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Entertaining Book Reviews

Lumiere Light: Recipes from the Tasting Bar
by Rob Feenie & Marnie Coldham

Here are 90 of the most popular dishes and drinks from the Lumière Tasting Bar in Vancouver, an international culinary hot spot with a seductive glow, tapa-sized portions of sublime cuisine, and sophisticated cocktails. Now home cooks can reproduce these tantalizing tidbits for their own entertaining: Short Rib Sandwich, Duck Breast Salad with Vanilla-Poached Quince and Pomegranate, Truffled Raw Milk Camembert with Roasted Figs and Brioche, and India Spice Ice Cream. The drinks section includes the Sidecar, the French 75, and the Sazerac.





Mom's Secret Recipe File: More Than 125 Treasured Recipes from the Mothers of Our Greatest Chefs
by Chris Styler

Mom's Secret Recipe File is a veritable Who's Who of American cooking! Finally, a book that reveals our top celebrity chefs' most secret recipes -- the ones their moms taught them. 125 recipes





It's Bunco Time! Cookbook and Party Ideas
by Leslie Crouch

America is going Bunco! Now the World Bunco Association offers one book full of everything Bunco players need to know. Complete with rules, scorecards, recipes, and information on how to start a Bunco club and organize a Bunco party, It's Bunco Time! will let readers join the craze -- without rolling the dice. The cookbook includes recipes for beverages, appetizers, main and side dishes, desserts, and much more, all aimed at increasing the fun!





Taking Tea with Alice : Looking-Glass Tea Parties and Fanciful Victorian Teas
by Dawn Hylton Gottlieb & Diane Sedo

This delightful party planner combines the magic of Alice in Wonderland with the timeless charm of tea, showing readers how to create six of their own magical tea parties with "Alice" themes, and featuring recipes for a wide variety of scrumptious treats. Full-color illustrations & photos.





The Basic Gourmet Entertains
by Diane Morgan, Dan Taggart, Kathleen Taggart

This collection of recipes and tips teaches a beginner cook (or good cook who thinks they can't cook for a group) how to entertain and succeed at it. With suggested menus for on-your-feet entertaining, buffets, sit-down dinners, brunches, and outdoor entertaining, plus celebrations and holidays, The Basic Gourmet Entertains is the complete guide to entertaining for the beginner. There are eighteen menus and eight foolproof recipes in all. The authors provide key information, not only for the ingredients, but also the cooking and serving equipment necessary for each party. Additionally, each menu comes with a "Planning Ahead" agenda that walks the cook through the entire process. Every menu also suggests appropriate wines to be served with each course. Beautifully illustrated with full-color photographs and full of sage advice, this is definitely the definitive beginner's cookbook, designed to demystify the fine art of entertaining.


Casual Cookouts
by Better Homes and Gardens

Part of the Fresh and Simple series, Casual Cookouts provides 65 recipes and grill charts for meat, poultry, fish and seafood, as well as vegetarian entrees, side dishes and desserts. The most important information for every grilled recipe--how many minutes prep time and how many minutes on the grill--is given exactly. This book is a slim 92 pages of very easy to prepare recipes with color photographs, complete with serving suggestions with each entrée, and nutrition information for every recipe.


by Malcom Hillier

Whether organizing an informal brunch or picnic, a lavish dinner, champagne buffet or a cocktail party, this superbly illustrated guide is packed with inspirational ideas on how to entertain with style. Renowned cook and floral designer Malcolm Hillier suggests innovative themes and gives practical tips on choosing tableware, linen, flowers and lighting, guaranteeing that any event will be an affair to remember. Recipes include exotic dishes such as Peppered Scallops, provincial food like Flemish-style Beef, and rich finales including Chocolate and Coffee Cheesecake. Complete menus and recommended drinks are suggested for all types of occasions. Available in soft cover and hard cover.

Entertaining 1-2-3: More than 300 Recipes for Food and Drink Using Only Three Ingredients
by Rozanne Gold

Chef Rozanne Gold applies her ingenious formula for great dishes containing only three ingredients now to the art of entertaining. She proves that party food can be easy, beautiful and delicious to eat. A founder of the new culinary minimalism, Gold has created highly imaginative recipes that are marked by daring simplicity. Her repertoire of innovative food and dirnk includes more than 70 hors d'oeuvres, original cocktails and glorious menus for casual lunches, seasonal dinners and holiday celebrations. She knows that keeping it simple can also mean making it elegant.

The Gracious Table: The Art of Creating a Beautiful Table
by Margaret Caselton

OK, you've developed the menu, invited the guests, cleaned up the house, now how should you dress the table? Take a look at the glorious color photos of Merrell and Lung to see Caselton's vivid imagination at work with accessories and "stuff" that makes parties, candlelight dinners for two or breakfast in bed nothing short of fabulous. She also offers innovative menus and an intriguing group of black and white photos of international table settings for different cultures e.g. Chinese, English, et al. Who knew the teaspoon is not always on the right?

Holiday Entertaining
by Chuck Williams

An answered prayer for the home cook who freaks out during the holidays. The six menus include Thanksgiving, Hanukkah dinner, Christmas and New Year's dinners.

Hors d'Oeuvres
by Eric Treuille & Victoria Blashford-Snell

The first impression any amateur chef or home entertainer makes is the most important. It is with this in mind that Hors d'Oeuvres was written. Featuring over 250 recipes for elegant starters, it contains everything needed to turn a nervous beginner into a spectacular home cook. Flavors range from sweet (apple tatins, tiny cream scones with raspberry preserves) to savory (eggplant and pine nut fritters with roasted tomatoes, beet rosti with smoked trout and horseradish mousse). Written with a hands-on approach, the writers believe that with the right inspiration and careful planning, arranging an elegant party can be a pleasurable experience. The focus is on helping readers become confident cooks able to create hors d'oeuvres that are delightful to both the palate and the eyes.

Now You're Cooking for Company
by Elaine Corn

Ever worried about cooking for company? It's a thing of the past, thanks to Elaine Corn. Her book will put even the most jittery host at ease. She'll give you confidence by teaching you how to take a few basic recipes and combine them for winning results. You'll also learn how to plan a menu, set your table and even clean up quickly. The chatty "Let's Talk" section next to each recipe is the next best thing to having Ms. Corn in the kitchen with you.

Portable Food:
Great Tasting Food for Entertaining Away from Home

by Lee Bailey

Summer picnics lend themselves to festive languor. It's a virtual art form in the South, where folks endure withering heat a big chunk of the year. But rather than resisting the swelter, they regard it as something sensuous, uplifting and fun to be enjoyed in exceedingly slow motion. Bailey, a Dixieland native, gets the picnicker on track from the get-go, for the first of his more than 80 simple recipes is Southern-Fried Pecan Chicken. The book includes eight kinds of breads, four different kinds of meat loaf and four all-meat casseroles (consider the Chicken Enchiladas with Andouille Sausage.) The chapter on savory pies offers a choice of three pastries and eight fillings -- mostly of the meat variety. Let's just say there will be no starving at a spread that Bailey's consulted.

The Surreal Gourmet Entertains
by Bob Blumer

If Martha Stewart were really wacky, you can bet your bruschettas she'd be Bob Blumer. At least, that's the claim of Chronicle Books, which publishes Blumer's second cookbook The Surreal Gourmet Entertains: High-fun, Low-stress Dinner Parties for 6 to 12 People. Blumer does what no cookbook writer has done before, he admits that you can stage a swell soiree even if your silverware and dishes hearken from the hodgepodge of garage sale miscellany and you haven't a clue as to which fork to use first. No disrespect intended toward Martha, as she serves the purpose of perfection well. Blumer, on the other hand, serves the purpose of getting the darned thing off the ground with a bit of panache, and a broad sense of humor. (Let's just say he's mining a different consumer niche.) His bizarre -- I'll say it, surreal -- illustrations (a coconut with udders, a bottle of Tabasco with a blow torch at the tip and a fish with green leaf fins and tail) add levity to the preparatory process. How much work are we really talking about? The book offers twenty-five easy recipes from which one may assemble the basic three-course menu. The idea is to spend no more than a total of 90 minutes in the kitchen. Homemade desserts are optional. After all, who's going to say no to ice cream and chocolate candy? The remainder of this 120-page "thingamaBob" is dedicated to party pointers like: where to seat you anti-social friends and how to pull off theme parties without looking stupid. This is the book to give to friends who keep accepting your invitations for dinner, but don't reciprocate. They'd be out of excuses.

Stacks: The Art of Vertical Food
by Deborah Fabricant

If you've ever dreamed about finding just the right recipe--one sure to wow your guests, that does not require days of advance preparation but is an edible masterpieces that will be the talk of the party, take a look at Stacks. We've been amazed at the architectural wonders appearing on restaurant tables across the country, but they've remained a mystery to home chefs till now. Fabricant's collection of more than 75 recipes and 40 photos shows us all how to cook up dazzling and delicious towers with a perfect mix of humor, practicality and personal style. This 175-page soft cover contains very ethnically diverse dishes--all with one thing in common. They are vertical, colorful, and delicious.

The Thanksgiving Cookbook:
More than 340 Recipes for All Your Traditional Thanksgiving Favorites

by Holly Garrison

This is an interesting departure from the typical Thanksgiving menu planner and offers dishes from all across the U.S. from Pumpkin Soup to Grits Souffl». Who can fault a cookbook writer who offers explicit how to directions for cooking the goose or the turkey; nineteen stuffing recipes; twenty-seven cranberry relishes, sauces and desserts, and recipes for all those leftovers, including California Turkey Walnut Salad, a creation of Joyce Goldstein of Square One. No photographs, but our universal memory bank will serve us well to imagine these variations on the Thanksgiving theme.

Vegetarian Entertaining
by Diana Shaw

It's a pleasure to discover a food writer who understands
there's more to hosting a vegetarian meal than shrouding falafel in pita bread. In Vegetarian Entertaining, Diana Shaw provides 25 seasonal menus paired with meal-planning strategies. Her more than 200 recipes, though generally simple to prepare, feature sophisticated flavors along with gourmet ingredients and techniques.

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