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Cocktail Parties, Straight Up!: Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks, and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining With Style Paperback – September 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076455896X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764558962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Do you want to break out of the cheese-and-crackers rut? Do you like to entertain and want great recipes, practical ideas, and creative ways to add pizzazz? Do you want to join the ranks of those wonderful hosts and hostesses who throw great parties and make it seem effortless? This book gives you the information and ideas you need—straight up! You'll find:

Start-to-finish guides for 12 fun—not overdone—cocktail parties, including "Open-Mike Night," "A Make-Your-Own Martini Party," and "Any Excuse to Celebrate!"

Guidelines, tips, and shortcuts to help you create a successful gathering for any occasion

Easy-to-follow planning advice for stocking the bar, estimating how much food to make, decorating without glue guns or big florist bills, and more

More than 60 recipes for delicious and different hors d'oeuvres, including Shrimp with Spicy Lime Dip and Wild Mushroom Tartlets

Creative signature cocktails, such as the Border Crossing, Pink Panther, and Between the Sheets, that make each party feel special

Secrets to being a confident host, such as how to handle a glassware shortage, quick tricks to end a party gracefully, and easy ways to ensure that both you and your guests have a fabulous time!

Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! features lots of ways to liven up the atmosphere and loosen up the crowd. You'll see how a cocktail party can be très chic without being très expensive or très stressful. So raise a glass and say, "Cheers!" With this book, you're ready to shake, stir, and entertain with style.

From the Back Cover

Envision a cocktail party with charisma.

One where the drinks and the conversations flow . . .

Where everything's all abuzz and aglow . . .

Where all the guests are meeting and mixing effortlessly . . .

Where the food fits the mood . . .

Where the home has a warm, inviting ambience . . .

Where the hosts or hostesses are having a good time, too.

Welcome to Cocktail Parties, Straight Up!

A Sampling of the Recipes

  • Baby Lamb Chops with Rosemary Mustard Cream
  • Shrimp & Polenta Wedges
  • Artichoke & Green Olive Dip
  • Empanaditas
  • Goat Cheese & Leek Croustades
  • Savory Cheese Puffs
  • Top-Your-Own New Potatoes
  • Spiced Bar Nuts
  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches Two Ways
  • Champagne-Marinated Grapes
  • Cuban Sandwiches Peque?os
  • Asian Chicken Meatballs with Sweet-Sour Sauce

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
The recipes are very clearly written and easy to follow.
Amanda
The tips and suggestions will make you the life of your next cocktail party!
Goodson
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves entertaining.
Alissa Ronnebaum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Shaw on December 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
With this book in hand, all you need to worry about is sending out the invites and getting to the grocery store! The Purcell Sisters have distilled everything you need to know to throw a perfectly delicious-and fun-soiree without the usual stress. Their Rule of 5 is simply genius. Follow it, and you'll actually enjoy the party with your guests instead of slaving the night away in the kitchen. What I love most about this book, though, is that it gave me the guts to throw a party that includes friends from all the different pockets of my life. The conversation kick-starters and doable (but not cheesy) themes will help even the most hesitant minglers work the room like a pro.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Leah R. Tews on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book! My husband and I have thrown a number of parties and I now realize just where we have went wrong. The themes are creative, the helpful suggestions and tips are priceless for success. I can hardly wait to throw and new and improved party.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kim on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I guess I didn't pay enough attention before I made this purchase. I read the positive reviews and since I like to entertain I ordered it. I found it very disappointing. It's an odd size paperback with smallish print. There are no photos, just some tiny abstract purple hors d'oeuvres, which cover most every half page.

I can't for the life of me understand why everyone is so enamored with this book. I wasn't interested in the ridiculous "gently themed" party ideas, (which uses props like ping pong balls and pink and blue marbles) but hopefully to find some great new appetizer or hors d'oeuvres. I was hoping for some clever quick shortcuts, or savvy entertaining tips. If I gave a cocktail party using these suggestions/recipes my friends would laugh me off the loft!

The suggestion that "Guests love hors d'oeuvres that they can "customize" to their own taste" leads to a recipe where you boil new potatoes and cut an X in the top. The idea is for guests to pinch the potato open so they can top it with crème fraiche or sea salt. That's it? In the Wine-Tasting Party menu they list Wine Crackers. Turns out you are to simply place bowls of oyster crackers throughout the room.

Honestly, I tried to find something new I would use to entertain my guests but I just didn't. If using Styrofoam coolers placed in your bathtub is the method you want to use for cooling champagne then this book is for you!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Kennedy on December 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be full of attitude without being insulting, the ideas are clever, the recipes won't fail you - and you don't have to have formal culinary education or a kitchen full of gadgets to create fabulous menus. I have already tried out several on friends with raves. There are many great ideas and now I'm giving the book to friends and family who will shine as hosts in the new year. Go to their website [...] and sign up for the newsletter.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ashley F. Bedell on October 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
From someone who would rather GO to a party than THROW a party, this book rocks. The many helpful tips keep you out of the kitchen and enjoying the party. Lots of "plan ahead/make ahead" ideas that result in great food and drink and wonderful themes and "entertainment." Moreover, it reads as though your best friend was there helping you plan all the way through. PARTY ON!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ebette on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for the neophyte or less confident host(ess) who wants to throw great parties without having a panic attack. It reads like your best friend wrote it-- and gives you straight forward information (like how much food to make/have), great ideas (for how to be sure guests mingle and have a great time)and recipes for killer-good food and cool drinks...You don't have to Martha to throw a really fun, lively party.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer R. Martin on May 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been awaiting entertainment help like this forever! The tips shared by the Purcell Sisters are priceless - modern, easy, and fun! Just reading the book makes me want to throw a party.

Everything is arranged in a way that is easy to follow. From styles of parties, appropriate food to match the theme, and drinks that are sure to captivate the guests (and imagine this: they even give you recipes to make pitchers of these drinks, NO THOUGHT PROCESS WHATSOEVER!).. they offer suggestions on how to get your guests mingling, even the shy ones - and how to create a fun or sexy atmosphere, depending on what you're looking for.

This book is the best! I'm so glad i found it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By EVB on October 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the perfect book if you do not have time (or the desire) to read a variety of books on entertaining, mixology and cooking. The Purcell sisters give you all the information you need to throw a great party in an accessible, easy-to-follow format. The recipes are straightforward and delicious, and the entertaining tips are a revelation. You can't "look inside this book" on Amazon, but there's an excerpt on the authors' website that will give you a taste of the very friendly, very funny flavor of the writing. It's at [...].
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