What Can I Bring? is a question both asked and answered in this book. From a housewarming to a tailgate party, a new baby, a sick friend, an invitation to dinner, and everything in between, author Elizabeth Heiskell delivers over 100 delicious recipes including appetizers, main dishes, sandwiches, desserts, and more — sure to please a crowd, no matter how big or small. As an added bonus, all of these dishes can be prepared in advance and travel well.
The cookbook was featured in Southern Living magazine and I swear I heard it calling to me. I wanted a sneak peek so badly (because that’s how I roll), yet I could not find it on the shelf at any local bookstore or even the library system. This piece of southern hospitality eluded me to the point of frustration so I just decided to buy it online, sight unseen (which I RARELY do). From the minute I opened it I knew it was special and began cooking my way through it. I am in the double digits on the number of recipes made from this one!!!! And, I have yet to be disappointed.
I have to begin with the Smith Lake Cake. Words cannot describe how good and incredibly moist this is. If you are my friend and have bumped into me lately, I have probably talked about this cake. If you have been to my house in the past 3 weeks, I have sent you home with some (YES – I have made one for 3 weeks in a row). Likely, this is one of the best cakes I have ever made — and I have made A LOT of cakes! It’s got a crazy line-up of ingredients with everything from a boxed yellow cake, a box of instant pudding and… wait for it… WHITE WINE! – somehow magic happens in the oven and it turns into a masterpiece. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS CAKE!
The Candied Orange Pork Tenderloin is a great combination of a sweet and spicy sauce served on a pork tenderloin over wild rice (from the box to make it easier). Marmalade, orange juice concentrate, and Cajun spices meld together to create a luscious flavor that will entice your senses and your taste buds. Kids will love the sweet orange taste with just a hint of spice (although you can kick it up if you want to). A great weeknight dinner if you just marinate the meat the day before.
Whenever I bring a meal to someone who’s sick or suffering, I really try and go for the comfort food approach – because who doesn’t love comfort food – and somehow this type of dish always has a way to make you feel better. Elizabeth’s recipe for Chicken and Dumplings has a drop biscuit rather than homemade-noodles which makes this dish A LOT easier. This great hardy flavor is packed into a dish that people don’t get very often – making it a very special meal.
Finally, I cannot end this post without mentioning the Key Lime Bars with macadamia crust. The macadamia nuts make a huge difference and set this dish apart from other recipes you may have had in the past.
After cooking/baking so many of her incredible recipes, I decided to follow Elizabeth Heiskell on Instagram. She is an amazing cook and can cater and decorate for a party like nobody’s business. I will NEVER forget the first time the small-town Mississippi girl posted on her Instagram that she was going to be on the TODAY show. Now she is a regular contributor – I knew she was the real deal the minute I opened her cookbook and now millions of people do too.
All-in-all, this book is full of great recipes, beautiful photos, and southern charm. It will give you a new line-up of recipes to bring for future gatherings with friends and family. I am confident that you will enjoy cooking your way through it as much as I have.
The Must Make List:
Key Lime Bars
Smith Lake Cake
Chicken and Dumplings
Candied Orange Pork Tenderloin