Bookends: What’s Cookin’?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction”

Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬

Over the past few years, I have taken note of the multi-purpose dining room in many of my books and magazines. Most often I have seen it used as a library with bookcases along the walls, which I think is genius!  Take a look at one on my Pinterest board:


 Our rather small dining room has two walls of windows and is open to the living room.  That only leaves one wall with just enough room for the dining chairs to pull out…unfortunately, no room for bookcases!! After removing the tablescape from Monday’s party, I decided to repurpose the dining room for the next few days as a place to sit and read through some of my favorite cookbooks! I love cookbooks that not only share recipes, but tell a story.  If my dining room could talk…oh the stories it could tell!  Stories of the many friends and family members that have laughed and cried together, the love shared, and countless meals enjoyed within its space! So for the next few days, I will enjoy sitting at the table and thumbing through stories of food and fellowship!  Just to walk through and to see well-loved books gracing the table is bliss!  I could get lost in here…and maybe I will do just that!

The dining table is stacked with some of my favorite cookbooks!

I placed a heavy throw in a large paisley pattern over the table! With books and a cup of coffee, I was entertained all afternoon!

Very little decoration on the table except a candle (red currant scent), a plate of Granny Smith apples (from Tablescape Tuesday: Let’s Party!) and a terrarium with moss and a couple of male red birds.  Butch plants rye grass every winter and it is so neat to watch the cardinals as they land on the bright green grass with their brilliant red plumage!

Chef Frank Stitt is our favorite!  He is the owner and executive chef of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fon Fon in Birmingham.  He is a multi James Beard nominee and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage” in 2011!
Click here to purchase this book: Frank Stitt’s Southern Table 

I use Ina Garten’s recipes often-they always turn out!
Click here to purchase this book: Barefoot in Paris

This is an old book (published in 1986) and it is special because my friend, Kathy found it and gave it to me.  She always finds unique gifts!
Click here to purchase this book: Entertaining in the French Style

No Southern woman would be without several, if not dozens, of Southern Living cookbooks!

The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm is my newest cookbook. Butch bought it for me last week while we were visiting the farm! You can read more about our trip here:  Back At The Farm.  I love everything about this book!  It is not just full of recipes and menus, but it highlights some of the “old ways” such as preserving or pickling the garden’s bounty, making cheese from fresh sheep’s milk, or curing meats!  It is a feast visually and I will be trying out recipes very soon!
Click here to purchase this book: The Foothill Cuisine of Blackberry Farm

Marbled Potato Salad with Arugula Pesto!

Vegetables grown on the farm!

Peanut Butter Pie

So gracious of Sam Beall, the proprietor of Blackberry Farm and author of the cookbook, to autograph my copy!

A fun way to use your dining table when you aren’t going to be using it for meals for a few days!

The Collected Tabletop is a lovely entertaining guide and was given to me by my precious friend, Patti!
Click here to purchase this book:  The Collected Tabletop

Every page has stunning photography!

Included inside the book were these creative book marks!!

Patti met the author and had her autograph my copy.  Look at her beautiful handwriting…so rare today!

I recently bought this lovely book “Come to the Table” where celebration is presented as a living thankfulness of God’s goodness!
Click here to purchase this book: Come To The Table 

Gigi’s Baked Carrots are presented in the perfect setting.  It has been said, “that we eat with our eyes first”!

“We read to know that we are not alone”
-C.S. Lewis

Thank you for reading!
And we would love to know…what is your favorite cookbook?
Leave them in the comments below!

pam closing

Linking with Pieced PastimesIt’s OverflowingBe Different Act NormalSilver Pennies ,Life on Lakeshore DriveThoughts From AliceRustic-Refined, Pink WhenMod Vintage Life, Coastal Charm, My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaThe Dedicated HouseDwellings-Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern Style, Ivy and Elephants, French Country Cottage, From My Front Porch To Yours, Stone Gable, Confessions of a Plate Addict,Worthing CourtBetween Naps on the Porch, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, The Style Sisters, The Charm of Home, The Winthrop Chronicles, Cornerstone ConfessionsA Delightsome Life, Imparting GraceCraftberry BushPosed PerfectionKatherines Corner, My Romantic HomeChic On A Shoestring DecoratingRooted In Thyme, Share Your Cup, The Enchanting Rose, Alabama Womens Bloggers


  1. Oldalgebra says:

    What a pretty way to introduce us to some of your favorite books. I haven’t had breakfast yet, so my stomach is growling after taking your tour. If you add a slice of lemon cake to the cup of coffee, I’ll be right over.

  2. Very fun! You’ve got some of my favorite cookbooks and chefs featured here, Pam. Being a Birmingham gal, I love Frank Stitt and have this book, but I am too intimidated to cook from it! Love Blackberry Farms and Ina Garten too~ I’ve not seen the tabletop book, it looks like a wonderful treat!

    • Jenna, thank you so much for reading. I have made several of Frank Stitt’s recipes and they do take a little time and I, too was fearful to try but all have turned out great! Thank you for reading and commenting, my Alabama friend! Blessings, Pam

  3. Kim says:

    What an awesome idea! I’m totally with you on the library dining rooms. Your table is filled with beautiful books to enjoy. The candle and hot coffee complete the warmth and comfort. How I’d love to sit at your lovely table with you and chat while we look through your cookbooks! :-)

    • Kim, how I would love to sit with you and chat! I have thoroughly enjoyed the cookbooks on my table. Today I made myself a cup of hot chocolate and sat down and read all the stories and recipes in The Blackberry Farm. Having the books on the table within easy reach has made it more enjoyable! Thanks, sweet friend! Blessings, Pam

  4. I would say that this table of books makes for great conversation and fun exploring recipes to discuss. Just the perfect amount of accessories to accompany the beautiful books.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely library of books on Oh My Heartsie Girls Friday Features. Hope you enjoy your day!

  5. I love cookbooks of all kinds and own a couple hundred. I could never pick one of two as favorites, as I enjoy them all, but I do get a lot of use out of Italian cuisine cookbooks as my husband is a native born Italian and through the 40 years of our marriage I’ve learned to cook authentic Italian foods through my cookbook collection.
    I also love Southern Living Magazine’s recipes and William Sonoma cookbooks are always well written.

    • Pat, what warm comments that you shared. I have been visiting your blog for the last few minutes and there is so much I want to read. First, my husband and I love Colorado and NYC. For many years we visited the ski slopes of Colorado, breathtaking scenery. We have made many trip to NYC, usually the first of December because I enjoy the window displays! And, our favorite food is Italian! We have made 3 or 4 trips to Italy and the food is always amazing! Thank you for sharing about your cookbooks, and I agree, it is hard for me to choose a favorite! Blessings, Pam

  6. Stephanie says:

    Well…you have made my mouth water with the mention of tasty food :) You have a fabulous collection of cookbooks. I am not sure what my favorite one would be…. maybe one that my Grandma made me that is filled with family recipes and photos – I know, not the “typical” cookbook, but it’s quite special :)

    Thanks so much for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

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