Surprising Favorite Cookbooks of 2021

In devouring so many cookbooks throughout 2021, there were some that truly surprised me. Authors who have nothing to do with the culinary world, instead hailing from film, television, and music. And yet, their recipes are good! If you’ve ever dismissed these because you thought their authors couldn’t possibly be skilled in the kitchen, I would encourage you to pick them up again. They’re surprisingly tasty!

Pull Up a Chair by Tiffani Thiessen

Straight from her show, Dinner at Tiffani’s on the Cooking Channel, Pull Up a Chair is a solid collection of recipes from the woman most of us know more familiarly as Kelly Kapowski from Saved By the Bell. But don’t sell Kelly short; Tiffani can COOK!

Recommended Recipes:
Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Banana Bread
Maple Fennel Bacon
Nectarine Caprese Salad
Pastrami Reuben with Brussels Sprouts Slaw
Spring Pea and Pancetta Carbonara
Samosa Hand Pies with Apple Chutney
Gruyere Thyme Rolls
Bacon Fat Fries with Blue Cheese Aioli
Grilled Peaches with Homemade Lemon Ricotta and Honey

Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli has been an actress for decades, as well as the first wife of well-known musician, Eddie Van Halen. However, in recent years, she’s developed her own niche as a cook, host, and judge on the Food Network. As it turns out, her recipes are delicious. Give her cookbooks a try!

Recommended Recipes:
Overnight Almond-Apricot Muesli
Chocolate Walnut Rugelach
Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Arugula, Apple, and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and Three-Cheese Crostini
Southwest Egg Rolls with Salsa
Bucatini with Wilted Spinach and Lemon Mascarpone Sauce
Lobster Bisque
S’mores Popcorn
Mini Zeppole with Marsala Sauce

Trisha’s Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood

Country music is what Trisha Yearwood – and her husband, Garth Brooks – are best known for. However, food and cooking have always played a major role in Trisha’s life. This legacy shows in her show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, as well as her several cookbooks. Her husband even makes his own contribution from time to time!

Recommended Recipes:
Chicken Pot Pie Burgers
Hard Cider Cheese Soup with Sautéed Apples and Pretzel Croutons
Creamy Sweet Corn Spinach Enchiladas
Bacon Onion Jam
Peach Mustard Barbecue Sauce
No-Bake Ricotta Espresso Cheesecake
Potato Chip Bacon Brownies

Back To the Kitchen by Freddie Prinze Jr.

I was skeptical about this one. I mean, I haven’t seen actor Freddy Prinze Jr since She’s All That in the late 90s. But my inner teenager couldn’t resist picking it up, and I’m glad I did! The recipes impressed me enough to take it home and give it a shot, and I would encourage you to do the same.

Recommended Recipes:
Marinated Skirt Steak with Cherry Tomato and Avocado Salsa
Kielbasa, Sweet Onion, and Pineapple Sandwiches
Cornish Hens with Apple and Sage
Chicken Skewers with Pineapple and Green Chile Garlic Salt
Grilled New Mexico Corn on the Cob

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