In the world of online recipe apps and search engines, you may be thinking, “what’s the point in having a cookbook anymore?” I use online recipes as much as the next guy, and I think there are many benefits to having access to millions of recipes. Anyone else ask Alexa how long to hard boil an egg?

The big benefit of a cookbook, in my opinion, is that it’s been through the normal process of publishing a book. It’s been tested by several test kitchens, edited, proofread, then edited again, and finally published. Any recipe that makes it through that whole process is probably going to be delicious. Plus, when my family gets in a food rut, I sit down on the couch and browse through some cookbooks to dig out some new favorites. Having a physical book in my hands is much easier and less overwhelming than just browsing online.

Over Christmas, we drove through Waco, Texas, and stopped at the Magnolia empire created by Chip and Joanna Gaines. It was incredibly well done and we spent over three hours enjoying the afternoon and checking out the various stores they have to offer. If you’re ever in the area, definitely check it out!

One of my purchases was the Magnolia Table Vol. 1 Cookbook, by Joanna Gaines.

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At the time, I doubted getting it, because I have a lot of cookbooks in my arsenal. Thank goodness I succumbed to the impulse buy! It’s a wonderful cookbook and I highly recommend getting one yourself. Here’s why…

Joanna is a mom of five. Any recipe she puts together has got to be made quickly or ahead of time, right? That’s just common sense. Those are recipes I can get behind because I’m in the same boat – short on time to cook dinner. I’m betting you are, too.

Some of my favorite quick-fix recipes are Creamed Corn Spoon bread – which I’m now including with all of my soups and stews, and Sheet Pan Nachos (how has this never made it into my weekly dinner routine before?!). Quick Orange and Walnut Sweet Rolls are on my list to make this weekend…anything with “quick” in the name is made for our house.

Since Jo isn’t a culinary wizard who went to some fancy cooking school, her recipes are just a collection of what her family has been eating over the years. There’s plenty of canned items and short cut ingredients, which you don’t find in a lot of popular cookbooks. It’s a breath of fresh air for a busy mom to be able to throw a bunch of stuff in a pan and stick it in the oven or Instant Pot.

For those days when you do have some time, there are plenty of recipes to scratch the itch. JoJo’s Biscuits are a staple of the Magnolia Restaurant in Waco, and the Cinnamon Squares that look like a flat version of a cinnamon roll.

Magnolia Table is also jam packed with family recipes like Pop’s Strawberry Jam, Jo’s recipe for Pickled Jalapeños, and Gaines’ Family Chili, just to name a few. Also, in between the recipes are stories of their family and the origins of many of these recipes. It’s really a book to read and enjoy as much as a cookbook.

A second volume of this cookbook just came out, and I’m hoping to get it for Mother’s Day this year (hint, hint family). Very rarely do I want to try as many recipes in a cookbook as I have done with this one. If you’re looking for a collection of practical, delicious recipes that will fit into your time constraints as a busy mom, Magnolia Table is the perfect fit.

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