Tag Archives: cooking

Television show host Paula Deen on virtual book tour August ’10

Paula Deen 2Join Paula Deen, author of the home and garden decorating book, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style (Simon & Schuster), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in August ‘10 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!

She is the quintessential American success story, a best-selling author and a television show host, a tastemaker to the stars and to the everyday housewife and family. She is Paula Deen, a down-home, strong willed mom who overcame personal tragedy, long odds, financial and physical challenges to carve one of the most effective and wide ranging entertainment brands that exists today. A brand that is idyllic, inspiring, fun and very much American.

For all her success, the Albany, Georgia native has remained very grounded, in part due to her down home Southern upbringing. She married her high school sweetheart, became a young mom to two sons, and appeared to be living the life she desired, before a series of tragedies, from the death of her parents and the failure of her marriage to a prolonged battle with agoraphobia changed the course of her life forever.

However out of those changes came the success that laid the foundation for the Paula Deen of today, someone who inspires millions through her regular appearances on Oprah, cooks for world leaders, is a best-selling author, and is seen concurrently on three shows running on The Food Network.

The one constant in Deen’s life has always been cooking. It was a staple of her young upbringing, and when times became difficult it was what she knew and could turn back to. In June of 1989, with a $200 budget and the help of sons Jamie and Bobby, she became “The Bag Lady,” creating a home-based meal delivery service in Savannah, Georgia that started the rise. From there, Deen moved to preparing meals at a Savannah Best Western, and followed that five years later by opening her first restaurant, The Lady and Sons, in Savannah.

The popularity of the restaurant led Deen into publishing. Her 1997 cookbook, The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook, gave her growing fan base the opportunity to try Deen’s recipes at home for the first time, and led to her first appearance on QVC, which took the brand from regional to national and began a stretch of consecutive New York Times best selling cookbooks. The growth continued unabated, and in 1999 USA Today food critic Jerry Shriver named The Lady and Sons International Meal of the year.

Deen’s success in publishing, where she has sold over eight million books, then translated into the magazine world, and Cooking with Paula Deen, her bi-monthly title, launched shortly thereafter, growing to a circulation of over one million.

Not to be outdone with print and restaurant success, the Deen brand then moved to television. “Paula’s Home Cooking” premiered on The Food Network in November of 2002, to huge audience success, and spawned her second show, “Paula’s Party” in 2006. Today Deen has four shows running concurrently on the Food Network, including the latest, “Paula’s Best Dishes“, which launched in 2008.

The next evolution of the brand took place in March of 2008, when Meyer Corp launched the line of Paula Deen signature cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools and accessories both online and at retail, continuing the immersion experience for the brand with consumers.

In 2009, the Deen brand underwent further expansion with an added group of quality strategic partners. Wal-mart launched a new, exclusive line of affordable baked goods, while Smithfield, Kaleen, Nitches, Meyer, Universal, B. Lloyd’s, GOBO, Harrah’s, Quality foods, International Greeting and Cooking.com also began new or expanded partnerships in a host of categories. A compete digital relaunch, the expansion of special edition publications featuring both herself and her brand partners also came into play, making sure the Paula Deen name stayed fresh, relevant, and timely with a growing and more diverse consumer.

Even with the continued expansion, and more planned on a global level in 2010, Paula Deen has remained true to her fans, viewers and readers that look to her name for style, taste and inspiration in the kitchen and the home, all reflective of a climate where quality does not have to be sacrificed due to a challenging economy.

Paula Deen's Savannah Style

In this gorgeous, richly illustrated book, Paula Deen shares a full year of Southern living in her latest book, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style. Whether it’s time to put out your best china and make a real fuss, or you’re just gathering for some sweet tea on the porch at dusk, Savannah style is about making folks feel welcome in your home. With the help of decorator and stylist Brandon Branch, you’ll learn how to bring a bit of Southern charm into homes from Minnesota to Mississippi. For each season, there are tips on decorating and entertaining. In the spring, you’ll learn how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, spruce up your porch, and make your garden inviting. In the summer, things get more casual with a dock party. Sleeping spaces, including, of course, the sleeping porch, are the focal point of this chapter. In the fall, cooler weather brings a return to more formal entertaining in the dining room, and in the winter, attention returns to the hearth, as Paula and her neighbors put out their best silver and show you how they celebrate the holidays.

With its lush gardens, stately town houses, and sprawling plantations, Savannah is the epitome of old Southern style, and who better to give you the grand tour than Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine?

Paula loves getting a peek at her neighbors’ parlors, so she’s included photographs of some of Savannah’s grandest homes. From the vast grounds of Lebanon Plantation to the whimsically restored cottages on Tybee Island, you’ll see the unique blend of old-world elegance and laid-back hospitality that charmed Paula the moment she arrived from Albany, Georgia, with nothing but two hundred dollars and a pair of mouths to feed. And she isn’t shy about giving you a window into her own world, either. From her farmhouse kitchen to her luxurious powder room, you’ll see how Paula lives when she’s not in front of the camera.

Packed with advice and nostalgia, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style makes it easy to bring gracious Southern living to homes north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

If you’d like to follow along with Paula as she tours the blogosphere in August, visit her official tour page at Pump Up Your Book. Lots of fun in store as you travel the blogosphere to find out more Paula’s newest book. Join us for the Paula Deen’s Savannah Style Virtual Book Tour ‘10, y’all!

Visit her website at www.pauladeen.com.

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in virtual book tours. You can visit our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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Halloween Special: Guest Blogger Patricia Mendez

Patricia Mendez is here with us today with a great post about last minute Halloween party entertaining for our Halloween Special at As the Pages Turn.  While her suggestions might be too late for this year, print them out, bookmark’em, memorize them, because next year you’ll be able to give a Halloween bash to die for.  Patricia is the author of Easy Entertaining for Beginners by Maple Heights Press.

Last Minute Halloween Party Entertaining

It is two weeks before Halloween and you have had a brilliant stroke of genius. This is the year you will throw a Halloween bash for your family and friends! Yikes, did I say it is two weeks before Halloween? You need some ideas for entertaining and you need them quickly. While two weeks is definitely cutting it close, you can still pull off a fun and enjoyable bash for your guests in a flash.

1. When feeding a crowd, choose an easy menu and fill in with some terrific purchased food. Here are a few easy entertaining ideas. Prepare all the small munchies and a tasty fall salad with pears, nuts and blue cheese yourself. Some examples of small munchies are dips with veggies, pita chips or tortilla chips. Also, any easy bite-size appetizers such as hot wings or potstickers and mini-cupcakes decorated for Halloween or purchased popcorn balls or caramel apples for a little something sweet on the menu. Purchase tamales from a favorite restaurant for the main entrée. This really takes the pressure off from having to prepare the entire menu. Order the tamales at least 1 week before your party. If you wish to offer cocktails, make a “cocktail of the evening” such as apple martinis and prepare in advance in pitchers so you are not spending all your time bartending. Have an assortment of other beverages like beer, wine, apple cider, soda and water.

2. Invite guests via an e-vite. There are many great sites that offer free invitations. Your guests can RSVP online and even get a map to your home. This method gets the invitation to them quickly since you are short on time. Send these ASAP to give guests as much time as possible.

3. I would recommend that you make costumes optional. Some guests really get into getting dressed up and others – not so much. Since time is short, it may be too hectic for all of your guests to get a costume and you would hate for them to pass on your party because of that reason alone. You can always hand out small festive masks from a party supply store as guests arrive.

4. Download music from the internet and make your own custom Halloween party mix. Record songs like “Spooky” by Smokey Robinson, “Monster Mash”, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Ghostbusters” and other fun songs that set the mood.

5. Instead of exhausting yourself trying to decorate your entire house, focus on the table where the food will be presented. Purchase 3 pumpkins of different sizes. The morning of your party, hollow them out and cut out a different face on each one. Put a votive candle in each one and arrange in a grouping towards the back of your food table. Use a large upside down soup pot under the table cloth to put one pumpkin at a different height. (Note: Always use caution when using lit candles). Use a tablecloth in festive fall colors. Purchase paper goods at a party supply store. To save money, purchase plain orange or black plates with clear plastic utensils and glasses. Strategically place small black or orange votive candles and dishes of nuts and Halloween candies (such as candy corn, black licorice, etc.) around the house for added festivity.

6. If you would like to have some games or activities, simply do a quick internet search of “Halloween party games”. There are plenty of sites that have a variety of free games for both kids and adults. Choose 2 or three easy games for your party.

7. Pace yourself and do your party supply shopping a week before your party. Do your grocery shopping 2 days before and prepare as much of the food as you can in advance. Decorate the buffet table the morning of your bash and give yourself a bit of time two hours before your party starts to get dressed and ready.

8. Greet your guests at the door and welcome each one to your home and you will immediately put them at ease. Make introductions to guests who may not know each other well. And one last thing. Have lots fun with your guests at your party!

If you concentrate your efforts on the food, the table and the warm tone that you set as host you will pull off a spooktacular Halloween party in the nick of time!

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Book Review: EASY ENTERTAINING FOR BEGINNERS by Patricia Mendez

Easy Entertaining for Beginners
Patricia Mendez
Cooking; Entertaining
Maple Heights Press
172pages

Purchase your copy here!

Readers don’t have to be gourmet chefs or nervous wrecks to host casual at-home entertaining. Beginners will have all of their questions answered, from what to serve to what to do. Included are 13 delicious complete menus with easy-to-follow recipes, full color photographs, ideas for music, activities and drinks. Checklists ease readers step-by-step through every phase of planning, preparation, and presentation. Readers will gain confidence and have a terrific time putting together successful celebrations.

What can you say bad about a book that not only gives you mouth-watering recipes, but tips on entertaining, too? Easy Entertaining for Beginners by Patricia Mendez gives us such tantalizing recipes as Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Savory Sauce (perfect for dinners with the in-laws!), Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling (perfect for themed children’s birthday parties!) and for the holidays approaching, such delights as how to cook that Thanksgiving turkey complete with instructions and how to make that perfect pumpkin pie.

But that’s not all. Inside this beautifully designed book complete with color photos, you get such great tips such as how to plan your first cocktail party, how to set a budget and prepare for special events, mistakes to avoid when entertaining and tips to ensure success with any dinner party.

Easy Entertaining for Beginners has everything you can imagine inside to help you when planning your next dinner party. An excellent book and I look forward to more books from the talented and gifted Patricia Mendez.

I just had to try out the Cadillac Margaritas. Ymmmm! Patricia gave me the exact ingredients to make two full pitchers and it was a hit at my last dinner party! What I loved about this book is that never have I come upon a book that was as good as Betty Crocker’s cookbook. Serious!

Also, I loved her writing style. Being a past editor, I pick up on typos, grammar mistakes, fluff to fill a book just to fill it with something and there was no sign that this book wasn’t excellently edited. And it’s always so much nicer to read a book that didn’t distract you from the contents because of all the mistakes and, believe me, there are a lot of them out there.

Sorry, not a thing.

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