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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2001
This is the ultimate Hors D'Oeuvres handbook -- the best I've ever come across.
In this massive tome, Martha covers all types of hors d'oevres. In addition to easy-to-follow instructions, every "finished product" is beautifully photographed and labled. All you have to do is flip through the photograph section at the beginning of the book, select the hors d'oevres you would like to make, mark it with one of the attached silk book holders, and flip to the recipe in the back of the book.
Here are a few notes:
1.) Included in the back of the book is a good index (This is helpful if you want to search for a specific main ingredient -- like if you have 10 lbs. of asparagus you need to use up.) and a resource guide (This is great for those who don't have a gourmet supermarket within driving distance. Almost all ingredients and tools can be ordered either via the internet, by phone, or mail.).
2.) As is typical with Martha's books, the recipes are high on presentation and low on portability. These delicacies are best suited to an at-home cocktail party, as most of the items to not travel well due to their sometimes elaborate construction.
3.) A nice feature is the classic recipes section featuring party favorites such as stuffed mushrooms. (These recpies are great, as my guests are not always in the mood for nori or endive.)
4.) While I appreciate the design choice to put all of the photos at the beginning of the book, I would have preferred the pictures be featured with each recipe. Expect to flip back and forth a bunch of times.
Functional Note:
You'll need bookweights or a cookbook stand to hold this open, as the pages are packed pretty tightly.
Bon appetit!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2000
I have used this book several times, made me want to have a party to try out these wonderful recipes. Full-color photos which show you what the food is supposed to look like; and well labeled -- telling you what page the recipe is on. Such creative ideas for snacks and treats, "why didn't I think of that?". Recipes are well detailed, easy to follow, good print (making it easy to read) with special notes on pages telling you where to get "hard to find items" and techniques explained. I think this book is not necessarily for beginners, but, those who love to cook and love to take time and pride in their cooking. Everytime I have made something from this cook book I get "waves of praise". The back of the book has "the Guide" which gives additional information from planning a party to taking Horsd'Oeuvre to a party. Equipment and ingredients are explained, as well as, a source list. I recommend this book to anyone, again, who loves to cook. It is right up there with the other Martha Stewart cookbooks, great!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2000
When I am ready to don my apron to prepare for a cocktail or dinner party, this is the first book that I pull off the shelf. I flip through the beautiful and tantalizing photos in the front third of the book, find what I want to try, and then go on to the correlating how-to page. The recipes are easy to follow, some more involved than others, but depending on how much time you have, it's easy to make a choice on what to serve. The last chapter entitled The Guide is filled with a wealth of information - menus, an index of culinary utensils, description of uncommon and exotic foods and spices, equipment and food sources and a directory of specialty shops. I also like the built-in fabric book markers - great to mark favorite recipes.
This informative book has been a welcome addition to my cooking library and I recommend it to anyone who loves to entertain. It will also make life easier for those who are sometimes forced to entertain whether they like to or not!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 1999
I actually just reviewed this book as part of a summer cookbook roundup of around 20 books, and voted it the best in the lot. Why? I chose simple, quick recipes to make, and they all turned out perfectly. Guests actually asked me where I bought the gorgeous breadsticks (Martha's quick sticks). Made those in five minutes flat. I also made the blue cheese and pecan crackers (another five whole minutes out the window), the sesame crusted chicken sandwiches (my sister in law, who is a very picky eater, raved). I wasn't about to start filling grapes with cheese, or stuffing cherry tomatoes; that's just not me. But there are enough economical, easy dishes in here to suite even the kitchn tyro.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2000
As owner of a large catering company in central Ohio, I was beginning to grow tired of Martha and of requests from brides to reproduce "Martha's Look". This book, however, is wonderful. It is full of new ideas and twists on the old standbys. Every hors d'oeuvre is illustrated and detailed recipes follow. Ms. Stewart does tend to take some easy recipes and make them more difficult than is necessary, however. Use her book as a guideline and adapt the items to fit your needs.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2000
I must admit, that generally Martha Stewart does not impress me, so I seriously considered not buying this book. I did browse through it in a bookstore however, and was very impressed. As someone who does a lot of entertaining, I am always on the lookout for cookbooks related to party foods. This book has every conceivable appetizer you could ever imagine, with glorious colored photos and generally quite easy to follow recipes. Martha spans across the world using many different types of cuisines, creating an eclectic combination of hors d'oeuvres recipes. Although I am still not a fan, I must admit she did a fantastic job with this cookbook, and I am certain it will be one I will use many times in the years to come.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 1999
Although this book is beautiful and packed with recipes, each one requires more time and careful composition than most of us have before a party. Typical Martha! I suppose if I were bringing one hors d'oeuvre to a party I could carefully put together one of these creations, but when I entertain I'm also doing the dinner and dessert and usually I put out several hors d'oeuvres. You might as well get this book from the library and peruse it for the few recipes you might make -- it certainly won't become a frequent reference unless you have a kitchen staff.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2000
I'm a Personal Chef/Caterer and I almost threw this book across the room. Take the measurements for the salt with a grain a salt! I cooked some stuff for an event and it was WAY too salty--this has happened on quite a few recipes from this book. Martha is renowned for not really testing the recipes! Anyway, the pictures are great, and the recipes are great--just watch the salt!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2005
The phrase "hors d'oeuvres" has a very fancy tone, and certainly this book is a wonderful resource if you're considering hosting or contributing to a top-notch event. But I would like to emphasize the fact that Martha's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook can be used for any kind of little get together- some of the ideas are very simple, ones that I use regularly, such as her classic spiced nuts mix, which gets raves whenever I make it. Sure, I once made the grilled scallops atop homemade potato chips-brushed-with-minted-pea -puree for my father's birthday, and they were delicious, but this book is really a great one to use even for simpler occasions.

It is a really special collection of beautiful ideas- how to arrange a cheese platter by region (english cheeses, etc), how to serve individual dumplings that burst with broth and flavor in your mouth when you bite into them (preparing them with a frozen cube of broth in each one before heating is the secret!), and on and on. The photography is stunning. The section on "classics" or "favorites" is a great place to start- choose one or two and invite some friends over. You'll have so much fun.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 1999
The book has wonderfull pictures and great instructions but I found most of the ingrediants are unusual and would be difficult to find. Several of the recipes take longer and are more difficult to prepare then the meal. I regret paying so much for the book.
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