Mar 212011

American Dining and Entertaining Etiquette; Manners for the Table

This is a video primarily about the ‘rules of the table.’ It has been in VHS format since 1998 and it was entered on Amazon in April, 2000. It quickly became the top selling etiquette video on Amazon and it remains the No. 1 etiquette video that Amazon lists. Please refer to the VHS information page of “American Dining & Entertaining Etiquette; Manners for the Table” for a more extensive review of this video.

List Price: $ 19.95


Mar 142011

Entertaining Angels

Dorothy Day is no saint. She lives hard, makes mistakes, endures the consequences. But the unquenchable fire burning within her cannot be contained. Dorothy wants to make a difference. During the Depression, she vows to house the homeless, feed the hungry, tend the sick. Easily said. Not easily done when her total finances amount to 97 cents in a battered canister. Yet Dorothy persists, walking on frequently stormy waters of faith. Popular stars and important themes combine in this compe

List Price: $ 19.99


Feb 062011

Entertaining Simple

  • ISBN13: 9780470174999
  • Condition: USED – Very Good
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

In Entertaining Simple, lifestyle and entertaining guru Matthew Mead shows you how to say goodbye to party jitters and say hello to stylish, easygoing gatherings. He gives you everything you need for parties that are wonderfully simple–and simply wonderful. Packed with beautiful color photographs, this great guide gives you innovative ideas, tasty recipes, and complete game plans for all kinds of get-togethers. To demonstrate how to put his simple entertaining ideas into practice, Matthew give

List Price: $ 24.95


Dec 192010

Williams-Sonoma Entertaining: Inspired menus for cooking with family and friends

Packed with clever ideas, delicious recipes, and gorgeous color photography, Williams-Sonoma Entertaining is the ultimate guide to a successful party. The secrets of easy entertaining are demystified with helpful sections such as planning menus, buying quality ingredients, coaxing the best flavors out of food, and stocking a bar. Organized by season, each themed menu features accessible recipes driven by fresh ingredients; an easy-to-follow work plan; and detailed how-to photos depicting styling

List Price: $ 34.95


Dec 072010

Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two

  • ISBN13: 9780979956409
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

You don’t have to be professional chef or nervous wreck to host great casual at-home entertaining. You will have all of your questions answered, from what to serve to what to do. Even if you have never entertained in your life, you can have a terrific time putting together a superb celebration. Included are 13 delicious complete menus with easy-to-follow recipes, full color photographs, ideas for music, activities and drinks. Checklists ease readers step-by-step through every phase of planning,

List Price: $ 18.95


Dec 032010

Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining

  • ISBN13: 9781584796749
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

“When the opportunity for celebrating knocks, answer the door and offer it some champagne!” says Karen Bussen. Author of the bestselling “Simple Stunning” wedding series, Bussen now directs her expert’s eye to a more intimate kind of festivity: the at-home party. Her simple stunning credo, though, remains the same: Create menus featuring wonderful ingredients in no-fuss, crowd-pleasing preparations; combine homemade and store-bought items in fresh, elegant presentations; tailor colors, tablewa

List Price: $ 32.50


Apr 182010

Shaker One here.  Let’s talk a bit about a lost art and pleasure- entertaining at home.  Now I’m not talking about hosting an enormous bash for 1oo, but rather gathering a small collection of friends together to share a meal, a few drinks, a few more laughs.  There are always so many reasons why we don’t do this-

“my place is too small/too messy!”

“I’m not a good cook/I don’t know what to make”

or the favorite-

“I just don’t have time”

Let’s address these one at a time.

First,  The Balcony Bar is tiny.  I mean “you’d better like everyone you invite ’cause they’re gonna be veeerrry close” small.  As long as you keep your guest list to a reasonable number for your size space, it will be fine.  Just don’t try to arrange a nine course sit down formal dinner party for 12 in your studio apartment.  And as for the too messy thing?  Clean your damn house!  Ok, ok, don’t get mad.  Seriously, keep your public areas reasonably picked up and your kitchen and bathroom immaculate and don’t sweat the rest.  As the saying goes, “If they matter, they won’t care.  If they care, they don’t matter”.  Your real friends won’t care that you have cat hair on the sofa.  Get over it.

Next up the old “I’m not good enough”.  Curse you, Martha Stewart, for making people think feel that if it can’t all be perfectly crafted by hand it should not be attempted at all.  People, she has minions.  Many, many winged monkeys to wash her dishes and shop and clean and prep.  And while there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to greater heights of hostessing fabulousness, don’t give up because you’re not her.  She’s not even real.

If you’re not a great cook, find the best take out in your area, have a make-it-yourself pizza party, hold a potluck.  If you aren’t sure what to make, choose a theme.  Google.  Check out some good blogs and websites for ideas.  For goodness sake, have a wine and cheese party.  Surely there’s a decent place near you where you can pick up a baguette, a few cheeses and a couple bottles of vino?  The point is not what you have, but who you share it with.

Which brings me to the last excuse- the ever popular “who has the time?”.  No one does.  You don’t have time, you make time.  Life is short.  Creating moments you get to share with the people you enjoy is worth a small amount of effort and inconvenience.  That’s what entertaining is truly about.  Not the doilies or the menu, but the people.  Shared conversation and laughter cover many a culinary sin.  Oh, and candle light makes it hard to see the dust bunnies!

Now you may be asking what this post is doing on a martini blog?  Well, this blog is about more than just martinis, just as a martini is about more than just the liquid in the cocktail glass.  It’s about creating moments of pleasure in your life…trying new things, experimenting with tastes, the civilized joy of doing something special for yourself and/or your guests…….

Make a point of entertaining at home.  Work within the boundaries of your space, your culinary comfort level and your schedule.  Don’t make it overly complicated.  And don’t wait for a special occasion.  Are you sending out those evites yet?  Well, what are you waiting for?


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