book review, Cookbook, Cooking Methods, good read, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart's Appetizers, reading, recipes, Wine and Beverage
Martha Stewart’s Appetizers by Martha Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5
Hardcover, 256 pages
Cookbook, Wine and Beverage
Published Sep 8, 2015 by Clarkson Potter
Available on: Hardcover, Kindle
What they say:
Hors d’oeuvres made modern: Today’s style of entertaining calls for fuss-free party foods that are easy to make and just as delicious as ever. With more than 200 recipes for tasty pre-dinner bites, substantial small plates, special-occasion finger foods, and quick snacks to enjoy with drinks, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the new go-to guide for any type of get-together.
What I have to say:
The moment you open a box from Penguin Random House, you remove the bubble wrap and you hear an angelic chorus in your head as you hold Martha Stewart’s Appetizers for the first time!
Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is a wonderful and priceless addition to my bookshelf. Starting with the fabulous cover and back cover photographs, they are absolutely perfect for this book. The appetizers in those photographs are mouthwatering and definitely make you want to open the book and read it. The orange spine cover is perfect for any bookshelf. You won’t miss the title of the book on your shelf. Then you open the book and you are greeted by a bright turquoise endpaper. Turquoise you guys!!!! My favorite color in the world! I felt like a girl opening Christmas gifts. It felt like the MSL elves/gods made this book for me, myself and I.
After embracing the turquoise you get another fantastic photograph on the title page and then you read that this book has 200 recipes plus 30 cocktails and you just think you will be the appetizer queen for life!
You turn the page and boom! A turquoise covered table of contents. This book has it all: a Foreword by Living’s royal highness Martha Stewart of course, her 10 GOLDEN rules for Hosting a party, her tips and strategies for party planning and for the basic serving essentials you should have to make your appetizers look spectacular, 200 recipes for Snacks, Starters, Small Plates, Stylish Bites and Sips plus a final chapter with Basic Recipes and Techniques for roasting, toasting, blanching, peeling, and other essential skills.
Like Martha says, the recipes in this book “reflect the new casualness we are witnessing in home entertaining” today. All the recipes are doable and don’t require professional or specific equipment. Anyone with basic cooking skills can read and follow these recipes. To give you an idea, the recipes include spiced or roasted nuts, seasoned popcorn, homemade crackers, salsas, dips, antipastos, spreads, skewers, rolls, sliders, pizzas, chicken wings, mac-and-cheese bites, deviled eggs, mini-quiches, canapés, ceviches, latkes and many more.
I must add that these recipes are not set in stone. I’m sure that readers can use these recipes as a base, they can adapt the ingredients to those in their areas. Also, even though these recipes were thought for laid back reunions, readers can easily fancy them up with different ingredients and or presentation. (Check out this Gallery at Martha’s site, for a sneak peak of some of the fabulous recipes included in the book.)
All the recipes, I repeat, all the recipes in this book are illustrated by stunning photographs by David Malosh, Marcus Nilsson, and Burcu Avsar. Having the image of each recipe is a priceless aid, so you know how the final product should look like. They also give you an idea on how to serve the appetizers or drinks; what platters, bowls, plates, glassware etc., you should use.
Martha should add a warning that the objects in the photographs are not as real as they appear! The photographs are so visually enthralling that you want to grab the appetizers from the photographs and eat them. They make you wish they were scratch and sniff! Now that I think about this, I wouldn’t put this book on my coffee table; it could pretty much fool any guest to think you have a marble board with appetizers! Ha ha ha
The recipes come with additional notes and tips on what to make ahead of time, how to freeze or store certain ingredients or preparations, suggestions on which appetizers can be served together, wine-pairing, etc. Some recipes come with enough blank space to add your personal notes which is always a plus in hardcover cookbooks.
One of Martha’s Golden Rules for hosting a party is to mix it up. That is:
Offer a few dishes that can be enjoyed by everyone, including options for those with food restrictions (e.g., vegan, nut-free, gluten-free).
If I were to make a suggestion to make this book as perfect as can be, it would be that she could add a note or a symbol to the recipes in the book that can be considered allergy free; an additional index in the end could do too or notes on substitutions to make the recipe allergy free. This would be useful for those who are not savvy about this, and would save them research time that can be well spent preparing for the party.
If you’re looking for recipes and ideas that will help you get through casual get-togethers with friends or special celebrations, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for ideas of what you can whip up for you and/or your husband or wife after a hard day’s work, this is the book for you. If you’re planning an evening with your favorite book, TV show, movie, etc., this is the book for you. If you don’t have a specific excuse and just want to delight yourself with “bites of pure enjoyment”, Martha Stewart’s Appetizers is the book for you.
Thank you Martha Stewart for this marvelous book, I’ll treasure it and hand it down to future generations. Thank you MSL team for your hard work, here’s to 85 more books!
|Hardcover, Kindle||Hardcover, Kindle|
Gary Lum said:
Martha has never really been big here in Australia. The only time we knew much about her was when she was on trial and then imprisoned. I do like her “new casualness”. That’s what I’m about 🙂
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That’s the beauty of this book. Simple scrumptious recipes, nothing too fancy, but everyday food in bite size. These recipes are for any day and everyone. For upscale stuff she’s got an hors d’œuvres book.
Whatever she did, she already served her time, and there’s no denying that Martha and her team do know how to produce good books.
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