cover image Party Food: Small & Savo

Party Food: Small & Savo

Barbara Kafka. William Morrow Cookbooks, $27 (323pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11184-7

Kafka ( The Opinionated Palate ) here combines her talents for creating original recipes with good old common sense. This is a very practical guide to home entertaining (in our teetotaling times) when cocktail parties, as she writes, might be better characterized as ``informal parties without assigned seats.'' Hers is a gathering of ``finger food'' recipes and ideas for serving store-bought and previously prepared foods, of suggestions for such matters as how to phrase the invitations (``We're all wearing jeans'' or ``I hope it will be very gala'') to valuable--and not often shared--cooking methods: how to pit an olive, how to preserve pickles and chutneys, how to wrap foods in edible leaves and how to open oysters in a microwave oven. Some of the more novel recipes include glazed garlic on brochette, sweet-and-savory soy anise macadamia nuts, clams with black beans, and sage potatoes. A section on beverages rounds out the volume with recipes for nonalcoholic cocktails and champagne drinks. Author tour; HomeStyle Book Club main selection. (Oct.)