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cookbooks

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Just Make Reservations

fearless cooking for crowds cover

Fearless Cooking for Crowds
Evans
1986

With Thanksgiving nearly here and the rest of the holiday madness kicking into high gear, it is time to break out some recipes for your special holiday meals. Evidently the woman on the cover has been taken over by some robot species and forced to create special family dinners. Nothing says “festive” robotic Stepford wives armed with complicated recipes. Or possibly she is really is afraid of cooking.

The actual recipes are decent. I guess we will eat well when the robot overlords come to steal our souls.

Mary

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Turning your buffet up to 11

buffet entertaining cookbook

Family Circle
Buffet Entertaining
Robinson, ed.
1978

When I think of buffets, I usually think of potlucks and lots of informal, easy prep food. I am a Midwesterner, after all. This book actually surprised me on the complexity of some of the dishes. More than half of these buffet recipes and presentation actually seem over the top for a family party or home entertaining. I suppose a Martha Stewart type or a professional wouldn’t find these challenging, but all I could see was a lot of work.

Actually, there are quite a few good recipes (i.e. would be popular in 2017) as well as the 1970s favorite of aspic molds and weird shapes for food. The artful arranging of food for the presentation makes me laugh as I think of my large extended family falling on a buffet so fast that no one would notice any special arrangement. I am guessing my family is NOT the target market for this book.

Mary

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There’s always room for Jell-o

magical endings with jello cover

Magical Endings
from Cool Whip & JELL-O
2002

Jell-o is one of those foods from my childhood that was a staple at every potluck, buffet, or family dinner. After all, I am a Midwesterner. It certainly isn’t as popular as it was in the 1960s and 1970s but every now and then there will be a recipe that includes Jell-o. This is that cookbook. As I was looking through this book, I realized I have probably tasted (or avoided) each one of these recipes at some point. Our family’s favorite was plain old Cool Whip on Jell-o. Pretty exciting, eh?

Mary

P.S. The confetti pie is a no go for me. It just looks wrong.

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