June 15, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Recent cookbooks offer a diversity of flavors, cuisines | Food and Cooking

Continue to celebrate Black History Month with an assortment of cookbooks that showcase a diversity of flavors and ingredients.

“Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen”

Whether he’s in the hood or in an international city, Snoop Dogg says he’s got to eat and after more three decades of performing around the globe, the famous rapper has learned to adapt dishes from what he grew up eating as well as recipes he’s discovered on the road. Plus, we just love how he and Martha Steward hang out.

Here’s a recipe from the book.

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a wire rack on top of the foil and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Lay the bacon slices on the rack. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the bacon.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking. The bacon is done when it’s crispy and glazed.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool the bacon for 5 minutes on the rack. Serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books, 2018. Photographs © Antonis Achilleos and Heather Gildroy.

“The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food With Global Flavors”

Fun, funky, easy-to-make, and delicious, in her first cookbook Deborah VanTreece, owner of the Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Atlanta, honors Southern food traditions but combines them with the culinary lessons she’s learned during her wide ranging travels. Here you find French techniques, seasonally driven dishes and takes on European comfort dishes with such recipes as Quick Schnitzel and Sweet Potato Waffles, Coca Cola Glazed Ham Hocks with Kumquat Marmalade, Collard Green Caesar, and Boursin Cheese Grits.


6 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained

1 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1 tablespoon ground white pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 ounces cream cheese, diced

12 ounces American cheese, diced

8 ounces applewood-smoked bacon (8 to 10 slices), cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or pecan pieces

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the cooked macaroni to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Sprinkle half of this seasoning mixture and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the macaroni and toss to combine.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, until it makes a light roux. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the milk. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce reaches a simmer. Add the diced cream cheese and American cheese in batches, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and turn off the heat. Add the remaining seasoning mixture and stir well. Quickly whisk in the eggs until they are incorporated.

“Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland”

Executive chef and owner of the Brown Sugar Kitchen, Tanya Holland offers up more than 80 recipes (with lots of color photos to go with it) from her restaurant but made to cook at home. There’s lots to choose from including Caramel Layer Cake with Brown-Butter-Caramel Frosting, Bourbon & Chili Glazed Salmon and Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Salsa. Like her entrees and desserts, Holland’s side dishes are wonderful and perfect for home chefs.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

3 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

2 teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (see below)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and put on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into 1-in /2.5-cm wedges.

Arrange wedges on one layer on the baking sheet and season with salt, the olive oil, and the Creole Spice.

Mix. Bake an additional 5 minutes, then flip the wedges and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp and slightly browned.

Arrange the wedges on a serving platter and serve immediately.

3 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons ground cumin

¼ cup freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl, stir together the salt, herbes de Provence, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, and paprika until thoroughly combined. (To make ahead, store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Reprinted from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland.

“Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories”

Adams, who created the popular blog grandbaby-cakes.com, has written a cookbook full of amazing desserts, spinning off on some of her favorite memories such as her Red Velvet Cake With Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting based upon the popular ice cream treats, adding her own Grandbaby Notes to help make baking even easier.

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