cover image Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours

Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours

Tiffani Thiessen, with Rachel Holtzman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-1-328-71030-7

Thiessen, host of the Cooking Channel’s Dinner at Tiffani’s and television actress (Saved by the Bell) presents 125 unfussy recipes designed for casual entertaining in this motivating debut. Reassuring cooks that hosting can be stress-free, Thiessen offers “delicious, relatable food that any one cook could make” for gatherings of friends. Breakfasts feature quick breads, jams, healthy granola and yogurts, and an over-the-top French toast that’s stuffed with banana and peanut butter and topped with a Nutella drizzle. Midday dishes include nourishing grain bowls; a crusty baguette with fig, prosciutto, and mozzarella; and avocados filled with crab salad. Dinners are hearty family classics such as chicken pot pie and mac ’n’ cheese, as well as a Cowboy Poutine, her take on the Montreal cheese-curd dish here made with pulled pork and baked beans. For a sweet finish, Thiessen includes her mother’s cream cheese pie, as well as key lime bars. Plan-ahead tips and tools are provided: checklists, shortcuts, grocery lists, and ideas for decor; recommended menus (many kid-friendly) include Mexicali fiesta, pizza party, backyard campout, or ideas for cocktail hours, and luncheons (creamy corn soup, lobster BLT, cherry galette, and a hibiscus spritzer). Thiessen’s simple recipes and presentation truly inspire meals to reconnect and celebrate with friends and family. (Oct.)