She’s known for her hot novels, but now, she’s heating things up in the kitchen! Our favorite, Mary Kay Andrews, has delighted her fans by releasing some of her all-time favorite recipes in “The Beach House Cookbook.”
I first learned of Mary Kay Andrew’s books, because my darling friend Rachel turned me on to MKA’s recipe for, “Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad.” I loved the recipe so much, I started reading her novels! As a matter of fact, one of my very first blog posts back in 2012 was about this recipe (HERE)!
So, it’s only fitting that an author who loves to cook will eventually write a cookbook. But this isn’t just any book about food. It’s SUPER beautiful, with photos of every single recipe, it has SUPER easy to make dishes for those lazy beach days and the food is all SUPER flavorful.
You know, whenever I talk about my dear friend Mary Kay, I have to remind you that she’s my DEAR FRIEND (because it makes me feel so pumped up and important to have famous friends — who are dear). Did you get the “dear friend” part?
Small interruption: Of course, the real truth is, I was a teensy-weensy bit star-struck when I first met MKA, because I had just started writing for a small newspaper, and knew she had her start as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I can honestly tell you that over the last few years, Mary Kay has been the warmest, friendliest inspiration to me. She has a ferocious work ethic that I admire, and whenever I’ve had a question to run past her about writing, or publishing, she’s made herself available and I’ll always be grateful to her for that. She really is just a regular, nice, down-to-earth person who loves to entertain — whether it’s through a story or a meal.
For those new readers, the back-story is, several years ago, I got to go with a group of cool bloggers to stay at Mary Kay’s beach house (above) on Tybee Island (read about it HERE and tour her house HERE). She cooked for us, and I knew then, she was multi talented. Everything we ate that weekend was delicious, and she assured us it was no big deal, that she had years of practice whipping up delicious snacks, breakfasts, lunches and dinners that fit right into the carefree beach lifestyle.
Not only is the cookbook full of easy and tasty recipes like Savannah Spinach Squares, Beachy Ceviche and Butterscotch Brownies, but it’s a beautifully designed book with photos of MKA and her family all enjoying the beach-life. In the photo above she’s with her darling husband Tom.
The recipes are grouped together for easy meal ideas that center around events like a Beach Picnic, Full Moon Party or Game Day Dinner. It even plans entire menus for other holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wouldn’t it be fun to spend Christmas on the beach?
Each recipe is also introduced by Mary Kay with a little story about how she found it, or why she likes it, or a little information on when she likes to make it. What else do you expect from a writer? Stories!
Here’s the exciting part you knew was coming . . . Mary Kay Andrews will be here in Fairhope this coming Tuesday, May 9th at 6pm at Page and Palette to treat us to a few tasty items from her book and share her always hilarious stories! The photo above is from last year’s standing-room-only crowd. Don’t you want to come to the party? I’ll be there and look forward to seeing all of you!
If you are outside of the Fairhope area, check out MKA’s schedule HERE to see if she’ll be in a bookstore near you!
Mary Kay Andrew’s Beyond the Grave Chicken Salad:
2 quarts water
1 large onion, quartered
1 tsp. seasoned salt
2 chicken bouillion cubes
1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise – love Duke’s – I use the light version
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. sugar – I use slightly less
1/8 tsp. salt
Toss shredded chicken with one cup of dressing and let stand at least one hour to marinate.
Combine remaining dressing with:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. honey – local Honey Moon brand!
Add to chicken and mix well. May add canned water chestnuts, blanched almonds or chopped pecans.