Thursday, November 16, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: "Love Welcome Serve" by Amy Nelson Hannon - Available Now + Delicious Chicken Chili Recipe from the Book (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Is there one thing you can't have enough of? For me, it is cookbooks.  If you were to visit me and see my bookshelves in our upstairs area, you would be shocked at how I have two full bookcases full of cookbooks, and then a walk in closet that my collection spreads into.  Whenever I take the girls to the bookstore, I find myself gravitating to the cookbook section to see what new cookbooks have come out.  And, when I do receive a cookbook, I read it like a novel, cover to cover, admiring not only the photos of the recipes, but I really like cookbooks that share the cook's personal back story on recipes or about how they entertain family and friends.  

Having an Italian grandmother, I was always seeing her in the kitchen cooking up something to warm our bellies, or making a fresh plate of Italian cookies to satisfy our sweet tooth.  A trip to Nana's never disappointed, and you always left full, and with a doggie bag. :-)

Recently, I was sent a copy of Love Welcome Serve by Amy Nelson Hannon, and really enjoyed this cookbook.  I have over half the book's recipes flagged to try soon -- if I ever find extra time.  What drew me to this cookbook was how Amy shared a personal story about the reason for each recipe.  When I see things like this, it really makes me want to try out the recipe as I can relate to her stories of family and friends and enjoying a good meal together.  Amy Nelson Hannon reminded me of my grandmother and her love of food and sharing her gift of cooking and baking with family and friends.  

There are so many great recipes in this book, each has their own full color photo of the recipe, so we warned if you plan to look at this cookbook on an empty belly, as you will find yourself wishing for certain dishes and desserts.

Here are just some of the recipes you will find in this cookbook, which arrived in stores back on Tuesday...

  • Preacher's Chocolate Cake
  • Homemade Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • Homemade Chicken Stock
  • Cheesy Garlic Potato Gratin
  • Bacon and Brown Sugar Collards (what I plan to serve at Thanksgiving
  • Mama's Mexican Skillet Casserole
  • Sam's Smoked Pulled Pork
  • Grilled Corn and Feta Salad (I made this and it was amazing!)
  • Tomato, Cucumber and Mozzarella Salad
  • Mama's Cranberry Salad
  • Texas Firecrackers

I was excited when I given permission to share a recipe from this book with you, so you could see the types of dishes you can cook up and enjoy with your family. I ended up making this chicken chili the other night and it was a hit with my whole family, including my oldest daughter, who is a picky eater.  She even asked for a second helping.  It has been cold here in New England, so it was nice to serve up a nice hot chili for dinner with homemade Italian bread for soaking up the leftover liquid in the bowl.  Everyone left with happy bellies, and I couldn't help but think of my grandmother, saying "Mangia Mangia" as everyone couldn't stop talking about how great the food was, and that I had to make this chili again soon.  

Here is the chicken chili recipe which was a hit in our house, and that is easy to cook up.  I wish I could tell you that leftovers tasted better on the second day, but we ate the whole pot that night. :-)


"Oh my word. Y’all, it’s finally Fall! Fall is my favorite! If I had to list all the things I love about Fall in order of what I love best, it’d be nearly impossible. Football, crisp mornings, jeans and boots, apple everything, pumpkin everything, adding more blankets to the beds, and the anticipation of the holiday season! I mean, how’s a girl to choose?!

One other favorite of mine during this season is sturdy soups - a bowl full of earthy, warm goodness that gets at my soul. What’s the difference between regular soup and sturdy soup you might ask? Sturdy soups have girth. They are spoonfuls of hearty bites. And they fill bellies way up. You know, they’re sturdy. They can stand alone served with only a few fixins on top. Have I got a sturdy soup for you!

This recipe is an adaptation of one found in my church cookbook. Y'all know that if you can ever get your hands on a church cookbook, then it's a keeper. Church cookbook recipes are those tried-and-true, time-tested, crowd-pleasing dishes. I know, because I'm a pastor's wife, and I've been feeding people for more than 20 years. So you learn what's good, what people come back for, and what people request recipes for. And this White Chicken Chili meets the criteria for sure! It is so creamy and loaded with flavor, and the texture is divine with hearty bites of tender chicken and white beans. Sturdy. This recipe is the first soup that my family asks for when the weather officially turns cooler and there’s football on TV. Here’s to fall! And here’s to full bellies and full hearts! - Amy Nelson Hannon, author of Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give"

{serves 6-8}

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ - 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
3-4 cups chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine like Chardonnay (optional)
1 bay leaf, broken in half
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 cans white beans of your choice, drained
3 jalapeno peppers, minced
3 cups fresh grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Salt to taste
3 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for topping)
The juice of 3 limes

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (around 5-6qts). Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until they're tender and just starting to get color.  Add the garlic oregano, cumin, and ginger, cooking for one more minute. Stir continuously so the garlic doesn't burn!  Add stock, wine (if using) and bay leaf.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium heat until somewhat reduced.  Add chicken, beans, and jalapenos. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Over low heat add a little cheese at a time, stirring until melted.  Add pepper, and taste for salt; add if needed.  Stir in fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and serve! Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes, green onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, or sliced avocado.


So, with the holidays fast approaching, why not consider picking up this new cookbook by Amy Nelson Hannon to give you ideas on new dishes ad recipes to try and serve up to family and friends.  This weekend I plan to get in the kitchen to try out a few of the side dishes that I plan to make and have on the table at Thanksgiving.

LOVE WELCOME SERVE is a cookbook of Southern comfort food from Amy Nelson Hannon, the owner of Euna Mae¹s, a destination kitchen boutique in Northwest Arkansas. Find out more info here. As a cookbook lover myself, I can say that this cookbook would make a great gift idea for that cookbook lover in your life.  This is one cookbook they will be pulling from the shelf time and again to make new recipes and ones that become family favorites, like the chicken chili recipe I shared above.



Amy Nelson Hannon is the owner of Euna Mae's, a one-of-a-kind kitchen boutique that has become not only a special place to locals but has quickly become a destination shop for many around the country. In addition to her kitchen shop, Amy has an expansive media platform that includes a cooking show on KNWA Northwest Arkansas' NBC station, a food blog, and an engaging social media presence. Amy lives in Springdale, Arkansas in the thriving Northwest Arkansas metro area with her husband Sam Hannon and their children Grace, Luke, and Isaac.

This title is available as of November 14, 2017
Hardcover | 256 pages

Center Street Books
a division of Hachette Book Group
New York & Nashville

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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