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Russ Harrington

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Singer Trisha Yearwood doesn’t just whip up hits on the radio — she also does it in the kitchen. And now she dishes on sa?cred family recipes in her new cookbook, Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood (Clarkson Potter, $29.99).

Yearwood tells us that she and her country superstar husband, Garth Brooks, make quite a team in the kitchen. She’s more “by the book.” He’s an improviser with good instincts. “He likes to look at a recipe and figure out how to make it better,” Yearwood says. “He wants hearty meals — something a guy would like. I made lasagna, and he suggested I add Italian sausage. It was very tasty.”

Her niece’s monkey bread recipe is one of her favorites from the book. This version makes single servings in a cupcake pan, rather than a traditional large loaf. “These muffins are cuter and less messy,” Yearwood says.

Monkey Bread Muffins

1 12-ounce can biscuits (10 in a can)
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) butter, melted
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 Tb. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.

With kitchen shears, cut each biscuit into 4 pieces; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and melted butter.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon and pecans.

Dip each biscuit piece into the maple butter mixture, then roll in the sugar mixture. Place 3 or 4 coated pieces in each muffin cup, pressing down to compact.

Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Serve warm.

SERVES 12

ONLINE EXTRA: Chicken Poppy Seed Salad

Everybody loves the basic, tried-and-true chicken salad recipe I make, but I had this chunky chicken salad at a recent family reunion in Willacoochee, Ga., and I fell in love with it. The recipe comes from Lindsey Rundorff, who is the great-granddaughter of my great-aunt Cora Paulk, my mama’s aunt. Draw that one on your family tree! Aunt Cora was all of 4-foot-11, one of the sweetest ladies you could ever know and a real pistol. She lived to be 96 years old. She’d be tickled pink to know she ended up in a cookbook!


Chicken Poppy Seed Salad
Adapted from Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood (Clarkson Potter, $29.99)

2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 cups seedless grapes, halved
2 cups slivered almonds
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbs. poppy seeds
2 Tbs. dried dill
Mandarin oranges (optional)

Boil the chicken in a large pot filled with water until done, about 45 minutes. Drain the chicken and set aside to cool.

Once the chicken has cooled, dice it and place it in a large bowl. Add the celery, grapes, almonds, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, poppy seeds and dill. Mix until the salad is fully combined. I add mandarin oranges if I have them in the pantry, just for fun.

Serves 12

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