Tips & Techniques Book Briefs Holiday Entertaining
Book Brief: Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining
The holiday season is the perfect time to reconnect with the special people in our lives, enjoying each other's company and savoring the pleasures of the table. Designed to help you entertain with maximum style and minimum stress, Holiday Entertaining includes everything home cooks need to create memorable celebrations.

Since the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is a busy one, the book lays the foundation for easy entertaining with a comprehensive section on planning, organizing and decorating. It is followed by 16 suggested holiday menus, ranging from casual get-togethers to elaborate parties. Next, you will find chapters dedicated to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, each filled with creative inspiration and practical guidance tailored to those occasions.

Because special food and drink are such an integral part of holiday festivities, the book features 120 recipes that you will enjoy preparing throughout the season. Libations include classic cocktails and punches, as well as nonalcoholic refreshers like a citrus sparkler enlivened with fresh Clementine mandarin juice and shredded mint leaves. To accompany these beverages, the book offers a wealth of hot and cold appetizers. One elegant option: seared sea scallops served on a bed of baby spinach, topped with fresh Meyer lemon relish.

For an impressive main course, choose from traditional roast turkey, beef or lamb, or opt for a crab feast. Diners will enjoy cracking fresh Dungeness crab and dipping the succulent morsels into a creamy sauce spiked with Thai chilies. End your feast with a decadent dessert (or two), such as handmade ice cream truffles cloaked in chocolate and sprinkled with chopped nuts. These luscious treats can be made up to a week in advance, freeing up your time on the day of the celebration.

To round out your meals, the book includes recipes for soups, salads and side dishes, along with home-baked breads. A chapter devoted to morning gatherings makes it easy to host a festive breakfast or brunch. You will also find imaginative ideas for making and packaging gifts in your kitchen, from buttery lemon shortbread to spicy roasted nuts.

Whether you prepare these menus in their entirety or simply choose a few favorite dishes and decorations to complement your own holiday traditions, this volume will help you entertain with ease, elegance and good cheer. The memorable parties that you host will be a gift your family and friends can cherish all year long.