Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Reading Cookbooks: Part 1

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was too short! Even being on Summer vacation, it just zipped by. This coming weekend is going to be even busier. It's a birthday weekend, times two, for both my brother and my father in law. Every other year, my sister in law and I take turns hosting, and this year it's mine. I promise to share more, there is just so much to do this week!

As it happens, last week, I borrowed several books from the library, (I am always browsing for inspiration), which is turning out to be the perfect way to come up with a menu for the party! As is this wonderful entity, known as the blogging community!

While I may not be from the South, I am from Southern California, and I have had Grits once, with only butter and salt, (next time I am putting lots, and lots of cheese). I grew up more on Cream of Wheat. I am sure you will find this post from Chasing Quaintness a fun read, "Kiss My Grits".
The recipe that caught my attention in The Coastal Living Cookbook (affiliate link) is for Creamy Shrimp and Grits from Chef Christopher Hastings, owner of the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.

A couple of Summers ago, I enjoyed my first glass of Peach Sangria. Since I love being random, don't you just love it when a song gets stuck in your head. My husband the last couple of days keeps coming home and singing the song 'Sangria' by Blake Shelton. It was sweet the first day, even the second, but we are now going on day 5, and it's bordering on the ever so slightly annoying, just a little! Not getting off the subject, but I really want to try for this party to make a Sangria, like the one I just saw at Susan's.

This past weekend, my husband also surprised me, by bringing home a smoker. It reminded me of the times my uncle would fish off the coast, and as a young child, got my very first taste of smoked fish. Most likely it was mackerel, it could have been yellow fin tuna, this was almost 40 years ago, but I do remember the salty, smoky taste, and how delicious it was. My mother in law must have remembered the exact same taste, because that was the first thing she mentioned to me, is that we should smoke some fish. Her grandfather was a fisherman who worked the docks at Newport Beach, California. I don't think my husband would be smoking any fish soon, but my brother in law smokes a mean brisket. For Mother's Day, his brisket was the best I'd ever tasted, it was so tender, and juicy.

I first saw Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto (affiliate link) , when I signed up for Blogging for Books. A month ago, I had no idea, my husband would bring a smoker home, since then I've already signed up for two other books, and by now, I am sure all of the review copies have been spoken for. Imagine how surprised and excited I was when I saw that it was at the library, a brand new cook book, just released. This cookbook is very detailed and thorough, covering every aspect of smoking, even how to build your own smoker; to what to serve at a barbecue; the sides, and what beers. This book is an all in one entertaining book, and resource, that I will definitely be adding to my library! Several recipes I can't wait to make are the Brisket and Beef Rib Rub, and the Espresso Barbecue sauce for when my husband attempts to make his very first brisket.

My question for you is, have you ever smoked meat for a barbecue?

Hope you have all have a fabulous week!
Until next time!
xo Christine

Want to stay connected & up to date with Cherishing A Sweet Life? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagram, & Pinterest!  

Cherishing A Sweet Life


  1. Christine (or do you prefer Christy?), you are just too sweet to mention my blog! I appreciate it greatly!

    I love cookbooks and have a ton of them...I don't think I've ever met a cookbook I didn't like...well, except for vegan cookbooks..I like meat! :-) What is the Blogging for Books? I don't think I've heard of that. Of course, being new to blogging there are so many things I've never heard of! :-)

    Also, I've eaten at Hot & Hot in Birmingham....excellent restaurant. Frank Stitt (who owns Bottega and Highlands - both excellent) also has a great recipe for Grits and fabulous cookbooks! I think you would enjoy his cookbooks.

    Yes, we have smoked meat before. It is delicious, tender and has a smoky flavor that is so YUM!!!

  2. My dad smokes really good rainbow trout. He also does pork butt well, and finishes his baked beans in the smoker with the pork sometimes too! He did wild turkey breasts a couple of weeks ago and makes a killer chicken in the smoker. My brother turns his gas grill into a smoker for his bacon explosion, and did a pork butt that way a week or two ago as well. We don't have a smoker, but I have been tempted to get one lately!