This month’s review is a book written by the legendary country music artist Martina McBride. Her first book Around The Table is a regular go-to for me for not only her incredible recipes but also because of the kick-ass playlists included in each section. Recently, I came upon a podcast in which she was interviewed. While listening she mentioned that she was working on her 3rd cookbook. I loved the first one so much- how could I have missed her second book. I ran straight to the library (thank you again Kent District Library for always having the book that I want) and dug right in. I made 4 recipes in the first week and bought the book after 6 days, returning my borrowed copy to the library so someone else could experience the joy of Martina’s amazing recipes.
I am being completely honest when I say that I had a hard time choosing which recipes to make because they all stuck a chord with me in being something my family would thoroughly enjoy. The more I cooked, my appreciation for this collection of recipes grew. I have not been disappointed in any of the (insert number) dishes I have made so far and plan on making many more (have them all bookmarked). If I thought it was hard to figure out what to make, I think it was even harder to figure out what to share – there are too many good ones to choose from for sure. You all are going to have to buy this book because you need to see them all!!!
The first recipe I made was the Banana Cake and I am so incredibly happy to FINALLY be able to share this recipe with you. The minute I tasted it I knew that this was one I could not keep to myself. Now after making it 5 or so times, I can tell you it’s perfect EVERY time – totally moist, thick, and full of deliciousness with the perfect amount of banana and I cannot leave out the fact that it’s topped with cream cheese frosting. Should I say more…. Really, I should totally stop here… but you know that I won’t. House majority has decided that we need to say goodbye to our old banana bread recipe and say hello to the incredible cake. And so, a new tradition for our ripe bananas begins….
Let’s move on to the flavor filled, healthy, crowd-pleasing Chipotle Chicken Salad. I was drawn to this recipe because it is typically something I would order off a menu when going out to lunch or dinner. I have had countless versions of this recipe but fell in love with Martina’s take on this salad, which is simple, healthy, and delicious. This recipe beats any chipotle salad I have had from a restaurant, hands down!!! What really makes this dish is the homemade chipotle dressing. Not super spicy – but flavor packed for sure, you can throw in half a diced chipper in with the sauce if you want more of a kick. You definitely need to make this one as it is truly a crowd pleaser.
Let’s talk green beans. Martina’s Green Beans with Goat Cheese and Warm Bacon Dressing spoke to me in my love language of food. These are THE BEST DAMN GREEN BEANS I HAVE EVER TASTED. I have had green beans with bacon IN them, but these beans have a BACON DRESSING (like a salad) with the goat cheese adding a creaminess which leads to absolute perfection. Then you taste the cranberries which puts this side dish over the top! This recipe is like a symphony for your mouth not to mention how beautiful this dish presents itself with the bright greens, reds and white from the cheese. Serve this any time as it is sure to impress your tribe- it would also be perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Finally, The Creamy Garlic Pasta with Parmesan Cheese is amazing. In her cookbook Martina says, “It’s not the healthiest recipe you’ll ever make, but hey, sometimes you gotta live a little”. My friends, eating this recipe is LIVING LARGE. It is a perfect combination of butter, heavy cream, parmesan cheese and she adds chicken broth which really makes this recipe different from any butter, alfredo type pasta dishes I have had in the past. I loved it- and it almost melts in your mouth- it’s so perfect!!!! This would be a great side dish with chicken or a steak. This dish will soon be your next FAMILY FAVORITE so put this baby on the menu this week and let me know what your family thinks about it.
I LOVE THIS BOOK and let me tell you these amazing recipes are just the tip of the iceberg, because friends this book holds so many great meals for your future. While you are waiting for her 3rd book to be released pick up a copy of Martina’s Kitchen Mix. You will not be disappointed because this is one to own.