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Perfect Party Food: All the Recipes and Tips You'll Ever Need for Stress-Free Entertaining from the Diva of Do-Ahead Paperback – October 5, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Recipes provide 10 to 12 servings, and all have at least some elements (even if it's only salad dressing or sauce) to prepare in advance. Phillips provides a table for multiplying recipes for larger parties, a list of essential tools and pantry items and an entertaining primer for rescuing disasters, from lumpy sauce to too many guests. She even gives her email for last minute disaster aversion.
Brief intros to each dish suggest variations and describe the dish's character. Step-by-step instructions pause at "do-ahead" points, and give instructions for how, and how long, to store, be it a few hours, days, or even months.
From drinks (Mulled Wine, Margaritas) through appetizers (Marinated Shrimp, Pigs in a Blanket) salads (Marinated Orange, Chicken Waldorf), sides (Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Wild Mushroom Rice), poultry (Tarragon Sesame, Oven Fried, French Farmhouse), seafood (Pesto-Crusted Fillets, New England Clam Pie, Seafood Gumbo), meat (Braised Beef in Cabernet Sauvignon, Swedish Meatballs, Pulled Pork Barbecue), to dessert (Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake, Chocolate Truffles), Phillips emphasizes accessibility, be it sit-down elegant or grazing casual.
A versatile sauce chapter, from Cilantro Pesto to Quick Berry, offers a choice of serving suggestions and Phillips ("The Perfect Mix") also includes chapters for breakfast and lunch. Thoroughly unintimidating and full of useful advice beyond food preparation, this is a practical, comforting guide to making entertaining a pleasure.
- Portsmouth Herald
I have entertained from it for two brunches (the Bloody Marys and the Peach Amaretto French toast are amazing. Oooo, and the coffee cake muffins!) - 14 people, and it was ready when they walked in the door. I have done spectacular tarts from it for a SuperBowl party. I have made Harry Belafonte bars for a neighborhood coffee klatch. I made scones and pineapple/coconut muffins for a meeting. I have done an entire dinner from it, and taken it to a friend whose husband had a stroke. In EVERY case, someone (and sometimes multiple people) asked me for one or more of the recipes, which I take as a fine measure of the quality of the recipes. AND - you get to enjoy your parties, because it is all done ahead, and you can be confident that everything will be delicious.
I have also found this book to be an excellent resource for taking food to those who have a new baby, a family crisis or an illness. It gives you the ability to finish a great dish up to the point that it goes into the oven, then take to someone with directions that say "put in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes then enjoy!"
Not only does the author Diane Phillips present appetizing recipes, all the recipes included in this 704-page volume are quick and easy to prepare, so you can focus on the other aspects of preparing to entertain for guests. When it comes to those other entertainment aspects, this book is chock full of great hints and tips for preparing for your party.
Whether your party is small get-together of close friends or a larger party with a long guest list, this "Diva of Do-Ahead" helps the reader have everything planned and prepared from the beginning, so there are no surprises. But she doesn't stop there! Ms. Phillips also provides information she calls "Diva Tips" to assist you in case the unexpected happens, such as having extra guests show up, last minute quick items in case one of your dishes splats on the floor, and how to salvage cooking mistakes and make presentable appetizers from them.
Each recipe is categorized and marked with the type of party for which that dish is best suited. There are five categories from which to choose: casual, grazing, holiday, informal, and elegant. Each of these categories contains traditional foods the reader would expect to find in a party preparation and meal-planning guide, but this book takes it a step further. For the more adventurous party planners, Perfect Party Food also offers a variety of non-traditional and ethnic recipes to appeal to your wild side of party planning.
Simply put, Perfect Party Food, by Diane Phillips is much more than just your regular garden variety cookbook. It truly is a complete party planning guide, suitable for the novice party planner to the seasoned party throwing veteran.
Chocolate Zoom Magazine
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Lots of ideas and plan-ahead preparation appetizers and hors d'oeuvres using down-to-earth food.Published 2 months ago by M. Knepple
This is a wonderful addition to my party food library! The recipes are diverse, timeless and fool-proof. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jacquetta Bess
I own this cookbook and bought a copy for my friend. Doing things ahead before a party are wonderful, but these recipes are the best recipes I have ever tasted. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Patti Hill
With hundreds, I repeat hundreds of recipes, this cookbook is jammed packed with delightful and delicious dishes. Read morePublished 9 months ago by C Schoeneck
Not just for parties! A generous coillection of useful recipes for many occasions.Published 9 months ago by BBFrick
This book changed my life! I love to entertain, but it always seemed to be that I'd spend the entire day of the party in the kitchen, making me too tired to enjoy the event. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tex
This book has a lot of practical information on preparing parts of your meal in advance so that you are not trapped in the kitchen at your own parties. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Epigrammata
It weighs a ton which is hard for me since I have issues holding heavy things. But the recipes are great so its worth having to sit at a table in order to read it.Published 13 months ago by C. Penner
The best cookbook I have ever had. It is now my regular gift for brides complete with personal notes on the recipes. They love it!Published 14 months ago by Ann A