Every once in a while the stars align and I stumble across a cookbook that seems to have been tailor made for me—Food With Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings is just such a book, but it's one that clearly calls out to my more feminine side. It's also the type of book I can see many people pulling out for a special Mother's Day brunch, baby shower, or other ladies only event where you want to pay special attention to the small details and give things a more feminine touch.
If you're looking for a book of quick, easy, uncomplicated recipes for entertaining, this isn't the book for you, but if you're wanting something more upscale and aren't afraid of specialty ingredients you'll find a lot to love. Recipes like Butterscotch Pots de Crème, Blooming Flower Salads, Rhubarb Rose Floats, and Lemon-Lavender French Toast will have your guest's mouths watering the second they hit the door and they'll be begging to take home leftovers when they leave. There's even a full chapter dedicated to tiny takeaway treats so you can send your guests home with a little something for later.
As much as I loved both the recipes and photographs in this book—they're real show-stoppers—I do feel like the author missed an opportunity to fully demonstrate to readers how much flavor specialty ingredients can add to a dish. The two page chapter isn't quite enough to explain why Amarena cherries, flaky sea salt, and European mustards are worth spending extra on. However, even with this shortcoming I think this book will be a great addition for anyone who loves to entertain with flare and is looking to make an impression with a distinctly feminine style of cooking.
Where to Purchase
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This book was sent to me for review by Clarkson Potter through the Blogging for Books program. As always, all opinions are my own.