You're Invited - Inside the Cookbook
This special occasion cookbook, by Mary Engelbreit, is phenomenal. You won't find a ton of recipes because this book is all about the overall presentation of 'special occasions'. While this does include good food, it also has ideas for themes, place cards, decorations and venues. I was especially excited about the pet party. Write out invitations to all your friend's pets and ask the owners to rsvp. Put food in new dog bowls, have pictures of pets, and always have a favor for guests to take home. The colorful icons used in the table of contents are adorable. A family reunion is always a good time and if you read this book you'll have so many ideas to make it a day to remember. Fun will be had by all. There are even free decorative recipe cards attached in the back of the book. (Which I can't wait to tear out and use.) There are several recipes included for marinades, appetizers, and even desserts.
One of my favorites was the Walnut Pest, recipe as follows:
2 cups of packed fresh basil, 2 T chopped fresh parsley, 1 garlic clove, smashed, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of chopped toasted walnuts and salt & pepper to taste. Combine the basil, parsley, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse, adding the olive oil in a slow stream until smooth, Add the cheese and nuts and pulse until smooth. This cookbook serves the pesto with pasta, but it could be used on almost anything.
Mary Engelbreit has style, and this cookbook is more proof that she knows how to do things right.
Columnist Pamela Robinson: Pamela is an author and reviewer.