The Family Table: Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life

Pull up a chair and enjoy “The Family Table: Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life” by Jazz Smollett-Warwell, Jake Smollett, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Jussie Smollett. This charming hardback features over 120 recipes that pay tribute to the family’s past and present. The photos and anecdote highlight their lives moving from coast-to-coast for a total of 13times.

The Smollett clan shares their favorite meals inspired by those encounters growing up in New York and California, their travels and diverse heritage. “The Family Table” is a total of nine section making it easy for navigation. Several of the recipes look appetizing such as the spicy smoked gouda twice-baked potatoes, loaded turkey burger sliders, stuffed bell peppers, stuffed Cornish hens and butter lettuce apple crisp salad. They include common ingredients with easy-to-follow instructions.   A few of the entrees offer a beverage pairing which adds a nice touch. Also, readers get to see pictures of the other two siblings throughout the cookbook.

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Jazz, Jake, Jurnee, and Jussie Smollett are renowned television stars of shows such as “Empire, “Friday Night Lights,” “Underground” and Food Network’s “Smollett Eats.” Their parents wanted 10 children; they ended up with six. Their father is Jewish and of eastern European background who grew up in Queens, New York. Their mother is African-American and was born in Texas and raised in New Orleans.  No matter where the self-described multicultural-nomadic family lived, their mother would transform a butcher block into a smooth varnished table that took three days to complete. She also made sure to have weekly family feasts cooked on a budget without sacrificing taste with a salad incorporated each time.  Today, at each of the sibling’s residence sits a communal kitchen table handcrafted by their mother – the focal point of their daily existence.

Deciding which dish to prepare first proved to be difficult – a testament to all the delicious-sounding and looking recipes presented in the book.  I started with 24 and then narrowed it down to my final three: Asian lobster wonton tacos, slow-cooked miso short ribs or citrus sorbet with limoncello.  Which one should I pick?  Be sure to follow me on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for my final selection.

Meanwhile, be sure to enter your name in our monthly drawing below by Sunday, December 9.  If you can’t wait, you can purchase your copy on Amazon to get cooking.

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Rekaya, aka The Food Temptress, is a freelance journalist, author and co-host of the sports podcast “Black Girls Talk Sports.” She has written content for Amtrak, Writer’s Digest Books and various lifestyle magazines. She also has penned seven books in multiple genres. In her spare time, she enjoys developing recipes and exploring Virginia’s 200+ wineries.