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The Book Blogger Awards 2017

entertaining

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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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Manly Brunches from the South

southern living party cookbook cover

Southern Living Party Cookbook
Marks and Editors of Southern Living Magazine
1972

Are you having to entertain a bunch of seriously rough and masculine men? Have I got the menu for you! You need to make the “He-Man” brunch. I am not sure what makes this particular menu “manly” but, then, I live in Michigan. (I am not sure what a manly man has for brunch around here…maybe a coney and a beer?) For the most part, the recipes are pretty good, although my Swedish grandmother may take issue with the recipe for Swedish meatballs. Southern foodies maybe could explain the tomato cocktail as apposed to a Bloody Mary. They are pretty similar. Maybe the garnishes of watercress or chopped cucumber are the difference. Maybe the watercress and lemon wedges are more masculine than a sprig of celery.

Happy Eating!

Mary

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Tips for Living Easy

Easy Living - cover

Today’s Tips for Easy Living
Thomas
1982

If you remember the Today Show from the late 1970s or early 80s, you might remember Dian Thomas and her lifestyle segments. She is still around, according to her website, as a speaker and author. The book is a bit dated, but the recipes are typical of the time, especially to my “sophisticated” Midwestern palate. Extra points for being pretty easy for my limited skills in the kitchen. Exception: I am not sure about the tomato soup cake recipe: cake =yes, tomato soup=yes. Together? Just not feeling it.

The book is a general all-purpose lifestyle cooking, entertaining, crafts, travel tips, etc. These type of books circulate pretty well and would have been an obvious choice 30+ years ago. I actually enjoyed going through this book, and wonder what 21st century ideas would be featured. Jane Pauley was my fashion role model at the time and I think I had a similar dress back in the early 80s.

If anyone needs me I will be in the stacks bemoaning my age and the bygone days when my biggest problem was finding paper for my typewriter and making it to class on time.

Mary

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