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Plan to Party Paperback – October 1, 2010
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Top 10 things I love about this book:
#10- The Price. I could not believe that for less than 20.00 it contained so much useful and interesting info
#9- The French 75 Drink. Enough said. Try it.
#8-It fits easily in your purse to take to the store when you want to refer to the shopping list.
#7- Already has helped me make a holiday menu!
#6- Looks beautiful on my coffee table
#5- I hate to entertain and it has inspired me to, so my daughter is thrilled.
#4-I actually made the Black Olive Canapes! My friend invited me to dinner and had the nerve to say I could not bring my usual bottle of wine. They were a hit!
#3-The toolbox List. I used it to finally organize my cluttered cabinets.
#2- My Aunt loves the book. She has it all and is the ultimate cook and host. I gave it to her on her 75th birthday and she has already hosted a cocktail party for her girlfriends following the "What a Girl Wants" party in the book!!
And my #1 reason for recommending this book is the PICTURES!! You do not have to guess how things should look. You get a pristine photo of how the finished recipes should look. CHEERS GIRLS!!!
While this very good and it isn't quite that organized, it's well worth buying, sitting down and going through the pages to find lots of valuable "pearls". I quickly grew to like its quirky set up, and found myself putting bits of paper at recipes or clever ideas that make the book well worth getting. Hey, they even love one of my favorite California cheeses-Humbolt Fog! The price is right, and what it saves you in potential mistakes is worth an armful of books!
The first 5 pages are attractive photos..the next 25 some pages give insight into the two writers and their families. The body of the book is about four major party themes with menu and activities:
Wine Country Crush pages 64-119
A Night in Venice pages 120-177
Chocolate Soiree pages 178-219
What a Girl Wants pages 220-265
That's a lot of pages, for each of four theme parties!
By the end of the book, you feel you know the writers and their families a little bit. Each party has its merits.
Wine Country Crush- You know how to send out beautiful invitations, organize a cheese and wine tasting to have it easy and fun. Guests have a delicious risotto topped with braiased beef short ribs in Cabernet wine sauce- that's easy to make. Recipes are simple, and should be tasty-why knock yourself out? It covers the flow of the evening from room to room and sets the time for each mini-activity, and even sets the table!
A Night in Venice- You get a feel or life in Venice as well as the food. Make tramezzini, ombra, and cicchetti-easy andauthentic.
What a Girl Wants -gave a great apple and brie crostini that you can use for any event, plus solid party planning tips.
Each chapter has a critical timeline at the end, so you have all in place long before the party.
Bottom line- you are given a set of "bluprints" on how to organize any event, when you put it all together.
It's not easy to earn 5 stars from me-I look through dozens of cookbooks and party planning books each year, and own more than I care to admit to! A 5 star book is a timeless classic, a shining award winning example to other writers. I took off a star for this book because the book's excess words and pages could be cut to 1/2 the size, better organized, and add more than four party themes. If I could have taken off just 1/2 star, that'd be better, to give it a nicely earned 4.5 stars for a great first book. I can extrapolate from these four themes to more varied party theme/ideas, many can not. The photography is generally beautiful.
Read through this on a lazy day, and pick out the pearls of experience you can use in your own entertaining. This will greatly help you to be a good host/hostess and happily have groups of 4 to 20 people over to your home for parties. when all the hard work is done days in advance, you can relax more than you'd imagine on the day of the event. Parties do not have to be expensive-these dishes are wallet-friendly. Pick appropriate background music, and waft scents of baked bread or other aromas about. As the authors points out, It's not so much about the food (which is good) it's really about bringing people togther. Throw a party, and you'll see just how happy your guests will be, just to be at your event!