Do-Ahead Party for a Crowd – Easy Appetizer Menu (Part 1 of 3)

“Cabbage Bowl” and Vegetables Ready for Dressing and Service

When our son Alex, who lives in New York City, asked for help with his upcoming “house-warming” party, I was delighted.

ME:  Would you like me to fly out and help?  The party sounds like fun!

ALEX:  Well, I hate to trouble you.  If you could just send me some ideas, that would be nice.  I was especially interested in the recipe for those Asian rolls.  

ME:  Oh, I’m shocked.  You don’t want your parents to attend your first big party?? 🙂

Needless to say, the end result was not a trip to New York – Continue reading

Do-Ahead Dinner for Eight — and a Tart Celebrating the Glorious Parsnip

Dinner for Eight

When I host a sit-down dinner, most of my friends expect:  1) to be recruited to the kitchen to help with last-minute preparations or 2) to watch me tossing things to and fro in the kitchen while they eat and drink.  I think it is part of the joy of cooking — to make it a relaxing group experience. Continue reading

Wine, Crab Muffins and a Sunset


Last year, I was missing my English golfing friends so much that I invited seven of them to visit and golf in Michigan.  Surely, I thought, they wouldn’t all say “yes”.   They had families, jobs, etc.  I would be lucky if one or two agreed to make the transatlantic trip. Right? Continue reading

Bisteeya – Possibly the best savory pie ever invented

It is New Years Eve, so it is time to bring our annual progressive dinner menu to life. As this year’s theme is Northern African food (my favorite), what better way to start than with a sweet, savory, crispy, steamy Bisteeya — or “pigeon pie” to the Berbers of Morocco.

Continue reading