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My husband bought this book for me for Mother’s Day. I had no idea what to expect and I’m delighted with it. It’s a collection of their family recipes from both sides, so it’s a great blend of mostly southern comfort food, with a few Syrian and Korean dishes with a family friendly, yet sophisticated vibe. Her recipes are easy, flavorful, and call for everyday ingredients. I think she has a slight crush on Gruyere cheese. I’m fine with that because I do, too.

My thoughts and pics of the dishes we’ve tried:
1-2) Gaines Brothers Burgers – p 81 with Bacon-Tomato Sweet Drip Jam – p 82. These were great burgers! They were huge, so next time, I’m making them 6 oz each instead of nearly 11! The tomato drip jam makes enough to make this dinner twice. I considered scaling it back, but I’m so glad I didn’t because it’s soooo good!
3) Layered Arugula Salad with Pear Vinaigrette – p 121. Beautiful and lovely flavor balance. The punch of the blue cheese is perfect against the sweet pears and candied walnuts, and the tart pomegranate arils are a nice contrast.
4-5) Stew with Jalapeño Cornbread – p 261. This is delicious. The beef stew has tons of flavor. The cornbread isn’t sweetened at all beyond corn’s natural sweetness. The corn kernels, jalapeños, and pimentos make it really yummy, and not too spicy, and the texture’s great. This dinner’s a total keeper.
6-7) Buttermilk Blueberry Puff – p 291. So rich and sweet. This is easy peasy, but a wonderfully decadent croissant bread pudding for brunch. (I think she has it in desserts.) I prepped it the night before and let it come to room temperature while I gave the oven plenty of time to preheat. It added a few minutes to the baking time, but worked really well.
8) Potato Gratin Mini Stacks – p 179. As yummy as they are cute.
9) Beef Tenderloin with Pickled Jalapeno Sour Cream – p 249. This is delicious. The marinade’s great, and we loved the jalapeno sauce.
10) Roasted Asparagus with Red Wine Bernaise Sauce – p 163. This was really good. The sauce should be silky. You wont stop whisking to answer your darling child’s text, so you wont break your emulsion, and yours will be much more aesthetically pleasing. Lol!
11) I sliced the leftover tenderloin paper thin and piled it on hoagies toasted with butter and garlic salt with a little thin extra sharp cheddar melted on it, and spooned that jalapeno cream over it. That was a fantastic sandwich!
12) Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad – p 240. Fantastic bulgogi. It marinates for 5 hours then gets a short spin on the grill. Her cucumber kimchi doesn’t require any fermentation. It’s a lovely, spicy, crisp, fresh, pickled tasting salad.

I’ll update this as I play in the book more!

Some others I have flagged to try: Jojo’s biscuits – p 18 with Bob’s Classic Gravy – p 21 * Garlic Cheese Grits – p 31 * Eggs Benedict Casserole – p 35 * Syrian Donuts – p 45 * Quick Orange Walnut Sweet Rolls – p 57 * Curry Chicken Salad with Toasted Nuts – p 79 * Country Potato Soup with Crumbled Bacon – p 103 * Sausage and Kale Soup – p 109 * White Cheddar Bisque – p 111 * Autumn Butternut Squash Soup – p 113 * Brussels Sprouts Salad – p 115 * Peach Caprese – p 117 * Deviled Eggs – p 133 * Party Queso – p 135 * Baked Brie – p 150 * Sheet Pan Nachos – p 151 * White Bean Hummus – p 153 * Souffled Broccoli Casserole – p 171 * Creamy Squash Casserole with Green Chiles – p 177 * Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas – p 193 * Chicken Pot Pie – p 197 * Dedication Casserole – p 197 * King Ranch Chicken with Mexican-Style Jicama Salad – p 207 * Mom’s Bulgogi with Cucumber Kimchi Salad – p 240 * Jo’s Fatayar with Lebanese Salad – p 244 * Broiled Honey Thyme Peaches with Ice Cream and Aged Balsamic – p 281 * Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding – p 293
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171 people found this helpful
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on April 24, 2018
This cookbook is awesome. Amazing quality, much bigger than I expected, and the recipes look so easy and are all exactly what my family loves to eat without any unusual ingredients.

I give it 4 stars however because I was in target thumbing through their copies looking for an ingredient I needed for her biscuits and I noticed that following the index are SEVERAL recipes that are not included in the copy I received. I'm really disappointed about that because the recipes looked really great.
290 people found this helpful
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on April 28, 2018
This cookbook is INSANE! First off, it's HUGE! I love the simplicity of the recipes and their ingredients. As a busy Mom myself, I know that time is precious, and spending time with my family is even more so. This cookbook reflects the same for Jojo and her family. Some people don't like this, to each their own...I'd rather cook simple recipes, with fewer ingredients, that I have on hand, vs have to spend tons of $$ on obscure ingredients. That's just me. I am also a VERY PICKY eater, and I often have a hard time finding a recipe in ANY cookbook that sounds or looks good. 9/10ths of these recipes look right up my alley, lots of healthy choices, and comfort food too!!!

This book is chock full of BEAUTIFUL photographs, the pages are crisp and thick, the cover and binding are good quality. This is the type of book I'd display on my coffee table, not just shelve in my kitchen and pull out once in awhile.

I am only giving this book 4 stars on account of a few design flaws that others have mentioned. My biggest issue with this book is the binding is so tight this book cannot be laid flat, no matter how hard you try. I wish this book would have come spiral bound, or put together in such a way that it could be laid flat during use. I don't think any amount of opening/closing or spine flexing is going to change this, aside from tearing up the book itself.

The only other thing I noted, is that Target has a different addition with several different recipes NOT included in the Amazon/Mass Market versions. The price at Target vs Amazon is actually a dollar and a handful of cents cheaper if you have a Target Red Card, plus you can get free shipping. Because of this (and some shipping/packaging issues mentioned below), I am returning my copy from Amazon, and ordering another copy from Target.

Another few issues (not related to the book itself), Amazon's shipping was POOR! This was packaged in a flimsy brown padded envelope, and as a result, the book arrived with corners dented, and my book arrived with the spine "out of alignment", the book actually looked a little twisted. Others have complained about "wavy" pages, I noted this too, but I really feel that this is just due to the high quality paper used in the book, along with the tight binding. It was not an issue for me, however the obvious damage from poor packaging on Amazon's part was.

All in all, I am pleased overall with this cookbook, and look forward to trying several of these recipes.
126 people found this helpful
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on April 24, 2018
Beautiful book. The recipes are very clear and nicely categorized.Just received and jumped into making the chicken salad one which reminds me of how a friend made it when I lived in Texas. Will indulge in it this afternoon. The price was exceptional.
44 people found this helpful
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on April 26, 2018
So I am a huge fan of Jojo! I love all things Magnolia. A friend of mine and I have made 3 recipes so far and all are lights out.

The banana bread is for real the best I’ve ever had. And her chocolate chip cookies are easy and delightful. And apparently the Brussels Sprouts recipe is great as well. I’m excited to try her biscuits this weekend.

The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because structurally the binding of the cookbook IS TOO TIGHT.
I have to put my entire flour canister on top of it for it to stay open. Maybe after enough uses it will loosen and be able to stay open but right now it just shuts back closed immediately which is frustrating when you’re trying to follow a recipe. I wish it had more give to it.

All in all I would buy it again and recommend it to everyone I know!
65 people found this helpful
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on April 28, 2018
This book is wonderful. I read cookbooks like novels so this was perfect. Joanna adds a story for each recipe so it really makes it homey. Have already tried her biscuits. I’m not a biscuit lover but these are awesome. Can’t wait to try some of the others. This is a big book and really something you can read in bed. She did an excellent job. Thank you Joanna.
18 people found this helpful
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on April 26, 2018
Beautiful photography and nice, simple real family recipes. I find the negative comments about it not being loaded with chef quality recipes kind of funny. She’s not a chef and doesn’t claim to be. It’s just a nice, family cookbook. Already made her biscuits... yum!
17 people found this helpful
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on May 10, 2018
I order a lot of cookbooks. Most of the time I only try a recipe or two, but I still enjoy reading them. :) But this cookbook has really impressed me! The recipes that I have tried have all turned out wonderfully, and there are a lot more that I plan on trying. Thanks Joanna, for a really practical and delicious collection of recipes! :)
8 people found this helpful
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on May 5, 2018
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on June 2, 2018
Disappointed with this book. She talks about eating healthy and fresh ingredients. She grows a large garden. Yet I found many of these recipes using processed foods, very different then what she portrays on her show.
22 people found this helpful
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