Thursday, January 8, 2009

Long time, no reviews. I apologize. I've been busy with the holidays and all, but I have been reading books, and I look forward to sharing everything with you!

First up: Cooking.

Now, I'm not much of a chef, and if you know me, you know I prefer eating out to eating in. I'd say mostly that's because I can never seem to cook something that I really like. (Or that Joe likes.) I do take the chance now and again, otherwise I stick with favorites.
Over the holidays I had the chance to review a couple of cookbooks, (I just received another one, to be reviewed soon), as well as a book that talks about what flavors work well together.

The first book I'd like to talk about is Amy Sedaris's I LIKE YOU.

Summary: I LIKE YOU is an "entertaining guide to entertaining" and includes recipes, complete meal plans, decorating suggestions, music choices, conversational ice-breakers, and hospitality tips to create the perfect evening at home. The book has scrapbook feel, including color as well as black and white photos, illustrations, and craft patterns. Whether it's an intimate night for two or a ladies' luncheon for twenty, Sedaris offers her own advice to make guests feel welcome and the host look good. I LIKE YOU is the essential handbook for full-scale entertaining the Sedaris way. The inspiration for I LIKE YOU comes from Sedaris's own domestic expertise. A notorious baker and cook, her famous cheese balls can be bought at Gourmet Garage and her cupcakes at Joe Coffee in New York City. Sedaris covers all aspects of home entertaining. Sample chapters include: A Greek Dinner Date; Grieving; Entertaining Children; A Rich Uncle Comes to Visit; Baby Shower; The Elderly; Cooking for Oneself; Picnic; and a variety of courtships, such as dating a hunter, a dieter, or an alcoholic. All chapters contain tips, hits and misses, and end with a critical evaluation of the event or a letter from a guest. -- Warner Books Press Release

As a warning, do NOT look through this book if you're hungry! Even though I don't cook all that often, I do love looking at the pictures and deciding what I would love to try to cook. (Although every time I DO try something, it never ends looking like the pictures.) The pictures in the book are so appetizing. I should remind you though, that Amy is a comedian, and many of the chapters are more for humor than for food. I really did enjoy this book, and look forward to some time in the kitchen trying the recipes, converted to gluten free, of course.

On a different side of the cookbook scope, I also got to check out Katie Brown's Katie
Brown Celebrates.

Summary: In KATIE BROWN CELEBRATES, Katie gives readers a reason to host a party every month of the year. From a festive New Year's Eve dinner to a lavish Christmas brunch, from the perfect child's birthday party to a down-home family reunion, readers will delight in Katie's signature approach to making any celebration simply wonderful. With delicious recipes, straightforward craft projects, and tips for casual entertaining, Katie shows how any host can make a delicious meal and create gorgeous ambiance without the hassle. KATIE BROWN CELEBRATES is a must-have for anyone who ever gives--or has ever thought of giving--a party. -- Little, Brown and Company

This book is a bit more sophisticated than Amy's book, but the pictures are just as mouth watering. I have found a few recipes that I would like to try- the top of the list is a quiche-like item that is wrapped with bacon. (It's listed as Turkey Bacon Eggs in December.) I like how Katie also includes ideas for parties every month, and even how to make the decorations! It makes me want to have a party my next weekend off! (Ok, maybe the one after that.)
I would like to thank Hachette Book Group for sending the books for me to review. Look for actual pictures of my results in later posts.

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