Dec 29, 2009

This chili is the perfect companion to all this cold weather

This morning I woke up to frost and temperatures in the low 20s. That's cold for Mississippi! So my thoughts are naturally turning to something warm and comforting for dinner--like this easy chili that's packed with flavor. You may already have most of its ingredients in your freezer and pantry. What could be better than a big pot steaming away in the kitchen on a cold night?
Here's the recipe:

Hearty Home-Style Chili

2 pounds ground round
1 (14-ounce) package frozen mirepoix blend (chopped onions, celery, carrots)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano, and basil, undrained
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained, rinsed

In a large saucepan, brown beef; drain, then add frozen vegetables and tomatoes; cook till tender. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour. Serves 6 or 7.

This recipe if from our new book Fast & Fabulous Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, which just came out in November. You can find it on page 65, if you already have it.

~ Gwen

Dec 18, 2009

Nancy Lottridge Anderson's signing at Lemuria

(L to R:) Gwen McKee, Barney McKee, Nancy Lottridge Anderson
at Lemuria Bookstore's Dec. 12th book signing.
On Saturday, Barney and I went over to Lemuria to go to a signing for Nancy Lottridge Anderson's new book "Tough Talk for Tough Times". She's a financial counselor and the co-host of the radio show "Money Talks" on MPR. She's got some great advice for managing money.
If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, Nancy has another book signing this Saturday, Dec. 19th in Clinton, MS. It's at Pentimento Books from 1:00 till 3:00 p.m. See details here:

Dec 8, 2009

Kara Kimbrough reveals Patty Roper's entertaining secrets and gives 4 party recipes.

Did you see the article in Saturday's Madison County Herald? I think Kara Kimbrough did a great job of reviewing Patty Roper's newest book: Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations. My favorite quote? "When you invite people into your home, you are telling them they are special to you."

I'm including below one of the recipes from that article. Click here to read the full article and see the rest of her party recipes.
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1-1/2 sticks margarine
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
l/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
1-1/2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (12-ounce) package fettuccini, cooked al dente and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (16-ounce) package processed cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, mushrooms, salt, peppers, garlic powder, and Tony's seasoning. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and stir in shrimp, tossing gently to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook fettuccini al dente. Add olive oil, cheese, green chiles, and half-and-half. Stir until melted and combined. Remove shrimp from oven; stir in fettuccini and cheese mixture until combined. Cover with foil and warm for 5 minutes. Yield: 20 small servings.
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View Patty's Other Recipes:
Pork Tenderloin
Apricot Sauce
Sugar Cookies

Nov 30, 2009

Tired of turkey? Try this recipe for Shrimp Remoulade from Galatoire's in New Orleans.

There's a wonderful recipe for Shrimp Remoulade that's the perfect change from all the turkey and ham we've been eating over the Thanksgiving holidays.

Galatoire's Shrimp Remoulade

1 bunch celery
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch parsley
1/2 large yellow onion
1 cup ketchup
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup Creole mustard
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons horseradish, prepared
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 ounces paprika
Jumbo shrimp, boiled and peeled

Place celery, green onions, parsley, and onion in a food processor and mince. Add ketchup, tomato puree, mustard, red wine vinegar, horseradish, Worcestershire, and oil to the vegetables. Mix all ingredients in the food processor, adding paprika last. Allow the sauce to stand refrigerated 6 to 8 hours and taste again before serving. Adjust horseradish, if necessary. Evenly coat shrimp with sauce in mixing bowl, and serve on a bed of lettuce. Serves 12.

This recipe is from our book Louisiana's Best Restaurant Recipes. Go to my free recipe page for a printable copy of the recipe. Enjoy!

Nov 23, 2009

Time to get thawing!

Today's the day to start thawing your frozen turkey for Thanksgiving. The standard thawing time (in the refrigerator) is one day for every 4 pounds of turkey. That means you'll need 3 days for the average 12-pound bird. That's today!

Place the unopened turkey on a pan -- to catch any juices -- in your refrigerator breast side up.

The people from Butterball can give you some other tips for handling and preparing a frozen turkey if you need to thaw it more quicly.

You can go to the free recipe page on our website if you'd like a great, traditional recipe for roast turkey.

Nov 20, 2009

Recipe Hall of Fame Quick & Easy Cookbook: a nice review

I was browsing around yesterday and happened upon this review by the blogger "Pork Steak". It was one of our books! It's always so enjoyable to get to hear from our readers and see which recipes they like and how they work for them.

She had used the Recipe Hall of Fame Quick and Easy Cookbook to prepare Chili Soup, Easy Brown Rice, Beef Stew, a Baked Rice dish. Thank you, Pork Steak, for your nice comments.

Click here if you'd like to read the review .

Nov 10, 2009

Quail Ridge Press Hurt Book Sale 8 am until 8 pm, Nov 12th & 13th

All of us at Quail Ridge Press are hurrying around getting set up for the big sale we have this Thursday and Friday. We've literally got thousands of 'hurt books' that we'll be offering garage-sale-style during this week's Warehouse Sale.

We only do this once a year: we clean out and make room for the new books we'll have coming in. It's a lot of fun and it's one of the few times of year we get to meet and talk to so many of our readers!

If you're close to the Jackson, MS area, plan to come by and browse through our many long tables of books. We're dropping the prices as much as 90% on some books and there will be a whole table of $1.00 books.

We'll be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on both Thursday (Nov. 12th) and Friday (Nov. 13th)

On our website, we've put up a map to Quail Ridge Press that you can print off and bring with you.
And if you need more
information, just check out our Warehouse Sale page.

Hope to see you there!

Here's a look at what we consider a hurt book. There are no major flaws and no pages missing. Usually it's just a little scuff or scratch that keeps it from being considered brand new.

Barbara will be appearing on WLBT's Midday Mississippi at 12:30 p.m. this Wednesday, November 11th to spread the word about our Hurt Book Warehouse Sale.

Oct 30, 2009

"What am I going to do with all this deer meat?"

I'm asked that question a lot this time of year, especially from the wives of hunters. Well, this week I've got a good answer: The Complete Venison Cookbook

Now, I didn't write this cookbook. It's written by a deer-meat expert, Harold Webster, and it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves venison -- or loves someone who loves venison! Besides 700 venison recipes and 250 side dish recipes, Harold walks you through how to harvest and prepare your meat so it isn't dry, tough or strong tasting.

Quail Ridge Press has this 420-page book marked down to just $15.00 until November, so if you're interested in a little early Christmas gift, click here to take a look at this unique book.

Here's a recipe from the book that I'd like to share so you can try this out at home.


Savory Venison Stew

2 lbs. venison, cubed
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
4 cups boiling water
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
dash of allspice or cloves
1 tsp. sugar
6 carrots, diced
1 lb. small yellow onions
2 cups potatoes, diced

Cut the venison in 1 1/2 inch cubes and brown in fat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the boiling water, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, paprika, allspice and sugar, and simmer for 2 hours. Add the carrots, onions and potatoes and cook until the vegetables are done. Serves 4.


Oct 26, 2009

Barbara's going on QVC tomorrow!

Barbara has been invited to make another appearance on QVC tomorrow: on the program "QVC This Morning" (Tuesday, October 27th)

She'll be on at 7:00 a.m. Eastern (6:00 a.m. Central) featuring our brand new book "Fast & Fabulous Soups, Salads and Sandwiches". If you're up that early, grab your morning coffee and tune in. Or better yet, phone in and talk to her!
A photo from the last time she was on QVC in August of this year.

Oct 25, 2009

Let the kids help with this fun Halloween recipe.

As you get ready for parties or trick-or-treaters this weekend, try these delicious pumpkin muffins. They're moist and so quick to make!

Halloween Pumpkin Muffins

1 (18 1/4-ounce) box spice cake mix
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can cream cheese frosting
Halloween candies for decorations

Mix cake mix, pumpkin, and water well (no oil or eggs necessary). Line 24 muffin pans with cupcake liners and fill each 2/3 full. Bake in 350 degree oven 18—22 minutes. Remove and let cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting, and decorate with Halloween candies, if desired.

You can put a few drops of yellow and red food coloring in the frosting to make it orange.

Oct 7, 2009

A great start for a brand new book

Our new book is back from the printers and Sunday QVC invited me to show it off on the In The Kitchen show with my friend David Venable.

It's called Fast & Fabulous Soups, Salads and Sandwiches.

We prepared a whole spread of food from the book and David sampled a good bit of all of it.

Here's a variation on the traditional pulled pork sandwich that we call "Juicy Pig Hoagies" (p. 173). It's delicious alone, but I like to serve it with Southwestern Salsa Coleslaw right on the bun.

(I've put this recipe on my website. If you'd like a copy, just click here.)

We're so excited to get to debut this third 'Fast & Fabulous' cookbook on QVC.

We put more color photographs in this cookbook. Here David shows the page featuring Craisin Carrot Tea Sandwiches (pg. 145) and Mini Crab Melts (pg 163).

We had such a good time that they've asked us to come back!
So if you get a chance, tune in Friday, Oct 9th at 3 pm (Eastern) on QVC's "By Popular Demand" show.

Better yet, give QVC a call and maybe I'll get to talk to you on air!

Here's the new book. It's only available on QVC right now.

~ Gwen

Sep 28, 2009

Barbara Moseley's turn on QVC

We love visiting QVC and getting to see the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. However, recently it was Barbara who was in front of the cameras instead of me.

She was featured on QVC's Smart Cooking show with our new book 500 Fast & Fabulous 5-Ingredient Recipes.

She says this is her favorite!

You can watch the video of it on QVC's website. Just click on the word "Video" above the photo of our 5-Ingredients book.

I wanted to give you a recipe that was featured on that last QVC segment: Malted Milk Ball Pie. You can see it here in the very lower left corner of the screen. It's just heavenly!

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Malted Milk Ball Pie

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups crushed malted milk balls, divided
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
1/3 cup marshmallow creme
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen Cool Whip, thawed

Mix ice cream and 3/4 cup crushed malted milk balls. Spread into crust. Freeze.

Combine marshmallow creme, 3/4 cup crushed malted milk balls, and whipped topping. Spread over frozen ice cream mixture. Freeze again.

Just before serving, top with remaining 1/2 cup crushed malted milk balls. This is absolutely fabulous!

{Recipe from: 500 Fast & Fabulous 5-Ingredient Recipes, page 255.}

Sep 14, 2009

Book signing at Everyday Gardener in Jackson

This Thursday Patty Roper is going to be signing copies of her new book, Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations, at The Everyday Gardener in the Fondren area of Jackson. She'll be there from noon until 3:00 p.m. Thursday, September 17.
View their website at

The address is 2905 Old Canton Road, Jackson, MS. If you're out that way please stop by and say hello. (For directions or questions, you can reach the store at 601-981-0273)

Aug 26, 2009

Cooking at the library?

Our own Melinda Burnham, from Quail Ridge Press, was the featured speaker at the Pearl Library on Friday, August 28th for their "Brown Bag Lunch" series, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Over 30 people stopped by over the lunch hour to watch as
Melinda prepared several dishes -- and gave out delicious samples.

All the recipes for her cooking demonstration came from the books 500 Fast & Fabulous 5-Ingredient Recipes and Fast & Fabulous Party Foods and Appetizers. She showed the audience how easy it is to cook great food without spending a lot of time or money.
Thanks, Melinda, for a great presentation!

Aug 24, 2009

At Patty Roper's book signing in Madison

We went out to Patty Roper's book signing in Madison on Saturday. The new Everyday Gourmet store is so nice and has everything you'd ever need in your kitchen. It also connects to the adjacent Viking Cooking School, which is also very impressive.

All of the food I sampled was just wonderful. Patty had baked several of the recipes from her new book, including some delicate pink Parisan Macaroons (pg. 69) and Spicy Cheese Hearts (pg. 137).

Patty was set up in the front of Everyday Gourmet, just to the right as you entered the store. It was a beautiful day and sunlight just flooded the store's oversized windows.

Patty also displayed samples of some of the tablescapes she designed for parties. The one closest to you in this photo is from a Tie The Knot Party, a get-together for groomsmen where she decorates each place setting with mens ties. How adorable!

Barney and our granddaughter sample some of the delicious cookies.

Here I am with Patty Roper (center) and Marlana Walters (left) one of the owners of The Everyday Gourmet store where the signing was held.

Aug 14, 2009

Book Signing Aug 22 at Everyday Gourmet in Madison, MS


If you're close to the Jackson metro area, I hope you'll make plans to come by The Everyday Gourmet's grand opening of their new Madison, MS store on Saturday, August 22nd.

One of our authors, Patty Roper, will be there signing copies of Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. You'll get to sample some of the party food from her book as well as see her ingenious ideas for elegant-but-affordable table decorations.

I'm going to stop by while she's there. I hope you will, too!

AUGUST 22, 2009
10 am ~ 4 pm
The Everyday Gourmet (New Location)
1107 Highland Colony Parkway
Madison, MS


Come meet Patty Roper, editor of Mississippi Magazine and author of 4 popular books on entertaining, including Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations.

Aug 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary Beth! And thanks for a great show.

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC
Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC

Barbara Moseley, Patty Roper and I are in Pennsylvania today for QVC's special two-hour program My Time With Mary Beth: A 50th Birthday Celebration. We showcased our new book Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations and had the best time seeing -- and tasting -- all the wonderful foods that go along with the book's party themes.
Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC

This was our national debut for this lovely new book.

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC

Calla Lilly Sandwiches made with bread rounds and cream cheese filling.

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC

Here's a cute and easy little puppy dog cake that's made with two cupcakes.

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC
Easy miniature wedding cakes for each party guest.

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC
So many great ideas for party food. So little time!

Like to watch the video?
Click below to go to QVC.
Select the tab marked "Video".
Then click on "On Air Presentation".

Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations by Patty Roper as seen on QVC