Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Perfect Gift Idea for Cookbook Lovers: Pre-Order CALIBAMA COOKING: Classic & Contemporary Comfort Food By Chef Lorious (Available Dec. 11th) + Try Out Her Baked Potato and Bacon Soup Recipe Now! (Review)

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

New Cookbook Provides Delicious New Take on Classic and Contemporary Comfort Food

(Releases December 11th)

I love when I am sent a new cookbook to review, as it gives me an excuse to get in the kitchen and try out different recipes.  Also, I get to check out new chefs and their cooking styles, which I can then take from and incorporate into my own cooking to put new spins on recipes, too.  Recently, I was sent CALIBAMA COOKING: Classic & Contemporary Comfort Food By Chef Lorious for review. I have to admit, prior to being sent this cookbook to review, I had never heard of Chef Lorious.  But, after flipping through her cookbook and flagging a few recipes to try, I found myself eager to learn more about this chef who was born and raised in California, but cooked comfort food dishes similar to what her grandmother cooked, and pulling from her family roots from the heart of Dixie.  

When I sit to check out a new cookbook, I find myself reading it cover to cover as if it was a novel.  I like when cookbooks include a back story behind the recipes, or give a glimpse into a chef's root and inspiration for their cooking.  I, for one, started cooking and baking, as my Italian Nana used to get me in the kitchen with her when I would visit.  She was always baking up some tasty treats, and was always ready to share these family recipes with me. And, from that point on, I found myself wanting to recreate her recipes or try new ones I found in cookbooks I borrowed from the library.   As I read through this cookbook, I found my mouth watering at all the different recipes.  I love comfort food recipes, and this cookbook is chock full of them.  And, unlike some cookbooks that you pick and see only a few recipes you want to try, I found myself flagging almost the entire cookbook, to try out.  Each and every recipe includes a full-color picture, which will get your hungry and eager to try the recipe. :-) And, each recipe has easy to follow instructions, so you don't have to a pro in the kitchen to whip up these dishes -- just a love for cooking and trying new things in the kitchen.  By the time I got to the end of this cookbook, I found myself smiling and feeling like I knew Chef Lorious, through her feel-good stories she shared in this cookbook.  It reminded me of cooking with my Nana, and then gathering the whole family around the table to enjoy a home cooked meal, which usually consisted of comfort food that not only warmed your belly, but also your soul.

If you are cookbook lover or know someone who is, then you will want to have this new cookbook on your radar as you start your holiday shopping. CALIBAMA COOKING: Classic & Contemporary Comfort Food By Chef Lorious is not available yet (releases on Dec. 11th), but you can pre-order this cookbook now from Amazon, so that you can get it when it releases to bookstores.  I really enjoyed getting in the kitchen and cooking up some of the recipes, and can't wait until I have more time to make some more.  I even have a few recipes I will be making tomorrow in the AM to bring to my parents house to share and enjoy with everyone for Thanksgiving.  Below is more information about this new cookbook, along with a must try recipe for Baked Potato and Bacon Soup.  I made this soup the other day when it was raining and there was a chill in the air. Not only did it make the house smell amazing, but it tasted even better!  It was so easy to make, and even my picky eater tried it and had a bowl.  I was hoping for leftovers for lunch the next day, but my husband finished off the pot of soup, before asking me to make it again soon. I told him was so tasty!

More about this new cookbook by Chef Lorious:

"What do you get when you combine family roots from the heart of Dixie with a girl born and raised in California? You get some seriously delicious comfort food just like your grandmother used to make.  With Lori Rogers known as Chef Lorious, you also get new and innovative twists on classic recipes we all love.  In her first cookbook, Calibama Cooking, Lori puts it all together in a delicious collection of classic and contemporary comfort food recipes.

“When you’re a California native with Alabama influences, you love things like grits and collard greens, and you learn how to make an amazing sweet potato pie,” Lori explains. “Calibama is the intersection of where I grew up and where I’m really from.  At the end of the day, knowing who I am and where I’ve come from is the foundation for my classic cooking style. Accepting where I am and embracing my future is the stepping-stone for my contemporary interpretation of what true comfort food is - food that makes you comfortable, brings a smile to your face, and reminds you of all the good in the world around you.”

Each recipe in Calibama Cooking has easy-to-follow instructions, full color photos, tips and serving suggestions, and feel-good stories from Lori’s life that will make you laugh and want to eat. Some of the recipes include:

-    Chipotle Deep-Fried Macaroni-and-Cheese Balls
-    Calibama Corn Fritters
-    Spicy Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
-    Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
-    Smothered Pork Chops
-    Lorious Chicken and Waffles
-    Country Fried Steak and Gravy
-    Lamb Chops in Madeira Wine Sauce
-    Rosemary Seared Chicken Thighs
-    Fish Fries
-    Lobster and Shrimp Rolls
-    Spicy Shrimp and Grits
-    Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon and Garlic
-    Mama’s Potato Salad
-    Bourbon Peach Cobbler
-    Sweet Potato Pie
-    Pumpkin Brown-Sugar Pound Cake
-    Red Velvet Waffles
-    Chocolate Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Caramel Cream Sauce

With each bite of Chef Lorious’ recipes you are transported to a place that makes you feel as if you’re sitting with family, eating, reminiscing and talking about life at the table.  She will have you laughing and cooking with stories of her childhood and family while simultaneously handing you a spoon inviting you to “taste this.”  

“Recipes are what bring to life the endless combinations of both common and unique ingredients in a way that produces your very own signature style for others to enjoy! The ingredients of my life are my experiences combined with my family traditions that shaped me.  For me, embracing who I am translated through the expression of cooking. I want others to experience what it is like to taste the expression of authenticity for their own enjoyment and inspiration!”

Who says cooking can’t be easy, fun and delicious?  Chef Lorious believes it can be all of that and more with Calibama Cooking."

As the weather turns colder, warm up with this delicious recipe....

Baked Potato and Bacon Soup

Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from
Chef Lorious Media/November 2019

Initially, I considered not including this recipe because I figured we’ve all got enough potato soup recipes. But then I got to thinking, why not? It’s a family favorite, and it welcomes autumn into our home like nothing else can.

Serves 6–8


2 pounds bacon, cut into cubes
1 cup flour
5–6 cups chicken broth
3 pounds potatoes, baked, boiled, or microwaved until fork tender, peeled and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1½ cups heavy whipping cream 

For garnish

shredded cheese
sour cream


1.    In an 8-quart stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set aside some of the cooked bacon to garnish the soup. Leave all of the bacon grease in the stockpot; you will use it to make a roux.
2.    Add flour to the bacon in the stockpot and stir until absorbed by the bacon grease. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.
3.    Add cooked potatoes, nutmeg, and cayenne (if using). Stir well to combine. Add the heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil.
4.    Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes until all flavors are well combined. Taste to be sure it’s the way you want it.
5.    Garnish with sour cream, cheese, bacon pieces, chives—whatever you like on your baked potato.

•    For a thicker soup, add an extra ¼ cup of flour at a time until desired thickness is achieved. Dissolve the flour in 1∕3 cup of water or broth so it doesn’t get lumpy in the soup.
•    Don’t worry about pureeing or mashing the potatoes. As the soup simmers, they will melt into the liquid. Whatever pieces don’t fully dissolve will be delicious chunks of soft potatoes in your soup


About Lori “Chef Lorious” Rogers:

Lori “Chef Lorious” Rogers specializes in both classic and contemporary comfort food. Born in California and raised by a close-knit family anchored in southern tradition from Alabama, this “Calibama” girl learned very early that food cooked with love has the power to inspire and heal.

Chef Lorious has been cooking for her family and friends in her kitchen for almost two decades. She regularly shares her recipes and meal preparation ideas by conducting cooking demonstrations and sharing her culinary expertise through television programming in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and various social media outlets. She can be seen regularly on Washington DC’s “Good Morning Washington” (WJLA-ABC), “Good Day DC” (WTTG-FOX), and follow her on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram (@ChefLorious).
Lori is a devoted wife and mother of three beautiful children, and she especially enjoys serving her church family. She is grateful for the opportunity to take her message of loving others authentically through food to the masses. Whether cooking with her on screen or following her recipes, you are sure to feel the love that she has for both her community and for cooking!  Her goal is to inspire you to embrace your authentic self, and then represent that … through food!  

To learn more about Lori Rogers, visit her website,

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

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