Step into the Kitchen with Valerie Bertinelli Cookbook

Valerie's Home Cooking: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family

As the current star of her Food Network show, Valerie’s Home Cooking, and co-host of the network’s Kids Baking Championship, as well as having spent years acting on television, Valerie Bertinelli has made a name for herself in households across America. But to really know Valerie, is to spend time in her kitchen.

Inspired by her family’s cooking legacy, Valerie specializes in showing fans how to make dishes their own families will love that are for the heart and soul. As she often says, there’s a story behind every recipe and Valerie shares them in this gorgeous cookbook, where home cooks will find more than 100 recipes that are easy to make and innovative–they’re just as fresh, vibrant and down to earth as Valerie herself. Many of these classic comforting recipes have an original twist like Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches, Lobster BLTs, Quick Rotisserie Chicken Gumbo, and S’mores Popcorn.

These mouthwatering dishes will become your go-tos, whether you’re having breakfast or lunch on your own, friends are joining for last-minute cocktails and small bites, or the whole family is coming together for a hearty dinner and dessert.

Mom’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Oxmoor House Valerie's Home Cooking Mom's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Photographer Hector Sanchez, Food Stylist Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist Cindy Barr

Like many people my age, I remember carrot cake popping up on menus and on our family’s dinner table in the 1970s. Because of the carrots, I suppose, and the fruit used to sweeten and moisten the cake, it enjoyed the luster of healthiness, and that was and still is  fine with me. I’ll take a healthy cake any day. I’ll tell you what else carrot cake had that others didn’t—cream cheese frosting. Don’t even look for health benefits here. From my very first bite, though, this cake became an exciting opportunity to enjoy this rich, creamy frosting—and the thicker it was spread on top the better it was.  I often save a bite of two of just frosting for the end. This cake is moist and delicious, and leaving the sides uniced is a twist on the traditional, yet it’s the way I remember my mom serving it when  I was a kid. I serve this year-round and for the right person, someone like me, it can be a special birthday treat, too. It’s also great with a cup of coffee.

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.

Mom's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The perfect birthday treat or for any occasion! 


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  • 3 cups Carrots (grated)
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsps Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Table Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Vegetable OIl
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  • 1 pkg Powdered Sugar (16 oz)
  • 1 pgk Cream Cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 1 cup Pecans
  • Carrot Ribbons (optional)

Carrot Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

  2. Line the bottoms of 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.

  3. Stir together the carrots, 2 cups of the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. 

  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. 

  5. Add the oil and vanilla to the eggs; beat until combined. 

  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating well. 

  7. Divide the batter evenly among the pans. 

  8. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. 

  9. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes; remove from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks, about 30 minutes. 

Make the Icing

  1. Beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended; stir in the pecans. 

  2. Spread the frosting between the layers and on the top of the cake. 

  3. Top with the chopped pecans and the carrot ribbons, if desired.

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Valeries Home Cooking Photography Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling Margaret Dickey; Prop Styling Lindsey Lower
Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is Chinese takeout at home. What I love about this, besides the fact that it’s a favorite of mine, is that the slow cooker does all the work. When I have a long day on the set, I put everything in the slow cooker before I leave for work and then I have a ready-to-eat meal when I return at night. The chicken stays tender, and I can vary the seasoning to taste depending on whom I’m feeding that night, whether it’s Tom and me, who enjoy more acute flavors, or less- adventurous house guests. The chicken can also be made ahead of time and reheated and served over a bed of white rice. With an egg roll, it’s convenient and still satisfying when you feel like ordering in without picking up the phone.

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.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chinese take-out — at home!

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 8 oz bone-in chicken thighs (skin removed)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 1 green bell pepper (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 1 white onion (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups hot cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. 

  2. Add the chicken to the skillet, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. 

  3. Place the chicken in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. 

  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. 

  5. Add the bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. 

  6. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker. 

  7. Whisk together the vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. 

  8. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker.

  9. Cover and cook on LOW until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours. 

  10. Serve the chicken mixture over the hot cooked rice topped with the scallions and sesame seeds. 

Chicken thighs have more flavor and  are more forgiving during cooking, staying juicy.

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