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Book Brief: Easy Entertaining

Book Brief: Easy Entertaining
The most memorable gatherings are often the simplest, emphasizing the pleasures of spending time with family and friends. Designed to make hosting a party as much fun as attending one, Williams-Sonoma Easy Entertaining provides everything you need for stress-free entertaining—from simple, delicious recipes to time-saving tips. And when you're relaxed and having a good time, you can be sure your guests are, too.

Entertaining with confidence and ease begins with strategic shopping. Created for the way busy people really cook, the book features more than 45 foolproof recipes that make the most of high-quality prepared foods from the grocery store, deli and farmers' markets. These delicious shortcuts, combined with special touches that make each dish your own, minimize time spent in the kitchen. Creative serving suggestions ensure beautiful presentation, and decorating ideas help set a festive mood for any get-together. Step-by-step work plans keep you on schedule.

Menus are arranged according to the time of day, so it's easy to find recipes for the meal you're preparing. A casual breakfast features colorful skewers of fresh fruit plus baked eggs enriched with smoked ham, brie and chives. For a large group, invite guests to partake of a brunch buffet that includes peach nectar spritzers and smoked salmon with its classic garnishes.

Afternoon gatherings can be as elegant or as easygoing as you please. Guests begin a stylish lunch with refreshing aperitifs, followed by a chicken salad with sherry dressing and a medley of desserts. If you're headed for the beach or a local park, put together a sandwich picnic. Simple yet sophisticated offerings include a continental version of ham-and-cheese, with French ham, Gruyère and cornichons on a crisp baguette. Easy-to-prepare salads round out the offerings.

Come evening, host a cocktail party or wine and cheese party—you'll find a fresh array of hors d'oeuvres that can be prepared in minutes. An elegant dinner party menu indulges guests with oysters on the half shell, roasted halibut and chocolate espresso crèmes. Or invite close friends to share a cozy midweek supper of creamy baked gnocchi and frozen tiramisù.

Inspiring you to entertain more often, this beautifully photographed volume is the secret to making guests feel like family—and ensuring that hosts have plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful company.