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on August 2, 2007
I've been daunted by throwing parties for years, always embaressed to be whirling like a dirvish in my kitchen an hour after my intended start time, so caught up in food-making that I miss out on my own soiree.
to me, the most invaluble part is the suggested menus for themed culinary soirees. The author breaks down what can be prepared days, hours, minutes in advance which meant that, despite having a full work week and only an hour to prepare, I was able to throw together an impressive spread. while the gorgeous photographs make the appetizers look daunting, everything I prepared was simple enough, especially since I was doing it over the course of a handful of days and had time to clean up. And it was so good!

my complaints: the authors don't always explain what's what so well. so, while I was intrigued by the carrot escuchebe suggested as part of a fiesta themed menu, I had no idea what it was to be served with. also, some of the ingredients are difficult to obtain, although reasonable substitutions are suggested.

it's a nice book to use as a launch pad--you can guess where your own cheats can be (a good store-bought salsa or guacamole, for instance). and it sure makes a pretty coffee table book.

I highly recommend this for anyone who aspires to take entertaining to another level, but isn't quite ready to take on Martha Stewart.
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on January 9, 2007
I discovered this book at a friend's home and the recipes and range of dishes got us to thinking. What a fun dinner party! We decided on ten items to make and bought all of the ingredients. We invited a group of friends over and we all were involved in making the dinner. We discovered that not only were the dishes delicious, but the recipes were easy to follow. I purchased the book from Amazon and have made many dishes since then. The portions are perfect for a single guy.
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There is a revolution going on. The formality of the dining room table is being exchanged for a more relaxed gathering around the coffee table as the new mode for entertaining. ~Jennifer Joyce

From the first page, Small Bites impresses with artistically designed culinary temptations. With minimal effort you can make soups, salads, skewers, wrapped Japanese style delicacies, sweets and even dishes of tempting vegetables.

These dishes are known as tapas, antipasti, mezze or finger food. They are perfect for a lifestyle that promotes social gatherings like book clubs or parties.

Unique selections: Fried Artichokes with Saffron Aioli, followed by an entire section on Latin Fiesta that includes classic recipes for a margarita. For the fried food recipes, you are sent to various pages of interest. Crispy Scallops can be dipped in Wasabi Mayonnaise and Ithaca Zucchini cakes are served with a dill yogurt sauce.

The soups are served in small cups or creative containers. The Red curry Pumpkin Soup is made with coconut milk, chicken stock and fresh pumpkin. Cilantro and shallots garnish the spicy garlicky soup.

The Dips chapter also contains a recipe for Mango crush and a complete menu that includes Lemongrass Beef Skewers and passion Fruit Trifle. Each chapter has a "quick" section with tips on fast foods you can make in a hurry. Roasted garlic with warm bread and Spicy peanut dip are easy to make and have just a few ingredients.

The Salads in this book look like they are straight out of a gourmet magazine. Watermelon and Feta cheese? There is a salty/sweet theme to some of the dishes.

If you love making skewers on your grill then the Citrus Swordfish Brochettes may entice you with the pomegranate dipping sauce. This chapter is filled with luxurious flavors of saffron, dried fruits, fragrant rose water, pistachios, black olives and smoked paprika. The shrimp are even dusted with Sumac. The theme is Middle Eastern Delights and each and ever page is filled with delicious satays for every taste and sauce dipping desire. Whether you are hungry for shrimp, lamb, pork or beef, there is a recipe.

By the time you get to the chapter on Meats you may be a little overwhelmed with all the ideas and rather hungry for recipes like Five-spice hoisin ribs. These are made in the oven and only take 2 hours with minimal preparation and care.

The fish chapter contains recipes for chicken breast bites. There is some mingling of ideas in each chapter and this book doesn't focus on any one food like chicken or beef. There is a good variety of every type of food you could imagine. For wrapped seafood, onward to the Wrapped, Tied and Rolled chapter which also contains ideas for rolling fruit with arugula and parmesan.

If you are thinking "parties," then look for the Wild Mushroom Crostini with Marscarpone and Sherry vinegar. Rent your favorite Bollywood movie and enjoy a spicy Indian feast complete with magenta pink tablecloths, small spice boals and scattered rose petals. The imaginative table settings add beauty to the pages filled with tons of tasty recipes. The "Rolled Zucchini Ribbons" are a stunning presentation and will catch the attention of your guests. The Artichoke Puff Pastry Bites are also easy to make because you can purchase puff pastry in sheets.

The recipes are adventurous, delicious and are made from ingredients that are easily found at your local grocery store. The Sweets chapter includes such tempting delights as chocolate cupcakes with cherry colored icing and rose petals. Is there no mercy? Chocolate Crinkle Cookies would ship well at Christmas and thinking about Figs dipped in chocolate and pistachios is making me feel a bit heady.

An entire section is dedicated to "useful" recipes - mostly sauces and dressings.

Jennifer Joyce loves to travel in search of new flavors and recipes and her book is simply stunning in beauty and overwhelming in creativity.

~The Rebecca Review
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on August 1, 2006
If you want to make an impression, this is the only cookbook you'll need. Beautiful photos, great descriptions, and everything tastes amazing. She even gives ideas for entire meal plans. Extremely popular way to eat right now but this book won't be tossed aside after the trend. The recipies are excellent.
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on January 6, 2007
If you're entertaining, finger foods or appetizers are surely a part of the occasion, and many cookbooks are dedicated to their production - but SMALL BITES: tapas, sushi, mezze, antipasti and other finger foods takes a more international approach than most, incorporating the finger foods of other countries to provide a pleasing alternative to ordinary dishes. Try skewered meats and vegetables, a flashy Crab and Gruyere Nachos with Charred Tomato Salsa, a refreshing Mango Crush to go with spicy foods, and more. Bright color photos of finished finger foods accent the production and add appeal - and cooks will find the dishes easy to produce despite their flashy titles.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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on July 2, 2013
So far the recipes are 1 for 3. I love cooking, but many of these recipes require a lot of work for average tasting food. The last week I finally found one recipe I was happy with. I was about to get rid of the book, but I will try another recipe to see how it goes. It is hard for me to use a book that is not consistent.
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on December 23, 2008
My husband bought me this book 2 years ago and since then I have made at least half the recipes and I have never been disappointed. It is great for dinner parties or for a light dinner. The avocado crostini and grilled halloumi/sourdough skewers are amazing!
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on October 14, 2012
I do like this book. I have been in an "Entertaining Mode" lately so I got this book. It is divided into sections, and there is also menu recommendations. Like if you want to do a "Asian" themed menu, it will give you a list of recommended apps. From fried apps, soups, meatballs, and veggie bites, this book has a little bit of everything. Each recipe is pretty easy and can be doubled or tripled pretty easily as well.
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on April 16, 2014
Loved this book. Everything I have made from it has come out well. Many of the recipes can easily be adapted to create a family meal rather than the small bite presentation.
Perfect for entertaining, or bringing the winning dish to a potluck!
Recipes are exotic in style and flavor, but not overly complicated. The average home cook can make these - my kids have even made a few!
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on December 12, 2007
Very handsomely packaged book of appetizers! This is a great gift for someone who likes to cook and doesn't mind searching for hard-to-find ingredients. The recipes aren't terribly difficult, just different, so you want to make sure the person using this book won't mind some extra effort.
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