I’m starting a book review series starting TOMORROW.

Please keep in mind that I am using the word “series” extremely loosely and reserving ALL rights to get sick of it and change my mind.

However, today you get a sneak peek at the general format of the series because the nice people from Lodge Cast Iron sent me a copy of  The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook. It is a really fun cookbook filled with not only great recipes, but also beautiful photographs and fun personal stories. You can win a copy for yourself…stay tuned. This is a Virtual Potluck project, so make sure to click around and visit all the sites. You can see the full round-up on Susan’s site. That means you get multiple views and opinions of the book, multiple recipes out of the book, and multiple chances to win a copy.

Sick of hearing the word “multiple” yet? I am.

The book’s stats:

  • Complete Title: The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook: A Treasury of Timeless, Delicious Recipes
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House
  • ISBN: 978-0848734343
  • List Price: 24.95 for paperback
  • 288 pages
  • About the Author (from Amazon.com): “The Lodge Company, a family-owned, family operated business, makes its home in South Pittsburg, Tennessee — a tiny community nestled along the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge, Lodge has been manufacturing quality cast-iron cookware for 112 years. It is the only American manufacturer of cast iron cookware, and has been extraordinarily savvy about pleasing its customers. Not forgetting its roots, Lodge still produces unseasoned cast iron products as well as cookware for outdoor and camp cooking. Understanding that tastes change, however, several years ago Lodge developed and introduced a line of pre-seasoned cookware and enameled cast-iron cookware, both of which have been extraordinarily successful. Not even the most expensive stainless and aluminum cookware can rival the even heating, heat retention, durability and value of Lodge Cast Iron. Its legendary cooking performance keeps it on the list of kitchen essentials for great chefs and home kitchens alike. Lodge released a book in 2003, A Skillet Full, a self-published book in conjunction with their local historical society and sold over 130,000 copies with limited distribution. The power of the Lodge brand crosses platforms and conjures up memories of home cooking for millions of Americans. Its rich heritage and quality cookware not only offers a nostalgic connection to cooking but transcends multiple generations of savvy cooks. (2011)”

Table of Contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Welcome to our Family’s Table
  • Lodge Cast Iron: A Song For a Cook’s Soul
  • National Cornbread Festival
  • Breakfast
  • Soup, Stew, Gumbo & Chili
  • The Main Course
  • Cooking Outdoors
  • Sides
  • Nothin’ But Cornbread
  • Desserts, Biscuits & Bread
  • Caring for Cast Iron
  • Metric Chart
  • Index

Things I loved:

  • The book is filled with great photographs.
  • There are recipes for every type of cast iron cookware. You’ll be able to find a couple recipes that you can use even if you only own one piece of cast iron cookware.
  • Fun personal stories fill the pages.

Things I wished were different (because I’m always going to give you my honest opinion!):

  • It would be cool if there was a section of the book where the recipes were indexed by type of cookware, for those who only own one or two pieces. However, you can easily translate these recipes into a different type of cookware.

Some other recipes that I really want to try: 

  • Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salsa
  • Zucchini Pancakes with Red Pepper-Yogurt Sauce
  • Shirred Eggs with Ham and Tomato
  • Dixie Peanut Brittle
  • Giant Cookie-in-a-Pan

Interested? Purchase here. Or enter to win a copy! Details coming…

First, here is what I made out of the cookbook so far:

This Ain’t No Yankee Cornbread
recipe from Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons bacon drippings, divided
1 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk, or more if needed

1. Place 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in a 6.5 inch Lodge cast iron skillet; place skillet in the oven while it preheats to 425 degrees.
2. Whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and remaining 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir just until combined. (The mixture should pour like pancake batter; if not, add a little more buttermilk.)
3. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake until the crust is dark golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot, no chaser.

“A homage to her Aunt T, This Ain’t No Yankee Cornbread was contributed by Tamie Cook, culinary director of Alton Brown’s Good Eats program on the Food Network.”

Verdict: In all honesty, I’ll probably stick with the recipe on the back of the package of cornmeal. We love that stuff. This was…different. I was excited to try cooking with the white cornmeal because I had never used it. However, this recipe was far too salty for us. We don’t generally use a lot of salt so perhaps that is why.
Husband’s take: He felt the same way as I did.
Changes I would make: Next time I would probably only use a quarter of the salt called for in this recipe.
Difficulty: Easy.

Giveaway Details: One winner will receive a copy of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook

UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered, and congrats to Amy who said: “I love making cornbread in cast iron. When its done I always go for the crispy edge.”

To enter (REQUIRED): Comment on this post.

For Extra Entries (MAKE SURE to leave an extra comment for each or they will NOT count):

1. Subscribe to my RSS feed or add your name to my email list (please confirm when you get the email asking you to do so).
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4. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this post. (If you aren’t on Pinterest, let me know and I’ll send you an invite!)

Up to 5 chances to win! Giveaway will close on the 8th of April (Sunday) at midnight EST and I’ll announce the randomly chosen winner Monday morning (4/9). Winner will have 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner. Prize will be shipped by Lodge.

Disclaimer: Lodge provided me with a copy of the cookbook as well as a 6.5-inch skillet. I was not monetarily compensated for a positive review, and as always, all opinions are my own.