Shih Tzus & (cook) Book Reviews – Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Welcome back for the second round of Shih Tzus & (cook) Book Reviews! This week, our Instagram followers voted for me to cook a meal exclusively from Magnolia Table, the cookbook released by the shiplap queen herself Joanna Gaines!

Deciding what to cook

To be honest, this week was much more difficult in regards to choosing what to cook because literally everything looked insanely delicious and within our taste profile. As a result, I decided to push my culinary self and cook things that kind of scared me… so our menu was:

Guacamole with tortilla chips

Perfected Roasted Chicken, Asparagus with Red Wine Bearnaise Sauce, Steamed Artichokes with Garlic Butter

Strawberry Shortcake

Actually cooking it

I actually planned ahead this go round – AKA realized that things need to set overnight – so this was a much less stressful cooking session than last time with .

Ramsey clearly was jealous of our appetizer

The guacamole was so incredibly easy to make, and honestly fresh guac is one of my favorite foods, so I was super excited to try making this! Plus, well, I was excited about using my “nacho ordinary salsa” dish.

This was my first time at cooking a whole chicken… and I’m going to be totally honest it creeped me out. I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but personally I do best by ignoring the fact that I’m eating something that was formerly alive, and preparing a whole chicken made that extremely difficult (TMI? Maybe, but I promised to be honest with my thoughts).

This was one of my first attempts at making homemade biscuits (I’m honestly blocking out the first attempt because they were straight up hockey pucks), so I was extremely anxious about making biscuits to be included in dessert… especially when Strawberry Shortcake is literally hubby’s favorite dessert of all time! Fortunately, it was so easy to make. I made the dough the night before and had it rest overnight in the fridge (mostly so I could break up the cooking process between two days).

How it tastes

To be totally honest, only the strawberry shortcake (and biscuits) truly captivated me. The roasted chicken was very tasty… but I would rather but the pre-made rotisserie chicken from Costco for half the price and a fraction of the effort… and to me it was basically the same effect.

The asparagus was (shockingly) delicious… the red wine Bearnaise sauce will now be a staple in our household (and that’s saying something because typically I want to drink my red wine, not cook with it). The artichokes? Well, lets just say… RC and I each took one bite and neither of us will never make that mistake again. Was it the recipe or the fact that I don’t like artichokes? Honestly I don’t know. Either way, the only win from that recipe was the garlic butter because garlic+butter+sundried tomato is the greatest combo of all time.

Final verdict

My overall thoughts about our meal: it was positively delicious and I would be proud to serve it to guests; however, if I’m being totally honest… I’m probably never going to make 75% of the meal again (the biscuits were bomb, y’all).

In regards to the cookbook? After making this meal, I’m very excited to try some of the other recipes in the future (especially some of the breakfast recipes!), and probably adjust them to accommodate my tastes and hubby’s tastes. I really appreciated the quantity and variety of recipes throughout the book, and felt they looked pretty easy to replicate, so it would be good for chefs of all abilities. I mean, that’s pretty obvious because I’m definitely not a professional.

Thanks for sticking with me you guys! Let me know if you have any other cookbooks I should check out!


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