Let's have a party!

It's your turn to host a party! 

Eva's kitchen : cooking with love for family & friends
Eva Longoria, with Marah Stets.
New York : Clarkson Potter, c2011.
Eva Longoria may be most recognized for her role as Desperate Housewives ’ saucy Gabrielle Solis, but on her own time, there are few places she would rather be than in the kitchen, cooking the food she loves for her family and friends. Here is the food Eva loves to eat, and the recipes in Eva’s Kitchen trace her life story, taking readers on her culinary journey-from the food she was brought up on to the recipes inspired by her travels abroad to the dishes she serves during casual nights at home. Having grown up on a ranch with every meal based on what was in the family fields, Eva believes, like so many of us, that good cooking relies on local, fresh, easy-to-find ingredients. In Eva’s Kitchen , she teaches readers essential cooking skills and she sprinkles in the histories and traditions behind her favorite dishes, including personal stories and anecdotes that capture the warmth, humor, and joy of her most memorable meals. In her first cookbook, Eva welcomes you into her kitchen, offering 100 of her favorite dishes-many of which are family recipes collected over the years-all fused with her passion for cooking. She also shares memories of her Texas ranch upbringing, her very first cooking adventures, vacations overseas, nights in with her girlfriends, and last-minute pre–red carpet meals. Inspired by her heritage, Eva highlights the essentials of great Mexican cooking, Texas style-with her family’s recipes and techniques for making the world’s best tamales, homemade tortillas, Spanish rice, and Pan de Polvo (Mexican pastry), to name a few. She also offers dishes from a variety of international cuisines, from Latin American to Italian and French, inspired by her globe-trotting travels. A taste of Lemon Dover Sole whisks Eva to a tiny hotel-restaurant she once visited on a trip to Normandy; the recipe for Cannellini Beans with Crushed Red Pepper was a souvenir from a trip to Florence; kimchi adds a kick to her Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts, a Thanksgiving stap= and Yellow Squash Soup with Lemon brings her full circle, back to her family’s vegetable garden in Corpus Christi. With full-color food photographs, intimate portraits of her family and friends, and a glimpse into Eva’s home and her lesser-known domestic side (family first, acting second, she says), Eva’s debut cookbook will entice her loyal fans and inspire home cooks to broaden their culinary horizons and create memorable meals for the people they love.
The I [heart] Trader Joe's party cookbook : delicious recipes and entertaining ideas using only food and drinks from the world's greatest grocery store
Cherie Mercer Twohy.
Berkeley, CA : Ulysses Press, c2010.
This follow-up to "I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook" is packed with recipes and plans for more than 25 celebrations using only foods and drinks from the popular grocery store.
The cookie party cookbook : the ultimate guide to hosting a cookie exchange
Robin L. Olson.
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, c2010.

The country#x19;s biggest promoter of the cookie swapping party writes the ultimate cookie recipe book, with ideas, tips and organizing plans for anyone to throw the best baking event ever.

Robin Olson popularized the cookie swap: a party where a group of people get together, bringing a large quantity of a favorite recipe or two of their own and trade with other guests so that each attendee leaves with enough variety boxes of cookies and bars to give out as gifts, care packages, camp mailings, etc. Included in COOKIE PARTY:

--176 recipes for classic and fun cookies, bars, no-bakes and simple candies (such as Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies, Butterscotch Bars, Lemon Melting Moments, Cappuccino Bonbons, etc.)

--Tips for entertaining a room full of bakers with savories, drinks and sweets

--Ideas for festive packaging

--Shipping troubleshooting ideas

--Recipe index

--Inspiration for coming up with your own cookies, displaying your special chef#x19;s touch


Choose a theme and then let your imagination take over.

"Choose a theme that sounds like fun to you, because if you are excited about it...your guests will get caught up in the spirit."

(from party planner Diane Warner)

Give guests their own sombreros

Party themes can be usual or offbeat.  

  • Milestones like birthdays, retirements, promotions, and graduations call for parties. 
  • But don’t overlook other, more offbeat, party themes like a luau, block parties, fiestas, summer picnics, or Reality TV Show parties.

Creative invitations and decorations help set the festive mood. 

  • Invitations decorated with chili peppers and sombreros invite guests to a Mexican Fiesta. 
  • Keep the theme going by decorating with south-of-the-border souvenirs, lights and flowers.   Luminaries are a special way to greet guests. 

Games, prizes, and music make a good party even better.  

  • Take digital pictures of guests who come in costume. 
  • Select music to fit the party’s theme.  A Mariachi band may not be available, but consider recordings of the 'Mexican Hat Dance.'

Serve new recipes along with old favorites.

Guests love party foods. 

  • Keep platters and pitchers full with a tasty variety of Mexican foods and beverages. 
  • Have recipes written out to share with guests.  

Take a few ideas and put them together to create the extraordinary party.  Then gather friends and let the celebration begin.

More about Party planning

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff