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cookbook review: Beyond Bacon Grease by Cheryl L. Hughey + Missouri Baked Beans

Author:  Cheryl L. Hughey
Publisher:  Old Timey Gifts
Soft Cover (comb-bound w/ heavy duty plastic cover) : 70 Pages
Photos: a few black & white + illustrations

Chapters/Sections: Breakfast, Main Dishes, Beans & Soups, Side Dishes, Desserts, Cooking & Gardening Tips

Unique Feature: I think the best feature in this cookbook is the section on Cooking & Gardening Tips. From Hughey's recommended pantry list (complete with her reason's "why") to her Urban Gardening Tips to her tutorial on growing her favorite condiment- sprouts.  Fun, unique, and very interesting. 

(a few of the) Recipes Destined for my Kitchen:  Thymely Veggie Broth, Gingerly Yours Fried Rice, Crusty Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding

My Thoughts/Review:  It is very obvious that this freshman effort by Hughey was a labor of love.  She put a lot of thought into this book that is punctuated with quotes, poems and musings.  Many of the recipes I would classify as "semi-homemade".  They call for things such as bottled dressings, condensed soups, gravy mixes, canned sauces, and squeezable tubes of garlic...things not normally housed in my pantry.  That said, many home cooks do keep these things handy and use them on a regular basis, so they could find these recipes very suited to their everyday needs.  I do, however keep canned beans, tomatoes, and a few other condiments handy, so I was able to envision some of these dishes in my own kitchen.  As I write, a fragrant pan of Hughey's Missouri Baked Beans is assaulting my senses from the oven.  This is a very user-friendly cookbook, with spaces left for your own notes and Hughey's girl-next-door style.  While I wouldn't recommend it for a chef or a well-seasoned cook, I do think it would be a great addition to the collection of somebody who doesn't enjoy spending loads of time in the kitchen (I've heard that there are people like this out there) or who is just "learning the ropes".  It's a great book for beginners and semi-homemaders.

recipe I have already tried:
Missouri Baked Beans

2 (10 oz.) cans navy beans I used cannellini, drained
½ c. onion, diced
2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. barbecue sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. brown gravy sauce (avail. in Asian section) ?? I used A1
salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients and pour into a 9x9" glass pie pan I just used a 9" metal pie plate coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated oven at 425° F until bubbly and thick mine took ~20-25 minutesI also seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.

I liked them...simple yet very flavorful.  I mean...beans are good food☺!

about the author: Cheryl Hughey is a St. Louis-based author that has been published in Natural Muscle, Ms. Fitness, Concierge Magazine, West End Word, Sauce, Intermission Magazine and more. A candidate for a black belt in taekwondo later this year, Cheryl often finds often finds inspiration by working in her garden.

*I received a free copy of this book to review from the author.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.

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