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Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two Paperback – August 1, 2008

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Easy Entertaining for Beginners is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has been honored by this distinguished award. --Mom's Choice Awards

Finalist 2008 National Best Books: Cookbook Category --USA Book News

About the Author

Patricia Mendez has catered and coordinated special events for 17 years in Southern California. She currently teaches Easy Entertaining for Beginners cooking classes. She has mentored many aspiring hosts and hostesses and when she is not teaching or writing she is throwing fun parties.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Maple Heights Press (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979956404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979956409
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia has catered and coordinated special events since the early 1990's. A natural teacher, she has mentored many aspiring hosts and hostesses and teaches "Easy Entertaining for Beginners" cooking classes. She is a public speaker and writes articles for print magazines and "Easy Entertaining" articles for internet sites.

Her book, Easy Entertaining for Beginners has been recognized with multiple awards, including a 2009 Mom's Choice Award. She is the Easy Entertaining Spokesperson for Lifetime Products Inc and is a member of the Judges Panel for the 2010 Mom's Choice Awards.

She lives in Southern California, and when she's not writing or teaching, she is a home chef who loves to throw a fun party. Her advice to beginners who want to learn to host great casual entertaining? "Do a few things and do those well. You don't have to be a gourmet chef or a nervous wreck to host a great dinner party!"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Winters on August 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are a number of things I like about this book:

* The checklist of preparations that tell you when to do what.

* It is a very attractive book with a user-friendly format.

* The color section is great. It is always nice to know what a recipe should look like when it is prepared.

* The tips for successful hosting and mistakes to avoid are really helpful whether you are a new cook, or an experienced host or hostess.

* I really like this complete guide to 13 delicious menus.

This is welcome guide to cooking and entertaining.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MD Arrata on July 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I finally broke down and bought a book to help me with my cocktail parties. I wanted to do just a little more than offer Cosco food platters at my get-togethers. Patricia's book has opened my eyes to to the true meaing of entertaining. My husband and I hosted our first "real" party and it was so easy to plan and prepare for and it was way more fun than anything we've done in the past. I'm on my way to true entertaining and can't wait for our next party. The recipies in this book were super easy and delicious that everyone thought I had it catered. I can't wait to give this as a gift for my girlfriend's upcoming bridal shower. Thanks for writing this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joy Delgado on July 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The title says exactly what this cookbook is all about. Easy Entertaining for Beginners. In the Table of Contents you will find menus like "My First Cocktail Party" and "Family Fiesta". The section `About this book' gently encourages you to take the first step into the world of entertaining and melts away any fears you might have. In the section `Getting started' you will find common sense approaches to planning and preparing by pacing yourself. In the center of the book there are beautiful color pictures of a number of the dishes to temp you with.

The layout of this cookbook is very well thought out. Each chapter contains the following: menu, recipes, a step by step checklist (this walks you through what to do starting up to three days before the event all the way up to the guests arrival), optional shortcuts, party etiquette, mistakes to avoid and tips to ensure success. Some even give you drink and music suggestions.

This book is a good addition to any cooks collection. If you are a beginner, this book will go a long way in helping you become a fabulous host/hostess.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tokemise on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You can throw a fabulous party, from a holiday fiesta to a romantic evening for two by Patricia Mendez
Are you a busy mom, hard working career women, young adult just moving into your own home? Are you an experienced cook, hostess and entertainer or do you hate to cook and have no idea how to throw a party? This book can help you and anyone who wants to throw a quick, easy, but fabulous party.
Containing 13 complete menus this is much more that just a cookbook. Each chapter includes the information for one event some of which include: My First Cocktail Party, Romantic Dinner for Two, Girlfriend's Tea, Guy's Night Out, My First Thanksgiving and more.
Each chapter begins with a summary description of the event with ideas for things to do and decorating ideas. Next the menu it listed and followed by the recipes. A step by step checklist tells you what to do and when. At the end of each section is "optional shortcuts, party etiquette, mistakes to avoid and tips to ensure success. Many also include drink ideas and suggestions for music and full color photos.
I found this to be a wonderful and useful book. The menus are simple to prepare and don't use alot of special ingredients but they are all elegant and impressive. As a person who doesn't really enjoy cooking and has four children I always want to host wonderful events but am always so stressed I end not having any fun. The check lists in this book lead me through it all step by step. I feel confident I can actually do this.
This is a well written and organized book with lots of helpful hints and thoughts. It's like learning to cook and entertain from your mom or best friend. For my Anniversary coming up I plan to use the Romantic Dinner for Two menu.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to entertain but lacks confidence and this would be a great gift for a new bride or a young person just setting up their own home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DarcyO on August 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Patricia Mendez has created a wonderful primer for the novice entertainer in her book, "Easy Entertaining for Beginners." Mendez offers 13 tasty party menu ideas complete with beverage and music selections.

Chapter titles include "My First Cocktail Party," "Romantic Dinner for Two," "Dinner for the In-Laws," "Girlfriends' Tea," Mother's Day Brunch," "Family Fiesta," "Fourth of July Bash," "Two Themed Children's Birthday Parties," "Dinner Party with Close Friends," "Guys' Night Out," "My First Thanksgiving," and "Christmas Season Social."

My favorite menu items include Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts on Mini-Croissants (from the Girlfriends' Tea menu), Carne Asada (from the Family Fiesta menu) and Cheddar Hash Brown Gratin (from the Christmas Season Social menu).

Mendez's dessert and beverage offerings are fantastic and include Kahlua Fudge Brownie Pie, Cointreau Chocolate Truffles and Strawberries, Hurricanes, Cosmopolitans, Guava Mimosas, Pomegranate Sparkling Punch, and more.

Mendez also offers practical advice and etiquette tips for each celebration. She puts the reader at ease and makes them believe they'll be able to execute a fun party. And for people like me who lack organization skills, she has even included a checklist for each party that includes a timeline of when to do what -- I love that!

"Easy Entertaining for Beginners" has won the following awards: 2009 Silver Recipient Mom's Choice Award, 2008 National Best Books Finalist, First Place cooking category: 2008 Reader Views Literary Awards, and 2009 Indie Excellence Finalist.

I highly recommend this book for the novice, and not so novice, entertainer.
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