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It looks like this is the week for cookbook reviews!! This is another one with a giveaway, so make sure you check out the details at the bottom of the post!!

I have to admit that before reviewing this cookbook, I didn’t know who Johnnie Gabriel was. But come to find out – this lady really knows her food! Not only is she a restaurateur in Georgia and a cookbook author, but she’s also Paula Deen’s cousin. I have really been falling in love with Southern cooking from all of these Southern cookbooks!ย  This cookbook has a lot of recipes bookmarked in it – especially from the dessert section!

Number of Photos: lots

Not a photo for every recipe, but probably one for every 3-4 recipes. And while there are a few “lifestyle” photos throughout the book, the majority of them are of the finished recipes.

Difficulty Level of Recipes: easy

These are the kinds of recipes that have probably been passed down by grandmothers – and I think that grandmothers knew how to keep things simple!

Availability of Ingredients: easy

I was happy to find that there are quite a few recipes in this book that can be made from staples that I keep on hand!

Here’s what I made:

Frozen Fruit Salad

Technically, these were supposed to be made in foil cupcake liners, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I just made them in a muffin tin. These little frozen salads were actually quite good! I think they are a great change up to a traditional fruit salad, and I’m sure the kids would love this as a side dish! (And it’s a bonus that they are good for you – just yogurt, sour cream and fruit!)


Maple Garlic-Glazed Green Beans

This was a simple side dish that was packed with flavor. I loved the sweet from the maple syrup – it was a great way to switch up green beans.


Ham and Cheese Pie

I was taking dinner to my sister and her family after she had her baby, and I couldn’t decide what to make. After seeing this recipe, I thought it would be a great dish to take. Not only is it a comforting dish, but I was hoping it would be something her kids would love! Luckily, I made 2 of them so that we got to enjoy one at home. If you are a quiche fan, you would love this savory pie.


Vanilla Caramel Cupcakes

Ok, so this recipe was actually for a cake, but this was the dessert I was taking to my sister along with the Ham and Cheese Pie. I knew she wouldn’t really want a full layer cake, (plus it’s always embarrassing to take a cake minus one piece – the life of a food blogger!) So I decided to turn it into cupcakes. I know that not all cake recipes translate well into cupcakes, and this isn’t one that I’d suggest making cupcakes out of. They did sink a bit in the middle, but even with the sinking, these cupcakes were easily the winner of our favorite recipe from this book. I can only imagine how amazing this would be as a cake! They were super moist and had a delightful texture. In the book, they suggest serving the cake with your favorite buttercream or cream cheese icing – I opted for cream cheese. Delicious! (And I’ll definitely be trying the cake version of this one day!)

Vanilla Caramel Cake
from Second Helpings

2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (I substituted vanilla extract)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar, butter and vanilla bean paste. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift the baking soda, cake flour and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture and mix just until incorporated. Add the buttermilk, mixing on low speed. Scrape down, but don’t overmix.

Fold in the sour cream and divide among the prepared pans. Bake fro 25 to 30 minutes. The center of the cake will spring back when tapped. Frost with your favorite buttercream or cream cheese frosting.


And the giveaway!!

The publisher of this cookbook, Thomas Nelson Publishing, had generously offered up 3 copies of this cookbook for me to giveaway! Want to win one?

Hereโ€™s how you can enter:

Mandatory: Comment below and tell me your favorite Southern dish.

Extra entries:
*Follow Taste and Tell on Facebook
*Share this giveaway with your Facebook friends
*Follow Taste and Tell on Twitter
*Tweet about this giveaway
*Follow Taste and Tell via RSS feed.

Note: for any of the extra entries, make sure you leave a separate comment for each.

*This giveaway is open to US residents.
*This giveaway will be open from today until Wednesday, June 8th at midnight MDT. The winners will be announced on June 9th.

Disclosure: I received a free copy for this review. The publisher is also providing the copies that are being given away. No monetary compensation was offered or accepted. The opinions above are my own. Others experience may vary.

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79 Responses to Second Helpings | A Review {and a giveaway!}

  1. Melissa Tooher says:

    My favorite southern dish would have to be some classic fried chicken, collard greens and a big glass of sweet tea!

  2. Debbie Broussard says:

    Boiled crawfish!

    Debbie Broussard
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  3. Lindsay K says:

    My grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings. Yum!

  4. Val from PA says:

    I live in the Philly suburbs now but my heart, and my taste buds!, are still firmly planted down in Alabama where I’m from originally… Nothing stirs the soul but some good ol’ Southern cooking for me… Some of my all times favorites that my MawMaw still makes today are fried okra, okra and tomatoes, poppy seed chicken casserole, pimiento cheese sandwiches, and best of all, peach cobbler… Hers is just out of this world!!! This cookbook looks great – it’s really nice to see what other families in the South cook – I love Paula Deen so I’m sure I would love any cousin of hers!! Such nice people, those Deens!

  5. Tammy says:

    I absolutely love southern cooking. My favorite dish of all times is barbecued spare ribs. When you have then, you absolutely have to have boiled potatoes, turnips (the greens and the roots, cooked in the broth from the ribs and chopped up together) and deviled eggs. This is what my mom used to cook for my birthday every year!! It is delish!!!

  6. Debbie Broussard says:

    Boiled Crawfish!

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  7. I love ribs and fried chicken! Yum! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  8. I follow you on FB! (Krista L.)

  9. Katrina says:

    This looks great! I like chicken and dumplings ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Linda H says:

    Chicken and noodles… My mom made the best!

  11. Sarah C says:

    Definitely chicken and dumplings. That was the meal I requested at every birthday for about 5 years!

  12. Sarah C says:

    I follow you on Facebook!

  13. Sarah C says:

    I follow you on Twitter!

  14. Nicki says:

    I LOVE biscuits and gravy… or just any good biscuit, really.

  15. Megan says:

    Mmm…so many to choose from. I think I just love a good cornbread. Simplicity for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. My family is from Louisiana so I grew up eating garlic cheese grits, cornbread, and chicken and dumplings!

  17. Theresa S. says:

    Sweet potato pie! YUM! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Theresa S. says:

    I follow on facebook!

  19. Theresa S. says:

    I believe I follow the blog on RSS feed, b/c it shows up in my Google Reader. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Tasha says:

    My favorites would be biscuits with sausage gravy and cheesy grits. Not that I indulge very often, but it just makes them more delicious when I do!

  21. Chris M. says:

    Ribs all the way. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. MICHELLE says:

    My favorite southern recipes would be candied sweet potatoes!

  23. Emily says:

    I love chicken and dumplings.

  24. Emily says:

    I follow via RSS feed.

  25. Wendy says:

    Red Beans and Rice!

  26. Wendy says:

    I follow your RSS feed.

  27. Wendy says:

    Fried chicken! This looks like a great cookbook!

  28. Courtney P. says:

    I grew up in Northern MN, about as far away from southern food as you can get. However, my sister-in-law, who I adore, was raised in South Carolina, and brought some of her southern recipes our way. Her sweet potatoes can bring a tear to your eye. They are out of this world good. She’s offered me the recipe, but I really don’t want it. I think if I were to see the amount of butter and cream involved I’d have a hard time loving them with the intensity that I do. Some things are better left unknown.

  29. brandy says:

    Chicken and Dumplins or Delta Tamales

  30. Julie says:

    I follow you on Facebook & Twitter. And I’m going with fried chicken!

  31. teresa says:

    great review! i love me some southern mac and cheese!

  32. Joanne says:

    This looks like such an awesome cookbook! I love everything you made from it!

    My favorite southern dish has to be red velvet cake. Hands down.

  33. I’m a New Yorker and just got back from Charleston, SC. One thing that we had at nearly every meal was fried green tomatoes! One of those things that taste good no matter how you make them and its fun to try all the different ways! Some had pimento cheese, some had tasso ham, crab, remoulade, loved them all!

  34. jerusalem says:

    My favorite southern food is cheesy grits cassarole. It is so yummy. I also love okra.

  35. jerusalem says:

    i also follow you on Facebook now!

  36. Liz says:

    My favorite southern food is brunswick stew, followed closely by collard greens and cornbread….but only my nana’s recipe!



    lanzaelizabeth77 at gmail dot com

  37. Liz says:

    I am a facebook follower

    lanzaelizabeth77 at gmail dot com


  38. Liz says:

    I follow you on twitter (afterdinnerdsgns)

    lanzaelizabeth77 at gmail dot com


  39. MY favorite southern dish is garlic cheese grits!

  40. Danielle says:

    So far so good because all of the recipes you posted sound great! One of my favorite Southern foods is buttermilk biscuits! Yum.

  41. Danielle says:

    I follow you with Google reader.

  42. Taylor says:

    My favorite southern dish is fried chicken! I don’t have it very often but oh man it’s GOOD!

  43. Taylor says:

    Also I follow T&T on facebook ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Maria says:

    Ooh! Caramel is the best.

  45. Desi says:

    I love cornbread or hushpuppies! Pretty much anything Southern!

  46. Desi says:

    Please disregard my last comment – the wrong email address was entered for it –

    I love cornbread and hushpuppies! Pretty much anything Southern!

  47. Meredyth H says:

    My favorite southern dish is shrimp and grits – mmmmmm, yummy!

  48. Kelly Perry says:

    gotta be a tie between an eastern NC pork bbq sandwich with cole slaw and my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings!

  49. Janell says:

    I always think of fried chicken when I think of Southern food. But that ham and cheese pie was deeeelicious! (As were the cupcakes and fruit salad :)!!)

  50. Kim in NashVegas says:

    Pinto beans, turnip greens and cornbread! YUM

  51. Heather Spooner says:

    My favorite southern meal is low country boil.

  52. Holly H. says:

    Biscuits and gravy! But fried chicken runs a close second.

  53. LISA says:

    Too hard to narrow it down to one item. But BBQ chicken,ribs & corn bread are up there on the top.

  54. LISA says:

    I follow you on RSS feed as well.

  55. Krista says:

    I’ve never been to the South- so I’m not exactly sure what classifies as Southern food aside from grits. Does fried chicken count!?

  56. Nicole says:

    I love fried chicken…and mac and cheese….and buttermilk biscuits….and sweet tea. Well, really I love it all ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope I win!

  57. Nicole says:

    …and now I follow Taste and Tell on facebook! ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Nicole says:

    …..and now I follow Taste and Tell on twitter!

  59. Nicole says:

    Oh, and I follow Taste and Tell on my RSS feed ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Jeanbugs says:

    Nothing in the world beats fried chicken and REAL mac ‘n cheese!!! (okay, maybe chocolate…or red velvet cake!)

  61. Kirstin says:

    Hmmmm my fave southern dish I guess would be fried chicken (is that southern)..I also love grits…

  62. Kirstin says:

    I liked you on FB

  63. Kirstin says:

    I subscribed to your blog

  64. jenny says:

    BBQ shrimp (emeril’s recipe is the best)- or cornbread with honey butter- it’s a toss-up!

  65. camie says:

    I love Monte Cristo sandwiches!

  66. Sausage biscuits and gravy. Always.

    This cookbook looks great. I’d love to win!


  67. I follow via google reader.


  68. I like the Facebook page.


  69. I have her first cookbook and I love it. I would love to have her 2nd one to complete my collection! My favorite southern dish would have to be homemade macaroni and cheese!

  70. Kelly S. says:

    I follow via rss feed

  71. Kelly S. says:

    I love chicken and dumplings. This book looks great!

  72. Rebekah says:

    That cake sounds delicious!

    I think my favourite southern dish is my great grandma’s banana pudding. Yum!

  73. grace says:

    peas and dumplins. or, if you ask me again in a couple of minutes, nanner pudding. a few hours ago, it was biscuits with apple butter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. Leslie says:

    I love Chicken and Dumplins’ made entirely from scratch! Yumm!! Thanks

  75. Leslie says:

    I follow you on twitter!

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