Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reviewing: "Sassy Southern-Classy Cajun" by Sylvia Dickey Smith

Good food always brings diverse groups of people together. That is the theme of this small cookbook from author Sylvia Dickey Smith. Well known by her “Sidra Smart Mystery Series” (all of which are good reads) Sylvia has now brought a few of the recipes mentioned by Sidra Smart in the books to life along with a number of others from various people.

After a dedication to her mother, Ruth Thomas Dickey and an opening preface and listing of the recipe winners, the book gets going with “Appetizers.” “Cajun Bowties” which features the pasta not the pastry, “Orange, Texas Party Punch” and “Swamp Dip” are just a few recipes covered in this section. While there aren’t many pictures and there isn’t any nutritional information, the recipes are simple and the instructions are concise. This same format holds true through the small cookbook.

Breads of various types such as “Apple Corn Bread” and “Buckskin Bread” are part of the five recipes in the following section simply titled “Breads.”

Three recipes make up the section on “Breakfast” including a “Breakfast Casserole” using crescent rolls, sausage, green chilies, black olives, and cheese and eggs. Since it takes nearly an hour to cook once everything is assembled this might also be a really good brunch on the weekends. This also might be one of those recipes one really doesn’t want to know the nutritional information after all.

Surprisingly, the book next turns to “Desserts” starting on page 25. Expected ones such as “Green Tomato Pie” and “Peanut Butter Fudge” are here along with lesser known items such as “Peggie’s Iron Skillet Chocolate Pie” contributed by Peggy Mcadams and “Southern Hot Milk Cake” contributed by Carol Staggs spouse of author Earl Staggs. If, somehow, you have not read Earl’s mystery novel, “Memory Of A Murder” you really should.

“Main Dishes” begin on page 50 with “Aunt Annie’s Dirty Rice” and “Aunt Annie’s Chicken Dumplings” both recipes frequently made by the fictional Aunt Annie in Sylvia’s Sidra Smart Mystery Series. Also included is “Cajun Gumbo for Texans” contributed by Joan T. Hollier and “Crawfish Etouffe” among others.

“Vegetables” featuring such recipes as “Aunt Annie’s Corn Patties” begins on page 98. Beyond “Cajun Potato Salad” and “Fried Okra” there are also ones for “Onion Pie” and "Sidra Smart’s Sassy Pickles” among numerous others.

While this small 104 page cook book offers very few pictures (all black and white and small) as well as no nutritional information, the recipes are varied and will appeal to almost every taste bud. For the most part, the recipes are simple and easy to make and in every case the directions are clear and understandable. There is a lot of good eating in this book. Now you just have to make them and get some folks over to eat.

Sassy Southern-Classy Cajun
Sylvia Dickey Smith
L & L Dreamspell
December 2009
ISBN# 978-1-60318-174-7
104 Pages

Material provided directly by the publisher in exchange for my objective review.

By the way, if you have not read Sylvia's "Sidra Smart Mystery Series," it begins with "Dance On His Grave" also from L & L Dreamspell. Good stuff and well worth your time as are the other books in the series.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2010

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