I have these grand dreams of being this fabulous entertainer. I would throw the best parties. The parties that people would talk about for a long time after the party was over and done with. But…in reality, I am far from an entertainer. I don’t entertain for several reasons, but the main reason is that I am intimidated by it. Intimidated by the preparations, intimidated by the actual “entertaining” part of it. But I think I’ve put too much pressure on myself, and too much thought into it. Because after reading through Sandy Coughlin’s book – The Reluctant Entertainer – I have realized that entertaining is not as intimidating as I thought it was!
This month’s cookbook was a little different than the cookbooks I have reviewed in the past. In fact, it’s not even technically a cookbook. It’s a book about entertaining, but it has recipes in it. I’m really going to be reviewing the recipe aspect of the book, but this is so much more than recipes!
Prep Times and Total Recipe Times Listed: no
These recipes are written more like what you would write on a note card as your mom is telling you a family recipe. So no times listed!
Number of Photos: few
There are a few photos on the recipes that are peppered through the book, but most of the recipes are listed in the back of the book where there are no photos. You really can’t fault this book for that, though – because it’s not really a cookbook!
Difficulty Level of Recipes: easy
Anyone could cook out of this book. There are no complicated recipes here!
Availability of Ingredients: easy
Again, all ingredients that are easy to come by.
Here’s what I made!
Best Strawberry Bread – 8.5 out of 10
Sweet Home Spaghetti – 9 out of 10
Baked Pear Vanilla French Toast – 8.5 out of 10
Cousin Reggie’s Marinade – 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.625 out of 10
Ok, so the greatest thing that I learned from this book is that entertaining does not need to be complicated. These were some of the most simple recipes that I’ve done, but they were all so good. I think that is one reason I don’t ever entertain – because I think that I have to go all out on everything, but this book proves that simple is best. The recipes are all ones that are great for crowds, both easy to prepare and crowd pleasers. I’m looking forward to trying more from this cookbook – especially more of the breakfast recipes!!
For June, I get to cook more Southern food! It seems like a lot of the cookbook reviews I’ve been doing lately have been for Southern food. I’m not complaining!! June’s book – Southern Plate – is one that I’ve been hearing a lot about, and I’m already having a hard time narrowing down which recipes to try. Look for some great Southern treats next month!