Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life

July 12, 2010 · Posted in Bestselling Cooking Books 

Product Description
Beloved Food Network personality, restaurateur, and author Paula Deen loves a party, and in her latest book, Paula Deen Celebrates!, Paula shares with fans old and new how she celebrates a year’s worth of holidays and special occasions. Now anyone can share in the down-home celebrations Paula, her husband, Michael, their kids, and extended family enjoy at their beautiful home in Savannah, Georgia.What better way to start off the New Year than with a New Year’s Eve B… More >>

Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life

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5 Responses to “Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life”

  1. J. Love on July 12th, 2010 11:24 pm

    Just in time for the holidays, I got this book. I love Paula Deen’s show and her cookbooks always have amazingly simple dishes to prepare.

    The author’s personal stories and remembrances are what really made this book for me. As a girl from the south, these recipes are like things your Mammaw and Mama used to cook up for the family for a special occasion.

    These recipes aren’t necessarily things that you would eat in your everyday meals; they’re for celebrations. If you’re looking for a Southerner to eat tofu and bean sprouts for Thanksgiving, you’ve got it all wrong and would do better with buying another book. I prefer my tofu marinated in soy sauce and stir fried with pea pods and broccoli, but I’d rather have a turkey and all the trimmins for Thanksgiving.

    The recipe book, and I hesitate to call it that because it’s more of an entertaining book, has wonderful meal planning recipes and ideas for celebrating with your family & friends. Although I’d have loved more entertaining ideas, maybe next time, Paula?

    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. B. Seidl on July 13th, 2010 12:19 am

    After reading a previously posted review I am wondering why someone who isn’t a Paula fan would even bother buying her book as that reviewer was definatley not a fan of Paula. For those of us who are TRUE Paula fans this book is another example of Paula giving us her true southern hospitality. Yes, there are recipes that come from her shows, but isn’t that what a cookbook should do for any food network star? I mean unless you want to download the recipe each time you use it. There are also new versions of old favorites. But the point of the whole book is to use it as a menu planner for celebrations. Paula’s personal history in the book only lets you get to know her more and gives personal insite on a woman who is so loved in the city of Savannah that if someone bad mouths her you are run out of town. So be warned those who wrote bad reviews…you won’t be getting and best dishes, hugs and kisses from Paula any time soon with your cranky attitudes. Also, I have had the honor of meeting Paula in person on numerous occations and also being on her new show Paula’s Party, what you see is what you get with her. She is warm and caring and her over the top way of doing things is just who she is, so if you want a boring food network star…go watch the Barefoot Contessa or Giada.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Lin on July 13th, 2010 1:09 am

    This book is full of very easy recipes to make.

    I rated this book with a “4” rather than a “5” only because I wish Paula had added a few more color pictures. But other than that, it’s a fun book to read and as stated earlier, the recipes are easy and fun to make.

    I like the fact , especially, that the ingredients that Paula uses are easy to find. In other words, I don’t have to travel all over the country looking for ingredients, when duplicating any of Paula’s recipes—for this I give this book 5 Stars!

    Also, her adorable personality comes through so nicely. (She writes like she talks–FUN STYLE,FUN LADY!).

    PS: Please note that Paula loves butter. Those of us that watch her TV show know this, as she is very open about her “love of butter”. So plz do expect that many of Paula’s recipes include butter. However, if you are watching your weight and counting your fat intake, I would advise to just cut the butter portions ,and that Paula’s recipes will still hold-up well.(I’ve tried this method and it works).

    For those of you that love butter and are thin enough to be able to eat it often, then this cook-book will not alter your regular cooking style.

    Either way I think that any cook will find this cookbook helpful!
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. B. Garthright on July 13th, 2010 2:45 am

    If you love Paula, you will love this cookbook. Many of these recipes I have seen on her show; however, her book has a lot of stories that go with the recipes…it is a good book to read. The recipes are easy and are prepared with everyday ingredients.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. B. Marold on July 13th, 2010 5:29 am

    `Paula Deen Celebrates’, by Food Network star and home cooking matron, with assistance from “Savannah Magazine” columnist, Martha Nesbit expands Ms. Deen’s franchisee in a most logical and expected manner, by being a collection of recipes appropriate to twenty-one (21) favorite occasions to celebrate with food.

    Among all the various different cookbook styles, the special occasion menu book seems to be the one most useful for the largest number of people next to your basic encyclopedic reference cookbook such as `The Joy of Cooking’ and `James Beard’s American Cookery’. And, Ms. Paula has, to my lights, done a better than average job at providing both an excellent selection of occasions and recipes for those occasions.

    Her rather idiosyncratic selection of events is:

    New Years’ Eve Brunch

    New Years’ Day Good Luck Meal

    Elvis’s (sic) Birthday

    Valentine’s Day

    President’s Day

    Big Easy Mardi Gras

    My Wedding Anniversary

    St. Patrick’s Day

    Easter Dinner

    An Easter Egg Hunt

    May Day Pink and White Party

    Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

    Mother’s Day Tea

    Graduation Potato Bar

    Father’s Day Boating Picnic

    Fourth of July Outdoor Grill and Low-Country Boil

    Movie Watching Pizza Party in Bed


    Sunday Afternoon Football Party

    Homemade Christmas Gifts

    Christmas Dinner

    One thing that immediately strikes me about the choice of recipes is the emphasis on coordinating food colors and personal traditions, to the total disregard of seasonal availability. For example, for the New Year’s Eve Brunch, one dish requires fresh tomatoes and another requires fresh blueberries, both of which are out of season in late December. That’s not to say they are unavailable, it’s just that they are expensive and not at their best, but price be darned! Paula will have her traditional favorites, come heck or high water.

    Paula’s recipes are written in exactly the same way you have come to expect from her earlier books, with just enough information for a knowledgeable amateur cook. That means a total novice may now and then be at a bit of a loss, as when Paula gives instructions for butterflying a beef tenderloin. A teaching cookbook would include a series of diagrams on how to do it. A teaching book by someone like Jacques Pepin would include additional instructions to get the greatest possible area of meat exposed to the rub being applied to the meat. Similarly, a recipe for shrimp and lobster bisque, done by someone like Jasper White (of ’50 Chowders’ fame) may take three for four pages and start with some live lobsters rather than steamed lobster tails. But then, Paula’s recipes here, just as her endearing presentations on her show imbue the auditor with a great sense of confidence that `you too can cook a great homemade meal to entertain your family’.

    There is no question that these recipes and menus will appeal most to natives of the southeastern United States, from Virginia to Georgia to Mississippi, to Kentucky, but there is nothing that will turn anyone else off of the recipes.

    There are also several recipes that seem to be included for pure whimsy. My two favorites are Elvis’ banana and peanut butter sandwich and the `turducken, a chicken, stuffed into a duck, which in turn is stuffed into a turkey. Thankfully, there is a company that does this feat for you, and Paula provides the web site for same. To think that just five years ago, this notion was totally unknown to the foodie nation. Just one of the things for which we have to be thankful to the Food Network (sic).

    One caveat may be that Paula’s style of cooking does not appeal to me as much as some others, such as the Mediterranean styles from Italy, France, Spain, and Morocco, and the Pennsylvania Dutch style. I am also not entirely pleased with some small aspects of her cooking, such as the use of self-raising flour. In spite of those personal tastes, I really think Paula has hit the nail on the head in putting together an excellent book on entertaining menus and recipes. Like Jamie Oliver, she succeeds more than many in communicating how good food can engender warm feelings `en familia’. I especially like her lower than average list price which, when discounted, will make buying her book almost painless, especially once you use one of her delightful menus.

    I will also note that Paula could use a better copy editor. Her English usage and sentence structure are fine for talking in front of the camera, but they give the feeling of stumbling over words, especially prepositions, when you see them on the printed page. I also think she would have done well to cash in all the effort expended to create her `Paula’s Pearl’s of Wisdom’ and `Brandon’s Decorating Tips’ for one more holiday. I think Halloween would have appreciated some attention from Savannah’s own Ms. Deen!

    Rating: 5 / 5

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