballantine for the review copy.

We really liked the following salad. I'm not much of mayonnaise fan, so I substituted poppy-seed dressing instead, which has similar flavors to Macomber's dressing. I also cut the cheese smaller than she suggested. (Click the scan to enlarge the recipe).

Debbie Macomber's Broccoli, Apple, & Cheddar Salad

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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.

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14 comments:

Mae Travels 3/31/18, 6:09 AM  

Finally, tonight, I'm returning home after almost 3 weeks in Israel. So soon I'll come back to visiting all the blogs and commenting .... I hope everyone has a happy holiday, Easter or Passover.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Judee Algazi 3/31/18, 7:32 AM  

Beth,
The cookbook looks like a winner and thanks for the interesting review.I thought I might take a shot at reviewing a book, but it's more difficult than I thought and I gave up. Anyway- can you remove #2- it was stored from Wordless Wed and somehow just clicked in when I tried to post. Have a wonderful holiday!

Tina 3/31/18, 7:43 AM  

That’s good info for the vegetarian aspect. While I still eat meat I mostly cook vegetarian at home so I I’ll check the library. But I love getting cookbooks from our library all the time. The baked oatmeal sounds right up my alley.

bermudaonion 3/31/18, 8:03 AM  

Several of the recipes you mentioned sound delicious - let us know if you make those brownies!

jama 3/31/18, 8:11 AM  

Thanks for featuring this wonderful cookbook. I'm not familiar with Macomber's books, but now I'm curious! I like the recipes you highlighted, especially the baked oatmeal.

Patrick Looney 3/31/18, 9:41 AM  

Sounds like s great reading cookbook!

Jackie Mc Guinness 3/31/18, 10:57 AM  

This sounds really good, I'll look for it at the library.

I only like popcorn at the movies. And do not ever ever make microwave popcorn around me, I loathe the smell!

Sue Jackson 3/31/18, 10:58 AM  

Mmmm...lots of intriguing recipes! I bet my husband would like Whiskey Bacon Brownies, too! And strawberry scones sound yummy - we usually make blueberry (my son's favorite), but strawberry season is coming! (so they say - I also heard there's more snow predicted for Monday!)

Thanks for the review - everything sounds yummy! And thanks for hosting -

Sue

Book By Book

Claudia 3/31/18, 11:29 AM  

I've never read her books, so will now have to check out those as well as the cookbook. Sounds good.

Deb in Hawaii 3/31/18, 12:54 PM  

I have read a couple of Macomber's books and enjoyed them. This cookbook looks charming and full of good ideas--I'll definitely see if my library has it. ;-)

Stacie 3/31/18, 1:42 PM  

I remember getting an email when this cookbook came out and wondering if I would like it. Now I know that I would. Thanks for recommending it! I haven't read all of Macomber's books, but sometimes they are the perfect diversion from heavy reading.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/31/18, 3:03 PM  

Warm goat cheese spread sounds excellent!

Tamy Bollar 3/31/18, 9:23 PM  

Thank you for hosting. Happy Easter.

Vicki 4/2/18, 4:18 PM  

My library system doesn't have this book so I put in a purchase suggestion. Hopefully they will accept it.

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