Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: The Beach House Cookbook

Summary: You don’t have to own a beach house to enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ recipes. All you need is an appetite for delicious, casual dishes, cooked with the best fresh, local ingredients and presented with the breezy flair that make Mary Kay Andrews’ novels a summertime favorite at the beach.

From an early spring dinner of cherry balsamic-glazed pork medallions and bacon-kissed Brussels sprouts to Fourth of July buttermilk-brined fried chicken, potato salad, and pudding parfaits to her New Year’s Day Open House menu of roast oysters, home-cured gravlax, grits 'n’ greens casserole, and lemon-cream cheese pound cake, this cookbook will supply ideas for menus and recipes designed to put you in a permanently carefree, coastal state of mind all year long. -- St. Martin's Press

Last September when I was in Savannah attending SIBA, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Mary Kay Andrews' beach house in Tybee Island. Many of us book lovers hopped on a trolley and took the half hour ride to Tybee Island to attend a party hosted by none other than Mary Kay Andrews herself. This woman is not only one of my favorite summertime authors, but she's also a positively delightful person... and she gives new meaning to the words "Southern Hospitality."

Those attending were lucky enough to get the inside scoop on her new cookbook THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK by Mary Kay Andrews. There were loads of food and drink from the cookbook to sample and I spent hours in awe of this quaint "little" beach house. Needless to say, Ms. Andrews' could just as easily write a decorating book as a cookbook -- she's that special!

The food was delightful and I loved the mix of southern treats and party foods. In addition, the author swore to me that the recipes were all super-easy. Well, eight months later and after getting my hands on a copy of the cookbook, I can attest to that. These recipes are perfect for entertaining... and impressing your guests!

I could pretty much guarantee that I was going to enjoy this cookbook. I am a big fan of Ms. Andrews and I just love the way she makes everyone she encounters feel like a friend. THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK captures the essence of her perfectly. The book begins with a little history about the author's beach houses and her family, and I swear you already feel like you know her. She talks about the importance of family and friends as well as the ways she comes up with her recipes and makes her parties extra-special with little details. However, she stresses that with the help of this book, everyone can entertain like she does!

THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK isn't organized like your typical cookbook. Rather, it's separated into sections by type of dinner or party. For example, there is a section for a Low Country Boil, Christmas Brunch, a Full Moon Party, and (my favorite!) a Book Bash Cocktail Party. Within each chapter, there are both beverage and food recipes including appetizers, sides, and desserts! She really has made it easy to throw together a themed event!

One thing I absolutely adore about this cookbook is that Ms. Andrews writes personal anecdotes before every section and every recipe. Some are stories about the history of the recipe or her family, but she also gives helpful preparation and ingredient advice. The cookbook has a very warm look and feel to it that makes me think it's like a family cookbook... and given Ms. Andrews' hospitality, I tend to think that's exactly what she was going for!

I hate to admit that I haven't tried making any of the recipes yet from THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK. That's more of a testament about my crazy life right now than lack of interest! There are truly so many recipes I want to try from the Low Country Boil to the Lemon Bars, to the Lemon Pecan Green Beans, to the Redneck Caviar, to the Peach and Berry Cobber, to the... well, you get the idea!

Another wonderful thing about THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK (as if I haven't already convinced you it's a fantastic cookbook) is the photography. Unfortunately, I received an ARC of the book so my photographs weren't in color; however, I did receive some full color sample pages so I can attest to the beauty. The photos are big and on every page... which is kind of a must for me to like a cookbook; and I found my mouth watering as I went from one gorgeous page to another.
THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK is an ideal gift for Mother's Day, but it's also the perfect present for a friend... or even yourself! It's a beautiful cookbook with some amazing entertaining ideas. Highly recommended!

Thanks to Tandem Literary for providing a review copy of this cookbook.


bermudaonion said...

The personal anecdotes made me feel like she was sharing her recipes with me personally!

jillskict said...

I just ordered this based on your review! I just stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for discussion questions for our book club this month which I am hosting (our book this month is The Sound of Gravel). Great timing, I can't wait to see the recipe ideas for her Book Club Bash! So glad I stumbled across your blog!