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August 2003 Issue
Complete Entertaining Cookbook
by Ronda L. Halpin
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About the Author

    The Complete Entertaining Cookbook is a compilation of recipes and ideas brought to us by Williams-Sonoma. The general editor for the cookbook was Chuck Williams.

About the Cookbook

    The Complete Entertaining Cookbook is a fun cookbook that will inspire you to take advantage of the season's best and pay special attention to details. It offers a wide range of recipes that use everything from fresh herbs and edible flowers to high quality vinegars and marmalades. From a delicate cold cucumber soup for summer entertaining to a mustard-glazed beef roast for colder days, this cookbook has it all. In addition to a wide variety of recipes that covers everything from soup to nuts, the book includes a variety of decorating ideas and little touches that make meals into special occasions.

    Presented as a lovely bound hardcover book, the Complete Entertaining Cookbook offers a format that is meant to inspire gatherings. After a brief introduction and notes about easy entertaining, the book dives right into the recipes. The recipes are divided into two main sections:

    • Casual Gatherings, which focuses on simple menus that are given extra flair with a few choice ingredients and some special presentation and
    • Holidays & Occasions, which pulls out all of the stops for elegant meals that are meant to inspire celebration.
    The first page of each section includes the title of that section and a brief introduction to the ideas and recipes presented in it with a beautiful full-color photograph opposite the introduction. The subsections are then presented with a title and a brief introductory paragraph. Each subsection then presents a full menu, complete with ideas for beverages, suggestions for early preparation and ideas about how to make presentation -- including floral arrangements -- simple, yet special. The recipes are then presented, each with lovely full color photographs included, with yield information, a simple list of ingredients and a set of directions. Geared towards celebrating with family and friends, the recipes in this book usually serve between four and eight people. They also include additional information about the recipe or special ingredients called for in it.

    To give you some ideas about the range of recipes included in the Complete Entertaining Cookbook, here is a portion of the Table of Contents and some examples of the recipes you'll find in it:

    • Casual Gatherings
      • Welcome Home Dinner (Roast Leg of Lamb with Braised Garlic, Sherry & Thyme and Glazed Carrots with Grapes & Walnuts)
      • Date Dinner for Two (Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce and Chocolate-Orange Mousse)
      • Family Birthday Party (Ginger & Orange Curried Fried Chicken and Saffron Rice)
      • Backyard Barbeque (Cheddar Chive Biscuits and Corn Salad)
      • Engagement Party (Simple Country Paella and Sangria)
      • Casual Pizza Party (Insalata Capricciosa and Hazelnut Biscotti)
      • Kitchen Breakfast (Turkey Sausage Patties and Sour Cream Coffee Cake)
      • Autumn Sunday Supper (Cranberry-Tangerine Conserve and Gratin of Yams)
      • After-Work Supper (White Fish with Moroccan Spice Marinade and Couscous)
      • Soup Supper by the Fire (Seafood Chowder and Sesame Breadsticks)
      • Dinner with Dear Friends (Beef Stew and Fruit Crisp)
      • Tree-Trimming Supper (Rosemary Bread and Marscapone Budino with Sun-Dried Cranberry Compote)
    • Holidays & Occasions
      • Romantic Dinner for Two (Broiled Squabs in Honey Marinade and Oysters in Tangerine Salsa)
      • Rite-of-Spring Brunch (Avocado, Grapefruit & Endive Salad and Polenta Pound Cake)
      • Mediterranean Easter (Gypsy Spinach Pie and Stuffed Eggplant)
      • Teatime FĂȘte (Tomato, Tapenade & Mozzarella Sandwiches and Peaches in Wine)
      • Al Fresco Lunch (Fresh Corn & Polenta Cakes and Warm Blueberry Shortcakes)
      • Gala Buffet (Rice and Wild Rice Salad and Tuna with Peppers & Olives)
      • Harvest Lunch (Walnut Focaccia and Blue Plum Tart)
      • Pre-Theater Cocktails (Crab Salad in Endive Leaves and Baked Clams Oreganati)
      • Traditional Thanksgiving (Roast Turkey with Corn Bread Stuffing and Tangerine Custard Tart)
      • Casual Hanukkah Buffet (Spiced Brisket of Beef and Pecan Torte)
      • Christmas Season Open House (Mushroom Blintzes and Duck with Lentils)
      • Heritage Christmas Dinner (Onion Tart and Apple Charlotte with Brandied Whipped Cream & Apricot Sauce)
      • New Year's Eve for Six (Winter Bouillabaisse and Ginger Florentines)
      • New Year's Buffet (Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches and Spinach Salad with Pecans & Balsamic Vinaigrette)
      These are just a few of the delightful recipes that await the readers of the Complete Entertaining Cookbook. Following the recipes, there's a chapter entitled Elements of Entertaining that covers everything from making homemade stocks to folding napkins and everything in between. It's a great book for inspiring us all to find a little time to make special food in a special place for special people.

    Where to Buy

      If you are interested in purchasing the Complete Entertaining Cookbook by the Williams-Sonoma, you can buy it online right now by clicking here. The publisher's list price for the cookbook is $24.95.


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