This is simply creative, well done and inspirational. From the unique concept to the exciting layout to the fab recipes, this is one to have and use and celebrate and enjoy.
The author is a cookbook all-star, having done The Silver Palate series and New Basics and several of her own. She branches out now with this one which provides a whole thematic culinary event including recipes, music, wine suggestions, serving and decorating ideas. All centered around great food.
There are 43 themed events with 350 recipes all showing color photos organized into two main sections: A Year of Celebrations, with a dozen of the more classic events e.g. New Year, Seder, Mother's Day, etc., and the second: Celebrating Our Lives, bridal shower, graduation, cuisine & culture outings, e.g. India, morocco; and ingredient feasts such as a blueberry breakfast. There are also adequate sources, bibliography, conversion tables and a nice index. The servings are hefty, sometimes for 24, 8, 2, 16. Buffets, pool party, sit down dining room, beach, etc. venues well covered as well.
While so many could be singled out to inspire you to add this to your collection, let me tempt you with two samplings: A Toast To New Year for 8, with a Celebration Coktail ( Grand Marniew and champagne and more), Sparkling Crab Salad, Frisee Folie with Tangerine Vinaigrette, Mahogany Squabs, Fancy New Year's Pilaf, Carrot-Ginger Whip, Beet and Apple Whip, Frozen Lime Souffle, Chocolate Truffles. All of this decked out in an ambience of Old Painted Hookahs holding apricot-hued roses, with votive candles amid floating white orchids, set upon table of paisly fabriic, with pink linen napkins set off with gold wire-ribbon ties. Suggested music: Rimsky--Korsakov's Scheherazade or John Coltrane's My Favorite Things.
Anytime Sunday Brunch for 8 with Leek Frittata, Roasted Tomatoes and Onions, Rustic Chicken Salad, Tomatoes a la Tapenade, Blackberry Sorbet, and Rich Pecan Squares.
As she suggests, one doesn't have to do all the recipes, and mix and matching of them is allowable and encouraged. She has a good idea too, that of trying a more difficult recipe ahead of time as a dish to gain confidence before preparing as part of a bigger spread.
This is lush, well thought out and executed and a marvelous resource for entertaining, whether one follows it to a tee, some of it, and use for inspiration to dream up your own. This is wo well done and has something everyone can find exactly what you're into. Explore, dine and wine, bon appetit.