Special occasions: The best of Martha Stewart living

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9780848714307: Special occasions: The best of Martha Stewart living
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Hundreds of the best ideas for 12 holidays throughout the year--from New Year's to Halloween--collected from the pages of Martha Stewart Living. Each menu is lavishly illustrated and explained with step-by-step instructions. Sidebars cover such topics as lighting an outdoor party, dyeing Easter eggs, and the perfect cakes to make every occasion memorable. Full-color photographs.

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Review:

With Martha's help, you've mastered Rosemary Shallot Popovers and Ina's Cornmeal Cheddar Scones. Your Thanksgiving dinners are legendary. You bake hundreds of cookies and decorate your home from top to bottom at Christmas. But do you know how to create a festive Labor Day, or a Fourth of July that goes off with a bang?

Designed as a companion to 1993's Holidays, Special Occasions: The Best of Martha Stewart Living moves away from Thanksgiving and Christmas to focus instead on Valentine's Day, Easter Sunday, and other "days we choose to make special." Martha and company provide elegant menus and decorating tips for 12 theme events, from a New Year's Day soup buffet to an All Hallows' Eve potluck supper, celebrating Mother's Day, graduation day, and even simply a midsummer's day in between. Sidebars featuring food histories, tips on collecting, and etiquette are interspersed with the recipes. The recipes themselves are predictably wonderful, from a simple yet beautiful Herbed Tomato Salad to an elaborate, sinful "Chocolate Romance" cake and a Pansy Cake that looks too pretty to eat. Martha would be the first to tell you that "good company comes first" when planning a successful party, but this book can certainly help with everything else. After all, who says the first day of summer isn't as special as Thanksgiving--especially when celebrated with a Tuscan feast. --C.B. Delaney

From Booklist:

Martha Stewart is back, and in her own inimitable way she will recaptivate her legions of fans, who should expect an enticing, beautifully photographed presentation in this latest book, which features recipes, decorating ideas, and gardening tips culled from previously published holiday features in Stewart's Living magazine. From a New Year's meal bedecked with cut branches that have been forced into bloom, the reader proceeds to spectacular cakes designed for a lavish Mother's Day get-together, onward to a Labor Day bash with crayfish and French Provenc{‡}al dishes. Ah, yes, industrious cooks and decorators will find revealed here the secrets to capturing a subtly sophisticated yet genial ambience for perfectly orchestrated events. Alice Joyce

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