Skip to Content

Review: Second Helpings by Johnnie Gabriel

Second Helpings. Like Its Name Will Have You Coming Back For More

When I was thirteen we moved from a neighborhood in Suburbia to Rural Appalachia. It was a culture shock and as I have grown up, I miss Southern Hospitality. The people, the beauty, and yes! the Food! There is one television personality that represents all of this impeccably well, Paula Deen! Through the cookbook, Second Helpings, we come to discover Johnnie Gabriel, Paula Deen’s cousin, is also an amazing cook!

While the ingredients were always in the pantry, Johnnie Gabriel didn’t discover her calling for cooking until 1989, when she started a catering company out of her home and baking cakes to “feed” her family in one of those “rough spots”.  Seven years later, her cooking was such a hit that she and her husband, Ed, opened “Gabriel’s Desserts” in Marietta, Georgia, and continue to enjoy their “just desserts”!

Since Gabriel’s Desserts opened, it has been voted BEST of Atlanta seven times and her first book, Cooking in the South (Thomas Nelson, 2008) has sold almost 50,000 copies. I expect Second Helpings to skyrocket beyond her first book sales.

What I love about this cookbook is how simple the approach is to cooking. It’s everyday ingredients. We’re talking over 150 recipes from appetizers to desserts that would add warmth to Sunday Dinner, Entertain family and friends through the Holidays and fill plates with love for everyday meals.

I’m eager to make Whoopie Cakes with my kiddos and having a difficult time resisting the Apple Pecan and Cheesecake Recipe. Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops have me salivating. The first recipe, however, that caught my eye was the Chicken Marsala. Don’t judge me!

Whether you purchase this cookbook as a gift to a friend or hoard it for yourself (don’t worry, I won’t tell), the simplicity will amaze you and the diversity of recipes that wow you will have you coming back between the covers of Second Helpings all year long! 

Second Helpings is available through

I received a copy of Second Helpings in order to facilitate an honest review. No other compensation was received. The opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others experience may vary.

error: Content is protected !!