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Down Home with the Neelys

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When testing cookbooks, experience has taught me to not always trust popular television personalities. So when Down Home with the Neelys by Patrick and Gina Neely landed on my desk, I braced myself for a day of mediocre recipes and possible disasters. I was wrong! And I totally admit it. Much to my surprise, the recipes worked. Not only that, but I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious, original spins on homey Southern classics. (Note that you may have to diet afterward-but that's really not the point.) Skillet-baked cornbread was moist and filled with tons of cheddar cheese and broccoli. A fairly standard homemade pimento cheese was transformed into Pimento Cheese Melts. I've never thought to broil pimento cheese, but why not? What's not to like? And what's not to like about adding a touch of bacon? I've learned my lesson not to judge a book by its cover, and I look forward to testing more recipes from the Neelys. I think Candy Bar Brownie Crunch will be next on my list.

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