I attended a wedding one day and had the best cranberry chicken of my life. It was so comforting and warm; it felt a bit like coming home. Great cooking is always like that I think, a homecoming. 


This is certainly the premise of Paula Herman Smith’s cookbook Cooking & Dining with heart and soul. A published author, Paula is also the creator of the Facebook page Paula’s Palate Houston where she shares a little bit of her life, ideas for tablescapes, and recipes. Being a personal cook, opening a catering business, writing online and for a local neighborhood magazine in the northwest area of Houston, Texas, inspired the creation of her cookbook.


While there are so many tips she shares throughout its bright pages, her biggest suggestion is to “have fun, stay creative, and keep experimenting!” To Paula, cooking is about “creating food memories” and tablescapes that are “aesthetically pleasing and full of color,” simple but approachable. Most of all, Paula’s desire to nourish the souls of those she welcomes to her table is paramount. 


The cookbook offers a wide variety of recipes: drinks, appetizers, soups and salads, meals for all occasions, and of course desserts! Yum! Also, since her own memories around the dining table were rife with lovely settings, colors, and playful centerpieces, Paula shares her ideas for making your own table breathtaking and memorable. As Paula says, “the dining table is a special place in a home, and I care about it and those who sit around it.” 


With her beautiful cookbook, Paula welcomes you to take a seat and share a meal with her. We hope you’ll be persuaded to accept her invitation by picking up your own signed copy at the Potpourri House. We love supporting our community and we know you do, too!