Tessa's Holiday Ideas: Christmas with Southern Living 2013

After looking through a large number of cookbooks, decorating, and idea books, the new Christmas with Southern Living caught my eye.  As usual, Southern Living has done a stellar job. Even the cover has a great idea: little round red velvet cakes with white frosting and peppermint trimmings! This book combines a traditional menu, a brunch menu, a New Year's Day menu, and decorating as well as appetizer and cookie sections (25 days of Christmas Cookies).  Jacket Cover

There are also some super ideas for decorating, some of which are simple enough even I can do them (I think).  Once of my favorites is the small bookshelf that has been emptied, then occupied by a separate snowball on each shelf, forming a cute snowman--his hat makes the top shelf.

Another lovely idea is a recipe called stacked apples.  These fried apples can be served warm or cold, as a side or a dessert. Sounds like something yummy for a Christmas breakfast! And I don't think I can wait until New Year's to try the pork chops with bourbon-rosemary-mustard sauce. With the pecan cornbread and "hoppin' john," of course!

I'd have given this five stars, except some of the recipes seemed too fussy or too strange (Turkey artichoke cornucopia? Calamari salad? Herbed grits dressing with leeksand mushrooms?) But others are delightfully easy and visually scrumptious! ~ Tessa Eger  October 2013    4.5 out of 5 stars