Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek |
Need a little inspiration for your Thanksgiving menu? You’re in luck: Amy Hannon, owner of Euna Mae’s and host of KNWA’s “Cooking Today,” recently penned her first cookbook, Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give, and it’s stocked full of recipes perfect for this season (or any other for that matter). Here’s what she had to say about writing her first book and how she sets the table for her own family’s feast.
For Amy Hannon, writing a cookbook felt like the next natural step after opening her Springdale kitchen shop. “I had secretly dreamed of writing a cookbook, but I never imagined it’d ever really happen until I was pursued by a literary agent who believed in me and my message,” Hannon says. “My heart’s desire is to encourage people to use their homes to impact the lives of others. I call it ‘intentional kitchening’—and I hope my cookbook does just that.”
Filled with Southern comfort recipes, the book is designed to inspire and educate cooks who enjoy showing hospitality to loved ones. “Some of the recipes are family recipes, and some are my own. All of the recipes are very approachable and delicious! There’s even a section in the back where I include our favorite menus for gathering folks as well as my favorite menus for making and giving food to people,” Hannon says.
Above all, she believes “there’s nothing prettier than a gracious hostess” and reminds us not to obsess over details but rather keep things in perspective and look to what really matters during this season. “Remember to focus on all the things that you have to be grateful for—and be hospitable. Love, welcome, serve!”
MIX NOT MATCH
Use what you have to set the table, and don’t be afraid to combine different place settings, colors, and pieces. “The collected look keeps you from fretting over not having 16 matching plates. Just mix in other patterns and sizes, and have fun with it,” Hannon says.
HOLIDAY HAM WITH RED PEPPER GLAZE
“At our Thanksgiving table, there’s always a turkey and a ham,” Hannon says. She suggests adding a glaze for both additional flavor and beauty. “You can find red pepper jelly at your local grocery, or you can get a jar of our best-selling version at Euna Mae’s,” she adds.
EUNA MAE’S MACARONI AND CHEESE
“For every holiday or gathering, Euna Mae [Hannon’s grandmother and the namesake of her store] made a pan of this macaroni and cheese. I can remember standing right beside her in the kitchen watching her stir the cheese into those giant noodles. It has now become a tradition for all of our family gatherings too,” Hannon says.
SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE WITH BUTTERY PRALINE TOPPING
“This sweet, buttery potato souffle is easily something we all look forward to each season,” Hannon says. “My sister-in-law Lori introduced this dish to me, and we count on her to make it every year. It’s practically dessert. Gosh, it’s good.”
SCRATCH DINNER ROLLS
“When I married into the Hannon family, I joined the company of women who knew how to make bread. So I worked and worked on this dinner roll recipe from scratch so I could earn my stripes. Making good dinner rolls is next to godliness in our family!” Hannon says.
EUNA MAE’S FRIED PEACH PIES
According to Hannon, fried pies were Euna Mae’s signature dish. “My daddy and his brothers would beg and plead for her to make them, and she would. Every holiday. They’re a labor of love; but I make them at the holidays because they make us feel like she’s still here with us,” she adds.
ROASTED HONEY BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, stalks trimmed
4-6 slices raw bacon, chopped into pieces
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
fresh rosemary leaves from 2 sprigs
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425°F. Put sprouts, bacon pieces, and garlic on a large sheet pan, doing your best to get the sprouts in a single layer and not piled on top of one another. Drizzle well with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with a good dose of salt and pepper. Rub around with your hands to coat. Spread back out into a single layer and bake in oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar and honey. Bring just to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, allowing to reduce for about 5 minutes. When they are done, carefully transfer Brussels sprouts to a pretty serving bowl. Stir the rosemary and red pepper flakes into the glaze, and then pour over the sprouts, stirring to combine.
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons water
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups halved pecans
¾ cup chocolate chips
(milk, semi sweet, or mixture)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, toast the pecans for a few minutes, stirring often, until they smell nutty and aromatic. Reduce heat to low. Stirring as you pour, drizzle the sugar mixture over the pecans, and stir, stir, stir, until they’re coated. Remove them from the heat, and spread them out on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Allow the coated pecans to cool for at least an hour.
In a small bowl, microwave chocolate chips and coconut oil on high for 1 minute. Stir, and microwave 30 seconds more. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each pecan in chocolate and then return it to the parchment-lined sheet pan. Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes then refrigerate until chocolate firms. Store in an airtight container.
GET ALL THE RECIPES!
Filled with more than 100 mouthwatering recipes—all of which have been tested and perfected in Hannon’s kitchen—Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give will officially release on November 14. Preorder your signed copy through EunaMaes.com, and you’ll receive a holiday menu planning guide that features all of the recipes for the dishes shown here and where they can be found in the cookbook, along with a bonus recipe.