Satisfy taste for South

Marion Sullivan, Books for Cooks

Quick-Fix Southern: Homemade Hospitality in 30 Minutes or Less." More and more, I realize that what makes a good Southern cookbook is how true the writer stays to their roots. So when Rebecca Lang says that "even if your home is lacking the quintessential screen door and magnolia tree outside, you can cook Southern," I'm interested.

A woman with deep Southern roots, Lang is a University of Georgia graduate who makes her home in Athens, is an associate editor for Southern Living magazine (among many other things), multiple cookbook author and a mom. Juggling all of these balls, "My cooking," she writes, "has become faster. ... I've added flavor and shortened cooking times with techniques like slicing greens into ribbons and making casseroles and desserts in individual sizes." So she's made the book a great primer, especially for new cooks.

Filled with recipes for Southern standbys such as sweet potato biscuits (converted for making in a food processor), boiled peanuts (made in a slow cooker), short-cut barbecue (another slow-cooker technique), chicken and dumplings (made with rotisserie chicken), butter bean and bacon hummus (I'm not going to tell this secret!) and more, "Quick-Fix Southern" will teach you how to shorten the time to fix these favorites, and more. Paperback. Andrew McMeel. $16.99.

"Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes From Asheville's New South Kitchen." If you've spent any time in Asheville, N.C., chances are you've visited the Tupelo Honey Cafe. When I wrote a story on Asheville's farm-to-table tradition, we dined there because Tupelo was an early advocate.

My granddaughters had their sweet potato pancakes with peach butter and spiced pecans and thought they'd died and gone to heaven. I had a fabulous big bowl of chef Brian Sonoskus' Sunshot Farm bounty and was equally happy.

Past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance, writer and former Biltmore Company executive Elizabeth Sims joined Sonoskus to put the flavor and flair of the Tupelo Cafe into this cookbook. Replete with mouthwatering recipes and alluring pictures of the food and Asheville vistas, it represents the cafe just right. Hardcover. Andrew McMeel. $29.99.

Reach Marion Sullivan at mbscooks@gmail.com.