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Entertaining Simple Paperback – September 16, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470174994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470174999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Entertaining Simple, lifestyle and entertaining guru Matthew Mead shows you how to say goodbye to party jitters and say hello to stylish, easygoing gatherings. He gives you everything you need for parties that are wonderfully simple--and simply wonderful.

Packed with beautiful color photographs, this great guide gives you innovative ideas, tasty recipes, and complete game plans for all kinds of get-togethers. To demonstrate how to put his simple entertaining ideas into practice, Matthew gives you complete plans for eight fabulous get-togethers and he provides creative serving ideas and tempting menus for each party.

Complete with source listings and savvy tips on everything from setting up a bar to storing linens, Entertaining Simple is simply indispensable if you want to impress your guests with great food and creative table settings--without spending a lot of time or money.

Photos from Chapter 3: "Make It Your Own: Personalizing the Table" (Click on Image to Enlarge)


Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from Entertaining Simple




Shrimp with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Herb-Roasted Chicken

Roasted Vegetables

Apple Coffeecake

From the Back Cover

"Entertaining Simple is about restoring sanity to entertaining, without sacrificing style in the least. It's about creating easygoing events where the focus is on what matters: the people. After all, what's the point in having friends and family over if you can't enjoy their company?"—Matthew Mead

There's nothing better than a relaxed get-together with friends and family. But how do you relax when you're in charge of putting the party together, making sure your décor is just right, and cooking food your guests will love? In Entertaining Simple, lifestyle and entertaining guru Matthew Mead shows you how to say goodbye to party jitters and say hello to stylish, easygoing gatherings. He gives you everything you need for parties that are wonderfully simple—and simply wonderful.

Entertaining Simple is packed with beautiful color photographs, innovative ideas, tasty recipes, and complete game plans for all kinds of get-togethers. The book starts with a rundown of entertaining essentials—the simple white tableware, clear glassware, and basic serving pieces that are a must for any party. The fun part begins when Matthew shows you how to get creative with these essentials—and add a level of casual sophistication to your parties. You'll find great ideas for using old standbys in new ways, like egg cups as bud vases or votive holders as espresso cups. You'll discover how to use printed paper doilies, stamped napkin rings, or stylish vintage flowers to create personalized place settings. And you'll learn fresh ways to add style with stickers, decals, and rubber bands.

To demonstrate how to put his simple entertaining ideas into practice, Matthew gives you complete plans for eight fabulous get-togethers, from a Lazy-Day Brunch and a Summer Barbecue to a Good Spirits Cocktail Party and a Holiday Open House. For each party, he provides inspiring photographs, creative serving ideas, and tempting menus. The 54 recipes included—Herbed Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Lobster and Avocado Salad, Herbed Goat Cheese Bites, and Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling, to name just a few—are as easy to make as they are tasty to eat. Your guests will love the stylish ambiance, delicious food, and relaxed atmosphere. And with lots of do-ahead tips and shortcuts using prepared foods, it's easy for you to get out of the kitchen, join the party, and have fun.

Complete with source listings and savvy tips on everything from setting up a bar to storing linens, Entertaining Simple is simply indispensable if you want to impress your guests with great food and creative table settings—without spending a lot of time or money. Best of all, with Matthew's simple entertaining tips and strategies, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the party yourself!


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TJE on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've spent too many parties in my own kitchen, rushing around crazily trying to make things perfect, without having any time left to talk to my guests. This wonderfully imaginative yet practical book tells me exactly how to avoid that scenario--so I can throw a beautiful party, show my friends a good time, and really enjoy myself too. I highly recommend it!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By An accomplished hostess on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am quite a fan of Matthew Mead and liked what I saw on the site, however I am returning my book. Some ideas for entertaining simple include a candle in a doughnut, making take out food look like you made it (take it out of the boxes), and wrapping a ribbon around your silverware. I was very unimpressed. I thought it was geared to young persons without the tabletop dishes or experience entertaining. Check it out at a bookstore or library before buying.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kate on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
At this time of year, I always consider throwing a holiday get-together and then talking myself out of it. After reading "Entertaining Simple," I'm going to make it happen. The ideas are doable, fun, engaging and the photography is beautiful. This is a lovely book to use and own any time of the year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By sandmeistress on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Okay, I am entertaining-impaired. I WANT to have people over, I WANT things to look and feel beautiful--but instead, I spend my whole time stressing about how to make things go better, and running around like a madwoman doing things that I should have thought of way in advance, if I'd had any sense or any organization. This book, with its beautiful photographs and its wonderful simplicity, makes me want to actually give a party! With the information here, I feel as though even I can make it work! And have fun at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Sparkles on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I confess ... the secret of my success in the kitchen is in the way I present the food, and I'm always on the lookout for food styling ideas.

"entertaining simple" shows different ways to use basic serving dishes, in much the same way as books on fashion illustrate different ways to accessorise a basic wardrobe. This is the idea that attracted me to the book when I first glimpsed it in the bookshop, and it was what I took out of it on a detailed read. (The recipes and shortcuts were "bonus material" for me). As other reviewers have mentioned, Mead uses only white flatware (and glass). My personal preference is to use more colour in my flatware, but I can find plenty of ideas on mixing and matching colour in the glossy mags and other books.

What I think would have been a useful addition to the book (and maybe a launch point for a sequel, or a different concept, without the recipes) is some guidance on selecting the various pieces. Mixing and matching shape and scale. Choosing between the different types of "china" on the market (buy the lightest platter you can afford if you intend to carry or offer food or other dishes on it). Other practical considerations (will the plates fit in your dishwasher or will you chain yourself to the sink after every gathering you host??).

I liked this book and am pleased it will help me find more potential in the beautiful items I have already collected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By crazybooknerd on July 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a decorating, floral arrangement, cooking, and entertaining book, all in one! It is so fabulous, I often sit and flip through it just to get ideas on getting creative around my house with new shelving arrangements to artfully display simple housewares, or an idea for the batch of flowers I've just brought home.

If you like to have people over and create a cozy, attractive environment that shows off a little of your personal style, yet don't like the stuffy, pretentious old way, then this is the book for you. Also, if you're more interested in hanging out with the people you brought over rather than spending the whole night in the kitchen, then this book will allow you to pull this all off with style.

Truly one of my favorite books I own, (and believe me, I own a lot!!!)
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