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Publishing mostly cookbooks in the early years, Gwen McKee became known as "The Cookbook Lady" and was frequently asked which book was her favorite. "An impossible decision," said McKee. "I began to list all my favorite cookbooks in Mississippi. Then Barney suggested creating a cookbook that highlighted all the best recipes within the state" Best of the Best from Mississippi soon became a reality and the beginning of a very successful series of state cookbooks: Quail Ridge Press' acclaimed Best of the Best State Cookbook Series.

Gwen enlisted the help of her good friend and golf-partner, Barbara Moseley. Barbara is a country girl who was raised on a dairy farm,and Gwen is a city gal with Cajun roots. Both love to cook and have families that love to eat, so reading and trying recipes was a natural for both of them. The two have been traveling the country gathering the best cookbooks from each state for three decades now. This is the only cookbook series known to cover all fifty states.