Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Salon: Food Family Style by Leigh Oliver Vickery

4It’s hard to believe another week has gone by and school is beginning in many areas. Sunday Salon is the perfect time to sit back, relax, enjoy another cup of your favorite beverage and unwind from the week’s hectic schedule. 

Sunday Salon is also a great place to share the latest books you’ve enjoyed and find new ones friends have discovered. The book I’m sharing today is a cookbook that mixes tradition with modern needs. 

FOOD FAMILY STYLE by Leigh Oliver Vickery

Cookbooks come in all shapes, sizes and formats these days containing a vast array of recipes to please any palate.

Image.aspI’ve found one that is both modern in its offering with touches of tradition my grandmother would have enjoyed. FOOD FAMILY STYLE by Leigh Oliver Vickery features much more than just delicious recipes. It connects food and family in the ways generations did before us.

The cookbook’s 365 tasty recipes fall into the following categories (chapters): snacks and beverages; breakfast; sandwiches, burgers and pizza; soups and salads; main dishes; side dishes; and desserts.

However, author Leigh Oliver Vickery goes a bit further featuring chapters on:
* Kids in the Kitchen - highlighting tasty and healthy recipes youngsters can help prepare with ease.
* Table Talk - meaningful conversation starters to use around the table at meal time. A helpful way for families to reconnect over food.
* Menus for Special Occasions - such as Easter breakfast or Date Night meal.
* Back to Basics - listing kitchen and pantry essentials, along with a chart for healthy food swaps in recipes.
* Proportion Distortion - discusses portions verses servings and how to help your family cut back on unhealthy foods.

Another handy element of this cookbook is various easy to read symbols are associated with each recipes. The symbols indicate if the dish can be doubled easily, if it freezes well, if it’s gluten free or vegetarian, if the dish can be prepared in a slow cooker, if it’s a favorite dish contributed by moms around the country, and if the dish is more health conscious (where fat and calories have been cut). 

Selecting a favorite from among these recipes is difficult, but I couldn’t resist trying a traditional dessert to begin with. I selected the EASY FRUIT COBBLER recipe which can be doubled and is considered a vegetarian dish. 

It was quick and easy to prepare with little mess to clean up afterwards. The recipe works with a variety of fruits so whatever you have on hand can be used. I used peaches and we topped it off with vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert the entire family enjoyed. It keeps well in the refrigerator overnight if you’re lucky enough to have any left over. Here’s the recipe:

Easy Fruit Cobbler
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups fruit (blackberries, blueberries, sliced peaches), rinsed and patted dry

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Spray a shallow square casserole dish or pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1 cup sugar and flour into a mixing bowl. Add milk and whisk well. Pour in melted butter and whisk well. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle fruit over batter, distributing evenly. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup sugar over the top. Bake for 1 hour, until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

FOOD FAMILY STYLE is a helpful and easy cookbook that would make a great addition to any kitchen library. The only drawback I found to the book was it contains no photographs of the yummy dishes. However, after reading many of the recipes and helpful hints, I realized the photos are necessary. The book is a delight just as it is.

Author Leigh Oliver Vickery is the creator and founder of Leigh Oliver's, a specialty "fun food" company with numerous products on the market in at least 25 states and grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market and Costco. She is the former food editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Tyler, Texas, and now blogs at

Food Family Style: Simple and Tasty Recipes for Everyday Life by Leigh Oliver Vickery, Revell, @2012, ISBN: 978-0800721145, Paperback, 272 Pages 

**Available August  2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Do you have a favorite cookbook? What about a favorite recipe that has been handed down through your family? If you’ve got some fruit handy, take a few minutes and prepare an Easy Fruit Cobbler for you and your family today or make one for a friend. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Sunday.


  1. That cobbler looks really easy. I'm tempted to try it.

  2. Mason - Thanks for sharing this. I'm impressed with a book that talks about portion size, healthy food swaps and so on but still has traditional recipes too. Sounds like a great addition to a cook's library.

  3. I love how that cookbook gives you things to talk about at the dinner table. That's a great feature.

  4. This cookbook seems like the kind that would be so fun and relaxing just to browse through!


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