GINNA PARSONS: ‘Cookbook Ladies’ churn out the work

A few weeks ago, I received in the mail a cookbook written by “Mississippi’s Cookbook Ladies” – Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley. Since the early 1980s, Gwen and Barbara have sold more than 2.5 million books on QVC and Amazon.com, but hardly anyone in the state knows them.
They are probably best known for their Best of the Best State Cookbook Series, where they feature, of course, recipes that are indigenous to each state (some states are combined in one book). “Best of the Best from Mississippi” was their first effort, followed by cookbooks from Louisiana and Texas. They recently completed the series with compilations from Hawaii, Utah and Nevada.
The book sent to me was their “500 Fast & Fabulous Five Star 5 Ingredient Recipes,” which contains everything from appetizers to salads to pasta dishes to cakes and cookies. I took the cookbook into the breakroom to peruse during lunch a couple of days ago and was amazed by how delicious all of these recipes sounded, and each one literally had only five ingredients (not counting salt and pepper). Two I plan to try this week are the Meatball Quesadillas and Savory Baked Chicken.
If you want to know more about these two hard-working women, visit www.cookbookladies.blogspot.com. Some of their books are also available at area bookstores.

Meatball Quesadillas
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 large flour tortillas
1 package frozen precooked meatballs, any flavor, thawed and sliced
1 (8-ounce) bag shredded pizza or quesadilla cheese
Sauté onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil to soften. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread a teaspoon of oil on one side of a flour tortilla. Place tortilla, oiled side down, on a cookie sheet. Layer sliced meatballs, onions and cheese on top. Top with a second tortilla; press together slightly and brush top with olive oil. Repeat process with remaining ingredients. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until tortillas are brown and crisp. Cut into wedges to serve.

Savory Baked Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 medium onions, sliced into rings
1 head garlic, peeled and sliced
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 cup white wine
Wash chicken. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. Layer bottom of baking dish with half the onions and half the garlic slices. Pour lemon juice and white wine into baking dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste and place in baking dish. Top with remaining onions and garlic. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/ garden editor.

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