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Real Life Entertaining: Easy Recipes and Unconventional Wisdom Hardcover – May 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; First Edition edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060778474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060778477
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,540,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Entertainment columnist for the Miami Herald's Home & Design magazine and a boutique hotel owner, Rubell presents her unfussy approach to entertaining in this fun, energetic book. She arranges the recipes into seven sections, each focusing on a different type of gathering (e.g., "Dinner for a Crowd"; "Lunch Buffets"). At the start of each chapter, Rubell discusses how many people to invite, how to set the mood and what drinks to serve. As she promises, the recipes are easy, even for inexperienced cooks, yet are tasteful and delicious, often relying on staples like vinegars and mustard. Fresh herbs also find their way into most recipes, such as Grilled Shrimp with Garlic and Citrus, and Grilled Skirt Steak with Orange-Mint Chimichurri. "Party Tricks" are useful, suggesting, for instance, that the host bring the toaster into the dining room during brunch, so everyone can toast their own bagel without disrupting the conversation. "Real Life Wisdom" sidebars remind hosts to keep stress levels low when entertaining by doing whatever feels right to them, regardless of traditional rules. The book's only weak link is its dessert chapter, with just a handful of recipes, all of them sauces for ice cream. Still, this is a strong entry in the crowded entertaining field. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“With REAL LIFE ENTERTAINING, author Jennifer Rubell has conjured up 25 menus that are fresh, hip, and entirely doable.” (Seattle Times)

Customer Reviews

It helped me get over my fear of cooking and actually have some fun in the kitchen.
Gabrielle S.
I highly recommend this book for someone who loves to entertain but hates missing the party.
Paula N. Trehey
Techniques for entertaining pair easy yet elegant recipes with ideas for festive themes.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Elliot on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the cookbook we all needed starting out - at school, in college, first date, first marriage, first kid... and for everything after that too. I've never worked with a book before that made me think, "Wow, that was actually, really easy!" without making me feel like an idiot. Not only are the recipes actually, genuinely, totally useable, but they project Rubell's sexy confidence - you get the sense she's in the room with you saying, "Come on, just throw a little brown sugar and mustard on the pork, throw it in the oven and meet us upstairs for a drink." You do. It tastes perfect. And, you don't feel like a slave to the kitchen. This is a must have.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Ochoa on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I throw a fair number of parties but struggle with how to enjoy them more.

I decided to test this book before reviewing it by having 6 person dinner party. Everyone raved about the food (I made the skirt steak & parmesan/fig potatoes) and I actually did end up enjoying the process more. I followed Jennifer's advice and asked for help from the guests - one couple brought the appetizers, one set up bar outside and made mojitos -everyone had a good time. In fact, two of my "guinea pigs" went out and bought the book after the party.

I particularly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys having people around for parties but not necessarily the prep & process: non-foodies, newlyweds, new graduates. The recipes are easy and the advice is good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Antoni on May 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. I bought it because I have a fear of entertaining in my home and always make having guests into too much of a production, I found this book extremely helpful especially the party tricks and real life wisdom. I have repeated the Rustic Chicken Night numerous times. It is the juiciest chicken I have ever made. All my guests rave and ask for the recipes. I also like the one pot meals and the lunch buffets. This book is like a security blanket that has comforted me through many successful parties.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle S. on May 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Finally! a book that is filled with useful recipes that are easy and taste great and information that I can actually use. This book is an absolute MUST-HAVE for anyone who loves food. I have five cookbooks sitting on my shelf that I never even use because the recipes are too complicated. Rubell even tells you what you need to get started, how to set up your kitchen and how to cook and entertain on a variety of levels, whether you are cooking for four or twelve, she outlines a basic plan for every occasion that even a beginner can master. It helped me get over my fear of cooking and actually have some fun in the kitchen.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paula N. Trehey on September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have made several of these recipes and find them quick and delicious. They are easy and allow you time to enjoy yourself, spend some time with your guests and not spend all your time in the kitchen.
I questioned some of the ingredients in one recipe but followed it anyway and it was delicious. I even bought the book for a friend. I highly recommend this book for someone who loves to entertain but hates missing the party.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
REAL LIFE ENTERTAINING: EASY RECIPES AND UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM isn't for the party-giver who likes stress: it advocates a more carefree method of throwing a party whether impromptu or planned way ahead, foregoing fancy plans for budget-conscious convenience. Techniques for entertaining pair easy yet elegant recipes with ideas for festive themes. Color pictures throughout enhance the displays.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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