“What Can I Bring? Southern Food for Any Occasion Life Serves Up” by Elizabeth Heiskell, Oxmoor House, $30, 272 pages, hardcover

There’s been plenty of buzz about Mississippi Delta caterer Elizabeth Heiskell’s cookbook, “What Can I Bring? Southern Food for Any Occasion.” It’s easy to understand why. What Southern home cook can resist a cookbook that opens with a recipe for Garlic Cheese Grits Soufflé?

Side Dish: Recipe for Sausage and White cheddar Pinwheels

The book, based on the Southern Living magazine What Can I Bring? column, features more than 100 recipes perfect for any occasion from potluck gatherings to taking a homemade dish to a neighbor on moving day.

Heiskell, a frequent "Today" show contributor, writes in the introduction, “No matter the invitation or occasion, I am well aware that we all need simple, beautiful recipes that can be made ahead, are delicious and travel well so that a repeat invitation is as good as guaranteed.” She also includes recipes that will be welcomed on your own family table and offers ideas for those who don’t cook but want to take something to the host.

Her recipes, written in a breezy, easy-to-follow style, include Yoste Roast flavored with pepperoncini peppers and Italian salad dressing mix, Mint Julep Fruit Salad, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Winter Salad, Shrimp & Corn Dip, Chicken Enchiladas, Marinated Olives, Pasta Jambalaya and Lucy’s Orange Rolls.

Looking for a Christmas gift sure to please any host or home cook?” Heiskell’s cookbook, beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs, is sure to be appreciated.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.