Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review - Cookin' it with Kix: The Art of Celebrating and the Fun of Outdoor Cooking

Cookin' it with Kix:  The Art of Celebrating and the Fun of Outdoor Cooking by Kix Brooks

Cookin' it with Kix:  The Art of Celebrating and the Fun of Outdoor Cooking has 256 pages of recipes, beautiful photos and heart warming personal stories by country music icon, Kix Brooks.  Kix is a man of many talents and boundless energy.  A singer and song writer in his own right, he is also half of the highest selling duo in country music history - Brooks & Dunn.  Kickin' it up a notch from there, he began hosting American Country Countdown in 2006, co-founded Arrington Vineyards, and then hosted Steak Out with Kix Brooks for the Cooking Channel.   His latest endeavor is "Cookin' it with Kix" and again, he "Kixed it outta the park!"

The cookbook is broken down into 8 chapters:
  1. Where I Come From
  2. Cook Out!
  3. Cooking in the Woods
  4. Celebrate! with Food
  5. Easy on the Sides
  6. A Little Kick
  7. Sweets and Indulgences
  8. Libations, Cocktails and Beverages
In the first chapter Kix shares a little about his background - growing up in Louisiana, surrounded by family who made lasting impressions and helped to shape him into the man he is today.  

The second chapter features recipes for frying fish and grilling out.  One thing I liked about this book is that Kix shares easy ways to make substitutions, like swapping in shrimp instead of crawfish in his Crawfish Etouffee recipe.  Believe it or not, I've never had grilled oysters and Kix manages to make them look appealing to me.  The Shrimp Po' Boy was a favorite for me and will probably be one of the first things I try to make, along with the accompanying Spicy Remoulade Sauce.

Chapter three covers cooking in the woods and I almost flipped when I saw the recipe for Wild Turkey Tenders.  We literally made the same thing 2 nights before I received this book, but the recipe here sounds better than mine.  Looks like we need to gear up for turkey season again.  Elk Chili looked fantastic and I was reeled in by this recipe because I favor beans in my chili.  I actually make a good venison chili but I'd love to try the elk version.  Now if I can just get my hands on an elk.....

Celebrate with food for holiday meals and get togethers in chapter four.  Red beans and rice, shrimp boil, tacos, and ribs are all covered.  I must have turkey on the brain because I was drooling over the Spatchcocked turkey.  Do you know that that is?  I didn't, but Kix explains it and now I want to try cooking a turkey this way, along with a batch of his cranberry-orange sauce.  Thanksgiving can't get here quickly enough for me.   

Chapter five is all about the sides like Aunt Katty's cheese wafers, roasted brussel sprouts, angel biscuits, jalapeno corn muffins and molasses apple butter.  I know folks in the south who take pride in their pimento cheese and Kix supplies not one, but two yummy sounding recipes.  You will be hard pressed to decide which one to make first.

Learn all about rubs, sauces and condiments in chapter six.  Dry seasonings, tartar sauce, hot sauce, barbecue, and steak sauces are all covered here.  If you're so inclined, you can grown your own hot peppers so you can customize your sauce to your liking.  Kix encourages you to tweak the spices when you make you own tartar sauce.  Check out the straight up barbecue sauce and the creole barbecue spice - you'll take your barbecue to new levels.

No meal is complete without a little dessert afterwards and chapter seven will not disappoint.  How does fired up bananas foster sound?  Or maybe old fashioned banana pudding, beignets, homemade peach ice cream with bourbon caramel sauce, or strawberry shortcake is more your style?  I stopped in my tracks over the recipe for heavenly hash.  Everything looks mighty fine to me, but the recipe that had me at bourbon was "bourbon soaked celebration cake."  With bourbon in both the cake and the glaze, this one is sure to please any bourbon lover in the family.

The final chapter covers libations, cocktails and beverages.  Learn how to make a good scotch on the rocks, a manhattan, a moscow mule, and my favorite - a bourbon slushie.  Hmmmm.... I'm beginning to see a pattern with me and bourbon!  You can enjoy non-alcoholic beverages as well and try out southern tea, peach tea, lemonade or cider.

The recipes in Cookin' it with Kix are varied and easy to make using most ingredients that you will find in your cabinet or are readily available.  I also enjoyed the "Kix Tips" that accompany many of the recipes.  Some great examples are....

  •  how to tell your grease is hot enough to fry in by using a kitchen match
  •  how to pick the perfect avocado
  •  how to make your biscuits crunchy
  •  how to make clarified butter
  •  and one of my favorites - how to take banana pudding up a notch by using bourbon.  Oh boy!!! 
A bonus to the book is the personal stories that pepper the pages - they are delightful!   I've had the pleasure of seeing Brooks & Dunn in concert and they put on a fantastic show.  However, because of this book, I saw a side of Kix that is entirely different from his "boot scooting, guitar playing, wild man" presence.  He's down to earth, humble and genuine.  I had a good laugh reading about how he started his yard on fire trying to deep fry a turkey.  Don't worry, this was way before turkey fryers were on the market and Kix knew his way around a kitchen.  Kix shares heart warming stories about being raised by his dad and grandparents, fishing, hunting, and growing up in Louisiana.  Save a tissue for the story he shares about his late sister Midge and the amazing day they had together at the Kentucky Derby.  Make yourself a mint julep (recipe provided) and raise your glass in her memory.  Believe me, Kix and Midge would both appreciate that.

Visit the W Publishing FB page and Thomas Nelson Publishing for more book selections.

Be sure to visit the Kix Brooks FB page.


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.   Get your copy here

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 


  1. I'm with you about the bourbon -- I don't drink it, but nothing is better than a bourbon sauced bread pudding, louisiana style. Yummmmmmm. :)


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