cover image The Cooking Club Party Cookbook: Six Friends Show You How to Dine, Drink, and Dish

The Cooking Club Party Cookbook: Six Friends Show You How to Dine, Drink, and Dish

Dennis L. Noble, The Cooking Club. Villard Books, $19.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-8129-6875-0

The authors of The Cooking Club Cookbook display their usual gossipy charm in this eclectic follow-up volume of party ideas, advice and recipes. Geared toward women in their late 20s and early 30s, the book contains suggestions for 12 different bashes, including offbeat suggestions for three rite-of-passage celebrations: an engagement crepe party, a karaoke bachelorette party and a baby shower tea.""Agewise,"" the authors explain,""we're in the zone. It's that five-year window when it seems every coworker, neighbor, and person sitting next to you on the subway has just gotten engaged."" Be that as it may, the authors, all New York women working in publishing, are clever enough to address a variety of occasions, and some of their best ideas--a midwinter Hawaiian luau, a 70s-inspired fondue party--have nothing to do with weddings or new additions. A Halloween""monster party,"" for example, calls for spicy Be-Deviled Eggs, rum-spiked Haunted Hot Mulled Cider, cold Bat Wing Pasta with Eye of Newt (a.k.a. pimento olives), dough-covered Thai Sausage Goblins, chocolate Spider Cookies and Great Pumpkin Popcorn Balls made with marshmallows. Most of the recipes are easy to prepare, and the authors' opening party guidelines (don't overplan, set the mood, don't stress, document the event, chose dishes that you can prepare ahead, etc.) rightly suggest that the aim for good parties should be to create both food and fun. 40 color illus. FYI: The Cooking Club--Katherine Fausset, Sharon Cohen Fredman, Rebecca Sample Gerstung, Cynthia Harris, Lucia Quartararo Mulder and Lisa Singer--now hosts a new program on the Food Network.