Whet Your Appetite

My soon-to-be husband is turning 30 soon, and that calls for some celebrating. Not the "Uh-oh, somebody's getting close to the top of the hill!" kind of celebration, the "Here's to 30 years of good family, friends, and you birthday boy" kind. First on my list is deciding how to decorate and, more importantly, what to feed our guests! I found some very helpful books on that subject and thought I'd share the wealth...



For a casual, comfortable party, I love Katie Lee Joel's book The Comfort Table. She promises easy home cooking and she delivers. If your goal is to serve familiar dishes to friends and family, this book makes that task easy. It's especially great for sit down dinners because her entrees are mouthwatering!

For a more exotic palette, try the recipes from The Big Book of Appetizers by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder. There is a lot of selection so you can pick several to make from the 250 recipes with no problem at all. Also, they give great instructions for each recipe on making things ahead so that you aren't panicking the day of.

Now this is an idea I can get on board with. Of course, sushi is a more expensive route to go, but it looks impressive laid out on clean white plates, its healthier than a fried mozzerella stick (not that those aren't blissful from time to time), and it's not impossible to make with a little practice. I'm planning on serving a couple of things from The Complete Book of Sushi by Hideo Dekura, Brigid Treloar, and Ryuichi Yoshii. And, hey, if I screw it up, I can still eat the mess- it's a win-win!

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