Reece Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup is filled with southern charm.
Whiskey in a Teacup is more than a cookbook, it is a memoir filled with family, food, and all things southern like monograms, biscuits, hot rollers, wallpaper
I’ve lived in Michigan for most of my life so all I really know about the south is my experience from a few trips I have taken to Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina — and from religiously reading Southern Living every month for the past 10 years (the only magazine I cannot live without). Throughout the book Reese tells childhood stories and describes how strong southern women — especially her Grandmother — have influenced her, making her the person she is today. The recipes featured in Whisky in a Teacup are a collection of family favorites and include a wide variety of possibilities to make for any occasion like a picnics, barbeques, cocktail and dinner parties and let’s not forget Derby Day eats.
I purchased this book but also realized that the audio version was available through my local library so I checked it out and listened to Reese herself narrating (I have been a fan of hers for years — she had me at Sweet Home Alabama.)
Let’s talk recipes
It was hard to pick which recipes to make from this book but as always, I try and choose things that my family like would eat – there is quite a list from this book.
My first choice was the Shrimp and Grits which was easy to make and impressive to serve. I frequently order Shrimp and Grits from a restaurant whenever I see it on a menu, but again being from Michigan is not all that often. As much as I love eating this dish, I have never made it at home. I was astonished at how fresh and easy this was to make and wished I tried it sooner. “Thanks Reese!” — for helping me to cook outside my comfort zone. Recipe notes: I added cheddar cheese to the grits because that’s how I like them. To kick up the shrimp a bit you could add additional Cajun seasoning if you like things really spicy.
I served the Cheddar Biscuits with the Shrimp and Grits and thought they went well together. Think this one of the few times in all my years of cooking that I have made biscuits from scratch. I was happy to discover that in less than 20 minutes they were ready for the oven. Easy and good to eat.
As Reese suggested I had one for lunch the next day with ham, and my all-time favorite fig jam, which you could also serve as a tasty appetizer at a party. FYI biscuit size makes a difference. My biscuits were 3 inches lending to 5 minutes less in the oven.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip was another recipe that quickly came together with only 8 ingredients. It was great the day of and then also was easy to warm and eat the day after. My 17 year old daughter, Grace, ate it the next day and shared with her coworkers who all gave a “big thumbs up” to this recipe. This is something that is easy to buy pre-made at your local grocery but trust me this version is worth making homemade and easy to pull together the day before.
My favorite recipe to share from this book has to be the Cowboy Cookies which could also be called “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” cookies. They are chocked full of amazing goodies like chocolate chips, coconut, oatmeal and rice crispies. Reese recommends putting them in the freezer before baking if you would like a puffy version of this cookie. With a full freezer, this was not an option for me and I thought the cookies turned out amazing. They are a nice change of pace to the traditional chocolate chip cookie and I encourage you to give them a try.
Hot Spinach – Artichoke Dip
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and coursely chopped
- 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and coursely chopped
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4-5 dashes hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a small baking dish with baking spray or rub with soft butter.
- Mix 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese together with the rest of the ingredients and spoon into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the top of the mixture.
- Bake until it begins to bubble and the cheese starts to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with crackers and bread.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups butter softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture and mix well before adding the next egg. In batches, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the oats, Rice Krispies, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
- Using a spoon or a small scoop, drop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes (if you skip this step the cookies will turn out flatter). Take directly from the freezer to the oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown. Bake them slightly less if you like chewier cookies, longer if you like them crispy.