Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life

Paula H. Deen, Author, Martha Giddens Nesbit, With Simon & Schuster $26 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7811-9
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.
Reviewed on: 10/09/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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