Synopses & Reviews
Pat and Gina Neely, the beloved husband-and-wife team and authors of the New York Times
best seller Down Home with the Neelys,
are all about lettin’ the good times roll.
It takes family, friends, and ample good food, and in their new book, they share their recipes and secrets for entertaining year-round, dishing up new spins on seasonal classics, and suggesting occasions to celebrate that most of us haven’t thought of ourselves.
Along with menus for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter Sunday, and every known holiday in between, here are all the fixings for a year of down home celebrating, 120 recipes including Hoppin’ John Soup and Deep-fried Cornish Game Hens for New Year’s Day; Smothered Pork Chops and Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes for “Welcome Home, Baby”; One-handed Turkey Burgers and Mint Tea for “Spring Cleaning.” The Neelys believe that life should be celebrated, holiday or not. With this mouth-watering collection of recipes you have everything you need to Neely-tize your table far beyond the holiday season.
"Hosts of the Food Network series Down Home with the Neelys, and authors of a cookbook of the same name, the Neely's return with menus for 29 occasions ranging from the predictable (Super Bowl Sunday, Fourth of July) to the unusual (a housewarming or girls' night out) for each month of the year. Yes, there's spinach dip, deviled eggs, and the barbecue the Neely's are known for (BBQ potato chips, chili mac, ribs, burgers, nachos, and even a smoky take on popcorn), but they also include crab-stuffed mushroom caps, a grilled shrimp cocktail served with a chipotle-laced cocktail sauce, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Bisque, a riff on the classic Cosmopolitan that employs pomegranate juice in lieu of cranberry, and the simple, satisfying Grilled Lobsters with Lemon Basil Butter. While the Neely's offer plenty of fried dishes, they also include lower-fat versions that involve other cooking methods. Though they haven't reinvented the wheel, this thoughtful range of menus suit cooks with a wide-range of skill levels, provided guests' tastes run toward the smoky and spicy end of the scale. (Nov.) Â Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes Â· Bold Flavors Â· Good Friends Jill Donenfeld and Josetth Gordon Lake Isle Press (lakeislepress.com), .95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-89110-550-0 In this veggie-friendly tome, caterers Donenfeld and Gordon pull back the curtain to reveal their favorite dishes for get-togethers, many calling for just a handful of ingredients. Grouped into categories such as parties for two or daytime parties, the duo offers a three to five course menu that includes small bites, as well as desserts and drinks. The dishes, many of which are vegetarian and even vegan-friendly, vary wildly. Simple party-starters such as Chili Lime Almonds or Spiced Roasted Chickpeas come together quickly, but others will take more time, sourcing, and skill (Kimchi Scallion Pancakes, Crab Fritters with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Skirt Steak with Quick Pickled Leeks, Scapes and Gigante Beans). While the book is well-designed and easy on the eyes, it's at the expense of the recipes since no space is left for a description of the dish or what the diner can expect. More creative fare such as Cinnamon Corn Ice Cream with Blueberries, Edamame Dumplings, and Caramelized Onion CrÃ¨me Fraiche with Blistered Veggies would have benefited from more elaboration. Experienced hosts and hostesses will find much to enjoy, but novices looking for a party planning catch-all may wind up frustrated. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Pat and Gina Neely
are restauranteurs, best-selling authors, popular speakers, and hosts of the Food Network hit series Down Home with the Neelys.
They recently opened their first New York City restaurant, Neely’s Barbecue Parlor. They live with their daughters in Memphis, where they enjoy cooking at home with family and friends.
Ann Volkwein is a best-selling food and lifestyle author based in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her previous books include: The Arthur Avenue Cookbook, Chinatown New York, Mixt Greens (with Andrew Swallow), and, with Guy Fieri: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; More Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; and Guy Fieri Food.