Thursday, February 21, 2019

Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life Cookbook Review


Photo credits:  Antonis Achilleos

I love cookbooks, so when I was sent Martina McBride’s cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, to review, I was excited to check out 150 of her new recipes.  Martina McBride is not only a wonderful country singer, but she is just as wonderful a cook.  I bought her first cookbook years ago and I loved it.  I was hoping her new cookbook would be just as good, and I was not disappointed.  I simply loved it because all the recipes are extremely accessible and easy to follow.  They truly are a playlist of real life recipes that anyone can easily make and enjoy. 

I could not decide what recipe to feature for this review post, so I finally just decided to do two recipes that my family and friends simply loved for a recent party we hosted.  I love grapefruit juice so I had to try out her Sparkling Grapefruit Mimosa.  I also tried an incredibly easy and delicious Baked Olive Cheese Dip.  Everyone in the crowd, especially my two kids really loved this dip.  They said it was a "must have appetizer" for any of our future parties.  The great thing about this dip is I had almost all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry already because I love all the ingredients that go into this dip.  I was able to whip it up so easily and the only hard part was waiting for the dip to become baked and bubbly in the oven before we could dig in. 

The rest of Martina McBride’s recipes are just as quick, easy and enjoyable.  This cookbook is something my daughter, who is 13, has loved to go through and pick out recipes for her to try. She has already bookmarked the Blackened Fish Taco Bowls and Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad to try out next.

I also want to try Martin's:
Smashed New Potatoes with Lemon
Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thai Slaw with Peanut Dressing
Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Lime Crema
Lasagna Soup

I know I will be enjoying these recipes for many years to come and any cookbook that can get my kids into the kitchen deserves all my praise.

Photo credits:
Dip: Antonis Achilleos

Baked Olive Cheese Dip

This is such a crowd-pleaser! When I make this, it disappears fast. I love that it’s easy to make ahead if you’re entertaining. Assemble and refrigerate it in advance and then pop it in the oven just before guests arrive. Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite crackers.


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese

1⁄4 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, minced

1⁄2 cup roughly chopped green olives

1⁄2 cup roughly chopped black olives

1⁄3 cup rinsed, diced pepperoncini peppers

2 green onions, finely chopped (about 1⁄4 cup), plus more for garnish

Crackers, toasted bread slices, or tortilla chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

2. Beat the cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, pepper Jack, and mayonnaise. Beat at medium speed just until blended. Add the garlic, green olives, black olives, pepperoncini peppers, and green onions, beating just until combined.

3. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with crackers, toasted bread slices, or tortilla chips. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.

TIP: This can be assembled and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Just let it come to room temperature before baking.

ad lib: This is one recipe that can be made so many ways. Don’t like black olives—or any olives for that matter? Leave them out! You’re still going to have a delicious spicy cheese dip. I love adding 1/2 pound of browned hot Italian sausage for a heartier version. This is good warm or cold. I love serving it warm for company, but the next day (if there is any left) I eat it on a cracker right out of the fridge. For a French Bread Pizza, serve it spread on the cut side of half of a baguette, sliced lengthwise and broiled until melted and bubbly.

Recipe Credit:
Excerpted from Martina’s Kitchen Mix by Martina McBride. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from TI Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Photo credits:
Mimosas: Antonis Achilleos

Sparkling Grapefruit Mimosa Cocktails for a Crowd




2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (from about 4 grapefruits)

Superfine sugar (optional)

1⁄2 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)

1⁄4 cup Campari

1 (750-milliliter) bottle chilled Champagne (or sparkling wine)

1. Combine the grapefruit juice, St-Germain, and Campari I a large pitcher. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

2. If desired, rub the rims of coupe glasses or Champagne flutes with a wedge of grapefruit. Invert each glass in a shallow bowl, just a bit wider than the diameter of the glasses, filled with a thin layer of superfine sugar. Gently twist the glasses to coat the dampened rims in sugar.

3. Divide the chilled grapefruit mixture among coupe glasses or flutes, and top with the chilled Champagne.

Recipe Credit:
Excerpted from Martina’s Kitchen Mix by Martina McBride. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from TI Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer:  I was given a complimentary copy of Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life to review.  All the opinions expressed here are my own.

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