Valerie’s Home Cooking

Valerie’s Home Cooking: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family by Valerie Bertinelli is a celebrity cookbook that delivers recipes that present beautifully and taste great. 

Rosemary and pepper crackers, Chicken with lemon-wine sauce, and Brown sugar sriracha bacon bites are just a few of the recipes that will become family favorites. Valerie comes from a long line of home cooks and her recipes work. Her Broccoli salad and Ricottta cookies with sour cream glaze are delicious.

This weekend I watched Valerie make her Mom’s Christmas Bells and knew those had to be on my baking list this year (they are included in the book and online). The last few years, I haven’t been watching many Food Network shows but I do watch Valerie – I’ve always been a fan. My husband loves Van Halen and always wants to know when Wolfie is on an episode. 

Valerie’s recipes aren’t based on convenience products – much of it is from scratch and all of it is delicious. Roasted asparagus and mushrooms with chile-lemon salt, Bucatini with wilted spinach and lemon mascarpone sauce, and Homemade baked potato tots are other recipes marked to make. Trick techniques and variation tips are shared with certain recipes. The book is organized as follows Rise & Shine; Getting Through the Day; Happy Hour (cocktails included); Around the Table, A Side Note and Finishing Sweet. There is a little something for everyone here. This book is a keeper and I don’t keep many celeb titles. 

I have to update this review and share the following comment from my friend Rene who posted the following on the promotion thread in The Cookbook Junkies. “My mom, may she Rest In Peace, is giving this cookbook to me for Christmas. She told me before she passed that I was to buy a cookbook every year and put it under the tree to make sure I always get at least one cookbook for Christmas. I knew she would have picked this one!” 

Special thanks to Oxmoor House for sharing Valerie’s Lobster BLTs with our members today and for providing three copies of this title in our contest below. 

Lobster BLTs

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The first time I ever touched upon this hybrid heaven was when I made these for my good old Louisiana girlfriend, Faith Ford. Faith is one of my favorite people to cook for because she loves and appreciates food. But let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love and appreciate a creamy lobster roll fused with a crunchy, salty BLT? This sandwich is decadence at its best, which also means it can get pricey and labor-intensive. Here’s my time- and wallet-friendly tip: Buy a frozen lobster tail as opposed to buying a whole lobster. It’s a lot easier, and by a lot I mean . . . when there’s lobster salad, juicy tomato and crispy bacon on the other side, time is of the essence.

Serves 4 Hands-on 20 minutes Total 35 minutes

  • 3 (7-ounce) fresh or frozen, thawed lobster tails
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 white bread slices, toasted
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves, torn in half

1. Bring a medium stockpot of water to a boil over high. Add the lobster tails, and boil until the shells are bright red and the lobster is just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the shells; coarsely chop.

2. Place the bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Stir together the shallot, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of the mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Add the chopped lobster, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

4. Spread each of 4 toasted bread slices with a scant 1/4 cup of the lobster salad and top each with 2 bacon slices. Add 2 tomato slices and 2 pieces lettuce. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise evenly on the remaining 4 bread slices. Cover the sandwiches with bread slices, and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

You can make the lobster salad up to 3 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Trick Technique

Your cooking shears are your best friend when it comes to preparing this salad. Just cut the lobster shells, pull out the meat, and snip it into pieces.

Excerpted from Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on January 7th, 2017.

Post a comment


  • lisaevanoff  on  December 5, 2017

    Spicy arrabiata penne

  • JaneRose  on  December 5, 2017

    I saw a smoothie that caught my eye, but after looking through the index, it was the BLT Pasta that clinched the deal!

  • sarahawker  on  December 5, 2017

    Rosemary and pepper crackers

  • southerncooker  on  December 5, 2017

    So many good sounding recipes. I love watching her on TV. I think I'd start with Bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp with cherry cola BBQ sauce

  • lauriesk  on  December 5, 2017

    Chicken with lemon-wine sauce

  • Rosesrpink50  on  December 5, 2017

    I would have to make those Lobster BLTs!!

  • JJWong  on  December 5, 2017

    I'd love to make her chocolate walnut rugelach.

  • lpatterson412  on  December 5, 2017

    Strawberry love cake!!

  • Angryyew  on  December 5, 2017

    Those lobster BLTs sound pretty good.

  • heyjude  on  December 6, 2017

    Caked Brie with Almonds and Mango

  • AnnaZed  on  December 6, 2017

    Overnight almond-apricot muesli (

  • eileen2015  on  December 6, 2017

    Lobster blts

  • PanNan  on  December 6, 2017

    Ratatouille and romaine salad with balsamic vinaigrette

  • contest718  on  December 6, 2017

    Lobster BLTs

  • vickster  on  December 6, 2017

    Chicken with Lemon Wine Sauce

  • kmn4  on  December 6, 2017

    English lemon cake

  • sgump  on  December 6, 2017

    I'd try the "slow-cooker pasta bake," since I don't think I've ever prepared pasta in a slow-cooker!

  • mcrimmins  on  December 6, 2017

    BLT Pasta sounds good.

  • bibliophile02  on  December 7, 2017

    Overnight almond-apricot muesli

  • daniellespinato1  on  December 7, 2017

    Avocado open-face sandwiches sounds tasty!

  • ravensfan  on  December 7, 2017


  • Siegal  on  December 8, 2017

    I want to
    MKe turkey meatloaf burgers

  • infotrop  on  December 8, 2017

    Lemon-basil granita…looking ahead to summer…

  • LaurenE  on  December 8, 2017

    Chicken with lemon-wine sauce

  • matag  on  December 8, 2017

    Southwestern egg rolls with salsa dipping sauce

  • lgroom  on  December 9, 2017

    Bloody Mary tea sandwiches.

  • rrwrites  on  December 9, 2017

    blt pasta

  • mpdeb98  on  December 9, 2017

    Sausage and peppers sliders

  • Dannausc  on  December 10, 2017

    Tuna melts

  • nadiam1000  on  December 11, 2017

    rosemary and pepper crackers

  • Katiefayhutson  on  December 13, 2017

    Chicken with lemon-wine sauce

  • t.t  on  December 16, 2017

    Soft pretzels with chocolate-hazelnut dip

  • tennyogirl  on  December 17, 2017

    Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad

  • tmcginty  on  December 18, 2017


  • wjsisung  on  December 19, 2017

    Turkey meatloaf burger

  • circ2000  on  December 22, 2017

    Southwestern egg rolls with salsa dipping sauce

  • BMeyer  on  December 23, 2017

    brie with almonds and mango

  • Shelley.b  on  December 23, 2017

    5lobster blt

  • Orangerose  on  December 23, 2017

    Definitely the homemade potato tots..I'm anxious to see if you could make them with sweet potatoes as well as Yukon golds or Russets.

  • kjwarner  on  December 24, 2017

    The slow cooker granola!

  • monasli  on  December 24, 2017

    lobster belt!

  • monasli  on  December 24, 2017

    Sorry lobsterBLTs

  • RickPearson54  on  December 24, 2017

    Lobster BLT

  • drjeff  on  December 24, 2017

    Sausage and peppers sliders

  • lmhester  on  December 24, 2017

    I'd love to try the ROASTED ASPARAGUS PESTO DIP!

  • tararr  on  December 27, 2017

    Chocolate walnut rugelach

  • Uhmandanicole  on  December 28, 2017

    Bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp with cherry cola BBQ sauce

  • linmin  on  December 29, 2017

    Homemade Cannoli

  • PennyG  on  December 29, 2017

    Avocado and grilled corn salad with green goddess dressing – maybe this summer.

  • AngelaLCooks  on  December 29, 2017

    Cherry coconut scuffins

  • lhudson  on  December 30, 2017

    Lobster BLTs.

  • Karen.2018  on  January 1, 2018

    I would try Egg white frittata with arugula, tomato, and goat cheese!

  • sequoia55  on  January 1, 2018

    slow-cooker pasta bake

  • auntietina  on  January 1, 2018

    Roasted eggplant pesto pasta

  • sberes  on  January 4, 2018

    Brown sugar Siracha bacon

  • EmilyR  on  January 4, 2018

    Soft pretzels with chocolate-hazelnut dip

  • brigitm  on  January 5, 2018

    Brown sugar sriracha bacon.

  • Julia  on  January 6, 2018

    Glazed short rib stacks.

  • nova  on  January 6, 2018

    Chicken with lemon-wine sauce

  • Scotsman61  on  January 6, 2018

    English lemon cake

  • jmay42066  on  January 7, 2018

    Bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp with cherry cola BBQ sauce

  • VeryVigario  on  January 7, 2018

    Dutch baby with lemon curd… I've never made a Dutch baby and it's about time!

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