They say home is where the heart is – I say it’s where a good plate of food awaits you. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to require hours of your time or endless trips to the grocery store – but it does have to feel authentic, and to be good enough for you to want to savor it with your family, and to cherish it in your thoughts forever. Home is where great memories are made, and that’s one of the best things about food: that it’s an excellent “memory maker.” Food is not just sustenance, but also human emotion – not just chemistry, but also love, or so I think.
To me, memory making is one of the greatest assets of the recipes featured in Martina McBride’s latest cookbook, Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life. After a 4-year break, country music star Martina McBride returns to the food publishing world with a book that is not only gorgeous, but also inspiring. What to win a copy of her cookbook? Read on 🙂
As a wife and a mom, I like to spend time looking for recipes that are accessible and family-friendly, yet oftentimes my quest ends in disappointment because the recipes I come across involve ingredients that are hard to find, suggest unrealistic cooking times or result in downright unappetizing dishes. Thankfully, Martina McBride’s latest book suffers from no such flaws. Featuring “more than 100 simple and satisfying recipes filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients and downhome flavor,” Martina’s Kitchen Mix encourages its readers to “mix things up in the kitchen and create your own delicious memories” – and that’s exactly what my family and I have been doing this past couple of months with great success.
There are so many memorable recipes to choose from! From the Chicken Panini with Southwestern Pesto, whose generous helping of fiery chipotle mayo perfectly complements the cilantro-based pesto…
… to the Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala featuring melt-in-your-mouth chicken and a delicious and gorgeous sauce chock-full of Indian spices…
…to vibrant desserts such as the Individual No-bake Chocolate-Cherry Cheesecakes with Biscoff Crust, light and supple like a summer night’s dream…
…and the County Fair Orange Cake, which was fabulous to eat several days after baking, splashed with a sizable dose of orange&butter glaze…
…all the dishes I tried from Martina McBride’s latest cookbook (believe me, there were several others I didn’t get the chance to photograph because the food was devoured too quickly – it really was that good!) were delicious and perfect to serve to my family. Equally important, I truly appreciated the attention to detail displayed in the tried&tested recipes – the ingredient quantities were just as described, and so were the resulting portion sizes and numbers.
If I were to single out an absolute family favorite from Martina McBride’s cookbook, that would be the Lasagna Soup. I picked this recipe to try out because the accompanying picture of the finished dish looked amazing; reading the recipe a few minutes later, I just knew this soup was bound to be a winner 🙂
I decided on several substitutions the first time I made this soup: I couldn’t find orecchiette at the grocery store, so I ended up using medium shells. I also didn’t have fire-roasted canned tomatoes in my pantry (oh no!), so I made the soup with regular canned tomatoes. Lastly, I used fresh parsley instead of basil (DH has a visceral fear of basil 😊).
I served the soup hot, with melted mozzarella & parmesan on top, as per Martina’s recommendation. Sooo decadent, sooo good!
I made lasagna soup several times ever since with all the required ingredients (including fresh basil, lol), and the end result was always amazing. Hearty, stunningly beautiful and exhibiting a subtle hint of spice, this soup is a winner if you’re looking for a dish guaranteed to impress your friends and family. They will ask for seconds – guaranteed 😉
Overall, I was very impressed with Martina McBride’s latest cookbook, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for flavorful, honest and straightforward family-oriented meals that come from the heart. This can be a great addition to your culinary library or a great gift for the foodie(s) in your life.
You can find the recipe for the Lasagna Soup below. Want to cook more stellar dishes from Martina’s book? Head over to my Instagram account on Monday 03/25/2019 to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Martina’s Kitchen Mix. Good luck! 🙂
*Disclaimer: While I received a complimentary cookbook to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.