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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Planning a party? Afraid you might not have enough food to feed everyone? Or that you don’t have enough variety, but don’t have the time to fuss any more than you already have? Well, first of all, make sure you plan for way more food than you think you need. Entertaining large groups of people always requires lots of food and lots of variety. Growing up in a family that loved to entertain, I know. We were all brought into the action of preparing platters of hors d’oeuvres and making it look presentable, unique, and appealing. It wasn’t complicated; it doesn’t have to be. The main thing is to organize your menu planning to incorporate the unique with the least complicated. You don’t want to be spending hours in the kitchen on just one item on the menu.
Ivy Ngeow’s cookbook, Quick and Easy Party Treats: For Special Occasions, is just what one needs to create that unique atmosphere for a not-too-fussy party menu. The title of the book is exactly what the book is, quick and easy. It’s a little chapbook, really, but the ideas are superb and deliciously presented. Each recipe (only 5, plus the bonus of a cocktail recipe) is introduced with a colored illustration of the finished product to tantalize the chef’s taste palette. I think the most intriguing of the five recipes is the Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Towers and the Roast Duck and Leek Wontons. The recipes are well laid out, listing the ingredients and instructions in an easy-to-follow format. Each recipe provides suggestions on how much ahead of time the creation can be prepared and other useful recommendations. This is a compact and easy-to-use resource for those who enjoy planning large gatherings with lots of good food.