Byte-Size Blair | March 14

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram, give us a look. In the meantime, enjoy this collection of posts.

  1. Today is Pi Day! Celebrate by making this delicious buttermilk pie from chef Stephanie L. Tyson at Sweet Potatoes restaurant.
  2. Award season has begun in the book industry. Check out these talented Blair finalists.
  3. For Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day we’re proud to share this Essence interview with author and activist Sybil Haydel Morial, author of Witness to Change.
  4. Fun and educational, here’s an infographic about book cover design.
  5. Seeking creative indie booksellers who explain the industry with puppets? We’ve got you covered.

Now go enjoy some pie like this little guy!

Photo courtesy of Michael McGurk/Rex

Byte-Size Blair | January 19

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

We’ve all sufficiently recovered from the holidays, and now’s the time to celebrate some of our favorite social media posts from our time away.

1. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

2. 2015 might just be the perfect year to #readharder.

3. 2015 is also the year for #diversebooks.

4. We love this photo of the Tuskegee Airmen, subjects of one of our favorites from NewSouth Books.

5. We are so excited about our Spring titles, which include books from a MacArthur genius, a new cookbook from Sweet Potatoes Restaurant, and a big, beautiful guide to the Hunt collection of English earthenware.

It’s a beautiful day in Winston-Salem. Blair pet Carmen says “take me on a walk!”


Byte-Size Blair | December 1

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

1. Merry #CyberMonday to all, and to all a good buy!

2. We had a lot to be thankful for last Thursday on account of all the amazing news from Blair author Stephanie L. Tyson, chef and co-owner of Sweet Potatoes Restaurant.

3. You know who else had a lot to be thankful for? Our Messy Desk contest winners!

4. There’s still one more contest in the works. Let it grooooow, let it grow! Show us those badass beards.

5. Last but not least, if you’re a bookseller (or have any bookseller friends who value your input), it’s time to nominate Blair’s books for this year’s SIBA awards.

We don’t know about you, but this is how we’re feeling after feasting on leftover turkey all weekend.


Byte-Size Blair | November 24

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on Facebook,Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

Happy Turkey Week, everybody! We can’t believe the holiday season is here… or maybe we can, because we’ve been gifted with so much great book news. Obviously, our books were on the good list this year.

1. Maybe Minnesotans aren’t thrilled about their grape salad, but we couldn’t be happier that Well, Shut My Mouth! and Soul Food Odyssey (July 2015) author Stephanie L. Tyson was the chef behind North Carolina’s must-have Thanksgiving addition, according to The New York Times.

2. Speaking of 2015 titles, Tiya Miles, the MacArthur fellow behind our upcoming novel The Cherokee Rose, was featured with her husband in a great article in Montana State’s newsletter.

3. The Messy Desk contest is coming to an end, so make sure you “like” your favorite entries, because we are announcing the winner and runners-up on Tuesday, November 25.

4. Foreword Reviews featured Badass Civil War Beards for No Shave November (make sure to enter our #NSN contest!)

5. We’re happy to share space on this list with Jeni’s Ice Creams, but seriously… when are they going to open a storefront in Winston-Salem?

We know many of you hate to start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving has even arrived, but c’mon! This is too cute.


Blair’s Holiday Celebration

Blair celebrated the holidays today with some delicious desserts and our annual used book exchange.


Some of Blair’s treats!

Are you ready for all of your upcoming holiday celebrations? Find some quick and easy gifts for everyone in Blair’s Holiday Gift Guide.

WellShutMyMouthWe’ve also got you covered on the baking side with a collection of cookbooks featuring recipes for bakers of all skill levels. For a chocolate fix, try out Stephanie Tyson’s “Easiest Devil’s Food Cake in the World with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing” from Well, Shut My Mouth: The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook.


Easiest Devil’s Food Cake in the World with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
Makes one 9-inch layer cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium for another 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into 2 greased, floured 9-inch cake pans and back for 1/2 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

3 ounces softened cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

In a mixer on medium, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Melt the chocolate chips with the butter and allow to cool slightly before adding to the cream cheese mixture. Mix on low until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Thin to a spreading consistency with milk.

To assemble, place a cooled cake top side down on a cake plate. Spread 1/3 of the icing on the cake, top with the other layer top side up, and coat with the remaining frosting.


Give your sweet tooth something to celebrate this holiday season!

Stephanie Tyson speaks at UCF Book Festival March 31, 2012

As one of Florida’s premier literary events, the UCF Book Festival features renowned national and local authors, book signings and sales, exhibits, book appraisals, and special children’s activities. This year, they invited Stephanie L. Tyson, author of Well, Shut My Mouth! The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook. She’ll appear with Nathalie Dupree March 31, 2012, at 3 p.m., for the panel “Southern Cooking at its Best: Biscuits, Sweet Potatoes and More.” Just talking about it makes our mouths water!

Born in North Carolina, Chef Tyson spent countless hours dreaming of leaving for the bright lights of anywhere else. But once she left to travel and cook around the world, she could not believe what a relief it was to come home again. Trained in culinary arts at Baltimore International College, Chef Tyson opened her award-winning restaurant with her partner Vivián Joiner in 2003 in the downtown Arts District of Winston-Salem, where they live.

Well, Shut My Mouth! The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook is recipes—recipes from the Sweet Potatoes restaurant, recipes from the families of Chef Stephanie Tyson and co-owner Vivian Joiner, recipes that are Southern, plain and simple. But beyond the how-to’s for Gullah Shrimp and Crab Pilau, Cheerwine-Glazed Country Ham, and other lip-smacking dishes, this soul food cookbook is also the history of the two women who started a locally and nationally acclaimed restaurant. As Tyson says in her introduction, “Every part of me is a part of Sweet Potatoes.” In Well, Shut My Mouth! she shares a culinary experience that has been a favorite of Winston-Salem natives and visitors for years, allowing readers and patrons to recreate it in their own kitchens.

View the entire festival schedule here. And if you can’t make it to Orlando, perhaps Stephanie’s sweet potato biscuits will tide you over? Nancie McDermott, chef in her own right, shared her thoughts on the recipe here.