What’s next after the popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper” wrapped up its final season? Co-host Joanna Gaines has had something else in the works for several months. While the show has ended, you can bring Gaines into your kitchen with her first cookbook.
Gaines’ first cookbook, “Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering (William Morrow Cookbooks $29.99), includes some of her favorite recipes along with several from Magnolia Table, the Gaines family’s new restaurant in Waco, Texas.
A lot of cookbooks cross my desk each year, but this one is a page turner. It has a lot of recipes that will appeal to all, especially families.
Like just about everything Gaines touches, the book has a lot of styles, with plenty of photographs that show her flair for decorating and plating.
While she may have a well-stocked pantry and grows a lot of her own vegetables, Gaines is not a stickler with always made-from-scratch ingredients. Like everyone else, she gets busy: “I consider store-bought refrigerated dough and boxed broth to be gifts from the heavens.”
A highlight of the breakfast chapter is JoJo’s Biscuits. It’s a favorite, which Gaines writes that “it took me a year of Saturdays to get these biscuits just right.”
The recipes are very doable, clearly written and most hold to one page. There are classics like scalloped potatoes and green beans almandine along with Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, Mom’s Bulgogi and Becki’s Mac & Cheese, ideal for family dinners. It’s dinner, that Gaines says “is her favorite way to unwind after a busy day at work.”
The recipe for chocolate chip cookies (see below) is close to her heart as it reminds of the first time she and her dad baked together. She writes that she developed the recipe over the years, looking for a chunky, not flat, cookie. Using less butter turned out to be the key.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: Makes about 40 cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
From “Magnolia Table” by Joanna Gaines (William Morrow Cookbooks $29.99.)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (see note)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until blended.
Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on medium just until the flour is mixed in, then turn the mixer to high speed for a few seconds to pull the dough together; it will be chunky.
Add the chocolate chips and beat on high for about 5 seconds to thoroughly and quickly mix in the chips. Drop by large spoonfuls on the lined baking sheet; don’t flatten them. Bake until lightly browned on top, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on the pan on a rack for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Store the cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Cook’s note: Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you can add 1/2 cup more or less chocolate than what is called for.
Asparagus And Fontina Quiche
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Joanna Gaines writes that “Sometimes I shave the asparagus into thin strips, though simply chopping it works great when I’m more pressed for time. This quiche is beautiful either way.”
From “Magnolia Table” by Joanna Gaines.
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 unbaked pie crust or a store-bought 9-inch pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a vegetable peeler, slice the asparagus lengthwise into long, thin strips, starting just under the tip of each stalk. Leave the tips whole. (Alternatively, cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.)
In a pot with a steamer insert or in a covered saute pan fitted with an expandable steamer basket, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the steamer insert or basket, cover, and steam until tender, about 30 seconds for strips and about 3 minutes for pieces.
Rinse the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir in the Fontina, Gruyere, and reserved asparagus.
Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
Bake until lightly golden and set in the center when the pan is gently pushed, 40 to 45 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover it with foil to prevent it from burning.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 or 8 slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
The quiche is best served the day it is made. Tightly wrap leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.