Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen (Book Review)

When Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen became available for review, I couldn't wait to read it.  I like baking, as you know, and I especially like real down-home recipes.  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.

Here's the back-cover copy:
National pie champion, mom, homemaker, and self-proclaimed redneck, Francine Bryson won the hearts of bakers everywhere when she appeared on CBS's The American Baking Competition and went on to become a finalist on the show.  Known for her down-home Southern charm and sass (and for successfully pairing chocolate and peanut butter with bacon), Francine now shares her sought-after recipes and tips in her very first baking book.
Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen contains eight chapters:
  1. Pies
  2. Cookies & Bars
  3. Cakes Like Granny Made
  4. Cheesecakes
  5. Sunday Go-to-Meeting
  6. Baked Goods to Show Off
  7. Biscuits & Breads
  8. Candy & Truffles
From the very beginning, I saw recipes I was eager to try.  Pretty much every one looked good!  Not sure I would try Nana's Lard [Pie] Crust.  However, the No-Fail Press-in-Pan Crust promises to make pie baking feasible even for people like me, who never seem to be able to make pie crust without having more patches than unpatched crust.

Some of the recipes are classics (e.g., Key Lime Pie) and others are more original (e.g., Cheesecake-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Orange Creamsicle Cake).  Most are made from scratch, but a few start with convenience items like cake mixes or refrigerated biscuit dough.

The recipe introductions and Blue Ribbon Tips are written in a casual tone, as if the author was standing in your kitchen telling you about the recipes.  Even the names of the recipes are less than formal:  take Liquored-Up Fudge or I Dream of Bobby Deen Peanut Butter Pie, for example.

So far I've tried only one recipe, Southern Rice Pudding.  I decided to make it on the day I was reading this book because I was cooking rice for dinner, anyway.  I made some modifications to the recipe.  I omitted the raisins and the cinnamon, and I set aside some of the rice I'd already cooked.  I imagine it would be even better if I'd cooked the rice according to the recipe directions.  A huge advantage of this recipe is that it's baked, rather than cooked on the stovetop.  It has to be stirred a few times, but I appreciated not having to stand at the stove and stir!  I really liked the pudding, but my husband found it too sweet.  Next time I'll reduce the sugar--but there will be a next time.

I am very happy with Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen.  If you like homestyle recipes, ones that will impress with flavor more than elegance, I think you'll like it, too.

Links for more information:

* Disclosures:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  If you click through my Amazon.com affiliate link and complete a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  Thank you for supporting my blog!

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