For Paula Deen, TV queen of the Southern cooking scene, entertaining is second nature (maybe first, if that's possible) and her new cookbook, Paula Deen ∧ Friends: Living It Up, Southern Style is an invitation to party with her and y'all better be there! To Paula, and many of us, the hardest part of entertaining is not the cooking but the menu planning. Fear not, the party plans are laid out, the scene is set and Paula guarantees that you'll like the food I think our party food is definitely food for the gods. A small caveat here: this is not low-fat, low-carb, or low-cholesterol cooking. Paula does not shy away from cheese especially cheddar cream, cakes or cookies, not to mention grits and cornbread. Southerners, Paula allows, will find any excuse to share food with loved ones, and here she offers menus and recipes for 24 festive excuses from a Birthday Bash, a BIG Cocktail Buffet for Out-of-Town Wedding Guests and a Georgia Bulldawg Parking Lot Tailgate to a Cookie Swap, Weekend Campout and a warming array of comfort food. You can prepare the whole menu or mix and match recipes and never go wrong Shrimp and Grits, Green Chili Corn Muffins, marinated Minted Lamb, Savannah Bow Ties served with Chocolate Dipping Sauce are stand-alone standouts or Southern sensations when surrounded by their culinary compatriots.

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