Southern Scrumptious Favorites is a bit of a departure in that it isn’t a community or Junior League cookbook – no matter! We’ll take southern cookbooks where ever they can be found—all the more powerful when it has been compiled by an individual instead of a group.

From the Betty Sims website we learn: She is the author of Southern Scrumptious: How to Cater Your Own Party and Southern Scrumptious Entertains. Not surprisingly, Betty holds a degree in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Tennessee.

A former owner of Johnston Street Café and caterer, Betty operates the Scrumptious Culinary School in Decatur, Alabama and is a food consultant. She has also received training at Peter Kumps Cooking School (New York, NY), Martha Stewart Seminars (West Port, Connecticut), Culinary Institute of America (Napa Valley, CA), Cordon Bleu (Paris), Seminar with Kathy Alex (Grasse, France) and Seminar with Pam Sheldon Johns (Montepulciano, Italy). Betty maintains catering your own party can be a rewarding experience and one that does not have to be overwhelming.

In the introduction, cookbook author Betty Sims writes, “The special recipes contained in SOUTHERN SCRUMPTIOUS FAVORITES are the tried and true recipes presented in Scrumptious Cooking School during the last few years..” She says they’ve had so much fun preparing these recipes with her wonderful classes, along with assistance from her team: Nicole Shelton, Greg Clemons,Cherri Carr, and Jo Hosey.

Betty says that she grew up with a passion for cooking in the small town of Cartersville, Georgia. She writes that her mother was an excellent cook who loved having her daughter with her in the kitchen. (This is something I can really relate to—my mother turned me loose in the kitchen when I was about 10 years old)–by the time I got married, I was comfortable in the kitchen and my high school girlfriends (whose mothers did not welcome their presence in the kitchen) would call me almost daily asking how to make this or that).

When Betty was only twelve years old she started a small business making cakes for her parents’ friends, for birthdays and parties. Her mother furnished the ingredients so Betty made full profit for her allowance.

After Betty spent four years majoring in Foods and Nutrition at the University of Tennessee, she met and married Bill Sims, who was in medical school preparing to become an orthopedic surgeon. Together they raised four children, all born within a 5 year span.

They had a very busy life after settling in Decatur, Georgia.
When the Sims’ youngest daughter left for college, Betty decided to open the Johnston Street Café—and the rest, as they say, is history.

SOUTHERN SCRUMPTIOUS FAVORITES is the third in Betty Sims’ Scrumptious series – so if you like this one, you may want to look for the other two to add to your cookbook collection.

Betty says that one of her favorite ways to entertain (mine too) is by having a mid-morning brunch, shared by family or friends on a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning. With that in mind, you may want to consider her recipes for Everyday Granola, Skillet Coffee Cake, Grits Souffle or Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole and Mimosas. If you need a menu to put something together, one is offered for an Elegant Brunch.

Next is the menu for a special occasion dinner—this may be one you will want to keep at your fingertips for future reference; it includes Peach Sangria, Red and White Grape Salad, Pimm’s Cup (a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage), Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Meyer Lemon Sauce or Mango Salsa , Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto, Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Apple Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce. (I admit to being partial to Meyer lemons; Bob & I had a dwarf Meyer lemon tree at our house in Arleta).

For a party in the kitchen the menu lists chunky guacamole, Blue Cheese Coleslaw, Braised Short Ribs, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Cheddar Biscuits and Chocolate Cinnamon Pots de Crème. A party in the kitchen is a great idea – I never actually planned to have a party in the kitchen –but many of my party guests generally ended up there! Sims’ recipe for chunky guacamole is very nearly identical to mine; I used to take this guacamole to work every Thursday with bags of fresh warm bagels from Western Bagel – for the claims department where I was an Administrative Assistant.

The next offering is a Menu for a Casual Company Supper—this sounds absolutely delightful and most of the recipes can be made up in advance. Listed is Chutney Cheese, Tarragon Deviled Eggs, Shrimp and Grits with Applewood Bacon, Pecan Beet Salad, Scoop-and-bake Dinner Rolls and choice of Quick Apple Tart or Chocolate Cobbler.

The following menu is for a small plate appetizer buffet – I especially like this one; when we were having large holiday parties every year—for decades—I discovered that nothing works better than a party presenting all appetizers.

The menu for this party is Cheese and Fruit Board, Brat Bites with Plum Sauce, Bette Davis Eyes (a tantalizing combination of whipping cream, goat cheese, dark seeding grapes and pistachios), All-American Sliders, Smoked Salmon Spread, Caramelized Pear and Gruyere Torta, Hot Spinach Bacon Dip, Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Glaze—and Coconut Truffles! The brownies with chocolate ganache glaze and the coconut truffles are already on my short-list for next Christmas’ holiday baking.

Next, is a menu for a French Dinner Celebrating Julia – followed by a Taste of Tuscany with an Italian Dinner, then a Supper on the Porch. Next is a Festive Open House menu (The recipe for Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail is going into my recipe box) followed by a menu for a Celebration Feast—very elegant!

Next are Southern Scrumptious Favorites—ranging from appetizers, beverages, soups and sandwiches, salads, breakfast and brunch, breads, entrees, complements and desserts. There are so many wonderful recipes—you will go through a pack of post-it notes to mark your favorites.(I am already planning to make a recipe for Burgundy Mushrooms the next time I can obtain fresh button mushrooms to go with).

I love soup recipes and Southern Scrumptious Favorites doesn’t disappoint – Butternut Squash Soup! Chicken and Wild Rice Soup! Moroccan Carrot Soup or Loaded Potato Soup!

Under Sandwiches, I found a great recipe for making Easiest Pimento Cheese and for luncheons, you may want to try your hand at making Baked Pears with Walnuts over Mixed Greens (your guests will be amazed) or Spinach Salad with Mango-Ginger Chutney Dressing. You may think that making your own chutneys is difficult but it really isn’t and there is a simple recipe for making Mango-Ginger Chutney Dressing to go with this Spinach Salad.
There is a great recipe for Layered Taco Salad and Betty’s Simple Vinaigrette is sure to become a family favorite. For brunches, you will surely want to try Fancy Egg Scramble or Tomato Florentine Quiche. Check out Delicious Bacon Brunch Casserole too!

I love Overnight Oven-Baked French Toast (and have been making something similar for years—I will have to try Betty’s recipe next time I am having overnight guests).

These are just a few of the dozens of recipes to be found in Southern Scrumptious Favorites.

To order Southern Scrumptious Favorites from the Favorite Recipes Press Cookbook Marketplace, it is listed on Page 11 of The Cookbook Marketplace catalog for $24.95.

Two other Southern Scrumptious Cookbooks are listed on the same page – Southern Scrumptious ($21.95) and Southern Scrumptious Entertains (21.95) are right on the same page!

The Favorite Recipes Press Marketplace is a great source for finding many of your favorite community cookbooks (southern and otherwise). They have nearly 300 titles from which to choose and color illustrations of the covers. You can get a catalog by writing to the Cookbook Marketplace at 2451 Atrium Way, Nashville, TN 37214 OR call them toll free at 1-800-269-6839. You can also visit the cookbook marketplace online by going to You can also request a free catalog when you place your order!

Happy Cooking – and Happy Cookbook Collecting!



  1. Thank you for the review and all of the other information. So many things sound good.

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