When I heard Southern Living’s new cookbook, Country Music’s Greatest Eats Presented by CMT was coming out, I knew I had to put together another cookbook review party. And who better to pair with a little country cuisine than our local whiskey distiller, Six and Twenty?
When the cookbook arrived, I rallied my Travelers Rest Cookbook Book Club girls and a few friends, emailed everyone recipes, created a play list from the country music artists featured in the cookbook, and we had a cookbook review party to remember. The girls arrived at my house on a sunny Sunday afternoon with their dishes for our potluck-style meal.
Our 4th of July inspired centerpieces were jars filled with peanuts, and fresh flowers and peach tree stems from the yard tied up with scrap ribbon pieces. You never need to go far for table decorations!
First we’ll tackle the food and then I’ll give you a taste of our playlist so you will have a few tunes to get you cooking.
This cookbook features over 30 of today’s top country music stars who share their personal memories, life lessons, and personal tales about family, food, and fame. CMT show host, Alecia Davis, tells how she landed one of the hottest spots on music television in the book and shares the most popular recipe at her mother’s Thanksgiving table, Mandarin-Almond Salad. She says it was the one dish on the table that she and her four brothers all liked! I can see why. This sweet and crunchy salad was a hit at the party, though I will tell you that those candied almond slivers were sharp little boogers during prep. I got two pretty bad cuts before I knew what had happened. I advise using something besides your hands to break them up!
Sometimes the simplest recipes are just so beyond-words good, aren’t they? This Broccoli Cornbread recipe is straight from the kitchen of the grandmother of American Idol alum Scotty McCreery. Out of all of the tasty recipes at our cookbook club, this one won the grand prize and one of our new members took home her very own Country Music’s Greatest Eats Cookbook!
This Chicken Salad is a favorite recipe of legendary country singer, Alan Jackson. Did you know he actually has his own cookbook? It’s available on his website www.alanjackson.com and features 60 of his family recipes. We loved this salad at first bite. The recipe requires cooking the chicken in pineapple juice, honey and cider vinegar, which makes the meat incredibly sweet before you even add any other ingredients. A definite yum all around the table.
Our dishes for the evening were paired with two cocktails: Outlaw Lemonade and Drunken Peach Ice Tea created by one of our gals, Nina Gibbs. She graciously has shared the recipe with you guys at the end of this post.
Nashville trio, Gloriana, has been making beautiful music together since 2008. They scored the Top New Vocal Group Award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2010, but their talents aren’t confined to music. Tim and Mike Gossin inherited their cooking skills from their mom, a culinary school graduate.
One of the band’s favorite recipes is the Gossin brothers’ mom’s French Toast Bake with Sausage. Once our cookbook club had a taste, we all agreed it was perfect for Christmas. It’s one of those great recipes you can assemble the night before and pop in the oven Christmas morning!
Nashville Songwriter Hall of Famer, Hank Williams, Jr. has had quite the career. When he’s not touring, he spends his time at one of his three homes in Paris, Tennessee and Victor, Montana. He loves hunting wild game and has acquired some chops in the kitchen, as well. One of our cookbook club chefs, Terri, cooked up of Hank’s Cajun Rice Casserole.
Here’s a rundown of our desserts:
William Lee Golden of the The Oak Ridge Boys shares his family recipe for Orange Dreamsicle Cake in the book. (I have to admit I attached this thing full on with a fork when everyone left).
Alan Jackson is one lucky man! We happily dug into his wife Denise’s German Chocolate Cake recipe.
Louisiana boy, Trace Atkins, proposed to his wife Rhonda on the Grand Ole Opry stage the night he was inducted. Romantic, right? They have raised five daughters together. In a house with that many girls, you have to have a handle on your go-to chocolate recipes. We enjoyed Rhonda’s No Bake Cocoa Cookies. And they are perfect for kids with dairy or wheat allergies!
I simply love Flan. I had it for the first time last summer and can’t get enough of it. I was happy one of our girls made this authentic recipe from Scotty McCreery’s Grandmother Paquita, who is actually a native of Puerto Rico.
This cookbook is really amazing. The recipes were easy to prepare and well written. It’s pretty cool to read the stories from some of country music’s brightest stars, too.
There are also recipes from Eli Young Band, Amy Grand and Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Miranda Lambert, Randy Travis and Zac Brown Band. It’s definitely a cookbook you’ll go back to again and again.
I have two treats for you! The first is this fantastic recipe for Drunken Peach Iced Tea created by Nina Gibbs.
The second is our playlist from the Cookbook Review Party. You can listen to our Spotify Playlist here while you cook here: