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Jan 5, 2005 09:30 PM

In search of cocktail party cookbook/entertaining guide

  • s

Hi, all! I'm looking for a cookbook and/or entertaining guide to help my wonderful boss on her mission to throw some cocktail parties in her new home. She's got many sterling qualities, but cooking well sure ain't one of them, so I thought some of the great home chefs on this board might be able to tell me of a sorta simple book that could be helpful to her in her quest. If it also had advice on such things as how much wine for how many guests etc that would be a huge plus.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I think Martha Stewart put one out a few years ago that I remember being pretty good. It was a cocktail party book I think? I borrowed the book from my sister and made a few things that I rememember being good, I just don't remember what they were.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Scar

      Martha's Hor d'Oeurves Handbook is simply gorgeous. I really haven't made many things out of it, but those I have were good, as I normally find Martha's recipes to be. It gives some guidelines as to how many pieces per person, depending on how many choices you have, etc. Many of the things are not simple at all and would not be a good idea for a novice, however, there are some good simple recipes as well.

      Two that spring to mind are goat cheese balls, simply rolled in the hand, decorated/flavored in various ways, and served on a cake plate drizzled w/ olive oil. Also some ginger spiced pecans that were simple and good.

      1. re: danna

        I heartily 3rd the suggestion of the Martha Stewart Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook. It is actually a very inspiring book -- makes you want to throw a party right then and there.

        1. re: danna

          I third that Martha's hor d'oeurves book! I used her book for almost very one of my cocktail parties in the last couple years. Now I just make up my own stuff, but the book still give good inspriation on presentation (photos for every recipe given) and menu combo in general.
          I think it's a must have if you want to have a hor d'oeurve party.

          1. re: danna

            Have either of you ladies made the pretzels in the HD Handbook? I'm tempted, but they look time consuming.

        2. Williams Sonoma has an entertaining book, gives planning advice (how much wine to have etc.) and menus. I think I got it at Costco.

          1. Here's a novel idea . . . make one of those homemade coupons (or a coupon book) from YOU made payable to her for "One hour of cocktail party preparation" or "One chef assistant for cocktail party" or "One in-home chef for cocktail party" and keep the book for yourself. But you know you can always bring the book and leave it there for her to read through for next time. Of course, this is more personal. Maybe she's taken you out to lunch and to show you her new home?

            If not, well, forget it.

            As for the wine, it depends on who is there, actually. Some people will drink more if its on someone else's dime, but as a general rule, most people can consume one drink per hour and remain under the legal limit of intoxication. Bigger men, bigger glasses.

            1. Barbara Kafka's Party Food is terrific. You might look for a copy of it on Amazon. going in through Chowhoumd of course.

              1. What wonderful responses! It's settled- I'll get her both the Martha Stewart and Barbara Kafka books and let her go crazy with herself... :)

                Thanks again!