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"Fox and Friends" Host Debuts a Happy Cookbook

“Fox and Friends” host author Steve Doocy and his wife, Kathy, are known for their light-hearted take on family life. They reminisce about some of their favorite memories--and recipes-- in their new book, The Happy Cookbook.

So many of our events in life are around meals, whether it's an anniversary or a wedding or a birthday,” says Steve. “And when you think back in time, there's a food associated with it. For instance, we were in Rome. I guess it was downtown, next to the—I want to say the Panthenon, and we had the best pizza we'd ever had, and it was just – it was a flatbread. It just had tomatoes; didn't have a lot of tomato sauce on it, in fact it didn't have any. And it was like, ‘That's the best pizza we've ever had.’ and then we started making it for the kids.”’

You made it from memory,” Kathy interjects. “That was before people took pictures of food.” (laughs)

That’s right!” laughs Steve.

My kids would rather have home cooking than eat anywhere,” Kathy observes, “and I think a lot of people are like that. Because on Steve's birthday, we could go to any fancy restaurant in New York, but he wants his mom's pot roast and German chocolate cake. and then he’ll have cake for breakfast the next day.” (laughs)

And that just makes me happy,” Steve declares. “And you know, regardless of what went on in my day, that day, when I'd come home for my – for my birthday meal, you know, I'm eight years old again. It just reminds me of a happy time. And we got to talking about everybody, it seems, has a happy food, you know, something that might remind you of your wedding or your anniversary or that place you went when your kids were little.”

Fond memories and good times are the main ingredients for these recipes, but the inspiration for the book came from something far more serious. In late 2015, Kathy went for a routine eye exam and was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare form of eye cancer.

“It's a very aggressive form of cancer that spreads very quickly and at that point they didn't know if mine had spread or not,” Kathy recalls. ‘“It did not. I'm okay. But all I could think of was, ‘I've got to get my recipes together for the kids because if I'm not here anymore, they need to know how to make the dressing and the cookies.’ I wanted my girls to have the recipes that they grew up with. That was really the germ of the idea.”’

 “And we decided we would put together our family recipe favorites and those of some of our friends and neighbors and some famous people we know, and that's where The Happy Cookbook came from. It's just a celebration of the recipes that make America smile,” says Steve.

The Doocys say that when it comes down to it, it’s about more than just the food; it’s about the stories go with it.

Whenever I think about our wedding reception, I think about a cake. But what happened to the cake?” Steve asks. ‘“Well, my mom said, ‘I'm gonna bring you the cake,’ from Abilene, Kansas. And we were getting married in Kansas City. And so, it never dawned on my parents, you know, a beautiful three-layer cake, in the trunk of a car, driving across Kansas when it's over 100 degrees.

And, so they pull up where we're getting married and we have the ceremony. And as we were walking toward the car, I knew something was up because right under the tailpipe there was like dribbling frosting. It was a pink and white frosting just like that, and I said, ‘Yeah, that's not good.”

And we opened it up and it-it had just smooshed. It had – it had fallen. And we went to the reception restaurant and, my dad who felt terrible because, you know, they had brought a slurry cake, said to the waiter, ‘Could – can you do anything with this?’ and he goes, ‘We could give everybody a straw.’ (Kathy laughs) Yeah, thanks. My dad convinced him, ‘Take it in the back room. Come back with something.’ Half an hour later he comes back, instead of three layers, it was one, and it-it looked fine. It did have kind of a steel-belted radial aftertaste. But, other than that, it was a happy memory.’” (laughter)

Steve and Kathy’s new cookbook celebrates those memories and gives others the chance to make new ones.

There is a certain kind of communion at dinnertime, around the table,” Steve observes. “And wherever you're breaking bread, it's a special moment. That's why you start the meal with a prayer, because it is a special event in your day. And so, we hope that when people sit down and have a meal they realize, you know, we don't know how this is gonna go, but this meal could have a happy significance that we'll never forget about.  It could the meal before you’re married or an anniversary, but you just never know when something is going to happen where years later you'll see that food again and it will trigger something in the nostalgia department in your brain and you'll remember it. ‘Oh!’ Remember, every time I see a car trunk, I think wedding cake.’" (laughter)

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