We love to entertain, and if you do too, then the cookbook in today’s post is for you. I finally got my hands on a copy of Courtney Whitmore’s The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook a little over a week ago, and I’ve been trying to pick out what recipe I want to try first ever since. The Cozy Chicken Pot Pie is definitely high on the list as are the Almond Tea Cakes.
In this interview Courtney shares about when she first decided to start her entertaining/food blog, Pizzazzerie, a few of her favorite recipes from the book, who she would invite to an intimate dinner party and more!
Your website Pizzazzerie is a go-to site for entertaining in style and creating delicious party foods was launched after you left your full time job as a career counselor. At what point during your previous career did you release that you wanted to found your own entertaining/food blog?
About a year into my job, I realized that I wanted to have a career that was more creative after I found myself dreading being stuck in an office all day in a job that lacked creativity. The job itself wasn’t fulfilling to me, and it didn’t spark a passion. I believe we should all absolutely love our jobs, and if we don’t love our job, we aren’t in the right one! I wasn’t sure that my entertaining blog would ever become a full-time job, it began as a hobby, but I’m so thankful it led me to where I am today!
Your latest cookbook, The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook released on September 8th. You’ve also written 4 other books including Pizzazzerie Entertain in Style. What are some of your favorite recipes from the book?
My favorite recipes from the new book are the Mini Crab Cakes, Mini Twice Baked Potatoes, Brown Sugar Pie, Almond Tea Cakes, Coconut Cake, and Southern Fried Chicken Cobb Salad.
What is the first recipe that you suggest readers try out?
This is a tricky one! This certainly depends on your favorite flavor preferences, but I would suggest perhaps the Hummingbird Cake or the Hot Chicken Salad!
One of the recipes that I’m looking forward to trying out this fall is the recipe for the Cozy Chicken Pot Pie. What inspired some of the recipes from the book?
My family’s favorite recipes definitely inspired this book. Most of the recipes were passed down from my grandparents and family friends. We’ve adjusted many over of the years, but they still hold that classic charm of many Southern food favorites!
I love seeing your post from this May, Pink Peony Garden Tablescape that featured my favorite flower and some of my favorite brands. What are some of your go-to brands of tableware and florals to use when you entertain?
I love to shop anywhere and everywhere. I’m not opposed to picking up some simple gold flatware from Target and then splurging on florals (like peonies). I often find pretty tableware additions at Homegoods, West Elm, and William-Sonoma’s Home line.
If you can invite anyone to an intimate gathering/party who would it be?
Reese Witherspoon! I think Reese embodies a classic Southern woman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. She’s such an inspiration for timeless and charming Southern style!
Which of the party menus from the book would you pick to serve your guests?
All of them! They each have their own purpose (whether it be a brunch or a tailgate), but I would say that I’m partial to the Porch Party Menu! I pulled together the menus in the book to guide readers, but all of the recipes can be mixed and matched.
What do you enjoy the most about writing cookbooks and seeing readers reactions?
I love styling and playing around with recipes in the kitchen. So my favorite part of cookbook writing is the actual creation process. It all comes together when it arrives in reader’s hands and they are able to enjoy it with their own friends and family. It’s such a special time!
You’ve been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies Home Journal and MarthaStewart.com What was it like seeing your entertaining and food styling in such well known publications/websites?
It’s always such an honor, and I will never stop being so thankful that I’m able to create content and share inspirational ideas as my job!