This fall, home-cook creations are being featured in three new cookbooks from Taste of Home: Boards, Platters & More, Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook, and Fall Baking. Across the titles, readers will find everything from after-school snacks and weeknight dinners to quick and easy party-time appetizers and decadent holiday desserts.
For almost 30 years, Taste of Home has provided cooks and bakers around the country with recipes that have equal appeal for the novice and the pro. Unlike most cookbooks, every Taste of Home title features recipes created exclusively by home cooks.
After rigorous testing at the Taste of Home Test Kitchen, all accepted recipes are shared through Taste of Home's magazines, books, web pages, and social media sites, guaranteeing a wide audience. The fact that every recipe must rely on common ingredients and involve no-fuss cooking methods only broadens the appeal.
For a truly versatile option, executive editor at Taste of Home Mark Hagen recommends Boards, Platters & More. “Charcuterie boards are hot, hot, hot!” Hagen says. “Today, people are creating boards for all sorts of gatherings, and we want to help them.”
Featuring 56 different board ideas and 219 recipes, the book showcases the versatility of charcuterie boards, cheese trays, snack platters, cookie plates, and meal boards, including unexpected variations such as pancake and waffle boards. Alongside each idea is a full-color photograph for styling inspiration and step-by-step instructions on how to build the board and the meal, including add-ons, such as dips, spreads, seasoned crackers, and fondues.
Hagen has a few tips for creating appetizing boards every time. “Each board should offer variety—in flavor, color, and texture,” he says. “Plan a board with a few different cheeses to give guests options. Slice some cheeses and cube others; offer a small wedge of cheese as well. Add color with bunches of red and green grapes or dried fruits. Mix up textures by including different crackers and pita wedges. Slice thicker meats and fold thinner slices for visual appeal. Small bowls of honey, flavored mustards, and jams round out the variety nicely.”
Divided into four sections—Snack, Party, Meal, and Holiday—there’s something delicious for every homemade moment, including larger gatherings like Superbowl parties and Thanksgiving meals.
Taste of Home’s Farmhouse Entertaining Cookbook is also split into four sections, this time following the seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The book offers 22 party lineups, and readers can easily swap dishes from one party to another. With 171 recipes in all, each with step-by-step instructions, prep and cook timelines, decorating ideas, and nutrition facts, readers will never be left wondering what to prepare.
“Like all Taste of Home recipes, these dishes are easy and relatively quick,” Hagen says. “No hard-to-find ingredients here. They are all loaded with comforting flavor, and they’re perfect for celebrating special occasions. Similarly, the crafts, napkin folds, and décor ideas come together without much fuss. You don't need to be a crafter to create these homespun odds and ends guaranteed to put parties over the top.”
Having worked at Taste of Home for more than two decades, Hagen has tested hundreds of recipes from cooks all over the country. It’s a part of the job that he says never gets old. “It truly warms my heart to know that we’re helping home cooks and bakers share their best-loved, most-requested dishes with one another,” he says.
One of Hagen’s personal favorites is coming up soon with Fall Baking, Taste of Home’s first cookbook dedicated to autumn. “From breads and muffins to cookies, cakes, tarts and pies, this book has it all,” Hagen says. The book contains more than 275 recipes highlighting flavors and spices typically associated with autumn, including cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, caramel, and pumpkin—a true Thanksgiving classic, but also much more for the Taste of Home reader who cherishes harvesttime all year.
“I love it when people tell me that their favorite recipes come from Taste of Home,” Hagen says. “And I feel proud we’re helping create memories—whether from everyday family meals, neighborhood parties, or holiday get-togethers—around tables from coast to coast.”