If you follow along on Instagram you know – I’ve gotten really into cooking lately. Like, fully “redid” our kitchen level obsessed. I’ve always loved to cook and have always had fun playing with recipes, but it’s become a huge coping mechanism for me during quarantine. And with that, I’ve been playing with a ton of new recipes.
I’ve been a Gaines family fan for a while now, but when I saw that there was a new Magnolia Table Volume 2 cookbook hitting shelves (virtually!) I knew I had to get it…even though I had never even owned Volume 1. I took a leap of faith, placed the order, and dove right in.
From Sunday Pot Roast to the Flourless Chocolate Cake you see here – I’ve cooked and baked several recipes out of the book in the week I’ve owned it and wanted to dish out a full review for ya if you’re looking for a new cookbook to buy.
Is Magnolia Table Volume 2 good for beginners?
Magnolia Table Volume 2 is an amazing cookbook for beginner to intermediate home cooks. The book kicks off with an amazing intro section breaking down a set of basics – from tools, measurements, and even substitution lists for any missing key base ingredients. There’s also a section in the beginning that teaches you how to make base bakes for several dishes (such as a simple pie crust).
The instructions for preparation of each dish in Magnolia Table Volume 2 are absolutely written for beginners – so much so that if you’re a more intermediate level you may find them a tad vague and unclear at times. For example, when making my flourless chocolate cake (pictured here) and tempering my chocolate it wasn’t stated how long to let the chocolate stand before pouring on the cake. I wasn’t sure at what temperature I was supposed to pour (Room temp? Still warm?).
While I prefer more explicit instructions for my bakes, I don’t mind looser instructions for my other non-baking dishes. In fact, sometimes I like the freedom to do things with my own little twist!
What sort of recipes are included in Magnolia Table Volume 2?
Magnolia Table Volume 2 covers the spectrum when it comes to mealtime recipes – you’ll find everything from breakfast to dessert. That being said, you won’t find much variety in the type of cuisine. All dishes are fairly standard, middle ground American dishes (there are a couple Italian influenced pasta and chicken dishes, though!).
What I enjoyed about the recipes in Magnolia Volume 2 is the sheer amount of them – there are loads of options. If you’re not in the mood for a specific dinner option, there are plenty more in the pages to choose from.
Will I need any special tools or ingredients?
No – you will not need anything fancy or special to cook the dishes found in Magnolia Table Volume 2! You will; however, need some fairly basic kitchen tools like measuring cups, baking dishes, and cake or tart pans if you’re looking to get into the dessert game. Joanna keeps your tools and supplies list fairly simple.
Hands down my favorite thing about this book was the “substitutions” section. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic – it’s super tricky to find some ingredients right now (lookin’ at you, buttermilk). While I doubt Joanna predicted such a global event when writing this section, damn is it helpful AF. I was able to make my own buttermilk substitution with her handy reference pages that told me how to sub in ingredients I don’t have for ingredients I do have (or can find!).
The final verdict?
I’m obsessed. This cookbook quickly became my favorite cookbook in my collection because it’s simple, thorough, the right blend of beginner while still stretching me to try new things – and it’s assembled beautifully with clear, easy to read font and beautiful pictures.
Hands down worth the money. So much so that I ordered Volume 1!
Have you cooked with Magnolia Table Volume 2 (or 1!)? Shout out your favorite recipes in the comments down below.