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New Favorite! Want to entertain with style AND ease?

September 17, 2010

I knew this book was a great find when I noticed four of my favorite words in the subtitle: SIMPLE + STYLISH + FOOD + EASY.  

Ingredients for Vegetable Herb Frittata {page 70}

My new favorite entertaining / cookbook:  Lulu Powers: Food to Flowers:  Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining. Lulu shares her fabulous recipes and party-planning tips she’s acquired over the years as a celebrity caterer and event planner.

SelfLESSly I bought the book for one of my best friends.  It arrived the same week as Mother’s Day and since I thought it’d ALSO be the perfect gift for my entertaining-loving mom, I changed the card from “To Barbara” to “To Mom.” {Barbara:  even though I think you should write your OWN book on everything style + entertaining, you will have your Lulu book shortly: ) To make matters worse, when leaving my parents’ house last, I selfISHly brought back the book with me.

Here are some things that made me just fall in love with it:

Incredible recipes {this is the Vegetable Herb Frittata I did}

Pretty Dish! Served frittata with salad + good bread

Jennifer, me, Holly brunching on this great recipe!

A few more {of the many} great ideas in Lulu’s book:

Emergency Snacks: I keep a stack of six bowls in my pantry for last-minute guests, and I fill them with snacks like potato chips, Goldfish crackers, dried apricots, wasabi peas, snow pea crisps, and banana chips.  Any set of bowls will do as long as they match…One set of six serving bowls is ideal – just invest in a set of matching bowls and your entertaining will look effortless.  When you repeat the same design element, it keeps the look together and makes you seem prepared. If six is too many for you in terms of storage, buy in threes:  three vases, bowls, or plates look great.  And you can always use a round or square widemouthed vase as a bowl to put your treats in.”

Flavored / Savory Butters: To a stick of softened butter, just add:  honey, fresh orange zest, strawberry jam, roasted garlic or chopped fresh herbs

Flavored Sugars: Fill glass jar with sugar and add vanilla bean, orange peel, rosemary sprigs or lavender buds. After a week, sugar will have retained the flavor.  Lulu uses to top shortbread, in baking or as serving side for coffee or tea.

Candles: I love setting the mood so loved this quote from Lulu in the Parties Rx chapter’s Lighting section:  “I have a client whose friend always asks me, “Why does the house look better every time you’re here?” My response is ‘I lowered the lights and lit some candles.’  Candles give any room a warm, cozy feeling.”

ORDER TIP:  “…even if you’re not a planner, if you take a few minutes to write out a menu, find recipes, or make lists of groceries or entertaining supplies such as candles, you can minimize your stress level….Remember that the key to any party, big or small, is the host or hostess. YOU set the mood of the party.”  Lulu Powers

You’ll also find:  guidelines for planned and impromptu events, making your home welcoming, table decor, checklist for getting your house party-ready, a well-stocked party pantry, party themes {from Coffee & Newspaper Party + The Bowwow Bash to The Celebratory Shower + Retro Game Night, just to name a few} and recipes galore.

I guess I’ll need to place an order for TWO more books since I’m not going to want to let go of this one again!  {If you’d like to order, visit her website at http://www.LuluPowers.com.  Lulu Powers: Food to Flowers; with Laura Holmes Haddad, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.}

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