Monday, March 16, 2009

Stir, Laugh, Repeat - Martha A. Cheves, Author

Potato Soup

6 med. potatoes, cut into small cubes
6 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 - 3/4 cup instant potatoes
1 Tbl. dried minced onions
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can Portobella mushrooms, drained
6-8 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled

Boil potatoes until almost done. To test, stick a fork in one of the potatoes and it should still feel slightly firm. Add instant potatoes and dried onions, cook on low until potatoes are done. If the liquid is too thin, add more instant potatoes. Add sour cream, cheese, mushrooms, and bacon. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and sour cream is blended. Serves 8-10

Stir, Laugh, Repeat Review:

Stir, Laugh, Repeat and "KEEP"
Reader Rating See Detailed Ratings

Posted March 7, 2009, 11:05 PM EST: Martha A. Cheves has written a definitive cookbook for the ages. I started reading her book today - and could not put it down, except for running to the store for some much needed ingredients. The steak and potatoes recipe literally had my mouth watering. Recipes I had not tasted in years are reborn in Stir, Laugh, Repeat. I smiled when I saw the Banana Puddin' recipe. To have such a wonderful cook guide in these financially stressed times is a much needed; stress relief resource for all families. From Martha's Meaty Mashed Potatoes - to her Breakfast Pinwheels, this is by far one of the most exceptional cook guides that I have ever read. Young cooks just starting out can be guided to great meals by Martha's easy to read directions. SLR is similar to the red and white tablecloth cookbooks Betty Crocker use to sell; that we all spotted on our grandmother's kitchen table. Martha's book has old flavor and contemporary style suitable for meat lovers and vegetarians. I commend this book to all. Thanks Martha! - (Carol Denise Mitchell, Author of Rovella Starr)

To read more reviews and purchase your own copy of Stir, Laugh, Repeat go to or


  1. 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Darden North (Jackson, MS)

    Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing in the Kitchen
    Author: Martha A Cheves Publisher: Tate Publishing
    Submitted by Darden North, MD

    My wife has often suggested I take up cooking. In fact, one of my physician friends was recently featured in our local paper doing just that. It seems that the anesthesiologist expertly prepares gourmet meals on his grill and makes it look easy. Anyway, I have never taken my wife's suggestion about cooking and instead have started writing books. And it seems that a major aspect of being a twenty-first century author is networking with other writers as well as with readers --- lots of readers, one hopes.

    This networking has lead me to author Martha A. Cheves and her culinary creations in the beautiful cookbook Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing in the Kitchen. Frankly, this is the first time I have ever paid any attention to a cookbook, other than the time my wife Sally proofed and wrote the index for one and the dishes she has whipped up from the many other cookbooks filling the shelves in our kitchen.

    However, were I to take up cooking, the unique quality of Cheves's Stir, Laugh, Repeat would be a premium start. The value of Martha's work rests in its straightforward, easy-to-follow directions that even a doctor can follow. You see, a physician's true surgical talent lies in making the correct diagnosis, counseling the ailing patient, and successfully performing the corrective surgery. While reading and chuckling through Stir, Laugh, Repeat, it quickly hit me like a flying frying pan that Martha A. Cheves is clearly the a surgeon of the kitchen. Furthermore, she emerges as a soft humorist whose talents rival her celebrity contemporaries.

    Through Cheves's incorporation into her recipes of items commonly found at the neighborhood grocery, if not already found in one's pantry, she makes easy use of leftovers, turning any kitchen into the envy of a popular restaurant and any cooking-illiterate male physician into a Chef Emeril Lagasse-wannabe. Cheves links clever anecdotes and personal stories to creations. One of my favorites concerns her invitation to a restaurant meal as the guest of her significant other's ex-wife. Throughout her unexpected enjoyment of the company as well as the chicken entrée, Cheves mentally dissects the delectable preparation even as she plans to recreate the ingredients into her own personal dish.

    Another plus for beginner cooks, certainly to be appreciated by busy, no non-nonsense masters of the flame as well, is the book's index, which is alphabetized by food categories: breads, desserts, fruits, meats, etc. So if I were going to take up cooking like my doctor friend, I would start with Stir, Laugh, Repeat by Martha A. Cheves. Nevertheless, for now, I'm going to hang with my laplaptop and write mystery novels in my spare time, leaving my wife to try Cheves's pecan or meatloaf muffins, maybe the tasty fried pineapple, the spicy chicken salad spread, or the freezer clean-out beef veggie soup. I'll just continue to fire up my own outdoor grill, and thrill my family and friends with the occasional juicy steak, marinated chicken breast, or thick cheeseburger. I have those recipes in my head.
    --- by Darden North, MD
    North practices medicine fulltime in Jackson, MS, and is the author of three mystery/suspense novels.

  2. Serving up some down home and down south great cooking , February 27, 2009

    By Fran Lewis "Fran and Bertha"

    Serving Up Some Great Southern Cooking and Hospitality:

    Stir, Laugh, Repeat
    By Martha A. Cheves

    Reviewed by: Fran Lewis

    Move over Paula Dean, Emeril, and Rachel Ray: Make way for the new Queen of Southern hospitality and cooking our very own Martha Cheves. From her home made pies to her delicious desserts Martha sends the reader into mouth-watering heaven as she describes in detail how each recipe was created and the stories behind them. As a total non-cook and someone who has trouble boiling water without burning it or making an egg hard without it exploding; even I can follow and create one of her clear, concise and easy to understand recipes.

    As I read each one, I began thinking how great it would be to her as a friend and neighbor. Having Martha as a neighbor would mean never having to cook or bring in take out ever again. Hopefully including me as one of her food testers I would get to sample and gladly volunteer to try out her new recipes and never have to use a microwave or a stove ever again.

    From her creative ways of dealing with leftovers and her fun filled family traditions, this book motivated me to try one of her recipes and share them with my friends and family too and finally break in my new and unused stove.

    As a child, I watched my grandmother create homemade chicken soup, chocolate pudding and even grind her own meat. I loved licking the spoon while the chocolate was hot. However, she would never allow anyone, including my mom, to go near her stove or broiler. The kitchen was her domain only.

    How great for Martha's children to grow up with a mom who made every meal an adventure and fun. Mystery night sounded great and her banana pudding story was funny.

    As a true chicken lover, I decided to put the Basil Grilled Chicken Recipe to the test. If I can make it, anyone can. I agree with Martha that forty dollars for dinner is steep and that making your own meals is not only healthier because you know what ingredients are in it and you can enjoy the benefits of your own home made meal.

    To make sure that I did total justice to this recipe I had my husband create it and make it. I read the recipe to him and went with him to get the ingredients. However, in order to make sure it came out the way Martha would make it, I watched as he created the best meal I have had in a long time. Your Basil Grilled Chicken gets five stars from me and so does this cookbook.

    Bon Appétit Everyone:

    Congrats Martha: Hope to see you on your own cooking show on the food channel.

  3. Stir Laugh Repeat, February 24, 2009

    By S. Deeth "author of Easter! Creation to Salva... (OR, USA)

    I never thought I'd write a review of a cookery book. Ask any of my family--I'm not exactly an expert in the kitchen. Though, of course, they should take at least some of the blame. It's hard to produce expert meals when you have so many conflicting requirements. Over Christmas there was me (no gluten), spouse (likes the texture of "real"--i.e. wheat-based--cooking), mother (no fresh fruit, under-cooked veg or spice), son #1 (nothing boring), son #2 (vegetarian, no nuts), son #3 (meat and two veg), and dog (anything and everything). At least the dog was easy to please.

    But Martha Cheves' cookbook, despite so many of the recipes including packets and mixes (mostly with gluten), or meat (not vegetarian), is the perfect book for me. In this modern world where so many of us are allergic to one thing or another, cooking is all too often a question of sticking to the hypo-allergenic diet cook-book, or changing better-known recipes to suit. Martha is a cook who espouses substitution, and her book is the perfect stepping stone between the exotic ingredients of specialist recipes and the world of do-it-yourself.

    It's also the perfect book just to sit down and read for ideas and entertainment. I don't usually laugh while reading a cook book, but some of Martha's culinary tales will have me smiling every time I go shopping. (I shall never look at a turkey the same way again!)

    And it's the perfect book for someone who's not quite sure how a cook book works. For me, being English, there are many unseen pitfalls in American cooking, from how you measure a cupful of sugar (we use weights), to what you use instead of greaseproof paper. Martha answers these questions and more in tips scattered throughout the book, again, rewarding reading from cover to cover.

    After finishing this book, you won't just know where to look for a good recipe, but you'll have the confidence to change the recipe according to what's in your cupboard. Cooking becomes an exercise in creativity, instead of a lesson in how well-prepared you are. And I look forward to stirring Martha's ideas, laughing as I change them, and repeating with many variations for years to come.

  4. Carolina Cookin', February 20, 2009

    By Susan Whitfield "author of Genesis Beach and ... (NC, USA)

    I enjoyed the recipes in Stir, Laugh, Repeat. Many brought back memories from my youth in Carolina, foods I haven't tried in years. Cheves threw in a few stories and tips for extra measure. My personal copy of the book now has many pages turned down for future reference. Chef's hat off to Martha Cheves for an informative and creative book.

  5. This Cook Book is Great!!!, January 28, 2009
    By Yvonne Mason "Author" (Port St Lucie, Fl.)

    In this day and age when cooking is becoming a lost art and young people would rather get take out than cook, Martha Cheves has created the answer to take out.
    Most young people can't boil water much less put a meal together. So Laugh, Stir, Repeat teaches them how. The receipes are simple and can be changed to suit any taste. The stories behind them keeps one laughing until the end.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a gift to give or a new cookbook to try.

  6. A Cover-to-Cover Read., December 27, 2008

    By LimeyDawg (Punta Gorda, Florida United States)

    Making a cookbook stand out from the crowd is no easy feat, but in "Stir, Laugh, Repeat," author Martha Cheves has the perfect formula. Readers will enjoy "Stir, Laugh, Repeat," as much for the stories accompanying each recipe as they do for the recipes themselves.

    Throughout the book, Cheves shares a little of the back story leading to the creation of each recipe. Like the food, Cheves is unpretentious and honest. "I'm a terrible cookie-maker," she admits, but shows how a little perseverance and ingenuity overcame this shortcoming with her outstanding Sugar Bar Cookies (p.43). She also shares a life's worth of knowledge gained by struggling to feed a growing family using only what was on hand, or that which a meager budget would allow. Cheves is unabashed in her admission of trying to imitate some of her favorites from restaurants she has visited, and readily explains that this was the genesis of the wonderful recipes she came up with in the process of experimentation. In this, "Stir, Laugh, Repeat," is approachable by a wide audience indeed.

    "Stir, Laugh, Repeat" is not a book one will take out for a single recipe, but rather one which the reader will enjoy cover-to-cover for the gems of wisdom and pointed honesty of the author. If, however, you buy the book for the recipes alone, you will not be disappointed. This is a cookbook for everyone, regardless of skill in the kitchen. The simple recipes produce good food, which is as much as anyone could ask of such a slender book. Just as she did when developing her recipes, Cheves encourages readers to experiment and make the recipes their own. In this way, the reader becomes one of Cheves' lucky testers by extension. [...]

    "Stir, Laugh, Repeat" is a wonderful little cookbook. The stories make it a fine addition to the bookshelf as much as the kitchen library. It may well be the one cookbook in any cook's collection that gets read cover-to-cover.

  7. TITLE: Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing In The Kitchen
    AUTHOR: Martha A. Cheves
    COPYRIGHT: 2008 by Martha A. Cheves
    FORMAT: Paperback
    GENRE: Cookbook
    PAGES: 154
    PRICE: $12.99
    PUBLISHER: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
    ISBN-13: 9781604628180

    Move over Rachel. Move over Paula. Make room for Martha Cheves! In her new cookbook, ‘Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing In The Kitchen’ there are easy meals for everybody and every tastebud.

    In each recipe you’ll find helpful tips plus stories about Martha’s family, food testers and about Martha herself. Because of these humorous stories and kitchen tips, not only is ‘Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing In The Kitchen’ is also a great book to read!

    All of Martha’s recipes can be converted to any kind of diet that you might be on easily. I even found some that look like they would work in my crockpot. This cookbook is a must-have for anyone who either likes to cook or just eat!

    To find out more about Martha, visit her website at: You can order ‘Stir, Laugh, Repeat: Finding Joy While Playing In The Kitchen’ there. If you prefer, you can go directly to the publisher’s website at:

  8. mmm, great recipe. This one's definitely going into my "virtual" cookbook!

  9. I had relatives over recently. I made and served Martha's Banana Puddin' recipe from her new book. The dessert experience was not only great; but, it opened up a worthy dialogue with the family about recipes my grandmother and mother use to bake that are similar to Martha's excellent new modern day recipes.

    I turned them on to Martha's website! I am pleased that Martha's great recipes went over well with all the guest that attended this special family gathering. This is my second time making the Puddin' and I can't wait to make it again!

    Later, when I looked back into the kitchen - I was even happier that the bowl I made the puddin' in was clean.

    Thanks Martha for such great recipes...That have the power to bring happiness to a family's
    great old memories.

    Date * April 6, 2009
    Name * Carol Mitchell


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